Benjamin Moore Gray Owl Review & Inspiration

Gray Owl is one of Benjamin Moore’s best-selling neutral colors and a popular choice among interior designers — providing a clean backdrop for furniture and art. This versatile light gray with barely-there warm undertones brings cozy elegance to the living room, dining room, or master bedroom. Gray Owl also complements the colors in gray marble, making it a popular choice for bathroom and kitchen cabinets. 


The Warm Undertones of Gray Owl

Gray Owl has distinctly green undertones that place it strongly in the warm gray category. However, on some naturally-lit walls, a hint of blue-gray may appear, giving the impression that this warm color is actually a cool gray! This ability to respond to its surroundings makes Gray Owl a designer favorite. In a large room, it may appear warmer on one wall and cooler on another, in a subtle way that brings interiors to life.

This is a gray paint color that will surprise you with its subtle variation between bright, sunny rooms and cool, shady ones. With a light reflectance value or LRV of 66, Gray Owl is darker than an off-white, although it will wash out in bright sunlight. It provides a visible contrast with white trim that makes baseboards and woodwork stand out. Since Gray Owl has less light reflectance than an off-white, it retains its gray character. This agreeable gray’s warm undertones change with the light throughout the day, adding interest to the home.

Where to Use Gray Owl Paint

A popular choice for farmhouse-style homes, BM Gray Owl thrives in open floor plans. Its ability to change with the light makes it the perfect neutral gray wall color for the entire home. Use Gray Owl to set off a white trim color in rooms with a lot of natural light. DIY your walls in Gray Owl paint with bright white trim for an instant update.

A gray that’s simultaneously on-trend and timeless, Grey Owl is a chameleon color you can live with for years. It blends beautifully with wood tones and marble countertops, making it an elegant choice for kitchen cabinets. Gray Owl works well with stainless steel finishes too, and this soft gray is an ideal backdrop for bright colors in a south-facing kitchen or family room.

See how it complements the bright colors in this beachy farmhouse kitchen:

Benjamin Moore Owl Gray OC-52 kitchen cabinetry with a turquoise island and yellow accents

Benjamin Moore Owl Gray OC-52 kitchen cabinetry with a turquoise island and yellow accents

Gray Owl’s subtle green undertones create a serene backdrop for the bright shades of green in this airy dining room:

Benjamin Moore Gray Owl dining room walls enhanced by bright citrus-green chairs.

Benjamin Moore Gray Owl dining room walls are enhanced by bright citrus-green chairs.

Gray tones are naturally complementary to yellows, and Gray Owl helps the yellow door to shine in this brightly lit entry:

Interior entry and mudroom walls in Benjamin Moore Gray Owl

Interior entry and mudroom walls in Benjamin Moore Gray Owl

Exterior colors are often washed out by natural daylight, but the Gray Owl trim on this porch is the perfect foil for deep gray shingles, navy doors, and a sunny yellow ceiling:

Benjamin Moore Gray Owl OC-52 trim appears almost white against dark gray exterior paint

Benjamin Moore Gray Owl OC-52 trim appears almost white against dark gray exterior paint

Gray Owl is a nice exterior paint option too since its warm undertones give it a softness that blends nicely into a natural landscape:

House exterior painted in Benjamin Moore Gray Owl

Gray Owl is an extremely versatile neutral shade that fits into both traditional and modern color schemes. Make it part of an earthy palette that includes Benjamin Moore's October Mist, Pale Moon, or Venetian Portico.

What colors go best with Gray Owl?

Since Gray Owl is part of the gray color family on the Benjamin Moore paint chart, it works nicely with cool colors like Hale Navy and Wrought Iron. Its hint of warm undertones also makes it an ideal companion to aqua and blue-green shades like Palladian BlueWoodlawn Blue, and Aegean Teal. Bring the drama by pairing Gray Owl trim with a dark, cool green like Benjamin Moore Salamander; or choose a rich, saturated yellow like Goldfield for a sunny Bohemian look.

Gray Owl looks crisp and fresh alongside neutral or slightly cool white paint colors like Benjamin Moore White DoveDecorator’s White, or Chantilly Lace. However, it’s a versatile shade whose warm undertones give it a cozy look besides warm whites like Swiss Coffee or Linen White.

Similar Colors to Gray Owl

Want to explore more shades of pale gray by Benjamin Moore? You'll find an impressive selection ranging from the palest silver to the warmest greige. For a lighter gray with a similar neutral quality, check out Classic Gray or Moonshine. If you want a slightly cool gray shade, check out Coventry Gray. Another Benjamin Moore favorite, Stonington Gray, is a much cooler light gray with blue-purple undertones. If you’d like a distinctly warmer shade of gray, consider more greige paint colors like Pale Oak or Edgecomb Gray. Whichever gray you decide to try, be sure to test swatches with your home’s lighting conditions.

Buy a Gray Owl Benjamin Moore Paint Sample

Complex pale gray colors like Gray Owl are susceptible to shifts in an undertone that could make them appear cooler or warmer, depending on the lighting conditions and time of day. We recommend testing a sample of Gray Owl and any other options you’re considering before deciding on your final choice.

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One of our designers’ favorite tips for an easy way to test paint swatches on multiple walls in your house, is to paint a large poster board with a color sample and move it around the room to observe the color on different walls and in different lighting conditions.

Once you’ve settled on your color choice and are ready to order your paint, come back here for free shipping* on our best-selling Aura Waterborne Paint.

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