Why Does My Gray Look So Blue?

May 28, 2014

coventry gray


A reader wrote me the other day and said that she was so upset because her new gray paint looked like ‘blue’ on the walls. I asked which gray she used and she answered’, “Benjamin Moore Sterling 1591.”


I told her that I think Sterling is a very pretty gray, but it reads more ‘blue’ than gray once on the walls:



As I explained in previous posts, if the gray has a blue undertone, no matter how small, the ‘gray’ on your wall will look more blue than gray. A couple of other blue-gray colors are Coventry Gray HC-169 and Stonington Gray HC-170.

coventry gray2


If you were looking for a ‘grayer gray’ for your walls, take a look at Revere Pewter HC-172 or Thunder AF-685. They are more of a neutral, beige gray. No blue at all.

Revere Pewter:

revere pewter


Be sure to always test your colors on a large poster board before you paint the walls. Good Luck!

I know this is a review for many of you, but it is good to keep in practice!

If you need help selecting paint colors, contact me today.


  1. By the way, all these blue-gray BM colors mentioned above, are SUPER nice on the ceiling where they actually do appear gray! I’ve painted the living room ceiling Stonington Gray and the walls Decorators white and oh.my.god. I absolutely love it. The same gray on the very dark stairwalls appears bluish.
    Another very light, barely there gray is the Light Pewter but I also prefer Revere Pewter.

  2. I really enojoyed your post. I have Revere Pewter in the majority of my house right now but I am looking for a blue gray for my bedroom and you have sugessted some beautiful colors! Thank You!

  3. We moved to a home with natural stone fireplace with many colors. but reads taupe. It has rustic hickory bookcases with a reddish stain. This is open concept with kitchen having the same hickory cabinets and chestnut stained hand scraped hickory floors with tumbled marble back splash and black counter tops. High ceiling ceilings in living room and kitchen. Also this is an east facing wall of windows. Can’t change any of the hard surfaces but need to choose a carpet and wall color. I don’t like taupe walls or carpet. I had a designer come out and she thought Alabaster SW. I am thinking that would be too stark. I also have a dark gray sofa and gray muted plaid chair with a rustic brown leather chair My dining room has antique oak with peacock chair seats.. Any help would be appreciated..Thank you .

    • When you say taupe Sue, that usually means there is a red undertone. I have found a lot of natural stone fireplaces have a green undertone. Maybe that is how the designer came up with SW Alabaster- green undertones. I don’t want to guess and give you any wrong information. If you would like to send a photo, maybe I can help instead of me guessing the best color.

  4. My revere Pewter is very blue in my living room…could of be that it faces north and is shaded with just a bit of sunlight?
    Any suggestions to warm it up?

  5. I went back and forth on my hallway colour. It goes up two floors and loved both Revere pewter and the richness of Thunder which looked like a darker shade of Revere pewter. I painted giant swatches on the wall and decided on Thunder . My floors are white ceramic tile and the wainscotting is off white. After coming home once the painter was done the walls now look blue as the hallway faces north. I will probably have to repaint as I don’t know if I can live with the blue tinge. Even though everyone says there is no blue in these tones Revere looked silver on my wall not beige at all.

    • Hi Margaret, Thanks for writing. I have seen Revere look silver in a room with a lot of sunlight, but never blue. Revere, and Thunder also which is a slightly darker version of Revere, depending on the light, can go greige or a light gray. I hope you can work everything out! A good beige that is beige is Grant Beige.

  6. I just bought Sherwin Williams Steel Piling for my bathroom walls and Grey Sanctuary for the trim. Looking at the samples it was exactly what I was looking for, but after painting my walls the color has to much of a blue tint. This is not at all the look I was wanting. I was wondering what it would look like with a cranberry wall for an accent color? Do you have any suggestions?

  7. This explains why I’m so hesitant with a sterling gray siding for the house. To me it looks like a light blue. Wife said it doesn’t. :-/

    • Hi Ken,

      Most grays have blue or green or purple or beige undertones. Very hard to find neutral gray without undertones. Be sure to paint a large poster board of paint color and look at before you paint the whole house. Save you a lot of time and money.

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