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Is agreeable gray a good color for kitchen walls?


Agreeable gray has become an increasingly popular paint color in recent years, especially for home interiors. This neutral gray tone works well in a variety of spaces, including kitchens. But is agreeable gray truly a good choice for kitchen walls? There are several factors to consider when selecting paint colors for a kitchen. In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of using agreeable gray on kitchen walls and help you determine if it’s the right fit for your space.

What is Agreeable Gray?

Agreeable gray is a warm, versatile gray paint color created by Sherwin-Williams. It has undertones of green, purple, and blue which help give it more depth than a basic true gray. This soft, neutral gray color pairs beautifully with many colors from crisp whites to bold blues and everything in between.

Agreeable gray first debuted in 2016 as part of Sherwin-Williams’ Colormix Forecast. It quickly became popular for a wide range of interior spaces and color schemes. In 2020, Sherwin-Williams named agreeable gray their Color of the Year. This further propelled it into popularity for home renovations and decor.

Agreeable gray is considered a warm neutral paint color. With a gray color temperature around 60 on the grayscale, it falls right in the middle of the warm and cool spectrum. The green undertones give agreeable gray a subtle warmth that reads as cozier than a stark true gray. This warm, inviting quality makes it an ideal choice for many living spaces.

The Pros of Using Agreeable Gray in Kitchens

There are several potential benefits to using agreeable gray paint on kitchen walls:

It Creates a Neutral Backdrop

One of the key advantages of agreeable gray is that it acts as a neutral backdrop. The soft gray tone doesn’t clash with other paint colors. It also pairs nicely with many kitchen design styles, from modern to traditional. The neutral gray canvas gives you flexibility to get creative with accent colors.

It Provides a Calming Aesthetic

Gray is known for its calming, tranquil effect in interior design. Unlike bright white, it doesn’t read as stark or clinical. The cozy, subtle gray tone of agreeable gray can help make a kitchen feel soothing and welcoming. This helps create a space where people want to gather and linger.

It Makes the Space Look Brighter

While agreeable gray is not an ultra-light color, it does reflect light well to naturally brighten up a space. It works particularly well to make darker, north-facing kitchens look brighter and more open. The green undertones help prevent it from reading dreary or cold like some gray shades can.

It Serves as a Versatile Backdrop

From farmhouse chic to contemporary cool, agreeable gray works with many kitchen design aesthetics. It provides a versatile, neutral backdrop that lets other elements like cabinetry, tile, and decor shine. Almost any color scheme and style will coordinate well with agreeable gray walls.

It Hides Dirt and Grease Well

Kitchen walls inevitably accumulate their fair share of smears, splatters, and splashes. Thankfully, agreeable gray does an excellent job of hiding inevitable grime that builds up in kitchens over time. The warmer tone helps camouflage grease spatters better than stark white.

The Cons of Using Agreeable Gray in Kitchens

However, there are a few potential downsides to keep in mind as well when using agreeable gray on kitchen walls:

It Can Read Drab or Cold

Some people find agreeable gray to be a bit drab, dreary, or depressing. It may come across as uninviting or stark, almost having an institutional quality. Proper lighting and accent colors are key to keeping the space looking bright and lively rather than dull.

It Shows Imperfections Easily

While agreeable gray hides surface grime fairly well, it shows imperfections in the drywall or paint application. Any uneven patches, drywall repairs, or brush strokes will be quite visible. Wall prep and technique needs to be excellent for best results.

It Lacks Contrast with Cabinets

Many modern kitchens feature bright white cabinetry. Soft gray walls may end up blending too seamlessly with pale cabinetry. This can create a washed-out or monotonous look. Deep cabinets or an accent wall may be needed to provide contrast.

It Can Look Dated Over Time

Some popular gray tones like agreeable gray eventually look dated as color trends shift. While timeless for a few years, it may eventually read as a 2010s trend color. Homeowners may crave a change down the road.

It’s Not the Easiest to Match

Since agreeable gray has complex undertones, it can be tricky to match for touch-ups or if you run out of paint. The specific gray hue can vary across different paint batches. Sticking to one brand and sheen is key for color consistency.

Factors to Consider When Selecting a Kitchen Wall Color

Here are a few key considerations as you evaluate agreeable gray and other paint colors for your kitchen walls:

Existing Elements Like Flooring and Cabinets

Look at elements like cabinetry, countertops, flooring, and backsplashes that will remain the same. Aim for wall paint that complements those permanent fixtures.

Lighting in the Space

A color that looks gorgeous in natural light may look dreary under cool LEDs. Test paint swatches at different times of day. Northern light can drain a color while southern light amplifies warmth.

Personal Color Preferences

While trends come and go, ultimately choose a color you genuinely love. A color that makes you smile rather than simply blending in will boost enjoyment of the space.

Amount of Daylight

North-facing rooms need lighter, brighter colors to compensate for minimal natural light. Southern exposures can handle deeper, moodier hues without feeling gloomy.

Size of the Kitchen

Small spaces tend to look best with light, airy paint colors like agreeable gray. Large kitchens can sometimes handle bold, saturated accent walls while avoiding becoming overwhelming.

Your Design Style

A bright, modern kitchen may call for crisp white walls. Rustic farmhouse designs pair better with warm grays or earth tones. Think about the mood you want to cultivate.

Combining Agreeable Gray with Other Kitchen Colors

One way to reap the benefits of agreeable gray while avoiding a monotonous look is to pair it with accent colors. Here are some combinations that work well:

Agreeable Gray + Crisp White

The most popular combination mixes agreeable gray walls with bright white on the cabinetry, trim, and ceiling. This creates pleasing contrast and brightens up the space.

Agreeable Gray + Neutral Tones

Shades of beige, brown, taupe, and cream coordinate beautifully with agreeable gray. Try oatmeal or mushroom colored lower cabinetry with gray uppers.

Agreeable Gray + Pops of Color

Vibrant accent colors like cobalt blue, lemon yellow, or emerald green help gray walls come alive. Add colorful backsplashes, appliances, decor items or an accent wall.

Agreeable Gray + Black and White

For contemporary style, pair agreeable gray with black lower cabinets or shelving. Add in white quartz countertops and stainless steel appliances.

Agreeable Gray + Warm Metals

Brass hardware, oil rubbed bronze fixtures, and copper or gold accents enrich agreeable gray’s subtle warmth. Avoid pairing it with cool silver tones.

Should You Use Agreeable Gray on Your Kitchen Walls?

Agreeable gray offers many benefits that make it a smart choice for many kitchen designs, including:

– A versatile, neutral backdrop that suits varied styles
– A calming, welcoming aesthetic that appeals to buyers
– Reflective qualities to brighten up a space
– A warmer tone that hides grime better than true grays

However, it also comes with a few drawbacks to keep in mind:

– Can read drab and dreary without proper lighting
– Shows imperfections in application and drywall
– May lack contrast with pale cabinetry
– Susceptible to looking dated down the road

Ultimately, the “right” wall color comes down to your tastes, lighting, cabinetry, and overall design vision. If you’re seeking a flexible neutral that feels fresh yet timeless, agreeable gray is likely an excellent choice. Pair it with plenty of contrast and bold accents. But if you prefer a crisp, bright white kitchen or more saturated color, it may not be ideal.

Achieving the Best Results with Agreeable Gray

Here are a few tips to get the most beautiful look if you opt to use agreeable gray on your kitchen walls:

– Test it in different lighting at different times of day.
– Prep walls flawlessly so imperfections don’t stand out.
– Opt for flat or eggshell finish to minimize visible brush strokes.
– Use multiple coats for best coverage and truest color.
– Add visual interest with molding, paneling, or paint techniques.
– Incorporate plenty of light fixtures for brightness.
– Layer in accent walls, tile, backsplashes, or decor in bolder hues.
– Choose fixtures and metals in brushed nickel, oil-rubbed bronze, or warm wood tones.


Agreeable gray paint offers many pros worth considering for kitchen walls. But it also comes with a few potential cons to weigh. Ultimately the right color comes down to your goals, design aesthetic, and how the shade interacts with other elements like cabinetry and lighting. If applied properly in a well-thought-out kitchen design, agreeable gray can create a beautiful, welcoming space. Add visual interest and contrasting colors to avoid a monotonous look. When done right, it’s a versatile neutral color that can suit many different styles for years to come.