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Benjamin Moore Classic Gray (OC-23) is a muted and subtle shade of gray that adds a freshness and warmth to any room. It is best paired with a clean, crisp white trim.

BM classic gray header with text overlay

What color is Classic Gray?

Classic Gray is, as the name suggests, a shade of gray paint. However, it’s not your regular run-of-the-mill gray, as it more closely resembles a warm off-white.

light and airy bedroom painted with BM classic gray
Classic Gray Bedroom via The Color Concierge

What is Classic Gray’s LRV?

Light Reflectance Value (LRV) is an indicator of the amount of light that is illuminated by a light source. A higher value (closer to 100) means that a color will reflect more light back at you whilst a lower value (closer to 0) means that a color will appear darker, or absorb more light.

Classic Gray’s LRV is 73.6 – meaning it is classed as an off-white.

classic gray hallway
Classic Gray Hallway via Kylie M Interiors

Personally,I think Classic Gray looks its best in a medium-lit room, where the light doesn’t completely wash it out and its color can really be appreciated.

bathroom with gray floor tile and classic gray walls
Classic Gray in a Bathroom via Kylie M Interiors

What are Classic Gray’s Undertones?

Classic Gray has warm undertones of purple and sometimes a soft pink. Due to Classic Gray being an off-white – it may sometimes reflect other undertones depending on its environment. For example if you have a lot of greenery outside – it may flash ever so slightly green.

living room open to foyer with warm oak floors and staircase with black railings
Classic Gray Livingroom via The Color Concierge

RELATED: SW Amazing Gray

Is Classic Gray Warm or Cool?

Classic Gray is a warm toned gray color thanks to its wonderful undertones which tend to favour purple and sometimes a soft pink.

woman standing next to light wood console table with the background wall painted classic gray
Classic Gray living room walls via Pinteresting Plans

How Classic Gray Complements Different Settings

Classic Gray in Kitchens

Classic Gray is a lovely choice for your kitchen, whether you have a traditional, modern, or farmhouse design. This warm gray paint color can beautifully complement kitchen cabinets and walls. For a contemporary look, pair Classic Gray with sleek, bold accents. Conversely, in a farmhouse setting, combine Classic Gray with rustic elements like reclaimed wood and vintage accessories.

white kitchen cabinets with classic gray walls and warm wood floors
walls painted Classic Gray. Source: Studio McGee

Classic Gray in Bedrooms

Create a comforting and serene atmosphere in your bedroom by featuring Classic Gray on your walls or furniture. This versatile color works well in various bedroom styles, from transitional to modern spaces. Complement Classic Gray with cozy textiles and soft lighting to create a relaxing retreat for your nightly rest.

bedroom with classic gray walls, wood dresser and neutral toned bedding
Classic Gray bedroom walls via Sherri Calnan Home (Instagram)

Classic Gray in Living Rooms

Brighten up your living room with Classic Gray, a sophisticated paint color that enhances the space. This warm pale gray is ideal for various living room styles, including contemporary and traditional designs. Pair Classic Gray with colorful, patterned accents, or let it stand out against white or neutral furniture for a sleek and stylish living area.

living room with classic gray walls, wood beams on the ceiling and light colored couches and chairs
Classic Gray living room walls via Life on Cedar Lane

Classic Gray in Dining Rooms

Transform your dining area into an inviting and elegant space with the help of Classic Gray. Regardless of whether your dining room is traditional or contemporary, this warm gray color can beautifully combine with various textures and materials. Enhance the subtle sophistication by adding metallic accents and a statement chandelier or keep it simple with wooden furniture and soft-colored tableware.

Classic Gray in Bathrooms

Benjamin Moore’s Classic Gray is a fantastic choice for bathrooms, as it provides a delicate balance between refreshing brightness and soothing warmth. Incorporate Classic Gray in both modern and traditional bathroom designs, ranging from vanity cabinets to tiled walls. Pair this versatile color with bold fixtures, decorative towels, and natural accents for a well-rounded, polished look.

bathroom with patterned floor, wood vanity and classic gray walls
Classic Gray bathroom walls via HomeBunch

BM Classic Gray vs BM Gray Owl

Gray Owl and Classic Gray are vastly different colors. If you’re looking for a soft, warm off-white then Classic Gray is a good choice. If you decidely want more of a gray color, then Gray Owl may be an option.

Benjamin Moore Gray Owl is a gray with an undertone of blue and green. It has an LRV of 65 so it will nicely reflect light into the room.

Classic Gray is definitely a warmer tone than Gray Owl however if you are looking for a popular cool tone gray which has a bit of depth – Gray Owl may be a good choice for you!

Stonington Gray (blue undertone) and Repose Gray (warm taupe/green undertone) are two other very popular choices for gray paint color. Below, you can see how all three colors compare against Classic Gray.

comparison of gray owl vs repose gray vs stonington gray vs classic gray
Gray Comparison via The Creativity Exchange

If you like the subtle color that Classic Gray brings but want a color with a little more “gray” in it, then BM Paper White will be another excellent choice.

coastal style bedroom with classic gray walls
Classic Gray bedroom walls via Saw Nail & Paint

Classic Gray vs Pale Oak

Classic Gray is a versatile, warm gray with soft and muted undertones. It has a hint of beige making it cozy and sophisticated. On the other hand, Pale Oak is another popular choice in neutral shades.

color comparison of classic gray to pale oak

Pale Oak has an LRV of almost 70, and a slightly warmer undertone than Classic Gray, with pink-violet undertones.

Classic Gray vs Balboa Mist

Balboa Mist is a soft, warm gray with a passive pink undertone. It has an LRV of 67, making it a light color but not quite an off-white. Classic Gray is a lighter and brighter color.

color comparison of classic gray to balboa mist

Classic Gray vs Chantilly Lace

Chantilly Lace is a crisp, clean white with barely noticeable undertones. If you’re looking for a bright white to pair with Classic Gray, Chantilly Lace is a good choice.

color comparison of classic gray to chantilly lace

Chantilly Lace can be used as a contrasting shade with Classic Gray to create a bright and airy space. To make the paint colors pop even more, consider pairing Chantilly Lace with Classic Gray as trim and accent colors for a harmonious look.

Classic Gray vs Agreeable Gray

Agreeable Gray is considerably darker than Classic Gray with LRVs of 60 and 74 respectively. If you’re looking for a light and airy look, Classic Gray is a better choice. If you want more depth to your color, then Agreeable Gray is a popular choice. Comparing the two side-by-side, you can see that Classic Gray has a stronger gray undertone.

color comparison of classic gray to agreeable gray

Classic Gray vs Edgecomb Gray

Edgecomb Gray is an incredibly popular choice for walls, but again, it’s darker than Classic Gray with an LRV of 63. Edgecomb Gray is also slightly warmer than Classic Gray, as you can see from the color comparison below.

color comparison of classic gray to edgecomb gray

Classic Gray and Different Wood Tones

Benjamin Moore Classic Gray pairs beautifully with various wood tones. When choosing the right wood to complement Classic Gray, consider the following options.

Light wood tones, like birch, maple, or ash, provide a soft contrast against the warmth of Classic Gray. The light wood’s natural hues accentuate the subtle beige undertones of the paint, making your space feel cozy and inviting.

Medium wood tones, such as oak and walnut, create a more substantial contrast with Classic Gray. The rich browns and warm grains of medium-toned wood can balance the paint’s soft gray, giving your interior a timeless appeal.

Dark wood tones, like cherry or mahogany, look striking against the backdrop of Classic Gray. The deep, crimson-red hues of these dark woods emphasize the warmth of the paint, and create an elegant and dignified atmosphere.

Choosing the Right Trim Color for Classic Gray

When it comes to choosing the perfect trim color for Benjamin Moore Classic Gray, there are a few popular white paint colors that pair beautifully with this shade.

Classic Gray with Simply White Trim

Simply White is a fresh, crisp white paint color that adds a clean and bright contrast to Classic Gray walls. This combination creates a timeless, elegant look for your space. To achieve a harmonious balance, consider using Simply White for your trim, doors, and even your ceiling. The brightness of Simply White amplifies the warmth of Classic Gray, making your home feel both cozy and inviting.

Classic Gray with White Dove Trim

White Dove is a versatile, off-white color that has soft warm undertones. When paired with Classic Gray, it provides a subtle and sophisticated contrast that feels calming and serene. White Dove is a great choice for trim if you want a softer look compared to Simply White, without sacrificing style. This combination works well in spaces such as living rooms, bedrooms, and bathrooms, where a comforting atmosphere is desired.

Classic Gray with Chantilly Lace Trim

Chantilly Lace is another popular trim color to consider when working with Classic Gray. It’s a bright and pure white that offers striking contrast while still maintaining a neutral, complementary look.

This trim color works particularly well in contemporary or modern spaces, where strong, defined lines are desired.

Classic Gray in Different Lighting Conditions

Classic Gray in South-Facing Rooms

In south-facing rooms, Classic Gray shines with a beautiful balance of light and warmth. The abundance of natural light in these spaces enhances the soft gray and beige undertones of this versatile color.

A big entryway with a black door, blue and white mat, and gold light fixtures on the wall. Walls are painted with classic gray.
Classic Gray entryway via HomeBunch

In well-lit areas, Classic Gray brings a cozy and welcoming atmosphere that will make you fall in love with this paint hue. As the day progresses and sunlight changes angles, you might notice subtle shifts in the color, creating an inviting ambiance in your home.

Classic Gray in North-Facing Rooms

North-facing rooms often receive less direct sunlight, providing a cooler environment. Fear not, as Classic Gray adapts well in these spaces too! Its warm undertones counterbalance the cooler light, maintaining a lovely harmony of warmth and sophistication.

Pair Classic Gray walls with soft, warm-colored furniture and accent pieces to enhance the overall warmth in your space, creating a cozy retreat that appeals to your senses.

What Colors Pair Well With Classic Gray

BM Classic Gray pairs well with shades of blue, green, white, and other darker neutrals. I love how it plays with all the blue grey paint colors that I love to use throughout my home.

Here’s some done-for-you coordinating colors to get you started:

  • Benjamin Moore Britannia Blue
  • Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace (trim/cabinets)
  • Benjamin Moore Stonybrook
  • Benjamin Moore White Dove (trim/cabinets for a warmer look)
  • Benjamin Moore Gray Huskie
  • Benjamin Moore Van Deusen Blue
  • Benjamin Moore Santorini Blue
classic gray color palette with shades of white, green and blue

Frequently Asked Questions

No. As long as you don’t pair it with a lot of gray (gray floors for instance), it will not look dingy.

The Light Reflecting Value (LRV) of Classic Gray is almost 74, which means it is considered an off-white color. This LRV gives it a soft, easy contrast with white trim and can help to brighten up a room.

Yes, Classic Gray pairs well with Simply White trim. The soft contrast between the two colors creates a cohesive and visually appealing look, making it an excellent choice for a sophisticated and timeless design.

If you’re looking for a color that is slightly darker than Classic Gray, you can try customizing Classic Gray by darkening it by 25%. This will give you a slightly deeper shade while maintaining the warm undertones and versatility of the original color.

Final Thoughts

If you want a really light, bright and fresh color, Classic Gray truly is a classic. It adds soft warmth in any room you paint with it. It looks modern and clean, and works with any decorating style.

Don’t Forget…

Don’t forget – no matter what you’ve read or photos you’ve seen online, it’s really important to sample paint colors in your home before committing!

Samplize provides real paint samples that are easy to move around your home, and cheaper than buying a gazillion paint pots! It’s the only way I buy paint samples.

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  1. I ran out and bought a sample after reading this. The color looks amazing! I’m trying to decide on simply white vs chantilly lace to place on the trim & wainscoting on the lower portion of the wall. I heard this color mentioned in many video reviews of colors and never paid attention because I wasn’t looking for a gray. Another article of yours had a photo I loved, and I was surprised to see it was classic gray! I guess we can’t judge a color by a name. I wasn’t expecting such a beautiful warm color.

  2. Donna Carroll says:

    Hi, I was really disappointed in my classic grey. It looks more like off white. My question is I’m hoping if I repaint my trim more of a crisp white, that the grey will show off more. Can you suggest a white trim color that will showcase the grey? Thank you!

    1. Hmm I’ve never seen classic gray look like an off-white, it has quite a bit of color to it. Is it definitely the right color? But yes, a brighter white will definitely make the wall color pop more