How To Make Grey Paint Look Less Blue (Do This!)
Grey paint is one of the hottest colors you can add to a home. It’s basically the neutral color of the 2020s, but it does have one drawback: it can get very blue for certain tastes. That blueish undertone can look alright sometimes, but if you want to add a lot of yellow or aren’t a fan of that color, it can get to be too much. So how can you tone down that blue hue?
There are two main ways that people correct grey paint that’s a little too blue. The most common way to do it is to add accessories that tone down the blue, but you can also correct heavy blue undertones by adding small quantities of orange and white to the paint itself.
There are few things as disappointing as choosing what you think is a flat grey, only to realize that it’s more of a blue than anything else. The good news is that you don’t have to settle with grey paint if you don’t want to.
Making Your Grey Paint Less Blue: The Two Methods
To kick off our article, we’re going to assume that you have already painted a coat of paint on, and you feel stuck with the paint. Let’s take a look at what you can do to fix this.
Using The Right Accessories
The right lighting can do wonders when it comes to bringing out certain undertones in your paint. Blueish hues get brought out more by bluish lighting, which means that adding lamps with a yellowish or orange tone can often do the trick. However, there are some other things you need to be aware of when choosing accessories:
- Using blue accessories can help tone down the look of the blue on walls. If you have something bright blue, having grey-blue walls will be less noticeable. This can help ease up the look, but only to a point. This is best done for super subtle blue undertones that just look a bit wonky.
- Yellow lighting neutralizes blue undertones. This is why it’s important to take a look at the lighting in a room before you get grey paint.
- When in doubt, ask an interior designer for help. The right brown couch can help a grey room look grey, but finding that perfect couch is hard. In many cases, you might not realize which shade is the best one for the goal you have in mind with your room.
- It’s worth remember that orange and blue tend to contrast each other. Orange brings out blue like nothing else does. If you want to bring out the blue, this is a good color to have in your room. On the other hand, if you want to neutralize blue (which you probably do), orange is the color to avoid.
Correcting The Grey Paint
Here’s the problem with making your paint less-blue: it’s already on your walls. So if you want to correct it, you will need to add another layer of paint that’s ever so slightly different. Here’s how you will be able to do this the right way:
- Grab a bucket of the paint you got for the walls. Make sure it’s the same paint hue.
- Add a dollop of orange and white to the paint. Make sure it’s thoroughly mixed, using a paint stirrer.
- Check the color of the paint by dipping a white paper in it. Let the paper dry then compare it to the wall. If it looks good and less blue, then you can start painting.
- If the paint needs more orange, readjust accordingly. It can take a couple of extra splashes of paint before you get the best possible. You may also need to add white to lighten it up.
- Paint when you’re ready and have a brand newly balanced grey. Make sure to apply the coat evenly.
How To Prevent A Blue-Gray Mess
Here’s something that you need to recognize about grey paint, and that thing is that it’s a risky color. Grey has a weird way of looking blue or brown in the wrong light. It also has a tendency to change color over time. To make sure you get the right shade, you will have to do a little bit of smart shopping. But, how do you do it?
The important thing you need to realize is that grey, like many other wall colors, has a tendency of changing colors over the years. It’s a part of the way that paint cures, and in many cases, grey paint tends to turn bluer. The best way to combat this is to pick a paint brand that has a reputation for being high quality.
If you aren’t sure what brand you should work with, try Benjamin Moore or Sherwin Williams. Both have a sterling reputation among professional painters and tend to work well with almost any primer. Heck, some of these paints even come with their own primer mixed right in.
How To Choose Your Shade Of Grey
Anyone who’s been in a paint shop will tell you that there are more than 50 shades of grey. There are literally hundreds of shades of grey, many of which aren’t entirely neutral. When you’re in the store, it can be hard to tell what the color will look like in your home. A little shopping strategy is what you’ll need.
Here’s how to shop smart when working with grey:
- First, have a general idea of what you want your room to look like. We suggest looking at bedroom ideas for grey rooms, or trying to look at grey dining room ideas. Grab a couple of magazines or print out what you like.
- Next, head to the paint shop of your choosing and go to the grey interior paint section. Grab several samples that you find similar. If you’re not entirely sure that it’s close to what you want at home, grab some swatches anyway. Don’t buy anything. Just go home with the swatches in hand.
- Go to the room it will be used in, and check to see how the swatches look against the walls. Make sure to check every wall, since each wall will have a different type of lighting. The undertones of the grey from each swatch will be far more apparent.
- Choose the paint swatch that looks like it’s true grey. The best way to make sure you remember which paint you chose is to mark it off with a pen.
- Go back to the paint store and get your paint. If you need a blend, talk to the paint expert to see if there’s any way to make a 50/50 mixture in store. You might get lucky.
Why Does This Happen?
Great question. Finding a little blue (or green, or yellow) in grey paint is a result of the undertones in the paint. Undertones are the more low-key additions that give paint that unique twist that makes it different from others. Most of the time, a paint color will have undertones that are meant to be there—added by the manufacturer to help create more shades that could work with different items.
Other times, the undertones that are included are more or less unintentional. Typically, unintentional undertones tend to come out due to poor mixing, aging, or chemical changes. This usually only happens with paints that are not high in quality.
What is the proper name for a greyish blue color?
The most common name for this color is blue-grey, or grey-blue depending on which color is more dominant. Another more specific name is livid, which both alludes to a mood as well as a faded, slate grey.With that said, every single company that makes paint will have individual shades with unique names that are totally made up. This is a branding issue as well as a business connection.
What undertones are available in grey?
Believe it or not, you won’t ever really see grey with red or yellow undertones. The only undertones that you will see in greys are green, blue, and purple. In some rare cases, you might get a slight pink undertone too. This is just because of the makeup of the paint color, and the fact that red just doesn’t work with grey.To help mellow out the undertones, you can use yellow, orange, or white paints. This comes with a caveat, though. Too much orange can and will turn your grey brown!
What rooms don’t look good in grey?
Most any room can work with grey walls, but there are two places where it’s more difficult than usual. Kitchens and dining rooms are notoriously rough when it comes to making grey work out. Grey often has blue undertones. Sadly, this often means that you will subconsciously assume that the food isn’t as appetizing.If you want to play it safe, use grey in bedrooms or bathrooms. These are the most popular places to use grey, and there are plenty of ways to make it happen.
Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.
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