Matt is a professional painter who owns and operates his own painting business, specializing in interior and exterior house painting.
A Closer Look At Sherwin Williams Neutral Ground
Gray and greige paint colors are still all the rage, but more of my clients have been going with warmer tones, specifically off-whites, to lighten up their living space. While gray is still popular for walls, you don't have to follow snooty paint trends when choosing colors for your home's interior. If you're interested in using off-white instead of gray, Neutral Ground (SW-7568) is a warm white worth looking at.
I recently had the opportunity to paint high walls in a living room, foyer and stairway with Sherwin Williams Neutral Ground. Originally, my customer considered using Repose Gray, another popular Sherwin Williams color, but since the walls were already painted a darker gray, she worried the Repose Gray wouldn't be much lighter than the old color. After priming the walls white and applying two coats of paint, this color brightened up the rooms significantly.
In this article, which features pictures of the rooms I painted, I explain more about this paint color so you can decide if it's a good choice for your home's interior.
The Undertones of Sherwin Williams Neutral Ground
Have you ever painted a room and realized the color looked totally different than the sample? Paint colors can be very deceiving without knowing the undertones and light reflectance value in advance. I recommend buying a few peel and stick samples from a Sherwin Williams store and test them on your walls before you settle on any color. The peel and stick samples are much larger than the tiny swatches in the Sherwin Williams color fan deck and also cheaper than their plastic jugs of sample paint.
What Are the SW Neutral Ground Undertones?
All paint colors have undertones, some more noticeable than others. After painting several high walls in a living room and foyer with this color, I was able to really see how it looks on a large scale in both natural and artificial light. I didn't find Neutral Ground to look all that much different than the sample. It's a soft tannish white with a touch of yellow and greige. Some say the color has a green undertone, but I didn't notice that at all, however, it's something to be aware of.
Neutral Ground is nowhere near as yellow as Alabaster and other yellowy Sherwin Williams colors I've used, but it's a little yellowish. The color is very warm and reflects a lot of light. My customer was concerned the paint might look too light and not show enough contrast between the walls and white ceiling, but that wasn't the case at all.
The LRV (Light Reflectance Value) is High
Knowing the LRV (light reflectance value) of a paint color is important because it plays a major role in how light, or dark, a room will be when the painting is done. The LRV is based on a scale that goes from 0 to 100. The higher the LRV, the more light the color will reflect. If you paint a large room with poor lighting, using a color with a low LRV, the room will be very dark.
Neutral Ground has an LRV of 70, which is pretty high. If your goal is to brighten up your walls with a warmer pastel, this is an excellent color choice to consider. My customers walls were originally painted with a darker gray, and after painting everything with this color, the rooms were incredibly brighter and warmer. Neutral Ground looks more white and tannish in full light and more greige in low light.
Painting Neutral Ground On Walls
Neutral Ground is a very light pastel that will require primer if you paint dark walls with it. On the gray walls I painted, I primed the walls white first with the latex Preprite primer from Sherwin Williams, followed by two coats of Duration Home paint in the matte finish. You might scoff at using a separate primer when you can just buy all-in-one paint and primer, but it's usually cheaper to buy primer than buy extra paint for a third coat. In my experience too, a dedicated latex primer does a better job at hiding drywall patches than using paint alone.
This is an excellent color to use for main walls and social living spaces like a living room, or even on kitchen cabinets, but I probably wouldn't paint bedroom walls with it, it's too warm. The color looks warmer and brighter in well lit rooms and more greige in rooms with poor lighting. I would stick a color sample on your walls first to see how it looks with the lighting inside your home.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Matt G.