Designers’ Favorite Cool Neutral Paint Colors
Here are a dozen different Benjamin Moore cool neutral paint colors including grays, blues, greens and more that will give your home a cozy, peaceful feeling.
Today’s post is a roundup of some of the most popular cool neutral paint colors from Benjamin Moore. Cool neutrals are (ironically) the hottest paint colors these days and they’re what you see on shows like Fixer Upper, Dream Home Makeover and Flip or Flop.
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Tips for choosing your paint colors:
Picking a paint color for your home can be made easier with a few simple steps. Here’s my advise of what to do when you’re trying to decide what the best color for your home is.
- Look for inspiration on pinterest, instagram, or in home magazines.
- If you don’t know where to begin, start with any items that won’t be changing like large furniture pieces, flooring, or any other permanent features in the area to be painted.
- Once you’ve decided on the direction you want to go, narrow your choices down to 5 or less, ideally.
- Keep in mind that paint colors will look more intense on your walls than they do on paint color strips with multiple shades.
- Look at the color you’re considering in the room that you will be painting, not outside in the bright sun.
- See how the paint color looks in that room during different lighting situations…on a sunny day, on a cloudy day, with and without the lights on, and at night. They look different in each of these situations.
- I strongly recommend testing the color either by painting areas of the room with a color sample (next to the trim) or by using a peel and stick paint samples. You can get them here: Samplize Peel and Stick Paint Samples. They’re reusable, affordable, and you don’t even have to wash out a brush.
What’s the difference between a warm neutral and a cool neutral paint color?
Every color has some type of undertone to it. Warmer neutrals have red, yellow, and orange tints undertones. Cooler neutrals have green, blue, and violet undertones to them.
What’s an undertone?
I’m glad you asked! Did you know that unless a color is premixed at the paint factory, it has at least a few drops of colorant added to it at the paint store? I worked at our family paint shop for 30+ years and can attest to this.
You’d be surprised at the colors the make up your white and neutral paints. But don’t worry, these formulas have been used for decades and are always spot on.
There are 16 different colors in the Benjamin Moore paint tinting machines. Variations of tints are unlimited and will determine the undertones of your paint.
For example, a drop of yellow oxide or red oxide will give your white paint a warm undertone. A drop of black, blue, or green will produce a cool undertones. More drops and more tints will affect the depth of color and the undertones.
The cool neutral paint colors shown here can all be used together as a palette or any one of them would be perfect for the entire house. There are photos of each color so you can get an idea how they look in a room setting. Let me know which one is your favorite!
What does LRV mean?
LRV, or light reflective value, is a number that’s assigned to paint colors to indicate the percentage of light that reflects off of them, or basically how light they appear on a wall. The scale ranges from 0 (absorbs all light) to 100 (absorbs no light or reflects 100%). Whiter, lighter colors have high LRV’s since they reflect more light, and darker colors have low LRV’s reflect less light and absorb more of it.
I’m sharing a photo of each color. To see even more paint colors scroll all the way to the bottom for links to my “Favorite Paint Color” posts with dozens of photos and ideas.
Favorite Cool Neutral Paint Colors
Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee
Bookcases painted with Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee paint color
Swiss Coffee has slightly warm, muted undertones and is a wonderful near-white shade that can be used in any style home or in any room. Swiss Coffee has a LRV or light reflective value of 81.91. See above for a more in-depth discussion on LRV’s.
I recently painted our built-in bookcases with Swiss Coffee and love the way that it’s almost white, but not stark and cold. And it doesn’t clash with any of the colors in our decor and matches our sectional sofa almost perfectly.
Swiss Coffee paint on Kitchen Cabinets
If you’re looking for a near white for cabinets that doesn’t look sterile, you should consider Swiss Coffee. As you can see in the cozy kitchen above, the Swiss Coffee cabinets look beautiful with stainless steel appliances and marble countertops. Perfect for a timeless kitchen.
Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee in Entry
Benjamin Moore Silver Satin OC-26 or 856
You’ll see subtle lavender gray undertones with this paint color. Silver Satin is a nice choice for a cool off white that will work with many other cool colors. It has an LRV of 74.9
Kitchen painted with Benjamin Moore Silver Satin
This kitchen painted with Silver Satin is cool and calming. The subtle hues of Silver Satin give it a softer look than you’d get with a stark white.
Benjamin Moore Silver Satin Painted Bathroom
The Silver Satin walls in this elegant bathroom blend seamlessly with the floors. The crisp white crown molding and trim really sets it off.
Benjamin Moore Silver Satin Paint in Bedroom
The earthy greens, tans, and rust colors from the fabrics and furniture in this bedroom look gorgeous against the Silver Satin walls.
Photo by Douglas VanderHorn Architects
Walls – Silver Satin, Trim – Muslin
Benjamin Moore Paris Rain 1501 Bathroom
For a cool neutral paint color with a greenish gray undertone, consider using Benjamin Moore Paris Rain. It has an LRV of 52.69 and is a mid-tone neutral. It looks great in this traditional bathroom with the off white cabinets.
Photo by Robert Frank Design
Walls – Paris Rain
Benjamin Moore Seattle Mist 1535 Entry
Benjamin Moore Seattle Mist is a cool gray that’s reminiscent of a gentle morning rain. It has an LRV of 55.34 and is another mid-tone neutral.
Walls – Seattle Mist. Trim – Swiss Coffee. Accent – Chelsea Gray
Benjamin Moore Tranquility AF-490 Bathroom
Benjamin Moore Tranquility is the paint color in our recently renovated half bathroom and the trim is painted with Benjamin Moore White Dove. It has an LRV of 53.31.
Benjamin Moore Pleasant Valley 696 Living Room
Pleasant Valley has an LRV of 50.46 and is a balanced blend of silver and green. It’s an ideal choice for a bathroom, laundry room, or any room you want a color that will sooth the senses.
Photo by Four Brothers LLC . Walls – Pleasant Valley, Trim – White
Bedroom Painted with Benjamin Moore Quiet Moments
One of Benjamin Moore’s most popular colors, Quiet Moments is a wonderful mix of blue, green, and gray. It has an LRV of 60.73 and exudes tranquility and inspires quiet meditation. Read my full review including many photos of rooms painted with Quiet Moments here: Benjamin Moore Quiet Moments Favorite Paint Color Review
Benjamin Moore Gray Cashmere 2138-60 Living Room
Gray Cashmere is a soft, soothing gray with hints of blue and green. It’s a mid-tone neutral that works as a beautiful subtle background for almost any color. It has an LRV of 64.53
from Houzz. Walls – Gray Cashmere, Trim – Snowfall White
Living Room Painted with Benjamin Moore White Dove OC-17
We used White Dove in our living room and love it. To see more of this space, go here. The LRV of White Dove is 83.16.
Benjamin Moore Vanilla Milkshake 2141-70 Coastal Living Room
Vanilla Milkshake has muted gray tones and an LRV of 80.97. It looks cool and refreshing in this coastal living room.
Photo courtesy of Coastal Living. Walls – Vanilla Milkshake
Dining Room with Benjamin Moore Classic Gray
Classic Gray is a very light shade of warm gray that can also be considered an off white. It has an 73.67, and would look nice in any room in the home, especially west facing rooms.
Walls – Classic Gray
Benjamin Moore Vale Mist 1494 Paint color in a Bedroom
Vale Mist is a soft silvered sage green paint color that evokes tranquility. The LRV of this color is 55.94
Photo by Amanda Webster Design
Walls – Vale Mist
Benjamin Moore Gray Mirage 2142-50 Bathroom
Green and yellow undertones come through in this warm, hazy gray. It has an LRV of 53.78.
Do you have a favorite cool neutral color? I’d love to know which ones you love. Leave a comment at the bottom of the post and let me know!
What will the color look like in my home?
With any paint color, always try a sample first. And don’t ever choose a color based on a photo seen on a computer. Lighting and editing of the images as well as your computer screen settings may make paint colors appear different online than they look in reality.
Brush on samples are available from Benjamin Moore here: Color Samples.
And you can get peel and stick samples here: Peel and Stick Paint Samples.
How do I get the best looking paint job?
Want to know my favorite, must-have painting supplies? See my list of items to use for a professional looking paint job here:
Want to see more paint color ideas?
You might want to visit these posts:
- Sherwin Williams 2021 Color Forecast
- Benjamin Moore 2021 Color Forecast and Color of the Year
- Beautiful Bedroom Colors Shown in Real Rooms
- 16 Popular Paint Colors from your favorite home bloggers
Let me know which cool neutral paint color is your favorite in the comments!
If you like this post you might also like these:
9 No-Fail Neutral Paint Colors
Don’t make a mistake! Go here to see how NOT to choose a paint color.
Need ideas for your front door? Go here for 30 beautiful colors and tips for choosing the right
*Always test the color before painting your space since they will appear different in each room*
Thanks for dropping by today!
Hi Angie!! I love the colors. They look a little green to me but I like green. I think our house is too dark. It's a Limestone ranch and I think I need to repaint and put in lighter colors. Our kitchen has a nice color complimenting the white washed maple cabinets but it is still too dark. I really don't know what would go well with a pinky tinged cabinet. We didn't put in the cabinets we bought the house with them already installed. They are custom but you know how it goes — not everything is in my taste. I'll have to get a lot of paint chips and see what goes. Love the color posts!
Hi Marisa! Most of the colors here have some blue, green, and gray in them. I'll also be sharing some favorite warm neutrals, coastal colors, blues, and more in case you want to see some different ones. Your limestone ranch sounds wonderful! I love stone houses. It's hard to find just the right color for pink toned woods – I'd actually stay away from greens because they'll make the pink more prevalent. So glad you like the color posts! Have a great week! ~ Angie
You know I always LOVE your choices, as I too am a Ben Moore girl!! Also liked the How Not to Choose Paint Color, great information to help others. Keep it coming.
Love all of those color choices, and every single one would work in our home. I may have to use some of them in the upcoming renovations!
They're all great neutrals. Good luck on your renos! Can't wait to see what you do!
Love the look and name of "Paris Gray" … great inspiration!
Me too! I think I need to visit there to see how accurate it is!
Love every color! the round up of decor spaces are just stunning.Saw you on Bloggy Fifty.
Thanks Maria! Those rooms are all gorgeous, aren't they? Thanks for dropping by!
YOu said to scroll all the way to the bottom to see YOUR favorite colors with photo. Could not find the anywhere. NOthing says anything about "YOUR favorite colors" a the bottom or anyplace else. Can you tell me where it is
The link to all of my "Favorite Paint Color" posts (mentioned at the beginning of this post) is here https://postcardsfromtheridge.com/favorite-paint-colors-2.
Hope that helps!
Have a nice day.😊