All About Agreeable Gray – The Good and Bad

Sherwin-Williams Agreeable Gray (SW 7029)  is an IMMENSELY popular Sherwin-Williams greige paint color.  It is an iconic warm gray with barely-there green undertones.  This is one of the most written-about colors in North America. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy – bloggers write about the color because it’s popular and does well in web searches (forgive my cynicism).  Readers use the color and make it more popular.

Sherwin-Williams Agreeable Gray Paint Color Review

Of course, I really like Agreeable Gray, but as with any paint color, it should be used in the right situation. It’s not automatically the right whole-house paint color for every home. For more about how to create a whole-house color palette, link here.

Please note:  All the photos in this post come from Color Concierge projects and are part of our portfolio.  These are not professional photos, and most are customer photos that give a realistic look of the paint color. These photos are not color-edited.

Most bloggers say that Agreeable Gray is a perfect greige color that will go with anything, but that is just not true.  It can be a beautiful color, but only when used the right way.

Paint colors are a tool, and you should pick a color because it looks great in the room, not because the color is pretty.  If it looks great in the room, with your hard finishes and decor, then you will love it!

Sherwin-Williams Agreeable Gray SW 7029
Sherwin-Williams Agreeable Gray SW 7029

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Is Agreeable Gray still popular in 2022?

The quick answer is YES!  Agreeable Gray (sample here) is an iconic Sherwin-Williams greige paint color and is still one of the 50 most popular colors on the Sherwin-Williams website.   White wall colors are very popular right now, but they can be cold and difficult to decorate with. Not everyone wants a white house.  For those who want a warmer and friendlier paint color, Agreeable gray could be the color for you.

Sherwin-Williams Agreeable Gray Paint Color Review
Photo by T. Gamage

What is the LRV of Agreeable Gray?

The LRV (Light Reflectance Value) is 60 (scale from 1/dark to 100/light), which makes it light-reflecting, and a great color for many residential rooms.  It’s a bit darker than trending colors, which doesn’t matter if you use it in a room with lots of light.

When should I use Agreeable Gray?

This paint color is glorious when there is LOTS of natural light from any direction, even cooler North-facing light. In a lighted room, it looks like a warm light greige that makes a room warm, friendly, and inviting.

It also looks great in a dark room that has constant artificial light such as a basement.

Living room with Sherwin-Williams Agreeable Gray walls
Photo by T. Gamage

I’m very familiar with Agreeable Gray (sample here) because it’s the whole-house color our builder gave us when we purchased our new build 2 years ago.  As with most paint colors, I don’t consider it a whole-house paint color because very few houses are flooded with warm perfect light.

We painted the rooms that had low light or shifting light with other colors.  We kept Agreeable Gray in the basement, where we have lots of artificial light.  The bedrooms all had tons of beautiful light, but most of the main floor with East facing windows and low light conditions have been painted other colors.

Agreeable Gray in rooms with lots of light

Below is my bedroom, with South and East exposure.  This room is sunny all day long and has lots of large windows.  This color is also a great backdrop for colorful art!

Bedroom with Sherwin-Williams Agreeable Gray walls
Photo by M. Marceny

This bedroom also has tons of light, although it is North and West facing.  It looks fabulous at all times of day, even with cooler North-facing light.

Bedroom with SW Agreeable gRay
Photo by M. Marceny

Agreeable Gray in rooms with artificial light

Basements and bathrooms without windows are fabulous places for Agreeable Gray (sample here).  Make sure that you use warmer bulbs.  The color looks lovely and inviting and is a fan favorite.

Basement walls with Sherwin-Williams Agreeable Gray
Photo by M. Marceny, Basement with Agreeable Gray

I snuck in a BM Slate Teal Accent wall in the gym!  Learn more about this color here.

Basement walls with Sherwin-Williams Agreeable Gray and BM Slate Teal accent wall
Photo by M. Marceny, Basement Gym

Agreeable Gray in dark rooms or low light rooms North facing light

This paint color makes a room look grim in low or cool light.  The fleshy purple tones that are hidden in the bright light make their way out to the surface so that the room looks like a dingy icky prison.  I’m not sure if I can be more eloquent.

Here is a photo of Agreeable Gray in a North-facing bathroom with very low light. Not it’s best moment.

Bathroom walls with Sherwin-Williams Agreeable Gray
Photo by M. Marceny, Bathroom with Agreeable Gray

Agreeable Gray Compared to other Paint Colors

Agreeable Gray vs. Repose Gray

 Repose Gray (sample here) is a darker and cooler gray color, with strong violet undertones (color review here).  Agreeable Gray (sample here) is more of a greige color (vs. gray) with warm green undertones that can look fleshy in low light.  Repose can look better in North-facing light.  If one of these colors looks great in a room, the other will not look good.

Agreeable Gray vs. Repose Gray

Agreeable Gray vs. Revere Pewter

 Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter (sample here) is a cleaner and crisper gray/greige color than Agreeable Gray.  They are both warm greige paint colors with green undertones, but Agreeable has a splash of violet undertones compared to Revere.  If your room has tons of natural light, Agreeable Gray would likely be the better choice.   If one of these colors looks good in a room, the other will probably also look nice because they have similar undertones.

Agreeable Gray vs. Revere Pewter

Agreeable Gray vs. Accessible Beige

 Both colors have warm green undertones, but SW Accessible Beige is warmer.  Pick Accessible Beige for rooms with North facing light.  If Accessible Beige (sample here) looks good in a room, Agreeable Gray will probably look good too.

Agreeable Gray vs. Accessible Beige

Agreeable Gray vs. Edgecomb Gray

Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray is lighter, cleaner, and warmer than Agreeable Gray.  They are both warm greige colors with green undertones.  Edgecomb (sample here)would likely be the better choice for a room with low light or Northern exposure.  If Edgecomb Gray looks good in a room, Agreeable will likely look good as well.

Agreeable Gray vs. Edgecomb Gray

What are the best trim and ceiling colors for Agreeable Gray?

Trim and Doors

For white trim, you can use crisp whites such as SW Extra White, cleaner whites such as SW Pure White, or off-whites such as SW Alabaster or SW Greek Villa.  Creamy Whites such as SW Shell White can look dingy.    The trim and doors should be the same white color.  The sheen should be Semi-Gloss.

Ceilings

For ceilings, we like to use the same ceiling white as the trim white.  The ceiling should be painted with a flat sheen.

Can I use Agreeable Gray for Exteriors?

Absolutely!  This color can look like a soft white outside, where the bright sun makes colors 5-10 lighter and brighter in the sunshine.  Typical whites such as SW Pure White can look stark when used outside as a trim color.

Agreeable Gray behaves as a soft “white” trim color and works especially well with darker exterior siding colors or earthy brick or stone.  It’s a great way to go darker with white instead of shifting to a cream which would be more yellow.

The white trim in the house below is painted with Agreeable Gray. The house is facing West.

House with Agreeable Gray trim
Photo by M. Marceny

We also like to use Agreeable Gray as a “white” siding color in exterior palettes.  This works especially well in more Southern latitudes of North America and higher altitude cities such as Denver and Salt Lake City.

When should I avoid Agreeable Gray?

This greige color can look fleshy in a room with low light or cool North facing light.  We do not recommend that color in a room with low natural light.

Don’t use Agreeable Gray with Creamy Whites, or cool grays with violet undertones such as Repose Gray.  For some reason, they suck the life out of each other.

Below is a photo of my bedroom where I accidentally purchased gray cellular shades with a violet undertone – the gray color that people associate with elephants, like Repose Gray.  The shades look dirty because they don’t pair well with the green undertones in Agreeable Gray.

Grays with violet undertones don’t match BM Agreeable Gray
Don’t pair Agreeable Gray with cool grays

Which Benjamin Moore paint color is closest to Agreeable Gray?

Agreeable Gray is one of those colors that really doesn’t have a close match in the Benjamin Moore paint catalog.  If you want a paint color that behaves similarly, choose from BM Revere Pewter or BM Edgecomb Gray.  They aren’t exactly the same, but they are both greige colors with green undertones that I would use in similar situations.  Edgecomb is probably the closest one.

Of course, we never recommend matching paint colors from Sherwin to Benjamin Moore. Learn more about matching paint colors here.

What is the easiest way to test your paint colors?

We always recommend that you test paint colors in your house because lighting can completely change your wall colors. In the old days, this meant we painted a large poster board with sample pots and a huge mess.

Now we have SAMPLIZE 9X14″ Pre-Painted peel-and-stick paint samples.    They are EASY to use, AFFORDABLE ($5.95/ea), and ECO-FRIENDLY –  no messy painting or cleanup without half-used paint samples in your back closet, and they can deliver the NEXT DAY!

Check out the SAMPLIZE website HERE.

Key Learning Points – Agreeable Gray

Agreeable Gray is a glorious warm greige paint color with green undertones.  It looks great in rooms with lots of natural or artificial light.  If you have a room with low light, the hidden violet undertones will look fleshy and Agreeable Gray will make the room look like a prison.

NEVER, EVER use paint matches from a different brand than the one specified.  Results are poor and there are no standards for the sheens.  Even though your painter may truly believe it can be done, don’t do it. See results from paint matching here.

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Agreeable Gray Paint Color Review

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We love your comments! Please note that the blog is meant as general advice, and it is not possible to give out specific answers to your paint questions.  If you want more specific advice, please consider purchasing a color consultation. Thank you for your understanding.

14 Responses

  1. You have no idea how much this article helped me!! Such important information and the photos were so important to see. Thank you so much!

    1. I’m really glad! I felt it was a story that needed to be told. So many people just say its a perfect color. Too much crowdthink.
      Michelle

  2. Hi, you mentioned using AG in the basement but make sure to use warmer bulbs. Could you specify what is the appropriate color temperature? I have 4000K led lighting in my basement and trying to decide between Agreeable gray or Repose Gray. I have vinyl flooring in light cool gray. Do you think either could workm
    Thank you.

  3. I absolutely love this color I have used it for years and most of my house flipping projects. iPhone trick I have been using for the last few is to paint the ceiling and walls a flat agreeable gray with a tone on tone affect with semi gloss for the trim indoors it really pops.

    1. If you use Agreeable Gray in an East facing room, if you have lots of windows, it should look great, especially in the mornings. The room will look darker and less crisp in the afternoons.

  4. AG looks great in your photos. We recently painted a south facing, lots of natural light family room that color. It looks either steel gray or light blue depending on time of day. I was really bummed about that. Trying to choose a color to repaint because I hate it.

  5. Love this website and your advice regarding color-I am learning so much, especially the role of outside color like green trees. I loved AG on a swatch, and we tried AG in a west facing bedroom. Unfortunately it looked purple, In fact literally every color of off white, beige or gray we tried looked some shade of pink or purple because the homes next door (like many here in Southern California) have a red tile roof. Would love to see this challenge addressed,

    1. Hi Dalene,
      Unfortunately, It’s hard to fight a red reflection in your rooms, especially with light colors because they act like a mirror. One way to fight this is to pick paint colors with a green undertone. Even though AG has green undertones, it still has enough flashes of violet to skew to purple. Try colors that have a stronger green undertone. Try Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter Or Edgecomb Gray. BM Spanish Olive is also a nice choice to test.

  6. This article was very helpful. Iv been trying to find the right light grey. Thank you for the info about lighting and how it effects the tint or shade that the gray can turn to w different lighting. Very Very helpful. Still looking for a slightly lighter gray..

  7. Thank you so much for this information! I am thinking about using AG in my dining room. What colors could I use for a pop in the room? I am painting a faux bamboo china cabinet and had been thinking about a light blue or a blush. What would you suggest?

    Thank you,

    Steph

    1. Hi Steph,
      Please consider a color consult or one of our ready-made palettes. We have one for Agreeable Gray.
      Thank you,
      Michelle

  8. Unpopular opinion but agreeable gray does not agree with me at all. Unfortunately, my new home is a pre-speced home so it comes with agreeable gray everywhere so I really would appreciate your expert recommendations in this case. My house is West-facing, with the living room being in the back of the house (windows face East, South and North), and rooms primarily facing West (windows face West, South and North). Lighting in the house is pretty dim in general. What shade of hot / saturated pink (not a fan of pastel or neutrals) would you suggest that would go well with agreeable gray? I so desperately need help! Thank you.

    1. It sounds exactly like my new build, where they used Agreeable Gray everywhere. I kept the AGreeable Gray upstairs in the rooms with tons of light. I painted over it with Simply White in the lower light rooms. It’s hard for me to make specific recommendations without seeing photos. Please consider one of our color consultations.
      Thank you,
      Michelle

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Meet Michelle

Driven to help clients fall back in love with their homes with intentional paint color schemes. She started the company based on her passion for color and its ability to make a house a home.

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