If you paint enough rooms, you’ll have the fan decks memorized and you’ll have a select group of colors that almost always work. Your go-to paint colors. I’m pretty close to committing the entire Benjamin Moore Classic Colors fan deck to memory but I also have a few colors that I always try first because they look great in most settings.
sampling exterior colors at Grout Cottage project
I like complicated colors that don’t read clearly one way or another, is it blue, green or gray—it appears slightly blue in the daylight and entirely gray at night. Choosing paint colors is pretty challenging, it’s a sampling and trial and error based process– like when I painted the same house three times (not recommended). Exterior painting is trickier than interior in my opinion because so much of the house’s identity rests on the colors.
To make the selection process a little less of a guessing game I’ve got a set of go-to neutral paint colors. This particular set contains all Benjamin Moore colors.
Paper White OC-55
This is a great subtle gray. If you need just a hint of gray, this is your color. It’s crisp and it can go modern or cottage.
Simply White OC-117
For the last year or so I’ve been steadily using Simply White for all my trim, cabinetry and millwork. It’s a relatively warm white but remains pretty crisp because the yellow tone isn’t overdone. It plays well every time even with walls that are painted white. I apply it in satin but I’m sure it’s great glossy.
Trim detail at the Grout Cottage
Dressing room cabinet detail at friend’s Master Bedroom project
This is a warm gray that in the evenings when subjected to only interior light doesn’t turn lilac. I commonly use it in living areas and bedrooms but it will work anywhere.
White Dove OC-17
I’ve painted both kitchens and baths White Dove. It’s an almost infallible warm white that works well on millwork and cabinetry and makes for the perfect wall color for those white kitchens that we all love.
Stonington Gray HC-170
If you’re looking for a cooler, more traditional gray that stays consistent throughout the day and night, this gray is a good option. I’ve only used this particular gray in living areas.
Finished living room at Indiana Project
Healing Aloe 1562
Healing Aloe lives in that uncertain mix of blue, gray and green. It can go any of those three directions depending on the amount of light in the room. But no matter which direction it turns it always looks great. Although I commonly use it in bathrooms, it worked out surprisingly well in the dining room at the Connecticut house.
Images in this post via The Estate of Things or Pinterest