Benjamin Moore Pale Oak Review & Inspiration

What We Love About Pale Oak OC-20

Pale Oak is a light, warm greige paint that’s the perfect neutral paint color for open floorplans. Pale Oak is both elegant and graceful, adding understated style to any room as a backdrop for furnishings and decor.

What Undertones are in Benjamin Moore Pale Oak?

Pale Oak can be described as a light greige with warm, yellow undertones. Greige paint colors are right in between a gray and a beige, and may appear more beige or more gray depending on their surroundings.

Benjamin Moore Pale Oak in brightly lit living room

So what about this greige—is Pale Oak more gray or beige? Well, the answer can change dramatically from one room to the next, depending on the size of the space and amount of natural light. In darker spaces and north-facing rooms, it appears as a more of a warm neutral gray. But in spaces with a lot of natural light, Pale Oak resembles a warm off-white or light taupe rather than a true medium-toned greige. 

Pale Oak has an LRV (light reflectance value) of nearly 70, so if you are dealing with a lot of light in the home and don’t want the interiors to feel cold or washed out, Pale Oak might be the perfect solution. 

Using Pale Oak in Your Interior Design Color Palette

If you’d like to enhance Pale Oak’s warm undertones, try pairing it with a soft white such as White Dove or Cloud White. These barely-warm whites have a creamy look that sets off a warm greige perfectly.

Using Pale Oak alongside darker tones can help rich accent colors pop. Consider earthy, timeless colors like Hale Navy or Red River Clay for shelving, a fireplace mantel, or an accent wall behind a bed.

In a family space that has an open floor plan, Pale Oak can unite kitchen and dining room and create a cozy offset to bright white kitchen cabinets.

Pale Oak’s warm tones especially shine in this spacious living room with plenty of natural light. Here the greige looks like an elegant and stylish off-white, paired with wooden beams, and a warm stone fireplace.

Living Room in Benjamin Moore Pale Oak OC-20

Family room walls and ceiling in Benjamin Moore Pale Oak OC-20, trim in Cloud White

In this entryway, Pale Oak’s beige tones come through against the crisp white of the woodwork in Chantilly Lace.

Entryway in Benjamin Moore Pale Oak

Entryway in BM Pale Oak

Pale Oak complements Hale Navy in the study below. 

Benjamin Moore Pale Oak OC-20 with Hale Navy

Benjamin Moore Pale Oak OC-20 helps Hale Navy pop.

Other Benjamin Moore Colors That Are Similar to Pale Oak

If you love Pale Oak, but it sampled too gray or looked a bit washed out on your wall, try Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist. Balboa Mist is a very similar greige, but it is slightly warmer and more concentrated than Pale Oak with an LRV of 67. Edgecomb Gray is even one step even deeper and has an LRV of 63.

Pale Oak vs. Balboa Mist vs. Edgecomb Gray

Pale Oak vs. Balboa Mist vs. Edgecomb Gray

If you’re looking for a rich, warm gray rather than a greige, check out Benjamin Moore Classic Gray or Revere Pewter. On the lighter end, Swiss Coffee or Simply White will take you more towards warm whites and beiges.

Some of the best paint colors that combine beautifully with Pale Oak are the Hale Navy mentioned above, or try Chelsea Gray, Newburg Green, Smoky Green and Healing Aloe.

Test Pale Oak with a Benjamin Moore Paint Sample

Gray and white paint colors are notoriously susceptible to shifts in undertone depending on the lighting conditions and time of day. We recommend testing a sample of Pale Oak and any other options you’re considering before deciding on your final choice.

One of our designers’ favorite tips for an easy way to test paint colors on multiple walls in your house, is to paint a large poster board using a Benjamin Moore 16 Oz Paint 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 to check our Interior Paint Guide or Exterior Paint Guide to help you find the right sheen and product for your home or buy it in our best-selling Benjamin Moore paint line today!