I’m not going to make another 50 Shades of Grey Joke…

Oops… couldn’t help myself.

Anyway, I’d posted yesterday about how I made the blunder of painting our living room the wrong color of grey.  That is not going to happen to me a second time around, so I’ve invested many hours since Saturday into researching grey paint colors.

You may remember that I already did quite a bit of legwork on the topic of grey paint last year when I painted the dining room of our last apartment – I’m almost an expert on this topic at this point.

My requisites for the perfect grey:
   1. It must be a very light grey
          *I don’t want to make our living room that gets great light feel like a dark hole.
   2. It cannot have ANY blue undertones
          *I already made that mistake – blue undertones = cold

With that list of requirements, I have narrowed it down to two options:
    – Option 1: Benjamin Moore Grey Owl 2137-60 (but with half-strength tint)
    – Option 2: Benjamin Moore Intense White OC-51

Grey Owl was actually the color that I used in our last dining room (per the recommendation of Emily Henderson), and to put things mildly, I LOVED it.  It was a very pale, true grey, and it reflected light beautifully.  Intense white is a color I recently discovered on several designers’ lists of no-fail paint colors.

Grey Owl is a definite “color” where Intense White comes from Benjamin Moore’s Off White color collection, but you can see how CLOSE they are to one another.  That said, I plan on lightening the Grey Owl (if that’s the route I go) by 50% so it will be even a bit brighter than this sample… a very close match to Intense White.
Intense white has a SLIGHT tan undertone, but it really is minimal.
Want to see some examples of each??
I knew you did.
Here are a few rooms in “Intense White”:

Intense White is a wash of color – nearly white but you can see that next to the white crown moldings in most of these photos that it’s not White.  There is contrast, and that is just exactly what I’m looking for.  Contrast, in a non-color color.
And here is a beautiful space with Grey Owl, where the tint has been cut in half:

I already know which one I’m leaning towards more, but I’m curious to hear your opinions!  Which do you prefer?

Is there another light grey color that I’m missing and should consider as well?

5 thoughts on “I’m not going to make another 50 Shades of Grey Joke…

  1. Thank you for this post!! We JUST closed on our first home and I have been racking my brain and dreading the possibility of using the wrong grey for our new home. I am IN LOVE with the grey owl paint with half tint! Funny that I am noticing this post was posted exactly a year ago today. haha! It's fate!


  2. We went with Intense White!! It's now in every single room of our apartment (except the bedroom that I got too lazy to paint) and we LOVE it. It's really just a shade lighter than Grey Owl, but it is definitely grey. NOT white (though the name implies otherwise).


  3. Thanks for sharing. I'm also looking to paint our main floor in intense white. Like you, I'm looking for some colour that's non-colour lol. Why are we so “particular”? The perfect light light-grey is just hard to find, and I'm glad you chose and love intense white!


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