Benjamin Moore Smoke 2122-40: Review & Inspiration

Benjamin Moore Smoke 2122-40

Are you looking to brighten a room without using a color with too much brightness? You have many options, but Benjamin Moore’s Smoke should be among the top ten. It’s a laid-back color that changes the vibe in a room without looking bland or stark.

It’s not your typical color and may reveal other hues unexpectedly. So, I want us to explore Smoke to see how it performs in different lighting conditions and surrounding elements. Ready to learn more about this paint color? Let’s get right to it.

When to Choose Benjamin Moore Smoke

Color is in the eye of the beholder; what I see may differ from what you see. The same is true about style. Benjamin Moore’s Smoke can be selective in its usage, so let’s see where it works best.

Looking for a new entrance color?

Smoke loves a lot of light, as do many other colors. With this in mind, you may want to try it on your porch or entrance before the front door. It works exceptionally well with cool whites on the trim.

Working with a lot of neutral colors?

This paint color can be pretty versatile, pairing well with light and dark neutrals like white, gray, black, and wood tones. But you can also blend it with vibrant colors and bright hues like blues and greens, and it won’t be out of place.

Thinking of decorating the nursery?

As a relatively soft color, Smoke may work like magic in a nursery. Whether it’s for a boy or girl, the paint color can be the bridge that brings soft pastels and vibrant hues together in the same room.

Benjamin Moore’s Smoke is not as popular as other colors, but you may be surprised at how well it works in a room. And as trends are moving toward unusual colors, Smoke is starting to get the attention it deserves. Let’s see more about this paint color and real examples.

What Color Is Smoke?

We all know the color of smoke and this paint color is not exactly like that. However, it’s a chameleon color that takes on different shades in various lighting conditions. So, while it may look like powder blue in one room, it may look gray and muted in another.

See also  Sherwin Williams Sleepy Blue (Palette, Coordinating & Inspirations)

Benjamin Moore’s Smoke 2122-40 is a medium gray paint color that reveals green and blue in certain lighting conditions. It can bring a slightly moody vibe to a room, unlike the fresh airiness associated with blue grays.

A Snapshot of the Specifications of Benjamin Moore Smoke

To get a clear understanding of the specifics of this paint color, I’ve created a chart for easy reference. You’ll find basic characteristics like undertone and LRV of Smoke in the chart to make them easy to explain.

  Benjamin Moore Smoke
RGB 186, 200, 201
LRV 56.39
Undertone Blue-green
HEX Code #BAC8C9


The LRV of Benjamin Moore Smoke

LRV means the light reflectance value of color. On a scale of 0 to 100, it indicates how dark or light the color is; dark colors are close to 0, while light colors are close to 100.

However, paint colors are a little different because there are no true black or white ones. So, the scale is 2.5 to 94; the closer to the dark end the color is, the less light it reflects. And the closer to the light end the color is, the more light it reflects.

Benjamin Moore’s Smoke has an LRV of 56.39, making it a mid-tone color. While it has a fair value, the paint color can appear bright, depending on the lighting in the room.

The Undertones of Benjamin Moore Smoke

This is where Smoke differs from other gray paint colors. It has blue-green undertones that make it appear less gray and more blue or blue-green. In other words, the undertones are heavy and obvious.

In some rooms, Smoke may look like pastel blue, and at other times, it looks a little gray-blue. This is Smoke looking like a cool gray-blue paint color.

The Undertones of
 Image Credit:@ benjaminmoore

On this dresser, Smoke reveals more of its gray mass tone or top color, with a bit of blue.

Benjamin Moore Smoke 2122-40 (1)
 Image Credit:@ instagram

And in this next photo, you can clearly see its blue-green undertones.

Benjamin Moore Smoke 2122-40 (2)
 Image Credit:@ .instagram

Does Lighting Affect Benjamin Moore Smoke?

Like many other colors, lighting can change the color of Smoke. It can appear lighter than usual or slightly muted, especially when you consider the surrounding elements.

In good lighting and without any influence from other colors, this is Smoke as it should be.

Does Lighting Affect
 Image Credit:@ instagram

In bright natural light, Smoke can look lighter than its LRV suggests. But it may also depend on the number of coats, consistency, and finish. Sometimes, paint colors are lightened or darkened.

Benjamin Moore Smoke 2122-40 (4)
 Image Credit:@ instagram

Low light in a room can also make the paint color look muted, so you may want to consider the lighting when picking Smoke.

Benjamin Moore Smoke 2122-40 (5)
 Image Credit:@ instagram

With artificial light, Smoke looks slightly different, more gray-green than gray-blue.

Benjamin Moore Smoke 2122-40 (6)
 Image Credit:@ instagram

Smoke is a color that can change with the morning light and late afternoon glow. It can also look different with white artificial light and yellow artificial light. Use samples and allow them to dry in different rooms. Then, check how the color appears with different lighting conditions before deciding.

How Does Benjamin Moore Smoke Feel in a Room?

Smoke is a versatile color that grounds vibrant hues and bold colors. You can use it as the backdrop for other colors or on accents if you want just a touch of color.

It feels a little moody, so you may want to brighten it with white paint colors. On the flip side, Smoke is slightly smokey and brings that spa-like vibe to the decor. Check out how much green is visible in the color in the next picture.

Benjamin Moore Smoke 2122-40 (7)
 Image Credit:@ instagram

Benjamin Moore Smoke: Warm or Cool?

Smoke is a cool color because of the blue and gray in it. However, although it’s technically cool, the paint color can present a cozy and warm face because of the green in it.

See also  Sherwin Williams Cavern Clay (Palette, Coordinating & Inspirations)

It’s not the cool emerald green but the slightly warm green that shows a little yellow. Therefore, Smoke can bring a soft calmness that evokes that relaxed feeling you get when in a spa.

Benjamin Moore Smoke Color Strip: Lighter to Darker Exploration

If you find that Smoke is not to your taste or you want something different to compare, I’ve got you covered. Below are paint colors from the same strip as Smoke to give you options.

  • Benjamin Moore Palest Pistachio 2122-60
  • Benjamin Moore Iceberg 2122-50
  • Benjamin Moore Smoke 2122-40
  • Benjamin Moore Cloudy Sky 2122-30
  • Benjamin Moore Steep Cliff Gray 2122-20

Smoke 2122-40 (1)

Benjamin Moore Smoke Complementary Color

Every color has a complementary color, including Smoke. Complementary colors sit opposite each other on the color wheel and cancel each other when mixed to create a grayscale color.

They also bring out the vibrant hue in each other, although they may seem to have nothing in common. An example is purple/yellow.

As a gray paint color, Smoke should technically not be on the color wheel. However, it’s not the typical gray, and its undertones make it different. Its complementary color is a pretty shade of pinkish red or light mauve.

Benjamin Moore’s Batik AF-610 is similar to this color, but you can also try Sherwin Williams’ Studio Mauve SW 0062 for something from a different brand.

Smoke 2122-40 (2)

Benjamin Moore Smoke Coordinating Colors

Because of its peculiar shade, Smoke has several coordinating colors. These colors include Wind’s Breath, Cloud Cover, and Steel Wool. They complement Smoke and each other beautifully, creating a seamless and pleasing flow of color in any decor.

  • Benjamin Moore Wind’s Breath OC-24: A neutral paint color whose warm gray undertone blends with the gray in Smoke.
  • Benjamin Moore Cloud Cover OC-25: A bright white paint color with a gray-blue undertone that is the perfect match for Smoke’s color.
  • Benjamin Moore Steel Wool 2121-20: An elegant shade of deep gray with the barest hint of blue that gives it a steely look and grounds the brighter Smoke.

Smoke 2122-40 (3)

Benjamin Moore Smoke Color Palettes

The following are some color palettes that work well with Smoke, especially if you want to create a striking style and decor.

Contrasting Color Palette

  • Chantilly Lace 2121-70: One of the brightest white paint colors from Benjamin Moore and on the market, versatile because of minimal undertones and perfect as a trim color for Smoke.
  • Hushed Hue 1520: A bright paint color with just a hint of green to complement the green hue in Smoke.
  • Whale Gray 2134-40: A balanced shade of gray with enough depth to fit Smoke and brighten it in any decor.

Smoke 2122-40 (4)

Monochromatic Color Palette

  • Dark Pewter 2122-10: A moody gray paint color, deep and bodied, and made even deeper by its green undertones.
  • Steep Cliff Gray 2122-20: A unique mix of gray and green that is a darker shade of Smoke but blends well with it in a monochromatic-style decor.
  • Cloudy Sky 2122-30: With its blue-green undertones, Cloudy Sky is a darker version of Smoke and shows how elegant every shade of the paint color can be.

Smoke 2122-40 (5)

Coordinating Color Palette

  • Steel Wool 2121-20: An elegant shade of deep gray with the barest hint of blue that gives it a steely look and grounds the brighter Smoke.
  • Cloud Cover OC-25: A bright white paint color with a gray-blue undertone that is the perfect match for Smoke’s color.
  • Wind’s Breath OC-24: A neutral paint color whose warm gray undertone blends with the gray in Smoke.
See also  Sherwin Williams Sea Salt (Palette, Coordinating & Inspirations)

Smoke 2122-40 (6)

Benjamin Moore Smoke vs Similar Colors

Smoke shares some similarities with other paint colors with the same shade and undertones. But are they all the same? Let’s find out!

BM Silvery Blue vs BM Smoke

As the name suggests, Silvery Blue is a blue paint color with a smidge of silver as opposed to the gray color of Smoke with blue-green undertones.

Smoke 2122-40 (7)

SW Tradewind vs BM Smoke

Tradewind from Sherwin Williams is lighter with an LRV of 61. Plus, it reveals more green than Smoke, making it noticeably different.

Smoke 2122-40 (8)

BM Brittany Blue vs BM Smoke

Brittany Blue is a light blue paint color with a little gray to ground it. And with its LRV of 61.48, it is slightly different from Smoke.

Smoke 2122-40 (9)

BM Wales Gray vs BM Smoke

Wales Gray bears a lot of similarities to Smoke, such as its peculiar blue and gray shade. But it has a lower LRV of 53.54, which makes it a more moody color than Smoke.

Smoke 2122-40 (10)

BM Yarmouth Blue vs BM Smoke

Yarmouth Blue is fresh and airy, bringing a lightness to decor that Smoke lacks, although it has a slightly lower LRV.

Smoke 2122-40 (11)

Sherwin Williams Paint Color Equivalent to Benjamin Moore Smoke

There’s no exact equivalent paint color from Sherwin Williams to match Benjamin Moore’s Smoke. The reason is simple: Every paint color is unique, especially when you compare the red, green, and blue (RGB) codes. That said, Sherwin Williams’ Sleepy Blue SW 6225 is similar to it. The same is true of Upward SW 6239.

Smoke 2122-40 (12)

Where Can You Use Benjamin Moore Smoke?

That’s the best part of this color; you can use it anywhere, including on exterior walls. Check out the real photos below for inspiration.

Benjamin Moore Smoke on a Door

When the rest of the decor or surrounding colors are a crisp white, Smoke may reveal more of its blue side.

Benjamin Moore Smoke 2122-40 (8)
 Image Credit:@ instagram

Benjamin Moore Smoke in a Laundry Room

The paint color looks blue and pretty on the cabinets in this laundry room.

Benjamin Moore Smoke 2122-40 (9)
 Image Credit:@ instagram

Best Trim Color for Benjamin Moore Smoke Walls

Smoke looks great with crisp or cool white trim colors, so carefully pick a white trim color because of the coolness of Smoke.

Benjamin Moore Smoke 2122-40 (10)
 Image Credit:@ instagram

Benjamin Moore Smoke in a Bedroom

The paint color shows more of its green undertone in this bedroom than it shows blue or gray.

Benjamin Moore Smoke 2122-40 (11)
 Image Credit:@ instagram

Benjamin Moore Smoke in a Bathroom

Smoke is one color that works well in a bathroom, whether or not there’s bright light. Its softness is what you need to relax after a long day.

Benjamin Moore Smoke 2122-40 (12)
 Image Credit:@ instagram

Benjamin Moore Smoke on Shiplap

This shiplap acts as the trim for the dark wall. The color on it is Smoke and complements the white and black on the walls.

Benjamin Moore Smoke 2122-40 (13)
 Image Credit:@ instagram

Best Ceiling Color for Benjamin Moore Smoke Walls

Like the trim, the best ceiling color is a crisp white paint color or a neutral like BM Chantilly Lace.

Benjamin Moore Smoke 2122-40 (14)
 Image Credit:@ instagram

Benjamin Moore Smoke in a Personal Space

If you’re not keen to see Smoke in a general space but still want to use it, try it in a private office or any other space that’s yours. Then, you can decorate it as you like.

Benjamin Moore Smoke 2122-40 (15)
 Image Credit:@ instagram

Benjamin Moore Smoke in a Living Room

You can keep things laid-back and simple with this paint color on the walls in your living room.

Benjamin Moore Smoke 2122-40 (16)
 Image Credit:@ instagram

Benjamin Moore Smoke in a Dining Room

Smoke can create that vintage room that tends to be elusive. Try it in your dining room to see how it works.

Benjamin Moore Smoke 2122-40 (17)
 Image Credit:@ instagram

Benjamin Moore Smoke on Exterior Walls

Smoke is not a popular exterior paint color but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hold its own. It can take the place of white if you don’t want to compromise on color and brightness.

Benjamin Moore Smoke 2122-40 (18)
 Image Credit:@ ringsend


There are many gray paint colors, but Benjamin Moore’s Smoke stands out because of its blue-green undertones. It has an LRV of 56.39 but appears brighter than the value indicates. Smoke fits well in bathrooms, laundry rooms, and bedrooms because of its shade.

Pair it with cool whites, greens, blues, soft yellows, grays, blacks, and wood tones. You can follow this guide to create a unique color palette to suit Smoke and get the results you want.

Remember to test the color on walls and under different lighting conditions before using it on entire walls. It will ease your decisions and help you see how best to use it. Happy painting!

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

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