Light French Gray vs Repose Gray are both mid-toned gray colors from Sherwin-Williams, but these colors have subtle differences that make them distinguishable from each other.
Many people prefer to buy high quality paints, like Sherwin-Williams paint, because they believe that you get better value for your money in terms of the saturation and finish of these paint colors.
Light French Gray and Repose Gray are two shades from Sherwin-Williams that may seem redundant to the naked eye, but they can end up looking very different once they appear in the final design.
This similar look can make it difficult to decide which one of these paint choices will work best in your design and space, but there are a few subtle differences between the two colors, which could help you make a more informed decision.
Why the quality of your paint matters
Sherwin-Williams prides itself in being a brand that supplies its customers with innovative and high-quality paints, whether those clients are professionals, contractors, designers or homeowners.
This brand is also well-known for justifying its higher price points with really high-quality paints. However, it can be difficult to know what really makes high-quality paint different from other brands.
One of the most obvious differences you will notice when you place higher quality paint next to a lower quality paint, is the pigmentation.
Paint pigment is divided into two segments, prime pigments and extender pigments. Prime pigments add to the color and depth of the paint, while extender pigments mostly add bulk to the formula.
Higher quality paint usually has a higher concentration of the prime pigment and a lower concentration of extender pigment, which leads to higher opacity and saturation when it is on your wall.
The other difference that many people notice when using higher quality paint, is the texture and thickness of the actual paint.
Sherwin-Williams paint is much thicker than other brands, and this helps the paint to apply more smoothly, and subsequently, the finish once the paint has dried is also much smoother and shinier.
These, along with its wide selection of colors, are some of the reasons why Sherwin-Williams is such a popular paint brand to use for big renovations and design projects.
Light French Gray vs Repose Gray
As a result of its wide selection of paint colors, Sherwin-Williams also has many other color comparisons that may look similar at first glance, but are, in actuality, very different.
Light French Gray (SW 0055) and Repose Gray (SW 7015) by Sherwin-Williams are both mid-toned gray shades that are perfect for a contemporary gray design, but there are small differences between these colors that make them suited towards different designs.
Light French Gray is a neutral and versatile mid-toned gray color. This shade has become popular among designers and homeowners, because it is considered one of the most neutral gray colors on the market.
That is also why this color has featured in Sherwin-Williams’ Top 50 most popular colors, and why it has been included in so many of the brand’s collections over the years.
Some of these collections include: Purely Refined, Minimalist, Historic Interior Color Wall, Living Well – Create, The Classics (1800s-1860s), Luxe, Teen Space and Cool Neutrals.
Repose Gray, on the other hand, offers a modern twist on classic, mid-toned gray paint colors. This shade has become a popular choice for contemporary designs that need a color with a bit more depth than a white or off-white.
Repose Gray has also been featured in many of Sherwin-Williams’ collections over the years, because of its versatility and flexibility.
Some of these collections include: Senior Living Cool Foundations, Dreamer, Pottery Barn, Living Well – Inspire, Top 50 Colors.
Although these two colors are both very versatile and popular mid-toned gray colors, there are subtle differences in terms of their undertones and LRVs (Light Reflectance Value) that make them more suited towards different aspects of an interior design color scheme.
These differences become even more obvious when the two colors are placed next to each other for a direct comparison, like below:
What are the undertones?
Although gray paint colors may look fairly plain and neutral on a color card, every gray color will have undertones of blue, green or purple.
This will influence the way that the color appears in different lighting conditions, and how it will interact with the other colors in your space’s color scheme.
Light French Gray and Repose Gray both have slightly purple undertones.
The difference is that Light French Gray’s undertones tend to lean more towards the cooler, blue-purple side, making the color cool overall, while Repose Gray’s undertones lean towards the red-purple, beige side and is, overall, a warmer color.
Light French Gray’s purple undertone is incredibly subtle, which is what makes it feel so close to a neutral gray. This undertone will not be very noticeably present when you use this paint color in your design.
The cooler undertone in Light French Gray makes it feel more like a stormy, somewhat moody gray color, instead of a greige or soft gray color.
Repose Gray is well-known for being the perfect warm-toned gray paint color that can be used in many different designs. This warmth is mostly caused by the slight beige undertones that this color has.
Although, just because Repose Gray has a pronounced warmth to it, it does not mean that the purple and brown undertones take over the color – Repose Gray is still a strong gray color, that will look gray in most lighting conditions.
The warmth only modernizes the color and makes it slightly softer. This color can also appear to have a little bit of green in some lighting conditions, but as long as the other colors in your color scheme are balanced, this should not be a problem.
What are the LRVs?
The LRV of a color measures the amount of visible light that a reflects, from 0, which means that the color reflects absolutely no color and is the blackest black color, all the way to 100, which means that a color reflects 100 percent of the visible light that touches it and is the whitest white.
Light French Gray and Repose Gray both have LRVs in the 50s, which makes them mid-toned shades. This means that they will reflect back just over half of the visible light in the room.
Contrary to what the shade name may lead you to believe, Light French Gray is actually not an exceedingly light gray paint color. In fact, Repose Gray is slightly lighter than Light French Gray, with their LRVs being 58 and 53, respectively.
This ensures that both of these colors will have enough pigment and color to keep their intensity in dark rooms and will not get washed out in lighter rooms.
Part of what makes these colors so popular is that they are not too dark and moody, but they have more color and depth than just a white or off-white color.
However, this slight difference in LRV, once again, makes a difference in where these colors can be used within your designs.
Where to use Light French Gray vs Repose Gray
Of course, you can use any paint color wherever you choose in your home and there are always designs that get away with breaking rules.
However, if you are trying to decide between Light French Gray and Repose Gray for your design, the place where you would potentially like to use the paint in your space may be the biggest indicator of which paint color will be best suited.
The difference between the LRVs of these two color shades and their warmer and cooler tones, make each of them suited to different ideal uses.
Since Repose Gray is slightly lighter than Light French Gray, it is a better choice if you want an all-over wall color for your house, as it will not make your space feel closed off or busy.
The warmer tones in Repose Gray also make this color feel softer and more inviting, which makes it suitable for just about any room in your house.
This will give you the modern edge of using a gray paint color, while still making your rooms feel warm and cozy.
This color is ideal if you want to add splashes of a cooler gray color into your design, because the purple undertone will prevent the color from looking dull or frigid.
The quality of your paint will have an influence on the way that your design looks once you are done, but the color of the paint will also affect the look of the final design.