Choosing a Blue Gray Paint Color for Our Master Bedroom

Last we chatted about this space, I revealed our new wallpapered ceiling. That wallpaper was the jumping-off point for the rest of our master bedroom. With the paper up, I could then start to envision the rest of the space.

To me, the wallpaper looks bold with cream, gold, and blue; but since it was up on the ceiling, surrounded by a sea of white ceiling paint, it was getting a bit lost. I knew that a new blue gray paint color on the walls was the perfect way to make that wallpaper shine!

Choosing a Blue Gray Paint ColorFinding blue gray paint swatches

We’ve had so much freakin’ snow here in Chicago (it’s been a crazy winter!) and, of course, the day I wanted to get some paint samples, we had a big snowstorm. However, I didn’t let that deter me! I put my snow gear on and made the trek to our local Benjamin Moore store. Luckily, it’s only a few blocks away!

Putting the blue gray paint samples next to the wall paper

I brought the wallpaper sample with me to find a blue-gray shade that would best complement it. Normally, if I’m trying to find a paint color to match a specific cabinet color, swatch, or other design element, I can just have the paint store color-match the sample. They just put it under a scanner, and boom…you’ve got the right paint color!

But because the blue in this wallpaper is so small, they wouldn’t have been able to scan it to find a perfect match. (Note: I later chatted with the wallpaper designer, Erin, and she told me the blue color is Benjamin Moore, “Blue Springs.” Oh well, I had already painted the room by then. But, knowing that the designers could help you find the color you’re looking for, is a great option for the future!)

Choosing paint samples

So, my game plan was to look at the color swatches and find the perfect balance of light blue and warm undertones. I didn’t want it to read purple, have drab grey undertones, or for it to be too much of a cool color that clashed with our other rooms. It was a tall order to find something that fit our criteria for the perfect blue gray paint color!

We’re no stranger to bold blues and darker colors in this house (remember our old guest room, and don’t forget “Hale Navy” was a final choice for our front door before we ultimately chose “Blue Note”). But for this room, we needed a calmer, more spa-like feel. A light blue gray with some warmth to it was my ultimate goal!

Trying Out Samplespaint samples on the wall

From Left to Right (all Benjamin Moore Colors): Marina Gray, Fieldstone, Gull Wing Gray, Boothbay Gray

I always like to paint my samples directly on the wall, putting them in spots around the entire room- places with a lot of natural light and darker corners, too. I know some people paint boards or sample sheets and move them around the room, but I really like seeing the color on the walls. I’ve never had an issue painting over the samples and seeing the original color underneath. I didn’t sand or prime over the sample colors with this project. I just painted right over them.

Then, your homework is to visit them in the morning, afternoon, and evening – really any time of day! See how it looks with different lights and against the home decor you have in the room.

If you’re like me, there’s lots of standing and pondering at this point. Does anyone else feel like once they stick paint samples on the wall – you’re drawn to the color with the best name?! A lot goes into making the right choice! choosing Benjamin Moore Boothbay Gray for our bedroom

After seeing the samples on the wall, I decided that Benjamin Moore’s “Boothbay Gray” was the perfect choice for me!

Choosing Different Sheens

Remember this recent blog post with a complete guide to avoiding common painting mistakes? I chatted about how people often neglect to think about sheens when choosing their paint. Because I knew I would be painting both the ceiling and the walls, I decided to go with two different sheens in the exact same color.

For the ceiling, a matte finish was a great option because our ceiling has some imperfections and I knew a shinier sheen would just highlight them even more. I went with eggshell for the walls because I like some sheen on the walls and it’s pretty durable.

Note: I also went with the nicest paint that BM carries, which is their Aura line. I find that whether it’s Sherwin Williams, Behr, or any other brand, it’s the line of paint that matters most. Opt for the nicest one you can afford. In the end, I went through a gallon for the walls and a gallon for the ceiling. choosing a blue gray paint color

I chatted with the guy at the paint store and asked him the best way to work with two different sheens in the same color. He said he would paint the ceiling first (two coats) and it would be okay if that matte overlapped onto the walls. Then, he told me to cut in the eggshell sheen at the ceiling and paint the walls normally. So that’s exactly what I did.

Painting Our Bedroom Boothbay GrayChoosing the color boothbay gray for our walls

Before I started painting, I prepped the room. Finn and I removed the old mattress and box springs; I took apart the headboard and bed frame; and I cleaned up all of the dust bunnies hiding behind the furniture. Dyson vacuum to get dust bunnies behind the bed

My Dyson vacuum was the perfect companion to get rid of all of the dust on the baseboards behind the furniture. It felt good to get the space clean! Once all of the dust was up, I removed the outlets and vents and used painter’s tape around the windows and doors.

Painting our bedroom a blue gray paint color

Then, it was finally time to paint. I followed the paint store employee’s directions, painting the ceiling first and working my way down. I was too nervous to tape around the wallpaper, so I ended up cutting in slowly. It took a while, but it was worth it. Painting our ceiling a blue gray paint color

Two coats of paint ended up covering well and I then moved down onto the walls.

I found that using a roller extender really helped me. I only had to get up on a ladder to cut in around the wallpaper. The rest of the ceiling and high parts of the wall were done with a roller. This saved some time, but this project still took me all day long, by myself.

My mom took Rory to her cousin’s house that day and they left at 8 am. When they came back at 5 pm, I was cleaning up. It took that long! I ended up watching the entire season of Firefly Lane on Netflix (Have you seen it? It’s so good) and it was the perfect painting companion.

Our Painted Bedroom – Before & AfterBedroom beforeOur painted bedroom

Our bedroom before
Painting our bedroom a blue gray paint color, boothbay gray
Our newly painted bedroom
Finding the perfect blue gray paint color for our bedroom

It always boggles my mind how paint can make the exact same room feel so incredibly different! Blue grey paint colors have such a wide variation, but Boothbay Gray feels like such a classic color and a great choice to help celebrate the gorgeous pattern and accent colors in our ceiling wallpaper.

Loving Boothbay GrayStaring up at the ceiling

Here is the view, staring up at the ceiling, as if I’m lying on my bed. Isn’t it so cool?!

I’m really happy I took that paint color all the way to the edges of the wallpaper because now it truly is the showpiece of this room. It stands out and adds such a unique element to the design. Choosing a blue gray paint color for the bedroom

Before, I felt like the black fan was too stark against all of the white and cream. Now, I think it works really well with the new blue gray shade. It’s a nice contrast to the warm tones in the paint and wallpaper. Paint colors in the bedroomBenjamin Moore Boothbay Gray paint color

I took these pictures in the morning just after sunrise and I think they reflect the true color you see in this paint. It doesn’t read gray to me at all; instead, it is very blue and maybe reads a tad green sometimes. I’m very happy that I don’t see purple in this tone at all!Choosing a paint color

Like all paint, the color changes a bit throughout the day (we are lucky to get beautiful light in this room). No matter the time, I love it! There are so many popular blue gray paint colors; but this is definitely my favorite!

Painting our bedroom gray blue

This view hasn’t gotten old and soon I’ll be lying in our new king-sized bed gazing up at the view here. I hope this encourages you to try out bold choices like wallpapering the ceiling in your own home!

What’s Next?

A green blue rug in the bedroomk

Now, it’s time to start furnishing this space. The rug arrived from Loloi (sneak peek above) and it’s gorgeous. It has the perfect balance of green undertones and I think it complements the blue gray paint color nicely.

Next, I’ll share the scoop on the new king-sized mattress we chose and showcase the new furniture and the rest of the design style in the space. Slowly, but surely, we’re getting there!


Catch Up on the Main Bedroom Makeover

The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.

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