A light and soft gray color that, depending on the lighting, can appear both neutral and relatively warm.

LRV 61

We speak about shades of gray so often that it may seem that there are no secrets and surprises left for us in this color. We discussed dark and light grays, warm, cool, and even neutrals and their undertones. We combined them with various coordinating colors and talked about the effect of lighting. Still, we have not discovered everything about them yet: the palette of fashionable gray shades is so deep and multifaceted that it is simply impossible to reach the maximum level of expertise here.

However, it is not a drawback at all since such a variety makes it possible to find exactly that shade or group of shades of gray that you will like not only visually, but also at some subconscious level. Personally, we are ready to admit that light, neutral, and close to warm tones are especially close to us. It will be a pleasure for us today to talk about one of them: the delightful HDC-NT-20 Cotton Grey from Behr is in the spotlight today.

Cotton Grey paint color features

As you already know (but we will repeat it), gray shades can be warm, cold, or neutral. Cotton Grey is a delightful example of the balance between neutral and warm. On the one hand, this shade is charming in its lightness and softness. On the other hand, it inspires with its versatility and restraint. It is against this background that it is possible to create not just fashionable, but truly atmospheric interiors.

Thus, HDC-NT-20 is a light and soft gray color that, depending on the lighting, can appear both neutral and relatively warm. It is not by chance that we use the word “relative” in this context. For example, if we compare it with the shade PPU26-10 Chic Gray, which is very similar, Cotton Grey will seem a little lighter and cooler. If you recall it, we compared Chic Gray to the color of a crystal vase under the sun, which we look at through a thin gray veil. However, if the sun is really bright, it is midday, and the fabric is a little denser, Cotton Grey will reveal itself.

Cotton Grey: is it warm or cold?

When looking at surfaces painted in this mysterious color, one gets the feeling that it froze somewhere in the middle of the path when choosing its color temperature. It is definitely not cold, although it is neither completely warm. At the same time, the noticeable beige and brown undertones exclude complete neutrality, which is also confirmed by the more noticeable presence of red in the RGB palette. Thus, we tend to think that Cotton Grey is a gray between warm and neutral, and which interpretation will prevail depends on external factors, including lighting and surrounding objects.

How does lighting affect Cotton Grey?

One of the most important advantages of Cotton Grey is its neutrality. He is really capable of creating a flawless neutral background, which is unlikely to prove to be completely unpredictable. It is no surprise that many designers love to use it in rooms with insufficient light that do not require visual expansion. In such conditions, this gray shade becomes very soft and mysterious without seeming gloomy and dull.

It does not look less impressive in rooms with enough light. In this case, Cotton Grey looks noticeably lighter and warmer and can successfully balance sharp and bright contrasts – of course, if you decide to use them in the interior.

Cotton Grey LRV

The LRV for Cotton Grey is 61, which means you cannot go wrong if you classify it in the light tones group. Of course, it turns out to be noticeably closer to the lower limit. Nevertheless, it can successfully reflect a certain amount of light and create a fairly positive and calming atmosphere in the room.

Also, don’t be afraid to use it in a room with a limited amount of light. With a balanced color base and sufficient LRV, it will look mesmerizing, and with the right light sources, you can provide the space with the mood you strive for since Cotton Grey will not interfere with this at all.

Cotton Grey undertones

As you probably already understood from the description of Cotton Grey, there are no complex undertones in it, so you should not expect any tricks from it. A slight presence of beige and brown notes makes it warmer and friendlier but has very little effect on its overall color temperature.

Similar colors

Despite the originality of Cotton Grey, it has a whole range of soulmates (if, of course, one can say so about colors). In addition to the Chic Gray mentioned above, it has a clear resemblance to the following tones:

  • Sandstone Cliff 750C-3 – gray with strong beige undertones, surprisingly soft yet fairly neutral;
  • Sandstorm N310-3 – shade of gray that looks significantly darker than Cotton Grey but has the same warm beige notes;
  • Silver Bullet N520-2 – a cooler and more serious gray, although not devoid of calmness and mystery;
  • Burnished Clay PPU18-09 – a very light and soothing gray that feels a little more balanced with less noticeable beige tones;
  • Granite Dust MQ3-06 – a color identical to Cotton Grey in color temperature and undertones but superior in lightness;
  • Pale Taupe by Dulux – a close relative of Cotton Grey from another manufacturer’s palette;
  • Unfussy Beige SW 6043 by Sherwin Williams – a delightful balance between gray and beige that tends to lean more towards the former;
  • Kitten Whiskers 1003 by Benjamin Moore – a very natural gray with beige undertones, lighter but just as calming.

Coordinating colors

Once again, Behr designers are saving their customers time by offering color schemes that allow them to quickly and easily find the right tones for the perfect interior palette. Let’s consider them in more detail:

  • Sonic Silver HDC-MD-26 – deep and rather dark gray with a noticeable steely sheen;
  • Whisper White HDC-MD-08 – a warm, calm, and friendly shade of white;
  • Urban Raincoat N440-2 – a mysterious and slightly washed out dusty blue shade;
  • Butter Nut HDC-AC-13 – appealing, light, and natural tan;
  • Weathered Moss N380-3 – natural and muted neutral gray.

The use of Cotton Grey in interior

If you look at a sample of Cotton Grey for a long time, the desire to paint something in this color at home will become unbearable. Of course, this is a joke, but there is still some truth in it: the HDC-NT-20 shade is so visually pleasing that more and more designers and owners of houses and apartments fall in love with it, even though it has been part of the Behr’s palette for a long time. Well, let’s leave the abstract reasoning and consider a few solutions in which this light gray is amazingly organic.

The comfort of the past

Cotton Grey is ideal for backdrops in Farmhouse and Provence styles. Its mysteriousness and friendliness seem to enliven the elements peculiar to these styles – antique or slightly shabby wooden furniture, cabinets with figured doors, and expressive black metal accents combined with white ceramics. However, if you chose this particular color to implement one of these styles, be careful with the lighting scenario: the light should not be too bright or cold.

Greetings from Northern Europe

We don’t think that the possibility (and even our suggestion) of choosing Cotton Grey for interiors in the Scandinavian style will be a stunning discovery for you. Indeed, this color, reminiscent of Scandinavia’s dim and cloudy sky, can lead to an authentic atmosphere. Upholstered furniture of clear shapes, wooden accents, and cozy textured textiles look incredibly harmonious on a soothing and friendly background achieved with Cotton Grey.


Do you feel restless and have trouble falling asleep? Maybe it’s because you don’t have Cotton Grey in your bedroom (joking again, but maybe not)! Designers have been using this light gray shade from Behr in bedrooms for a long time, receiving pleasure from the process, but today even psychologists support them. In their opinion, it is precisely such light and neutral notes with a tendency to warm tones that help relieve mental and psychological stress, cope with eye fatigue, and create a sense of calmness and safety, which sometimes so many of us need.

Dining room and kitchen

Light and neutral Cotton Grey is especially good in a Farmhouse or Scandi style dining room, but you cannot go wrong with it in a contemporary design. A great benefit is that you can confidently choose the furniture and accessories as Cotton Grey goes well with almost everything.

Want more comfort? Take a closer look at the table and chairs made of wood in light warm shades and blinds to match the walls. Are you interested in more sophisticated solutions? An excellent option would be a panel of beveled mirrors, metal accents, and a carpet on the floor. Need more brightness? Experiment with pinks, greens, blues, and light yellows. Walls in Cotton Grey can inspire the most interesting ideas!

And a couple of words about kitchen cabinets. If you are picking up accessories for them, you should stop at a warm and golden metal like brass or bronze. Although closer to Cotton Grey’s undertones, the steel and chrome handles would look overly austere and ruin the quiet charm that has become the defining feature of this hue.


Bathrooms in Cotton Grey are another reason to add more colors and accents to the interior! It is not necessary to adhere to minimalism because diversity is much more interesting. Try a clawfoot tub painted dark on the outside paired with matching cabinets and light fixtures. Decorate the wall with a mirror in a spectacular frame, and if the space allows, add an accent table and a bright ottoman. A neutral and friendly light gray shade will bring all elements together, and the finished interior will look elegant and cozy.


The entrance space, where Cotton Grey is used as a base color, can be considered a separate form of art. A hallway in this color looks friendly and hospitable and, at the same time, not at all pretentious – a dream that became a reality for those who like to receive guests and return home with pleasure after a busy day. A comfortable wardrobe, a wide bench with soft upholstery, and an appealing console will enhance the effect. Green plants in pots are almost a must-have!

The use of Cotton Grey for house exterior

As with any neutral light gray tones, Cotton Grey is something to be very careful with when choosing it for the exterior of your house. So, it cannot be used on a large scale since it will look too vague and dull. In addition, any dazzling white finish is prohibited, against which such shades of gray look dirty and unconvincing.

Notwithstanding all these facts, there is a secret to a successful exterior transformation with Cotton Grey: finishing in a soft white tone (the same Whisper White) or in black or brown tones will create the necessary clarity and emphasize the friendliness of Cotton Grey, and its combination with a stone plinth or a bright door will emphasize the architectural individuality.

The light gray HDC-NT-20 Cotton Grey paint color from Behr is another shade that impresses with a neutral yet friendly and soft character. You can safely use it in both contemporary and traditional interiors, especially if you see your home as a cozy fortress where you feel completely safe and in harmony with yourself.

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