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What is bluish gray shade called?

What is bluish gray shade called?

Bluish gray shades go by many names, depending on the specific hue, tone, and color mixing. Gray is a neutral color, meaning it lacks strong warm or cool undertones. However, adding blue to gray creates a cool-toned shade with a subtle hint of blue. There are dozens of specific bluish gray shades spanning the range from nearly white to nearly black.

Common Bluish Gray Shade Names

Here are some of the most common names used to refer to various bluish gray shades:

  • Cadet gray
  • Payne’s gray
  • Slate gray
  • Light slate gray
  • Dark slate gray
  • Ash gray
  • Charcoal gray
  • Pale blue gray
  • Blue gray
  • Dark blue gray
  • Platinum gray
  • Smoke gray
  • Battleship gray
  • Cloudy gray
  • Cool gray

These names can vary slightly depending on the industry, such as design, fashion, home decorating, or automotive manufacturing. But they generally refer to shades ranging from pale, light blues to darker blue-tinged grays.

Defining Bluish Grays

Bluish grays sit in the space between true grays and blue on the color wheel. They are created by mixing a gray with a small amount of blue. The exact ratios determine how saturated the blue tone is.

Cool grays have only a hint of blue, achieved by adding just 5-15% blue. Blue grays have a more noticeable blue tint from 15-30% blue mixed in. Bluish grays with over 30% blue take on a periwinkle tone.

The tone also shifts toward blue in proportion to how dark the gray base is. A pale gray needs more blue tint to show blue than a charcoal gray, which already has strong blue undertones.

Light Bluish Grays

Some examples of light to mid-tone bluish grays include:

  • Glacier gray
  • Iceberg gray
  • Cascade gray
  • Raincloud gray
  • Silver gray
  • Platinum gray
  • Ash gray
  • Cloud gray

These shades have a distinctly cool, blue-ish cast while remaining light in tone. They range from pale grays with just a hint of blue to medium gray-blues.

Dark Bluish Grays

Some examples of darker, blue-tinged grays include:

  • Battleship gray
  • Gunmetal gray
  • Carbon gray
  • Slate gray
  • Storm gray
  • Charcoal gray
  • Space gray
  • Onyx gray

These shades sit on the darker end of the spectrum, but still show a subtle blue cast. They range from medium dark blues to nearly black with blue undertones.

Uses for Bluish Grays

Bluish grays have become popular in recent years in home interiors, fashion, and other design areas. The cool tones create a relaxed, soothing effect. Bluish grays also pair well with other blues, grays, and greens.

Here are some common uses for bluish gray shades:

  • Wall colors
  • Furniture finishes
  • Bedding and bath textiles
  • Clothing and accessories
  • Cosmetics and nail polish
  • Electronics like phones
  • Automotive paint colors
  • Logos and branding

Bluish grays work well as background colors that recede visually, allowing bolder pops of color to stand out. They create a relaxed, neutral foundation that complements many other colors.

Bluish Gray Color Codes

If you need the exact code for a specific bluish gray shade, check a color matching system like Pantone, Benjamin Moore, Sherwin-Williams, or other brands. Here are some common bluish grays and their hex codes:

Shade Name Hex Code
Cadet Gray #91A3B0
Pale Blue Gray #B7C9D3
Light Slate Gray #747678
Charcoal Gray #3C4142

These codes define the exact mixture of RGB or CMYK colors to produce each shade. They allow you to match colors precisely across different programs and mediums.


Bluish grays encompass a wide range of hues from the lightest silver-blues to deep charcoals. Variations in saturation and tone create unique shades like glacier gray, raincloud gray, carbon gray, and more. These versatile cool neutrals pair beautifully with many colors and work well in all types of design and decor.

So if you love cool, calming shades of blue-gray, explore the many nuanced options to find your perfect bluish gray hue.