Classic French Gray vs Light French Gray: What’s the Difference?

classic french gray vs light french gray

When searching for the perfect neutral gray paint color, it’s easy to get stuck comparing two similar warm shades from Sherwin Williams. Popular choices Classic French Gray SW 0077 and Light French Gray SW 0055 appear very alike at first glance. But what really differentiates these two beautiful, subtle grays?

In this guide, we’ll analyze Classic French Gray vs Light French Gray in-depth to help you determine the ideal neutral gray paint for your home. We’ll look at undertones, light reflectance, real-life photos, room pairings and more.

Let’s dive in!

Key Differences Between Classic French Gray and Light French Gray

Before getting into the nitty gritty, here is an overview of the main differences between Sherwin Williams’ Classic French Gray and Light French Gray:

  • Undertones – Classic French Gray is a warm gray, Light French Gray is a warm greige
  • Light Reflectance – Classic French Gray has an LRV of 24, Light French Gray has an LRV of 53
  • Use – Classic French Gray suits traditional styles, Light French Gray fits transitional decor
  • Rooms – Classic French Gray excels in dining rooms, Light French Gray shines in bedrooms
  • Availability – Both come in all sheens

Now let’s explore Classic French Gray and Light French Gray more thoroughly.

Sherwin Williams Classic French Gray SW 0077

Sherwin Williams Classic French Gray
Image Credit:@ meganpsherrell

With its warm gray appearance, Sherwin Williams Classic French Gray SW 0077 creates an understated backdrop well-suited for traditional styles. This versatile neutral works across classic spaces.

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Here are some details about Classic French Gray:

  • LRV: 24
  • Undertones: Warm gray
  • Finish: Available in all sheens
  • Rooms: Dining rooms, bedrooms, living rooms, offices
  • Pairs Well With: Wood tones, blacks, blues

Classic French Gray is a softened, neutral gray with faint beige undertones. In all lighting it maintains its understated warm gray appearance.

The 24 light reflectance value provides soft illumination without being too dark. Classic French Gray gives an intimate, traditional feel.

This adaptable neutral complements both cool and warm accents beautifully. Popular Classic French Gray pairings include:

  • Sherwin Williams Online Blue
  • Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black
  • Black and white patterns
  • Walnut wood finishes
  • Brushed nickel fixtures

While suitable anywhere at home, Classic French Gray truly excels in these refined yet relaxed spaces:

  • Dining Rooms
  • Bedrooms
  • Living Rooms
  • Offices
  • Libraries

Classic French Gray’s warmth helps create an elegant yet livable backdrop, perfect for accentuating traditional decor. Use it to allow bold colors and patterns to stand out.

Sherwin Williams Light French Gray SW 0055

Real Sherwin Williams Light French Gray
Real Sherwin Williams Light French Gray

With its subtle warm greige appearance, Sherwin Williams Light French Gray SW 0055 creates an understated backdrop well-suited for transitional styles. This versatile neutral works across classic and modern spaces.

Here are some details about Light French Gray:

  • LRV: 53
  • Undertones: Warm greige
  • Finish: Available in all sheens
  • Rooms: Bedrooms, living rooms, dining rooms, offices
  • Pairs Well With: Blues, greens, black and white

Light French Gray is a hushed dove gray with slight warm beige-brown undertones. In all lighting it maintains its understated neutral greige appearance.

The 53 light reflectance value provides a cozy illumination without being too dark. Light French Gray gives an intimate, welcoming feel.

This adaptable neutral complements a wide variety of colors from bold to muted. Popular Light French Gray pairings include:

  • Sherwin Williams Online Blue
  • Sherwin Williams High Reflective White
  • Black and white patterns
  • Aged brass accents
  • Rich wood stains

While suitable anywhere at home, Light French Gray truly excels in these refined yet relaxed spaces:

  • Bedrooms
  • Living Rooms
  • Dining Rooms
  • Offices
  • Entryways

Light French Gray’s greige versatility helps create an elegant yet livable backdrop, perfect for accentuating transitional decor.

Comparing Classic French Gray vs Light French Gray

Now that we’ve examined Classic French Gray and Light French Gray independently, let’s directly compare them:

Light Reflectance

Classic French Gray and Light French Gray have LRVs of 24 and 53 respectively. Light French Gray will appear much brighter.

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Undertones

Here’s where the main difference lies. Classic French Gray is a warm gray, while Light French Gray is a warm greige.

Use & Rooms

Classic French Gray’s warmth excels in traditional dining rooms. Light French Gray’s greige tone shines in transitional bedrooms.

Availability

Both Classic French Gray and Light French Gray come in any sheen from matte to gloss.

Paint Color Classic French Gray SW 0077 Light French Gray SW 0055
LRV 24 53
Undertones Warm gray Warm greige
Use Traditional styles Transitional decor
Finishes All sheens All sheens
Style Traditional Transitional

Real-Life Photos: Classic French Gray vs Light French Gray

Let’s look at real-life photos to better visualize the differences between Classic French Gray and Light French Gray:

Sherwin Williams Classic French Gray

Real Sherwin Williams Classic French Gray
Image Credit:@ raedesigncompany

Sherwin Williams Light French Gray

Sherwin Williams Light French Gray
Sherwin Williams Light French Gray

While they can overlap, Classic French Gray generally appears warmer and more gray than the greige tone of Light French Gray. But lighting affects their look.

Should I Choose Classic French Gray or Light French Gray?

So how do you decide between Sherwin Williams’ Classic French Gray or Light French Gray for your home? Here are a few tips:

Choose Classic French Gray SW 0077 if you want:

  • A warm, welcoming true gray
  • A versatile color suitable for traditional styles
  • A refined feel for dining rooms and libraries
  • A soft, peaceful backdrop

Choose Light French Gray SW 0055 if you want:

  • A warm, greige neutral
  • A versatile color that works with varied decor
  • A sophisticated feel for bedrooms and offices
  • An elegant yet livable backdrop

Get samples of both Classic French Gray and Light French Gray. Paint large test sections to view at different times of day. This gives you the best sense of how the undertones read in your environment.

You can also try decor pairings with each shade. Both offer beautiful, warm neutral tones for any style.

Ideal Room Pairings

Here are some rooms that are especially well-suited to Classic French Gray and Light French Gray paint colors:

Classic French Gray SW 0077

  • Dining Rooms
  • Bedrooms
  • Living Rooms
  • Offices
  • Libraries

Light French Gray SW 0055

  • Bedrooms
  • Living Rooms
  • Dining Rooms
  • Offices
  • Entryways

While both grays work well throughout the home, the above applications make optimal use of their unique strengths.

Decorating Ideas and Color Pairings

On their own, Classic French Gray and Light French Gray create peaceful backdrops. Complement them with colors and materials for gorgeous spaces:

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Classic French Gray SW 0077 Pairings

  • Sherwin Williams Online Blue
  • Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black
  • Black and white patterns
  • Walnut wood finishes
  • Brushed nickel fixtures

Light French Gray SW 0055 Pairings

  • Sherwin Williams Online Blue
  • Sherwin Williams High Reflective White
  • Black and white patterns
  • Aged brass accents
  • Rich wood stains

Classic French Gray vs Light French Gray – Which is Better?

So which neutral gray paint color is better for your home – Classic French Gray or Light French Gray?

Consider Classic French Gray SW 0077 if you want:

  • A warm, welcoming true gray
  • A versatile color suitable for traditional styles
  • A refined feel for dining rooms and libraries
  • A soft, peaceful backdrop

Consider Light French Gray SW 0055 if you want:

  • A warm, greige neutral
  • A versatile color that works with varied decor
  • A sophisticated feel for bedrooms and offices
  • An elegant yet livable backdrop

While Classic French Gray offers traditional refinement, Light French Gray provides sophisticated greige versatility.

Get samples before deciding. Either beautiful neutral gray from Sherwin Williams you choose will suit your home perfectly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Still trying to decide between Classic French Gray or Light French Gray? Here are answers to some common questions:

What are the main differences between Classic French Gray and Light French Gray?

The main differences are their undertones and suitability for varied styles. Classic French Gray is a warmer true gray while Light French Gray is a more greige-beige influenced neutral.

Does Light French Gray have blue undertones?

No, Light French Gray does not have obvious cool blue undertones. It maintains warm greige-beige undertones instead for a welcoming neutral appearance.

Is Classic French Gray too dark for a nursery?

With an LRV of 24, Classic French Gray may be too dark for a bright, airy nursery. Consider choosing a lighter gray or adding more lighting.

Can you use Light French Gray in a bathroom?

Yes, Light French Gray’s warm, sophisticated greige tone would complement marble, brass fixtures, linen curtains and jute rugs nicely in a bathroom.

Does Classic French Gray come in eggshell finish?

Yes, Classic French Gray is extremely versatile and comes in any sheen from flat matte to eggshell satin to high gloss semi-gloss.

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