Choosing the Right Gray Paint for Your Home’s Exterior

Behr Paint

Article Posted By: Behr Paint

Choosing the Right Gray Paint for Your Home's Exterior

Gray is a popular color choice for home exteriors, however, selecting the right shade of gray paint for your home can be overwhelming. Here are some easy selection steps that will help you find just the right shade for your home. Though we’re focusing on shades of gray paint, you can apply this process to making the choice from among any shade of paint.

How to Choose the Right Shade of Gray Paint

Look in the right place for grays

Choosing the Right Gray Paint for Your Home's Exterior

Choosing the Right Gray Paint for Your Home's Exterior

Head to your nearest Home Depot store and browse the paint chips. In general, gray tones will be grouped together with other neutrals.

Pick out paint colors you think you might like. You don’t have to be terribly choosy at this point. You’ll narrow down the choices in the next steps.


Take your time to consider options – DO NOT RUSH!

Choosing the Right Gray Paint for Your Home's Exterior

Take home the specialty gray collateral and color chips. Hold them up against your home’s exterior and view in natural light.

Some experts suggest not spending more than a few minutes considering the colors in one sitting. When you spend too much time staring a several shades of the same color, they can start to look the same! You might want to look at the colors for a few minutes, put them away for a few minutes, and then return to them with “fresh eyes.”


Narrow down your grays

Choosing the Right Gray Paint for Your Home's Exterior

Narrow down your color selection to three choices— a warm gray (gray with a brown, red or yellow undertone), a cool gray (a gray with a blue, purple or green undertone) and a neutral gray (middle of the road grays with no undertones).


Buy and tint color samples to roll out

Buying a paint sample at The Home Depot

Testing the paint colors on your exterior wall is the most important step you can take before moving forward with a color selection.

Paint samples are inexpensive, and viewing the color over a large surface in natural lighting throughout the day will enable you to select the right color.

You’ll follow the basic steps of painting your house, but in a small area.

Preparing to paint sample colors on an exterior wall

Prior to painting, spray down the wall with water to remove dirt. Allow it to dry. Place a drop cloth below your work area before you begin painting.

Using a touch up kit to paint sample colors on an exterior wall

And since you’ll only be painting a small area, we suggest you use an inexpensive touch up kit.

Applying gray paint samples on an exterior wall

As neutrals, gray paint colors can have undertone nuances— color influences that give them a particular color cast such as brown, blue or purple. These undertones can be difficult to discern when viewing small brochure chips.

To get a good read on what color your gray really is, roll it out in a 3 ft. x 3 ft. section. Roll out accents next to your main color to see how they harmonize.


View your colors at different times of the day

Morning Light

Choosing the Right Gray Paint for Your Home's Exterior

Midday Light

Choosing the Right Gray Paint for Your Home's Exterior

Afternoon light

Choosing the Right Gray Paint for Your Home's Exterior

Evening light

Choosing the Right Gray Paint for Your Home's Exterior

Viewing the color in different light throughout the day will reveal the color nuances. At this point, you can reassess your choices and move forward, or fine tune your color selection for a better fit. Though it takes extra time and effort to do this, it will ensure that your new home color is perfect.

(Don’t rely on these photos to judge the look of the paint colors! These images are merely to illustrate generally how paint colors can change under different lighting conditions. Our camera and your display screen effect the color you see.)


Paint your house

At this point you should be confident that you’ve chosen a shade of gray paint that will best show off your home.

Choosing the Right Gray Paint for Your Home's Exterior

Choosing the Right Gray Paint for Your Home's Exterior

Colors used: Body: Elephant Skin PPU18-16, Garage: Downtown Gray PPU24-10, Trim: Silky White PPU7-12, Accent: Opera Glasses MQ5-2

Find everything you need for your next painting project, including paint samples, at The Home Depot’s Paint Department. Follow our All About Paint board on Pinterest for more painting tips and ideas.