Choosing a Dark Gray Paint Color for the Bathroom

Now that all of that tiling is behind us, it’s time for the fun stuff! Like paint colors, accessories, and turning this shell of a bathroom back into a functional bathroom. Boy, am I ready to have another toilet in our household (sorry Mr. Finn).

I went into this makeover unsure of the color I wanted for the walls. But after seeing all of the white subway tile in this space, I’m convinced that a dark gray paint color is the way to go. And when I say dark, I mean it. Paint samples on your wall before choosing a dark gray paint color

There really is only a small section of wall that needs to be painted since we have subway tile all the way up in the shower, as well as halfway up the walls in the main room. So I think a dark color to contrast with all of that white will actually look really cool.

Choosing a Dark Gray Paint ColorDark gray paint swatches in a white bathroom

Whenever I choose a paint color, I often spend a lot of time researching all of my options (this post has tons of tips on how to choose the perfect one for your space). But because I’ve been swamped with this bathroom project, I decided to just wing it. I headed to Lowe’s one afternoon, picked up some swatches, highlighted the ones that I liked, and brought home 5 samples of paint with me. Buy small samples of paint before painting

I tried to get a variety of colors, but really just tried to keep them all pretty dark, and I didn’t want anything with too much of a green/purple/blue undertone. Here’s what I ended bringing home with me…

Dark Gray Paint Color – Samples

  • Sherwin Williams – Peppercorn
  • Sherwin Williams – Aviatrix
  • Sherwin Williams – No Limits
  • Sherwin Williams – Rock Bottom
  • Sherwin Williams – Web Gray

Label your small paint samples before paintingI numbered each little sample jar (do this before you open them so you keep everything super organized) and then painted them in order on 2 walls in the room. These are dark gray paint samples from Sherwin Williams

While I liked all of the colors, I immediately knew which ones weren’t working in the space. #2 felt too beige, #3 felt too navy, and #5 too light. Paint samples on your wall before committing to a paint color

(From Top to Bottom: Peppercorn, Aviatrix, No Limits, Rock Bottom, Web Gray)

Here they are again underneath the overhead light near the shower. It can be a little hard to tell with the yellow light from the fixture shining directly onto those top swatches. But we always recommend trying the colors on various walls, in various lights, and checking them out at different times of the day. That way you know you absolutely LOVE it before you paint everything. It was between the colors Rock Bottom and Peppercorn by Sherwin Williams

Choosing the Winning Color

After eliminating the 3 options, I was left with these 2 dark gray paint colors. Rock Bottom (#5) and Peppercorn (#1). After staring some more, hemming and hawing, and asking both Finn and Bridget for their opinions, I decided to go with…Sherwin Williams Peppercorn is the dark gray paint color I chose for our bathroom

Peppercorn! It’s the top sample in this photo below…Be sure to put samples in multiple spots on your walls

I’m incredibly excited to get this bathroom painted. I remember feeling nervous when I decided to go with a dark navy for our guest room and I’m still obsessed with the color 2 years later. I’m hopeful that I’ll feel the same way about this dark gray paint color in the new bathroom.Choosing the perfect dark gray paint colors for a bathroom renovation

What’s Next?

Next Tuesday, I’ll reveal a video of Bridget & I painting this bathroom in the color “Peppercorn.” We’ve done quite a few painting projects, so we’ll be sharing all of the tips and tricks we use to get the perfect finish every time you paint!

Catch Up on the Bathroom Renovation


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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