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If you’re looking for a light gray that doesn’t lean either warm or cold, then Paper White by Benjamin Moore may be the perfect gray color for whatever room in your house that you need to paint!

Walk in pantry with beverage fridge
Bm Paper White pantry walls with SW Pure White trim.

Grays are tricky, I’ll admit. They can have pink, yellow, purple, blue, beige and even green undertones. Plus, there are so many popular shades that it’s hard to pick!

Trying to find that perfect gray that doesn’t lean either cold or warm can be tricky. But I may just have discovered that elusive light neutral gray and its name is Paper White.

In the can – and upon first application – you may be fooled into thinking that this is indeed white paint.

neutral bedroom with walls painted benjamin moore paper white
Bedroom with walls painted BM Paper White

But once it dries, and especially when it’s paired with crisp white trim, you will in fact see that it is the most beautiful, soft, almost creamy shade of dove gray.

What Color is Paper White?

Although its name is a bit misleading, this isn’t a pure white at all! Paper White is an off-white paint color that definitely shows up more gray than anything. It’s a very timeless color that will look great for years and years.

Everyone from interior designers to the average homeowner has raved about this color, and for good reason. It’s an excellent choice for just about anywhere!

What is The LRV?

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

Paper White has an LRV of 74. In comparison, most bright whites have an LRV somewhere in the 80’s or low 90’s, so at 74 it definitely is a light gray.

Is it a Warm or Cool Color?

Paper White feels warm (without really looking warm) and just gives a lovely soft effect. It’s one of my go-to neutral paint color for darker rooms that really need a punch of light and brightness.

What Are The Undertones of Benjamin Moore Paper White?

Very subtle blue or green undertones are possible but the beauty of this color is that it really doesn’t present any undertones in most rooms.

Where Can You Use Paper White?

Just about ANYWHERE! This is one of the very few colors that I really can’t think of anywhere it would look bad. Small spaces, large spaces, exteriors, and more are all suitable for this shade. If you have an abundance of natural lighting flooding into a room, just know it might look whiter than in the average home. Other than that, expect an absolutely stunning soft gray.

Office walls painted Benjamin Moore Paper White with bright white wainscoting on the lower half of the wall.
Benjamin Moore Paper White office walls with SW Pure White trim

Feel free to use Paper White in a north or south-facing room. Oftentimes, colors leaning more towards white can leave a space feeling cold but even in my north facing rooms, there is not a trace of cold emanating from this interior paint color.

What Colors Compliment Paper White?

Paper White looks great with coastal color schemes – whites, grays, blues and greens. Lucky for me my favorite color is blue! Think grandmillennial style and nautical. Of course if you have more modern, transitional, or another design theme in your house you can probably make it work, too.

Real Room Examples

I’ve now used Paper White in two rooms in my house – my guest bathroom and more recently in my master bedroom and it looks equally stunning in both.

bedroom with Benjamin Moore Paper White walls and a dark gray bed with blue and white bedding.
BM Paper White walls

I think Paper White shines brightest when everything else is kept simple. Feel free to use Paper White for both the walls and as a trim color. It’s the best way to keep things minimalistic and easy.

In both the above and below photos, the surrounding colors are calm and neutral, resulting in a bright and airy space.

A perfect neutral dove gray that doesn't lean either cold or warm
Another stunning bathroom with Paper White on the walls via Square Footage

Sometimes pairing grays with wood can result in undesirable undertones, but not with Paper White. They’re the perfect match!

Pay close attention to where the vanity below meets the paint. No purple, yellow undertones, or any other funky colors in sight!

The off-white curtains and bed linens in the bedroom below show how pairing this paint color with something warmer really brings out the “creaminess” of the paint. You’ll find the perfect balance by doing so!

Paper White by Benjamin Moore Kid Bedroom
Beautiful traditional kid’s bedroom with Benjamin Moore Paper White walls via Nicole Lee Interiors.

In the living room below, you can see on the left where it’s getting a lot of bright light that the wall almost has a white look.

In the shadows, the gray is more obvious. That’s why I particularly love this color in a north-facing room that might not get much light.

If you have a very bright room and want a solid gray, then Paper White might verge on being too close to white (and a little washed out) for your needs. But, this all depends on your personal preference!

Get ready for these white kitchen cabinets.. jaw dropping gorgeous!

Finally, you can see how well Paper White works in this stunning kitchen as a wall color and kitchen cabinet color.

Paired with lots of white and warmer wood tones, it stops the face from feeling cold while still maintaining that modern, bright white effect. I think it’s the perfect choice for a kitchen!

I can’t forget to mention the dining room though, this creamy white color absolutely shines there and is a great choice!

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.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking to paint a room in your house and a light gray color is one of the options, then I think you will really like Paper White! 

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  1. Would Paper White work with White Dove trim and cabinets? Looking for a very light gray for a kitchen with White Dove trim and cabinets, and marble (with grey undertones) counters and backsplash. Thanks!

    1. It’s not the best choice, I would pick something with a smidge more warmth to it. BM Classic Gray would look much nicer.

  2. Donna Huber says:

    Hi Jenna!

    I love Paper White. I must have spent a year deciding on the right gray paint for a small condo I was renovating, and yes picking a gray is frustrating to say the least. There wasn’t much on Pinterest about this color at the time, so I just took a chance and very happy I did. Today I came across your post and it is all you say it is. If anyone is struggling to find the right gray they need to read your post. I also paired it with BM Chantilly Lace. Thank you for sharing the lovely photos and boosting my confidence that I made the right choice.

  3. Hi Jenna
    My trim is SW Extra White. Would Paper White be enough of a contrast? Would it read as grey?
    I love your blog! I’m building a home and picking paint scares me, I’m so bad at it! :)

  4. What color would you pair with paper white for the trim? Renovating a tight master bath in our townhouse that has no windows (yikes!) and looking to keep it black/white/grey scheme. Thanks!

    1. Any bright neutral or cool white will do! BM Chantilly Lace, Oxford White or Decorator’s White are good choices

  5. Shannon Revesz says:

    Hi there,
    I paint paper white in my sons bedroom which faces north and it turned an icy blue! I used Benjamin Moore paint called scuff x and selected the colour paper white. I wonder if this could be the cause? Or is it just the lighting? Cliffside grey turned ice blue and balboa mist turned pink / mauve!

    1. Hi Shannon! Light can do weird things to paint, as well as whatever is in the room and even outside the windows. It’s always best to sample to avoid unwanted undertones

    2. Hi Shannon, a late answer but one that I hope helps others. Yes, in certain lighting (mainly rooms with little natural light) the color has a blue undertone and no, it has nothing to do with the Scuff X formulation. I painted my whole house BM Paper White, flat finish, and many of the areas of my house are an icy blue color. I did paint entire sections of walls before moving forward with the color and the blue undertone did not pop until whole rooms were painted. Fortunately, we’ve grown to love the “blue” paint. Flat paint is beautiful but no longer practical for our family. Does the Scuff X paint live up to its promise?

      1. The flat finish doesn’t allow light to bounce off it like an eggshell finish does so can bring unwanted undertones out unfortunately!