Sherwin Williams’ Dorian Gray is a beautiful warm gray with plenty of depth for exteriors. It made our list of the top exterior house colors of 2022, and our designers are loving using on all sorts of projects. This paint color review will help you learn about Dorian Gray’s specs, the ways we recommend using it in exterior design, paint colors it plays well with, and more.
Paint colors read differently in different settings, and there are even more factors at play when using paint on exterior surfaces vs. interiors. That’s why the renderings throughout this post appear a bit darker or lighter than one another, even though they all make use of Dorian Gray. And your home will look different in Dorian Gray, too. Our expert virtual exterior designers consider your home’s setting, the direction it faces, and other factors when rendering exterior designs like these.
Dorian Gray: The Specs
Dorian Gray has an LRV of 39, putting it in the medium-toned range. (Learn all about LRV and why it matters when painting your exterior here.) Despite its depth, it comes across as soft rather than heavy.
And, of course, gray paint is never just ‘gray’ — there are always undertones to consider. Dorian Gray has a trace of a purple undertone, may read a bit brown, and can also pick up some green. The latter is especially important with exteriors because your landscaping and setting will play a role. Some might even consider Dorian Gray a greige, and that wouldn’t be wrong. While testing is important, Dorian Gray’s undertones aren’t strong and usually aren’t anything to fear.
Recommended Applications for Dorian Gray
We tend to recommend this paint color for clients looking for a cozy traditional or transitional design; however, we have used Dorian Gray in more modern designs, too.
Dorian Gray makes a great field color on a home’s cladding, or it can work as part of a colorblocked exterior. We’ve used it on vinyl siding, brick, stucco, shake siding, James Hardie siding… pretty much any building material you could think of.
Dorian Gray Paint Color Pairings
Dorian Gray looks great with white, warm off-whites, complex neutrals, and black or near-black paint colors. We’ve used it paired with both light and dark trim. On the lighter side, Seapearl, Swiss Coffee, and Shoji White make great companions to Dorian Gray. On the darker side, Black Fox, Black, and even Urbane Bronze are wonderful complements.
On the home rendering above, Dorian Gray is featured on the upper level shake siding with the lighter Benjamin Moore’s Olympic Mountains on the main level. Below, Dorian Gray is the lighter color, on the upper level and beneath the covered porch, with Benjamin Moore’s Deep Creek on the main level siding.
As far as other building materials go, Dorian Gray looks wonderful against medium- to dark-stained wood, black industrial and metal features, copper, and warm stone. It can also work with some natural brick colors and limewashed brick.
Pros & Cons of Sherwin Williams’ Dorian Gray
- Warm and inviting
- Flexible in pairing with other paint colors and building materials
- Has depth but doesn’t carry too much visual weight
- While we have used Dorian Gray on more modern homes, it lends itself to more traditional or transitional designs
- Doesn’t fit the bill for clients looking for something bold, moody, dramatic, or daring
Dorian Gray Alternatives
It’s always a wise choice to test exterior paint colors you’re considering, and to compare them against similar hues. Here are a few to look at alongside Dorian Gray:
Sherwin Williams’ Fawn Brindle
With an LRV of 36, Sherwin Williams’ Fawn Brindle is a few shades darker than Dorian Gray. It has a bit more of a brown note to it, which means it leans further into the greige camp.
We always recommend sampling and testing paint colors before committing. Factors such as natural lighting, undertones, and your property’s fixed elements will have a significant impact on how a color will appear on your exterior. Our friends at Samplize offer extra-large 9 x 14.75 inch peel-and-stick paint samples of the colors we love for exteriors. Order your ‘Real Paint, No Mess’ samples from Samplize here.
Benjamin Moore’s Cape May Cobblestone
Cape May Cobblestone by Benjamin Moore has nearly the same LRV as Dorian Gray, but it reads a bit more green.
Sherwin Williams’ Repose Gray
If you love the feel of Dorian Gray but want to go with something lighter and airier, Repose Gray by Sherwin Williams could be your answer. With an LRV of 58, it’s substantially more reflective. But it’s similar in that it also has warmth and has purple and green undertones.
Benjamin Moore’s Rockport Gray
Finally, Benjamin Moore’s Rockport Gray is an alternative worth looking into. It has an LRV of 36 and is very similar to Fawn Brindle (above).
The Bottom Line on Sherwin Williams’ Dorian Gray
Using Sherwin Williams’ Dorian Gray on exteriors can make for a pleasing and attractive design. It’s a warm, inviting paint color that feels homey without being dull or staid. Perhaps it’s part of the curb appeal of your dreams!
At brick&batten, we’re more than exterior paint color consultants. Our talented, creative designers look at paint color as one part of a cohesive exterior design. Your garage door, front porch columns, and even house numbers are all part of your curb appeal. Ready to visualize your home’s potential, with us as your partner? Get started today.
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