Interior paint shortlist

I’ve been stalking everyone’s homes in the last month or two, keeping my eye out for the perfect shade of grey for the interior walls of House By The Water.  And whenever I’ve seen something I like, I’ve pounced!  “Excuse me.  What colour is your wall?”  The internet is great like that.

Here are some lovely walls:

Wattyl "Snowdonia" 3/4 strength in Josh and Jenna's bedroom.

Wattyl “Snowdonia” 3/4 strength in Josh and Jenna’s bedroom on The Block.

Wattyl "Kid Leather" at Finlay Homes.

Wattyl “Kid Leather” at Finlay Homes.

Pictured above:  Lovely, beachy new home.  Details kindly shared by TBrown on HomeOne Forum.

I know I’ve posted on interior paint colours before, but firstly that post looks a bit drippy (ha ha!) since I changed my blog’s format, and secondly, it was based on a paint brochure.  I’m far wiser now.  I’ve realised just how different colours can look on a screen and in different light.  Thus, my internet stalking for real-life examples.  Of course, nothing compares to testing it out for yourself, and so I have a plan!

While my husband is in Mandurah (HBTW’s location) next week for meetings, I want to him to buy a few sample pots of paint, paint up some boards and leave them there for the interior designer to study in situ.  So I need a short list.  I want a cool grey.  Light, but definitely not white.

My Solver Paint shortlist.

  • Soft Apparition
  • Feather dawn
  • Kitty Grey
  • Southwards
  • Crystal Ball
  • Scribbly Gum


  • Soft Apparition – looking the least like a “greige” on my screen.
  • Feather dawn – I’ve been using this in all my digital mood boards, but I think it’s going to look white in reality.
  • Kitty grey – based on photos of good looking display homes.
  • Southwards – wooed by The Islander (see below).
  • Crystal ball – my favourite on paper.
  • Scribbly Gum – looking too green on my screen but perfectly lovely in The Etesian (see below).

Solver Paints are utterly hopeless when it comes to showcasing their paints online.   Get with it Solver!   Webb and Brown-Neaves use Solver Paints as standard for the interiors of their homes and our paint is included in our building contract.  Fortunately, W&BN have some lovely display homes that show Solver Paints so you can get a real idea of some of the paint colours.  (Dale Alcock have also used a lot of Solver Paints, in case any one else is trying to choose from these paints.)

Solver Southward at The Islander by Webb and Brown-Neaves.

Solver Southward at The Islander by Webb and Brown-Neaves.

Solver's Scribbly Gum can be seen at The Etesian, by WBN.

Solver’s Scribbly Gum can be seen at The Etesian, by WBN.  (Note to self:  Scribbly Gum looks a bit green in sample circle, but not  in The Etesian.  I saw it with my own eyes!)

Solver Creamy Coffee at The Bayfield.

Solver Creamy Coffee at The Bayfield.

Solver Kitty Grey as seen in home by Dale Alcock.

Solver Kitty Grey as seen in home by Dale Alcock.

Has anyone used any of the paints on my shortlist?

Or ruled them out after testing?

Got a light, cool grey that you love?

And what about the 1/2, 1/4 strength can of worms?  Should I go there?

You’ll find more named paints in my Pinterest file, if you are keen.


24 thoughts on “Interior paint shortlist

  1. Choosing paints is certainly a tricky one and I relied solely on our interior designer for this one and kept my fingers crossed.
    We are very happy with the Rottnest Island colour – it is a very pale grey and not cold like some. Might be worth a look 🙂

  2. Judy says:

    We used Kitty Grey after seeing it in the WBN Hampton style display in Mosman Park called the Grayson. We are really happy with it – it does look quite beige in some lights so it is more greige than a true grey. But I think that makes it warmer. It’s very neutral and goes with everything.

    • Thanks Judy. Kitty Grey sure looks good in the pic from Dale Alcock in this post. Any pics of your place hiding anywhere public that I can see? I think I want a cool neutral, so maybe Kitty Grey will not be right for me if you think it’s warm.

      • Jo says:

        I’m no paint expert Jo, but I think kitty grey is a little too warm for the region. It’s still hot here and it’s May – I would lean to a tad more whiter/crisper like solver southward would be my choice personally from this selection, at half strength.

      • Judy says:

        I do think it is quite warm – mine is a Hampton style home so I think more traditional than the style you are going for which would suit a cool grey. Our builder took some professional pictures of our house – I can send you some if there is a way to PM them.

  3. donnaw39 says:

    I used a light gray – 2 yrs ago here in the States & I don’t remember the color – but in the bedroom the afternoon sun made it look lavender. I took it back to the store and had them add black until it looked dark enough to suit me. Repainting it was a big improvement. Online is hard because computers vary. Is there any way you can have someone send you a sample page?

    • Thanks Donna. Good to know that adding black can help in such a situation. I have sample pages with me, but they don’t include the entire range and I find it difficult to work with such tiny samples. My husband will paint up some sample boards and take pics for me at the house with them, then the interior designer can use them when the house is in a more complete state. With such a huge expense, repainting is not something I plan to do in the next 10 years.

  4. trixee says:

    It’s great that you have painting included, we have to do ours separately. I’m keeping a close eye on your selections here as I think we will also be using a pale grey too, although we may go whiter than what you’re planning. On my screen, the soft apparition looks blue, and on my phone it looked purple! So you can never tell until you actually see it working. Your strategy of getting boards painted up is a good one. I have a sample pot of Southwards as a render (second guessing my initial choices!) but I haven’t painted it up yet.

  5. I also am looking for a pale grey, but I am wanting a warmish one (being that I am in cold old Melbourne town). I like the look of Southwards.
    Good luck, it is hard!

  6. I prefer the black/blue side of grey, not the beige/yellow side. What you put alongside it will have a big influence too…beige furniture will dial up the yellow in a greige wall, navy black will make it look more grey.
    Depends what look you are going for. Soft Apparition and crystal ball would be my pick from your little dots above. Xxx

    • You could be right. If you didn’t have other significant responsibilities, I’d be asking you to get on a plane sometime soon with an offcut of your blackbutt floors. (Don’t worry I have a Plan B.)

  7. Ahh, Jo! (Too many choices!!) In theory, I think that all the paints on my shortlist fall into the “cool” category, but I’m no expert either. I think the Nice Wolf (aka husband) might start to huff and puff if I have him paint up 6 paint colours in various strengths. He is on a tight schedule!

  8. Hi Jo, my friend down the road has Kitty Grey.. it’s definitely warm. I think Southwards looks lovely based on the photo (haven’t made it over for a look at the Islander yet). Our builder only used Solver paints as well but they were happy to mix any colour we wanted in a Solver base … so we have Taubmans Lunar Grey, which I love, as it’s cool and doesn’t throw any weird undertones. I’m sure whatever you go with will look fabulous 🙂

    • Thanks Carmen. I’m trying to get my warm vs. cold radar on. It’s tricky! I’m not seeing Kitty Grey as warm in my sample. I know you have great taste, so I’m going to check out your Lunar Grey again.

  9. Sarah P says:

    Southward in that display looks delicious in real life! Very cool grey and whatever white they are using is spot on! And keep in mind the beautiful blue vista you will have and cooler grey will be beautiful- the only good thing with our build taking soooo long that I get to leverage your angst and decision making and copy! Good luck!

    • Thanks Sarah, I think! Ha, ha! Glad you like Southward in reality. That’s good to know because our tastes are similar. Yes, I definitely want cool because we are going to have a lot of sunlight and you know I love blue and grey accents.

  10. I love gray!! We did all our walls in Silverpointe from Sherwin Williams. In some rooms it looks so light it’s hard to tell they aren’t white. In other rooms you can see quite a difference with the white trim standing out. It’s weird, because it’s the same color throughout. Lighting, window lighting, and trim really makes a difference in each space.

    • Your grey is LOVELY Jennifer! I think it might be a cool grey?? But I’m probably wrong, again. It looks great with your white kitchen cabinetry.

  11. Light but not white, the subtle light touches of the shade of grey. Its a great idea because having things all white can be monotonous. The house interiors with various grey shades of grey look nice, as you mentioned seeing colour from the computer screen and real makes a difference.

  12. Lisa says:

    Hi Joanne
    Thanks so much for your blog.
    I am overseas trying to build a house in perth and am quite dismayed at the lack of photos/ examples from suppliers for everything! We are looking at solver Cape Horn for the internal. Suppose to be ‘cool’. Did you consider that? Would love to know what you thought.. Might be a bit light for your walls? Also looking at grey pearl for the external render…

    • Hi Lisa. Thanks for saying hi! I didn’t consider Cape Horn so I can’t really comment. Solver are hopeless for online examples and even their sample charts are incomplete. Someone on the HomeOne forum told me that they chose Cape Horn over Soft Apparition (which I loved) because Cape Horn didn’t throw any purple or blue. So that sounds good, but I haven’t seen pictures. Good luck! Who are you building with?

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