Augusta Goes Gray

We’ve all heard it before…


…and now I am here to prove to you that this statement is oh-so-true!Master-bedroom-augusta-before


Am I right? Dang. Gotta love how a new color can make a room look and feel so much different. But let’s back track a little bit here so we can chat about how I decided upon all of the new colors for our home (which I’m now calling Augusta…since that’s the street we live on).

gray paint color swatches for your home

I knew that I wanted to go gray before we even moved in. I’m a sucker for gray and I love the way it looks with white trim and dark floors. Plus, so much of our home decor works well with gray. So for me it was gray all the way from the start.

I decided that I needed to narrow down my choices from about 50 shades to 6 shades. I started researching online, which for me involves a combination of blog reading, Pinterest searching, looking at paint swatches, google image searching specific colors, and reading home decor articles about the best shades for each brand. Not exactly scientific research, but it certainly helped me narrow down my choices.

6 Gray Paint Choices

  • Sherwin Williams #7064  “Passive”
  • Sherwin Williams #7065 “Argos”
  • Sherwin Williams #7016 “Mindful Gray”
  • Benjamin Moore #2137-60 “Gray Owl”
  • Sherwin Williams #7015 “Repose Gray”
  • Sherwin Williams #6002 “Essential Gray”

We used both “Argos” & “Passive” in our Chicago apartment, so I was very familiar with them. The other shades were all new to me. lowes-paint-samples

I purchased samples (which come in quarts at Lowe’s…that’s a lot of paint!) so I could easily try out each shade on the wall. Each one only cost a couple bucks, so it’s absolutely worth it to buy samples and try the colors out on your walls. Trust me.

gray paint samples on augusta wall

I then proceeded to paint the samples in every single room in our place. Make sure you don’t mix up the colors as you go. Keep them in an organized grid.


It’s crazy because the paint colors looked sooooo different in every space! Finn thought I screwed something up because once we decided on a color, we would walk to another room and be perplexed as to how it could look so different. But that’s the crazy thing with paint.

Here are a few tips for painting the samples on…

  • Make sure you paint on a large enough sample so you can see the color from afar.
  • Paint the color next to other key elements in the room (the kitchen cabinets, the tile in the bathrooms, etc.).
  • If you have white trim, hold up a piece of white paper next to each shade so you can understand how it will look next to the white.

Or you can check out this comprehensive post with lots of tips for picking the perfect paint color.

After checking out all of the shades in our rooms, we picked our favorites and gave the colors to the painter. I know what you’re thinking….this is the DIY Playbook and you didn’t even paint yourself? We decided to hire a pro because of the short timeline in between closing on our home and moving into our new space. There was no way we could pack, paint, and work at our jobs and make it into our new home in time. So hiring a pro was the way to go. Less stress for us, and perfectly painted walls.

Gray Paint Colors in our Home

IMG_0525We went with GRAY OWL in an eggshell sheen for a majority of the apartment. This light gray was my favorite so we used it in the main room, kitchen, and hallways.

guest-bedroom-augusta-paintWe used REPOSE GRAY for the bathrooms and the guest room. I liked how this looked next to the tan tile. It wasn’t too blue next to it, instead it complemented it well.

purple-augusta-master-bedroomWe tried MINDFUL GRAY in the master bedroom. At least for a few days it was “Mindful Gray.” See here’s the thing…the color ended up looking waaaaay different when the entire wall was painted with this color. Instead of the dark gray we wanted, to us it looked purple. Like Easter egg purple…purple-augusta-master-bathroom

It’s hard to tell in the photos (in fact, it looks awesome in the photos…like the dark gray I was striving for!), but in real life it screamed purple to us both. In fact, the first time Finn saw it he said “Our master bedroom looks like a little girl’s room. I don’t like it.” Eek. All of my planning & painting samples, and now I had a purple bedroom?! Yikes. Purple-walls-augusta-paint

So what did we do? Well we had the painter re-paint the master bedroom. We felt silly, wasteful, and like homeowner divas…but we both knew we would look at the walls and always see purple. Plus if we were ever going to change it, we knew now was the time before all of our furniture came into the home.

Master-bedroom-after-new-paintWe had about 2 seconds to decide on a new paint color, we decided to just go with “Gray Owl.” The light gray color from the rest of the home that we both L-O-V-E. The painter had to come in the morning of our move to give it a fresh coat of paint before our stuff arrived a few hours later. We cut it close, but ultimately we’re 100% satisfied with our decision to suck it up and get the space re-painted.master-bedroom-augusta-paint-gray-owl

So let’s bid adieu one last time to the green master bedroom..master-bedroom-green-augusta-beforemaster-bedroom-owl-gray-after-augusta

Oh the power of paint! ( see how I like all of the colors today check out this paint review!)white_paint-brush

Tackling a painting project? Check out some of these helpful posts.


  • It looks great Casey! I love that light gray, it definitely opens up the rooms & pairs so, so well with your (gorgeous) new floors!

    • Thanks so much Jaclyn. We are loving the new colors!

  • Delighted Dwelling

    Love it!! Good for you making up your mind and making the change when you knew it wasn’t what you wanted!!

    • Thanks so much! I did feel a little silly…but better to make the changes now and love it for years!

  • It all looks so great! I’m really enjoying following along with your new home adventures!

  • That finding out paint looks different over the whole room thing really sucks but definitely worth it to fix right away! Looks great!

    • Thanks Diana! I’m happy we made the change, but it seemed crazy at the time!

  • Trang

    I’m also obsessed with Gray. It’s so calming to me and relaxes me. I have artist friends who think I’m so boring with white and gray color schemes, but it’s what I crave and makes me happy. There are DEFINITELY more than 50 shades of gray (lol) so it’s tough determining which one(s) work for your house. Your decisions look fantastic!

    • Thanks Trang! I am with ya…love the calming effect of gray and white. Plus then you can always incorporate color in other (less permanent!) ways!

  • I’m seeing gray used more and more on the home decor blogs and pinterest. I understand the draw to a “neutral” that could go with a wide variety of decor styles, but I cannot get over gray looking/feeling cold and unfriendly to me. I actually preferred the beautiful green from the before photos. To each his/her own.

    • Jacquelyn, we definitely chose grays that were on the cool side, but there certainly are “warm grays” too. We are planning to cozy things up with texture and color in the furniture/decor/accessories! So it may feel cold now, but it certainly will be much homier with everything in the room. And you’re right…to each her own!! There’s no right or wrong way when it comes to decorating a home that YOU love!!

  • I totally agree… even in the picture, it looks kind of purple to me. I LOVE the choices you made and plan to use a lot of grays in our house too.

    • In real life it was 10x more purple! So crazy! But I’m happy we made the change.

  • lisa

    It looked better before you painted it. At least the green had some life to it and didn’t make you feel sad and depressed. I despise gray and I’m so sick of this trend. Why does everyone think just because some designer on a tv decides everything has to be painted gray that they have to jump on the bandwagon too? Use some imagination and stop following trends like sheep. A room should feel cozy and inviting and gray and inviting don’t belong in the same sentence. I always laugh too when people say it’s a warm gray. How can gray be warm? Look at a color wheel.

  • Happy to help Shayna! And happy to hear I’m not the only one who thought it looked purple 🙂

  • Tracy Richards

    Awesome post! Did you use Benjamin Moore paint or just have it color matched? Our builder’s painter uses Sherwin Williams paint but I love Gray Owl also and was hoping the color match would work. Thanks!

    • Thanks so much Tracy! Yes, we did use Benjamin Moore. But we’ve color matched in the past and have always had good luck. As long as you’re using quality paint, you should be good to go!

  • I’d go with gray owl instead of passive. The passive has more blue undertones than gray owl does. Hope you love it as much as we do!

    • Linsey

      Thanks! I just got the Repose gray sample too- which one if those looks less blue to you and more light gray? We don’t eat blue or khaki, but if each of these has a little, wondering which one looks like a lighter gray?

    • Repose gray has some beige undertones, so gray owl might be your best bet

  • Tina Fields

    Hi! can you tell me the real difference between gray owl and argos?

    • The 2 are next to one another in one of the photos in the post…so that should hopefully help! Argos is definitely darker than gray owl. But really it all depends on your space and the other elements and lighting from your home. Good luck!