Benjamin Moore Classic Gray: The most common question I get asked is “what gray paint should I use in my home?” My quick answer is to use Benjamin Moore Classic Gray. It’s one of my favorite neutral light gray paint colors because it is such a universally flattering paint color for the walls in any room of your house.
It gives your walls the homey warm glow you want–without any darkness! It behaves more like a warm white than a true gray–that’s why it’s my favorite all around neutral paint!
BENJAMIN MOORE CLASSIC GRAY
My long answer to that question is to see my accompanying post, the best gray paint colors–no-fail favorite neutral grays that look good anywhere. In that post, I round up my favorite gray paints that I go back to time and time again, and the ones that I find in all my decor friends’ homes!
*This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you. See my disclosure policy here.
GET A SAMPLE OF CLASSIC GRAY HERE
But, if you want the short answer…use BM Classic Gray. It’s the most universally flattering and sophisticated gray color there is!
It’s my favorite true light gray paint color that doesn’t have greige or blue tones. Benjamin Moore Classic Gray is a creamy pale gray with warm undertones that is just right!
Unlike other grays, it isn’t bluish which can read cold. As much as I love blue, I don’t want my rooms to ever feel “cold” especially in the low-light winter months.
BENJAMIN MOORE CLASSIC GRAY SAMPLES
Is Classic Gray right for your home?
The best way to see if a paint color is the right one for your room is to get a sample–and the easiest way to get them is to order from Samplize!
It requires no schlepping to the paint store, no washing paintbrushes, and no wondering if you painted enough (ensuring you have a true representation of the color…)
Samplize will send you 12″x12″ paint samples that you peel and stick on your walls. At $5.99 a sample, it cheaper than my going to the paint store, buying samples, brushes, and poster boards. Plus, it’s way EASIER and LESS MESSY!
- NO MESS or Clean-up
- Color correct–they are a true representation of the colors because they are made with two coats of paint.
- More affordable and time-friendly than buying samples/ making samples.
- Samplize samples will arrive at your doorstep within 1-3 days from the time you order them! and of course easier and way less messy
BM CLASSIC GRAY UNDERTONES
The easiest way to see a paint’s undertones is to get a sample and look at in your home, like I showed above.
The second easiest way to see undertones is to look at a paint chip! Above, you can see how much taupe there is in Classic Gray. BM Classic Gray is the one all the way to the right. At the other end, you have the most concentrated colors. Those are the undertones of Classic Gray at the highest saturation!
OC-23 IN REAL ROOMS
CLASSIC GRAY BEDROOMS
BM OC-23 is the perfect airy but warm color for your bedroom! It gives the feeling of an off-white room but it is cozier. It is one of the top paint colors for master bedrooms.
You can see BM Classic Gray- OC 23 in a variety of rooms in our home. See it below in our master bedroom. We have BM Classic Gray on the walls and BM Simply White on the trim. This is a South and West facing room so it gets a lot of sunlight. It always seems warm, clean, and cheery!
BM SIMPLY WHITE
Classic Gray: 74.78
CLASSIC GRAY ENTRY AND HALLWAYS
We’ve also used Benjamin Moore Classic Gray on the walls in our front hallway (see all the paint colors we used in the graphic below.) It is the perfect color for an open-concept house including a foyer.
Again, we used Benjamin Moore Simply White on all the trim in our house, and you can see that it goes nicely with BM Classic Gray.
We also used Benjamin Moore’s Classic Gray OC 23 in is our newly finished mudroom hallway. It is an interior hallway and gets zero natural light. Even so, the room remains cheery and bright with lots of light reflecting off the beadboard and the light gray walls.
GET A SAMPLE OF CLASSIC GRAY HERE
BM 1548 CLASSIC GRAY KITCHENS
Benjamin Moore Classic Gray is the perfect clean but warm color for a kitchen! As Studio McGee shows below, Classic Gray is one of those colors that warms. upa room without making it feel closed off! It’s the perfect light gray shade!
BM 1548 DINING ROOMS
Dining rooms are often a fun room to do bold–but many people like to keep it airy and neutral–especially if you have an open concept home. Studio McGee shows how OC-23 is a lovely neutral paint color that looks almost ethereal in this dining room below. You can also see how well BM Classic Gray goes with warm wood tones.
BM OC-23 LIVING ROOMS
Is Classic Gray a good pick for a living room? BM 1548 is one of the most universally flattering paint tones around, and it looks beautiful in open concept or traditional living rooms. It goes with warm wood hardwood flooring and cooler washed out lighter floors as well!
BM CLASSIC GRAY OC-23 UNDERTONES
Most often, when you are deciding on what light gray paint to use, you aren’t deciding in a vacuum! You have several other contenders. So let’s talk about those and which one you should choose! This also will give you a better idea of the undertones of each!
BM CLASSIC GRAY VS. BALBOA MIST
In our living room and our dining room, we use a very close paint color–Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist, Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist, which is a slightly darker version of Classic Gray. Here they are back to back. Most people, including my husband, thought they were the same color!
Classic Gray: LRV 74.78
Balboa Mist LRV: 67.37
Upon closer inspection, you can tell that BM Classic Gray vs. BM Balboa Mist is darker. This is reflected in the slightly lower LRV of Balboa Mist. In a room that gets a lot of light and you want it to make more of a statement, then you want BM Balboa Mist instead of BM Classic Gray.
BM PALE OAK VS. CLASSIC GRAY
You can see from the paint chip above that pale Oak and Classic Gray are very similar. We had a very hard time deciding between the two colors. Ultimately, what helped was getting samples of each and putting them head to head. GET YOUR SAMPLE HERE!
What I noticed when I had both next to each other was that Pale Oak is slightly darker and has slightly more brown in it than Classic Gray. Classic Gray is slightly cooler and airier.
Pale Oak LRV: 69.89
BM GRAY OWL VS. CLASSIC GRAY
BM Gray Owl is another one of Benjamin Moore’s most popular paint colors. It. isa slightly cool light gray with much more blue in it than Classic Gray.
It is also significantly darker as shown in the lower LRV values (65 vs. 75.)
BM Gray Owl LRV: 65
BM EDGECOMB GRAY VS. CLASSIC GRAY
Benjamin Moore’s Edgecomb Gray is another one of my favorite light gray paint colors. It is a gorgeous neutral gray that warms up rooms. It. is considerably warmer than Classic Gray. I consider it a “greige” instead of a light gray.
Whereas, Classic Gray could be considered an off-white, BM Edgecomb Gray is a greige. It is quite a bit darker than Classic Gray as you can see in the LRV values below.
BM Edgecomb Gray LRV: 63.88
COLORS THAT GO WITH CLASSIC GRAY
The following is a sample of all the colors I have in my house–they go together flawlessly!
BM Classic Gray
BM Simply White
BM Hale Navy
Farrow & Ball Parma Gray
BM White Dove
BUT WAIT! BEFORE YOU GO! I have to tell you about the best three tools that have cut the amount of time I have to paint rooms in half!
TOP TOOLS FOR PAINTING ROOMS FAST
This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.
- Paint Trim Guard
- I use Red Devil 18″ Dual Edge Painter’s Edge Guard (You are going to want this if you have wall-to-wall carpeting or hardwood floors that you want to protect. I use it along with Painter’s Tape to ensure that I don’t have drips on my floor.
- Paint Edger-
- Stop spending hours cutting in! My father-in-law purchased this for us four years ago, and we still use it today. Before we first used it, I was super skeptical. It must be a hoax. But you guys, it works! And cuts in lines so much sharper than I could ever do by hand!
- Paint Tray
- Having a real metal paint tray will make your life so much easier! Ditch the flimsy plastic ones which are always spilling. I don’t even use plastic liners in mine, I just rinse it out after each coat and call it a day! Plus, you save plastic from going to the landfill!
SEE MORE OF THE BEST PAINT COLORS HERE!
You’ll love these posts on painting tips and tricks
Hi. I’m considering this combo for my house. What color do you choose for the ceiling? Thank you!
Hi Marie! I wish I could tell you! They are just the same regular ceiling paint color the previous owner’s had in our house 🙁 I wish I knew the exact color because we have some touch ups we need to do!
Hi! You mentioned that you used Classic Gray in a south and west facing room. Does it ever look washed out (like you have just white walls)? I’m considering painting my currently drab brown 2 story west facing great room this color, as I’m aiming for a light, airy change but i don’t want to go overboard and I’m afraid this will be too light! Thanks!
Hi Melissa! Thanks so much for commenting. I actually don’t ever feel like it’s washed out. But if you want a little more saturation I would recommend Balboa Mist. I have a post on it too, and used it in my living room which is right below our master bedroom (so pretty much identical lighting conditions) You can see it here: https://www.diydecormom.com/benjamin-moore-balboa-mist Hope that helps! My second tip is to go to the Dollar Store and paint both samples on a cheap posterboard. Move the posterboard around the room and you can see how the different paints look without having to actually paint the walls!
Michele Langdon says
Hello. We are staining our hardwood floors a medium to dark gray and was wondering what you thought about gray paints and trim/doors. Wanted to just use one color.
Will any of these grays work in a room with without much light and with a red brick fireplace?
Hi Marie! Thanks so much for asking. While I can’t tell you off hand, I would say yes! In a darker room, I would go lighter–Classic Gray vs. Balboa Gray. Our back hallway has no light (you can see how dark it is in the photos) and Classic Gray looks great in there! If you are uncertain, I always like painting a big swatch on a poster board and holding it up on the walls. You can put it right next to your fireplace and see how it looks on different walls without actually painting a million walls! Let me know how it looks!
Brenda Fletcher says
Love your site- wondering if Classic gray would be okay with east direction great room? Or would it turn green on me or any other exotic colour.
Hi Brenda! Although I couldn’t say for certain, I wouldn’t think so. The best way to say for sure is to go to Dollar Store, purchase a large poster board and paint a huge sample! It only costs $1 and gives me peace of mind! Good luck!
I’m thinking of repainting my beige living room. I would like to paint it Classic Gray but having a hard time picking a complementing or contrasting color (medium to dark color gray or even white to hide the red dirt) for the doors and trims inside the house. Please help!
Thank you, Rowena
Hi Rowena! I think Classic Gray would be lovely! I wish I had experience painting the trim a darker color. In our house, we just use Benjamin Moore Simply White but it does scuff up and show dirt. Here are some other lovely gray colors (including darker ones) that might work well! Also, use a semi-gloss on the trim and doors so it holds up better–I am able to scrub our’s pretty thoroughly to get off scuff marks! http://www.diydecormom.com/best-gray-paint-colors
Good luck! And thanks so much for commenting!
Aloha Annie, thank you so much for your reply and suggestion! I love your posts and ideas. God bless you and your family.
Thank you so much Rowena! Have a fantastic day!
You should use BM Scuff-x for baseboard/trim. The marks wipe right off! Look at Youtube to see comparison.
In fact, here in CA, two BM stores recommend Scuffx for everything in the house no mater the price. The paint is *that* good!
Keep in mind however some painters argue/notate that the sheen level is one step higher so adjust accordingly. I honestly don’t see it though on my semi-gloss trim. Semi looks like semi when it fully cures. Looks great! Designers can’t speak highly enough about Scuff-x. The fact they use it in their houses and clients speaks volumes!
I have decided on Classic Gray for my foyer, living room, and hallway for my open concept villa.
I unfortunately have honey oak trim throughout the house. Do you think Classic Gray will go OK with this trim? Also, is there a difference between BM classic gray 1548 and OC 23?
I think the Classic Gray will look terrific! We still have very honey/ reddish oak floors throughout our first floor and it looks great with them still! Classic Gray is a very forgiving color. And to your question about the different numbers–nope! They are just two different numbers for the same color. BM Classic Gray is part of two collections because it is such a highly recommended paint color, and has two categorizations–but it’s the same exact color.
Good luck painting!
Hello, i must choose a paint for my baseground, Classic Grey is a good choice? Do you suggest?
Hi Martine! I recommend a nice white–Simply White is my favorite. See it here: https://www.diydecormom.com/benjamin-moore-simply-white
Diane Tyler says
Hi, I have just read your blog here. I live in an apartment facing a ravine/huge forested hill area. We face north,slightly west. In the summer, it feels like a tent- very dark inside with green hues. in the winter/spring it is brighter but no direct sunlight. the walls are presently painted BM OC 10 White sand. IT feels very beige brown to me. I wanted to paint lighter to brighten(unfortunately we have oak hardwood floor, very dark brown leather sofa and love seat. I wanted a white slightly grey or warm white color for walls. I have painted ssoo…many core boards. A lady in my apartment building just told me about Classic Grey. In your hallway with no light, does it look grey or beige? would you recommend it for our living room/diningroom. We have window walls on one side. thank you so much.Diane
Barbara Mortenson says
Hi, Annie. Ever hear of Samplize? These are 12×12 peel-and-stick samples of real Benjamin Moore or Sherwin Williams paint. You can position the squares anywhere on your walls and move them around for effect. This has been a game changer for me when it comes to deciding on a paint color! (No more wasted paint cans and poster board.) Samplize is inexpensive, very easy to order, and ships fast. I love it.
Hi Barbara! That is fantastic! I actually just learned about them and think it’s a fantastic way to save time (and paint!) Thank you so much for sharing!
Glad to share. And I love Classic Gray as well. I used it in my guest bath as part of a gray, white, and lavender palette. And I’m about to use it as the wall color for my mudroom, pantry, and laundry room, along with White Dove trim. Very soft and pretty.
I painted my entire living room combo dining room area (room has an entire wall of windows 95″ tall) Classic Gray. I know the computer can alter colors but my walls look white in comparison to what I am seeing across all your pages and others. I had Home Depot mix a Ben Moore paint so maybe I got a bad mix. I really was looking for a very subtle basic gray with out it looking Greige or purple/blue. I figured I couldn’t go wrong with a “Classic Gray”. I have looked at Albalone…way too purple/blue. I just noticed Light Pewter. I just want a classic gray that will pop nice with a white trim.
Mary Bablitch says
Hi Annie. I have used Classic Grey in our kitchen .. on the trim and walls and it’s great.
I doubled the strength of it in our living room and it has pink undertones that are too
strong for me..China White
is on the trim in this room. I am thinking of repainting the walls in the living room. How
do you think the Classic Grey on the walls will work with China White on the trim?
Thanks for answering.
I used Classic Grey in two bedrooms and it doesn’t look grey at all. In fact, it’s very beigy/creamy. I’m wondering if the paint just wasn’t mixed well. It still looks nice but not at all what I was expecting.
Robert Weatherly says
I grabbed a swatch of Classic Grey, Pale Oak and Balboa Mist thinking one of these would be perfect for my new home. One thing that’s alarming though is how much all these colors “change” color depending on the light. For example, under warm interior light, they’re all a perfect and pleasant beige/grey (Especially the classic grey). But when you get them in natural light, they all “turn” very grey. My new home has lots of natural light in almost every room and I’m planning to paint the entire house with one general color. Which one of these would you recommend that doesn’t change so much, or would you recommend a different color altogether? It appears the classic grey doesn’t change quite as much, but hard to tell. Just trying to make sure my house isn’t all grey or blue/gray when finished.
I will be painting my walls a classic grey and using the simply white for the trim as suggested. Should I be using the simply white for the interior doors as well or go with another white? Thanks for you help
Hi Zamena! Thanks so much for commenting! I recommend using Simply White on the doors as well in Semi-Gloss! That’s what we use in our house!
What color Blue is your lovely bathroom?
I know this is an old post. However I have just painted classic gray and was wondering what lighting you have used…… halogen, led ? As the paint colour changes at night with the artificial light…. thankyou.
lisa burnett says
in some of the pictures this looks rather pink. Does it look that way on your walls or is it just the camera/computer screen. I read a review that says this has purple undertones and i have already had that disaster with another paint.
Enjoy and appreciate your posts Annie. Thank you. Do you think Classic Gray goes nicely with BM White Dove trim and wainscoting. It goes nicely with Balboa Mist but I am leaning toward the Classic Gray because it is lighter. Balboa Mist looks dark in my room which has very little natural light. Appreciate your thoughts. Much thanks.
Dennis VanKoughnett says
Hello Annie: I just read all the postings With all the comments. Very interesting. Here is me Q. My kitchen faces the north,with one 3foot by 4ft window it is Dark So I had the walls painted BJ classic grey #OC-23. Now I would like to paint the north wall a yellow shade,do you think this is a good idea…many thanks,and Merry Christmas.
Dennis VanKoughnett says
HI Annie. Here is my Question. My kitchen faces the north,with a 4ft x 5ft window, it is always dark so I had it painted Benjamin Moore Classic Grey #OC-23. I love the color but want to improve the light situation. Is it ok to paint the north wall a yellow shade?.
Patricia Godin says
I just painted my walls downstairs and upstairs with classic grey, trim is white. Bathrooms were the only walls that were not the classic grey. It is a new home and the painter needed a color and soon he said. I wanted a grey, had been looking for months, so my decision was classic grey but wanted it a bit darker. I went darker by 10%. I love it! It changes with the light, where I have a lot of windows. So it comes across as a creamy/beige and a light grey. My floors are medium brown and grey. Cabinets are white. 10% only added a bit more color which was great with the walls around the cabinets.
Love the classic grey with simply white trim. What color wouleyou paint the ceiling to brighten up the space?
Anil Kumar says
I am very impressed with your post because this post is very beneficial for me and provide a new knowledge to me.
Vicki LaPinta says
I think after reading this, I am sold on Classic grey for my new bathroom remodel. How would simply white look as the trim and ceiling color with white quartz? It is actually a grey white quartz, not pure white. We are going to have a lot of quartz in the room, vanity top, shower sill, bench ect. Some white quartz looks odd with certain white painta if that makes any sense.
Bonjour Annie, our new house was painted Collingwood grey which is too dark for me, it’s a totally open concept house, kitchen is Chantilly lace, with brown wood floors and have 2 Piano black accent walls, (one for Tv and other small wall in dining room) all our furniture is black and white. Living room facing north and not too much light in Kitchen due to pergola over patio door. Would like to brighten up and get a richer color for all the walls and was thinking classic grey? Or any other suggestions you may have would greatly be appreciated……. I’m totally desperate
Bonjour Annie, our new house was painted Collingwood grey which is too dark for me, it’s a totally open concept house, kitchen is Chantilly lace as well as base boards and doors to bedrooms,,, with brown wood floors and have 2 Piano black accent walls, (one for Tv and other small wall in dining room) all our furniture is black and white. Living room facing north and not too much light in Kitchen due to pergola over patio door. Would like to brighten up and get a richer color for all the walls and was thinking classic grey? Or any other suggestions you may have would greatly be appreciated……. I’m totally desperate
What color carpet do you have in bedrooms with the classic gray walls. Having trouble picking carpet (grayish or beigish). Can’t tell in carpet what undertones are. Want lighter or similar to yours. Thank you!
Which is a prettier color: Benjamin Moore Classic Grey or Sherwin Williams Incredible White? Also, what’s the difference, please? Thanks in advance.
شركة تنظيف بالخرج says
Awesome thank you for sharing the amazing article.
Hi and thank you for all the pictures and explanations. I am painting our master BM Classic Grey. I love your window coverings in your master bedroom, the white with the navy stripe, especially the small pull-down window covering. Do you have links to those? Or a website?
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That looks beautiful! I love the color you picked, I didn’t think that gray would look good as wall paint. I’ll have the contractors do the crack repairs then I’ll paint my room just like that
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