Game-Changing Advice for Picking YOUR Best Paint Colour
Paint number you say? Yes, paint number. And let me tell you, this magical little number is going to save your life, or at least the small thread of sanity you have left after trying to find the ever-elusive perfect paint colour.
You ready for it?
And yes, I have been drinking and yes, I do know what I’m doing (I think better when I drink…water of course).
BM Collingwood (LRV 62)
As you may (or may not) know, depending on how much of my Koolaid you drink, LRV is a great way to choose a paint colour. It basically lets you know how light or dark you can expect a paint colour to look (freshen up on that info here).
And where do you find the LRV? Well, you can read the above article links or check out these quick images…
Sherwin Williams: On the back of the fan deck…
Benjamin Moore: In the index of the fan deck OR on the colour’s info page on the inter-web (such as here)
So why 62?
Having done many thousands (for real) of e-design/colour consultations in the last five years, I’ve seen the same things time and time again. So, I took all of the info that’s crammed in my wee lil’ noggin’ and thought about the how and the why and came up with the LRV of 62 based on some pretty common averages…
- The average room and it’s particular needs with regard to contrast
- The average amount of natural light that comes in a room and how to best accommodate it
- The average person
- The average amount of wine I drink to write one blog post – and yes, I do refer to wine a lot
SW Repose Gray in a master bedroom (LRV 58)
And of course, there are rooms that fall outside of those averages – I work with them EVERY day. The super dark rooms, the super bright rooms. The ones with tricky exposures and interior finishings in wild and wacky colours – I deal with those too. But I’ve found there are some SERIOUS consistencies when it comes to the FINAL COLOURS that my clients choose and many of these colours fall in the LRV range of 60-65.
Learn MORE about LRV here
Which means that 62 is ALSO an average. If you can find a colour in between 60 and 65 the chances of it being a good depth for your room (based on averages) are pretty good. Is your room a bit darker? Then bump that number up. Is your room brighter and you want more coziness? Then close the drapes, strap on some jam-jams and snuggle up to your honey. Or lower the number.
Now let’s look at a few of these bad boys.
Benjamin Moore Gray Owl OC-52
With an LRV of 65, Gray Owl is a smidge lighter than our magical number and that’s okay, because 62 is the average, meaning really if you can get in between 60 and 65 you’re pretty solid. Gray Owl is a hit with the gray lovers out there.
Read more: Colour Review of Benjamin Moore Gray Owl
Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray SW 7029
Agreeable Gray has an LRV of 60. Pretty damn close to the magic number if you ask me.
Sherwin Williams Repose Gray SW 7015
Repose Gray is a beautiful slightly warm gray that can pick up a WHACK of cool undertones (whack being a technical term for lots). It has an LRV of 58, which seems a bit low, but I OFTEN recommend that it’s lightened by 25% which really takes the edge off (but can slightly alter the undertones).
Let’s take a quick break to talk about paint samples…
Undoubtedly, you’ll be heading out in the near future to grab paint samples – stop right there! I want you to check out SAMPLIZE. Samplize offers peel and stick paint samples that are more AFFORDABLE, EASIER and more ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY than traditional paint pots. Here are just a FEW reasons why I recommend Samplize to my clients…
- Samples arrive ON YOUR DOORSTEP in 1-3 business days, depending on location
- At $6.99, they’re more affordable than the samples pots/rollers/foam boards that are needing for traditional paint sampling
- If you keep the samples on their white paper, you can move them around the room
Visit the SAMPLIZE website HERE
Benjamin Moore Collingwood OC-28
LRV 62. BAM. Nailed it. Collingwood is a popular warm gray with feminine (ahem, purple) undertones.
Sherwin Williams Big Chill SW 7648
LRV 62. Whoaaa Nelly! Again, Big Chill hits it right on the money maker.
Read more: Colour Review of Sherwin Williams Big Chill
Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray HC-173
Oooo, I love my Edgecomb Gray. With its LRV of ALMOST 64, it is a great choice for MANY rooms and exposures.
These are colours that come up time and time again with my E-Design clients. Does that mean they’ll be right for you? Not necessarily. There are a LOT of things to consider when it comes to choosing the COLOUR for your room such as…
Whether you have north, south, east, west or a MIX of those exposures – each room has it’s particular colour needs (which can be unrelated to the LRV number). And yes, I’ve written blog posts on EACH of those compass directions if you click on the above links.
Size (it matters…amen)
The size of your room can be GREATLY affected by the LRV of the paint colour. I mean not literally, but visually.
Do you have wood cabinets or flooring? Or maybe you have a challenging carpet, couch or countertop colour. Whatever it is, your paint colour needs to work WITH it, not against it.
Which always amaze and excite me.
So, as you can see, picking the right COLOUR can be challenging, however, looking at colours that are around 62 in LRV is a GREAT place to start your colour search. And if that doesn’t work? You know how to call…and it ain’t the Ghostbusters
Find out your rooms 3 BEST PAINT COLOURS
Written in 2017, updated in 2019