Benjamin Moore Gray Owl

paint color review: Benjamin Moore Gray Owl

The Perfect Neutral Gray

The ever illusive perfect neutral gray. I bet you’ve been searching high and low for it. I’m sad to tell you, that it doesn’t exist. Sure, you may find a gray that’s perfect for you – but it will have an undertone of some variety. You might love how it looks on your walls, but it may not look exactly the same on someone else’s walls!

Gray Owl Bedroom
Benjamin Moore Gray Owl via HomeBunch

Gray Owl (2137-60 or OC-52 – same color, 2 different collections!) has been a very popular gray paint color for the past half decade, alongside Benjamin Moore’s other popular gray, Stonington Gray. If you are looking for a gray paint color that adds some brightness, but is certainly still a gray, then this may be the paint color you’re looking for.

In the past year, the popularity of the cooler-toned grays has swayed in favor of warm grays as well as the uber popular greige paint color. Of course, many of you out there still love a cooler gray. They have a certain clean, modern look to them…when done right.

Doing the painting yourself? My favorite tools and supplies will make the job quicker and easier.

What Color is Gray Owl?

Gray owl is a light gray paint color that reads as a neutral-to-cool gray on the wall. It is one of Benjamin Moore’s most popular shades of gray and brings a fresh and modern look to any room.

Benjamin Moore Gray Owl living room
Gray Owl (lightened by 50%) via Cozy Cottage Cute

What Undertones Does Gray Owl Have?

Gray Owl has a soft green undertone that can also look blue in certain light. While the green makes it warmer than some other “cool” grays, it will still look like a cool, neutral gray on your wall.

Gray Owl Office

Let me demonstrate how different color schemes (and light) can impact the undertones of Gray Owl.

gray owl undertones

Paired with SW Extra White (similar: BM Chantilly Lace), you can see how Gray Owl comes off as a clean, neutral gray. It’s lighter in color than Repose Gray (background color, a popular Sherwin Williams warm gray) and doesn’t have the same level of warmth.

Green undertone in gray owl by benjamin moore

Above, Gray Owl takes on a much stronger green undertone, because it has been paired with this warm, sea-drift tone wood. If you prefer to keep it closer to a neutral, or even blue-gray, then pairing it with lots of bright white trim in a brightly lit room should do the trick.

The LRV of Gray Owl

Agreeable Gray has an LRV of 62. LRV, or Light Reflecting Value, is the number that refers to how light or dark a color is on a scale of 0-100. The closer the number is to 100, the lighter it is (white being the lightest). The closer the number is to 0, the darker it is (black).

At 65, it has enough saturation that it is clearly gray, but it’s also light enough that it won’t feel heavy. If your room is really dark and you’re hoping this will perk it up, it may not be light enough. Instead try Benjamin Moore Paper White.

Colors That Coordinate Well with Gray Owl

Choose a crisp, white trim color like Benjamin Moore Super White or Chantilly Lace.

Gray Owl works well with a bright, beach vibe so shades of white, green and blue work really well. If you are looking to do an accent wall, or an adjoining room in complementary color, Benjamin Moore Beach Glass makes for a beautiful coastal vibe or BM Philipsburg Blue adds striking contrast, while working with Gray Owl’s inherent undertones.

black windows with gray owl walls
via Devon Grace Interiors

If you want to achieve a really modern look, pairing gray owl walls with black accents is really striking when done correctly.

Gray Owl vs Stonington Gray

Stonington Gray is another equally popular gray from Benjamin Moore. If you are trying to decide between the two, there are a few distinct differences that may help with your decision.

benjamin moore gray owl version stonington gray

Gray Owl is a few shades lighter than Stonington Gray, with a more prominent green undertone. Gray Owl has more of a light, casual, almost beachy look, while Stonington Gray is a bit darker with a tendency to lean quite blue in cool light. I find that Stonington Gray lends itself well to bedrooms as well as more masculine spaces.

Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray living room
Stonington Gray Living Room Walls
gray owl against white baseboards
Gray Owl against White Baseboards via Caitlin Creer Interiors
gray owl nursery with aqua and orange accents
Gray Owl Nursery via Delightfully Noted
sitting room with gray owl walls
Gray Owl Walls via Donna Benedetto Designs
Reading nook painted benjamin moore gray owl
Reading Nook via House of Jade Interiors

Final Thoughts on Benjamin Moore Gray Owl

Clearly, Gray Owl is popular for a reason. If you’re looking to achieve a fresh, clean looking gray on your walls, I think you will love it. Like any gray paint color, don’t let the undertones scare you – they are what make this paint color so exciting!

You’ll notice that this particular gray works well with wood tones as well as the more commonly used white. In fact, from what I can tell, it works beautifully with all tones and in all different lighting conditions. This isn’t always true for a light-to-medium gray like this, so that’s something that makes Gray Owl special!

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.

Try Samplize For Yourself Here

Have I persuaded you to choose Owl Gray for an upcoming paint job? Or have you already used Gray Owl in your home? Do you have a paint color that you absolutely swear by? I’d love to hear from you!

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