Colour schemes that go with grey paint

Updated April 17, 2017

Grey is one of the most versatile neutrals in a decorator's arsenal. Whereas browns lend a more country feel, grey lends a more metropolitan feel and is easy to pair with rich accent colours to achieve the perfect space. In the 21st century, "city" does not have to mean harsh black, white and grey anymore. Grey is the ideal intermediary between colour, texture, textile and style.


On the colour spectrum, black and white will not be found. This is because black and white have their own spectrum, and are not colours, but shades. Grey is simply black with white in it, and the lighter the grey the more white there is. Black and white can be added to the colours of the spectrum to produce new shades of colour, white for brightening and black for darkening.


Grey is a neutral and thus goes with other neutrals like black, white and other greys. However, the combination of grey with neutrals in the brown family tends to look washed out and dull unless these shades are at the opposite sides of the brightness scale. If you pair a rich, chocolate brown with a light, airy grey, the grey is so full of white that it creates a striking contrast.


Since grey is a neutral, combining it with primary colours is only natural. Purple, for example, complements grey very well. Jewel tones such as teal, emerald, amethyst work with grey to create a luxurious atmosphere, as the soft grey plays off the rich colour. A jewel tone is a colour that is between two primaries. For instance, teal is a colour between green and blue.


Pastels are washed-out versions of primaries with a lot of white in them, so when pairing with grey, use a strong grey with a lot of black in it, like charcoal. This will keep your overall palette from appearing weak.

Textures and textiles

If grey is the main focus of the room, consider the textures, patterns and textiles you are using as accents. Grey can easily look rich when paired with suede, leather, velvet or simply elaborate patterns of weaving or embroidery. The details are the focal point, as grey can just as easily look cheap and dull next to the wrong accent pieces.

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About the Author

Arielle Reed started writing professionally in 2007 for the Alverno College student paper "The Alpha" where she acquired a Bachelor of Arts in interactive media design. She is currently pursuing her Master of Science in communications at Eastern Washington University.