It’s easy to think of grey as a boring neutral. However, different formulations of grey can easily be paired with browns, blues, or red tones. This article compares pewter, steel, and iron grey colors.
A large expanse of a rich grey tone can add elegance and warmth to nearly any space. Do make sure to monitor the colors that go into your grey paint or fabric.
Some greys contain a higher saturation of blue while others contain quite a lot of yellow.
Let’s look at pewter, steel, and iron grey colors in more detail.
Pewter vs Steel vs Iron
Pewter grey is a rich, blue-based grey. This color works wonderfully with burgundy, navy, a crisp white, or even pink. Because it has so much blue, it is important that you don’t pair it with too much yellow.
For example, peach is a pretty color against a deep green and both colors read true; they balance. If you put peach next to pewter, the pewter will read blue because the yellow in the peach creates a contrast.
If you’re going to use pewter in a room that gets a lot of sunlight, consider adding blue, purple, and red to the space as well.
In a space that needs carpet, a pewter carpet can make your burgundy sofa look like a million dollars.
A tan sofa will make your carpet look blue.
Green tones against pewter can be touchy. Sage and celery will bring a lot of yellow to the space. Sadly, many tones that include yellow will actually appear dirty next to a pewter carpet or wall paint.
If you really want green in a room that features pewter, look for green tones that include blue so the grey will read true.
RGB: 79, 95, 118
Hex Code: #4F5F76
Steel grey is a beautifully balanced color that will easily fade into the background. If you are looking for a rich, deep color for an accent wall, this grey is ideal.
The RGB numbers on this color offer home decorators a terrific option to incorporate a lot of different colors into their space without creating a contrast.
Because steel grey is so well balanced, it’s a wonderful foil.
If you’ve been thinking about creating a library wall or a series of display cubbies, paint the background steel grey.
You can create a greater sense of space with a color that just disappears into the background.
Nearly anything you put against a steel grey wall will easily stand out. When you’re first decorating your home, one steel grey accent wall can be a terrific gallery wall; you can easily use frameless art on this background and it will read clean.
If your budget is very tight, take a walk and get several photos of flowers, water or the sunset. Get it transferred to canvas and mount it on your accent wall for a simple, elegant focal point.
Steel grey is happy to stay in the background. If you choose to paint an entire room in this color, consider setting up small pools of light to maintain visual interest.
One armchair, a small table, and a pretty lamp can create a beautiful spot to read, do crafts or lean back and take a nap.
Do make sure to use plenty of light in a steel grey room. It would be easy for a room that has steel grey walls to turn into a cave. Get creative with heights; table lamps will draw the eye.
Floor lamps can brighten a larger space. Wall mirrors will bounce light around easily. For an even more interesting visual feature, put a lit candle on a shelf in front of a wall mirror to increase the intimacy of the space.
RGB: 118, 118, 117
Hex Code: #767675
Iron grey is a lighter shade than steel grey with less blue in it than pewter. There is a bit more blue in this mix than steel, but this color will probably not read blue if you pair it with anything in the yellow spectrum. Iron grey is a wonderful color to pair with logos.
For example, if your business is hosting a charity event and you want to feature your logo, invest in iron grey tee shirts to show off your logo to the best effect.
Yellow, orange, and red will hold their own against iron grey. It’s probably not a good idea to pair this color with tans.
While a rich brown will hold its own, colors in the sand spectrum may go yellow.
If you’re going for yellow, keep going for it. Do be aware that in the wrong light, tan in the company of grey will just look dirty.
Curiously, greys often do not work and play well together. If you put pewter on an accent wall, avoid steel or iron grey carpet. If you put iron grey on the walls and put pewter carpet on the floor, the carpet may well appear blue, especially in sunlight.
Trim color is critically important when working with any shade of grey. If you’re going to paint walls and trim in different colors, go ahead and look for a bright white. “Bright” indicates blue.
You may have seen bluing products on the laundry aisle. The function of these is to combat the yellowing of white clothes, especially if you have hard water.
A bright white trim paint will make any of the greys in this listing sparkle. Tan or yellow oak will dull down steel and iron grey, while pewter will read or appear blue.
If you have beige carpet and put grey paint on the wall, carefully check the corner where the wall meets the floor. If the nap of the carpet is suddenly obviously visible, or if the formerly clean carpet looks dirty, the yellow in the beige is tussling with the grey.
While grey tones are subtle, the colors you pair with them need to be bold. If you like yellow, use it with iron or steel. The yellow in beige or tan will just look worn and dirty.
RGB: 82, 89, 93
Hex Code: #52595D