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.
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.
Kylie M Interiors E-design
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…
- Open layout areas
Avoid Stonington Gray in…
Rooms with pink (countertop/toned flooring/furniture). You might need BM Classic Gray
- In north-facing rooms, the blue may become more obvious. Remember, EVERY gray paint colour has undertones!
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!
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.
See more Gray Owl here: Open Layout Makeover – Budget-Friendly and Beautiful!
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
- If your target market is aged 60+, generally speaking, they prefer more neutral/warmer colours
- In a north-facing, dark room – it could look awfully cold
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!
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
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).
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
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 you. Creamy 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.
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
- 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…
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!
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.
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…
- Awesome in south-facing or north-facing rooms
- Similar, but slightly softer is SW Neutral Ground. Add a wink more gray and get SW Natural Tan
Avoid Canvas Tan
- If you have a lot of products with a cool gray in them. Check out SW Agreeable Gray instead
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.
Why White Dove is a great colour for home staging…
- It’s warm without having a colour to it
- It can be used on trim and walls for a seamless look
- It works for north and south-facing rooms
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
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
- If you have north-facing or east-facing, Agreeable Gray WILL look grayer/cooler. Read more: The Best WHOLE HOME Gray and Greige Paint Colours
Not sure which colours will be best for your home or investment property?
Check out my affordable Online Consulting Services!
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