Best Grey neutral wall paint.


Dear all,

My company is going to construct a new building in which we’ll have a new prepress room.
It will be intended for proofs and visual assessments.
We already have a Wall Illuminator, plus several medium viewing booth.

The goal now is to give a paint reference for the rooms wall.
I suggested the GTI Standard grey Neutral but according to our workplace, it costs too much…

So, I tried to find the closest best RAL I could.
To do so, I checked the internal grey color viewing booth in Lab values.
Then, I tried to correlate with the most appropriate RAL paint.

What I found from different samples is:
RGB - R:166 G:166 B:164
HEX - #A6A6A4
CMYK - C:37% M:30% Y:32% K:0%
XYZ - X:36.7 Y:38.1 Z:30.7
CIELAB - L:68.1 a:-0.1 b:1.0
LCH(ab) - L:68.1 c:1.1 h:94.9°
ACES - R:0.3800 G:0.3799 B:0.3723
ACEScg - R:0.3816 G:0.3806 B:0.3723
Lin. sRGB - R:0.3830 G:0.3806 B:0.3710

Illuminant: D50 Observer: 2°

The closest RAL seems to be RAL Classic 7004 according to this website:
But I’m unsure because I read a recent French technical post in which another people found it would be the RAL 9022.

To be honest, I’m a little bit disappointed because I’m aware all of this is approximation.
However, any input or more technical approach would be really appreciated.

Thank you beforehand for your explanations.


Well-known member
I’m not sure why you’re involving RAL colors - they don’t seem to sell paint. If you’re not going to use the correct paint ( ) then why not just measure the Lab values of the neutral greys of the paint chips of the paint you want to buy? Then buy the paint that has the closest Lab value to Munsell neutral grey 8? Alternatively just buy the official paint to use in the area closest to where you’re evaluating color and use the closest match color everywhere else?
The big difference in paints will likely be that the commercial paint will be a black/white grey while the official paint will be a tri-color neutral.
BTW the RAL 7004 looks closer to munsell neutral 8 than does 9022 IMHO.


Hello Gordo,

In France we do. It's one of the most popular way to find a dedicated paint sample for various uses (wall, auto, etc.).
I'm going to find your suggestion, even I'm also confident to the fact RAL 7004 seems closer than the 9022.



Active member
Get a paint swatch sample of these and measure DE against Musnell N8, should be <2.0
Behr - Silver Bullet N520-2
Olympic - Secret Pasage D58-2
Sherwin-Williams - Unique Gray 6260
Valspar - Summer Grfay R206E, at Lowes for $4 gal.
Steve Suffoletto


Thank you Steve.
But these paint manufacturer are not available in France, unfortunately.
That's why I was considering a RAL which is German but usually common in France too.



Well-known member
Thank you Steve.
But these paint manufacturer are not available in France, unfortunately.
That's why I was considering a RAL which is German but usually common in France too.

When you go to a paint store (Castorama, Bricorama Leroy Merlin, etc) don’t they have samples on cards of the paint colors they sell? That’s what you need to measure. They should also be able to give you a sample small pot to test on your wall. Otherwise you may have to go to the UK.
Last edited:


Active member
Sorry, price correction to my (Steve Suffoletto) previous post was for small 8oz sample bottle.
Lowes price for Valspar Summer Grey (#772955) with flat finish is $32 gal.
I used to find paint color match, DE ~ 1.6
I used Munsell N8 target aim of L80, a0, b0 because I think Munsell x 10 = CIE L* or CIE L* / 10 = Munsell. No converter on Bruce Lindbloom website.
RGB = 198,198,198
CMY = 0,0,0,22
Closest Pantone = Cool Gray 3 U

Correct Color

Well-known member
Just about anyone who sells paint in the US can match any color you bring them. Have you tried just tried taking a swatch of whatever color you want to paint store and having them match it?

Mike Adams

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