How to use Colorbond Shale Grey

Colorbond Shale Grey is one of the classic colours in their range.  Originally called Gull Grey and sometimes still referred to as this, Shale Grey is a simple silver tone that works beautifully as an exterior colour.  For lovers of grey schemes or anyone looking for a simple colour scheme, you can't go wrong with this choice.  I have some background to show you how to use Colorbond Shale Grey for your next project.

How to use Colorbond Shale Grey
Homes to Love

Colorbond Shale Grey roofing

With Basix requirements and state governments making noises about banning dark roofing, Colorbond Shale Grey is a natural choice for a roof.  The great thing about it is that this is a neutral tone that doesn't have a strong undertone of colour.  Unlike Colorbond Windspray that has a blue/green undertone, or Surfmist that can be a touch creamy, Shale Grey is a very simple option.  The undertone that it does have is a green one, but this is what makes it so neutral.  It really is just a lovely silver grey.  I love to see it used on coastal style homes with white weatherboards as you can see from this gorgeous project by James Middleton.  I think that it is a better solution as a light roof than Surfmist.

How to use Colorbond Shale Grey
James Middleton Projects

Shale Grey is also now (as of August 2022) available as an ultra colour.  For those living close to breaking surf, you now have another neutral option for your roof colour.

The upside to this colour is that it is available in Colorbond's gorgeous matt range of colours.  You see less of the green undertone in the matt finish, which is more grey than the standard range.  The difference can't be demonstrated on screen but if you get a sample of both finishes, you will see the difference.

How to use Colorbond Shale Grey
The Block 2021

Tanya and Vito on The Block 2021 used Shale Grey matt for the roof of their mid century modern home which I think worked perfectly.

How to use Colorbond Shale Grey
Photographer: Nicolas Gonzalez

Shale Grey is perfect for inner city cottages.  As it is so neutral you can have some fun with the weatherboard and front door colour.

Shale Grey for gutters and facias

For contemporary homes, I usually like to match the gutter and facia to the roof colour as this is a seamless look.  This approach works particularly well for skillion style roofs.  Windows can be matched to this using a silver from each company's standard range.

However, if it is a classic coastal home, as the one above, where you want to introduce more white trim, then it should just be used for the gutters.  You can then use Colorbond's new Dover White colour for the fascia.

Related: Using Surfmist as a trim colour

Colorbond Shale Grey suits cottage style homes too as it is reminiscent of old tin roofs.  As this is a more traditional look, you don't need to match the gutters and facias to the roof.  Often a dark colour, like Colorbond Monument, can be used for the gutter for this style.

How to use Colorbond Shale Grey
Whiting Architects

This is a really clever approach by the designer of this house.  They have painted the facia in black to link with the contemporary part of the house.  I think this works perfectly with the Shale Grey roof.

Related: How to select roofs, gutters and facias

Garage doors in Shale Grey

A garage door doesn't have to be matched to a roof but often with this colour palette it works really well.  I like to keep to a simple profile for a Shale Grey garage door as I don't feel it suits the more traditional square panel style.

How to use Colorbond Shale Grey
Ultimate Doors

This gives you a very streamlined look which is suited to a contemporary style.  I tend to avoid Shale Grey garage doors though for more classic style homes and limit its use there to the roof.

Or as a paint colour

Shale Grey is a really good option for an exterior paint colour.  I particularly like it on weatherboards or on a very sleek rendered finish.  Many Hamptons style homes use Shale Grey for weatherboards, partnered with a crisp white trim.

How to use Colorbond Shale Grey
Mindful Homes

This house has Shale Grey weatherboards.  This will be quite a bit lighter when it is out of shadow and for an elevation that is either west or north facing, you will find that this will be much lighter.  I can't stress enough how important it is to test out paint colours before you commit to them.  Paint a large piece of board with two coats and move it around the house at different times of the day to ensure you like the effect.

Always consider too the colours that you are using with it.  This is shown with a crisp white trim which will make the walls appear darker.  You can see why I like a crisp white trim here.

How to use Colorbond Shale Grey

The weatherboards above are in Shale Grey with Windspray garage doors.

How to use Colorbond Shale Grey
Tom & Sarah Jane on The Block
How to use Colorbond Shale Grey
Tom & Sarah Jane on The Block

Tom & Sarah Jane on The Block used Colorbond Shale Grey for their roof and weatherboards.

Shale Grey Colour Palette

Shale Grey can be used as a simple roof colour and as it is so neutral it can be partnered with many different colours, particularly if you are using it as a simple roof for a traditional style home.

I like to use it with cool whites and Colorbond Monument, black or other cool greys.  It can be particularly effective used on exterior walls too to create an industrial effect.

How to use Colorbond Shale Grey


Are you renovating or building your new dream home?  If so you should access my FREE Resource Library where you can download comprehensive checklists and e-books to help you with your project. I would love to hear if using Shale Grey is a favourite of yours.  If you prefer warmer greys, you should read my post about Colorbond Dune.


2 thoughts on “How to use Colorbond Shale Grey

  1. Tony says:

    Really helpful article thank you.
    We are looking at an lexicon quarter exterior and black window trim. Gutters fascia down pipes all lexicon quarter. Would shake great look neutral/white when on a roof. Thinking surf mist would be too beige with a cool white like lexicon quarter? Would love your advice.

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