Fifty Shades of Grey - Which One's Best? - AVS Forum
Dedicated Theater Design & Construction > Fifty Shades of Grey - Which One's Best?
M.T.Nest's Avatar M.T.Nest 12:40 PM 10-01-2013
I'm looking for help choosing a shade of grey for my HT room walls and flooring.

Long term housguests are vacating my man cave this week. Eventually, I plan to do the full DD+GG+Fabric Frame remodel of the space, but I have had to postpone those plans due to financial constraints.

For now, I will be painting and possibly carpeting the space. Even though it will be temporary, I hope to do a good job of color selection to minimize my frustration of not being able to proceed with my full remodel at this time. In my current makeshift upstairs HT room, the black "screen wall" is really black, which I love, but the grey walls turned out a bit green-ish, even though I tried hard to pick a neutral grey. I very much want to avoid this when painting the downstairs man cave...which will be phase 1 of my HT project.

I'm looking for a neutral grey that will not affect image quality in a light controlled room.

Is there a way to determine the "neutrality" of color samples to ensure I don't pick something blue-ish, green-ish, etc?

The fact that I am considering carpet at this time probably tells you all you need to know about how long I expect to be stuck at this phase. mad.gif The current off-white berber carpet is in decent condition, but it is very light colored. Maybe I should look for a black or grey remnant to put down for now.

We have Lowe's, The Home Depot, and Sherwin-Williams here, for what it's worth.

Thanks in advance!


BIGmouthinDC's Avatar BIGmouthinDC 01:31 PM 10-01-2013
For what it is worth, my ceiling and trimwork is Lowes Drizzling Mist, pictures in my signature, it is the one on the right

doublewing11's Avatar doublewing11 03:50 PM 10-01-2013
Grey is one of those colors that is all over the map!

I used varying shades of grey in my room. Carpet is gray with tinge of bronze.....fabric walls are gray with slight green tinge......and the ceiling paint is gray with once again, a tinge of bronze.

Even though all three greys are different.....they all go together quite well. Absolutely happy I didn't paint the whole room black as some have suggested. With lights on in room, the grey colors aling with wood tone make room very inviting.
HopefulFred's Avatar HopefulFred 06:06 PM 10-01-2013
I couldn't find any similar information at or but at Sherwin Williams, they give you much more complete information about the paint. I browsed around the cool neutrals, looking for one with equal RGB values - I think that will get you color closest to neutral. The other thing to look at, again not available at the big box stores (websites anyway) is the LRV; light reflectance value. The lower the number the better, since is means the paint will reflect less light back onto the screen. I only looked at three or four, but this one looked pretty good.

You may also find an experienced paint mixer somewhere who can recommend something.
snickers1's Avatar snickers1 08:22 AM 10-02-2013
I used sweatshirt grey from Benjamin Moore
it's dark but not to dark
jedimastergrant's Avatar jedimastergrant 01:43 PM 10-02-2013
You could just put a dark colored rug down in front of the screen. The first few feet are the most important. The rest of the room you might be able to get away with lighter colored floors. And since it is already down I would just stick with it especially if you are not staying in the house.

I have several shades of grey in my room. My GOM fabric is Graphite, Fossil, and Goose. The Goose is grey but the other 2 have shades of grey and they all go together. You can look at a sample on GOM's site or look at my build thread. I also went to Sherwin Williams and had them match the Goose color so I could use it on my ceiling and soffits. They did a nice job with it and I also had Triad match that paint to use on the grills covering my surround speakers.

I used another darker grey from SW called Sealskin for the area on the ceiling that is in front of the screen. I am pretty happy with it so far but I have yet to watch a movie in there. I hope to get a few pics up this week of all of the work I have been up to so check back in my thread if you want to see the grey colors in a room.
M.T.Nest's Avatar M.T.Nest 12:03 AM 10-03-2013
Thanks, everyone!

I love the fact that the Sherwin Williams site provides RGB values for their colors. That might help me avoid a repeat of my greenish grey paint selection.

I'll be looking into whether that info is available in the store, or if it's available for any of the other brands.

Big, I've been reading some of your project threads and I've got to say that you do great work. When I get to that point, I may be trying to tempt you into a trip to Alaska. Do you fish? Hunt?
cw5billwade's Avatar cw5billwade 07:30 AM 10-03-2013
I used SW Mount Etna which has the LRV of 8 with minimal lighting it is verry dark
here is the link
this is what it looks like minimal lighting with flash

more lights

view of ceiling against coffers

M.T.Nest's Avatar M.T.Nest 11:44 PM 10-03-2013
M.T.Nest's Avatar M.T.Nest 10:07 AM 10-08-2013
Originally Posted by jedimastergrant View Post

You could just put a dark colored rug down in front of the screen. The first few feet are the most important. The rest of the room you might be able to get away with lighter colored floors. And since it is already down I would just stick with it especially if you are not staying in the house.

We are definitely planing to stay in the house for the foreseeable future. That doesn't necessarily mean I want to rip out good carpeting at this point, though. I may do as you said and put a dark area rug or bound carpet remnant at the front of the space and let that be good enough until we do an actual HT build.

I was blaming my grey paint color of the side wall of our makeshift HT room upstairs for the greenish tint I was seeing, but the problem may have actually been caused by green light (sports fields) from the plasma display reflecting off the satin paint finish on one side wall. In these pictures you can see that the paint color itself does not appear green at all.

In the bottom picture you can see that the flat finished Cracked Pepper paint doesn't reflect much light at all, even with the flash...I really like this color. The Valspar paint may not be as good as other brands, and the flat may not be as flat as some of the high end paints discussed on AVS, but I think I'll stick with the Cracked Pepper for now. For the grey walls I am definitely open to other shades / brands...and definitely a flatter finish.

While I may be able to solve my problem by sticking with a flat paint finish, a darker shade can't hurt, either. Although she's leaving it up to me, my wife seemed a little concerned that black paint throughout the room would make the room appear small. That may be true when the lights are on, but when they're off the walls tend to disappear. The space isn't tiny, so I don't think we'd feel too closed in even with a darker color scheme. (I've forgotton the room dimensions. I'll measure and post them later) And since we're only talking paint for now, we can change it fairly easily if we decide we don't like it.
M.T.Nest's Avatar M.T.Nest 10:54 AM 10-15-2013
We ended up going with Valspar from Lowe's because we couldn't seem to manage to get to the Sherwin Williams store during their business hours.

As we did in our makeshift temporary HT room in the master bedroom upstairs, we went with the Cracked Pepper in matte finish for the front wall, the left side wall, the first four feet or so of the ceiling, and the below grade areas of the right side and rear walls.

We used Valspar Vessel Gray, also in matte, for the rest of the ceiling and the above grade areas of the right and rear walls. (These foundation walls stick out about 2" farther into the room than the area above them. The top of this ledge is finished with a cherry stained rail or ledge--which we've left untouched for now. I thought I wouldn't like the bright wood with the black and grey color scheme, but it actually looks pretty good. I'll upload pics once I have a chance to get them from my wife's camera...

The ceiling is textured, so we knew we wouldn't be able to get the line where the black meets the grey looking perfectly straight. We anticipated this before we began, but we still need to pick up some moulding, paint it black, and attach it to the ceiling to cover that boundary where the black meets the grey.

My wife liked the Vessel Gray color enough that she bought another gallon and we painted the adjoining entry way and bathroom. She also painted the ugly vanity black to tide us over until we can afford new cabinetry in the room. The house is about forty years old, but it looks like the builders chose a cabinet that was old fashioned at that time.

I have to give a shout out to our good friend Joni who is highly skilled with brush and roller. Without her help the painting would never have gone as quickly or as smoothly as it did.

The new paint highlights just how bad the off white berber carpeting is. It wasn't in perfect condition even before my daughter and her family moved in last November, but now it just looks awful. We hadn't planned to replace the carpet until the planned phase II of the HT project at some future date, when I hope to redo the room with sound isolation construction techniques--the ubiquitous DD+GG+clips & channel. However, when I commented about how bad the carpet looked after we were done painting, my wife surprised me by suggesting that we go ahead and replace it now. Hopefully, the carpet we buy now can be rolled up and then reused whenever we proceed with phase II.
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