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A Guide to Neutral Paint Colors


Choosing the right neutral paint color can often feel like looking for a needle in a haystack. There are hundreds of whites, creams, and grays to choose from; yet the more you hunt, search, and sample, oftentimes they all start to look the same—and you’re left just hoping you make the right call.

Because we know how daunting this search can be, we asked Jo to put together a guide of her go-to neutral paint colors—including what makes each shade one she returns to again and again.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT SHADE OF WHITE

Like a blank canvas, white walls make for a great foundation that can be added to with patterns, colors, and textures.

SHIPLAP by Magnolia Home

Shiplap is a go-to white—it’s creamier and feels more comfortable in a space than a harsh, sterile white. It’s such a versatile shade that works well on walls, trim and cabinets. In bright, natural light, you can really notice the cream undertones. If you’re looking for a stark white, we recommend True White.

Walls—Shiplap in Eggshell Sheen
Trim—Shiplap in Eggshell Sheen
Ceiling—Shiplap in Matte Sheen
See more of this house here.

ONE HORN WHITE by Magnolia Home

One Horn White is a warm, crisp white. It has a light beige tint, which really brings out its warm undertones.

Walls—One Horn White in Matte Sheen
Trim—One Horn White in Eggshell Sheen
Ceiling—One Horn White in Matte Sheen

See more of this house here.

LOCALLY SOWN by Magnolia Home

Locally Sown is a warm white that’s a little bit darker than a classic white. It can sometimes read as beige depending on what kind of light it’s in. This shade is well-suited in a space with rich colors and textures.

Walls—Locally Sown in Eggshell Sheen
Trim—Shiplap in Eggshell Sheen
Ceiling—Shiplap in Matte Sheen

See more of this house: here.

BLANCHED by Magnolia Home

Blanched is best summed up as a traditional white with creamy beige undertones. Together, Blanched and Shiplap help create a timeless look throughout Hillcrest Estate, one of our vacation rentals here in Waco.

Walls—Blanched in Eggshell Sheen
Trim—Shiplap in Eggshell Sheen
Ceiling—Shiplap in Matte Sheen

See more of Hillcrest Estate here.


CHOOSING THE RIGHT SHADE OF GRAY

Gray is a slightly bolder foundational color, and the right shade can help add depth to any space. It also makes for a great neutral color for trim and cabinets.

YARN by Magnolia Home

Yarn is a blend of beige and gray—a staple “greige” that's ideal for bedrooms because it creates a light, yet cozy color in both natural light and artificial light.

Walls—Yarn in Eggshell Sheen
Trim—Shiplap in Eggshell Sheen
Ceiling—Shiplap in Eggshell Sheen

See more of Hillcrest Estate here.

SUNDAY STROLL by Magnolia Home

Sunday Stroll is a true gray with a hint of beige, and just one shade darker than Yarn. This color really stands out in a room with lots of natural light.

Cabinet—Sunday Stroll in Eggshell Sheen
Walls—Shiplap in Eggshell Sheen
Ceiling—Shiplap in Matte Sheen

See more of this house: here.

GATHERINGS by Magnolia Home

Gatherings, a medium-toned gray brings a warm, mature color to walls. It’s a lighter blend of gray and beige (another “greige” shade). Here, it’s paired with Shiplap for the ceiling and trim, which really brings out its warmer undertones.

Walls—Gathering in Eggshell Sheen
Trim—Shiplap in Eggshell Sheen
Ceiling—Shiplap in Matte Sheen

See more of this house: here.

QUAINT COTTAGE by Magnolia Home

On the cabinets in this laundry room is the shade Quaint Cottage—a cloudy hazel mixed with oatmeal beige. This color tends to read a little warmer due to its green undertones.

Cabinet—Quaint Cottage in Eggshell Sheen
Walls—Shiplap in Eggshell Sheen
Trim—Quaint Cottage in Eggshell Sheen

See more of this house here.

GARDEN TROWEL by Magnolia Home

Garden Trowel is an earth-toned gray accented with olive green and cocoa. Since this is a deep charcoal gray, it’s great for when you want to make a statement, such as on an exterior trim or a bathroom vanity. This shade is dark enough to add definition, and provides a nice contrast to nearly any shade of white.

Left photo:
Trim—Garden Trowel in Matte Sheen
Brick—Sherwin Williams Dover White in Eggshell Sheen
Similar Magnolia Home Exterior Color—Pearly Cotton in Matte Sheen

Right photo:
Vanity—Garden Trowel in Eggshell Sheen
Walls—Shiplap in Eggshell Sheen
Trim—Shiplap in Matte Sheen

We hope this guide helps you navigate your next paint project with colors you feel good about. Be on the lookout for a guide to non-neutral colors coming soon!