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In this article, we will compare Network Gray and African Gray paint colors from Sherwin Williams. This includes a side by side color comparison with Hex and RGB numbers. If you are considering either of these colors for your home, the following information will help you decide which paint color is best for you.

Sherwin Williams Paint Colors: Network Gray vs African Gray

Choosing the right gray for your home can be a challenge. If you’re painting the outside, you need a gray that will work well with any landscaping you have in place and with your preferred trim color.

When choosing an interior shade, you need a gray that will work with your chosen furniture, existing flooring and trim color goals.

Gray is generally classed as a neutral paint color, as are white and black. However, getting just the right shade of gray is critical; many grays lean toward blue and others are technically closer to greige.

There is a tendency to think of gray as a rather boring color, which is not just inaccurate but rather unfair. Properly applied and coordinated, gray can be quite an engaging color.

Both grays listed below are slightly to the cool side. African Gray is a bit darker than Network Gray.

network gray and african gray paint colors wall art above a sofa

Network Gray

Network Gray is a pearly shade that can work well with many different colors. Because it’s a bit paler than African Gray, there is a chance that this color can be pushed around a bit.

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Pair this shade with other cool colors. If you like a varied palette, try to include warm tones in pastel shades.

If you push this gray with a bold warm color, such as a rich rust or a milk chocolate brown, there’s a chance that it will lean towards blue.

Add some strong yellow to the mix and you may find that Network Gray drifts toward lavender in some light.

network gray paint color wall art above a desk

Stick with cool light against this color. If you’ve got a space that gets a lot of daylight, try to cool down the natural yellow by using white sheers over the windows.

Before you commit to this color, create a couple of large samples to set in full daylight or against your larger pieces of furniture.

This would be a terrific color to play with if you enjoy using different sheens. If you’ve been living with plain white walls, try this color in an eggshell or satin finish.

If you have display shelving in place or plan to add some DIY built-ins, use a semigloss inside the cubes to create more light bounce.

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Take care when pairing this gray with black. If you have black furniture or a black fireplace surround, be aware that this color may go muddy if the black is on the warm side.

As a general rule, black marble is on the cool side, as is black suede. Black leather may be more tricky. Again, create a sample.

Network Gray would be an ideal foil for strong colors in the blue family. Violets and purples will also work beautifully against this color.

Keep your trim colors simple; a clean, bright white trim paint would be a terrific pairing.

If you want to use this gray on the outside of your home, take a hard look at your landscaping. A rich blue-green evergreen will look terrific against this color, but yellow-green shrubs and golden grasses may push this color outside the scope of gray and into blue, which can be visually jarring.

However, fans of the cottage style could get terrific results with Network Gray on their siding, bright white window and door trim, and navy blue shutters.

Pots with lush green plants and pastel flowers would allow this pearly gray to shine.

RGB: 160, 165, 167
Hex Code: #A0A5A7

network gray paint color artwork under lights

African Gray

If Network Gray is pearly, African Gray is velvety. This gray is unlikely to be pushed around. Because African Gray is a bit darker, you can put this on the walls of your sleeping spaces and enjoy a break from bounced light.

African Gray would be a terrific background for bright colors on the cool side. Bold pinks and bright purples would pair well.

If you prefer a more elegant palette, look for ways to use burgundy and navy against this color.

Beware of too many shadows falling on this color. Gray can be both soothing and enjoyable to look at, but this shade is one of those colors that can fade to nothing if it doesn’t get some light bounce.

african gray paint color artwork above a desk

Put mirrors to work against this color to brighten your spaces. Avoid lighting it from overhead and use cool bulbs in lamps to light this color from below.

If you’re looking for a cabinet paint to update your kitchen, consider pairing this gray with black hardware. Wrought iron pulls and knobs would look terrific against this shade.

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Do take care with wooden cabinets that have highly trimmed or detailed doors; again, too many shadows will turn this color muddy.

Those looking for an exterior paint would do well to choose African Gray. Because this color will stand up against warm tones, those with outbuildings or hobby sheds in red or yellow will not have to worry that their gray house will look blue at different times of day.

That being said, even a cool gray that can stand up to warm tones will tend to fade if you push it around too much.

If your porch is a riot of color and you love to use multi-colored pots, be aware that your African Gray porch may seem dimmer than the rest of the house.

Gray endures, but too much bold color around it will tire it out.

Fans of accent walls may hesitate to pair such a saturated color with something even darker. You can trust African Gray to work well with other cool tones.

If you need a navy blue accent wall, paint one. Keep the trim against both colors consistent and your gray walls will stand up to the navy accent walls.

The biggest risk you’ll likely find when you put African Gray on the interior or exterior walls of your home is muddiness. Avoid overloading this wall paint with warm tones.

If you have an olive green sofa, it should work and play well with this cool gray. Your walls should not lean toward blue or into the purple zone.

However, if you have an ivory and rust blanket that you love to drape over the olive green sofa, be aware that this collection of warm tones could leave your newly painted gray walls looking tired.

Instead, try a plum-colored throw or a few charcoal cushions to anchor your cool gray walls.

African Gray would be a terrific color to use if you want to play with silica textures, DIY wallpaper stripes of sheens or even a stencil pattern.

Just make sure your walls are clean, patched, primed and cured before you start the next step. This gray is dark enough that it may be unforgiving if you have to paint over it.

Give yourself plenty of time so you can avoid errors.

RGB: 150, 156, 157
Hex Code: #969C9D

african gray paint color wall art under lights

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