Strong Blue-Gray Paint Colors: How to Evoke a Moody Vibe

Moody, atmospheric, complex colors are having a moment, and I think I understand why. Since the pandemic, as more people grow increasingly attached to their homes, they are thinking more deeply about design. They are becoming more intentional about paint color selection because they have gained a greater appreciation for how design affects well-being. And they’re after calmness. Strong Blue-Gray Paint Colors: How to Evoke a Moody Vibe is a great start if you’re seeking the best blue-gray paint colors for a cool, and likely dramatic feel.

Mudroom painted Farrow & Ball Pigeon - Brown Interiors (Emily Hart photo). #pigeon #graypaintcolors #mudroom
Brown Interiors; photo: Emily Hart…in case you’re after the perfect blue-gray and calmness for your space.

Strong Blue-Gray Paint Colors: How to Evoke a Moody Vibe

Don’t you love those strong blue-grey tones that are hard to describe and pin down? How gorgeous is this kitchen by Park and Oak?

Kitchen cabinets painted Farrow & Ball Pigeon - Park and Oak. #graykitchens #farrowandballpigeon
Park and OakFarrow & Ball Pigeon

It was this kitchen designed by them that got me thinking about that gorgeous Pigeon color by Farrow & Ball. However, I was shocked when I visited Farrow & Ball and viewed the swatch of Pigeon which looks very brown. Natural lighting matters and can’t be underestimated!

Such a great reminder to sample and not judge from a tiny square on Google.

Here are the six colors we’ll explore in this post:

I’ll also mention a couple of suggestions from Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore. But before we even jump into these gorgeous paint colors, take a peek at an amazing designer’s own home (Liz Caan!) who has strong blue-gray painted kitchen cabinets. You are going to feel so inspired!

Okay. Now let’s look at those greyish bluish contenders (they can be chameleon colors for sure)!

Farrow & Ball Blue Gray No. 91

Before we look more closely at Pigeon, take a gander at Blue Gray.

Blue Gray (Farrow & Ball) paint color in a stairway. #farrowandballbluegray
Farrow & Ball Blue Gray…in case you’re curious about these darker blue grays with neutrals and black.

I have seen a lot of talented designers reach for this hue. Remember this front door from Loi of Tone on Tone?

Farrow and Ball Blue Gray 91 perfectly complements the tones in the slate. Come discover 9 Timeless Grey-Blue Paint Color Ideas For Quiet, Sophisticated Greys for Walls, Furniture and Trim! #paintcolors #bluegrey #farrowandballbluegray
Loi Thai of Tone on Tone – Farrow & Ball Blue Gray…in case you’re curious how this color read with a lot of natural light.

How fabulous does this blue-gray look with the stone and surrounding nature!?! It is always good to see how the color looks in other parts of the world in different light. If you like the green cast in the gray, also consider Sherwin Williams Acacia Haze 9132:

Sherwin-Williams Acacia Haze 9132 paint color swatch.. #greenpaintcolors #sagegreen
Sherwin Williams Acacia Haze 9132
Beauty quote by Alice Walker on Hello Lovely Studio. #beautyquotes #soulfulquotes #alicewalker

This looks like a building structure in London:

Farrow & Ball Blue Gray paint color on a garage exterior. #bluegray #paintcolors #farrowandballbluegray
Farrow & Ball Blue Gray

Obviously, yellow sunlight is going to affect the color which can read more green with ample light.

Rilke quote about living everything and live the questions on Hello Lovely Studio. #rainermariarilke #rilkepoem #rilkequotes

Farrow & Ball Pigeon No. 25

Designer at Brown Interiors Amber Brown Matlack is a fan of Pigeon and told Southern Living “It works with so many different other colors—it can be used all over without being too overpowering, or it can be used as an accent.”

You can definitely spy the gray undertone, yes? The designer recommends this color be paired with warm white paint colors and warm color palettes. Here’s how Pigeon looks with not a lot of natural light:

Farrow & Ball Pigeon paint color on bedroom walls - Lda Architects. #farrowandballpigeon #graypaintcolors
Lda Architects – Farrow & Ball Pigeon

It reminds me of Benjamin Moore Cloudy Sky 2122-30. And notice how Pigeon contrasts when paired with bright off white:

Pigeon (Farrow & Ball) paint color on wainscot in a luxurious beach house (Glennon Doyle & Abby Wambach's) designed by Kate Lester and featured in Architectural Digest. #farrowandballpigeon #pigeongray #graypaintcolors
Photography: Douglas Friedman for AD; styling: Amy Chin; interior design: Kate Lester…in case you’re after a spa like idea for your bathroom.

Have you been following the design journey to a new house playing out on Chris Loves Julia? I love so much of what that innovative team does, and I have learned so much from them!

Pigeon (Farrow & Ball) paint in living room - Chris Loves Julia. #livingrooms #graypaintcolors #farrowandballpigeon
Chris Loves Julia – Pigeon (Farrow & Ball)…in case you’re after the perfect balance of blue and grey.

For example, this blue-gray (Pigeon) can look beyond sophisticated and moody in the best ways in a living room!

Laundry room painted Farrow & Ball Pigeon - Park and Oak. #farrowandballpigeon
Park and OakFarrow & Ball Pigeon…in case you need laundry room and bathroom color ideas with a gray undertone.

A laundry or mud room can be a smart place to try a new paint color…just look at what the possibilities are above!?!

Brene Brown quote about people doing their best on Hello Lovely Studio. #vulnerabilityquotes #personalgrowthquotes #brenebrownquotes
Farrow & Ball Pigeon paint color on walls. #farrowandball #graypaintcolors
Farrow & Ball…in this inspiration photo with the soft blue-gray, I can spy the gray undertone.

Choosing a color for kitchen cabinetry is a daunting task so it certainly helps when designers share the paint color names.

Here we see Pigeon paired with dark countertops – a design element that seems to be having a moment. Pigeon actually appears slightly light blue-gray in this kitchen, but bear in mind it may read dark if your space is more dim.

Kitchen cabinets painted Farrow & Ball Pigeon - Park and Oak. #graykitchens #farrowandballpigeon
Park & OakFarrow & Ball Pigeon…in case you love a moody color with gray undertone for the kitchen or bathroom.
Self-care quote about people judging - Hello Lovely Studio. #personalgrowthquotes #selfcarequotes #selfkindnessquotes #encouragementquotes

Benjamin Moore Cloudy Sky 2122-30

I mentioned I would share a couple of bonus colors from Benjamin Moore, and Cloudy Sky (Benjamin Moore 2122-30) is infused with steely blue-green undertones and captures the moody, romantic ambiance of a rainy day.

Benjamin Moore Cloudy Sky 2122-30 paint color swatch - try this blue-gray for a sophisticated, strong and rich look. #cloudysky #benjaminmoorecloudysky
Benjamin Moore Cloudy Sky 2122-30

Isn’t it richly dark and velvety?

Benjamin Moore Cloudy Sky 2122-30 paint color idea. #cloudysky #bluegraypaintcolors
Benjamin Moore Cloudy Sky

Clare Paint – Set in Stone

This strong and moody blue-gray caught my eye when I spotted it here on closet doors:

Closet doors painted Clare Set in Stone paint color - MStarrDesign. #claresetinstone #bluegraypaintcolors
Mstarrdesign – Clare Set in Stone…in case you’re after a blue-gray paint color.

Isn’t that a brilliant use for it when you love the color but aren’t sure about painting ALL the trim? It may read slightly purple in your space which is why your purchase of a sample pot, color swatch, or stick paint samples is a smart move.

I also love how it looks on applied trim:

By the way, if you have never ordered paint from CLARE – you’re in for a pleasant surprise. I love their colors, customer service, and the ease of delivery to my doorstep!

Clare’s Set in Stone is gorgeous with a natural linen accent color as you can see here:

Clare paint - Set in Stone. #claresetinstone
Wall painted Clare Set in Stone…in case you’re seeking blue-gray paint options.

f this Set in Stone dark blue gray has you suddenly thinking about navy blue, look at BM Hale Navy which is trusted by so many designers.

Encouraging quote on Hello Lovely Studio. #encouragementquotes

How to Select the Right Color for Your Space

I created this infographic, and I hope you will all pin it! A lot of folks are not sure how to begin their search for the proper color, and this has worked best for me:

How to choose perfect paint colors every single time - Hello Lovely Studio. #paintcolors #thebestpaintcolors
PIN me!

It is always tempting to open a sample pot and go straight to the wall with the paint. However, you’ll be able to gather much more helpful info if you follow the instructions above and paint on cardboard or foam boards. This way, you can move the sample around at different hours of the day to notice changes with natural lighting.

It’s also possible to purchase samples which is a brilliant move from vendors.

Funny quote and humor about modern day cell phone culture - Hello Lovely Studio.

Behr French Colony

If you like French blues that lean toward grey, you may like French Colony by Behr. Here it is on a Mediterranean style exterior:

Blue Mediterranean style house exterior painted BEHR French Colony. #behrfrenchcolony #bluegraypaintcolors
BEHR French Colony…in case a blue-gray shade is calling.

And you can get a sense of what it would feel like in a bath from this:

Blue gray bathroom painted Behr French Colony. #bluegraypaintcolors #frenchcolony
BEHR French Colony…in case you are after a blue-gray paint to sample.

The grey-blue color appears different of course with different exposure:

Blue Colonial style house exterior painted BEHR French Colony. #behrfrenchcolony #bluegraypaintcolors
BEHR French Colony…when you’re after a blue-gray shade of paint.

Are you a fan of deeper tones closer to slate blue-gray?

Funny humor quote about Netflix on Hello Lovely Studio. #netflixhumor #humorquotes #funnyquotes

Benjamin Moore Eclipse 2132-40

By now, you may be thinking they all look the same! And I feel your pain. But if you had these paint samples in front of you, you would begin to be able to distinguish them by their undertones and warmth or coolness. Eclipse (Benjamin Moore) is deep and dark with blue undertones. (Benjamin Moore says it is “sharpened” with a hint of blue.)

Benjamin Moore Eclipse 2132-40 blue-gray paint color. #benjaminmooreeclipse
Benjamin Moore Eclipse…in case a moody blue-grey paint color is calling your name.

Behr Blue Dusk

Blue Dusk can look so sophisticated on a house exterior, yes?

Behr Blue Dusk paint color on house exterior. #behrbluedusk
BEHR Blue Dusk

Notice the relationship this color has with the green grass and white trim. It has such a classic yet moody vibe different from a true navy.

Behr Blue Dusk paint color in a lobby.
BEHR Blue Dusk

Blue Dusk seems to read more teal in this lobby above and cool grey on the modern home below:

Behr Blue Dusk paint color on house exterior. #behrbluedusk
BEHR Blue Dusk
Strong Blue Gray Paint Colors on Hello Lovely Studio. #bluegray #paintcolors
PIN me to save for future reference!

Valspar Academy Gray

Finally, here’s a strong blue-gray paint color that you cannot quite pin down as blue or gray or green or teal. I love those types of colors!

Academy Gray (Valspar) painted dining room. #valsparacademygray #bluegraypaint
Academy Gray

Sherwin Williams Blue-Grey Paint Ideas

If you’re partial to colors from Sherwin Williams, here are a few strong contenders.

Waterloo (Sherwin Williams) blue paint color swatch. #waterloo #bluepaintcolors
Sherwin Williams Waterloo

Does SW Waterloo appear navy on your computer screen?

Debonair by Sherwin-Williams is a gorgeous saturated blue gray. #paintcolors #bluegray #debonair #sherwinwilliams
SW DEBONAIR Sherwin Williams paint color

Less dark, SW Debonair by Sherwin Williams coordinates nicely with Stardew.

Last year, Sherwin Williams chose SW Blustery Sky as one of their popular trending blue-grey colors.

Paint Color Trends for 2021 from Sherwin-Williams - try these inspiring colors to freshen your own home. #paintcolors
See Blustery Sky above on this list of colors from Sherwin Williams

I hope these paint colors have given you food for thought if you are looking for a house for your interior or exterior. Which of these darker blue grays is your favorite blue gray?

Blue gray house exterior painted Academy Gray (Valspar). #valsparacademygray
Valspar Academy Gray – in case you need ideas for strong blue-gray paint colors.

If these tones are too strong, you may want to peek at these light blue-gray options for a Zen feel.

Summer Thornton quote from WONDERLAND. #designquotes #decoratingquotes
If you agree with this attitude – go see my post featuring work of Summer Thornton HERE.

I know there are folks who are still hesitant about shopping online for paint, but sometimes I wonder if their experiences in paint stores have been rosier than mine. The lighting is often pretty awful in those places so looking at little pieces of cardstock with colors gets confusing.

Thank goodness sample pots of paint are so reasonable and convenient!

I independently selected products in this post—if you buy from one of my links, I may earn a commission.

Peace to you right where you are.

-michele

Shop for items you already intended to buy on Amazon RIGHT HERE, and also find home decor here to keep decor inspiration flowing on Hello Lovely!

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White Slipcovered Sofa
French Stripe Seagrass Basket Set
29″ Whitewashed Table Lamp Set of 2
White Matelasse Quilt on MY BED
THE BEST Energy Bars!
Trees White Wallpaper Mural
Round Farmhouse Table
Myla Slipcover Sofa
Deconstructed Wingback Bed
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Milagro Heart
Slipcovered Dining Chair
Rustic Farmhouse Stool
Edgecombe End Table
Parisian Style Iron Table Lamp  33.5″
Black or Bronze Accent Table
French Stripe Basket Set
White Cotton Crochet Bed Skirt
French Country Rattan Basket Set
Marble Subway Mosaic Tile
Rattan Basket With Lid
White Ruffle Bedding
Seagrass Basket Set
Schumacher Wild Things Wallpaper
Slipcovered Sofa
Linen Napkin Set
French Country Lamp Set
White Matelasse Quilt
Tree Mural Wallpaper
Faux Potted French Lavender
Shaw Daybed
Distressed White French Country Chandelier
French Country Headboard
Oval Back Counter Stool, Set of 2
Antique Brass Pharmacy Floor Lamp
Round French Tufted Ottoman
Kinston Wood Bench
Italian Candelabra Chandelier
Slipcovered Linen Chair
Warner Upholstered Bench
Rustic Country French Dresser
Laurel Wreath Mirror
Round Farmhouse Dining Table
Reclaimed Wood Dresser
Louis Upholstered Bench
Pardon My French Doormat
Stripe Turkish Towel Throw
Pamela Arm Chair
Sweater Weave Basket
French Carved Wood Chandelier
Terracotta Pots & Basket
French Country Wood Chandelier
French Linen Dining Chair
Gustavian Cabinet
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Bar Stool
Beachy White Slipcovered Sofa
Rattan Armchair
Diptyque Oyedo Candle
Cross Back Dining Chair
French Country Candle Holder
French Industrial Metal Chairs (4)
Designer Favorite Wall Mirror
Holborn Lantern Pendant
French Country 6-Light Chandelier
Tray Side Table
French Country Upholstered Arm Chair
Wicker Trunk Set
French Ticking Stripe Pillow
Jute Area Rug
Mohair Throw
Rustic Industrial Farmhouse Shelves
Belgian Linen Sofa
White Duvet & Bedding
Rustic Wood Candlestick Set
French Market Basket
Linen Modern Wing Chair
French Country Farmhouse Baskets
Concrete Pillar Table Lamp
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Style Lamp
Kendall Skirted Dining Chair
White Charleston Sofa
Scrubbed Wood 5-Light Chandelier
Arched Champagne Wall Mirror
Moravian Star 1-Light Pendant
Highback Armchair
Mini Pendant Light
White Vase Set
Round Woven Placemat Set
Cashmere Throw With Fringe
Black Bergamot Soy Candle
Fireclay Farm Sink (Reinhard, 30″)
White Waffle Coverlet
Light Grey Vienna Quilt
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Linen Duvet Set
Round Marble Side Table
Rustic Pedestal Farm Table
Rattan Hanging Chair Swing