50 Shades of Grey Paint

by Anchor-Of-My-Eye

I have a bit of an obsession with pale greys.  Maybe it's because I was born and raised in Seattle, and I know how luminous colors look under soft grey skies.  When the gray is pale and even enough, colors pop under its subtle, glowing, nearly liquid contrast.  There's also something both relaxing and elegant about the shade, and it's a great neutral for interiors.

So when it came to picking out a color for the living room/dining area walls, I knew I wanted dove grey and I thought it would be pretty easy to find my ideal shade.  After all, it wasn't some exotic hue I was after.  Boy was I wrong.  I looked at color after color, across many different paint lines, rejecting one after another because they were too dark, too green, too blue, too purple.

Finally I found a Farrow & Ball shade that seemed almost right, except that it was a little too light: Blackened.  So I ordered one gallon of Blackened and a sample pot of Down Pipe, a dark grey.  I poured the sample pot into the gallon, stirred, and voilà, my ideal light grey—just slightly darker than Blackened.

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We painted the whole living room over a weekend, and have been living with the color for a couple of months now.  The color shifts depending on the type of light and the time of day—sometimes looking more white, then more grey.  Our new white bookshelves/media stand look great against it, as do all the houseplants I have—proving that green against grey is just as beautiful indoors as it is outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

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