top 10 paint resources

This weekend I spent some time mulling over the imaginary paint colors I want to use in our new apartment. Never mind that we don’t have a new apartment yet, I’m already painting it in my head. And it’s going to include plenty of beautiful dark grays and peaches. I like to think I’m something of a gray paint connoisseur, having painted my last three homes every possible gray hue under the sun. While I was checking out Benjamin Moore’s gray selection at the hardware store below our house, I decided to keep the “Top Resources” theme going with my favorite resources for great interior paint. Paint quality and color palette offerings can vary widely from brand to brand, so today I’m sharing the trusted brands (and a few specific colors) that I’ve used and recommended over the years. Whether you’re painting your room or a piece of furniture, these companies have you covered. Happy painting! xo, grace

  • Behr: Behr does bright colors perfectly. Their rich oranges (“Glowing Firelight” is beautiful) and bright lime greens are my favorites.
  • Benjamin Moore: Benjamin Moore is my go-to paint brand. Primarily because they have an amazing range of grays (“Owl Gray“, “Senora Gray” and “Chelsea Gray” are my favorites). Their browns are also incredibly rich and warm (I used, and love, “Bittersweet Chocolate” in my bathroom).
  • California Paints: California Paints makes some great low VOC interior paints. I think of them when I’m looking for earthy tones: orange, red, mauve, yellow. Their best colors remind me of a California desert color palette. “Clementine” is a dusty orange-peach hue from their Historic collection that looks good in rooms with afternoon light.
  • Farrow & Ball: I’ll be honest — I think you can blindly pick a color from Farrow & Ball and end up with something that will look amazing. These high-quality paints work perfectly in modern or traditional homes. They have a sophisticated look no matter what color you choose. Note: their color palette is a bit more refined, so this isn’t the first stop I’d make if you’re looking for bold or edgy hues.
  • Hudson Paint: I think chalkboard paint feels played out for some people because the black and white combo seems to be everywhere. But Hudson Paint makes chalkboard paint in a wide range of colors that are perfect for small or large projects. Their “Mercantile Red” color is my absolute favorite. I’ve had a can of it sitting in my closet for over a year now, just waiting for the perfect project.
  • Martha Stewart Living Paint: Much like Farrow & Ball, Martha’s colors are classic, sophisticated and hard to mess up. They’re not the boldest or brightest on the market, but if you’re looking for something crisp and clean, this is your brand.
  • Montana Spray Paint: Ok, this isn’t meant for full rooms, but it’s impossible to ignore this brand. I discovered Montana Spray Paints through Erica at P.S. I Made This and have been using them ever since. Their wide range of spray paints are a must for any artist or home owner looking for a great variety of hues (they have 182!).
  • Milk Paint: This company specializes in old fashioned milk paint formulas in beautiful historical color palettes. I love their “Salmon” color mixed with 90% white.
  • The Real Milk Paint Company: Barb at Knack opened my eyes to milk paint and ever since then I’ve been dying to try some. A good friend painted her bedroom with this company’s “Raw Umber” color and it was so beautiful. Their color range is a little limited, but if you like the look of milk paint, this is a great source.
  • Valspar: When I think of clean-lined modern homes, I think of Valspar. Their bold colors are perfect for those who want something that will make a statement. I love their brick-red hues, but their purple-gray options like “Plum Good” are the perfect combination of bold and sophisticated.
  • Yolo Paints: I got so many emails about this paint after I wrote the guide that I had to add it. A crowd favorite for its wide range of colorful low VOC paints.
  1. knack says:

    perfect round up friend! I couldn’t agree more!


  2. Yes – thank you! I’ve been doing fantasy renovations/decorating as well. Couldn’t live without Benjamin Moore “Nantucket Grey”!

  3. Katherine says:

    Thanks for letting me know about Montana Spray Paint! I have a project in mind that I need a yellow-y orange for, and it’s been impossible to find! Montana’s website listed a dealer near me so I’m going to check that out soon!

  4. Erin says:

    Thanks for this Grace! I have about 4 different peachy/pink paint chips up in my bathroom and they all look different in the day/night! I’ll have to check into the Salmon 90%.. it might be the answer!

  5. Carrie S. says:

    Excellent roundup. I concur with your Benjamin Moore recommendations, and would add Smoked Oyster, Stone Harbor, and Coventry Gray as additional gray favs!

  6. i’m bookmarking this post! thank you! the hard part will be choosing.

  7. Shones says:

    I recently painted my living room in Essential Gray (SW 6002) by Sherwin-Williams. It’s multi-faceted — looks blue sometimes, sometimes purplish, at other times straight on gray. I <3 gray paint.

  8. Grace,
    This is just great. Thank you. Definitely going in the files for future reference and to share when friends ask for suggestions.

    Hope your Monday is lovely.


  9. Stacy Jean says:

    Great round up ~ it’s much appreciated! Because you’re so experienced in choosing just the right gray, I would love to know your favorites in that department.

  10. sydney says:

    so many great choices of paint companies!

    I’m one of those people who are tired of seeing chalkboard paint all over the place. However, I think offering multiple colors add a fresh spin.

  11. Jen O says:

    May I add Sherwin Williams to this list? I especially like their color theme palettes designed for many architectural design periods. The color range is these is great for both interior or exterior. The paint has excellent coverage, and darker exterior colors are long lasting (on our house).

  12. Gracia says:

    Love Farrow and Ball (Pavillion grey makes anything prettier)! I would probably love the other brands too if we had acces to them here in Spain…..

  13. C says:

    this is great, and I’ll use it often.

  14. What a lovely post about paint! I would definitely support the push for Benjamin Moore paints. Incredibly product. Especially their Aura line, makes painting a really enjoyable experience, it goes on so smoothly.

    It should also be pointed out that they have environmentally friendly paints. Love it!

  15. Annie Sloan says:

    I’m really disappointed you didn’t mention my paint now available in the USA :-))
    It is THE paint – come on guys!

    1. grace says:


      Sorry- I’m not familiar with your company but I’ll be sure to check it out :)


  16. Whitney says:

    I know a lot of bloggers talk about the BM paint, but we’ve had such good luck with regular ol’ Behr from home depot that I’m kinda afraid to try something new. Just yesterday, we finished our new kitchen in Teal Ice and we both love it. Of course, we really like color, so that fits in with what you were saying.

  17. Kristin says:

    I love Benjamin Moore too. Am surprised not to see Donald Kaufman on the list… ! Expensive but very, very pretty.

  18. jess says:

    I really like YOLO Colorhouse. Their palettes are all very natural AND it’s zero-VOC.

  19. My husband & dad are both professional painters & they’ve both agreed that Behr Premium Plus paint (they buy from home depot) is the best…it’s VERY nice & thick & goes on just lovely. The paint+primer stuff is crazy good too- we went from bright white to a shockingly bright blue in one single coat. Amazing.

    The thing I like about this brand is that I can go through the color samples of ANY of those brands listed above, pick the one I like & then have it color matched at home depot. I’ve brought in greeting cards with a gorgeous tone on them before & they’ve been able to color match.

  20. Kelly says:

    I just finished painting my new house, and I have a fun NYC secret. There’s an amazing Benjamin Moore paint shop in Woodside (Queens) that carries all Farrow & Ball paint samples. But instead of charging you the $80 a gallon price, they match the exact color w/ Benjamin Moore paint. I did my dining room in “Off Black” and library in “Parma Grey”. Could not be happier!

  21. Circa1972 says:

    Pratt & Lambert’s color selection is divine. I just used Atlantic Tulip. Love their paint, love their colours.

  22. Am'ella says:

    Im wondering if, when using a paint with primer and paint in one, can that be applied straight to drywall? Or does this type of paint only apply to walls that have been primed and or painted before?

    1. grace says:


      drywall is like a darn sponge, so i’d prime that sucker first, even if the primer’s built in. ;)


  23. Stefanie says:

    Thanks for this! We’re moving into our first house in a little over a week, and I have been devouring paint chips for the past month.

    Do you have any idea if Milk paint is sold at chain hardware stores? Unfortunately those are the only options we have in our city :(

    1. grace says:


      i haven’t seen it in chain stores, but you can order milk paint online if you’d like to try it :)

      or if you’re feeling adventurous you can make your own:


  24. Am'ella says:

    Thanks grace!!!

  25. rebecca says:

    thanks, grace. any suggestions for a dark gray in a bathroom w/ no natural light? i know it breaks some rules, but i like it. i think the contrast w/ bright white tile and trim will be fantastic. that said, the color has to be just right. :)

    1. grace says:

      for me, chelsea gray is the best around. but it’s a green gray. i used it in my old apt and EVERYONE commented on it when they came over. it was always “woah, what is that color? that’s awesome”. but “grey dove” by benjamin moore is nice, too.

  26. Jessica says:

    I completed second Jess’s YOLO Colorhouse recommendation! I’m surprised more design folks aren’t concerned about VOC’s! Especially those of us with little ones or babes on the way…chemicals=bad!

  27. La Rêveuse says:

    I agree with Sherwin Williams. Great paint, great colors, great service. There’s a reason the pros go there!

  28. Cricket says:

    Annie, what’s up? You said that your paint was the paint to have and then didn’t plug it?

    1. grace says:


      annie’s name links to her site- and i think the comment itself could be considered a plug ;)


  29. csat says:

    YOLO YOLO YOLO!!! We painted our whole house in it and they are the BEST! The colorways are beautiful.

  30. Palm Spring says:

    That’s a very thorough review. I have some painting to do at our house and have been very interested in Yolo Paints and Benjamin Moore

  31. Sheena says:

    Great list, great to see some of the brands availiable across the pond

  32. judi says:

    getting ready to paint our condo. Having trouble selecting a gray benjamin moore paint (light) with white trim. What white will look good. Not too yellow..

  33. Milllee says:

    How about Sherwin Williams?


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