Paint color for bathroom

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Now that the bathroom has been properly tiled in the shower and the floor, I am having a terrible time with paint colors. The tile is Griegio by MSI.
Really want a gray color, but they either come out light blue or purple. I have tried 12 different samples and it is getting expensive not to mention exhausting looking for the right color.
  28 answers
  • Versatile Kitchen Versatile Kitchen on Mar 26, 2014
    Take one of those mosaic tiles to the store (guessing you want that grey) they will custom match the color. Try it on the sample before you choose the gallon though.

  • Shari Shari on Mar 26, 2014
    On my computer monitor, it looks as though your tiles have some pinky beige in them so you probably need a gray with pink (instead of blue or lavender) undertones or a "greige" paint color--a combination of beige and gray. Check out this Pinterest link for brands and names of some of the popular greige paint colors and then, as Versatile Kitchen suggested, take one of your tiles to the paint store to see how the greige colors look in person with your tile. http://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=greige

  • The tiles are pretty, I would take a tile to any paint store and match the tile its self.

  • Dee Dee on Mar 26, 2014
    Thanks to Versatile Kitchen and Shari. The tiles are actually gray, white and a tiny bit of brown. Not Pink. I have taken the tiles to Benjamin Moore, Lowes, and SW. I have literally 12 samples of little paint samples. Either they come out too blue, too light, or too purple. I am at my whits end. I just got another sample of paint in coventry gray by BM. Haven't tried it yet. One question, I have been mostly getting Valspar samples because they are cheaper, does it make a big difference if you color match rather than getting a Benj. Moore sample which is $7 vs $3?

  • Dee Dee on Mar 26, 2014
    Also, I have found that I like the coverage of Ace's Clark and Kenningston from their sample, has anyone used this paint?

  • Lori J Lori J on Mar 26, 2014
    I love Ace's Clark & Kenningstons. Love them. And they will mix free quarts!!

  • Shari Shari on Mar 26, 2014
    Selecting paint colors can be tricky (as you are obviously figuring out). Many grays have blue or lavender undertones which is why your samples are looking blue or lavender to you. Gray can also have green or pink undertones. I realize there is no actual pink colors in your tiles, per say, but the beige tones may have pink undertones so that's why I'm thinking you need a gray with either pink undertones OR a gray that leans toward the pinky-beige (not yellow-beige) side. If you have trouble seeing the undertones of colors (many people do), hopefully you have a friend or relative that is good at detecting them and can help you select an appropriate paint color. If you can find a paint salesman (or professional painter) who has been in the paint business a long time, they may also be good at seeing the undertones. This article (and others found on the web) might help you understand undertones: http://www.housepaintingtutorials.com/interior-paint-color.html I'm usually pretty good at seeing undertones and I'd be glad to help you if we lived closer. I'm not sure if Lowe's will/can color match other brands in the sample size. Quarts and gallons, definitely yes but I **think** you are limited to the colors Lowe's sells for samples. It wouldn't hurt to ask someone at the Lowe's paint counter and if they can offer samples color matched to other brands, that will certainly open up a lot of other choices for you. Sorry, I have never used any of Ace's brands of paint.

  • Dee Dee on Mar 26, 2014
    Lowes definitely does color match. I have been getting the samples there because they are a lot cheaper. What I was wondering was are they true color matches???? I just put Coventry Gray on the wall and it has the same purple undertone as all the other colors I had color matched at Lowes. I can see undertones perfectly, that is why I am having a problem with the paints. No Doubt they are grays, but I do not want blue or purple [red] undertones. But thank you for the website, I will read it later tonight. Thank you Lori for telling me about C&K paint. I felt it was thicker than the others, the color that I chose came out really light. But the paint is nice and smooth. Does it wash easily? My next color choice is going to be Dorian Gray by SW. I may just bite the bullet and get a SW sample to see if there is a difference. Thanks everyone for your help. I am ready to pull my hair out. I absolutely love our new shower and tile. They used a silver grout with it, and I even tried a silver color but it was way to light.

    • Margie*Lee Margie*Lee on Mar 28, 2014
      @Dee We will NEVER again have Lowe's try to match a color. We spent way too much money on wasted gallons of paint because they couldn't match our living room paint color. I was in Meijer and they had Glidden paint on sale for $10 a gallon and I showed them my swatch of paint color and they matched it perfectly! I only need to repaint one wall in our living room and that was almost 10 years ago and you cannot tell which wall we painted. Lowe's is just NOT our choice of place to buy paint. We get our paint at Home Depot and we prefer Behr and Glidden.

  • Shari Shari on Mar 26, 2014
    I just had another thought about a way that you might be able to more readily identify undertones in paint colors. Take a pure white sheet of computer paper to the paint store with you. Lay your paint chip selections on the white paper one at a time and see if you can detect the undertones better. Also, the solid medium gray tiles in your border tile look great with the large tiles. Have you tried matching one of those to a paint color? If you find a match that way and feel it is too dark, you can always have the paint store clerk lighten the color by 25, 50 or even 75 percent, meaning they program the computer to put 25, 50 or 75 percent less tint color in the base paint. (You can also ask them to darken a color by 25, 50 or 75 percent more too.)

  • Dee Dee on Mar 26, 2014
    You read my mind about the tile border. They are glass and the medium color is beautiful. Just did not know if they could match to a glass tile. But I like the idea of getting the lighter shade and making it darker if necessary. Did not know they would do that. I think I am going to go back to BM for my paint. Have never used it but from what I have been reading it is supposed to be wonderful ..... Any opinions on paint? I actually did put the paint chips on a white background. I am starting to think that when a color is color matched it is not the best way to go. Maybe their base is different or something, because they are not coming near the color coded card.

  • Shari Shari on Mar 26, 2014
    Most of the time I pick paint from a paint chip but I have had Behr colors color matched to Valspar paint on several occasions and it seemed on the money to me but I was getting quarts and gallons, not sample sizes...and it was before Valspar/Lowe's switched to their paint/primer combo paint, which I hate. I had one Lowe's paint clerk tell me the new paint/primer tint base has changed all of their paint formulas. Hmmmm, now that I'm thinking about it, a few months ago, I picked up a can of a Valspar paint of a color I had used before. I needed to do some touch-up on a piece of furniture I had painted about 6 years ago. It is definitely not the same color as the original paint so I'm going to have to repaint the entire piece at some point. Maybe it's the Valspar tint base that's throwing your samples off (and maybe that's why my paint should have matched, but clearly didn't) . I also recall one paint clerk telling me about 4 years ago that fabric was hard to color match from because the color is not solid and the light that filters through it can confuse the computer. If that is indeed true, I suspect if you try to have them color match from your medium gray border tile, you could possibly run into the same problem since the tile is glass and essentially translucent. I would first try holding the tile up to the display of color chips and see if something comes close. Don't forget lighting also plays a huge roll in the way a paint color looks. When picking out the paint chips, the store lights can make them look one way. Take those same chips outside in the natural daylight and they won't look like they did in the store. Get them home and the lighting in your bathroom will probably again change the way the color looks. I've even had paint look completely different on the different walls of the same room! It's enough to drive you crazy if you let it so I have had to let go of some of my obsessive-compulsive tendencies to get the "perfect" paint color. Sometimes you have to let "good" be "good enough." As far as paint brands, I've had 2 bad experiences with Behr paint not covering well so I wouldn't use that if you gave it to me for free. I used to be a diehard Valspar fan and used a ton of it in 2 houses and on lots of furniture pieces over a 5-6 year period. However, as I mentioned, I have definitely not been happy with their newish all-in-one paint & primer so since that is all they seem to be offering these days, I think I'll be switching over to Sherwin WIlliams. BM is suppose to be very good too (but pricey), but I am not aware of any BM retailers convenient to me since I moved to "Hooterville."

  • Dee Dee on Mar 26, 2014
    Shari thanks for the detailed answer. I totally agree that paint colors look different in different light. I used to love Behr paint, but since HD changed the formula I hate it. I primed and painted my hallway and one wall took 7 coats of paint. YIKES! SW eggshell is very shiny and their semi gloss is just a little under a gloss shine. Never used Clark and Kenningston, but the sample went on smooth. I like BM colors, but never used it either. Have heard that their paint is superior, they do have different grades and price as low as $35, it is not their Aroura paint, but $70 a gal is just too pricy. I too used to like Valspar, but have seen a decline in their paint with the change of formula. I really think the base paint is the answer. Gray is a hard color to paint with. My bathroom is small and my wood doors are dark, so it gives off shadows. definitely changes the colors. Again thank you for all your help. Hopefully this Coventry gray when it dries will be a food color, if not I am going to try Dorian gray.

  • Shari Shari on Mar 27, 2014
    I had two similar experiences with Behr, except one was on a much larger (and costly) scale. It took a whopping 18 gallons of Behr paint to paint the exterior of our former (very small) house. We had painted 3 or 4 times in the 35 years we had lived there and it never took more than 10 gallons every other time Yikes is right! Good luck. I hope you find the perfect color to go with you lovely new bathroom. :)

  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Mar 27, 2014
    I have even taken a base white and added a touch of tone from another paint to get the color I needed. Of course this was on a much smaller basis. Go by the craft store and pick up some small bottles of black and white acrylic (water base) paint and make your own color (you can get a brown one if you want a bit of a brown touch, some blue, some red, maybe a bottle of yellow...these are cheap). IMPORTANT: Acrylic paint has to dry to show its true color! Then once you get what you think is the right color, paint a little on all 4 walls of your bathroom so you can see how the light catches it or changes it. Keep doing this until you get what you want and then have it mixed at Lowes if that is your choice of vendors. (You can kilz out your mistakes) Make sure you have the window treatments up that you plan to use so you get the correct lighting. Make your own paint chip to use to have the paint mixed by pouring paint on a white piece of paper (pouring gets it even). HD used to be so good that I took a pair of curtains in to them and they matched the color! Haven't bought paint in a while....

  • Dee Dee on Mar 27, 2014
    Shari, that is exactly why I will not use Behr. Not crazy about Valspar either these days. The guy at the paint counter told me that with the new low VOC paint they took out some chemicals which made the paint cover in one coat. I know years ago I painted my entire house in Behr and it was beautiful. But never again. I will use the lower cost samples from there to make my decision. I figure if the color comes close the originator of the paint will match it.

  • Dee Dee on Mar 27, 2014
    Jeanette, never thought of adding acrylics to make a paint color. I have costumed made paint from latex that I have had around the house. In fact I intend to mix all the samples and see what color I come up with. If it is nice I will use it for my vanity as I want it to be a darker shade of gray. We'll see currently waiting on a second coat to dry to see what color this Coventry Gray from Benj Moore comes out.

  • Mary Thorne Mary Thorne on Mar 28, 2014
    I don't have a paint answer. I'm just loving that tile work!

  • Dee Dee on Mar 28, 2014
    Thank you Mary, I think they did a great job in the end. Had some bumps in the road but all were fixed.

  • Margie*Lee Margie*Lee on Mar 28, 2014
    Take one of your floor or wall tiles with you to wherever you want to buy your paint. We just had our bathroom redone and that is what I did. We have grey tiles and I had NO idea how many different shades of grey there are! We chose Behr Pensive Sky and it's perfect for our new bathroom. I never would have given that color swatch a thought if we hadn't taken one of our floor tiles with us. Good luck!

  • Dee Dee on Mar 28, 2014
    Margie: Believe it or not I have been taking the tiles with me to the paint stores. But when I get home and try it on the wall, it is a totally different color, I think I finally have a winner, it is Benj. Moore Coventry Gray, It is a little light, but I am going to ask the paint guy to darken it a bit. It darkening does not change the undertones and only makes it a darker color, I think this will work. If not I may just go let it go and get the lighter color.

    • See 1 previous
    • Dee Dee on Apr 07, 2014
      Norma I think you will love this color if you want a little blue undertones. I actually changed my mind when I went to Benjamin Moore. I brought my tiles and trim and their paint expert coordinated my tiles with a color called bone black. It is really a perfect medium gray. It is a matte finish which is scrubable. I am in the process of priming all trim and door jambs. I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel. YEA!!!

  • Michele Eures Michele Eures on Mar 28, 2014
    It could be that the light and the reflection of your tile is bringing out the other undertones you don't want. I find it very difficult to get paint color right in bathrooms. Something about the size of the room, lack of natural light at times, and the reflection from all that tile and hardware. What if you painted a base color first, too. Or you could always go with a different color. I think the beige-y tones in the tile could be used and would warm up the room color a little bit.

    • Dee Dee on Mar 28, 2014
      @Michele Eures Tried a beige paint and it looked awful. Tried sage green, same thing. Gray is so hard to work with. If I would have know that, I would have gotten white tiles. But I can say I do love my tiles.

  • Margie*Lee Margie*Lee on Mar 28, 2014
    Interesting reading all the negative comments regarding Behr paint. That is mostly the brand we always used and I've never had any problems. It is expensive but I've always had good results. The other brand I prefer and it is MUCH cheaper is Glidden paint. That brand was recommended to a friend of mine by the contractor who was working on her house. I've had very good luck with that brand of paint also. Valspar paint is supposed to be good but our experience with Lowe's has turned us off from using their paint. They simply cannot match colors and that is important to me.

    • Dee Dee on Mar 28, 2014
      @Margie*Lee Lately I have had a terrible problem with Behr. I do not find it too expensive, because SW is about $50 a gal, and Benj Morre is anywhere from $38-$70. I refuse to pay $70. I used Glidden many years ago, have no idea what it is like these days. Since all the formulas were changed to low VOC there is something lacking in the paint. I went to BM moore today and I will not go back the rudest paint guy ever!!!

  • Gorgeous tile! I did find a nice pale grey from Clark + Kensington at Ace Hardware - Ancient Grey. Hope this helps!

    • Dee Dee on Mar 29, 2014
      @Cher @ Designs By Studio C I will check the color out as soon as I can. Thank you.

  • Sherrie Sherrie on Mar 28, 2014
    Gray is a hard color. I picked out gray for my bathroom and it came out blue. I just painted my kitcheN, dining room, and family room ( they run together). But it come out not even looking gray in the family room but in the dining room it looks altogether different. It's the lighting in a room. Gray is weird, I have seen darker gray with a dark base..my guess is more black.

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    • Sherrie Sherrie on Mar 28, 2014
      I know it's a tricky color. Try a color with more base black. Lighting which one of my rooms with a lot of light it almost makes the color a weird color until night time. Then you can see the gray better. By the way I love love your bathroom make over. I probably bought 15 samples before I found the right color. Go to a high quality paint store like Sherwin Williams. They can help you. Then if you find the paint color you like have it color matched if you want a cheaper paint. They really worked with me on my house. I have a older smaller house.

  • Sherrie Sherrie on Mar 28, 2014
    This color is gray mist. I kept it because I liked it. But it wasn't originally what I wanted nor did it look like the paint chip. This is the same color in the same room.

  • TJ TJ on Mar 28, 2014
    Interesting reading all of these comments. I have the opposite problem. We retiled our bath with large tiles that had a tan base tone. After they were all up, the tiles looked gray which was NOT what I wanted. The person who did the tiling says he thinks its because of the peach wall color. Now I have been trying to find a peach or coral that will tone out the gray look of the tiles. So I will keep following this conversation for ideas for my problem . good luck.

  • Katie Katie on Mar 28, 2014
    I don't know if you can get Farrow & Ball where you live but they have some beautiful greys and the paint has a luminous quality you don't find in most other paints.

    • Dee Dee on Mar 29, 2014
      @Katie No we do not have Farrow and Ball or P&G.

  • Dee Dee on Apr 02, 2014
    Afew days ago I found out the both Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore offerdesigner services. Not all locations, you have to check with the individualstores. However SW told me that it cost $100 per session, however they takethat price off of the paint. Since I am only painting a small bathroom, Idecided to call Benjamin Moore. They do not charge for their services. Thestaff at my BM was fabulous. Helped me pick out a color called Bone BlackCW-715, which is really a true light gray. Hel also told me it could be tweakedif necessary to make it darker if I so deemed. I am waiting for the paint todry, but so far this is a “True Gray” paint. It is also a washable, anti moldpaint in a Matte finish. I am thrilled about that, because I did not wantshine.