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The 8 Best Light NEUTRAL Paint Colours for Home Staging, Selling

Posted on June 11, 2019 by KylieMawdsley

 

The Top 8 Light NEUTRAL Paint Colours for Home Staging

BENJAMIN MOORE AND SHERWIN WILLIAMS

Other than decluttering and cleaning, painting is the least expensive way to add value to your home. And not only does it add monetary value (as a home that’s well-maintained is FAR more appealing than one with scuffed walls), but it ALSO adds emotional value as the buyer walks through your home, envisions living in it, LOVES it and HAS TO HAVE it!

In my article, The Best Paint Colours for Home Staging, Selling I talked more about actual ‘colours’ because there are some slightly stronger colours that are suitable for resale, depending on the room, exposure and style of home. It was also more on a ‘per room‘ basis, rather than a ‘paint your whole home’ basis.

This article is for those of you wanting to paint either one room or your WHOLE HOME a soft neutral paint colour that has MASSIVE mass appeal.

The best paint colours for home staging, ideas and tips. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint colour advice

1. Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray HC-170

I have mad love for Stonington Gray, a light gray with a slightly stormy blue undertone. Stonington Gray IS a light colour, but with its LRV of 59.75, I might lighten it by 25% just to take the edge off to accommodate hallways and darker rooms.

Not sure what LRV is? You might want to read this article before you go much further as it’ll help you HUGELY in your search for the perfect paint colour.

Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray with white wainscoting. Background color Dior Gray. An art lovers home. Kylie M Interiors Decorating and E-design

Kylie M Interiors E-design

Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray and Chelsea Gray small bathroom, modern. Kylie M Interiors E-design, colour expert

Read more: Paint Colour Review: Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray

Why Stonington Gray is a great colour for home staging…

  • It has a nice body and depth to it without going overly heavy
  • It has a soft blue undertone that isn’t as dominant as some of other gray-blue paint colours

Rooms that look particularly good in Stonington Gray…

  • Bathrooms
  • Bedrooms
  • Open layout areas

Avoid Stonington Gray in…

2. Benjamin Moore Gray Owl OC-52

Gray Owl is a light gray paint colour with a subtle blue-green undertone. This undertone doesn’t always show up, but in the right conditions, it can surprise you!

Hallway with reclaimed wood flooring and white railling. Benjamin Moore Gray Owl and built in bookcase. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint color

Kylie M Interiors E-Design

These photos show how soft and pretty Gray Owl can look. Keep in mind, it can look DRASTICALLY different from one room to another, depending on the exposure, furnishings, etc…and easily flexes from a green undertone to a blue one.

Stairs. Reclaimed wood floor and treads, Benjamin Moore Gray Owl, Cloud White. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint colour expert (4)

See more Gray Owl here: Open Layout Makeover – Budget-Friendly and Beautiful!

Benjamin Moore Gray Owl in hallway and stairwell with dark stained wood railing and artwork on wall. Kylie M Interiors E-design and online color consulting

Why Gray Owl is a great colour for home staging…

  • With the younger demographic it’s a SUPER popular choice
  • It’s light enough to add interest without weighing a room down

Rooms that look particularly good in Gray Owl…

  • South-facing rooms, north-facing rooms with reasonable natural light (knowing the room will look cool)
  • Wood tones and whites

Avoid Gray Owl

Read more: The 12 Best ‘Whole Home’ Gray and Greige Paint Colours

Read more: Paint Colour Review of Benjamin Moore Gray Owl

3. Benjamin Moore Classic Gray OC 23

Classic Gray is NOT exactly what it says, as while it IS classic…it’s not always gray!

Benjamin Moore Classic Gray is great for home staging and selling with bathroom decor and linen tower. Kylie M Interiors

As far as light, soft grays go, this is one of my faves. Many of today’s popular light gray colours can go slightly blue or green – not this one. Classic Gray favours a wee purple undertone that softens this colour and gives it interest. Depending on the room and its exposure, Classic Gray can flex from the gray end of things to the more greige end without committing 100% to either. Just be careful, it’s NOT a cool gray and has been known to pick up a ‘barely there’ purple-pink undertone in some lights. Your walls WON’T look pink – but the undertone will be softer than a typical cool gray.

Why Classic Gray is a great colour for home staging…

  • It gives the illusion of gray without being cold or icy

Rooms that look particularly good in Classic Gray…

  • Works well in rooms with any type of exposure
  • Is flexible to accommodate a variety of tastes
  • Add a bit more warmth and less purple and you’ll get BM Gray Mist

Avoid Classic Gray

  • If you have products with a green undertone. Instead, look at BM Revere Pewter
  • If you have a lot of natural light as it WILL wash-out and disappear at times

Read more: Paint Colour Review: Benjamin Moore Classic Gray

4. Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist 1549

Balboa Mist is a slightly warm gray-greige with a warm purple undertone. It’s warmer and more feminine than Classic Gray with its soft and dusky undertone, at times picking up a faint purple-pink hue (nothing OVERLY dominant though – super passive).

Bathroom with marble floor and shower with Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist, warm gray or greige paint colour. Kylie M Interiors E-decor services and consulting

Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist, masculine condo in a style that suits a male or men. Open Layout with warm gray sofa. Kylie M Interiors Online Paint Colour advice and decor blog

Why Balboa Mist is a great colour for home staging…

  • Its undertones are soft and subtle while adding a bit more ‘colour’ than traditional grays
  • It gives a romantic and soft feeling, while still being fresh

Rooms that look particularly good in Balboa Mist…

  • South, north, east or west-facing rooms – it holds itself relatively well in most lights as long as the undertones suit the space

Avoid Balboa Mist

  • If you have products with a green undertone in them. Check out SW Colonnade Gray

Add a bit more depth and you’ll get BM Collingwood or BM Cumulus Cloud

Home Staging ebook, decorating and more. Kylie M Interiors edesign, online paint color consulting

Click HERE or on the above photo to check out my fun E-BOOKS! 

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 $5.99, 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

5. Sherwin Williams Creamy SW 7012

If you are looking for a gorgeous cream without TOO much yellow in it, this is a good one for youCreamy is a yellow paint colour with a neutral added to calm it down and Creamy has JUST the right amount of both. If you look at the baseboard in the photo below, you’ll see the difference between Creamy and BM Cloud White.

Sherwin Williams Creamy is a great paint color for home staging or selling. As shown in stairway with wood and metal railing by Kylie M Interiors E-design

Why Creamy is a great colour for home staging…

  • It’s a warm colour without being overly yellow, orange or red toned
  • It’s modern and fresh feeling without having the coldness of a gray
  • Has appeal to a younger and older crowd as it’s versatile enough to accommodate both warm and cool tones in decor
  • This colour has more depth to it than White Dove and Cloud White
  • I also love the slightly more subtle BM White Down

Rooms that look particularly good in Creamy…

Definitely north or east-facing rooms as the warmth helps to balance out the cooler light

Avoid Creamy

  • If you have intense bright southern sun – it will disappear, unless you want a super soft subtle look. Check out BM Gentle Cream instead

I am also a fan of Sherwin Williams Alabaster, which is more of a warm white, not quite an off-white…

Sherwin Williams Alabaster best warm white paint colour. Client waiting room. Beach coastal colour. Client photo. Kylie M INteriors Edesign, online paint color consulting

The waiting room of Eddins Counselling

Read more: Colour Review of Sherwin Williams Creamy

Read more: The 5 Best Cream Paint Colours

6. Sherwin Williams Canvas Tan SW 7531

Going for a modern and clean, but not TOTALLY boring look? Then Canvas Tan might be perfect for you!

Sherwin Williams Canvas Tan is a good paint colour for home staging and selling. Kylie M Interiors

Canvas Tan is a warm light depth tan with a neutral approach as it doesn’t flash obvious warm undertones (yellow, orange, red, green). It’s similar to Benjamin Moore Manchester Tan but is a shift lighter/creamier looking and lacking the obvious green that can pop up in Man. Tan.

Sherwin Williams Canvas Tan in open layout living and dining with vaulted ceilings and fireplace. Kylie m Interiors paint colour

Why Canvas Tan is a great colour for home staging

  • It’s a subtle warm neutral without being a ‘colour’
  • It’s a warm tan colour without looking like the Builder’s Beige of the early 2000s

Rooms that look particularly good in Canvas Tan…

Avoid Canvas Tan

  • If you have a lot of products with a cool gray in them. Check out SW Agreeable Gray instead

Read more: Sherwin Williams: 5 of the Best Neutral/Beige Paint Colours

7. Benjamin Moore White Dove OC 17

White Dove is a great choice for a soft white look. Unlike Cloud White, which has a bit more warmth-yellow in it, White Dove has a more neutral base, while still having the underlying warmth that stops it from becoming flat or gray – but both are definitely in my top 3 warm white paint colours.

Benjamin Moore White Dove is a great off-white for home staging and selling. Shown in small bathroom with Kingsport Gray vanity

Benjamin Moore White Dove is a great off-white paint color for home staging and selling. Shown in small bathroom with Kingsport Gray vanity

Kylie M Interiors E-Design

Why White Dove is a great colour for home staging…

Rooms that look particularly good in White Dove…

  • Most rooms, as long as you’re going for a soft white look

Avoid White Dove

  • In a dark room. More to the point, it can be FINE in a dark room, but it won’t save the day, you need to improve your lighting
  • If you have clean white in your products (ie: marble or white appliances).

Read more: Benjamin Moore 8 Best White Paint Colours

8. Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray SW 7029

Agreeable Gray is a gorgeous greige paint colour. Greige is a blend of gray and beige and THIS particular one leans a bit more into gray, especially in north-facing rooms.

Dining room traditional, slightly country style. Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray, crown molding, wainscoting. Kylie M INterior E-design, client before image

Why Agreeable Gray is a great colour for home staging…

  • It’s great for mass appeal, home buyers love it
  • It goes with a variety of surfaces as the undertone are pretty flexible
  • Similar, but slighter gray is SW Repose Gray. Similar but warmer is SW Accessible Beige

Rooms that look particularly good in Agreeable Gray..

  • South-facing or west-facing afternoon rooms that have a lot of warm light
  • North-facing rooms if you want a warm, but not beige-tan paint colour

Avoid Agreeable GRay

Not sure which colours will be best for your home or investment property? 

Check out my affordable Online Consulting Services!

The best gray or grey paint colors for your room. Benjamin or Sherwin. Edesign, online paint colour services Kylie M Interiors. diy home decorating ideas blogger.market

Chat soon,

Kylie M Interiors, decorating blog, e-design, online colour consulting expert. signature

READ MORE

Home Staging – 5 Key Rooms

Home Staging for Mass Appeal

The Best Paint COLOURS for Home Staging

Originally written 2017, updated in 2019

KYLIE M INTERIORS E-DESIGN, E-DECOR, ONLINE PAINT COLOR CONSULTANT AND DIY HOME DECORATING ADVICE     EXPERT IN BENJAMIN MOORE AND SHERWIN WILLIAMS PAINT COLOURS



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Comments

  1. Please, can you help me? I’ve tried so many samples in this room. South facing. Everything is either orangy or pink! Im in tears and defeated. Can I send you a picture?

  2. Hello Kylie,

    I have decided to paint my walls with Benjamin Moore Manchester tan but am struggling to find the right white for the trim. I have sample of Simply White against Manchester tan but it looks too white. I have honey oak colour floors so what white paint would complement the Manchester paint for the trims, baseboards and doors?

    Thanks,

    Shelley

  3. This is such a helpful article, I’ve referred to it countless times in the past week as I pick out a gray for my living and dining rooms. I had it down to balboa mist and classic gray, and painted a bunch of swatches to see how they REALLY look. Balboa is a bit too dark for the look I want, although it looks better in the daylight. I’m going with classic gray!

    My question for you is, what would be the ideal amount to lighten classic gray for the adjoining hallway? I still want it to read as a light gray (not white) but to be distinctly lighter than the living room… Since it’s already quite light, I’m concerned about hitting the ideal in between tint. Thanks Kylie!

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      Author

      Hi Kellie! Well, if it were me using Classic Gray, I don’t know if I’d go over 25% otherwise I’d worry about ‘losing it’ a bit… that is a GOOD choice too, you’ll find it more versatile than Balboa – absolutely.

  4. Repose gray on ceilings and walls with pure white trim? Also rooms with mindful gray and Dorian with repose ceilings ? What do you think ? I’m mentally exhausted and feel like I just need to go with it.
    I would like to do pure white on the ceiling too but am afraid and my husband likes the darks so using repose on the ceiling for him is light. Going with agreeable gray in main area where the ceilings are cathedral with black stain on beams and cabinets with island painted Dorian gray. My fireplace has some tan, gray , rust so didn’t want it to look dingy with a grayer tone.

  5. If doing canvas tan walls, will Alabaster be to dull or yellows for the trim? I don’t want an overly bright white. And how about for the ceilings- shall I do Alabaster as well?

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      Hi Lori, I do love Alabaster. You can ask them to add 4 ounces of white to it, which just cleans it up a stitch – that might help 🙂

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      It was close! I do love RP, but in some homes it can be a touch heavy as it is a slightly darker ‘light’ colour. It’s also a bit unpredictable with its green undertone. I do have mad love for it though, that doesn’t alway show up to the party, but sometimes shows up when you don’t want it to!

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  6. Hi Kylie,

    Where would Pale Oak fall in the mix? Our walls are currently Antique White which makes our trim look more white (they’re actually more of a cream), but I’m dying for “gray” walls and don’t want my gray to go blue/purple/green. Any tips? I’m looking for a good whole house light neutral. Our house faces east/west. Thanks!

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      Author

      Hi Kate, Pale Oak is beautiful. It’s a warmer gray/greige tone, but can (if encouraged) pick up a very slight pink that you have to watch for!

  7. Hi Kylie!
    I wanted to know if you would review Sherwin Williams Gossamer Veil and Knitting Needles.
    Thank You!
    Dana
    PS, Please make more videos!

    1. Post
      Author

      Oooo, Gossamer Veil is on my hit list! I will be doing my video NEXT WEEK. Unfortunately, I can’t do a blog post until I have images of it used in a clients home, so that will have to wait – it’s a wicked cool colour though!

  8. Thank you for your guidance with paint. I have learned so much from your blog. Can you make suggestions for colors and whites that go nicely with floors that have a red undertone? Thank you.

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      Hi Joanne, you certainly can, but it’s a VERY light colour and will wash out with sun on it. Having white trim will help, to show some contrast…

  9. Terrific site – thanks for your really helpful advice! I’m drowning trying to decide on a true neutral (not yellow, pink or green) almost-whole house color to replace BM Pale Almond (too yellow) and Everlasting (too fleshy). I don’t mind a teeny-tiny hint of gray. I have rounded corners (so color has to continue), Simply White trim and kitchen cabinets with Black Absolute counters in bright south and west kitchen and a two-story bright north facing foyer. I’m sampling Manchester Tan (based on your post) and Timson Sand. Any thoughts on TS? Thanks a lot!

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      Author

      Hi Ginny! Due to the number of emails I get every day, I have to pick n’ choose which questions to answer, focusing first on the ones that have mass appeal! I do try to give as much complimentary info as I can on my blog and if that doesn’t help, it might be time for a closer look with my E-design. Otherwise, I’m just guessing as to how the lighting affects the room, flooring and so many other things to consider when choosing a paint colour! https://www.kylieminteriors.ca/online-decorating-design-services/
      I hope to hear from you!

      ~Kylie

  10. Hi Kylie,
    I am planning on painting my living room and hallway with BM Stonington Gray. I tried the sample color and like it, but feel it looks a bit dark. I also noticed that it picks up the blue undertone in my south exposed living room. I just read your advise about lightening it up by 25%. If I lighten it up will the blue undertone come through more or will it be the same color just lighter?
    Thank you,
    Nancy

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      Hi Nancy, i HAVE found that Stonington Gray does pick up a bit more blue when it’s lightened by 25%! Check out SW Big Chill, see if it feels a bit better 🙂

  11. You mention adding white to alabaster to “clean it up a little”. We are painting the walls canvas tan and the trim and ceilings with alabaster. We did not do anything special with the mixture. Will it look okay?

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      Author
  12. What would you say are the best whites with Manchester tan? I am painting a large living room Manchester tan and the adjoining rooms are Revere Pewter. I need to paint all my trim and doors so I am hoping for something that complements both. Love your site! So much fresh advice, thank you!

  13. Would you use classic gray in a large living room that is well lit but is north facing? Or would creamy feel more warm and cozy? I love the idea of bright and fresh but I don’t like cold at all.

  14. What is the difference between lightening a color by a percentage and going one color down on the strip of paint swatches, i.e. Benjamin Moore Classic Gray lightened by 25% vs Calm? Thank you.

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      Hi Judy, that’s a good question! It can change for every colour and the thing is, even though the paint companies put colours next to each other in a colour strip, they aren’t necessarily the same colour just lightened/darkened – they like to fool us that way ;). I’ve found that generally speaking, if you lighten a colour by 25% it’s a very slight shift on the original colour. 50% gives you a more moderate shift, where the undertones can change more noticeably and 50% is sometimes the halfway point between one colour and another on a colour strip. So sadly, there isn’t a really easy answer, but the short one is that 25% lighter is more of a tweak of Classic Gray and won’t give you Calm!

  15. Hi Kylie,

    Whenever I am thinking of painting, I always refer to your blog. I almost always agree with your point of view. I have just renovated my kitchen and have painted it and the family room in Balboa Mist. I am about to purchase new sectional and accent chair for the family room and trying to decide whether to go with a darker grey or charcoal colour or to go lighter. The accent chair will likely be a pattern. My accent tables are dark wood and glass. What would you suggest?

    Thank you!

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      Hi Leanne! Well, it can depend on the other finishes in the room like flooring/drapes/rugs/etc… but I might be inclined to go in the middle of the road – nothing too drastic/dark, but nothing overly washed-out. The lighter it is (the closer it is in-depth to the walls) the more bang-on the undertones need to be. I mean, you’ll still need purple undertones in a medium or darker gray, but it’s easier to coordinate ;).

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  16. I also have mad love for Stonington. I’d love to use it in my kitchen with SW retreat accents, but that darn gold granite counter and travertine backsplash! Have you ever seen Stonington work in that situation or best to just stay away?

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      Oooo, I wouldn’t – Stonington IS so pretty, but if it’s the granite I’m thinking of it just is toooo cool! You might have more luck with BM Cumulus Cloud as a transition between your kitchen and other rooms in Stonington Gray 🙂

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