Best Neutral Paint Colors

Best Neutral Paint Colors

Sarah Coffey
Nov 16, 2009

When it comes to paint, "neutrals" aren't really neutral, and nobody seems to understand this better than our readers, who have searched far and wide for the perfect whites, off-whites, grays, and browns. For their recommendations, click below.

Left to Right: Benjamin Moore Atrium White, Monterey, Decorators White, China White from MyPerfectColor (colors are approximated, not exact)


  • From alex: Benjamin Moore Monterey White (HC-27) is great - and looks good in every light I've seen it in. For a really crisp white, I like BM Decorater's White. For a traditional look I like BM China White (satin or eggshell finish) on the walls and BM Atrium White in semigloss - it looks very rich. For a more clean modern traditional: BM 2143-60, Moonlight White on the walls looks great with BM Superwhite as trim.
  • From BklynJacquelyn: I am a big fan of Atrium white -- used in my baths and kitchen and for all trim in my apt. It has matched well with everything from the tan in my living room to the persimmon in my dining room to the bamboo green in my bedroom.
  • From mylittleapartment: I used Behr Moon Rise to take my kitchen from oily yellow to a clean, crisp white. it really opened the space and it looks fantastic.
Left to Right: Benjamin Moore November Rain, Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee, Benjamin Moore Soft Chamois, Benjamin Moore Minced Onion from MyPerfectColor


  • From mattab: I have used [Benjamin Moore] Swiss Coffee as the main color in my condo, with accent walls here and there. I really love the way it has united the spaces while still allowing each space to have its own feel with the accent colors. It looks great with warm, cool, light, or dark colors.
  • From linbo: My personal favorite is Tibetian Lily by Ralph Lauren (Home Depot). It was the only off white that worked in my 1940's yellow and black kitchen as well as the rest of the house.
  • From Cyril Blair: I love [Benjamin Moore] November Rain - I painted my living room with it, after considering Swiss Coffee, Soft Chamois, and Minced Onion (and about 50 other whites). I kept the existing paint trim, which is a very creamy white with a fair amount of yellow it in, and the ceiling is a stark white. These 3 whites together look fantastic.
Left to Right: Behr Doplhin Fin, Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray, Benjamin Moore Cement Gray, Behr Wheat Bread from MyPerfectColor


  • From rebeldress: I have the majority of our living space painted in Behr Wheat Bread and absolutely adore it.
  • From bmb: I've used Behr's Dolphin Fin in my last 3 bedrooms and still love it - it is a medium shade and fairly cool. Behr's Southern Shadows is great, too - it changes color with the lighting ranging in appearance from stark white to taupe to smoky gray.
  • From beddybee: Farrow & Ball's Light gray is perfect.
  • From MP: the BEST grey ever is Benajamin Moore's Stonington Gray. It's a light and neutral grey -- not blueish, not greenish, not purplish -- very clean, a perfect contrast to bright white. A really great color.
  • From pdx brooke: I have just painted my living room Benjamin Moore's Cement Gray. I am so thrilled with it, I can't even begin to tell you how great it is. It is a clean, crisp, soft gray that looks fabulous in the day or evening.
Left to Right: Pratt & Lambert Loam, Olympic Fudge Truffle, Benjamin Moore Bittwersweet Chocolate (similar to Hot Chocolate), Ralph Lauren Armagnac from MyPerfectColor


  • From kiminottawa: I love dark colours like this for a bedroom. I just painted mine Hot Chocolate by Benjamin Moore and I love it.
  • From patrick (the other one): I vote for Pratt & Lambert "Loam" #2015.
  • From syen: Definitely go with a chocolate brown - we used Lowes' home brand and a shade called "Fudge Truffle". We absolutely love the impact of the rich color.

Top Ten White Paints
The Best Off-White Paint
Finding the Perfect Gray
Gray Paint Recommendations?
ColorTherapy: Armagnac TH56

Images: My Perfect Color

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