What Color is Pewter? And How to Decorate With It

A pewter wall color in a space by Amber Interiors

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Pewter is a color term that’s commonly thrown around by interior designers, architects and other design-savvy types, but if the term leaves your wondering what color is pewter exactly, you’re in the right spot.

Here, I’ll explain this popular color and how it’s commonly used in homes and interiors. I’ve also got plenty of photos and tips for using a pewter color at home.

So first….

What Color is Pewter?

Antique Pewter plates. Image via The British Antique Dealers Association

Pewter can most easily be described by looking at its metallic namesake. Pewter is a tin alloy that, when new, is a medium gray, slightly darker than silver. However, Pewter tends to patina, or tarnish, over time, which creates a deeper, warmer tone.

This means that, as a color, Pewter shades can range from medium gray, to a deep shade of taupe, or even a dark color that’s just a few shades shy of charcoal. Most often, the term Pewter is used to describe rich shades of gray with a bit of brown to them.

Is Pewter Gray or Brown?

Pewter is a shade of gray, but some shades can have a lot of brown in them, making them appear to be a mixture of both.

If you’re looking at paint or upholstery (i.e. sofas) for your home and the color “pewter” is an option, know that most companies will consider it a medium or dark gray.

Is Pewter Warm or Cool?

A pewter bed. mage via Patty Roberts Design Co.

Pewter generally has either brown or neutral undertones, which make it a warm or neutral-toned color (neutral-toned means it has no visible cool or warm undertones). The upholstered bed in the photo above is a good example of a neutral-toned Pewter.

Is Pewter in Style?

Image via Pretty Domesticated

As far as interior design trends go, pewter is a fairly timeless color. Pewter and other neutral-toned grays were an extremely popular choice for things like sofas and dining chairs in the 2010s, and while the gray-craze is dying out, the shade is still a neutral and therefore a classic.

Warmer shades of pewter, on the other hand, are definitely on-trend. Warmer tones, in general, are becoming more popular, with mushroom and taupe paint colors among the most popular choices for interior designers.

What Colors Go with Pewter?

Deep pewter colors can border on charcoal. Image via Loloi Rugs

If you’re planning to decorate your home with pewter tones whether it be via a paint color or your home decor, you’ll have plenty of options for coordinating shades.

Natural fits for pewter include:

  • White and off white (as long as the off white isn’t too yellow)
  • Natural wood tones of all shades
  • Brass
  • Emerald and Kelly green
  • Olive green
  • Navy blue
  • Slate blue
  • Amber yellow

How to Use Pewter in Your Home

A sofa considered a “Pewter” upholstery. See how it’s almost charcoal?

Pewter is a mid-tone color, which means it’s not too dark or too light. This makes it versatile, since it can be used in large or small doses.

Pewter works well as a wall color, if you’re looking for a moody, yet neutral scheme. (For a more on-trend look, choose a warmer shade of Pewter, like Benjamin Moore Antique Pewter).

Again, because the color is basically a neutral that’s not too dark and not too light, it also works with a wide range of styles. It can be used in modern spaces, paired with cool neutrals like true black, white, and other gray and silver tones. But, warmer pewter shades also work well in modern rustic spaces, warmed up with rich wood tones, leather, and earth tones.

Here’s a look at a few of the best ways to decorate with pewter.

Pewter furniture

A pewter color is an easy choice for upholstered pieces like sofas or arm chairs, but if you take this route, just be sure that you include enough contrast in the space to lighten things up and keep your room inviting. Pair a pewter sofa with a white or off white paint color, a wood toned coffee table, and a mx of lighter-hued throw pillows, for example.

Pewter paint

Consider pewter paint colors for accent walls, lower cabinetry (with lighter-colored upper cabinets), bathroom vanities, or even trim work with light colored walls.

Pewter paint colors

If you’re looking for pewter colors to paint your home, there are plenty to choose from. They tend to range from soft mushroom colors, to almost slate-like clear grays. I’ve listed out a few of my favorites to get you started:

Benjamin Moore Antique Pewter

Benjamin Moore Antique Pewter is a warm pewter shade, that borders on a deep taupe. This is a great choice if you’re looking for a pewter hue to pair with warmer tones like ivory or tan.

Benjamin Moore Pewter

Pewter is a neutral shade of gray without noticeable warm or cool undertones. It’s a great color for trim or interior doors, paired with white walls.

Benjamin Moore Vintage Pewter

Benjamin Moore Vintage Pewter is another warmer shade of pewter, but not quite as warm as Antique Pewter. If you’re looking for a shade that will read like a gray but still add warmth to your home, try Vintage Pewter.

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