Favorite Paint Colors
Home Decor Ideas

My Favorite Paint Colors (Sherwin Williams)

We all know that choosing paint colors is not an easy task. You can’t just go and pick up some “gray” paint. There are so many to choose from with such subtle differences! I’m going to share with you my favorite paint colors.

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When choosing paint colors, I like to look at rooms on Instagram and Pinterest and save ones that look good to me. It helps to see them in an actual space. So I thought I’d share what I’ve come up with as my personal favorites. Maybe this can help you on your search 😉

A lot of these colors are neutral, because they are personally what I like to have in my home!

To get a clear view of the colors, I DIDN’T USE FILTERS ON THESE PHOTOS. However, remember that lighting can change the look slightly from one photo to the next.

If you want to learn strategies for picking out paint colors, check out this post: https://www.thebrainandthebrawn.com/choosing-interior-paint-colors-7-strategies/

The Best Sherwin Williams Paint Colors

1. Accessible Beige

This is considered a “greige” but is more beige than gray. It is a nice subtle color. I chose it for our finished basement. I like how it’s adds some color without too much color. It’s just a touch of “greige” instead of feeling like full on tan or brown walls. Sometimes it reads off white even.

This shows SW accessible beige, one of my favorite paint colors!
sw accessible beige, one of my favorite paint colors
Sherwin Williams accessible beige
Sherwin Williams accessible beige

2. Alabaster

This is my favorite white. My go-to. I used it on the trim on the outside of my house, the trim inside (second time around), on built ins, my dining room chairs, a barn door, in my half bathroom, my entryway feature wall, family room and kitchen….I’m probably forgetting something, and I will use it again! I love that it is white without being super bright. Yet in some lights it does still seem bright. Some say it is actually more of an off white. It only looks that way to me if it is being compared up against a bright white. Even then it’s more “almost” off white. To me it’s just white and the perfect white.

The walls, cabinets and trim are all in SW alabaster here in the family room.

Sherwin Williams alabaster, peppercorn (stencil) and tricorn black (railing)

In some lighting or at different times of the day, it can look “almost off white” as it does in the background. However, the white used on this stenciled feature wall is also alabaster! You could even call it a bright white here.

Bathroom with shiplap painted in SW alabaster, one of my favorite paint colors.

The shiplap in this bathroom is painted in alabaster. The vanity is not, so you can see the difference in the whites here. (I don’t know the color of the vanity. It came in this color.)

The kitchen cabinets are also alabaster. (You can check out this kitchen makeover here.)

The walls, trim and door in this bathroom are all alabaster, but different sheens.

3. Iron Ore

Just as alabaster is a great white to me, I feel that iron ore is a great black. It’s not super stark, it’s a nice “light black.” To me it’s just right. You can see the difference here between the tiles (iron ore) and the darker black fireplace doors. However, if you are looking for a true black, this may be too light. In looking at it in other lights, it can read a little too much on the gray side.

SW iron ore, my favorite black paint color

In the family room, I painted the fireplace tiles and behind the shelving all with SW iron ore. (You can read all about this fireplace makeover here.)

4. Peppercorn

SW peppercorn is a very dark gray. Sometimes it reads almost black, but it is a true dark gray. I love the look of it!

Interior front door painted in SW peppercorn, one of my favorite paint colors
The stenciled chevron lines were done in SW peppercorn.

The stenciled chevron is in peppercorn, and here it does come across as black.

This door is in peppercorn as well.

5. Mindful Gray

Since mindful gray and repose gray (coming up) are similar, and just to get a better grasp on these colors, here is a color chart I found online. I have only used those two colors on this chart. They are just great gray colors. They read as true grays or “greiges” that are more gray than beige.

This color chart shows some of my favorites in the same family.

The entryway and living room in our house are in SW mindful gray. The door here again is peppercorn and the trim around it is alabaster. (You can read more about this entryway here.)

SW mindful gray on this gallery wall, one of my favorite paint colors.

This is mindful gray in the little corner office in the living room.

Sherwin Williams mindful gray

6. Intellectual Gray and 7. Urbane Bronze

These are the only two colors I have used on this chart. I put both of the charts next to each other towards the bottom of this post so you can compare them. You can see that these greiges have more brown in them.

This color chart shows the color that are in the same family. These have more brown in them.
The exterior of the house is SW intellectual gray. The shutters are SW urbane bronze, the trim is SW alabaster and the door is SW festoon aqua.

We used intellectual gray on the whole exterior of the house. The shutters are SW urbane bronze. The trim is alabaster (the garage doors came in the white color that they are, and it matches well with the alabaster!).

8. Festoon Aqua

Here is some color! I wanted a pop of color on the front door of the house. I love this one!

The front door is painted in SW festoon aqua, one of my favorite paint colors
SW festoon aqua on the front door for a pop of color, one of my favorite paint colors!

9. Repose Gray

Here is SW repose gray in the basement laundry room and bathroom. It is a really popular color that can be found all over Pinterest. It’s just a really good greige color that reads more gray without any weird undertones.

SW repose gray in the laundry room, one of my favorite paint colors in my home

(You can read more about the laundry room here.)

SW repose gray in the basement bathroom
SW repose gray is a popular color because it's a great neutral color. One of my favorite paint colors!

10. Tricorn Black

Tricorn black is a true black. It is rich and deep.

When I was painting the railings and banisters on the staircase, I originally was going to go with iron ore. Iron ore is a gorgeous black! I love it on my fireplace and surrounding shelves. However, as you can see in the picture below, the iron ore on the left compared to the tricorn black on the right didn’t look dark enough or a true enough black here. At least for the look I was going for! So keep in mind how colors can change from room to room and in different lighting!

This shows the difference between iron ore and tricorn black.
Tricorn black is one of my favorite paint colors.
Here is tricorn black on the staircase.
Here is my staircase in tricorn black.

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  • Kathleen Burlin

    I love the neutral greiges to. They are warm colors that you can easily add a pop of color to accent the room.
    I like your style!!!

    • Liz

      Thanks so much! I agree, with those neutral colors you have the flexibilty to add pops of colors with accents that can easily be changed, too. Love it!

      • Jenny Fox

        Love your color tips!! What sheen did you use on your staircase? I’m using urbane bronze and SW recommended semi gloss but it seems too shiny and showing brush strokes more than I intended. Any thoughts?

        • Liz

          Thank you! I also used semi-gloss, and it can be tough to avoid brush strokes. Try to use the roller when you can, but when using a brush be careful not to go over spots again where paint is semi dry.

  • Clare Shenko

    Hi Liz!
    I was looking for the right color to paint my front door (and maybe shutters). That’s how I stumbled upon your
    site. Your house looks AMAZING!! You are very talented and I really admire your style. I love how you give all of the colors you used. My neighbor is a painter and uses Sherwin Williams. She is going to paint my house and now I can give her the exact color to use for the door!

      • Patricia

        I was so glad to run into your blog. I’m am in the prods of painting my house and choosing colors which are so hard …😊 I like that you showed the difference in Black on the stair bannister. I have the same kitchen countertop and really did not want to paint my cabinets white so I was thinking of Tricorn Black with Gold handles any thoughts or suggestions Thank you!

        • Liz

          It is hard! I’m so glad this helped. Tricorn black is a beautiful true black. I think that would look great with these counters and gold hardware. Just keep in mind that it may darken the space if there isn’t a lot of natural light. Otherwise if you love black cabinets then go for it!

  • Susan Goetz

    Hello! I just love your style! Thanks so much for all your paint advice too. I really love your entryway table! Would you possible share where you found it? Thanks so much!!!


  • Sydni

    Thank you for sharing these colors! It’s nice to seem them in photos of a real house rather than just swatches from the home improvement store. I recently bought a new home and am in the process of remodeling it. I would love to use Mindful Gray on the walls throughout the whole house, Peppercorn for kitchen cabinet painting, and then a pop of color (maybe a light green or mustard) for an accent wall in my living room!

  • Nadeya

    I have been remodeling my home, it went from maple just because we noticed the couple before us didn’t take care of the house. I used SW Alabaster on the trim, kitchen cabinets, and the fireplace. We did the walls an essential gray but in the light it can sometimes look a little purple they still had flat paint on the walls 10yrs later and between the maple and dark walls it made the house look very dark.
    I wanted to lighten things up. I still need to add black handles to the cabinets doors but because the doors were some off white color I want to paint them black along with the bar to make it look not so cold in here. Mind you I have nothing on my walls yet or even curtains up which I’m still debating on! I’m looking at Tri-corn black, peppercorn and iron ore which I want to do all the interior doors in the house the same color but I thought about doing some swatches just to see which I like best. It is a hard decision because we couldn’t find a good gray to work in this house and Essential gray was the only option. It has been so much work on my end. But the before and afters so far look amazing! Honestly I could have just kept the maple and just done white walls.
    Your house looks amazing!!

    • Liz

      Thanks so much! Oh yes, picking colors and painting is a lot of work! I think painting the maple trim was definitely the way to go. And I love the look of painted interior doors! Swatches can help with the decision because it’s so hard to visualize. Good luck to you!

    • Liz

      Yes, I painted it on using a stencil. I used the stencil called “hand drawn chevron” from Cutting Edge Stencils, along with their set of stenciling tools (including a foam roller and level). They also have helpful instructional videos on their website!

  • Ruth Ann Wycoff

    Thanks for sharing, very helpful since we are purchasing a home & considering color options. This is our final home & love staying with a color palette that is neutral and allows the use of color in your accessories.

  • Carla

    Hi Liz.

    I like the photos you posted–you really have a knack for choosing colors that look great together.

    I wanted to ask you this one question if I could: So I have tiny light brown, dark brown and beige square tiles on half of my bathroom wall. Do you think that I could get away with using Sherwin Williams Mindful gray on my bathroom walls? I really like the way Mindful Gray looks on your walls, and was wondering if it would look as nice in my bathroom with all the brown and beige.

    Thank you Liz.


    • Liz

      Thanks so much! I mix grays and browns often, and I think it could definitely work! Like in my basement for example, I have beige walls and gray flooring. In the living room with the mindful gray, I have brown carpeting. I would recommend getting a paint swatch or a sample of the paint to hold it up to the tile to help make the decision. Mindful gray is a great color!

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