Choosing the right grey

01 Mar 2015

Grey. It’s the colour of the moment, the new go-to neutral for fashion followers. It used to be seen as a a dreary, battleship, sombre colour but has risen from the doldrums as a sophisticated and stylish shade. And with the vast choice of Resene greys, you can have anything from silvery white, to soft dove grey, through elegant French grey to rich smoky charcoal.

But just like white, not all greys are created equal. Sure, there are those that are a pure mix of black and white but those clever Resene colour-makers have played with the undertones and pigments to create a subtle palette of other greys. Read on to unlock their secrets.

Read more: Today's hot new neutral – grey; Grey and indigo: the new deep neutrals; An unlikely colour combo

Do you have a home full of wonderful Resene paint and colour? Send us some snaps by emailing editor Sharon Newey on [email protected].

lounge, living room, grey, beige, greige, interior, shades of grey, paint, grey-brown tones

Let’s start with a colour that has been the darling of the interior world for years… and while we might be tired of it just now, it deserves that popularity. This cross between grey and beige is welcoming and cosy, adding warmth to a room yet keeping it sophisticated. Just don’t let it slip too far towards coffee or latte tones or you’ll just have… well, brown. For the right greige, let nature guide you – stone, pebbles, animal fur, barks; there are many examples of complex grey-brown tones to inspire you. 

light grey room, grey wall, shades of grey, grey paint, interior, feature wall

Light greys can look quite silvery, and will lighten and brighten a room, and add a sense of calm. Deepened just a little, dove greys and french greys are stunningly on-trend. Pair them with bone whites, pale timbers and black accents for a Scandi look, with whitewash timber and rustic textures for a beachy or country look, or with brighter accents for a fun contemporary twist. 

dark grey lounge, charcoal paint, living room, shades of grey, interior, home decorating ideas

This moody tone can be sleek, or grunty and industrial. It can turn a characterless room into something intriguing. With its cocooning properties, it’s great for bedrooms and studies, and is a handy alternative to pure black. Make sure to add texture and paler or bright colours to keep charcoal from getting too claustrophobic.

metallic greys, silver paint, interior, shades of greys, home decorating ideas

While current trends tip towards warm metallics like copper and brass, silver and pewter can add sparkle to a room as either a feature wall, or an accent. Resene has many subtle variations of these in its Resene Metallics and Special Effects range. 

grey kitchen, grey paint, blue kitchen, interior, stormy greys, home decorating ideas

Greys with blue undertones are steely and cool. Treat with caution and consider your accents and placement. Green-tinged greys are much more forgiving and warm, and go well with many timbers and natural materials. Greys with purple or lavender undertones are feminine and warm. 

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Resene Blast Grey 3

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Resene Duck Egg Blue

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Resene Freestyling

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Resene Half Friar Grey

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Resene Inside Back

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Resene Quarter Foundry

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Resene Quarter Stonehenge

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Resene Quarter Taupe Grey

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Resene Silver Aluminium

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Resene Silver Lining

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Resene Surrender

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Resene Transmission

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Resene Triple White Pointer

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the look

If you're stuck on what
colour to use or need colour
advice, try out the Resene
Ask a Colour Expert service.

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Resene Blast Grey 3

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Resene Duck Egg Blue

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Resene Freestyling

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Resene Half Friar Grey

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Resene Inside Back

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Resene Quarter Foundry

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Resene Quarter Stonehenge

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Resene Quarter Taupe Grey

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Resene Silver Aluminium

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Resene Silver Lining

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Resene Surrender

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Resene Transmission

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Resene Triple White Pointer

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the look

If you're stuck on what
colour to use or need colour
advice, try out the Resene
Ask a Colour Expert service.