The Best No Fail Benjamin Moore Gray Bathroom Colors

As promised, I am finishing off the perfect no fail home palette [and here’s part II] for our new homeowners,  and I am going to give you a list of the best no fail Benjamin Moore gray bathroom colors. Their painter has called off his dogs and all is right with the world. However, we haven’t discussed what to paint the two upstairs bathrooms. Here again, is the upstairs floor plan.


The first bathroom is the community bathroom for the kids and any visitors who might be using the upstairs bathroom. Some people like to paint their kids bathrooms jazzy colors and put up equally jazzy tiles with so-called kid-friendly themes. I do not recommend this because… one, if you are not staying in the house for a while, it might devalue your home and if you are staying in the house for a while, your kids are going to out-grow this look very quickly.

In addition. While I do like other colors for kitchens and bathrooms, my all-time favorite for the last 25 years has been white. Does that tell you something?


Oh, but Laurel… White is so STERILE!


Yes. A white bathroom can look sterile. IF it looks like this.



Sterile is devoid of interest.


Miles Redd


This is an all-white bathroom. Doesn’t look sterile to me. It looks like heaven to me.

Here is a refresher on the 20 best shades of Benjamin Moore white paint and some exceedingly beautiful, anything-but-sterile rooms.


This does not mean that in a white bathroom, you need to have white tile, walls, sink, mouldings, trim— everything.


But in my opinion, one of the most beautiful ways you can do a bathroom is with subtle gradations of white and pale gray.


For the most part, the best colors for bathroom are soothing and/or refreshing. Right? We want to relax in our bathrooms and get clean. (well, duh) Cool colors feel cleaner. Spa-like. So, for now, let’s stick with that. We are going to do white sinks, tubs and toilets. Our cabinetry will be white. Tile can be Carrara, White Statuary, Thassos or even Calacatta. Although, the latter is quite expensive as it’s become wildly popular and therefore, harder to get. Quite frankly, Carrara Bianco looks pretty much the same and is maybe half the price. You can also mix marble and ceramic tile.


Therefore, the natural no fail color for our walls is going to be gray. Later on, I’m going to give you some of the best no fail gray Benjamin Moore Bathroom Colors.


However, please note that these shades of gray would look great in ALL rooms.


Gray is a tough color as you may already realize. Here is one of my favorite blogs called A Perfect Gray. Can you imagine that a blog is so focused that she is in quest of that one perfect shade? However, one person’s perfect shade might look baby blue to someone else. It is easy for gray to go blue.


Usually, gray is not pure gray. The reason is two-fold. There is no such thing as pure white or pure black. Therefore, there is usually some other color lurking in its undertone and the most common one is blue. This is because pure white paint is made from titanium dioxide which has a blue undertone. Did you know that?


It’s one of those nuggets that I did learn in design school that I filed away somewhere in the deep recesses. To compensate, other tints are added. However, with pale colors such as light gray, it is more difficult to get rid of it. Black is a mixture of all three primary colors! If you mix it with white, you will get BLUE. Fascinating, I think, but enough of the color theory.


Below are some pretty bathrooms that use the color gray in them.



Better Homes & Gardens


This is one of my favorite bathrooms. I adore this variation of batten board wainscoting!


Love this unique bathroom by Toronto interior designer, Jill Kantelberg


Vanessa Francis


I saved this photo years ago before I met Vanessa at KBIS and have hi-lighted her beautiful work in numerous posts. If you’d like to see more, click here.


Emily Jenkins Followill

Clever way to create some great storage and still be able to use two charming pedestal sinks.




And here are the best no fail Benjamin Moore Gray Bathroom Colors

(and good for other rooms too!)


CLASSIC GRAY 1548 Benjamin Moore-Classic-gray 1548–  I have used this a few times for clients. It is a very slightly warm gray and can sometimes have slight violet undertones, but only in the most subtle way. Very beautiful and, yes, classic. This one would not be a good fit with a Carrara marble, but would look beautiful with limestone most likely, or white tiles and nickel fixtures.



Benjamin Moore Gray Owl 2137-40

GRAY OWL 2137-40 – Gray owl is the darkest of the grays on this list. Quite frankly, I have never used it, but I have researched this until the cows come home and there are people who absolutely love this color. And then… there are despite my admonition those who have tinted it at 50% who also love it.




Benjamin Moore Horizon 1478 - oc 53

HORIZON 1478—We discussed this color as a great choice for the downstairs bathroom in the original post on no-fail paint colors. By the way, I am absolutely fine with you painting every bathroom the same color.




Benjamin Moore Oyster Shell 864

OYSTER SHELL 864 –  Our nursery room color. Lovely, lovely soft pale gray that is about as true as can be.





Benjamin Mooreo Paper White 1591

PAPER WHITE 1590 – is another wonderful shade and very, very pale. We used it once for the exterior of some custom bookcases.





Benjamin Moore Shoreline 1471SHORELINE 1471– My bathroom color and I adore it! In warm, lights, it can take on a very slight green-gray shade, but it is still very much a cool, soft gray.





Benjamin Moore Shoreline 1471

Here is a quick shot of my bathroom, painted Benjamin Moore Shoreline just to give you an idea. I am in love with my Serena and Lily bone inlaid mirror. Sadly, it’s now discontinued. I did not choose the fixtures and travertine. They wouldn’t have been my first pick, but that’s what I have, for now.


Benjamin Moore wickham gray HC-171

WICKHAM GRAY HC 171- Wickham definitely has the most blue in it of these shades. It can go a tad icy in a dark space, but it’s still really wonderful.





Well, there it is. If you want easy access to the other posts on this series of go to no fail Benjamin Moore colors, I’m including the links below.




22 Responses

  1. I’ve been nervous to ask a question because I admire your work so much! That’s genuine & not in attempt to suck up so you answer. I love your choices of marble, but get nervous that it’s not maintable in a family with kids? Is the maintenance of marble really that much? Is porcelain tile frowned upon?

    Is there truth to rule that you should always use a larger tile in a smaller bathroom? Lastly, I worry about everything, including people slipping & falling. In terms of fall prevention, is there a tile size or finish that should be avoided?

    Thank you for all you do. I’m obsessed! More than happy to do a consult if you can service midwestern IL!


  2. Sorry I have made a mistake… Correction , the designer Jill Katelberg has designed a most stunning bathroom and I would love to know the colour of the walls. Please! Is there one by Farrow and Ball that I can purchase in the Uk?
    Thanks so much, Cecile

  3. Hi!
    Could you please tell me what colour grey is on the bathroom wall of Jill Kantenberg Please, it’s absolutely stunning.
    What a blog! Perfect for people like myself that can agonise over the most perfect paint colour . Thank you

  4. Hello Laurel, my first time on this sight. I have done 3 of my 4 bathrooms, my master being the last and need something very special, calm and relaxing place to relax. I’m locating all the materials I will need before they start on my bathroom in two months. Im doing very light travertine on the floor and shower walls, dark double vanity, light, almost white granite, white slipper stand alone tub. So I’m having trouble of choosing a nice, not over powering gray (a light and dark for accent wall) and a decoration border for the shower cubby and somewhere around the tub wall and something for the bottom of the shower, maybe pebbles ? Can you help me with the finishing of materials, that you may think will go well together.? Thank you.

  5. Redid empty basement. Put in a bathroom, bedroom, bar area, game table area, living area, kitchen and laundry room. Did kitchen in white shaker cabinets, black counter tops, large subway tile with gray/black grout for back splash, and floor in black and white diamond shaped ceramic tile. PLEASE help me. I thought a soft yellow shade of some sort would look great on the walls. Accent color/tea kettle etc. would be in red. CANNOT FIGURE RIGHT YELLOW SHADE AND WHAT TO USE FOR TRIM AS CABINETS ARE WHITE and any trim color I like looks dirty because of white cabinets. also, STUCK on what soft neutral to do the entire basement trim/ walls etc. AND should I go with lighter shade of what the wall color will be for the bar and game area, both set in but one open space. What I picked due to small windows in basement makes the yellow I pick out look greenish, ugh. Need to pick wall color. SIX samples later from the paint store, AND I AM STILL STUCK. Soft NEUTRALS I love; and love a whitish trim color to offset everything too. Need colors that will go with anything as I have purchased no furniture yet either. Hope and PRAY you can help me. CONTRACTORS and SO WAITING !!!

    1. Hi Marianne,

      I’m sorry but at this time am no longer doing paint consults and if I was the fee is a minimum of $250. Please subscribe and you’ll receive a free guide that explains exactly how to choose paint colors so that you’ll get the best result. It’s impossible to do it without seeing what’s going on.

  6. I have searched all over the web trying to find the name of the paint that JILL KANTELBERG used in the picture above. Do you have any idea? My husband and I remodeled our bathroom entirely ourselves and it turned out beautiful but we still need to paint the walls. Would love to use this color…..

    1. Hi Robyn,

      It’s impossible to know. Furthermore, your monitor could render the color different and then there’s the photo. I can pretty much guarantee that whatever Jill used, if you put up that color, it won’t be what you’re expecting.

      So much also depends on the lighting in your bathroom. The colors in this post are all very nice grays.

      1. You’re right, that makes total sense. I will try some of the colors you suggest and see what works. Thanks for taking the time to answer!

  7. I have a large bedroom and bathroom with lots of natural light.
    I plan to paint bedroom in Benjamin Moore Coventry gray. It suggest Dior gray as good color combination. I have almond tub and vanities and almond tile. I do have pretty white trim and white shutters. Will the Dior gray go well with my almond color?? Any other suggestions of what will go well with the Coventry gray???

    1. Hi Cheryl,
      Oh, that pesky almond. I can’t really say for sure from where I’m sitting. There are too many factors I don’t know about. If you are in need of a paint consultation, please write me by clicking “contact” on the menu bar. thanks!

  8. Laurel…really enjoy your blog…very helpful…have you ever used the BM color “sail cloth”. I would like to use it in the guest bathroom, then I want to keep the same color palette/scheme with the bedroom for the bath. What would be darker than sail cloth and would tie the two together nicely?

    Ever used Hush(BM) just painted our turned out awesome…

    What about morning dew…any experience with it?

    Thank you


    1. Hi Donna,

      Thank you so much! I’m completely honored as I love your blog! It was one of the first I ever read. I have no idea how I came across it. Maybe I was searching for that perfect gray? haha! I’m always in awe of blogs that have one very narrow topic. But it just goes to show, that even with that, the amount of material is endless… my best, Laurel

  9. I am almost to the point of begging someone to help me with my bathroom color choices….would you please help me out? My bathroom has light “bone” colored fixtures (spa tub, stand up shower, and toilet). They’re not dark, but they’re also not white (which I want). I desperately want a white/cream/ivory “dreamy/feminine/light/elegant” bathroom but do not know how to acheive this with the bone stuff. I have read several places not to paint white next to the bone as it would look dirty. Someone recommended Navajo white or Albescent but I saw that you do not like the Navajo. So I’m desperately wanting advice. Please help!

    Oh and another small issue…my bedroom (attached) is light french gray by SW which is a cool color. The bedding is all white & gray. It’s very pretty and I want it to flow with the bathroom but the bone is a warmer tone, right? See…help me! lol! I need some professional advice! 🙂

    1. Hi Shelly, Thanks so much for stopping by. I have some suggestions, so if you are still wanting professional help, please scroll down to the bottom of the sidebar and you will see a payment gateway for that service. It’s new, so if you didn’t notice it, no biggie. xo

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Hi, I’m Laurel, and Laurel Home is the website and blog for Laurel Bern Interiors.
I’ve been creating new-traditional interiors since 1988. The blog is where I share all.

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