Finding the right neutral paint color is arguably more difficult than finding a colored paint. You have to deal with undertones and lighting, and it seems the paint always looks different in your house than it did on the sample. We asked designer Kara Christensen of Garden Gate Homes, builder for our 2021 Project Home in Franklin, Tennessee, to share her favorite neutral paint colors with us to help guide you in your search.
White is the trickiest color on the neutral paint scale, as its undertones make a huge difference in its appearance. Oxford White by Benjamin Moore gives you a white that doesn’t skew yellow or any other color. “This is a nice plain white when you want just plain white,” Kara says.
If bright white scares you, White Dove by Benjamin Moore would be a great alternative for you. “This is my favorite white,” she says. “I’ve used this one for years and still love it. It’s a soft, creamy white without being too creamy.” This is a beautiful option for homeowners who want a vintage vibe in their home.
Have you ever heard of the color greige? Pediment by Sherwin Williams is the perfect example of it. “This is a soft beige, but a hint of gray makes it a stone-like putty color,” Kara says. “It’s a very natural color that harmonizes well with other colors in the room.” It’s a hard-working medium hue that will soften your interior and give it warmth.
Like white, black has hundreds of variations in the paint world. If you’re not ready to try a true black, try Benjamin Moore’s Graphite. “This is a good strong charcoal color when you don’t want to go too black,” Kara says. “It doesn’t have the blue undertone that some charcoals have.”
If you like the contrast that black brings to the table, go for it with Onyx by Benjamin Moore.
“This is a classic, deep black,” Kara says. “It’s a go bold or go home color that makes a statement in a room.”
Need more ideas? Here are some paint ideas for every room.