Sherwin Williams Light French Gray (SW 0055)


Sherwin Williams Light French Gray is a lovely medium light neutral gray paint color that works well in many settings.

Before painting our home Sherwin Williams Passive, we had already painted the front office SW Light French Gray. We decided that the shades complemented each other and left the color as is. Light French Gray in my husband’s front office suited the space. We contemplated changing it to match rest of the house, but since the trim and ceilings were BM White Dove; we felt the two grays worked just fine together.

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Two blue print sketches in gold frames hanging on the wall

Sherwin Williams Light French Gray Explained

SW Light French Gray is a true neutral gray gray with some undertones and a medium tone. This shade of gray also has a good bit of depth to it. It rather looks a little like wet cement for lack of a better explanation.

Light French Gray will need enough light to make it look its best; natural light is best for this wonderful gray hue. This shade of gray would be dark in a hallway without windows or in a small bathroom also void of windows. Natural light is best for this shade.

SW Light French Gray paint swatch

Sherwin Williams Light French Gray LRV

As you know, with any other painting posts I’ve written, I always break down the technicalities first. It’s necessary to help understand these stats so you can ultimately select the right color for your home.

The LRV of SW Light French Gray is 53 making it a more medium gray than light gray as its name suggests. If you have a dark room without many windows, the LRV or Light French Gray can make it feel a bit heavy. With the LRV of 53 the light doesn’t bounce around the room quite as much.

LRV ranges from 0-100 with 100 being pure white. Light French Gray is somewhere in the middle of that scale.

Light French Gray Statistics:

  • R:194G:192B:187
  • Hex Value:#c2c0bb
  • LRV:53

SW Light French Gray Undertones

Light French Gray is gray, a true gray. Because of the perfect balance of warm and cool tones, it is as close to pure gray that you can get. There are no overly strong undertones stealing the show. This color can also have a blue or purplish undertone depending if your space is north facing. This can make the paint feel a little blue and cool.

As with any paint color, I always encourage testing a color before committing to it. What looks good on a tiny paint swatch in the paint store does not usually translate the same in your room.

Every room is different with different lighting, furniture and how much daylight the space receives. Based on lighting and location SW Light French Gray might have undertones and they can vary a bit.

home office with desk walls painted Sherwin Williams Light French Gray

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Sherwin Williams Light French Gray too dark?

Sherwin Williams Light French Gray has an LRV of 53 making this color a smidge lighter than in the middle. It’s not too dark and it’s not too light; it’s somewhere in between.

Does Sherwin Williams Light French Gray look blue?
It really is a true gray, but based on lighting and decor it can have a slight purple undertone. In norther facing rooms it can feel a little blue but can soften up in warmer lighting and decor.

Are gray paint colors out of style?

Gray walls are being replaced by warmer tones such as greige colors like SW Repose Gray or SW Agreeable Gray.

Is Light French Gray Warm or Cool?

This color gray can be warm and cool but I feel it falls more on the cooler side than warm. Some grays with blue undertones can look icy cold, but this gray feels more moody. I would say it has a touch of cool but it’s not cold. Light French Gray will be considered cool if you compare it to SW Agreeable Gray or Mindful Gray.

Home office with desk, rug, bookcase and pictures on the wall painted Sherwin Williams Light French Gray

Sherwin Williams Light French Gray Coordinating Colors

You might be wondering what colors go with SW Light French Gray. Because this gray paint is such a neutral color, there are many different hues that go with this lovely shade of gray.

Since gray is a very versatile and more neutral color there are a lot of coordinating and complementary colors that go with Light French Gray.

Pinks, greens, blue-gray shades look great with this paint color. I would stick with shades that are neutrals and earthy; however, you could pair Light French Gray with bright colors as well. I’ve listed a few for you here.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of paint colors and hues to chose from but any of these would look nice with this lovely gray shade.

Sw Light French Gray Coordinating Colors

Sherwin Williams Light French Gray Trim Colors

In our home all our trim and doors is BM White Dove in a semi-gloss finish, but there are plenty of other shades that work as a trim color.

Here are a few great paint trim color choices to select from:

white trim paint color swatches

SW Light French Gray vs. SW Passive

Throughout the main areas of our home the walls are SW Passive which is a fantastic gray color. There is a difference between the two grays and in the picture below you can see the slight differences in these two colors.

Light French Gray is darker than SW Passive; it seems to have more brown in it when you compare the two shades. SW Passive feels more blue while Light French Gray feels darker with moody, less bright tones.

  • SW Passive is a cool gray paint color
  • It’s LRV is 60
  • The undertones are predominantly blue and does have green and violet too
  • SW Passive looks best in spaces with a lot of light just like Light French Gray
SW passive vs light french gray by Sherwin Williams

Light French Gray vs. SW Agreeable Gray

Agreeable Gray by Sherwin Williams is going to feel more brown. It s a soft warm gray paint color that has taupe/ brown undertone which gives it a warmth with a touch of violet.  SW Agreeable Gray is a nice blend of warm and cool making it a very nice gray. SW Agreeable is a gray that leans towards beige, hence the term greige.

Sw light french gray

Light French Gray vs. BM Stonington Gray

Stonington Gray HC-170 is one of Benjamin Moore’s most popular neutral paint colors. Stonington Gray is a cool-toned medium gray and is not icy cold like some grays can be. BM Stonington Gray is more soft and refined than other grays of the same LRV and is a cool-toned paint color.

  • Stonington Gray by Benjamin Moore has an LRV of 59.75
  • BM Stonington Gray is a cool-toned gray with blue undertones
  • When compared side by side Stonington Gray is a little lighter than Light French Gray
Sw light french gray

BM Stonington Gray in the basement of our previous home.

Sherwin Williams Light French Gray versus Behr Light French Gray

Careful not to confuse these two colors! They are not the same color; just have the same name. SW Light French Gray looks more like a true gray, while Behr’s Light French Gray is a blue-gray color. In cooler light, Behr’s Light French Gray is very blue. Even though they are both shades of gray, they are a completely different color.

Final Thoughts on Sherwin Williams Light French Gray

Is SW French Gray a good color to use in your home? Sure it is!!! It is a wonderful warmish/coolish gray that works well in nicely lit spaces and with a host of coordinating hues. You can’t go wrong with this moody gray if you are looking for a nice neutral gray shade. Just remember that this color does best in well lit places; using it in a poorly lit hallway might make the color look muddy and a little gloomy.

Home office with desk, rug, bookcase and pictures on the wall painted Sherwin Williams Light French Gray

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  1. Hello! I believe it was Minwax Dark Walnut on White Oak unfinished floors and finished in place. We refinished the floors in 2018 but I do believe it was Dark Walnut. Hope that helps.

  2. What type of paint do you use in well lit areas like the living room – do you go with a flat or satin?

  3. Hello Ashley, I usually use an eggshell or satin (depending on paint brand for how they label it) and semi-gloss on the trim

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