In this article, you will learn about Fossil Gray, Iron Gray, and Pewter Gray colors including a side-by-side comparison. If you are considering either of these colors for your home project, the following information will help you make the right decision.

fossil gray vs iron gray vs pewter gray infographic

Fossil Gray vs Iron Gray vs Pewter Gray

Trying to come up with the right color and tone of gray when choosing paint and upholstery colors can be confusing.

Because gray is based on black and tinted to a lighter shade, the underlying color will have a large impact on your outcome.

A yellow-based black will produce a warm gray when lightened with a warm white, while a blue-based black will turn muddy if you tint it with a warm white.

fossil gray, iron gray, pewter gray wall art under lights

Fossil Gray

By the RGB code, Fossil Gray is a very warm shade. It contains much more red than blue. If you wanted a shade in your home that was on the gray side of greige, this is a terrific option.

fossil gray color wall art under lights

With a warm gray tone on your walls, you can pull together a more eclectic style effectively.

For example, if you love wooden furniture but can’t make it work with a blue-gray barnwood, Fossil Gray will suit these pieces quite well. You can also pair this color with brown or black leather furniture.

Take care when pairing Fossil Gray with white. Most white furniture marketed today is bright white, which contains a great deal of blue.

fossil gray color infographic

Your bright white bookcase wall against Fossil Gray paint may leave your new paint job looking muddy and your bookcases looking cheap.

You may be better off to either use a cooler gray on the walls or trim your bookcases and paint the whole unit a warmer color.

Fossil Gray on the walls is a terrific choice if you love warm, rich colors. Because this color fades nicely into the background when paired with more intense shades, you can be bold with fabrics.

From rich navy blue to a warm burgundy or cranberry shade, you can use this wall color to highlight cool colors as long as they are not pastels.

Don’t go too light; sky blue or mint green will just make Fossil Gray look muddy.

Finally, you can focus on green when using Fossil Gray on your walls. Because this color includes so much red, greens from hunter to olive will work well against this shade.

Allow a visual break color, such as ivory, to break up bold color combinations.

RGB: 202, 194, 183
HEX: #CAC2B7

fossil gray color wall art above a desk

Iron Gray

If you love rich tones and want a deeply shaded accent wall, Iron Gray is a lovely choice. This is a cool gray, but the numbers are fairly well-balanced.

iron gray color wall art under lights

To that end, keep an eye on your contrasting shades and light sources.

One of the big challenges of using a very dark color on your walls is that any other color will stand out. Additionally, if all the walls are the same dark color, the space can quickly become a cave.

If you’re going to put Iron Gray on your walls, consider using filtered lighting to avoid creating harsh shadows.

Where possible, light from below, such as from a table lamp as opposed to an overhead lamp. As you can control it, use a cool filtering material to avoid putting too much yellow light on this wall color.

Next, keep an eye on contrasts. Very warm colors will make Iron Gray read blue. Navy blue walls are lovely, but not if you want gray.

If you want to use red, lean toward cherry or wine instead of rust or orange. If you want to use green, avoid olive and sage and rely instead on cyan or evergreen.

Curiously, this is a shade that could work beautifully with pastels. For example, if you chose an Iron Gray carpet or series of rugs, you could still put this color on one wall in a child’s room.

Do your best to keep the rest of the space in cool tones; pink or mint will work, but peach and yellow will probably not read effectively.

At the end of the decorating process, Iron Gray is a very elegant color. It will work well with white, such as in larger furnishings and trim.

Take care to keep it a bright white; ivory or cream will again cause your paint or carpet color to read navy blue.

RGB: 77, 84, 88
HEX: #4D5458

iron gray color wall art above a desk

Pewter Gray

If you love gray barnwood and want to build a decorating palette around cool colors, Pewter Gray is a wonderful choice for walls.

pewter gray color wall art under lights

It may also work for flooring that doesn’t get a lot of shoe traffic.

Pale floors, in my experience, work beautifully in decorating magazines but can be a nightmare to care for.

Fans of shiplap and similar applications may notice that the price of these products has gone up quite a bit in recent months.

If you want to upgrade your home but don’t want to break the budget, Pewter Gray can help.

For example, you could purchase the ever-popular white bookcases and back them with shiplap for storing your decorative pieces.

Paint the walls around the bookcase Pewter Gray and enjoy the effect of shiplap for a much lower price tag.

Unlike Iron Gray, Pewter Gray is a shade that could actually work on each wall of your home and even serve as a trim or cabinet paint color. Do be aware that it is slightly to the cool side.

Strong warm colors will not work well with this color. Lean away from colors that have a yellow base. Choose

  • pink instead of salmon
  • white instead of ivory
  • wine instead of rust

Do be aware that this shade, of all of the ones listed in this comparison, will tend to turn chalky as the light fades. If you struggle to sleep in a room that is too bright, Iron Gray may be a better choice for your bedroom.

pewter gray color infographic

Pewter Gray is one of those colors that may not work well and play well with neighboring colors. If you put peach against this color, it will read pale blue.

If you put pale blue against this color, it may well turn muddy. Once this is on your walls, you may find that your favorite pastel shades work best if you stick to colors at the red end of the spectrum.

If it’s on the walls in your living room, try pairing it with a bold, rich green or teal to get the very best intensity out of both colors.

RGB: 202, 214, 222
HEX: #CAD6DE

Gray tones are not dull, but they can be confusing and react to nearby shades in odd ways. Invest in a sample of paint and a canvas and paint yourself a large swatch of your chosen gray.

Make sure that the furniture and rugs that you love will work with it effectively.

pewter gray color wall art above a desk

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