A Soft Neutral Gray Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray

Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray HC-170

About Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray HC-170

Another day, another gray paint color to explore! I love these types of posts because it’s really fun to put a spotlight on a color I love and examine it closely. Gray paint colors can be really hard to select. There are undertones and lighting situations to account for and going in blind can be an expensive laborious mistake. Today, we’re opening the paint can of a popular Benjamin Moore paint color, Stonington Gray HC-170. This bestselling neutral paint color is a soft gray hue that oozes elegance and poise, making it the perfect choice for a touch of refinement.

Among it’s most popular grays, Benjamin Moore describes Stonington Gray as “an all-purpose silvery gray with relatively neutral undertones.” It is part of the Historical Colors collection which celebrates some of Benjamin Moore’s most tried and true colors.

In this post, we’ll explore the strengths of this gray paint color to see if it’s a good paint color for your space. Let’s dive in.

How Light or How Dark is Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray?

BM Stonington Gray is a solid medium-gray paint color. If you’re looking for a nice mid-range gray – this one is definitely worth considering. According to the LRV (more on that in just a second), it’s just a smidge darker than the middle of the LRV range making it just slightly above medium but for the sake of ease – we’ll call it medium gray.

What is the LRV?

The Light Reflectance Value or LRV of Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray is 59.36.

LRV is a useful tool for determining how light or dark a paint color is (100 being the whitest white and 0 being the darkest black). Keep in mind that “light” refers to Light Reflective Value, meaning the amount of light reflected. The more reflective the color, the brighter it will appear. This medium gray has an LRV of about 59. Compared to another popular medium gray paint color, Repose Gray with an LRV of 58, Stonington Gray is right there in the middle range for depth of color.

Is Stonington Gray a Warm or Cool Color?

I’m glad you asked! Undertones are really important when selecting paint colors, especially in gray shades. Stonington Gray is a cool silvery gray. Don’t let that scare you away – it gives the color softness while maintaining its neutral color.

A paint color’s warmth or coolness is directly affected by the color’s undertones so the next important question to ask is…

What Undertones Does Stonington Gray Have?

Every gray paint color has undertones that impact the way the color looks in a space. Some are more subtle and some are very obvious. The best way to identify undertones is to take two paint colors and look at them side by side. You’ll immediately see undertones.

Cool paint colors have undertones of blue, purple, and green while warm paint colors have undertones of red (pink), orange, and yellow.

Overall, Stonington Gray is a solid neutral gray paint color that has blue undertones. For the most part, the wall appears a neutral gray. There are some times (in cool artificial lighting) in which Stonington Gray’s blue undertones shine through making it feel bluer.

This is where I tell you how important it is to sample any paint color before you commit to painting your walls. It’s a really great idea to stick paint samples of your desired color in the space you’re thinking about painting and check in on it at varying times throughout the day to get a true, accurate idea of what the color is going to look like in your space. If you buying paint pot samples, consider using large posterboard for samples to give yourself the most accurate idea of the color.

For your convenience, this post may contain affiliate links. That means, at no additional cost to you, I may make a small commission on your purchase. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

samplize paint samples


I also want you to check out SAMPLIZE. Samplize offers convenient peel-and-stick paint samples that are affordable, easier, and better for the environment than traditional paint pots. They are mess-free, display colors just like a wall, are reusable so you can try them out all over the room, and arrive to your doorstep in just a few days!

Stonington Gray in Real Spaces

We can talk about paint colors endlessly but no words work as well as just seeing the paint color in real spaces. How does it look in a bathroom? What about Stonington Gray kitchen cabinets? Let’s dive in and see what HC-170 looks like in real spaces!

Let’s start with this beautiful entryway/mudroom. The Stonington Gray walls are soft and refined paired with white trim and white accents. This is a great example of how neutral this gray can be.

By the way, this seems like a good time to tell you that my favorite trim color of all time is Chantilly Lace – it’s a really beautiful cloudy soft white.

Another great example of Stonington Gray at its best is this open space. With white trim and dark wood accents, Stonington Gray as a medium gray shines. It has the perfect amount of depth for an all-over paint color.

In a combination of natural light and warm artificial light, Stonington Gray warms up a touch and can even feel slightly lighter. In this bathroom, the lighting washes Stonington Gray out a bit but just enough to make it an even softer neutral gray.

This is my favorite example of BM Stonington Gray because you can really see the best of this color in two different lighting situations. You can see that on the left, the light coming through is filtered by trees. We can’t know for certain the direction of the lighting but we can see that the windows on the right are providing some direct, harsher light which allows Stonington Gray to appear lighter on that wall and darker on the other. This is helpful to see because even with two different lighting situations in one space, the color still appears polished and elegant.

Gray kitchen cabinets are trending. If you’re looking for a good gray paint color for cabinetry, Stonington Gray gets high marks from me. This kitchen boasts Stonington Gray on the walls and the cabinets. It’s a bold choice to go all gray but it works really well here. Closer to the windows the color appears lighter than on the island – farther away from the natural light the gray is several shades darker but still a nice medium gray.

Gray exteriors can be difficult to select because full sun exposure washes out colors pretty quickly. Light grays tend to look really dull and medium grays tend to look light when on exteriors. Stonington Gray as an exterior paint color is perfect. It’s a really nice shade of gray that doesn’t wash out.

Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray is a great choice if you are looking for a soft and refined gray paint color. It’s a perfect all-over paint color – great for both exteriors and interiors.

What are some Complementary Colors to Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray?

Cool tones work really well with BM Stonington Gray. Blues, gray blues, navy, blue-green, white, darker grays, and even some black colors all go really well with Stonington Gray. Whether in decor or additional paint colors – these cool colors coordinate really well with Stonington Gray.

Where to Use Stonington Gray?

As previously mentioned, BM Stonington Gray is a perfect paint color for interiors and exteriors. I would consider it a nice “all over” paint color but it’s especially nice in a living space with a lot of natural light and in bathrooms. I also really appreciate this paint color on cabinetry in kitchens and laundry rooms. This paint color is a great option because it works well in almost every style of home including coastal, traditional, transitional, farmhouse, and contemporary spaces. Additionally, Stonington Gray is a lovely light gray for an exterior paint color. It looks great on siding, shingles, and brick.

What are Some Similar Gray Paint Colors?

You may wonder what are some good comparable paint colors for Stonington Gray. There are tons and tons of gray paint colors out there yet none are identical to Stonington Gray. There are some other popular colors that are worth considering if you like Stonington Gray and would like to explore other options that are slightly similar. I also think it’s really helpful to see paint colors next to each other to get a better idea of undertones. Let’s take a look.

Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray vs. Benjamin Moore Gray Owl

Stonington Gray vs Benjamin Moore Gray Owl paint colors comparison

Benjamin Moore Gray Owl is another highly regarded gray paint color for good reason. Like Stonington Gray, it’s a silvery gray but instead of a medium grey, it’s more of a cool, light to mid-gray paint color, almost venturing into the category of pale grays. A solid gray paint color, Gray Owl has designers and homeowners alike using it all over their homes. Its LRV is 64.51 a few points lighter than Stonington Gray which sits at about 59. If tried and true, popular paint colors are your jam, then you’ll be happy with Gray Owl for sure. If you like Gray Owl but want something with slightly more depth, then test of Stonington Gray because it might be your ticket to gray wall perfection.

Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray vs. Sherwin Williams Passive

Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray vs Sherwin Williams Passive

If we had to pick one paint color as Sherwin Williams’s equivalent paint color to compare to Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray it would be SW Passive. Looking at them closely, they are very similar in depth. You can see that Stonington has the tiniest, and I mean a tiny drop of green undertone. On the walls, it’s not evident but next to this very similar gray paint color, you can see it, just barely. Overall, Sherwin Williams Passive is a calming gray paint color with cool undertones that give it a light and airy feel. It has an LRV of 60, almost exactly the same as BM Stonington Gray (59.36). Both colors are medium gray hues and have a similar overall feel. I think Passive might have a slightly more icy look making it just a tad cooler gray color.

Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray vs. Sherwin Williams Repose Gray

Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray vs Sherwin Williams Repose Gray

 Let’s compare Stonington Gray with a designer favorite, SW Repose Gray. Repose Gray really isn’t that close to Stonington Gray in the grand scheme of paint colors however, it is a really popular paint color that has a medium tone so I thought it would be helpful to see it in comparison to Stonington Gray. When Stonington Gray is held up next to Repose Gray you can really see its blue undertones and the “silvery gray” that Benjamin Moore describes. Repose Gray is clearly the warmer of the two paint colors. Repose Gray works really well with warmer tones while Stonington Gray compliments the cool colors nicely. Comparatively, Repose Gray has an LRV of 55 while Stonington Gray is around 59 which puts both colors in the mid-range LRV. I think you’ll find that while both colors are soft and refined, Stonington Gray’s silvery side creates a really nice elegance that cannot be denied.

Final Thoughts on Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray

To wrap things up on Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray, this color is versatile and a winner in my book. Stonington Gray may not be the number one best-selling gray paint color but it definitely deserves a look and maybe a sample. It’s a cool paint color that won’t overwhelm with its undertones. It brings a softness that is subtle and welcome. That being said, I highly recommend you sample this color before going all in. With cool paint colors, you have to be aware of the potential of blue walls and while that’s not typical with this color, as we’ve seen here, a sample will let you know for sure!

In conclusion, if you’re ready for an injection of softness and elegance into your space, grab a sample of Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray! This timeless color will not let you down.

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