Finding The Perfect Dark Gray Paint Color

Home Office House Tour

Update: Tour our finished home office {here}!

The first big project that I’m jumping into this year is a complete makeover of our home office. This room has functioned as our home office since about two years ago, which is when we switched around all of our rooms downstairs and turned our largest room into a combination dining/living room, freeing up our old dining room for a much needed office. And let me tell you – it is not a pretty space. The walls are red (which was fine for a dining room but way too intense for an office), the furniture is a mishmash of pieces from various rooms in the house, the moulding is horribly wimpy, and the hardwoods have developed an orangey hue. Nothing in this room is going to stay as it was. We’ve started the office makeover by having recessed lights installed in the ceiling and we’ve removed the wimpy crown moulding and chair rail. Now I’m on the search for the perfect paint color for the room.  I know that I’d like to go with a dark grey on the walls and have narrowed it down to these eight paint colors that everyone who has painted with seems to love:

Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal:

Benjamin Moore Chelsea Gray (the background color on these stenciled walls):

Benjamin Moore Sparrow:

Farrow & Ball Down Pipe:

Ralph Lauren Mercer:

Sherwin Williams Urbane Bronze:

Martha Stewart Seal:

Martha Stewart Zinc:

Is one of these your go-to dark gray paint color?

Do you also love whites? Find 8 tried and true white paint colors {here}
Are you a lover of gray but like lighter grays? Check out some favorite light grays {here}


  1. says

    I just painted my living room and dining room (in our recently acquired 1925 bungalow) “Fashion Gray” by Behr. I love it!
    No blog to share it on – but I do have pics on FB…???

  2. says

    I’m going to be re-doing husband’s bathroom soon and have narrowed my paint choices to Down Pipe and Kendall Charcoal…I don’t think you could go wrong with any of your selections…can’t wait to see what you do!

    • says

      So I’m loving two things about your comment – first of all that you are considering two of the same paint colors that I am. It must mean that those colors have it going on. :-) Secondly, I love that you say you are painting your husband’s bathroom because that must mean that you have your own bathroom. Smart lady.

  3. says

    I have the same room in our house. It’s the home office but is a catch all for mostly odd furniture and lots of toys.:) Coincidently, I’m looking to go from red to gray in that room, so when I read your post it was jumping off the page at me! I love these colors and just like you, it’s so hard to pick just one. I like the Sparrow, but I tell ya that Urbane Bronze keeps getting my attention lately. I love your new drapes. I think the Kendall Charcoal or Urbane Bronze would really make them pop with the beautiful design on your drapes. So much fun and I can’t wait to get our space transformed!

  4. Anonymous says

    I do not understand why everyone wants to live with these dark dreary grays. So depressing to me. Is it because paint companies are saying that gray is the new beige? There are so many beautiful paint colors, especially BM paints. Life is to short not to use pretty colors in our homes. i like a light gray, but not the dark ones. dreary!!!!!

    • says

      I can’t speak for others who like the dark grays, but to me they aren’t dark and dreary – they’re warm and comforting :-) I used to lean towards using lots of color on my walls but found that I tired of the color quickly and prefer walls that are neutral, allowing me to bring in the color with my accessories and art. There’s really no right or wrong answer here – just whatever makes you feel happiest in your own home!

  5. Anonymous says


  6. says

    I did seal and zinc in my sons nursery. The room gets tons of light and it’s not at all drab or dreary. In fact, it’s my favorite room in the house. I have red accents (along with some other primary colors) and some fun and quirky vintage toys and ikea accents.

  7. Anonymous says

    We painted the master bedroom in our suburban home Kendall Charcoal and we will be painting our downtown condo Chelsea Gray. We love creamy white furniture, black tables, lots of glass/mirror and dark floors. We establish color through our artwork, throw pillows/blankets/rugs, armoires, side tables, curtains and lamps.

  8. Anonymous says

    I have my entire brand new home in light grey. I absolutely love the hue. It is the perfect neutral base to pop any other color, it is elegant, and goes with traditional or contemporary furnishings.
    GO FOR GREY dark, light, or in the middle, you won’t regret it.

  9. Anonymous says

    I have just painted both of my son’s rooms Martha Stewart Zinc and I love it (and so do they!) It is the perfect gray, warm enough, very elegant. We had to have them mix it in Martha’s paint though, when we had them mix it in Behr it had a green tint to it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.