Shades of Grey {I Found The Perfect Smokey Grey Paint Color}

It’s true. I found the perfect warm, smokey grey paint color, and I am pretty darn excited about it.  I can’t even tell you how many times I have talked about different shades of grey paint on my blog. Several. Too many in fact that I was too lazy to go find them all and link to them. So that’s a lot y’all. First let me start out by saying that I ended up not liking the color I painted the nursery a few months ago. So that’s why I sat idle and did nothing since August in her room. The last project I did in there was the Scrabble Tile Wall Art, which I do love so much, but it came down. And at first, not on my own will. Since we hung it up with heavy duty velcro, apparently that didn’t hold as well as we had hoped for, so I would not recommend that method ok? I have since updated that post to reflect the same and that it does not hold over time. So don’t use velcro if you make that project!

UPDATE: Click here to see the full nursery reveal

Moving on…I had originally painted the nursery the Ashes color from Behr. And while I said it was a true grey, it wasn’t the grey I wanted. I tried to convince myself I liked it (why do I do that??) but I never really did and that’s why I believe I just didn’t worry about getting her room done. I didn’t have a vision for the room.  But NOW I do. And it all started with a trip to Restoration Hardware Baby and Child. :)  But that will be for a different post.

Back to paint.  I started repainting the nursery on Friday, and this my friends is what I call the perfect smokey grey paint color (custom color).

Warm Grey Paint Color

And while this may not be the most beautifully decorated photo, it at least is worthy to be saved because of the color am I right? I couldn’t wait to show you all. I just love it. It’s what I have been searching and longing for. I know that sounds silly but it’s true! It’s almost like a perfect greige too.

And just imagine that color with a very soft pale pink color as an accent–beautiful.

Oh, and for comparison, look at the Ashes color that I tried to convince myself I liked (minus the paint swatches).

Behr Ashes

Totally blue in there right? Not what I was going for.  You would have thought I had a boy or something.

Now, how did I find this perfect color? Well, I was browsing around Serena and Lily the other day and saw that they have paint!! I had no idea they even sold paint but I just love their color palettes.

Serena and Lily Paint Palette

And I fell in love with one in particular, Mushroom.

Serena and Lily Mushroom

Then I REALLY fell in love with it when I saw it painted in one of their nurseries.

Serena and Lily Nursery

Image via Serena and Lily

Gorgeous, I know. I want.

Anywho, so I ordered a sample for $6 and tested it out.  It was love at first swipe. But since I am impatient and didn’t want to wait to have gallons shipped and delivered to me, I took my sample over to Sherwin Williams so they could color match it.  They did a great job too and got an exact match. In fact, I even think I liked theirs a tad bit better.

I used their Duration line and love love love it.

I also chose a Matte finish (in between a flat and satin) and it’s my new favorite finish.  I always love flat but it’s not the easiest to keep clean, and satin is always just a little too much sheen for my liking.  The Matte is perfect try it out.  It gives a very rich look to our unfortunate textured walls.

Now, here is the formula for the custom color-matched Mushroom color…

Mushroom Formula

You can just print that picture out or write it down and take to Sherwin Williams and they will take care of it. This of course is for a gallon size.

So I have already done the dirty work and found the perfect smokey grey for you, aren’t you glad?! :)  Of course, colors are subject to change in any home and different lighting, so paint at your own risk and please please please test it out first to make sure you love it.

I know I love it though, and here’s another picture of the room (undecorated of course).

Grey Paint

Sorry for the big ole ladder on the wall too. That’s true Emily style. This picture just ended up being a true representation of the color so I wanted to use it.

I ordered the baby bedding and it’s on the way.  That’s just Emma’s old stuff in the picture. I can’t wait to get it all in and make her bed and truly start this room now.  If it turns out anything like what’s in my head, it will be pretty fantastic.  :)

And I apologize for the less than stellar photos. I am having some serious issues with my camera since it was knocked over not once, but TWICE. Argh.

But oh my goodness my husband just hung up a new chandelier in here and it’s GORGEOUS!!! Can’t wait to show you. :)

UPDATE: Click here to see the full nursery reveal

So did you know Serena and Lily sold paint?? What planet have I been on?  Have you been on the quest for the perfect grey paint? I just love grey…:)



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  1. I found your post to be hilarious, considering my husband and I just painted our living room “grey” and I’m trying to convince myself I love it, even though it looks more blue than the grey I was really hoping for!!! And the funny thing is, it doesn’t have any blue in the formula! Anyhow, I LOVE your grey!!!

    • How funny Stacey. Even though there is no blue in the formula, I think what causes it to have those blueish undertones is the amount of black they put in. Weird I know. I hope you end up liking it though!

  2. Oh, my new good friends at the BM store called me the shades of gray lady (not pleased with the reference!) because I bought so many samples of gray. I feel like I am a sort of expert on their colors now. :) My painter even got frustrated after he helped me pick out the perfect sample that wasn’t, so he took my favorite of the sample and threw in brown he had in his truck and mixed a little paint cocktail that we then had the guys color match. It’s actually very close to what you have on the nursery wall. Can’t wait to see your finished room!

  3. That is beautiful! I’m happy to see grey is getting some attention as of late. It is such an understated color! It’s especially beautiful on walls, and you can play around with numerous accent colors. (My favorite combo is grey with coral accents.) Your nursery will be so cozy!

  4. Looks very similar to the color we painted our foyer-Gracious Grey by Behr. We had a horrible time getting the color right-it actually came out a completely different color and thank goodness for Uncle John at my Home Depot he spent hours helping me get it right. We had to customize the color in the end because something was wrong with their paint at the time. I had to go back 6 times. But in the end I had the color I wanted. An art teacher came in while I was trying to get to the right grey and should understood exactly- it was a warmer, friendlier grey. Who knew gray could be so complicated! Glad you finally got the grey you love!

    • Oh goodness Linda I had that happen before too! Somehow their machines get off and the wrong amount of colors are dispensed. I was not a happy camper when that happened. Haha.

    • Nancy Wilhelm says:

      What color did you use on the trim and doors in the nursery please? Thanks

  5. Absolutely beautiful! Greys can be very difficult I think…some have a lot of blue or purple…others too much brown for me. I really think this is a perfect color. Can’t wait to see the room!

    P.S. How in the world do you find the time to paint a room plus all the other things you do? :)

  6. Oh thank you! I think you may have just done my work for me. I have been looking for a grey, looking at samples & lots of blog posts about greys but am having a very hard time because I have a lot of gold in my house. I even have a very light beige/gold sofa (which is so dirty it doesnt look it anymore) that needs replaced but it is going to be a while so I have to consider it. I love how warm this one is and think it would go well with the gold/brown & wood tones I have. Thanks you so much for posting the formula.

    • Great Kathy! If it helps at all, I am accenting her nursery with golds and it does look really pretty against this color. Hope it works out for you.

  7. Love the color! We have a grey nursery wall too:)

  8. Congratulations on a great color. We found our perfect gray just a little bit ago for our kitchen renovation. Benjamin Moore’s “London Fog.” It’s so very calming.

  9. I never thought I would say “I love that grey wall” but oo I do, I do! It’s beautiful!

  10. I saw that gray and had to keep reading to see if it was the same warm gray that I finally settled on. It looks very similar! After much trial and error, I found Sherwin Williams Amazing Gray. I had it mixed in HD Behr ultra premium because I was spending too much on SW sample quarts!

    I put in my master bedroom and am going with a shade lighter for our office/adult tv room. I love that you are putting it in a nursery!

  11. I found your page via Pinterest and wanted to comment. I painted my bedroom gray over the summer and had them mess with the color so many times! It was either too blue or too green or too light or not cozy enough! I ended up with a color that has purple undertones somehow! I think I drove the paint girl nuts. I used a deeper version of my gray for trim and the closet doors. I love my gray walls, so calming and easy to sleep in!

  12. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the color of your nursery walls!! BRAVO!! I fell in love with grey about a year ago! It’s funny because when our son was in college and renting a room, he could paint any color and he decided on grey! And that was 3 years ago! He painted a charcoal grey and it was fabulous! What a trend setter! ha ha!
    This past year, at our house we painted SW “Perfect Greige” throughout most of our basement to tie together brown carpet and grey tile. LOVE it! :) I have accents of lime green. Also, the guest bedroom is now painted SW “Essential Gray”…planning on accenting with possibly Terracotta bedding BUT undecided. I usually pick the paint color THEN accent color! :)
    I will be deciding on a grey for the remodeled small & narrow (no natural lighting) bathroom next. POSSIBLY SW “Versatile Gray”.
    I REALLY like the color you selected for the nursery!! Very warm & cozy! BRAVO…isn’t grey the new neutral? Blessings & thank you for sharing your ideas on decorating! :) LOVE reading your blog! Thanks for the time you put into it!!

  13. My secret to finding any paint color is from a fan deck. You can see where the base color is starting from. Ask for one next time your in Sherwin Williams. You”ll be happy you did. Don’t think I knew Serena & Lilly had paints but it doesn’t surprise me, they have such wonderful products. My favorite grey right now is SW Alpca. I used it in a nursery with dark navy blue, and now in my daughters room with mint. It’s a very versatile color. Speaking of daughters, can Eli get ANY cuter? Oh those chunky legs, makes me want to just squeeze her.

  14. just what i need to see!

    thank you thank you! funny, i remember you talking about this at SNAP! everyone is always on the hunt for a good grey!

  15. Just bought 25 gallons of this for my basement. So ExCiTeD to see it on the walls!! We were afraid it might be too dark so we got it at 75%. Thanks for the awesome color choice. Love your style!!

  16. OMGosh finally someone that understands me, this is the exact gray I’ve been searching for and people were starting to think that I’m crazy to care about color so much! A warm gray with a hint of green and a hint of beige but still not a blueish gray – Perfect . Thank you for posting this! I am truly excited to replicate your formula :) …and again thank you, I’ve been searching for this type of gray foreverrrrrr!!! ahhh :D

  17. Anonymous says:

    Oh my gosh, thank you for being so thorough!! I love this color, now I can have it too!! Thank you!

  18. I am not wild about grey, it reminds me of concrete. Pink might be pretty with it, but I hate pink too.

  19. Help! After several failures with color samples of gray, I read your post and ran out to have Sherwin Williams whip me up the Mushroom color. It is way too purple on my walls. Weird because at any other time I would go for the smokey purple but I have a stone fireplace that has a few orange tinted stones in it and I am having the darndest time finding a gray that works with the fireplace. I have an open floor plan. I found a BM color I love for the dining room (Kendall Charcoal-beautiful) but too dark for the living room. Help!!!

    • Aw that’s weird it’s purple!! My next rec would be Balanced Beige by sherwin williams. You can see pics of it here
      and also go to the “our home” tab and you’ll see more pics. Good luck!!

      • Thanks. I have the fandeck here and I held the Balanced Beige up against the wall and fireplace. It does look better but I am going for a gray not a beige. I was wondering what would happen if I had them make the Kendall Charcoal at 50%. It looks good at full strength up against the stone but is way to dark for a living room. Why did I start this project? I had no idea just how difficult gray really is. The not-so-funny part about this is when I had the fireplace built I told the mason not to put the orange hued stones in the mix, I ran out to the store and when I returned, guess what, he put them up. Of coarse being a man he didn’t notice “orange hue”. argh!! Now it is biting me in the butt.

        • The Balanced Beige is not really beige, but greige so don’t let the name fool you. It’s more grey in our house. I thought it would look nice against brick but you are there in person! Hope you find the perfect one.

    • StylishGirl says:

      Hi Kellie,
      I agree that grays are super tricky! Your paint likely looks purple because it is contrasting with the orange, since the cool colors (blues, greens, and purples) are opposite on the color wheel from the warm colors (e.g., orange). Opposite colors on the color wheel intensify the colors, making more of an apparent contrast. It’s like an optical illusion. I’m sorry I don’t have any specific recommendations, but I thought it might help you to know why that’s happening. It’s a bummer about those orange stones on the fireplace. A warm gray might look more like a true gray once you get it on the wall. I know that Revere Pewter looks totally beige on the color strip, but it does actually “read” as gray once you get it on the wall. Lighting also plays a huge role. Good luck!

  20. That is a wonderful yummy gray! I love your board & batten wall too – can’t wait to see it all come together! I’m going to add this to my two favorite grays from Benjamin Moore – London Fog and Revere Pewter. I went through mauve, purple, and blue tones (and several re-dos) to find those. Who would have thought finding the perfect gray could be so tough?

  21. Nollicanolli says:

    Got the sample made @ SW and slapped some up on my potterybarn blue walls and it looks tan. Put some up on my master bath tan walls and it looks purple/gray. Weird…. I’m just about to give up on a gray bedroom/bath. Leaving to go pick up some more paint chips and make myself even crazier.

    • StylishGirl says:

      Hi Nollicanolli,
      What you are experiencing is based on the color wheel. Yellow and purple (violet) are opposite on the color wheel, so if you put colors that have a hint of these different undertones, it will make them look more yellow or purple. It’s like an optical illusion. We perceive color based on how it contrasts with the colors around it. That’s why you have to look at the color against white. If you put a warm gray next to blue, it will look tan, but it’s not tan, it’s just that it has warm undertones compared to blue. I painted my living room gray, and I was painting over blue, so I was loving how gray it looked, until I finished, and realized I had a gray with blue undertones. But, it originally looked very gray compared to blue. All colors are relative to the colors next to them. You might consider choosing 1 color pallet (e.g., all warm colors or all cool colors) for your entire house, and then the colors will go together. Otherwise, the cool and warm colors will stand out in contrast and bring out the undertones, as you are experiencing.

  22. Thank you so much for your post about grey colors! My husband and I are expecting our second child this April, a little girl and I wanted to do her nursery Shabby Chic with pink and grey and ivory! Our quest to paint her room has been a nightmare! We purchased 3 “grey” colors from different stores trying to find the right one and ALL of them turned out BLUE! I was so frustrated and at my wits end when I googled “grey nursery colors” and your blog popped up! I read through your trial and tribulation and was convinced you had found the right color…I took the formula down to Sherwin Williams and had them use it for a gallon to try out! We have successfully painted half of the room now and I love it so much more than the 3 blue greys we previously purchased. Thank you for posting the formula and sharing your hunt!

  23. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post on gray! I have been looking for the perfect gray, borrowed some samples from my DIL today and they were all SO BLUE! That is never a good thing in Washington State, where everything is blue based because of our dreary weather! LOL! So I am off to Sherwin Williams to buy Mushroom tomorrow! I am super excited today, my husband finally caved and told me I could paint all the wood in my house white, insert angels singing here!

    Question, should I paint out the shaker cabinets too? They are so easy to clean (aka the wood hides all the dirt!) and they are in perfect condition…Check out my blog, my house was featured in Country Sampler a while ago, and on there you can see my (ugh!) woodwork.

    Thanks for any help, and thanks again for the perfect gray!

  24. I love this color, but am wondering what you would recommend using for a kitchen that is easy to wipe? Can I use this Sherwin Williams brand or do you recommend another brand that is great for a kitchen that will be seeing 4 kids and a dog? Thanks so much. I love your blog.

    • Maureen, yes any brand of paint is fine for the kitchen. What’s important in the kitchen is what finish you get in there so it’s easily wipeable. People usually go with a satin or eggshell finish in kitchens. If you want it very easy to clean and have a more glossy/shiny look, you could do a semi-gloss as well. That’s just a matter of preference.

  25. Matea Bradshaw says:

    Hi!! I have fallen in love with this gray color and am finally ready to do my room, but now I can’t find the formula picture on here so I can get the paint? Can you send it to me?! Thank you!

  26. I love your post and pics! I too am searching for the “perfect” gray for my baby girls nursery (too coordinate with soft pink, white or ivory,and taupe accents (I brought the attached floral pouf)
    I happened to come across mushroom while on S&L and googled for pics and found your post! What color trim do you recommend? Also, did you happen to try BM Winter Gates or Galveston Gray? If so, were they similar to Mushroom? I’ve read they are mid to dark grays with taupe undertones as well? Love your work. Thanks!

  27. Thank you so much for posting this. I have been searching for a perfect grey color for weeks…with no success. I took your color code and on pure faith decided to buy the color! I love it!! I painted our bedroom this weekend and it is perfection! I am so.happy oi went with the matte finish BEAUTIFUL! Thanks !

  28. Love the color/nursery. What color trim do you recommend to use with the Mushroom color? I did not want to do stark white, wanted something softer since I will also have antique white/ivory in the nursery. Thanks!

  29. Oh my gosh. I am SO excited I stumbled upon your blog today. We just closed on our first house {yesterday!!} and I have been looking for the perfect grey for weeks!!! I can’t wait to get to sherwin Williams first thing Monday morning to get a sample of this color!! Thank you, thank you!!! Oh, and I just showed my husband your master bedroom redo… He’s suddenly decided we need coral and navy blue in there! :) Your work is gorgeous!!

  30. Normally I don’t purchase gray paint because we live in the cloudy NW and go for brighter livelier colors. However, when I finished my powder room last year I used an almost identical color for the small room in flat and love it! It really looks like mushroom. I plan to use it in another room this fall.

  31. I searched high and low a few months ago for the perfect grey for our master bedroom. I had a really hard time finding one because I did not want it to have blue in the color. Finally, I settled on Behr Porpoise and could not be happier! I am definitely writing this color down for the next time I am looking for the perfect shade of grey.

  32. Would you say this mushroom color has beige undertones? So more of a greige?

  33. loveLY!!! I absolutely love it! I have been searching for the best warm gray to paint my whole house in! Anyhow if I may ask what color is the trim and door? It looks like a type of cream and I LoOOVE the gray and cream color combo:) thanks so much!!


  34. I love your gray! When we bought a foreclosure/major fixer-upper project last year I went through so many samples of gray to find the perfect shades.. I ended up with BM Seattle Gray lightened quite a bit to a custom color, and accents of BM New Hope Gray. I LOVED the grays. Then we had the challenge of picking out a gray carpet… I wanted something just slightly gray. I thought I had the perfect shade, had compared it to my paint colors and everything looked great. Then they installed it and it ended up looking like a dusty purple!! Ugh!! And since we were on a major deadline to move it, I am stuck with it for a few years. Grays can be SO hard to match and they rarely look like what you think they will look like. It is such a tricky color!

  35. I love the way this color looks. I am curious, does it have any pink undertones? I see you have it paired with pink and it looks great. I am thinking of adding it to both a boy and girl room as a neutral base to work from when decorating. However, I would like to know if you see any undertones in it that would not go well in a guys room.
    Thank you for getting back to me. Layla Lair

  36. Great post! Been reading a lot about painting my home. Thanks for the info here!

  37. Thanks for sharing this good advice. The colors in your home are beautiful!

  38. This is the perfect shade of grey I’ve been looking for our 2-story entryway. Thanks so much Emily! Now, if only I can sell Hubster on it (or maybe I’ll paint it while he’s at the cabin!) After reading comments, I’ll have to way until we remove the carpet from the stairs and upstairs landing first!

  39. Thanks so much for the color! I took this color straight to my Sherwin Williams store and am happy to say that it is the perfect color in my home. What started out as a hunt for the family room walls turned into the basic color for the Family room, the laundry, the kitchen and the dining room. (you can see my remodel at This color is such a happy grey. Everyone just loves it at my house!

  40. A few months ago I went to visit my son who recently purchased a new home. He asked me to help him with paint colors for the bedrooms. We started with the MB. I think guys ordinarily like grayish colors for bedrooms vs. hot pinks or bright yellows (as I would chose for myself!). So we went to Sherwin Williams and I picked the exact color as you did! (This was before I read your blog!) I agree, the color is perfect! Very warm. My son was quite happy with the color too. Anyway, I’m back home sitting here contemplating colors for a guest room I want to repaint and thought of that gray color. Then coincidentally I ran into your blog, and when you mentioned the “perfect gray” I thought to myself “I wonder if she chose the one I did?” And it was. For anyone looking for a nice shade of gray, this is the one!

  41. Thank you! I think this is what I’m looking for

  42. Well spent find the perfect grey. Luckily, I found this mushroom color and absolutely love it on my walls. I can’t thank u enough for posting it on pinterest!

  43. Thanks a bunch for this. I too have been searching for the perfect greige and have been mostly disappointed. I took the picture of your receipt to Sherwin Williams today and they mixed up a sample for me. Will paint on my walls this evening to test it out. Thanks again!


  1. […] the chandelier with the lights on.  The accurate color of the paint is the first picture and yes, it really is still the perfect warm smokey grey paint color. :)  I know some of you have bought it and I’d love to hear how you like […]

  2. […] so excited to show you all the bedding and the crib and the bed crown in the nursery! I mentioned when I repainted the nursery (again), that I was going in a whole new direction than I previously was. So that means I had to […]

  3. […] this has to be one of my most favorite rooms I’ve completed to date. As you might remember, I decided to go a whole other direction in this room a while back. I finally had a clear vision of the perfect smokey grey paint, paired […]

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