Greige Week – Poster Board Tip – Does it Work?

The DIY Network (thank you for writing about my chair!) has a commercial running that suggests painting colors on a poster board and then moving them from room to room.  Sherry Hart  of Design Indulgence recommended a similar concept with foam board.  It is a great idea for sure.  I hear Sherwin Williams even has very large swatches that you can order if you call them.   This trick allows the colors to not mess up your pretty walls and makes them portable.  Let’s see how well it works.

I tried a few recommended Benjamin Moore paint colors in our office in the yesterday’s post and decided that I liked BM’s Senora Gray.  I also like Behr’s Sandstone Cliff.  It’s similar to Senora Gray that I liked in the last post, but a tiny bit more beige and maybe a hair lighter. It also has a very slight green undertone, like Senora Gray, but it’s not very visible.

Let’s take a closer look at it on the wall when compared to BM’s Senora Gray, but let’s try the poster board trick along with it.


The paint does make the poster board a little soggy, but not bad.

Can you see how the same color can look a tad different on the white poster board than on a wall that is painted a color other than white?  In person, the Sandstone Cliff looked more beige on the poster board and more gray on the actual wall.


The Senora Gray looked just a little different.  A tad more beige on poster board.

If you can’t tell, the Sandstone Cliff is basically just a lighter version of the Senora Gray.   They work very well together.  We may use both, in different rooms of the house.

We carried the poster board around the house to look at it in warm light, cool light and natural light. The color it was painted on (white poster board versus current wall color) made as much of an impact as the lighting!  In person, it’s a bigger difference than I was able to capture in these images.

Something to note for sure. So, though painting on poster board is a good idea, ultimately, you need to paint the sample color on your wall before you decide, unless you plan to prime the wall in white before painting.

And, now, let’s look at the poster boards in my family room, on the mantle so we can see it in a different light and what difference that makes.


The Senora Gray is on the left and the Sandstone Cliff is on the right. The Sandstone Cliff (Behr) looks very beige in here. So, lighting also matters.

And, below, with the front poster board (Sandstone Cliff) just moved behind the candlestick holder, it already looks more gray!  So, lighting, folks… even slight changes can make an impact.

Photo Aug 05, 10 05 09 AM (HDR)

It’s subtle, but the color is a little different on the white poster board (and paint swatch) than on the wall when it’s painted over the current beige wall color.  .

So, in conclusion, the poster board worked great, though you will want to consider the color you are painting over on your walls and if it’s not white, try the paint on it first, before deciding.

Within a couple of hours, I purchased paint samples to try, had paint on the wall, paint on poster boards and was able to determine the best shades for my home.  Hopefully with this series, you can too!  I posted a list of paint colors suggested by design bloggers (by brand) a couple of days ago to get you started on choosing a greige.  Check it out!

What greiges are you trying?  Do you have any tips?  Does the poster board trick work well for you?



  1. This is the second home we went with SW Silver Strand. We hired a painter to paint the builder’s beige in both homes, and we love the results. It would have driven me nuts to have tried different shades, tones, strengths, in different “lights”. The color looked great with all our furnishings. I liked the way the white trim popped against it. So we said…”Just paint it through out!” Yes, it’s a little different in each light, room, etc., but it flows!!! naturally ….without stressing!!!!

    • When you find a color you love, stick with it! Go to it first in a new home. If you can avoid choosing a new color, that’s probably best. And, some times we luck out and don’t go through much when finding a color, but other times, it is stressful for sure. Hope these posts help some for those situations.

  2. Haha, my first thought was that you really weren’t comparing them correctly since the poster board is white. And then you talked about it. LOL Yeah, it is for sure going to be different if you aren’t going to prime. I don’t blame you for not priming, so you are smart to paint some on the wall to get a true color. I have used poster board for years, it is a great way to see it in all rooms. SW Alpaca is my favorite right now. Going to use it in the nursery.

  3. Ha! You have me so confused with all those colors. My paint store will put paint on the foam boards for me if I buy a quart (which I really don’t like to have to buy that much). You can use the foam boards again. BM Light pewter is nice and so is Edgecomb gray.
    Good luck!!!

    • Great tip, though buying a quart isn’t so great. There should just be two colors here on this post that I narrowed it down to in my own home, then a list of color recommended by bloggers (in another post where they are listed by brand) and last, a list of colors from those recommendations that I tried in my own home on yesterday’s post. I know, lots of greiges! Lots of options, but good options. Thanks for adding in your favorite!

  4. Good idea! I just found a bigger Ben Moore store that sells big sheet paint swatches for 4.99 @ and they’re like 12 x 12″. I love these colors you’re looking at. I like the darker gray paint for more contrast :)

  5. the problem with the poster board, or any sampling really is that the colour around it changes how it looks. So if you are going to have bright whites as accent you are defiantly better to sample it on poster board where there is a white edge, then on your already beige wall. But if you use off whites then the poster board isnt quite right either.
    I personally like doing it on a poster board (generally I use foam core board though as I usually have some hanging round and it doesn’t curl) and paint it right to the edge so the white doesnt read through at all and you can get a sense of two colours side by side with out the white interrupting. Or I just paint my samples on a primed wall so its whiter and put them side by side.
    I am also in the midst of picking a greige for my office, thought it will be a couple weeks before I can paint as we still need to tape and mud the drywall….

  6. When I was looking for a greige for my living room, I wanted more beige less gray. I went with Wheat Bread by Behr & it definitely looks more gray on the walls! I’ll have to remember the poster board trick for next time!

  7. I painted my stairs Benajmin Moore’s Rockport Gray. It’s a warm color. It’s a little like Ocean Floor by Martha Stewart.

  8. I still like the poster board idea. My recommendation is to leave a 2 inch white border around the edge (foam core board works best, holds up better). The paint color is being influenced by the existing wall color. Also, make sure you do two coats, as you would on the wall. This stops the existing color from bleeding through as well. I love the colors you chose! Good luck!

  9. I like your poster board idea as well…. but must admit, I am interested in what color your wall was painted before you went to the grays? I like the beige tone seen on your picture samples of the poster boards up against it. Hopefully, you will be able to tell me what that original color is. It would be most helpful. Thank you so very much for your help.

    • Sure. It’s Sherwin Williams’ Kilim Beige. It does have an orange tint in certain lights, but is great in other lighting. I’d try it first.

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