HomeThe Best Paint ColoursBENJAMIN MOORE & SHERWIN WILLIAMS: Paint Color ReviewsBENJAMIN MOORE CLASSIC GRAY 1548: Paint Color Review


Posted on April 23, 2023 by KylieMawdsley


It can be hard to find a good neutral gray or greige in the off-white range, as they all love to flash creepy undertones of blue, purple, or green – and Classic Gray is NO exception. But, the key to picking a paint color you LOVE is to know what you’re dealing with BEFORE you slap it on the walls, which is why you have me (I’m not JUST good looks, you know…).

So, let’s find out why Classic Gray is one of Benjamin Moore paints most POPULAR gray paint colors…

Benjamin Moore Classic Gray, best warm gray taupe paint color, undertones and similar shades. Kylie M Interiors online colour expert



Classic Gray is an off-white, warm gray with soft, muted, feather-like undertones. However, depending on the exposure of the room and surrounding finishes, Classic Gray can also be read as a light shade of taupe, which is warmer than gray. It’s not greige, as greige caters to a green undertone – which Classic Gray does NOT.

As for beige, don’t worry about it – Classic Gray is not beige-inclined. If it looks THAT warm, that’s about your lighting situation or how you’re sampling your paint colors – perhaps it’s being sampled next to a cooler color that makes it look so much warmer in comparison.

By the way, Classic Gray is known by the numbers OC-23 and 1548 – they’re the same color, as it’s available in two different fan decks.



If you’re asking yourself, ‘What the heck is LRV?’ you need to read this, but here’s the gist: LRV (light reflectance value) refers to how light or dark a color is based on a scale of 0-100, and EVERY paint color has an LRV number. The closer the number is to 100, the lighter the color is. The closer it is to 0, the darker the color is. Done!

Benjamin Moore Classic Gray, porcelain greige subway tile, gray linen tower with bathroom decor and design by Kylie M Interiors

Classic Gray, darkened by 25%

Now that THAT’S out of the way, let’s return to Classic Gray. Classic Gray has an LRV of ALMOST 75, which in my crazy lil color world means it’s off-white. And while it might be CLOSE to my magic LRV number, it gives a soft, easy contrast with white trim.

Gray wash wood or laminate flooring, Benjamin Moore Classic Gray, warm gray taupe paint colour on walls. Off-white. Kylie M Interiors diy design blog and online paint colour consulting, Edesig

However, Classic Gray could feel dingy and flat in a dark room (check out other light colors for dark rooms here). If you have a BRIGHT room, you can expect Classic Gray to wash out quite a bit, but it’s pretty darn gorgeous in a room with average light!

The Ultimate Guideline to Picking Paint Color with LRV



If you don’t like blue or green undertones, this subtle warm gray could be right up your alley! With a very passive violet-pink hue, Classic Gray’s undertones suit a wide range of interior finishes, more so than grays with blue or green hues.

Paint Colour review of Benjamin Moore Classic Gray, best warm grey paint colour. Kylie M INteriors Edesign, paint specialist

Seriously, don’t let those undertones scare you. While you might’ve focused on the one ‘P-word,’ you might’ve easily missed the other one – passive. Every gray, taupe, and greige has undertones of blue, green, violet, or a mix. The key is to decide how much undertone you can live with and how sensitive you and your surroundings are to it. I don’t like a violet undertone, yet I find Classic Gray VERY liveable when it suits the products in a room (and I have it in our guest bedroom).

Take a look at this next photo. There’s a reason why I chose taupe subway tiles for the vanity wall in this bathroom remodel – they have the same undertone as Classic Gray, just on a darker level.

Greige and gray bathroom update with Bianco Drift quartz, Metropolis vanity, Classic Gray and subway tile walls in shower

Benjamin Moore Classic Gray darkened by 25%

Now, once in a blue moon (or a pink one might be more the point), I’ve seen it lean considerably more into pink. This has usually been in south-facing rooms, but even then, it’s vague and is more about me being anal.

Romantic style decor and living room. Benjamin Moore Classic Gray. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint color consulting


  • Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace, ideally in a durable satin finish. Chantilly Lace offers a fresh look, although overall, because Classic Gray has some brown in it, it’s not a traditionally ‘fresh and clean’ take on gray – it’s more soft and pretty.
  • You can warm things up to Benjamin Moore White Dove, but that subtle warmth can play a bit more into the undertones that are hiding in Classic Gray, making them look a touch more taupe in comparison

Kylie M Interiors Edesign, Classic Gray on walls, Sherwin Williams Pure White on cabinets. White quartz, white wash oak floor

Shown above with Sherwin Williams Pure White kitchen cabinets

The 8 Best Benjamin Moore WHITE Paint Colors



Color-drenching is a popular look right now, especially in darker shades. As for doing it with Classic Gray, while it can suit a wide variety of surfaces, sometimes you don’t appreciate a color when it doesn’t have something to play with or CONTRAST with. Sure, it has a great depth of color with its higher LRV so that it CAN go on multiple surfaces; you just shift the sheens to see some subtle variation. HOWEVER…

It’s too much of a good thing if you ask me. 

LONG STORY SHORT: yes, you can use it on all surfaces; I just wouldn’t.

In this next space, you’ll see Classic Gray on the walls with Agreeable Gray on the cabinets and trims (you’ll read more about Agreeable Gray shortly). Even this small shift in depth/color adds some interest to a space…

Kitchen wood cabinets painted Sherwin Agreeable Gray, Classic Gray walls. Kylie M INteriors Edesign online virtual paint color advice blog


SAMPLIZE offers peel-and-stick paint samples that are more affordable, easier, and environmentally friendly than traditional paint pots.

Plus, samples arrive on your DOORSTEP IN 1 DAY!

BEnjamin Moore Classic Gray off white warm gray paint color for cabinets. Peel and stick sample with Kylie M




Northern exposure is a cool, grayish light, in which Classic Gray holds itself pretty well, as long as there’s ENOUGH light coming in the windows. It looks like a simple, soft, warm gray as the northern light can slightly encourage the gray rather than the subtle warmth.

Benjamin Moore Classic Gray, living room with no light bulbs on and only natural light. Kylie M INteriors Edesign, online paint colour consultant. Client photo

The Best Paint Colors for a North-Facing Room

Regarding the photos above and below, an E-Design client hired me to help with her living room update because while she LOVED Classic Gray in the evening light, she found it a bit too cold in the daylight and was looking for a warmer alternative. Here is Classic Gray in the evening with only interior lighting…

Benjamin Moore Classic Gray in living room wit purple and blue furniture accents. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, client photo

It’s fascinating how Classic Gray went from a soft, slightly warm gray to a warm greige, just with the lighting – I LOVE THIS STUFF! I’m also easily amused and a huge color nerd (true and true). Needless to say, I gave her some warmer greige options to consider so she’d love her living room day AND nite!

Color Review of Benjamin Moore Collingwood



As for hallways, while some are bright and can be treated according to their exposure, others are typically dark. Warm grays like Classic Gray can struggle in low-light spaces unless the interior lighting is greatly improved. If there isn’t enough light, colors like this can look dingy and drab, although coordinating them with the right white can help (a brighter one, which we’ll look at shortly).  If I put Classic Gray in a hallway, I’ll likely install light bulbs with Kelvins at approximately 3000K to keep some warmth but brighten things up a stitch.



The best gray paint colors for your room. Benjamin and Sherwin. Edesign, Kylie M Interiors online paint colour services. Home decorating and diy ideas blogger.market

Click HERE or on the above image to see available packages



South-facing light is warm and can slightly enhance the soft warmth tucked in BM Classic Gray; the same goes for afternoon western sunshine (which can go CONSIDERABLY gold).

If your room is super bright, Classic Gray will wash out. However, if your room gets moderate southern light, Classic Gray can look like a soft, warm gray that favors taupe (so it looks warmer than traditional shades of gray).

Benjamin Moore Classic Gray, best grey paint colour. Kylie M Interiors edesign, online paint color consulting advice

The Best Paint Colors for South-Facing Rooms



Ermmmm, probably not. You can give it a go, but don’t be surprised if its undertones come up a wink more and, at times, look even WARMER than expected. At this depth (unless you live in a shaded area), you can expect it to wash out in the sunshine.

However, Classic Gray’s undertones are awesome with your stone, brick, and roof, the front of your home doesn’t get absolutely PUMMELLED with sunshine, and if you partner it with bright white trim, it can be pretty!

5 Steps to Picking Exterior Paint Colors



When it comes to getting a perfect match, you won’t find one as there will ALWAYS be undertones, depth, and temperature shifts. However, sampling and comparing paint colors is the BEST way to find your perfect shade…



If choosing between these two off-whites, I almost always choose Classic Gray. Incredible White sounds similar, being a warm gray with violet-pink hues, but its undertones can show up at the party a bit more. Incredible White is also a touch cooler than Classic Gray, although it has a comparable depth.

FULL Paint Color Review of Sherwin Williams Incredible White



I LOVE suggesting these two shades to my Online Paint Color clients. When a room calls for a subtle, muted warmth with NO green hues, these are my go-to’s. Egret White has an LRV of 70, so it’s on the high end of the light range and is a bit darker than Classic Gray. Classic Gray can also look a bit warmer than Egret White, with sliiiightly more noticeable undertones at times.

Taupe, warm gray, greige fabric sofa, area rug, coffee table home decor, Sherwin Williams Egret White paint color on walls. Kylie M Online paint color expert

If your room is well-lit, a color like Egret White will hold up a bit better to intense light than Classic Gray, however, any lightish color will wash out.

FULL Paint Color Review of Sherwin Williams Egret White



These two warm shades are often compared and sampled for the same project; however, there’s a reasonable difference between them.

Tile floor with pink undertone, Benjamin Moore Pale Oak walls, orange toned wood vanity BEFORE being painted, Kylie M Interiors Edesign

Classic Gray and Pale Oak are ALWAYS being compared as they’re both gentle, subtle approaches to the gray and taupe worlds. Pale Oak is warmer, which means its violet-pink undertone can shift into PINK-violet much easier (where pink is the more dominant undertone). Its undertones can also show up a bit more than those in Classic Gray.

As for depth, Pale Oak has an LRV of almost 69, putting it on the slightly higher end of the light range, making it darker than Classic Gray. This can be great if you have fussy finishes requiring more commitment to this undertone (without going over the top). While both have their place, Classic Gray is the more popular shade.



Classic Gray and Balboa Mist are similar in that they both have soft violet (violet-pink) undertones. However, Balboa Mist is a bit darker and a bit grayer. Because of this, its violet undertone can sometimes show up at the party a bit more.

Whats the difference between Classic Gray and Balboa Mist, warm gray paint colours. Kylie M

Paint Color Review of Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist



You must be careful, as it often looks warmer than expected on cabinets (especially if alkyd or enamel are used). Also, because of its LRV/depth, it’s trickier to find a coordinating wall color. LONG STORY SHORT, it’s not a hard no; it’s a ‘be careful.’

Instead, I suggest sampling Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray. It’s currently a HOT color on cabinets – for good reason, too. Read all about it HERE.

Maple dark wood cabinets painted Benjamin Moore Classic Gray, warm grey paint colour. Granite countertop, subway tile in taupe greige. Kylie M Interiors, online paint color consultant

Benjamin Moore Classic Gray

Iron Ore painted kitchen cabinets and island, cabinets Sherwin Agreeable Gray, a greige, walls are Snowbound. Wood floor. Kylie M client photo

Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray – GET YOUR PEEL & STICK SAMPLE HERE



This is open to perception. Compared to a cool or stormy gray, yes, Classic Gray can look a bit dingy, but this is because it has a nice warmth. In this case, I don’t see ‘dingy’ as a bad thing at all, unless it’s in a low-light space, in which MANY colors will look more drab and dirty.


If you’re worried about Classic Gray looking too beige, compare it to Benjamin Moore Maritime White, which IS a beige (a muted one). Yes, Classic Gray has warm tendencies, but the only times I’d expect to see beige are a) in the later afternoon golden sunshine (which can turn almost any color more golden) and b) if you partner it with finishes that NEED a cooler approach to gray.


I’m a big fan of the simplicity of Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace with Classic Gray. This bright white shows off the beauty of Classic Gray.

If I go for a darker color, for the cabinets, island, or even an accent wall, Benjamin Moore Metropolis is the first place I look, although it can look STUNNING with shades of gray-blue, as well as MANY darker shades of green.



If you’re making a color palette, explore…


Paint Color Review of Benjamin Moore Pale Oak

The 8 Best WARM Gray Paint Colors

Paint Color Review of Sherwin Williams Egret White

Color Review: Benjamin Moore Gray Owl

Are Gray Paint Colors & Finishes STILL TRENDY?

Not sure which paint color is best for you and YOUR home?

Check out my fun E-DESIGN – I’d love to help! 

The best paint colors for room or cabinets. Benjamin or Sherwin Williams paint colours. Kylie M Interiors Virtual, Edesign, online paint colour consultant and blogger market

Chat soon,

Kylie M Interiors, decorating blog, e-design, online colour consulting expert. signature

Written in 2019, updated in 2023


  1. Hi Kylie!!
    I loved the information on Classic Gray . Quick question… how does classic gray look in east/west facing rooms? I am looking for a light gray whole house paint and everything is either too dark, too green or too blue. Most information I am reading is for north/ south facing rooms and my house is east and west. Would love to hear your suggestion. Thanks so much!

    1. Post

      Hi Beth! I actually have Classic Gray in my east facing bedroom and I find it’s a bit softer and warm – and don’t get any green or blue out of it. That being said, my room is reasonably well-lit and I don’t have any trees or grass outside the window reflecting in 🙂

  2. Hi Kylie,
    Would you recommend avoiding SW Pure white as trim against walls painted with Classic Gray? Since it seems that pure white pulls slightly warm and CG is also warm, I wasn’t sure if that would clash. Or is it a no no to mix brands like that? Thanks!

    1. I’m leaning towards classic gray for our great room which has eastern, western, and southern light. We will have white trim and tons of natural wood in our room. Do you think it would clash, and I’d be safer with an off white? Does it read gray/griego or more off white with gray undertones?

  3. Hi Jordyn,

    I have Classic Gray walls with BM White Dove trim, which is a warm white, in a west facing bedroom. They look fabulous together. I don’t know how the White Dove compares to SW Pure White, though. I use paints from different paint companies often. Many designers (not all) are intimately familiar with the colours of one brand only, so stick to that brand when recommending colours.

    1. Post

      Hi Cheri, I’ve got Classic Gray with White Dove too! Love it. It’s all personal preference. Some people want a slightly cleaner contrast, so they use SW Pure White which is still slightly soft, but is whiter than White Dove :).

    1. Post

      Hi Sandy, it could be pretty, just keep in mind that it might look a bit lighter than you’d expect as the dark trim will make it look lighter in comparison, whereas if you had white trim, you’d see the ‘depth’ of Classic Gray a bit more. This isn’t a BAD thing, just something to be aware of :).

  4. I love classic gray and have it in my family and all of my hallways with dove white trim. Years ago I painted just a sloping bedroom ceiling in that color and found it to be my favorite shade in the house! I’m struggling to find a darker version of this same shade to make my trim pop a little more. This post was helpful – I’m going to check out a few of your alternatives. I’ve never wished so hard for a color to be on a standard strip to make it easier to find the same undertones in a darker color.

    1. Post

      Hi Jennifer! I don’t know just the contrast you want, but you could check out the softness of BM Collingwood or maybe BM Metropolis or SW Dovetail if you want something stronger ;).

  5. I just painted my master bedroom classic gray and have white dove trim and crown. I also just had trim work done on the wall behind my bed which is painted all white dove (along with the drywall too). I have a tray ceiling around 11’ and 10’ ceilings with crown . The room gets a lot of light and faces north. The classic gray reads almost white in the room but looks pretty as it matches the other things I have in the room which are all gray and silver so wanted them to pop. So now to my question…I want to paint the whole ceiling Including the tray and can’t decide if I should use 100% or lighter of the classic gray? I know ceilings get darker but this paint is already so white on my walls so
    Don’t know if doing 50% or 75% would be enough color and what this paint will look like being lighter since it’s already so light. Any suggestions?? Thank you so much.

    1. I’m replying to my own question in case it may help someone. I did 100% classic gray on my master bedroom ceiling and it’s perfect…not too dark at all. In fact, I wish my classic gray walls had the slight darkness of the ceiling but I couldn’t find a gray that was slightly darker than CG and fit my space. I was too nervous to darken the CG for the walls thinking the color may not turn out right. My trim is BM white dove and it blends well with the CG. The slightly darker CG ceiling brings a depth to the bedroom that looks very pretty.

      1. Post

        Thank you Elissa, comments like this can REALLY help others decide if it would work for them! And yes, ceilings can look that bit more shaded than walls, and I’m glad you’re happy :).

  6. Can you please be clearer when the photos are showing a darkened or lightened version of the color? Classic grey is darkened in a few of the pictures above (referencing another blog you did) but you don’t mention it here.

    1. Post
  7. Lovely description – thank you for showing Classic Gray in the am and pm. It really matters! what darker colors might compliment Classic Gray for interior doors? — something that continues that slight purple undertone? thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

    1. Post
    1. Post
    1. Post
      1. What you you recommend with alablaster trim and cabinets that’s similar? I was looking at drift of mist, city loft, and pale oak. Not a ton of natural light so I want a lighter color that keeps alablaster from looking yellow.

        1. Post

          Hi Kendra, those colours make me nervous with Alabaster as they have taupe undertones (City Loft and Pale Oak in particular). Drift of Mist is BETTER as there’s a tiny bit of green in there, but I think you’ll need a bit more depth. You’ll also want to make sure that what you choose is best for your backsplash and countertop too!

          1. Thank you so much! Appreciate your response and expertise. Maybe closer to gossamer veil or agreeable for more body. I’m doing white pickets with calcatta gold quartz. Using cityscape on my shiplap fireplace. Thank you!

  8. I have a familyroom that is facing east with lots of windows the wood around is orange toned. I am on the fence between BM classic grey and SW drift of mist (possibly darkened a little). Which is the better undertone for my warm wood?

    1. Post
  9. Hi Kylie. I am thinking of painting my north facing bedroom that doesn’t get lots of light but has lots of big windows classic gray. I am not sure if it works with my already painted white dove trim?? I also see in a picture above you darkened it 25%. It looks almost white in that room. Would you still recommend using it with white dove trim in a darker room and would it be ok if I darkened it 25% to see the contrast? I want to lighten up my bedroom with the paint. Thanks!

  10. Hi Kylie,
    Thank you for the review of BM Classic Gray. Will Classic Gray coordinate with BM Simply White cabinets and trim?
    Many thanks,

    1. Post
      1. Hi Kylie,
        Thank you so much for the response. Would BM Winds Breath work with BM Simply White trim and cabinets? Many thanks for your expertise!

  11. Hi! So we just painted our house main level with classic gray! We love it, but our wood floors are def a cool wood color. Is that going or look ok? Floors go in Wednesday, so we could change the paint.


  12. Am I the only one that sees BEIGE with yellow undertones with Classic Gray?! This is one of those colors I really want to love but it goes creamy yellow every time! Are my eyeballs broken?! Lol

    1. Post

      They aren’t broken AT ALL! Some colours, like Classic Gray can really shift their allegiance depending on the environment. And while it’s not often, ABSOLUTELY, I’ve seen Classic Gray do this!!!!

  13. Hi Kylie, I have thoroughly enjoyed reading all the handy tips on your website. I have just done chantilly lace kitchen cabinets and struggle whether classic gray is the right gray for me. I have Viatera Lumina quartz. So much colours to pull from. I also considered silver satin by benjamin moore. So many decisions.

  14. Hi Kylie — posting wayyyyy late (haha) but wanted to let readers know, I have been toying with using Classic Gray for a long time (kind of regret not doing it in my foyer and living room when we moved a year and a half ago), but finally did it in my dining room/office. It’s a north facing room with northern and some eastern light — fairly bright in here with daying but not real warm light and it does come up as a soft greige color in here. I don’t see any cool gray to it in here. I definitely see grey on one wall and a little green undertone, then a very passive pink would be my best thought on the other side of the room.

    My usband is actually good at describing color and he reads nothing about paint (haha), so I use his perspective as a fairly objective perspective. We have tray ceiling that I hate, so I wanted to make walls and ceiling the same to allow the tray to recede a bit (the previous owners had dark walls, white ceiling and bottom tray, dark color on the sides of the tray — ugh!). My husband didn’t want overly light, so I agreed to do the window trim, door trim, and baseboards a color. That is Revere Pewter. With this combination, my husband says: the slightly darker trim makes the Classic Gray come off as a not too warm off white. You can even see a passive cream in some areas, which I think is where you would get the passive pink. I love this part — he said: the room has an Americana kind of vibe. I don’t know if that is classic gray or the combo we used. It isn’t as clean warm gray as you would see in the pictures where there is a lot of sunlight. In this room, we definitely get the greige.

    As a comparison, we painted SW Pearly White in a spare bedroom and I did the walls and trim both Pearly White. This room is west but only has a tiny window, so I would describe it as not having natural light. Pearly White comes off in that room as a more active cream undertone, but an off white with this slight iridescent green at certain times of day and on certain walls. It has at once a slightly more modern off white look blended with (oddly) an old world white. For Classic Gray in this dining room, I am thinking modern/traditional (Studio McGeeish) traditional light fixture in black or bronzy-black, hale navy contrast color. Natural woods with browner undertones.

    Okay, long and late, but hopefully it helps someone. These off whites are really really hard to pin down, even when reading multiple and excellent reviews. I think it’s like not knowing what you are having when you are pregnant — surprise, signs pointed to warm gray but your lighting and foliage (and other elements of the room) created something different!

    1. Post
  15. I’m having such a hard time picking a color my living room and dining room. Living room has dark gray couches and some blue end tables. Accent colors are blue and yellow(pillows) room is dark so lights are always on(recessed leds). This room flows into dining room which is attached to kitchen. White cabinets, blue backsplash and white quartz with gray and blue veins. Dining room has metal chairs. Kinda a brushed nickel with dark gray seats. The table is almost black with slight gray swirls. Room is not light so I have a very modern led fixture that is very bright. No color looks perfect!!! On one wall some look purple. Others look so dull or too silver. My floors are gray with a slight taupe look. HELP!!!!! Will classic gray work?

    1. Post

      Hi Susan, that’s a lot to mentally picture and it’s hard to say without seeing teh room. Off the TOP, it sounds like it COULD, but I definitely can’t say for sure without seeing your home!

  16. Hi Kylie,
    I have been reading on your blog all about paint colors and love the way you write! Can you tell me your opinion whether Bm Stone Hearth and classic grey would complement each other? (Stone Hearth is the island, medium brown floors, and I am looking for a wall color)

  17. Hi there! Love your posts! In the second photo, what is the trim color? Looks like white dove, but would love confirmation. They look perfect together 🙂

    1. Post

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

More Posts

Meet Kylie

Thank you for visiting!  I'm so glad you're here!  Come on in to learn a little more about me!