Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Painting a Gray Master Bedroom

If you’ve ever had issues picking a paint color, I can totally relate!   We decided to paint our room a neural gray color.  He wanted gray; I wanted a warm, neutral backdrop for future furnishings and decorating.  How hard could this be?  Famous. Last. Words.

It started with a pile of paint swatches something like this:

Let me just say that after studying the colors awhile, they start to look all the same:

It always helps to have a cute lil’ helper when picking colors…before3 with text

Finally after researching all the gray rooms in blog land, the articles, the pictures, etc. I settled on six samples to try. I highly, highly, highly recommend getting the samples. Best $3 ever spent.  Or $18.  Whatever.  It was so worth it, because the actual paint color looks very different when it’s on a great big wall.
Here is what I sampled:
Sharkey Gray – Martha Stewart (Home Depot)
Frappe – Valspar (Lowe’s)
Collonade Gray – Sherwin Williams
Agreeable Gray – Sherwin Williams
Seagull Gray -  Lowe’s Seaside Retreat collection
Silver Sateen – Behr (Home Depot)

We had Home Depot color match what wasn’t theirs ‘cause we knew we wanted to use Behr paint.  Best paint ever, in my opinion.

Right off the bat, I felt Silver Sateen was too blue, so it’s not in any pictures. Sorry!

So the process begins...by the way, paint a large enough area with your sample paint so you can see how it will look. I painted small areas at first and it was no help.  Paint areas at least this big:before6

Same pic as above, but with paint names:
before6 with text
I’ll be honest.  I wanted Frappe from the get go.  Looking at the card, the color was gorgeous.  Perfect.  But having all the samples on the wall made be consider other options, which is a good thing.

My first thoughts:
Seagull gray – very pretty light gray, but not much of a change
Sharkey gray – more pink in it than what you’d think
Frappe – my favorite, though seeing it all the wall I definitely saw undertones of green
Collonade Gray – pretty, maybe too blue?
Agreeable Gray – a nice light gray, maybe not enough of a change and if we going through the trouble of painting, we wanted a big difference

Another look:
before7a with text

I stared at these walls for days.  I fell asleep staring at these walls. I tried to envision the entire room painted one of these colors.  I contemplated how I would decorate with each one. I thought about how they’d look with the ceiling color, the carpet, the adjoining bathroom walls (painted Forest Lichen, Martha Stewart). I asked for opinions from friends and family. I drove hubby nuts with my indecision. 

So what did I choose?

I chose Collonade Gray, and in the end here’s what sold me:  The Collonade Gray swatch PERFECTLY matches the London Fog swatch by Benjamin Moore,  and I found a beautiful room painted in London Fog by Dear Lillie that I loved. Just the right amount of brown undertones for a beautiful neutral gray.

Let’s get this party started…
major thanks to dad for doing all the ladder work!

blog3 with text

Same paint, but big difference once it dries.
blog5 with text

The entire wall (below) is painted, but check out the various shades of color as it dries.  Most dry is on the left:


Working our way around the room.  Yes, I painted too. I just also stopped to take pics.  =)

Enough of the “during” photos…let’s move on to the AFTER:


Yep, it’s a room of hodge podge furniture, but a fresh coat of paint certainly puts me in the mood to change that.  New furniture and decorating is next.   Stay tuned!

One last look…



This color totally warms up the room and we couldn’t be happier.  Now on to decorating … if you have ideas of how to decorate this room, I’d LOVE to hear it.

Linking to:


  1. Love the gray paint color--and what a great room, I wish I had all that space!
    I'm a big fan of upholstered headboards--they are very in right now. Not sure what other colors your planning on incorporating, but either black or even pink would look great with the wall color. Good luck and have fun!

  2. It looks beautiful! Thanks so much for the mention!

  3. How wonderful your Dad painted for you! It is Work! You are too funny
    going to sleep envisioning the colors.. I can just see you now..
    I think it looks great! Paint makes such a difference doesn't it?

  4. It turned out great Lori. I love the change in the room. Yep, gray can be a warm color if you choose right. Hugs, Loretta

  5. GREAT post! I'm trying to convince my husband to repaint most of our home in gray, but there are SO many to choose from. I'll have to remember Collonade Gray for sure :)

  6. I love it! I've dreamed of painting my bedroom gray for years...now we just need to get of the apartment for that to happen. Thanks for sharing your beautiful paint transformation!

  7. Love it, before I read all the way thru I picked the Collonade gray, I want to paint the living room a gray so I am definitely keeping that color in mind.

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  9. OO the gray walls are beautiful! Thanks so much for stopping by and letting know about the color! Can't wait to see what comes next!

  10. Does it have a blue undertone in the end? That's how it looks, and it's beautiful, perfect with your duvet!
    Great post!

  11. Maria - it appears that way at certain times of the day and more so on the computer screen. But, it has brown undertones believe it or not! It is a very nice warm neutral color.

  12. Looks great! I painted our guest bedroom gray and I love it. It's such a great color :)

  13. Wow, what a huge change! I think you picked the perfect color!

  14. wow! thanks for doing all the work for me! i've been wanting to paint our office gray but haven't even known where to start. Now i can just grab this list and head to the stores to pick up some samples! btw, your room looks wonderful! :)

  15. I love the gray you chose! I have also painted several rooms in my home gray and it is soooo hard to choose one! The walls of my master bath looked just like yours with all the samples painted on it. You chose well! :o}

  16. I love how you are sharing with us all your color choiches and how you ended up with the one you chose. Your bedroom looks really nice with this color. Unfortunately I don't have any tips on how to decorate your room as I have just figured out my own after living with it for 5 years and only a year before we are moving out again. Oh well such is life.
    Marianne @ piecesofmymind-marianne.blogspot.com

  17. looks awesome!! i was thinking just today that it's time for a change in our bedroom...

  18. I have been searching for *the* perfect gray for months. I'm going to take your advice and get a few samples. I LOVE the color you chose. It looks wonderful!!

  19. Your room looks beautiful! I'm also thinking about painting a room gray. I'm taking your advice and getting samples.

  20. your room looks fantastic - all that thought paid off! i'm looking for the same gray. thank you!

  21. Love the gray. You definately need a headboard. Upholstered would be great and not hard to make! Love the charchol and yellow/gold accent pillow look. Good luck.

  22. your room looks fantastic. we are under reno as we speak in our bedroom. right now it's a nauseating dark blue/purple that i chose when we moved in. i am on a mission for the perfect gray, paint swatches everywhere. i change my mind every time i walk in the room. my husband thinks i'm crazy. (-;

  23. What was the original Wall Color?

  24. Looks amazing and I just picked this color for my living room! Did you do 2 coats? I just did one but debating if a 2nd would darken it up a bit? Any thoughts?

  25. What color is the ceiling? It is looking yellow compared to the wall.