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Choosing Grey Colour Schemes

The only grey scheme guide you will ever need

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How To Choose The Best Grey Paint For Your Home

If you’re in the market to paint the interior or exterior of your home, then a grey colour palette is an excellent choice. However, just like choosing white paint, there’s a huge range of grey shades to choose from, which can make it more challenging to choose the right one for your home. When working with greys, it can also sometimes be difficult to gauge how light or dark the colour will appear on your surface. 

Although there are many similarities, no two grey colours are the same, and the grey you choose can either enhance or detract from any complementary colours you use. Getting the right colour palette can help you achieve a modern finish that will bring plenty of compliments from your neighbours. On the flip side, there’s nothing worse than painting your house the wrong colour and being stuck with a colour scheme that falls flat. 

In this article, we’ll describe the three different types of greys, outline our colour concept rules and give you a rundown on the best greys paints to select for the interior or exterior of your home. 

The three different types of greys

3 different types of greys

Regardless of what you might hear on reality renovation shows, from interior designers, paint colour consultants and everybody in between, there are only three different types of greys.

  • Dark greys
  • Mid-tone greys
  • Light greys

When working with grey, the most important consideration is the secondary colours you choose to complement the grey. Unless you want your whole house painted a solid block of grey, you’ll need to incorporate different colours to help break up the grey. Choosing the right colour combination can help you create a fresh and sleek design for your home.

So before we explore some colour combinations that work well with grey, let’s discover the main differences between the three different types. 

The Dark Greys

Dark grey is typically used to accentuate different textures on the outside of a house or used internally on feature walls. Grey can be used in entire rooms if you’re looking to define a space or area. For example, it’s commonly used in boardrooms in corporate office spaces as it creates a sense of purpose and authority. 

Dark grey is a good choice for the facade of a house, but only on specific types of exterior cladding. For example, using grey on a rendered pillar at the front of the house can help to create a feature for the front of your home. Dark greys are also a great choice to accentuate areas like windowsills, facias, gutters, and doors. Because it’s such a dark colour, it isn’t usually the main primary colour but instead used to accentuate other complementary shades.

While some people do choose to use dark grey to paint the entire house’s exterior, there are a couple of things to keep in mind if you’re considering this bold option.

  1. Darker colours attract heat, making the external walls extremely hot during summer. Hot exterior walls will affect the temperature inside your house, making it harder to keep cool in high temperatures.
  2. The paint coating will deteriorate much faster because of UV absorption. It’s also likely to fade faster, and the paint could also blister, flake and peel much earlier than you might expect. This can mean you need to repaint much earlier than you’d budgeted for. Incorporating proper painting techniques and getting guidance from a professional is critical if you’re considering painting paint your entire house in a very dark grey.
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Mid-Tone Greys

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Timber deck terrace

Mid-tone grades are commonly used to paint the entire body of houses, both on internal and external walls. This shade can work well to set the tone of the style that you want to portray. Mid-tone greys offer various shades, from lighter tones to darker tones. Lighter mid-tones work well to create a modern but homely feel and are often used on Hampton style houses. You can use mid-tone greys on both weatherboards and exterior cladding. If you’re considering using this colour on interior walls, we recommend using a complementary colour, like an off-white, to help break up the grey. Otherwise, the room can feel closed in. Using a lighter colour on edging or skirting can help. 

When choosing mid-tone greys, it’s essential to conduct colour tests to ensure the result meets your expectations. Testing helps you to appreciate how shadow and light can affect the final colour. For example, if you’re using a mid-tone grey on the interior of a house that has the blinds drawn 90% of the time, the mid-tone grey will look darker because of the shadows. On the other hand, if you have a lot of natural light in your home, then the mid-tone is likely to look lighter, which can help make the space feel warm and inviting.

One of the most common reactions we from customers who choose mid-tone greys is that they are surprised with the end result. Depending on their home, they’re either expecting it to be lighter or darker, which is why our best piece of advice is to get a sample pot and make sure you test it on the surface you want to paint. Testing is the only sure way to make sure you’re satisfied with your colour choice after painting.

The Light Greys

Light grey is typically used more frequently on internal surfaces than external walls. This colour can make a room feel warm and inviting, as it’s a little bit darker than a cold white, which can sometimes make homes feel stark and clinical. Using light grey adds a subtle touch to your interior space and works with all types of furniture. You can also use complementary colours with light grey. However, be aware that because it’s a lighter colour, it won’t have the same contrasting effect as when you’re using a light complementary colour with a dark colour. For example, if you use white as a trim colour, it will slightly blend with the light grey of the wall instead of a dark grey with a white trim which creates a more impactful contrast. So we recommend that you stick with the same light grey for your walls and trims unless you’re going for a very subtle effect. 

Light greys can make a space feel clean and modern but also warm and inviting. If you’re going for a Hamptons look, this is a great choice to offer sophistication. However, it’s essential to carefully consider your benchtops, flooring, furniture, and cushions to get the best effect.

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Thinking Of Just Getting Someone Else To Sort It All For You?

At Surepaint our team can not only take the stress out of painting but also help with design you the perfect grey colour schemes.    

What Makes Grey So Appealing?

There are several reasons why choosing grey for your exterior or internal surfaces is so appealing, which relates to what we refer to as our colour concept.

At Surepaint, our colour concept involves four main rules. Using these rules can help steer you in the right direction when choosing the right colour combination for your home. So let’s explore each rule: 

Rule 1: Crisp and clean whites

There are several reasons why choosing grey for your exterior or internal surfaces is so appealing, which relates to what we refer to as our colour concept.

At Surepaint, our colour concept involves four main rules. Using these rules can help steer you in the right direction when choosing the right colour combination for your home. So let’s explore each rule:

Rule 2: Match your door frames

Your door frames, window frames, and trims should be precisely the same colour as your ceiling for the best effect. This synergy helps to create colour consistency throughout your project. It also helps simplify the colour scheme. A simplified colour scheme means it’s not overwhelming to look at and offers a clean, comfortable colour combination that you won’t tire of looking at every day.

Rule 3: Use an accent colour

Accent Inverted

Choose a darker grey for your accent colour. This colour is a good choice for the gutters of your exterior, the front door, handrails or windowsills. For interiors, you can use an accent colour on feature walls. Using an accent colour creates consistency and allows the lighter shade to work well with the darker colour. As a result, an accent colour can make a stunning feature for your home. You can also invert the accent colour and make the entire area the accent colour and make the light colours the contrast colour.

Rule 4: Consider your architecture

Choose a grey that will work with the architecture and style of your home. Make sure your body colour choice is lighter than the accent colour. The colour you choose for most of your surface is what we refer to as the body colour. If you’re painting the exterior of your home, the only reason we would suggest ever incorporating any more than a few colours in your colour scheme is if you had a different type of cladding or texture to work with (see below for an example). 

The image below features different types of textures, including render and weatherboards. When there are other textures, it’s possible to introduce another colour into your colour scheme to create a feature without making the colour combination too overwhelming. Generally, the only time you have any more than three to four shades in your colour schemes is if you have a heritage or Federation style home.

The best grey colour choices for your home (hands-down!)

Dulux western Myall

Dulux Western Myall

Western Myall is an excellent colour for feature walls and cladding. It’s also a great choice for facias, gutters and handrails. It makes a perfect accent colour and isn’t a shade that we would recommend for your body colour because it is very dark. You’ll need a particular style of architecture to make this colour work for your body colour choice.

Dulux Milton Moon

Despite what it looks like in the tin, Milton Moon is a perfect mid-tone grey that’s not too dark and not too light. It works well when paired with a clinical clean white and is ideal if you’re looking to create a Hampton-style house. However, it’s important to point out that it can sometimes look a little purple, as it’s on the darker side in the mid-tones. 

Dulux Tranquil Retreat

Tranquil Retreat is another solid choice for a mid-tone grey that works well on interior or exterior surfaces. This shade is an excellent choice for large homes that offer plenty of light, particularly internal walls with 2.7 to 3 meter high ceilings. However, be mindful that when using on exterior surfaces and depending on the architecture of your home, the shade can occasionally look relatively light. We don’t recommend cutting it into half or quarters as it is likely to turn out a light grey colour.

Dulux Timeless Grey

Dulux Timeless Grey

Timeless Grey is a great dark grey to work with, particularly if you’re looking for a modern finish. This tint offers an excellent feature when used on cladding, along with gutters, facias, and handrails. While it can look a little gunmetal grey on some surfaces, it offers a sleek finish without any risk of a purple tinge that some other mid-tone greys can have.

Dulux Dieskau

Dieskau is more on the light side and offers some slightly brown shading. This is a great choice to use on home interiors as it’s subtle and works well when paired with other complementary colours to create a warm and welcoming space. You can also use it on exteriors if you’re not wanting anything too dark and are looking for a softer grey.

Dulux Silkwort

Dulux Silkwort

Silkwort is another popular mid-tone grey that allows you to benefit from a grey without any hint of purple. It offers a slight brown tinge and provides a good balance of being dark enough to be effective but not too dark to cast shadows on your home.

Dulux Flooded Gum

Dulux Flooded Gum

Flooded Gum is a trendy exterior grey in the mid-tone range. It’s used frequently on exterior weatherboards and render homes to create a modern Hamptons feel. If you combine Flooded Gum with whites on your facias, gutters, handrails, and garage doors, we’re confident that you won’t be disappointed.

Dulux Miller Mood

Miller Mood is probably one of the most popular mid-tone greys currently available on the market today. The colour is a little lighter than Flooded Gum, and the result offers more of a blue-grey. But, like Flooded Gum, if it’s paired with a stark white for all the trim areas, you’ll end up with a very effective modern and clean style to your home. 

We Help You Choose The Perfect
Colour Scheme

By working with Surepaint, our team of skilled professionals can help you choose the perfect colour scheme for your property.

You can have total peace of mind with our unique colour selection process by taking advantage of our colour consultants and digital overlay process. 

Take a look at the below digital overlay we did for a client. This is not a finished product but rather a digital rendering of her colour choices.

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