Interior/Exterior Ideas and Inspirations,  Trending Paint Colors

Five Shades of Light Gray by Sherwin-Williams: Cool and Warm Undertones

Gray has been in the spotlight for sometime now, earning it’s rightful place as a main color for many open floor plans all over the world.

As a color consultant, I’m often asked what shades shades of gray I recommend most to clients- but before I answer that, I want stress that just because a gray is “popular” or looks good on your phone, means it’s the right one for you. I always suggest getting sample quarts and trying every color before making big changes.

With that being said, I like to think outside of the usual Repose Gray and Agreeable Gray that I’m sure you’ve ran into somewhere along your journey to finding the perfect shade of gray and like to show clients a few they may not have seen or heard of before.

Here, I’ve put together a list of 5 light gray shades you should give a try:

Know what you’re looking for when looking for a light gray

Just like any other color, Gray will have two undertones: Warm and Cool. Typically, warm have undertones of yellow, pink/red (see picture above. Second square, second row). Cool has undertones of purple/blue or green (see picture above. Second square, top row)

Now, that we have distinguished the different undertones,I’d like to focus on a few of my favorite light grays paint colors by Sherwin-Williams that’s are perfect for any interior or exterior project hidden in the “White/off white” section.

On the Rocks SW 7671

Just like James Bond, we like this color shaken not stirred and it’s first up on our list. This airy shade is considered to be on the warmer side and can be found hanging out with the whites/off whites on the color wall. This sneaky shade can be played off as a light gray or an off white, depending on lighting.


First Star SW 7646

If you’re looking for a blue/gray- look no further. This twinkly color is the cool tint you’ve been missing out on all because you probably never even noticed it. Named justly, First Star is a bit brighter compared to the others on the list, but it’s a beautiful, airy shade, nonetheless. I’ve found it looks best paired with SW 7006 Extra White for a clean, polished look.

Gossamer Veil SW 9165

I have a hard time when describing this color to clients and it’s simply because I’ve yet to find another shade like it. This creamy/warm gray is located among the cooler shades, but I beg to differ. It suits well with darker accent colors like Tricorn Black or Iron Ore.

Eider White SW 7014

Okay- so this one maybe a little over used but it’s versatility to pair with blacks or browns is simply, pure magic. Just one shade lighter than Repose Gray, this warm gray literally can go anywhere and I feel Joanna Gaines would be proud to know it made our list.

Crushed Ice SW 7647

Just like the name, this gray is a bit cooler than the last, but no worries- you won’t be left completely in the cold with the one. It’s perfect for rooms that don’t get much natural light to help brighten it up.

Have a personal favorite light gray that I didn’t mention or have questions about other colors? Comment below and let me know what you think!

Until next time



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Interior Wall Color (one room)

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This purchase is for a paint color consultation for one room of an interior project specifically personalized by Macy Toomey. With this package you will be receive the following: option for open communication until the project is complete, 3 different paint color suggestions, and what sheen to use.

How does the process work? Once purchasing this package, be sure to take plenty of pictures of the desired area, then email them to me. You will then be contacted within 3-5 business days via phone or email.

**Helpful hints when sending photographs of desired areas: During the day (not evening or early morning) take photos of the are. Be sure to include a blank sheet of white copy paper in the picture (example down below). This helps me distinguish the undertones in the picture due to screens can often be a little off. Email any photos that you may want to include along with any other details to

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*Note you will not be receive a physical product

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I am a wife and a mother just trying not to forget the clothes in the washer, again. When I’m not coordinating colors for clients, I’m out in my garden tending to my succulents or paint abstract art for my Etsy shop • • Want to chat? Shoot me an email at I look forward to hearing from you!


  • Sara

    I’m looking for a warm gray with yellow pink, no purple, no blue! I’m picky and see undertones that a lot of people don’t. Which of these do you recommend?

  • Kiera

    This article was great because I am in the process of renovating a fixer upper I just brought. I love the idea of painting the front rooms a little grey but had no idea where to start. This helped and I think I am going to buy samples.

  • Emily

    Would love your thoughts on Fleur De Sel? Too white to be a gray? Too gray to be a white?

  • Macy Coots

    Ooh! Fleur de Sel is a good one people also forget about! It’s much lighter and cooler than the other ones mentioned in this post. I personally think of it more of a gray than white when comparing it to Extra White. I need to remember to keep this one in mind when showing clients!

  • Ruth

    I am about to paint the interior of my home. I’m waffling between Gossamer Veil and On The Rocks
    What is your suggestion for white trim color with these two?

  • Sammie

    Finally! I finally found someone sharing very light greys. I just bought some samples of Krypton, Sea Island Cotton, and Upward. We have a tri-level home. I’m trying to pick a color for the downstairs. I thought it got enough light for those shades until I put the samples on the wall. Way too dark. I really wanted a blue grey, so I’ll get a sample of the one you mentioned above. I had considered painting the cabinet in the laundry area of the room a darker shade of blue, but I’m leaning now to a white. Any suggestions?

  • Macy Coots

    Great minds think alike, Sammie! Because I love those colors and have also used them.

    Since Krypton is a bit dark try North Star.
    We painted the main areas that color in our last house and received so many compliments! I was surprised at how versatile well was since it went with both blacks and browns.

    As for the laundry room cabinets- go for it! I personally would try to use krypton on the cabinets and maybe a white on the wall.

    Hope that helps Good luck!

  • Beth

    Hi! I’m trying to figure out which grey color is on the walls of the photo above in which there is a desk in the corner with wainscoting walls, shelves with mini dress forms and crystal chandelier? Which color Is the grey wall paint? The ad spacing has confused me to whether it’s OnThe Rocks or First Star. Thx!

  • Ashley Clark

    I have light gray kitchen cabinets and Repose Gray is too dark. I am considering Reserve White or Eider White. I don’t want any yellow or blue undertones. Do you have any suggestions? Thank you!!

  • Macy Coots

    I think eider white would be awesome
    With repose gray cabinets. If I remember correctly reserve white pulls green. Keep with the warmer undertones if possible. Good luck!

  • Kim

    Hi! So so glad I found your blog!!! I currently have pediment On our main floor but am thinking of possibly going a smidge lighter? We have all pure white trim, ceilings, and wainscoting – the color eider white struck me- I do like warmer undertones with not a ton of undertones- pediment looks light a light grey on walls and has no undertones which we love- we do get a lot of natural light during the day- would you stick w it for some color or lighten pediment like 50% or change to Eider white? Thanks!!!! Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!!!!

  • Kim

    Oh! I should mention our light fixtures are chrome and we have mostly chrome or polished nickel and pure white used throughout home- our furniture is all a light linen color- nothing dark- as well – open to another color I didn’t think of as well too! Thanks!!!

  • mrsavcm

    We used Alpaca on the walls in our entire house. Snowbound for trim and kitchen cabinets. Peppercorn on kitchen island and great room built-ins.

  • Tammy

    So happy I came across your post……in the process of picking a neutral for my entry/staircase/hallway. Any suggestions on which would work best with golden oak trim and flow with my other colors…jogging path, comfort gray and sea salt????

  • Dina

    First Star is the color of my family room. The room doesn’t have much natural light and this color is perfect. During the day it brightens and looks like a soft gray but at night it warms right up to a greige.

  • Margie Perales

    Hello, my husband and I are building a new home and I’m thinking of painting the kitchen cabinets in mindful gray, and maybe using gossamer veil for the walls in the entire house. What do you think? Would it compliment the Mindful gray cabinets enough? I am going towards gray for the walls because my husband really doesn’t want white walls. Help please.

  • John

    Hello. Great blog! We just moved into a house and we are looking for a color to run with for most the house. I have one room done in Repose grey but feel it is a little to greige for what we are looking for (but a great greige). We do know we want to do a feature wall of SW Naval. Any suggestions that would work?

  • Macy Coots

    Hey John! First, thanks for the feedback! I’d love to help you out more with picking the perfect gray to go with the 2020 color of the year, Naval. I offer online paint color consulting on my website
    If you’re interested in learning more, look under the one package I have listed for a main exterior color. It give a bit of a run down about it more and if you want to try going forward with that, I’d love to help you. Good luck- Macy

  • Heidi Uszenski

    I have also seen Lattice (SW7654) used for a very light gray in a model home. Have you ever used it? Thoughts?

  • Hollye

    Would Oyster White walls with Gosseimer Veil kitchen cabinets work well together? I’m also considering Eider White walls instead. Trim is going to be Pure White. I want light and bright, but need some color and not just plain white.

  • Krista

    Love this post! Thanks for sharing. I am currently updating my kitchen. Our walls are mindful gray and I’m looking for a lighter white/gray for the kitchen cabinets. I have tried a few but they end up looking to blue! We plan on doing a dark blue island as well. Suggestions?

  • Erica

    I have lots of medium dark Oak wood in my house…floors, trim, and kitchen cabinets. Also have lots of windows. What would be a good gray to use? I’m feeling overwhelmed with the options!

  • CMS

    Do you have any experience with SW City Loft? What are your thoughts? What kind of color undertones does it give? Seems very similar to some of the colors you mentioned above

  • Jode

    I purchased MANY paint samples all Sherwin Williams from Lowe’s. I really like Eider White as I was hoping for a VERY light gray. It looks great on walls of my east facing dining/kitchen/living room areas. Though noticed in my south/west facing rooms that it appears a little blue-ish/lavendar-ish. Can you tell me what the prominant undertones are with Eider White? Is it considered warm or cool?

    **I read a couple other reviews elsewhere that mentioned pink/purple hues when ppl painted Eider White on their walls…tho no pics show this that I have seen.

  • Shelly Thomas

    Wow! Great info here! We are remodeling our kitchen. Used SW Pewter Cast for cabinets and wainscoting (bottom half of walls). Tryi g to choose top portion wall color. We bought samples of On The Rocks and Crushed Ice. On The Rocks is showing g a bit green…? We like the tone tho. Crushed Ice seems a bit yellow next to Pewter Cast. Suggestion? Thanks!!

  • Renee

    Thank you for this article complete with pictures as it’s helping me with my own home redesign. We just vaulted our kitchen ceilings with shiplap and beams, including some from the original build(1850) With every intention to paint the kitchen white, there was something about the gray drywall that kept my interest, so i through some Useful Gray(which matched) on the walls, painted the ceiling SW Pure White and said “ooh nice”, but I was still leaning towards an all white kitchen. But at this point I was undecided between Coastal-Primiive-New England Cottage. Our kitchen is pretty spacious and we’d dedicated half of it to a tv/family room area. I couldn’t get it tied together just right though. Our separate dining room wasn’t giving me joy either. (long story here about opening a doorway, trying to figure out cabinets etc, which leads to.. One day saying lets through the ding in room table in the kitchen, and the couch an tv in the dining room and see….(It will look ridiculous I think in my mind) and then we do it, moving our hutch my husband and I had repurposed in Tricorn Black into the kitchen as well. We were instantly dumbstruck at how perfect it work, So now we have kitchen- Pure white, Useful Gray, wood and black accents. Our new sitting room, we will now put wood beams in as well, Pure White trim, and inspired by another blog, SW Inkwell on the ceiling. But I couldn’t get the gray right. All this leads to me(sorry so long winded) to your blog and Elder White. I never would have though of it. It’s not a color I’ve ever used in the many houses we’ve lived in(Military family.) And then I saw this article. Perfect! Great explanations, great examples. Thank you for sharing and helping us out. Again, sorry so long winded. I could talk paint colors all day.

  • Reshu

    Thank you for the post and sharing your experience with us!
    We are doing forced remodeling due to water heater leak in the house while I was out of town. We painted our house just two years back with SW worldly Gray. We loved that color but sometimes it shows purple undertones, especially at night. And also in one room it was too dark. After seeing the picture in your blog of On the Rocks we decided to paint our house with that color( thank you for sharing that picture). It looks very nice warm color in darker areas but we see pink/purple undertones in some places and looks grayish/pinkish White in the room with high ceilings and plenty of natural lights. Which me and my husband don’t like it. We feel like to go with one shade darker then that/ color which blends with it well.
    Can you please suggest some colors which can go very well with on the rocks, which I have painted pretty much everywhere in the common areas except family room with lots of lights and high ceilings.

  • Michelle

    I just discovered sw on the rocks today. I took my new couch pillow and went through the sw swatches and this paint color matches with my decor and couch. I am so excited to pull my house together. I am so happy that you also love this color, too. Will pure white work as a trim?

  • Cynthia

    Help! I selected First Star (which I love), unfortunately after the walls were painted realized it was (non washable) flat so I am having everything repainted in either Duration or Emerald, but due to the “sheen” the color appears different, i.e. somewhat darker. Can you please help-thanks very much!!

  • Kelli friedmam

    I’m considering painting the outside of our brick home. I was looking at First star and was wondering what you thought of that for exterior. Debating Greek Villa vs. a brighter white for trim. Any advice appreciated.

  • Macy Coots

    Actually they could be exactly what it’s darker. Definitely use those products for a washable surface! (Maybe try doing 75% first start so it’s the same shade but lighter?)

  • Kelli friedman

    Hey Macy. I couldn’t tell if you responded to my post above so I apologize for re-asking. We have a gray roof and our neighbors house next door is white (Swiss coffee) so trying to look light but a little Different. Thought first star for brick and a white (may need a bright white) for trim. I prefer soft colors with light contrast. Thanks!

  • Cynthia

    Hi Macy,

    Not sure what response was for me? I painted regular flat First Star for my interior then realized it is not washable so having my entire interior (new build) Repainted(!) -looking to use either Emerald or Duration so that it is washable but samples on the wall appear darker (being told it is due to the “sheen”) than the flat already on the wall that I want to match- Suggestions Please!! Did you reply 75% First Star to me? If so what is it mixed with?? Thanks so much Macy!!

    PS- Repose gray is my trim color that ties in to my gray cabinetry with white ceiling

  • Cynthia/Rodger

    Hi Macy-me again lol! Just purchased your Interior color consult (under Rodger). Happy to send pics and would appreciate a call, perhaps facetime even? Thank You!

  • stilltryingtomoveitonup

    Hi..just love this blog…Although I am still not sure what color I am looking for. My townhouse is in need of natural light but cant do anything about that. I want to paint the dining/living room area grey but I have only 1 sliding door and everything I pick looks blue even the lightest greys I chose. PLEASE HELP. I want it to look grey enough to see the white trim but do not want to see blue when it starts to get dark. Is this possible or am I reaching for the stars??

  • Meghan E Davies


    I am looking for as light a grey as I can that will go with Shoji White SW trim for our living room. What would you recommend? Thank you!!

  • Brad Rodrigues

    I’m torn between “on the rocks” “big chill” and “crushed ice” I just had my hardwoods stained 3 parts jacobean and 1 part carbon grey.. its pretty neutral but still a little warm.. I want the paint to flow but the more I look at the colors they change on me! Help!

  • Lori

    I love this blog!! I am currently renovating and have chosen olympus white for my walls (that lack natural light) and high reflective white for ceilings, trim and kitchen cabinets. I chose Viatera minuet for the kitchen counter tops that picks up the gray and compliments. Olympus white is gorgeous and I cannot wait until all of the renovating is completed! My first time renovating 🙂

  • Natalie

    W hat are your thoughts on doing something like agreeable gray but 50% lighter? My mom is painting and several people have recommended doing that but the painter said it was a bad idea to lighten a color, he said it is better to just pick a different color all together. I’ve read that White Heron would be a close match? Would any of these colors in your article be closer? Thanks!

  • Babe

    A paint consult told me 1 color 1 level (for the wall paint color). We are currently getting ready to paint our entire first floor (which also includes the master bedroom on the first level). I am leaning towards a gray color. My living area (2 story windows) are all on the east side. (As well as windows in the bedroom. Dining and den windows are west facing. I am wondering if I should use Light French Gray or On the rocks). currently my staircase is painted dark (almost black looking in some light) but maybe close to the Urban Bronze color as well as my kitchen cabinets. My trim will be pure white or extra white. My floor being installed is Cortec Southhampton

    What color would you suggest please? (I am really nervous about undertones in ALL paint colors). I’ve messed up before. 😉 Please help!

  • Elise Waszczak

    Hi, Macy! Which light gray would go with alabaster trim and cabinets? Also, depending on whichever gray you think is best, would I need to put primer first (on the already painted alabaster walls)?

  • Doka

    Thinking to do all the trim in extra white and use ice cube as main color for the walls and ceilings.whats difference between ice cube and crushed ice? Recommendation?

  • GG

    My house has a lot of warm colored wood in both the furniture and hardwood floors and I cannot afford to replace or change everything. I love the gray palettes in rooms I see everywhere and I am sick to death of beige/off white walls and want to introduce grays throughout my house. I am trying desperately to find the right level and tone of gray to counteract all the warm, rich wood. Every gray or greige either goes, blue, violet, pink or if I try to warm up they go muddy. I have made over 50 color samples in both Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams in both the gray and greiThat being said I am ready to entertain any light, medium or dark shades you can recommend where all else fails. I am getting very desperate. Please Help!

  • Nana Nina

    Great article! We’re building and used Silverpointe and Modern Gray both Sherwin Williams and light gray, we love them. Pure white trim. What do you think of SW Lullaby? Considering it for the grandchildren’s nursery, I believe its on the same strip as some of the colors in this article. Also do you have experience yet with any of the 200 new colors available only in the Emerald paint? I was interested in some of them. they have an ultra white base.

  • Michelle

    My cabinets are alabaster with very high ceilings. My floors are jacobean/classic gray 50/50 mix, with black granite, my trim is alabaster. My house is in a gray climate, little sunshine. What wall color would you recommend to brighten my house? I was leaning to anew gray but think it might be a little too dark. Would crushed ice work with alabaster?

  • Manish

    Your post is awesome. Unfortunately, I landed little late after my painter finished LAZY GRAY in whole townhome in Chicago which is looking too dark/dull at night.

    Now, I am thinking to re-paint at least first level again living/dining/hallway/kitchen area with white trims, natural red oak wood floor and very less natural light. Please suggest if either of colors – “On the Rocks” or “Reflection” or “Crushed Ice” can make DARK GRAY bright.

  • Dee

    Hi Macy!

    Painting the exterior of our South Florida home in Repose Gray. Which white trim would look better… Pure White or Extra White?

    Thank you!

  • Sherry Roberts

    Hello there! Excellent read! Thank you for sharing your expertise. I love all these grey colours. I want to go with a warm grey but I have Cedar ceilings and really having a hard time deciding what would go with that and with a medium toned LVP flooring. What would you recommend?
    Thank you!

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