Updated: Exterior Grays

June 12, 2018

I thought I would update this Exterior Gray post since gray is still a very popular choice to use for exteriors. I have added a few new photos of gray painted exteriors with the their color listed. Enjoy!

One question I am asked often is if I have any good recommendations for an exterior gray paint color:

via     Ben Moore Copley Gray HC-104

amherst gray1

via     Benjamin Moore Amherst Gray HC-167

Gray for exteriors is very popular right now. And for good reason- gray is a classic color that works with any exterior color scheme and combination. I think gray works best with white trim or a lighter version of the color.

If you are trying to decide which gray to paint, a good way to start would be to decide which gray undertone do you think will work best with your exterior.

Grays with blue undertones:

stonington gray

via       Stonington Gray HC-170

storm

via    Ben Moore Storm AF-700 (yes, undertones are blue!)

smoke embers

via   Ben Moore Smoke Embers AC-28

* Remember that if you want blue exterior walls, you have to pick a blue-gray color to prevent it from looking like a baby blue.

Grays with green undertones:

via             Sherwin Williams Intellectual Gray SW 7045, and the trim color is Sherwin Williams Pearly White SW7009.

Nantucket Gray

via   Nantucket Gray HC-111

Same color as above- Nantucket Gray HC-111:

nantucket gray2

via    Nantucket Gray HC-111

Lighting makes such a huge difference- be sure to sample day and night!

sag harbor gray

via   Sag Harbor Gray

Ben Moore Stone Gray 2112-40

via

edgecomb gray2

via   Edgecomb Gray HC-173

sandy hook gray

via     Sandy Hook Gray HC-108

Ben Moore Seagull Gray (stain) Trim- Cloud White

via

Charcoal grays are beautiful with white trim:

amherst gray

via  Ben Moore Amherst Gray HC-167

via     Westcott Navy – BM 1624  Trim: BM Decorators White

charcoal gray

via  Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal HC-166, Trim:Pure White OC-64

Ben Moore Chelsea Gray during the day in sunlight:

chelsea gray1

via  Chelsea Gray HC-168

And here not in direct sunlight:

chelsea gray2

via    Ben Moore Chelsea Gray HC-168

Please don’t forget to sample the color day and night! If you need help choosing your exterior paint colors, contact me today.

83 comments

  1. Do you know the name of the blue in the exterior stonington gray pic. Just painted my house that gray and would love to know the name of the blue.

  2. What trim colors would you recommend with Amherst Gray and Kendall Charcoal? Also, Do you know the color of the garage door on the ex. with Kendall charcoal? We are painting our colonial in a couple weeks and this has been so helpful! Thanks!

  3. Hi Jillian,

    I tried to source back the photo from their link, but could not. A close color to that is Ben Moore Lucerne AF-530. In semi gloss finish. Just be sure whatever color you use, test on large board and look at it day and night to be sure you love!

  4. Hi Sheri,

    I would use white dove for the trim for both Kendall Charcoal and Amherst Gray. The garage doors are black. Ben Moore’s Black Jack 2133-20 is a good black to use.

  5. Thank you for your column. I am building a small English cottage style house and I love the look of painted brick. I think I would like the brick (main) color to be revere pewter and I can’t decide between Amherst Gray or Kendall Gray for the trim. The windows are a dark bronze pane (looks black to me) and the roof is a medium-dark gray. What do you think?

  6. Hi Michelle,
    It is hard for me to give you a color without seeing the roof and rest of exterior. If you would like, send me a photo to my email and I will take a look.

    • Thank you Kelly, I will send you a picture when the roof and windows are in, probably 2-3 weeks.
      Thank you!

  7. Hi Kelly,
    I’m going with a charcoal grey for the exterior of my house, but would like to do a lighter shade of the dark grey as my trim as opposed to white. I also have accents of black trim, a black garage door and front door. Will that work? Thanks so much!

  8. Oh Kelly…I’ve agonized over my paint selections and here you are! My paint has already been purchased but I’m hoping you can still help me. I have SW Tucker Gray CW-705 for the body, SW White N1403 for the trim, and SW van Deusen blue HC-156 for the front door. I had planned to paint the shutters that same color blue but I’m wavering now and thinking a dark dark gray would be better (I think regular black would be very stark). The front of the house is north facing and so it’s always shady. A shutter color selection would be most appreciated!!!!

      • Welcome back – you are so kind! Yes please!! The house was painted with the colors above and we used Ben Moore Mopboard Black CW-680 (a soft black) on the shutters. Turns out that the door is the problem. I love the color but it’s very flat looking. I think there isn’t enough contrast and I was hoping for some pop. Thank you!

  9. We are having our house painted in a couple of weeks. Im thinking Kendall Charcoal with Dove White trim, but not sure what color to do the doors. Seems like everyone uses red. I like that, but maybe something a little different like a distressed orange color. What do you think? Also, should i paint all the doors this color or just the front door and leave all the other doors dove white?

    • Hi Jennifer,
      If you are looking at a distressed orange- Firenze AF-225. Black is another choice. I would paint just the front door special and the rest of the doors in white. Hope this helps!

      • Thank you! Can u recommend a nice off white? I like white dove, but im afraid it will be too white once on the house. Id like more if an ivory, but cant find one without yellow undertones. I dont want yellow! More of an antique white i guess but still bright. I just dont want the white to look stark. Want more of a glowy effect. Hope you can help!

        • Hi Jennifer,
          If you are looking for a creamy or ivory white, they all have yellow undertones in them. That is why I like White Dove- it is not stark and screaming white if you are mean using a white with an exterior gray.

      • Dont know if you got my msg about the trim color. I like dove white, but afraid it will be too white once on the house. Id like more of an antique white or ivory but no yellow undertones! Im looking for a more glowy effect and not the stark white trim. Hope u can help!

        • Jennifer, I would not worry about it looking too stark. If you asked about Simply White yes- too stark. Ivory and antique whites have yellow in them so you would not like. White Dove has no undertones and will work well.

  10. Hi Kelly –
    I am struggling to pick a gray for our rebuilt colonial. It’s painted brick so I don’t want to go too dark, but the trim needs to be Lancaster Whitewash to match the windows. I feel like cream trim is limiting! I was thinking black for shutters and doors, but am not deadset on it. Any advice would be great!! Thank you!!

    • Hi Lauren, For gray, your colors are limited because of the gray undertones. Gray has blue undertones, which clashes with the yellow undertones of lancaster whitewash; also purple undertones, which none you would like for exterior; or green undertones which can work. I would take a look at Sandy Hook Gray HC-108, which has green undertones. Beautiful color. Be sure to get large samples of both colors together to look at. The other gray option would a dark charcoal gray such as Chelsea Gray. Let me know how you make out!

  11. We have an old, 100-year old home that has a mix of materials. It has a stone foundation with a stone wrap around porch, brick around the first floor, and stucco for second/third floor. The trim is white, which we plan on keeping. We are trying to figure out what color to paint the stucco (leaning towards a Chelsea gray) as well as whether or not to remove the shutters. We are also trying to figure out what color combination to use for the porch ceiling and columns. Would be happy to send a pic if you want to see it. Thanks.

  12. Hi Kelly, most of my 40 yr old house is brick …painted the siding Sandy Hook Gray and the trim Kendall Charcoal , my front door has been red a long time! .. could you please give me some suggestions on another color for my front door… maybe a pop of color!!..also what color should I paint my garage doors.. Sandy Hook or the Kendall … thank you so much!!

  13. We are painting the brick exterior of a DC Row House Benjamin More Van Desuen Blue. What white for the window trim and what gray for the eyebrows of each window to highlight the decorative brick work. Painting in a week, so thanks in advance for your help.

  14. Gray exterior paint can be done well, poorly, or extremely well. These are some fabulous examples of how to use gray to make a house look contemporary and classic. My preference is the darker, bolder exterior gray paint colors with the light/white trim. Great article.

    //www.bellevuehomepainting.com/

  15. Hello,

    I have had sandy hook gray on my house for aa while. i’d like to lighten it little for the base color an again do one 1/4 of base color for trim. any color similar to SH gray that is not so somber?

    • Hi Nancy,

      There are other colors with the same undertones but just as dark as sandy hook gray. A very light version would be revere pewter. If you want it lighter and brighter, another option is to have the sandy hook mixed with white by 50%. Hope this helps!

  16. Hi Kelly,
    I’ve been looking over your website. Love it! We have a gray contemporary with lots of windows on the CT coastline. I am going to be repainting both the siding, trim and double front doors. Right now the gray is too green for me. I wanted to go for a paler, bluer, softer exterior. The only issue that I have to deal with is that we have dark brown gutters (dark copper). Any suggestions?
    Thank you so much!

    • Hi Lisa, Take a look at Ben Moore Stonington Gray HC-170 for that soft blue look, A grayish blue color. For more of a blue color, take a look at Woodlawn Blue HC-147.
      Not sure about the gutters- they will really stand out using a light color. Are you able to paint them?

      • Hi Kelly, Thank you for your quick response. BM Stonington Gray was actually one of the colors on my list. I was debating using white for the trim or keeping the house all gray. I just sent a photo to your email. I have since painted the front door a pretty blue color, but actually want to replace it all together with something more contemporary looking. As you can see, the current color of the house awful!

  17. Hi Kelly, I love this post!

    I want to repaint my weekend cottage this year. When we purchased it, it was already painted a teal-ish green (icky). It has the vertical board & batten siding.

    I was thinking of going with BM Chelsea Gray — we have factory white vinyl windows and standard white trim though I don’t know the specific white paint color.

    Do you recommend White Dove for the trim with Chelsea Gray? I was leaning away from Simply White only because I thought it would be too stark.

    Would a Cobalt Blue door coordinate well with my color choice? I like red but like someone said earlier it’s so common with gray houses. Any other recommendations?

    We are also getting a new roof this year. Should I go with the standard black? We are in WI.

    Thank you!!

    • Yes Kim, I think the White Dove and Chelsea Gray are a great match. I love cobalt blue for a front door! Red is common- but if you love it who cares what someone else might think! The blue is unique though and that is why I love. Yes, on the black roof- especially with the Chelsea Gray.
      Good luck!!

  18. Hi Kelly, are you able to help me? I’ve been agonizing since last Fall on what gray to use for my double garage door, side garage door, front door and shutters for 2 windows. 2-storey with double garage protruding. House faces north. West part of house gets sun exposure too as I am a corner lot. Main level is a multi-tone, pale peachy-pink with light red accent bricks. Speckles of cool toned charcoal are visible only up close. 2nd storey siding in a “butter” colour (not quite yellow). Since the brick is busy and there’s siding, I thought I’d us the same colour I choose on the front door too in an effort to stick with the standard “3 main colours” rule. It seems a warm gray with red undertones blends very well but I’m sick of that colour -see it everywhere. Any suggestions? I would LOVE to hear your suggestions. I can email a pic if it helps. Thank you.

    • Hi Christine, Hard to visualize and help you without photos and some work. If you would like to work together, send me an email and I will give you my exterior paint color charge to help you select all of your colors. Thank you!

  19. Hi Kelly,

    So happy to find your site with all the great gray colors! We have a 1950’s red brick ranch which has a gray roof, two gable ends on opposite sides and a porch between the house and garage. We’d like to paint the gables, porch, trim, front and garage doors. We were thinking of a gray color scheme as we have shades of beige and tan now. We like Amherst gray but would love your opinion and any suggestions on how we could break up the color with white trim (or shade of gray) and if we should keep porch the gray color or trim color. We would be happy to send a pic! Thank you so much!

    • Hi Cindy, Sounds like a big project for you! I do exterior color consultations if you are interested. Just send me an email. I will ask you for photos and help you find the best colors. Thanks for writing.

  20. Hi Kelly,

    I came across your site when searching for dark grey exterior paint colors. We are working on a large remodel of our house we purchased last year. It is a tudor style house that we are remodeling to look more modern. The flat stucco we want dark grey – like BM Iron Mountain or darker, red brick that we will paint a lighter grey and there are Western red cedar or Ipe siding/front door as accent. I have created a rendering of what we want that I can send you and would love your opinion on what color greys would accomplish what I have put in my rendering or your overall opinion. Thanks in advance.

  21. We are building a house and I’ve been searching for the perfect light light gray paint for body of our home. I plan on using white trim with a charcoal/ black shutters and charcoal roof and stained brown front door. There seems to be a lot of pictures and info on medium and dark grays but not much at all on very light grays. I don’t want it to be cold… but a warm light gray. The house is a craftsman ranch. I’m leaning toward repose gray with alabaster trim… black fox for shutters. And advice would be appreciated!!! Send to my email please. Thank u!!!

    • To get ideas and inspiration Laura, check out Houzz.com and search gray exteriors. Will give you ideas on which colors to look at to narrow your search with grays. Good luck!

  22. Hi Kelly,

    We currently have three colors on our flat roof house: trim, main siding and shingle accents that run from the roof to the ground in several areas (no other rock/brick features, just a lot of trees!) We like Amherst gray for the body and white dove trim. Do you have any good suggestions for the shingle color? We were thinking something slightly darker than Amherst, but not something that will look too black. Since the shingles run from top to bottom, they can appear like stripes if they contrast too much with the body color, in my opinion. Any help you have is very much appreciated!!

    • Hi Briana,

      Sounds like an important decision and I would not want to give you any wrong advise without seeing photos and getting more facts. I do a lot of online color/decorating consults and I would love to help you. If you would like to work together, send me an email at [email protected] and I will explain how the easy process works. Thanks for writing!

  23. Hi Kelly,
    We have chosen to paint Sandy Hook gray on the siding and garage doors of our house. The shutters and front door will be Hale Navy. The roof is black. Which white do you like for the trim? I was thinking of Simply White but after reading your other comments here, do you think there is a better choice? And,…what do you think of the scheme?
    Thanks

    • I think it is a beautiful color scheme Miriam! Hale Navy will make a great front door color. My opinion- Simply White might be too white and stark. I would suggest a softer white such as White Dove with the Sandy Hook. Good luck!

  24. Hi Kelly- we are thinking of doing the exterior of our house in smoke embers. I wanted to check if you think that generally looks like a pure light grey and then for a trim would you suggest white dove or something more pure? Finally, if our garage door and shutters and black would it look weird to paint front door another color? Red or blue or even a green? Thanks !!

    • Smoke Embers is a great neutral gray Margaret. I would use White Dove for the trim. Yes, you can use a different fun color on the door if shutters and garage is black. Good luck!

  25. Hi Kelly,

    I know this has been a long conversation! I appreciate your assessment of grays. I am choosing a gray for the exterior of my house and garage. I am deciding between Harbor Gray BM AC25 and the Stoington Gray you show above. I plan on wood front door a garage doors with some of the other doors a dark blue. What do you see as the difference of these two colors? In samples they look very similar on the house. I like blue undertones but not a blue house! I also want a gray that looks great in the snow. Any thought on this? Thanks for your help. Best.

    • Hi Andrea! I see more blue undertone in the harbor gray than the Stonington. And I love the Stonington with the Navy Blue! Too be sure you love the color, I would paint a large poster board and see how the color looks on your exterior. Good luck!

  26. Also I have 2 sheds, one in front and one in back. I am sot sure if they should be the same paint colors or should they be something darker to not match the house. What would you suggest as an alternate color. I don’t want cutsie. Thanks again!!

  27. Hello Kelly,

    On the Kendall Charcoal and Pure White Trim house, what color did you use for the garage door and front door?

    Thank you!

      • I painted my house Amherst Gray with Super White but am thinking of going over in White Dove because it is a bit stark for me. I got black samples, and it seems like Black Jack has a lot of purple undertones, Wouldn’t a black with more green or no undertones work better overall? I am currently trying to decide whether to paint my garage door and back french doors in black for more contrast.

  28. Hi Kelly

    We’re painting our home Chelsea grey @50% for the body of the house and White Dove for the trim, porch ceilings & railings, etc.

    We now need to come up with a color (or stain) for the front & back covered porches – it’s currently brown tones which will look terrible.

    Any suggestions?

    Thank you so much!!

    • Hi Carrie, Do you mean a color for the floor of the porches? If so, I would paint 100 % Chelsea Gray, so it would be darker than the walls or maybe even a black. Hope this helps!

      • Thank you so much! I should have said it needs to be a stain (though I LOVE the idea of using Chelsea Gray) . Paint will not hold up with dogs and kids.

        Thanks again !!
        Carrie

  29. My roof is black and also has blue or green toned shingles. I see more green. Want gray but not a dark and not a blue tone. I am afraid a dark gray will make my house look too dark and small.
    I want to do grey with a white trim and a pit of dark color on shutters and front door what do you suggest?

    • Hi Vivian,

      I would love to help you select the best colors for your home. I ask that you send me a few photos and we will get started. My online exterior color consulting charge is $120.00 for all colors needed. (Walls, doors, shutters, etc.)
      Let me know if you would like to work together!

  30. Hi Kelly,
    I am painting the exterior of my stucco house either Rockport Gray or Stonington Gray with a white trim (thinking white dove) The roof is in the brown family. Any suggestions for the shutter color? House is 100 year old center entrance colonial.
    Your suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!

  31. Hi Kelly,
    Love your helpful info on colors! I plan to pant my cape cod exterior clapboards Covington Gray. There are also new shingles on side walls and garage that will age and gray. White Dove will be my trim. I want to paint the shutters black, but not sure if I should use basic black or a different Ben Moore black?

    • Hi Jill
      I like to use Ben Moore Black Jack 2133-20 in a semi-gloss finish. Black Jack is not as cold as Ben Moore Ext. Room Black- a bit softer. Good luck with your project!

  32. Hi Kelly,

    My Cape Cod style home is painted BM Nantucket Gray; the trim color and all doors except for the front door are a creamy off-white, which I may eventually change to White Dove; and the shutters are black. I am considering painting the front door either black, like the shutters, or possibly a deep rusty-red color. I would really appreciate it if you could give me some suggestions. Thank you so much!

  33. Hi Kelly,
    We decided to paint our house Stonington Gray, i think I wrote Covington gray by mistake, had planned to use white Dove for trim and black for shutters- with a blue front door.
    I just realized that our Vinyl windows have a bright white casing. Do you think White Dove would still be a good choice for the trim? Or possicbly a whiter white ?

  34. Kelly,
    This fall we will lime wash our 70’s red brick leaving some brick exposed. Debating on which warm tone of Romabio lime wash to select (Riposo Beige, Nube Gray, Toscana Beige.) But, we have an addition, that gets sun mostly all day, with primed hardy plank that needs to be painted asap. We thought about SW Classic French Gray, Behr Seagull Gray/Still Gray or getting a paint color match for SW Kings Canyon Stain. I like the French Country sytle or an old Hamptons, NY home. What color do you suggest since we aren’t passionate about any color in particular. Just want a warm, creamy, dreamy home with some color…
    Thanks so much!

    • Hi Debbie,
      I would stay in the same color family orange/red/yellow so that the furnishings will blend in well. If you choose blue or violet, across from the color wheel, they will stand out more as a contrast. Green works well with everything! Thanks for writing!

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