What Colors go with Gray

What Colors Go With Gray? – How to Create Gray Color Schemes

This post may contain affiliate links. We may earn a small commission from purchases made through them, at no additional cost to you.

Despite its somewhat dull complexion, gray is an extremely versatile color. Gray is not only able to stand on its own as a bold and interesting color, but it is one that is able to complement countless others to create striking gray color schemes. You may be surprised as to how vital such a shade has become throughout the art and design industry, and see why so many artists rely on its subtle yet dominating appearance. Come along as we take a closer look at what colors go with gray, as well as the many gray color schemes and accent colors for gray that you can incorporate into your own designs or outfits at home.



What Color Is Gray?

At first glance, it may not be immediately apparent that gray is a timeless and elegant color that exudes sophistication and calm. As a perfect neutral, gray bridges the gap between black and white, and is an incredibly varied shade that can be used in all manner of settings. The shade itself has become widely known for its sleek and understated qualities and aesthetics, providing the perfect backdrop for an exceptionally wide range of colors that go with gray.

Colors that go with Gray

Similar to lighter shades of blue, green, and purple, gray has often been described as a “cool” color, and is also associated with the sky on a cloudy day or the surface of a bare rock. As such, it tends to have a calming effect on the body and mind, and is likely why it has become such a common occurrence in interior design, creating a soothing ambiance in any room. However, gray is not just a single solid color, it is actually made up of a whole range of varying shades and hues. From pale, white grays to darker, near blacks, the options are truly limitless. With this, it allows the gray color palette to be paired with both warm and cool colors near effortlessly, making it a truly versatile color.

It can also present itself in different undertones, like the previously mentioned blue, purple or green, all of which can change the overall feel of the color itself.

Gray ColorGray Hex CodeRGBCMYK Color Code (%)Shade of Gray
Gray#808080255,215,00, 0, 0, 50
Dark Gray#828282130, 130, 1300, 0, 0, 49
Mink#88807b136, 128, 1230, 6, 10, 47
Fossil#787276120, 114, 1180, 5, 2, 53
Pearl River#d9dddc217, 221, 2202, 0, 0, 13
Abalone#d6cfc7214, 207, 1990, 3, 7, 16
Thunder#bebdb8189, 183, 1710, 1, 3, 25
Pewter#999da0153, 157, 1604, 2, 0, 37
Steel#777b7e119, 123, 1266, 2, 0, 51
Charcoal#22202134, 32, 330, 6, 3, 87

Something you may notice when looking at the table above would have to be gray’s chameleon-like qualities, such as the way in which it can take on the qualities of its surrounding colors. This is precisely why gray is so commonly used as a neutral backdrop for bolder shades and hues. By allowing other colors in a space to take center stage, the gray color palette is able to create a sense of balance and harmony.



What Colors Complement Gray?

When on the search to fill your wardrobe or paint collection with colors that go with gray, it is important to consider the various undertones in question, as well as the level of contrast that you are looking to create. This is because gray is a timeless and varied color that can be paired with an endless list of shades to create a cohesive and stylish look. For such a harmonious look, it is best to choose colors that are able to match the undertones of the gray color palette that you are working with.

Best Color Combination with Gray

For example, if you are wanting to complement gray that presents cooler undertones, much like blue or green, consider pairing it with shades of blue, green, or even purple. If your gray has warmer undertones like red or yellow, however, then you cannot go wrong with pairing it with shades of red, orange, or yellow. To achieve a bolder look, you can complement gray with vibrant and contrasting colors, such as bright shades of red or yellow, both of which can pop against a cool, blue-gray background. Overall, when it comes to understanding what colors go with gray, the main key is to consider the undertones of the gray in question, as well as how much contrast you want to create. With such factors in mind, let us take a look at the various gray color schemes that we can create for ourselves at home.


Gray Complementary Color

By looking at colors and their complementary counterparts, you will find that they always sit opposite one another on the color wheel. By trying to find the gray complementary color, however, you may have some trouble as neither white nor black, alongside every shade in between, are nowhere to be found on the color wheel. While this does leave gray in a fairly unique position, it is not to say that there are no colors that complement gray.

In fact, when it comes to choosing complementary colors to gray, there are quite a few different options to choose from. One of the all-time classics would have to be yellow, which presents a warmth that creates a striking contrast to the coolness of gray when paired together.

ColorHex CodeRGBCMYK Color Code(%)Shade of Color
Gray#808080255, 215, 00, 0, 0, 50
Yellow#ffff00255, 255, 00, 0, 100, 0

Another great pairing would include purple, as the dazzling and vibrant undertones of purple can help to balance out the softer, understated shades of gray. This combination works to create a striking yet sophisticated contrast that adds depth and interest to any space.

ColorHex CodeRGBCMYK Color Code (%)Shade of Color
Gray#808080255, 215, 00, 0, 0, 50
Purple#800080128, 0, 1280, 50, 0, 50

Colors that go with Light Gray

Another stunning color pairing with gray would have to be navy blue. Similar to purple, navy blue allows the user to add an elegant touch to their outfits or designs. Alongside gray, this color combination creates a timeless and refined aesthetic.

ColorHex CodeRGBCMYK Color Code (%)Shade of Color
Gray#808080255, 215, 00, 0, 0, 50
Navy Blue#0000800, 0, 12850, 50, 0, 50

For a more feminine touch, softer shades such as blush pink are able to complement the subtlety of gray, creating a harmonious color palette. With its romantic yet soothing aesthetic, this is a combination that may work wonders in the form of an outfit or even an intimate painting.

ColorHex CodeRGBCMYK Color Code (%)Shade of Color
Gray#808080255, 215, 00, 0, 0, 50
Blush Pink#fe828c254, 130, 1400, 49, 45, 0

However, if you are looking to achieve a much cozier aesthetic, then the warm and rich shade of rust orange has been known to create an inviting palette.

This combination may be perfect when looking to achieve a more rustic or even a traditional aesthetic!

ColorHex CodeRGBCMYK Color Code (%)Shade of Color
Gray#808080255, 215, 00, 0, 0, 50
Rust Orange#c45508196, 85, 80, 57, 96, 23

One last color that manages to complement the color gray in just the right way would have to be forest green. This deep shade is able to add a natural and earthy undertone to the dullness of gray, creating a more serene and calming look.

ColorHex CodeRGBCMYK Color Code (%)Shade of Color
Gray#808080255, 215, 00, 0, 0, 50
Forest Green#006e330, 110, 51100, 0, 100, 31

Compliment Gray

It is worth mentioning again that the color that you complement with your gray should be based on the undertone of the gray itself, as warmer grays may be best complemented by cooler colors, and vice versa. With this in mind, you are sure to create striking contrasts that are perfect for any setting. In conclusion, choosing the right complementary color for gray depends on the undertones that you are presented with, as well as your desired level of contrast. Yellow, purple, and orange are all classic colors to pair with gray, and can all help to create a beautiful and harmonious look. Why not try to experiment with cool and warm complementary colors to see how they work with the undertone of your gray colors to achieve a combination that you like most?

You may even be hard-pressed to find the best color combination with gray just simply by the sheer volume of striking and breathtaking pairings.


Accent Colors for Gray

By talking to any stylist, you may be told that finding the right accent colors for gray may be an art form in itself. Whether you are redesigning your home’s color scheme, or if you are creating your own canvas painting, you may often feel that there is something missing. In fact, it may typically be the case that it could be an accent color. For your own designs, one option you can consider is to choose accent colors that match the undertones of the gray that you are working with.

For example, if you are working with grays that have cool undertones, you may find that shades of blue, green, or purple can create a soothing and harmonious look when paired together.

ColorHex CodeRGBCMYK Color Code (%)Shade of Color
Cool Gray#8c92ac140,146,17219,15,0,33
Sky Blue#30d5c80,181,22659, 25, 0, 15
Seafoam#3ded97163,193,17330, 0, 15, 11

Another option is to opt for earthy and more natural colors as your accent color. Such options can include olive green, terracotta, and mustard, as these are shades that add a natural and organic feel to any background and complements gray beautifully.

ColorHex CodeRGBCMYK Color Code (%)Shade of Color
Light Gray#d3d3d3211, 211, 2110, 0, 0, 17
Olive Green#808000128,128,00, 0, 100, 50
Terracotta#e3735e203,104,670, 50, 60, 11
Mustard#ffdb58255, 219, 880, 14, 65, 0

Gray Complementary Color



How to Mix Your Own Gray Paint

Mixing your own gray paint can be a fun and cost-effective way to create the perfect shade for your space or project. It is also the best option if you cannot seem to find the exact shade of gray that you may be looking for at your local paint or hardware store. Thankfully, we have left a step-by-step guide to mixing your own gray paint at home! To start things off, you will first need to gather the following supplies:

  • Clean mixing container
  • Stirring stick
  • Paints (black, white, blue, green, purple, and yellow)

Once all of the above has been gathered, you can get started by following the steps below:

  • With a generous amount of white paint already in your container as your base, start by adding in small amounts of black paint and mix with your stirring stick. Continue doing so until you achieve your desired shade.
  • To adjust the hue of your gray, you can simply add a variety of different colors. For a cooler effect, add a touch of blue paint. On the other hand, you can add a touch of yellow to give your gray a slight gold hue.

Gray Color Schemes

  • Once you have decided upon the shade and hue that you would like to attain and have added the respective colors to the container, mix your combination together with your stirring stick. Once mixed, take a small amount of paint and test it on a piece of scrap paper to see how it reacts to natural light to adjust the color as needed.
  • Then, once you have achieved your desired shade, you can label and store your paint in a cool and dry place for future use.
ColorHex CodeRGBCMYK Color Code (%)Shade of Color
Black#0000000, 0, 000, 0, 0, 100
White#ffffff255, 255, 2550, 0, 0, 0
Blue#0000ff0, 0, 255100, 100, 0, 0
Yellow#ffff00255, 255, 00, 0, 100, 0

In spite of its seemingly dull appearance, mixing your own gray paint can still be a fun and creative process, and it is a great way to attain the perfect shade for your personal space. With just a bit of experimentation, you will soon be able to create the perfect shade of gray paint to suit your needs!


In the end, gray remains a timeless and elegant color that exudes a peaceful sophistication that has become a favorite amongst designers and homeowners alike. Its expansive range of shades and undertones gives it the ability to adapt to practically any situation, making it the perfect choice for a number of design and art projects.




Frequently Asked Questions


Does Gray and Brown Go Together?

As one of the most frequently asked questions in interior design, many find themselves wondering, “does gray and brown go together?”. The simple answer is yes, as they both evoke a sense of warmth, earthiness, and harmony, that creates a cohesive and stylish look.


Are There Colors That Go With Light Gray?

While understated in its appearance, there are a number of rich and interesting colors that go with light gray, namely olive green, terracotta, and mustard. Such pairings provide an earthy and more natural color scheme, which provides a stunning yet organic texture to any space.


How Does One Create the Best Color Combination With Gray?

In order to create the best color combination with gray, you first need to consider the gray’s undertone as well as the contrast you want to achieve. Once you have a goal in mind, you should then experiment with the different shades before adding variety. Remember, cooler shades of gray contrast perfectly against warmer tones, and vice versa!


What Is the Meaning of the Color Gray?

Depending on where you look, gray may seem to take on a variety of different meanings. On one end, gray is associated with concepts of neutrality, balance, and feelings of peace and calmness. On the other end, gray has been used as a symbol for maturity and wisdom.


How Can I Incorporate Gray into My Wardrobe?

In one’s wardrobe, gray is an incredibly versatile color that can be paired with a variety of other colors and unique styles when used correctly. By using gray as a secondary color and allowing your existing color palette to shine, clothing items such as a gray sweater, pants, or even a cap can be a great fit.


Is Gray a Warm or a Cool Color?

Depending on the color’s undertone, gray can be both a warm and cool color. Gray may feel warmer if it has yellow, beige, or pink undertones, while a cool gray may have blue undertones instead.

Similar Posts