50 Shades of Greige

We finished painting the ceiling last week in our main living area (didn’t share any pics because the walls still looked terrifying from the primer and there was really nothing to see), so I finally had to choose a paint color! There are hundreds of neutral color choices ranging from contractor beige to a hundred shades of white to smokey grey, so this was not an easy process.

Before looking at any colors, we decided we wanted a nice greige (grey + beige): nothing too warm or yellow cause of our orangey-yellow wood floors, but not a strict grey. Don’t get me wrong. I love grey. Like in our guest bedroom, for example.

But because of the warmth of our floors, grey doesn’t really come off so neutral and maybe feels a little too cool for everyday living. And we really wanted something that would just fade into the background. So we collected every paint chip we could find that looked sort of greige and brought them home. A lot of them got tossed as soon I saw them with our floors and I really didn’t have any I just loved, so I turned to the internet. And I found 3 colors I HAD to see.

1. Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray

I loved this color on the paint chip and I was sure it was THE ONE. I even loved the name.

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What’s not to like about Agreeable Gray? I was encouraged by this picture of the color next to warm wood floors similar to ours.

Agreeable Gray

via Houzz

2. Benjamin Moore Abalone

But then there’s Abalone…I LOVE this color, too!

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According to Andrew, Abalone and Agreeable Gray looked the same on the paint chips and he thought I was crazy for considering both. I’m pretty sure I saw a slight difference. I was worried, though, that it might look more beige in our house than in these pictures since we don’t have dark floors. Or insanely thick white trim and molding like in this gorgeous house.


via Decor Pad

Abalone 2

via Houzz

3. Benjamin Moore Intense White

Definitely in the “white” color family (it looks even lighter on the paint chip), but still a possibility.

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Though it’s not quite as greige as I had originally thought I wanted, I loved this color as soon as I came across this picture. It’s definitely a neutral, not too yellow, feels very fresh, and looks great with the warm wood floors and white trim.

Intense white

via CNB Homes

I tried really hard to narrow down the choice to 2 colors because I told Andrew initially that I’d get 2 samples. (Normally we only buy one sample, so I had to clarify.) When I said “I’ll probably get 2 samples” he interpreted it as, “I’m getting 2 samples.” Really, I meant, “I’m going to get as many samples as it takes, so don’t be surprised when I end up with a bunch.” Luckily, it was only 1 extra, so he got over it. 🙂

We had all the colors matched at Sherwin Williams. Their samples are like $6, but it’s a whole quart so we were able to paint pretty big sections. I painted one large section of each on one main wall in the living room, and then painted small squares on several different walls in both the living room and kitchen. I probably had sample squares in 9 or 10 different locations, which was amazing, by the way. Don’t think I can ever go back to those teeny, tiny samples. After evaluating them during the day and at night, we finally made our choice.

And the winner is…



Intense White was just too light for us, and Agreeable Gray was neither agreeable, nor gray. In fact, it looked quite beige, especially compared to Abalone. Oh, the nerve! But Abalone was a perfect combo of gray and beige. As you can kind of see in that picture, I think the warmth in this color comes from a slightly pink base rather than yellow like a lot of neutral colors.

We have one coat up and we’re mostly loving the color. Problem is, I think our light bulbs draw out the pinkness of it (Or maybe I’m crazy? Andrew claims it’s not pink at all.) We might try switching the bulbs to reveal ones to see if that helps. Ultimately, though, I think we just need to wait until trim is up and furniture is back before judging completely, and then decide we love it regardless. Because we are NOT repainting!

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26 Responses to 50 Shades of Greige

  1. LisaR March 4, 2013 at 10:59 pm #

    Love the grey! Way to go getting rid of the popcorn ceilings, too. I don’t think I’d have the energy for that.

    • Simple House Expressions March 6, 2013 at 12:48 pm #

      Thanks, Lisa! Yeah, it is really exhausting, and we pretty much have to trick ourselves into doing it. We always seem to forget how much work it is, but then once we’ve started, we have to finish!


  2. bright and beautiful July 16, 2013 at 3:20 pm #

    very helpful post – thank you!

  3. Svu July 21, 2013 at 5:26 pm #

    We were set on agreeable gray this morning and after reading this post we went and got SW to match BM abalone. Purchased 10 gallons of it without sampling it on our wall. Hopefully it turns out good!

    • Simple House Expressions July 21, 2013 at 8:05 pm #

      Wow 10 Gallons! That’s a lot of paint. We are working on an outside project right now with a lot of painting, but we are no where close to needing that much paint. Hope the project goes smoothly, but most of all we hope your poor arms hold up! Crossing our fingers that you love abalone as much as we do.


  4. Nancy Simpson February 5, 2014 at 12:33 pm #

    I went insane on the gray thing. Weeks of googling various colors. $$$ on samples. Ridick. And, right now, right this very second my living and dining areas are being painted…drumroll please…. Abalone! It is the greatest. It is chic and sophisticated and fun at the same time. I have an 1860’s brownstone with a loft feel to it and wanted a Marilyn Monroe drama feel. Abalone with the hint of pink was perfect for me. It is such a unique color. Nothing is quite like it.

    • Simple House Expressions February 5, 2014 at 1:27 pm #

      I know! It’s crazy! You think there are so many colors to choose from, but then none of them seem right! Abalone ended up being the perfect mix of not beige but not a cool gray either! Hope you continue loving it as much as we do! 🙂


  5. Kirstin March 18, 2014 at 8:39 pm #

    What color did you go with for the ceilings and trim with the Abalone? Love the color. Did you have to take a sample to SW to paint match it or do they have the formula?

    • Simple House Expressions March 18, 2014 at 10:07 pm #

      Hey Kirstin! For the ceilings we bought a 5 gallon bucket of flat white ceiling paint. Our primary goal was just to scrape our popcorn texture and get the ceilings painted, so we wanted to make it easy on ourselves. We haven’t customized any ceiling colors yet! As for the trim paint, we looked at Valspar’s pamphlet of whites and settled on plain old “White.” I believe it’s one of the pre-mixed options available on the shelf. They had options like “ultra white”, “off white”, “antique white” etc., but again since we were using it everywhere in our house to cover poorly painted and yellowed trim, we just wanted to start with something simple! Considering they’re not very creative options, we’re pretty pleased with both! They both look clean and fresh without feeling too stark, and they contrast nicely with Abalone!

      SW won’t have the formula for Benjamin Moore colors so you will need to take in a sample and have them color match it. Word to the wise, do it when you have another errand to run because they are perfectionistic about it! I waited for over 30 minutes to get mine, but it was a great match so no complaints! 🙂 Also, we used SW Harmony (the low VOC option) and hated it, to be honest! Recently, though, I used SW Super Paint and it was great! I would definitely recommend it if you’re going to use a SW paint! Good luck!


      • Kirstin March 21, 2014 at 6:43 pm #

        Thanks so much. I am seriously considering Agreeable Grey. Curious what made you NOT pick that one. I guess I need to try Abalone too.

        I have 4 colors up–SW AGreeable Gray, BM Edgecomb Gray, SW Popular Gray, and BM Revere Pewter…so hard to decide…then add trim and ceiling…and it will be through the main part of the house…chewing finger nails.

        At this point I am leaning toward Agreeable because of the beige undertones..ironically I think AG and EG are really close. RP has too much purple undertone I think….oh the decisions.

        I think I generally like Super Paint or Duration home…even better with a coupon. They don’t give paint away!!

        • Simple House Expressions March 21, 2014 at 9:05 pm #

          Oh, that is a tough choice! I love all of those! We decided against Agreeable Gray because it was too beige for us! Haha! But we have an orangey oak wood floor so that made it look more tan. I think with a different floor color or darker wood floors it would be great! The Abalone had a little less yellow and maybe a little more red or pink, so it looked less tan next to the floor.

          I will say Agreeable Gray and Abalone are very light. When someone walks into our house, I don’t think they really notice the color of the walls. Our guest bedroom, while still very light, is obviously a cool gray and I think the wall color is one of the first things you notice about the room. Does that make any sense? I don’t know…but if you want people to see it and think a color, Agreeable Gray/Abalone might be too light. They still contrast with the trim as I mentioned before, but could almost be in a “whites” book or on the dark end of a white swatch. We wanted a very neutral backdrop (since it’s in our whole main living area!) and didn’t really want the wall color to be a feature or distraction, so the light shade of Abalone and Agreeable Gray worked well for us! Edgecomb Gray does look really similar!

          The best advice I can give is to narrow it down to your top 2 or 3 favorites, buy samples, and paint swatches everywhere! SW has big samples so you can paint large areas of each one. We did a big swatch of our top 3 on one wall in our living room, kitchen, and hallway and then a bunch of smaller ones, making sure we had one on almost every wall and at different heights. Then we evaluated them throughout the day to see the effect of the lighting. After that it became really clear which color was right for us! It was so worth paying for the samples and painting the swatches to have that clarity!

          Ultimately I think all these colors are great! I’m sure it will look wonderful no matter which one you choose! Good luck!

      • Adriana November 24, 2014 at 8:18 am #

        Hi there! Thank you for your post and suggestions. I also want to go with abalone but not quite happy with the SW colour match. The sample has one formula and the full can a slightly different one. Would you be able to send me the SW formula you got for abalone? I hope you still have the can and I’m not asking too much. Thanks. We would like to start painting today…

        • Simple House Expressions November 24, 2014 at 9:44 am #

          Hey Adriana! Sorry the color match didn’t work like you wanted! Not sure how much the specific paint affects the formula, but we used Harmony and wouldn’t actually wouldn’t recommend it. We weren’t very happy with it. I don’t have the sample can anymore, so I can’t compare the formulas of mine, but here’s what’s on the gallon.

          Harmony Eggshell Extra White Base 650259104
          2108-60 Abalone

          CCE*Colorant OZ 32 64 128
          G2 – New Green – 6 – 1
          R2 – Maroon – 5 – 1
          Y3 – Deep Gold – 4 – 1

          I’ll also email you the picture. Good luck!


  6. Angelica March 21, 2014 at 7:24 pm #

    I’m so glad I found your blog. I’m currently chosing a nice greige color for my house. The only problem I have is that I have dark brown cabinets in the kitchen and a dark chocolate wall in the living room, so I need to find a nice color that goes with all day. Km
    Crazy over the grays but I know I need some beige in it to match it worth my dark chococalte wall. Agreeable gray from sw looks like a good option but now reading what you posted about abalone it’s making change my mind. Do they really match it exactly in SW? Also, do you recommend flat paint for ceilings? I want to paint the ceilings off white but I don’t know which finish should I use. Thanks so much for sharing! I’m sure your house looks great with the new color!

    • Simple House Expressions March 21, 2014 at 9:29 pm #

      Hey Angelica! Thanks for commenting! They do a great job with color matching! I certainly couldn’t tell the different between the original paint chip and the one they created for Abalone. As I mentioned in another comment, it is a long process, but it’s worth the wait to get the color right!

      We have several dark wood pieces in our house and I think they look great next to Abalone! They tie in well together since both Abalone and most dark stains have a slight red undertone. I think Agreeable Gray would look great, too, though! We have orangey wood floors, so they made it look too beige, but I think it might look less warm/tan next to dark wood tones. If you want to look at any other greige colors, I also love Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter or Sherwin Williams Modern Gray and Realist Beige (and all the colors on those chips). Be sure to test your favorites in several different areas and look at them at different times of the day!

      Flat is the recommended finish for a ceiling! Your eye will naturally be drawn to glossier surfaces that reflect light and you don’t really want to be calling attention to the ceiling. I’m sure it’s been done somewhere, but flat is the norm! And luckily, the cheapest! 🙂 I always prefer a satin finish for walls.

      Good luck choosing your color!

  7. Kathy April 14, 2015 at 2:55 pm #

    I came across this blog while searching for the perfect greige wall color. I hope you will be able to give me some suggestions as to a wall color.

    We have orangey oak trim, kitchen cabinets, and wood floors throughout our house. Green and yellow are current wall colors, but I’m wanting to go grey, greige or greigeite (grey, beige, white). We have an open floor plan with a separation wall between LR and Kitchen and I would like a darker color. I cannot paint the trim, cabinets and replacing floor is out of budget. I would like a lighter tone, but don’t want the walls to be unnoticeable…(i.e. too light). We have two East facing windows and 1 West facing window, so the rooms don’t get much natural light so we have lights on most of the time, which effects the color as well. I was drawn to Revere Pewter, but now feel it may be too dark. We use SW paint, so hope the color match can be spot on, if not a SW color.

    I would appreciate any suggestions you can give. Thank you!

  8. Trish May 21, 2015 at 9:52 pm #

    I’m just wondering why you wouldn’t just use Benjamin Moore paint if you like their color. What is the difference between the two brands of paint? I’m loving the Abalone but can’t I just buy Abalone from Benjamin Moore?

    • Simple House Expressions May 22, 2015 at 10:55 am #

      Hey Trish! Of course you can! I tend to use Sherwin Williams for a few reasons…First, I use a pro account (with discounts!) at Sherwin Williams making their products a lot cheaper than the equivalent at BM. We also don’t have any dedicated BM stores in our area, just Spectrum paint stores that offer BM products. I find that Sherwin Williams’ customer service is a lot better and the associates seem to be more knowledgeable. As a result, I have more experience with Sherwin Williams and have already figured out which of their products work for me! But I still love BM colors and sometimes one of those wins out over a SW color!


  9. Mona December 9, 2015 at 2:28 pm #

    So I was wondering if I could get some suggestions/advice. I have very dark wood floors and dark wood cabinets. Kitchen has white subway tile. All trim is flat white. I am planning to paint all the walls Abalone! I love this color! Does anyone have any suggestions what color to use for an accent wall that is right up against the abalone? I want something MUCH darker but in the same color family/tone/undertone.

  10. Renee June 10, 2016 at 12:45 pm #


    I’m loving the Abalone and think I may want to sample it for my project. Is it warm enough to coordinate with bronze fixtures?

    • Simple House Expressions July 27, 2016 at 9:25 am #

      Hey Renee! Wow, sorry for the late response. It has been a crazy summer and the blog has definitely suffered as a result. 🙁 Did you end up trying Abalone? I think it would be great with bronze!

      – Arielle

  11. BB November 22, 2016 at 8:23 am #

    Thank you. I was going to go with Agreeable Gray, but now that I’ve seen Abalone, I’m in love.