Choose the Perfect Gray Paint for Your Kitchen Walls in 5 Simple Steps

If you’re looking to give your kitchen a stylish makeover, gray paint is a versatile, timeless choice. Gone are the days when gray equaled drab and dreary. Today’s gray paint colors span a range of beautiful, sophisticated tones from warm grays with cozy undertones to cool, sleek grays with a modern vibe. Painting your kitchen walls gray can update the space, add dimension, and completely transform the look of your cabinets, counters, and backsplash.

But settling on the perfect shade of gray paint for your kitchen can feel overwhelming. The key is to choose a gray with the right undertones to complement your existing decor. Follow these 5 simple steps to confidently pick a gray paint color that gives your kitchen walls a stunning, designer look.

Step 1: Determine Your Preferred Undertones

Not all grays are created equal. Gray paint colors have undertones that dramatically impact their look and feel. Before choosing a gray, decide whether you want to go for a warm, cool or neutral undertone.

gray paint for kitchen walls

Warm Gray Kitchen Paint

Grays with warm undertones have hints of yellow, peach, orange, or red in them. This gives them a cozy, welcoming vibe perfect for traditional kitchens. Warm gray paint colors include:

  • Sherwin Williams Mindful Gray
  • Behr Silver Marlin
  • Benjamin Moore Classic Gray

These popular warm grays for kitchen walls provide just enough personality without overwhelming the space. Their subtle undertones add a touch of comfort and harmony to any kitchen design.

Cool Gray Kitchen Paint

On the other end of the spectrum, cool grays have undertones of blue, green, or purple. This gives them a more modern, sleek look. Cool grays are ideal if you want your kitchen walls to feel crisp and contemporary. Some cool-toned gray paint colors to consider include:

  • Benjamin Moore Gray Owl
  • Behr Silver Drop
  • Sherwin Williams Online

These chic grays complement stainless steel appliances and minimalist kitchen designs. Their blueish undertones create an almost icy, soothing ambiance.

Neutral Gray Kitchen Paint

If you want maximum versatility from your gray wall color, go for a neutral-toned gray without obvious warm or cool undertones. Neutral grays act as a subtle backdrop that works with nearly any kitchen decor. Great neutral gray paint options include:

  • Benjamin Moore Gray Cashmere
  • Behr Dolphin Fin
  • Sherwin Williams Repose Gray

These flexible yet stylish gray shades effortlessly span traditional to contemporary design aesthetics. Keep them in mind if you want a gray that plays well with others.

Step 2: Consider the Existing Elements in Your Kitchen

When deciding on a gray paint color, it’s crucial to consider what’s already in your kitchen. Factoring in your existing countertops, backsplash, cabinets, and floors ensures your new gray walls complement the overall look rather than fight against it.

For example, warm grays tend to pair best with wood cabinetry while cool grays match well with modern finishes like stainless steel or concrete. If your kitchen has a noticeable cool or warm color scheme, choose a gray paint with similar undertones. You want your gray walls to coordinate with – not compete with – everything else in the space.

Don’t just look at your kitchen’s permanent features. Think about the natural and artificial light as well. Order several gray paint swatches or samples and view them on your actual kitchen walls at different times of day and night. A gray that appears light and airy in daylight could look dingy after dark once the yellow tones disappear. Seeing paint colors in situ allows you to judge how adaptable a gray really is.

Step 3: Select 2-3 Gray Paint Candidates

Once you’ve analyzed your kitchen and determined whether a warm, cool or neutral gray is best, it’s time to zero in on a few contenders. Order samples or paint test strips in your top choices and paint them on your walls.

Cover at least a 3 foot square section of wall with each gray paint option and let them dry completely. This gives you a large enough area to accurately judge the colors. View your painted swatches at all times of day before deciding.

Many companies like Behr and Benjamin Moore also offer sample-size pots of paint so you can test colors before fully committing. Painting directly on your walls provides the truest sense of what a color will look like in your unique lighting.

Step 4: Buy Your Chosen Gray Paint

Once you’ve settled on the perfect gray shade for your kitchen walls, it’s time to head to the paint store. For the most accurate color match, have the store scan your gray paint swatch or sample and color-match it in the sheen and brand you want.

When choosing a paint brand, go for quality. Higher end brands like Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams offer excellent coverage and durability – well worth the extra investment for kitchen walls that see a lot of wear and tear.

Be sure to purchase enough paint all at once for color consistency across your entire kitchen. It’s wise to buy an extra gallon in case you need to do touch-ups down the road. With your gray paint in hand, you’re ready to give your kitchen walls a stunning makeover.

Step 5: Paint Your Gray Kitchen Walls

The final step is prepping your walls and applying that gorgeous new gray paint. Begin by thoroughly cleaning your walls and then sanding down any bumps or rough patches. Fill any holes with spackle and sand smooth once dry.

Use high quality painters tape around trim, ceilings, and edges for super crisp lines. Lay down drop cloths to protect your floors and cabinets. For best results, apply two coats of your gray paint allowing proper drying time in between.

Stand back once finished and admire your sophisticated gray kitchen walls. With the right warm, cool or neutral undertone, your kitchen will look polished, designer-worthy and completely pulled together.

Best Gray Paint Brands for Kitchen Walls

Looking for top-rated gray paints to give your kitchen an instant facelift? Here are some of the best brands to choose from:

Benjamin Moore

Known for its incredible selection of grays, Benjamin Moore offers over 50 gray paint colors spanning every possible undertone. Their acrylic-based paint provides excellent adhesion and durability – perfect for high traffic kitchen walls. The soft matte Regal Select finish beautifully withstands washing and scrubbing.

Sherwin Williams

A go-to brand for interior designers and paint professionals, Sherwin Williams makes gorgeous gray paints like Mindful Gray and Repose Gray. Their premium Duration and Emerald lines offer incredible hide and lasting color retention that maintains its integrity wash after wash.


For outstanding quality at a lower price point, Behr offers an amazing array of gray paint options. Their Marquee interior paint line provides one coat coverage and exceptional durability, with a dirt resistant finish that’s easy to clean. Silver Drop and Dolphin Fin are two of Behr’s most popular grays.

No matter which brand you choose, look for quality paint with a durable finish. For kitchen walls that see a lot of cooking messes and cleaning, grays with glossier finishes will hold up better than flat paint.

Looking for ways to implement gray paint into your kitchen design? Check out these beautiful gray kitchens showcasing different hues and color combinations:

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Whether you opt for warm grays like Benjamin Moore’s Balboa Mist or cool grays like Sherwin Williams’ Mindful Gray, gray kitchen walls add subtle sophistication. Combining your gray paint with textures like exposed brick, tiles, or shiplap keeps the look interesting.

Pair gray kitchen walls with crisp white trim or go bold with black accents and fixtures for serious drama. Use lighter gray on upper cabinets and darker gray on lowers for contrast. Windows, lighting, and metal finishes all impact how gray paint looks, so consider different ways to enhance your chosen shade.

It’s the perfect time to swap your all-white kitchen for chic, mood- boosting gray walls. Follow these tips to easily narrow down the ideal warm, cool or neutral gray paint color for your unique space. Then sit back and enjoy your kitchen’s breathtaking, polished new look.

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