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Desperately Need Help with Paint in Northern Exposure

3 days ago
We are trying to paint our living room. We wanted a pale neutral color, with a slight gray color with White trim. We tried a few Benjamin Moore pale whites with gray tones. American White, Calm, and a few others and they seemed to barely show. Almost everything looked invisible. Finally based on board we chose BM gray tint. 2 coats went up on walls and we walked in and saw a strong baby blue with a slight purple tint. It looks nothing like the board until you hold the board next to it! Somehow it turned totally blue. We tried it in a southern facing room and it was so slightly a silver gray color. Very pretty. Then we tried to cover the Gary’s Tint with Stonington Gray 50% which paint store said would tone it down and not look blue. You can barely see a difference except it’s very slightly more green! We tried American white on a board and held it in there and again on a board at night it looks pretty, very slightly gray. But washes totally out during day to almost invisible. Nothing is right! We went through dozens of grays and white that look gray. They’re either invisible or blue. The only explanation we could find is that we must have northern exposure which makes everything gray into a blue. We want a PALE pretty gray. Not beige. Not blue. Not green. Next to BM white trim. Cool, fresh, neutral. Err on the side of cool. Please help!!

Comments (3)

  • ocotillaks

    Here's something I found useful when dealing with a guest bedroom painted red and brown and north facing. Northern Exposure rooms

    I needed to warm the room up and used Behr Honey Infusion to warm up the room. You may find that you need to use gray as an accent color instead of the primary.

  • partim

    In the link above she recommends Edgecomb Gray. My son has it in a north-facing hallway and it looks good. Very neutral and definitely not blue or green. It looks more gray-beige in another room that gets south light but it may be good for you.

  • cimby
    I had this same issue painting an office/guest room gray. I wanted a neutral gray that wouldn't read as blue or beige but more of a true neutral gray. We went through probably a dozen samples trying to find just the right shade. I found that during the day, the light from our north facing windows turned the warmer grays with more of a brown or beige undertone that I disliked on the paint strip into perfect lovely truly neutral gray shades. All the cooler grays that I loved on a chip just looked blue or even purple in my room.

    In the evening, our lamps/lighting made colors behave more like they looked on the paint chip. I ultimately decided that since I really only spend time in the room during the day while working from home, that I preferred one of the warmer grays that read neutral in daylight. I don't love how beige it looks at night in artificial light, but I spend very little time in there after dark. It may be worth trying a sample of a more greige-y shade to see if the exposure/lighting in your room pulls it toward a cool or neutral gray. But for something like a living room that you will spend lots of time in at all hours, you may want to consider a color other than gray that you can love better in your space.

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