Benjamin Moore Gray Owl OC-52

Today’s paint color is all about hitting that neutral, classic, timeless style. Benjamin Moore Gray Owl, OC-52, is a popular choice for a neutral, light gray paint color. Its versatility makes it a favorite among gray paint colors. The blue and green undertones make it a crisp cool inviting paint color that pairs beautifully with white trim. If you’re looking for a great all-over paint color that goes with many different design styles and will provide a lovely layer of softness to your home. 

Benjamin Moore Gray Owl OC-52

All About Benjamin Moore Gray Owl

Benjamin Moore describes its popular paint color, Gray Owl, as, “a use-anywhere light gray with a cool, crisp cast.” I think that’s a spot-on description. Cool grays are known to lean blue or purple which can be problematic when you are trying for gray walls. Gray Owl is a bit different because its undertones are blue and green. We’ll get to that in a bit but those undertones help bring a softness to this color that I think is really beautiful. Gray Owl is a “best-selling color” for Benjamin Moore and it’s easy to see why. Sometimes when you have a home that needs a full paint job you want to just pick one color and go for it – this is definitely a paint color that you can do that with. It may appear slightly different in different rooms with different light but overall, the color will be a beautiful subtle hue of gray. 

How Light or How Dark is Benjamin Moore Gray Owl

In terms of lightness and darkness, Gray Owl is light. Although it’s part of Benjamin Moore’s Off-White Collection, it’s definitely not off-white color. (I always wonder how these colors end up in collections anyway.) It’s also not a medium gray either. It’s solidly in the light gray category. 

What is the LRV of Benjamin Moore Gray Owl?

The Light Reflectance Value or LRV of Gray Owl is 64.51.

First, you might want to know what is LRV anyway. Well, Light Reflective Value or LRV is a tool used to determine how light or dark a paint color is. LRV is measured on a scale of 0-100  with 100 being the brightest, most pure white and 0 being black. What does that even mean? The operative word here is light. Light Reflective Value means how much light is reflected. The lighter the color the more light can be reflected. This paint color is relatively light on the LRV scale coming in at 64.51. Benjamin Moore considers Chantilly Lace to be one of its brightest, cleanest white paint colors and its LRV is 90.04. That gives you a bit of perspective on Gray Owl. It’s got some saturation but it’s still considered a “light gray.”

What Undertones Does Gray Owl Have?

Benjamin Moore Gray Owl has subtle undertones of blue and green hues. It’s a little fickle as sometimes you’ll see blue pulling through and other times you might see a flash of green. It’s a gentle undertone that gives it a subtle coolness. In low light, Gray Owl can appear more blue than gray so that’s something to keep in mind. Overall, while Gray Owl is considered a neutral gray, it still runs a little cool and it can show up on your walls.

What are Some Coordinating Colors to Gray Owl?

Oh, I’m glad you asked. Gray Owl is a pretty easy paint color to complement. For trim, I always recommend Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace. It’s a gorgeous crisp white that really pops against gray walls. If you want something a little warmer for trim then I recommend Benjamin Moore White Dove.

It’s probably not too surprising that Gray Owl plays nicely mostly with cool colors. You’ll find Gray Owl coordinating beautifully with a variety of blue paint colors, navy blue, blue-green colors like teals, and medium to dark grays. Additionally, you can also try out some beige colors that have more of a green/gray undertone as well. Here are some paint colors that look lovely with Gray Owl.

What Paint Sheen Should I Use for Gray Owl?

I think eggshell and satin are both great options as paint sheens for Gray Owl. I prefer the look of a matte finish but that isn’t to say that high gloss finishes don’t have their place. Flat paint is great for low-traffic areas as it’s not super easy to clean. Eggshell is the perfect sheen for living rooms, bedrooms, kitchens, etc. If you want to evoke a more luxurious feel you could go with a semi-gloss or high-gloss sheen. For trim though, I recommend a satin or semi-gloss for easy cleaning. Additionally, if you love Gray Owl and want to use it as your wall and trim color consider using different sheens.

Gray Owl in Real Spaces

Benjamin Moore Gray Owl is a classic gray paint color that works in many different types of spaces. Remember, it’s a great all-over paint color!  It looks gorgeous in bathrooms, bedrooms, dining rooms, and living rooms. It’s also a beautiful Kitchen cabinet paint color. Here are some real-life examples of how Gray Owl is used to create beautiful spaces. 

Gray Owl Great Room

benjamin moore gray owl walls in high end living room
HEYDT Designs photo by David Duncan Livingston

The softness of Gray Owl in this gorgeous family room is the perfect backdrop. With lots of natural light, Gray Owl softens even more balancing those cool tones and bringing the light gray color to the verge of white. Then we look at the ceiling and it’s clear that this color is the perfect soft gray.

Gray Owl Painted Bathroom

Gray Owl creates a beautiful fresh look in this serene, spa-like bathroom. It’s soft and light and coordinates beautifully with the black, gray, and white tiles in here. 

Gray Owl Living Room

Benjamin moore gray owl transitional living room
CCG Interiors photo by Amy Braswell

Living rooms suit Gray Owl really well. I love the contrast of Gray Owl with the white trim and ceiling here. In this space, you can see a touch of the blue undertones but it’s ever so slight allowing the light gray to take the lead.

Gray Owl in Darker Spaces

benjamin moore gray owl hallway

Rethink Design Studio
photo by Richard Leo Johnson

This hallway landing doesn’t have a ton of light with just some light from the adjacent rooms streaming in. You can see that Gray Owl appears a little darker in darker spaces. In darker spaces, you may also see the blue/green undertones more noticeably.

Gray Owl Cabinetry

I mentioned that Gray Owl is a nice color for cabinetry. This stylish vanity is painted with Gray Owl and finished with gorgeous black hardware. The contrast of black, white, and Gray Owl is beautiful in this space.

Open and Airy Living Space

luxe living room with benjamin moore gray owl walls
Shannon Crain Design photo by Knoxy Knox

This beautiful open space has Gray Owl as the wall color. And it’s such a great choice! It looks crisp, light, and airy keeping everything balanced between the white trim, warm textures, and cozy furnishings. Gray Owl provides the perfect backdrop for this warm and inviting living area.

Cottage Living Room with Gray Owl Walls

Gray Owl painted cottage living room
Gordon + Johnson photo by Jesse Prezza

This cozy cottage living room is the perfect example of how Gray Owl can look wonderful in a variety of different homes. Of course, you could use this color anywhere but it feels so right in a charming cottage like this one. The softness of the gray paneled walls brings warmth and coziness to the space.

Elegant and Inviting Bedroom with Gray Owl

Benjamin Moore Gray Owl luxe Bedroom
Krista + Home photo by Jessica Glynn

This bedroom looks so elegant and luxurious. The walls are painted in Benjamin Moore Gray Owl and the color is perfect in this space. It’s a perfect light gray that has some depth and softness at the same time. The walls coordinate beautifully with the soft neutral decor finishes. The combinations of grays, warm whites, and cool blues make for a really restful atmosphere.

Alternative Light Gray Paint Colors and How They Compare to Benjamin Moore Gray Owl

Benjamin Moore Gray Owl vs. Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray

Benjamin Moore Gray Owl vs Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray battle of the gray paint colors

If you’re looking for a similar lighter gray, Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray is a great alternative. It’s another all-purpose paint color that looks great just about anywhere. In comparison to Gray Owl, Stonington Gray is a smidge darker with an LRV of 59.36. They are both cool grays with blue-ish undertones. If you have a space with a lot of natural light and Gray Owl is feeling too washed out then Stonington Gray may be a great alternative with a little more depth.

Benjamin Moore Gray Owl vs. Sherwin Williams Repose Gray 

Benjamin Moore Gray owl and Sherwin Williams Repose Gray popular gray paint colors

Repose Gray is one of Sherwin Williams’s popular gray paint colors. It’s categorized as a warm gray and it is well-loved because of its “true gray” appearance. It’s slightly darker than Gray Owl with an LRV of 58 making it more of a medium gray than a light gray but it’s a really nice option if Gray Owl feels too light for you.

Benjamin Moore Gray Owl vs. Benjamin Moore Oystershell

Benjamin Moore Gray Owl and Benjamin Moore Oystershell two beautiful light grays

Benjamin Moore Oystershell isn’t talked about enough in my opinion. It’s a really lovely light gray with blue undertones. In certain light, it looks blue-gray and can even pull some green undertones at times. I used it in my bathroom and it feels very serene and calm in that space. It has an LRV of 67.87. You can see my whole home color palette to see how it coordinates with other paint colors.

If none of these appeal to you, you may want to consider taking a look at greiges. Accessible Beige is my favorite warm greige paint color. It’s a lovely neutral that appeals to many.

In Conclusion

Gray Owl is one of Benjamin Moore’s most popular paint colors and for good reason. It’s a timeless neutral that looks beautiful just about anywhere and it pairs well with many other colors. If you’re looking for a beautiful all-over light gray, make sure to grab a sample of Gray Owl! I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

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