Nearly Perfect Neutral Paint Colors

Nearly perfect neutral paint colors that are versatile and consistently work well.

Nearly perfect neutral paint colors.


Wall paint color is Healing Aloe Benjamin Moore

Healing Aloe Benjamin Moore via Life on Virginia Street


About three years, I pulled together a color palette and list of what I called “Nearly Perfect Neutral Paint Colors” and it’s way past time that I  update that palette.  I especially wanted to give you an updated list of all-star neutral colors heading into 2016, since so much has changed in three years. Keep in mind, there is no “perfect”, or fool-proof color, that’s why I call them “nearly perfect” but these colors consistently work beautifully in a variety of lighting situations.
Repose Gray Benjamin Moore
Repose Gray Sherwin Williams via Clasen Design Build



Wall color is Abalone Benjamin Moore Cardea Bldg. Company

Abalone Benjamin Moore via Cardea Bldg. Company

Neutral paint colors are not necessarily paint colors without much color but rather, they are really more calm, serene paler colors with a mix of warm and cool undertones.  What constitutes a “neutral” color is really subjective but I think of neutral as colors that ground/balance/calm other colors in a space like fabrics, art, accessories, etc. For me, a neutral needs to have gray in the base and perfectly balanced with slight color and slight warmth and be pale or rather muted.  I also tend to weigh if the color could be used by itself in an open concept or throughout a whole home. This is really what defines a neutral for me.


Wall color is Classic Gray Benjamin Moore. Studio McGee

Wall color is Classic Gray Benjamin Moore via Studio McGee


White Neutrals

We are seeing so much white lately being used throughout spaces and finding just the right “neutral” white is not easy.  A great neutral white should be balanced and not have any strong hues or undertones that jump out.  The wild card variable here is lighting.  What looks like a perfect neutral white can go creamy in artificial light or light gray in natural light.  There are just a handful of whites that are about as nearly perfect neutral as we can get in any light.

In my opinion, Decorator’s White from Benjamin Moore is an all-star neutral white that always grounds and looks amazing in any light. It’s one of the best selling white’s out there and it’s a favorite with designers because it’s such a great grounding white:


Decorators White Benjamin Moore. Nearly perfect neutrals.
Decorators White Benjamin Moore via Sheila Rich Interiors


Frostine from Benjamin Moore is another great neutral white. You can really see the perfect white/gray balance with a very slight hint of green. (This especially a great white if you only have artificial light in the space).
Frostine Benjamin Moore. Nearly perfect neutrals.
Frostine Benjamin Moore


Origami from Sherwin Williams is neutral white that is rapidly becoming a best seller because it’s balanced and it has a very slight tan undertone that makes this color not as cold as a white but still a white.



Uppers painted with Origami and lowers painted in Peppercorn. Both Sherwin Williams colors.
Origami Sherwin Williams via The Kitchn

Below is the same kitchen but you can really see just how amazing Origami is on the wall next to the bright white tiles:


Wall paint color is Origami from Sherwin Williams. Nearly perfect paint color.
Origami Sherwin Williams via The Kitchn

Sherwin Williams Frosty White is another great neutral white that while it’s still considered a white, the undertone is that of a very light taupe.  Gorgeous color, especially for kitchen cabinets if you don’t want a brighter white.


Cabinets painted Frosty White from Sherwin Williams
Frosty White Sherwin Williams via Advanced Renovations



Warm Gray Neutrals

Lighter warm gray neutrals are really the biggest trend right now in paint colors and you can bet that they’ll continue to be very popular heading into 2016.  In fact, the paint color forecasts that came out for 2016 that I shared here, confirmed the warm gray trend will strongly continue. However, as you guys probably already know, all warm grays are NOT created equal.  What looks like a stunning warm gray on a paint card can very easily go into light peach or mauve once it’s on the wall.

My hands down favorite warm gray neutral right now is Repose Gray from Sherwin Williams.  It’s about as nearly perfect as you can get because it has such a perfect balance of warm and cool in the base.  I use it throughout my home and recommend it to everyone because it just is so good!

Here is Repose on the walls of my family room/office/craft room:

office and craft room multi-purpose space done on a very tight budget.

Office Craft Room Revamp Project


Classic Gray from Benjamin Moore has been around for a very long time because it’s another favorite gray of designers.


Nearly perfect neutral paint colors. Classic Gray Benjamin Moore
Classic Gray Benjamin Moore via Chalet Colorado


Classic Gray Benjamin Moore. Nearly perfect neutrals
Classic Gray Benjamin Moore via 2 Design Group


Moonshine from Benjamin Moore is another color that has become a Benjamin Moore bestseller because it consistently looks beautiful and is another nearly perfect neutral.


Wall paint color is Moonshine from Benjamin Moore.
Moonshine Benjamin Moore via Charmean Neithart Interiors


Wall color is Moonshine from Benjamin Moore.

Moonshine Benjamin Moore via Young House Love


Green/Blue/Gray Neutrals

The combination pale green/blue/gray neutral colors are quickly becoming a staple neutral color and one of the strongest trends in paint color for 2016.  People are using these chameleon colors as whole home colors because these colors are not only neutral but they have a little bit more character and depth than traditional neutrals.

Beach Glass from Benjamin Moore is an all-star green/blue/gray neutral that is a crowd favorite because it’s so versatile and dependable.  I have yet to hear that someone hasn’t had a love affair with this color after they painted it on their wall.

Beach Glass from Benjamin Moore.

Beach Glass Benjamin Moore 
Beach Glass from Benjamin Moore.
Beach Glass Benjamin Moore via 2 Design Group

Healing Aloe from Benjamin Moore is another absolutely stunning light green/blue/gray that can be a grounding neutral because it’s so light and versatile.

Wall paint color is Healing Aloe Benjamin Moore

Healing Aloe Benjamin Moore via Life on Virginia Street


Blue Neutrals

Pale blue neutral toned colors are another great option when looking for a wall color that not only grounds but also adds a little more color than a traditional neutral.

Smoke from Benjamin Moore is such a fantastic neutral blue with a gray base and a very slight hint of warmth:


Wall paint color is Smoke from Benjamin Moore. A Thoughtful Place

Smoke Benjamin Moore via A Thoughtful Place

Lookout Point from Benjamin Moore is a little lighter than Smoke but again, that blue/gray slight warmth makes this color another nearly perfect neutral blue.


Lookout point Benjamin Moore.
Lookout Point Benjamin Moore via Lonny and Deborah Needleman


Wall paint color is Lookout Point Benjamin Moore.
Lookout Point Benjamin Moore via Lauren Shadid

Wall color is Benjamin Moore Beach Glass

Benjamin Moore Beach Glass


Paint color is Repose Gray from Sherwin Williams.

Repose Gray Sherwin Williams


Sherwin-Williams Dorian Gray


I hope there is a neutral color here today that intrigues and inspires you!  

Just be sure and sample the color first in the space that you want to paint just to be safe.  If you’re interested in more great colors, you can look through my “all-star paint colors” palette of the most dependable and versatile paint colors by clicking on the image below.

15 of the most versatile and dependable paint colors. All star colors that always work well in different lighting situations. The Creativity Exchange

Thanks for stopping by!




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18 Responses to Nearly Perfect Neutral Paint Colors

  1. Gloria Anderson says:

    I literally squealed when I saw your post this morning. I have been spending my snow days pouring over all your old color posts both on this site as well as on Remodelaholic; I am a big fan :). Looking for a light warm gray for master bath with black cabinets, high ceilings, skylight. Repose gray is a strong contender but it reads a little too tan – any other suggestions for a light warm gray? MBR is Rain – love your old post about this color!!! What do you think?

    • Cyndy says:

      You made my morning Gloria! Thanks for your sweet note and such kind words. In a space with not a lot of natural light (like a bathroom), Repose will lean a tad more tan but in person, it’s still pretty gray. However, if you want to lean just a tad more gray and just a hint less warmth, SW Silver Strand is perfection and just a slightly grayer version of Repose. They are very close on the color chart. Silver Strand is a GORGEOUS color and probably exactly what you need. However, in a bathroom, it may be just a hint too dark, so you may want the guys to add 25% more white just to lighten a tad to really lighten up, especially with tall ceilings. I would test both shades of Silver Strand with and w/o added white but I’m betting that that’s your perfect color. Backup plan, also look at Passive. It may be too gray but in the artificial light, the warmth will pop out and it may be perfect. Let me know what you decide and thank you again for your sweet note and following along 🙂

      • Gloria Anderson says:

        Thanks so much for your response! I will look at all these possibilities – this helps to narrow it down so that I can paint some posterboard samples. I will definitely let you know what I decide. Thanks again 🙂

  2. Holly says:

    I am Still learning about good paints. I don’t have a Benjamin Moore dealer near me. Is there a reason it is your go to paint brand? I have a home depot selling Behr paint. Is Behr paint comparable in any form? I would love to do some of these colors.

    • Cyndy says:

      I love all paint brands but I mainly go back and forth between SW and BM. Home Depot has all the color formulas for both BM and SW, so if you give them the name of the color, they will match for you 🙂 Yes, I love Behr paint a lot, especially their paint/primer product. It’s pretty awesome! Hope that helps and thx so much for your note. 🙂

  3. So much great info. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Sandy says:

    I love these colors!! Thank you!

    I just started repainting most of my interior with Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray. Do you have a recommendation of a white that would go with it for all of my trim? I am terrified of making a mistake and having to redo it all. ~Thanks

  5. Great post Cindy! I just painted my kitchen and most of the downstairs in Benjamin Moore’s Marina Gray. It has more blue in it than green and looks amazing. I’m a huge fan of Benjamin Moore paints. I never seem to tire of them. Here is the link to my kitchen it you want to have a look. Have a great rest of the week! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  6. Kristy Jones says:

    I always been a huge fan of light colors because it is pleasing to the eyes. Just re-painted my bathroom last week with ice white Benjamin Moore and it looks awesome! 🙂

  7. Cindy Meyers says:

    I have to say that I love your site and am slightly obsessed with it. You give such great information and examples. It’s informative and basic at the same time (not over the top). I just love all the paint info (another of my obsessions). I am in the process of a total re paint to my interior. I am having a hard time finding a lr paint it’s a south facing room. I painted It bm bennington gray but no happy. My husband says it looks dingy. We painted our kitchen cabinets bm fieldstone and the walls windham cream. One of the lr walls will be along side that. I love coastal colors (we live less then 2 miles from beach). I would love any suggestions. Keep up the fantastic work. I’m thinking repose gray.

  8. Jenny says:

    Do you recommend any Valspar colors? (Not from Lowes). I need to use Valspar paints but am overwhelmed by looking at paint chips. Any favorite colors for 2016?

  9. Latoya says:

    Oh my! I am obsessed it’s your blog!!! I am about to close on a house and though I like the colors in the house I want to do some painting. if I do beach glass in my master bedroom what color should I do in the master bath? Also, my daughter wants a pink room… Can you recommend a pink that will be relaxing and not too jarring?

  10. latoya says:

    I love your site and would really appreciate your advice! I am about to repaint my that I purchased 2 weeks ago. I like Beach Glass for my master bedroom but am not certain on which color should go into the master bath, and tray ceilings for each room:( Help… Also, I am having a hard time with finding a nice pink for my daughters room

  11. Rita Beese says:

    Hi Cyndy, Love your blog! Great information. I have a small bathroom 5×8 with a window in the shower facing east. Love the morning sun. I’m looking for a neutral paint and looked at BM Gray Owl. Can you suggest anything else. My husband says I only get one shot at this. :-)) Your help would be appreciated. Thank you!

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