Benjamin Moore Classic Gray OC-23: Paint Color Review

Benjamin Moore Classic Gray OC-23

Are you trying to find a light gray paint color without obvious undertones? It may look like finding a needle in a haystack because no gray paint color is without undertones. However, some have only minimal undertones, and that’s why I bring you Benjamin Moore’s Classic Gray.

This paint color is what you need as an alternative to white if you want a bit of color. There’s so much to learn and see about Classic Gray, and before you use it, it’s crucial to understand how the color works. So, let’s review Classic Gray and see if it’s just right for your decor.

Table of Contents

When to Choose Benjamin Moore Classic Gray

You already have this paint color on your radar, which is why you’re here. But it may not be as simple as a wham, bam, thank you, ma’am. Is Classic Gray great for your decor? When is it best to use it? Let’s take a look at a few ideas for when Classic Gray is ideal.

Is lighting an issue?

Classic Gray is a bright paint color, so it tends to appear washed out in bright natural light. You may want to use it with a little less bright light if you are concerned about its shade. Otherwise, it looks amazing as an alternative to white.

Do you have cool undertones in your decor?

As a slightly warm color, Classic Gray fits better with warm colors. If your decor is cool-themed, you may have difficulty adding this color. However, you may mix both tones or use Classic Gray as a background color because it doesn’t have a lot of warmth.

Need a new bedroom color?

I use a bedroom as an example because we all love the best colors in personal spaces. If white is too stark or bright for your bedroom, try Classic Gray because it perfectly mimics white without losing color.

Want a shaded trim color?

White is usually the go-to for trim color, but you can switch things up with this paint color. Use bright whites on the wall and Classic Gray on the trim for a little difference. How about that?

You can right ahead and begin painting your house if these pointers answer your questions. But before you go, let’s look at the exact shade of Classic Gray, its LRV, and its undertone for better understanding.

What Color Is Benjamin Moore Classic Gray?

As the name suggests, this paint color is classic and timeless. It never goes out of fashion because of its peculiar and versatile shade. Just like white, you can always find Classic Gray useful in any part of your house.

See also  Sherwin Williams Modern Gray SW 7632 Review

Benjamin Moore’s Classic Gray OC-23 is a pale gray paint color with a slightly warm glow that brings a cozy vibe into any space. Some call it greige paint color, and I agree because it hardly reads only gray. Also, it functions well as an off-white color because of its LRV. More on that later.

A Snapshot of Benjamin Moore Classic Gray Specifications

A chart is the best way to detail the characteristics of Classic Gray, and I’ve created one to show you the undertone, LRV, and red, green, and blue (RGB) code at a glance.

  Benjamin Moore Classic Gray
RGB 227, 224, 215
LRV 73.67
Undertone Violet
HEX Code #E3DFD5

 

The LRV of Benjamin Moore Classic Gray

LRV means the light reflectance value of color and refers to how much light the color reflects on a scale of 0 to 100. The closer to 0 the value is, the darker the color is. And the closer to 100 the value is, the lighter the color is.

Paint colors use the same scale but the values are slightly different. No paint color has an LRV below 2.5 or higher than 94 because none is pure black or white.

Benjamin Moore’s Classic Gray has an LRV of 73.67, which is a pretty high value, considering the scale. But it is not high enough to qualify the color as a white or off-white color. However, Classic Gray can function as an off-white in some places, especially when the lighting is bright.

The Undertones of Benjamin Moore Classic Gray

Apart from the mass tone of color, which is the obvious color you see – in this case, pale gray or greige – every color has an undertone. Some have obvious ones, while others have subtle ones. An undertone is a subtle hue peeking through the main color at the surface.

Classic Gray has a subtle violet undertone. Now, this color can act like a chameleon; you may notice a very subtle green hue in certain lighting. This green tint is hardly ever visible but makes the color slightly warm.

This first photo shows Classic Gray as it should be, looking a little gray and very bright.

The Undertones of
 Image Credit:@ benjaminmoore

This shade is what to expect when you use Classic Gray in a moderately lit room. But the next picture shows a little green peeking through the paint color and not because it picks hues from surrounding colors.

Benjamin Moore Classic Gray OC-23 (1)
 Image Credit:@ instagram

You will notice a hint of purple in this vaulted kitchen, despite the wood in the room.

Benjamin Moore Classic Gray OC-23 (2)
 Image Credit:@ instagram

Does Lighting Affect Benjamin Moore Classic Gray?

Every paint color undergoes a change, subtle or otherwise, with different lighting conditions. So, I can safely say that lighting is the biggest factor determining how you use colors, including paint colors like Classic Gray.

Warm lighting can make Classic Gray appear more beige than greige or pale gray. Cold or cool lighting makes it appear muted, looking grayer than usual. Rooms with northern exposure usually have no direct sunlight, which means they have cold lighting.

Does Lighting Affect
 Image Credit:@ instagram

South-facing rooms have direct sunlight, so Classic Gray may appear warmer and creamier than usual.

Benjamin Moore Classic Gray OC-23 (3)
 Image Credit:@ instagram

Rooms that face west or east produce different lighting at different times of the day. So, Classic Gray will look passive in the morning and warm in the afternoon and evening in a west-facing room. But it will look warm and cozy in the morning and slightly passive in the evening in an east-facing room.

Artificial light is something else to consider. Warm yellow light can throw a different hue on the light paint color from what you see with white artificial light. If you get the lighting right, you will enjoy this color.

Benjamin Moore Classic Gray OC-23 (4)
 Image Credit:@ instagram

How Does Classic Gray Feel in a Room?

Classic Gray feels light and looks beautiful in a room. It doesn’t matter where you use it; the result is the same. The color brings a welcoming vibe and soft creaminess to any decor, and you can pair it with many other colors. It also makes a room appear bigger than usual.

Benjamin Moore Classic Gray OC-23 (5)
 Image Credit:@ instagram

Benjamin Moore Classic Gray: Warm or Cool?

Classic Gray is a warm color, thanks to its subtle green undertone. However, its subtle violet undertone makes it lean toward the warm and cool end. Therefore, Classic Gray can adapt to different decor types, although it may favor more warm colors than cool ones.

See also  Sherwin Williams Crushed Ice (Palette, Coordinating & Inspirations)

Benjamin Moore Classic Gray Color Strip: Lighter to Darker Exploration

You may find Classic Gray too light for your decor or not the particular shade that fits your color palette. If that is the case, you have nothing to worry about because I’ve picked a few alternatives. Check out other colors from the same color strip, from light to dark.

  • Benjamin Moore Cloud Cover OC-25
  • Benjamin Moore Winter White OC-21
  • Benjamin Moore Calm OC-22
  • Benjamin Moore Classic Gray OC-23
  • Benjamin Moore Wind’s Breath OC-24

Benjamin Moore Classic Gray Color Strip

Benjamin Moore Classic Gray Complementary Colors

These colors sit directly opposite each other on the color wheel. Examples include orange and blue or red and green. They have a certain relationship with each other that may not be immediately obvious but tend to bring out the vibrant hues in each other.

Classic Gray is a pale gray shade, and as a neutral color, it technically doesn’t appear on the color wheel. However, the hues in the color change it from a traditional gray to another color, so you can find its complementary color.

It is a light shade of purple, more like lilac than any other color. Benjamin Moore’s Spring Iris 1402 is the closest to this shade. Alternatively, Sherwin Williams’ Potentially Purple SW 6821 can replace Spring Iris if it’s not readily available.

Complementary Colors

Benjamin Moore Classic Gray Coordinating Colors

The colors that coordinate well typically have some similarities that make them pair harmoniously. You will notice that they flow together seamlessly when used in a color scheme or palette. Stone Brown, Stone Harbor, and Indian River are some of Classic Gray’s coordinating colors.

  • Benjamin Moore Stone Brown 2112-30: It has just the right amount of depth and warmth to soften the pale Classic Gray.
  • Benjamin Moore Stone Harbor 2111-50: A warm mid-tone gray that blends with different colors, including Classic Gray with its unique undertones.
  • Benjamin Moore Indian River 985: A taupe paint color with neutral tones that allow it to blend with any color scheme.

Benjamin Moore Classic Gray Coordinating Colors

Benjamin Moore Classic Gray Color Palettes

Thinking of creating a suitable color palette for Classic Gray but are unsure where to start? It can feel daunting and too much to find colors that work well with such undertones in Classic Gray, but I can help get you started.

Contrasting Color Palette

  • Charmeuse AF-265: A blush pink paint color with a light gray undertone that matches Classic Gray for a seamless flow.
  • Granite AF-660: A dark gray color that deepens when paired with the light Classic Gray but has the same violet undertone as the primary color.
  • Jamestown Blue HC-148: A cornflower blue with muted tones that throw a different shade in the decor and contrasts with the light Classic Gray.

Contrasting Color Palette

Monochromatic Color Palette

  • Wind’s Breath OC-24: A neutral paint color with enough brightness to warm a room and works well with Classic Gray as its trim color.
  • Winter White OC-21: A slight blue cast gives this bright white some color and helps it pair well with Classic Gray with its violet hue.
  • Cloud Cover OC-25: For the best trim color that doesn’t clash with the central hue, try this paint color when the walls are painted in Classic Gray.

 

Monochromatic Color Palette

Coordinating Color Palette

  • Indian River 985: A taupe paint color with neutral tones that allow it to blend with any color scheme.
  • Stone Harbor 2111-50: A warm mid-tone gray that blends with different colors, including Classic Gray with its unique undertones.
  • Stone Brown 2112-30: It has just the right amount of depth and warmth to soften the pale Classic Gray.

Coordinating Color Palette

Benjamin Moore Classic Gray vs Similar Colors

You will find that some colors are pretty similar to Classic Gray, and I want to show you how they compare side by side.

BM Pale Oak vs BM Classic Gray

Pale Oak is noticeably darker than Classic Gray, with an LRV of 68.64. It also has more warmth than Classic Gray.

Pale Oak OC-20

BM Balboa Mist vs BM Classic Gray

Balboa Mist has a lower LRV than Classic Gray but favors the same soft violet undertone. So, they are pretty similar except that Balboa Mist is darker.

See also  Sherwin Williams Passive SW 7064: Paint Color Review

Balboa Mist 1549

SW Agreeable Gray vs BM Classic Gray

Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray is considerably darker than Classic Gray, with an LRV of 60. It also has a slightly green undertone, while Classic Gray has violet and a little green.

Agreeable Gray SW 7029

BM Silver Satin vs BM Classic Gray

Silver Satin is lighter than Classic Gray, with an LRV of 74.9. Apart from this difference, both paint colors look almost the same with similar purple undertones.

Silver Satin 856

BM Seapearl vs BM Classic Gray

Seapearl is lighter than Classic Gray and is a cool color with a gray undertone. It may look a little more laid-back than Classic Gray.

Seapearl 961

BM Edgecomb Gray vs BM Classic Gray

Edgecomb Gray is similar to Classic Gray but has an LRV of 63.09. Also, it looks warmer than Classic Gray.

Edgecomb Gray HC-173

Sherwin Williams Paint Color Equivalent to Benjamin Moore Classic Gray

There is no equivalent paint color from Sherwin Williams to match Benjamin Moore’s Classic Gray. This doesn’t apply only to Classic Gray but to every paint color because each one is unique.

However, Sherwin Williams Ethereal White SW 6182 is close to this color, especially when you compare their RGB codes. The same applies to Moderne White SW 6168 from the same brand.

Equivalent to

Where Can You Use Benjamin Moore Classic Gray?

The light paint color performs well in different rooms, such as living rooms, kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, and offices. Check out the following photos for design ideas.

Benjamin Moore Classic Gray in a Living Room

Living rooms can be a chore to paint and decorate because you want to get it right. But when you use a neutral like Classic Gray on the walls and splashes of color in the accessories or on the accents, you get a beautiful space.

Benjamin Moore Classic Gray OC-23 (6)
 Image Credit:@ instagram

Best Trim Color for Benjamin Moore Classic Gray Walls

Try white on the trim if the wall color is Classic Gray. Use a neutral white like Chantilly Lace to bring out the unique hue in the gray walls.

Benjamin Moore Classic Gray OC-23 (7)
 Image Credit:@  instagram

Best Ceiling Color for Benjamin Moore Classic Gray Walls

Like before, I recommend white to deepen the Classic Gray shade. When you use a bright white, you can clearly see how different Classic Gray is from a typical white. You will better appreciate the gray color that way.

Benjamin Moore Classic Gray OC-23 (8)
 Image Credit:@ instagram

Benjamin Moore Classic Gray in a Bedroom

Every bedroom should have a cozy and welcoming vibe because it’s the place to relax. Classic Gray on the walls makes all the difference as it also allows you to add other colors.

Benjamin Moore Classic Gray OC-23 (9)
 Image Credit:@ instagram

Benjamin Moore Classic Gray on Kitchen Walls

This next photo is that of a beautiful kitchen. The cabinets are painted in Benjamin Moore Pale Smoke. The splash of color on the island is everything.

Benjamin Moore Classic Gray OC-23 (10)
 Image Credit:@ instagram

Benjamin Moore Classic Gray in a Dining Area

This paint color looks amazing in any room, including a dining area. Since it’s a place where a family meets intimately, it needs to have a corresponding color like Classic Gray.

Benjamin Moore Classic Gray OC-23 (10)
 Image Credit:@ instagram

Benjamin Moore Classic Gray in a Bathroom

You can take a look at this photo if you doubt that Classic Gray is an excellent choice for bathrooms. See how the dark vanity color complements the walls.

Benjamin Moore Classic Gray OC-23 (12)
 Image Credit:@ instagram

Benjamin Moore Classic Gray in a Nursery

Nurseries don’t always have to be done in soft pastels or light colors alone. Sometimes, mix things up for a stunning and pleasing appearance like this next photo.

Benjamin Moore Classic Gray OC-23 (13)
 Image Credit:@ instagram

Benjamin Moore Classic Gray in a Hallway

One of the least naturally-lit areas in a house is the hallway. Fortunately, Classic Gray holds up well in such areas, although this hallway has natural light that makes the paint color very bright.

Benjamin Moore Classic Gray OC-23 (14)
 Image Credit:@ instagram

Benjamin Moore Classic Gray in a Foyer

Your house’s entrance tells everyone what to expect the rest of the house to be. Therefore, use the most welcoming colors and decor to create a soothing ambiance. Classic Gray picks a bit of the vibrant colors in this foyer.

Benjamin Moore Classic Gray OC-23 (15)
 Image Credit:@ instagram

Benjamin Moore Classic Gray in a Laundry Room

Classic Gray looks great in a laundry room primarily because most laundry rooms don’t have natural lighting. However, this one has good natural lighting, making the wall color even better.

Benjamin Moore Classic Gray OC-23 (16)
 Image Credit:@ instagram

Benjamin Moore Classic Gray on Kitchen Cabinets

Try Classic Gray on your cabinets if you want to transform your kitchen without breaking the bank. As a warm color, it gives that cozy feeling that every kitchen needs.

Benjamin Moore Classic Gray OC-23 (17)
 Image Credit:@ instagram

Benjamin Moore Classic Gray on Exterior Walls

Some say this paint color is not ideal for exterior walls, but I think it looks good because of its slight warmth and pigment. Classic Gray doesn’t look stark like whites, so it doesn’t look too washed out.

Benjamin Moore Classic Gray OC-23 (18)
 Image Credit:@ instagram

Conclusion

If you’re creating a color palette, consider adding Benjamin Moore’s Classic Gray because it’s light and neutral. It has a high LRV of 73.67 and an undertone of violet that can also show green. As a pale gray color, Classic Gray looks greige because of its warm tone.

Follow this guide to pick matching colors to have a suitable color palette. For a beautiful flow, pair Classic Gray with reds, blues, purples, greens, and other neutrals. It also looks great with wood tones, but you must keep their undertones in mind before pairing them.

There you have it, so go ahead and paint to your satisfaction. Let me know if you have questions, and share your experience with me in the comments section.

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Blacksburgbelle

Hello, my name is April and I'm the creator of blacksburgbelle.com. I'm passionate about colors and painting, and my website is dedicated to exploring the world of paint and color.

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