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Paint Colour Review: Benjamin Moore Abalone & Barren Plain (2108-40 / 2111-60)

Posted on August 6, 2020 by KylieMawdsley


Benjamin Moore Abalone & Barren Plain: LRV’s, Undertones and a Little More

Are you looking for a gorgeous neutral gray paint colour? Well, you’ve come to the WRONG place! Because while Benjamin Moore Abalone and Barren Plain certainly have gray in them, they’ve got a few OTHER things too, which we’re going to take a closer look at today.

Review Benjamin Moore Barren Plain and Abalone, grey colours with purple undertone. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, diy decorating blogger

In order to show you RELATEABLE & REAL homes, I ONLY use photos from my Online Colour Consulting clients, which means I don’t always have the pics I need. So, while I don’t have a ton of images of Barren Plain, in particular, I do have some SUPER helpful info to help you on your way.

What type of paint colours are Abalone and Barren Plain? Are they warm or cool grays?

Both Abalone and Barren Plain are WARM GRAY paint colours, however, whereas Barren Plain is ‘slightly warm’, Abalone almost hits the taupe end of things with an extra dose of brown mixed in.

Benjamin Moore Abalone, gray, warm greige paint colour with purple undertones. HOme staging tips and ideas

Benjamin Moore Abalone in north-east light

  • If you partner north-facing light with Abalone, it will lean back a bit grayer, while still holding a decent warmth (as shown above). If you have south-facing or afternoon western sunshine, it may lean a bit warmer/more taupe than you might expect
  • If you have north-facing light, Barren Plain will look cooler and you may notice the undertone a bit more. If you have south-facing or afternoon western sunshine, it will lean a bit warmer without going totally taupe

Read more: North, East, South, West – Which Paint Colour is the Best?

What are the LRV’s of Abalone and Barren Plain?

Abalone’s LRV sits at 63.06, while Barren Plain has an LRV of 63.16. These comparable LRV’s mean they’re essentially the same depth and are BOTH in the light depth range.

Benjamin Moore Abalone, best gray purple paint colour. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint colour expert, diy ideas

Benjamin Moore Abalone in north-east light

Not sure what LRV is? It could save your paint lovin’ life – read all about it HERE.

What are the undertones of Abalone and Barren Plain? Will my walls look purple or pink?

Wellllll, it depends on how sensitive you are…

  • Abalone has a considerably WARM PURPLE undertone, meaning it’s more of a purple-pink. If you have south-facing light this could show up to the party a bit more
  • Barren Plain has a slightly warm purple undertone, meaning it’s WAY less likely to go purple-pink on you, but again, the undertone is not terribly SUBTLE (if you ask me, but if you LOVE purple, you might disagree – it might not be ENOUGH!)

open layout kitchen and dining room with island, quartz countertops and benjamin moore abalone and sandlot gray with purple travertine backsplash

Abalone with south-west light

Long story short, if you’re sensitive to purple undertones, I wouldn’t choose either of these colours and would read this instead. If you’re looking for a relatively neutral gray, again, these aren’t those types of colours and you’ll want to look elsewhere.

If you LOVE purple undertones, you may want to check out Benjamin Moore Cement Gray and Portland Gray as well. I

What’s the best way to sample paint colours?

Like with every paint colour, I highly recommend using SAMPLIZE. Samplize is a peel & stick paint sample that you can easily move around your room for over HALF THE COST of traditional sample pots – and they deliver right to your front door!

Learn all about Samplize HERE

If I’m painting my walls Abalone or Barren Plain, what’s the best white paint colour for my trim?

I’ve found that both Abalone and Barren Plain prefer a cleaner white approach. If you partner them with too warm of a white, the yellow of the warm white will clash with the purple undertones of these paint colours. Instead, I would sample…

Read more…

Benjamin Moore’s 8 Best White Paint Colours

SHOULD I Paint My Wood Cabinets White? A QUESTIONNAIRE

Are Abalone or Barren Plain good colours for the exterior of my home? 

I’m not going to say no…but I’m very very hesitant to say yes. These gray paint colours have MORE UNDERTONE than not and the colour WILL show up to the party on the exterior of your home, so you better be ready for it!

Read more: 5 Tips to Choosing an Exterior Paint Colour

Are Abalone and Barren Plain popular gray paint colours?

For those wanting a decent purple undertone, Abalone and Barren Plain are top tier, however, MOST of my Online Paint Colour Consulting clients are going for a more subtle approach.

What Sherwin Williams paint colours are the same as or similar to Abalone and Barren Plain?

Every colour has its own particular nuances and there will be NO perfect match – you WILL see shifts in undertones, temperature and depths. USUALLY, I have some ‘reasonable’ comparables, but not this time. The closest I got was Sherwin Williams Egret White (to Abalone).

Instead, I’d encourage you to check out some more MUTED gray options with similar undertones like Benjamin Moore Classic Gray and Balboa Mist.

Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist. Warm gray, greige paint colour. Kylie M Interiors Online Color Consulting and E-decor services

Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist

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

Benjamin Moore Classic Gray

And if you’re thinking of colour matching between brands (ie: getting Benjamin Moore to make a Sherwin Williams paint colour), you might want to read THIS first.

What type of paint colours look good with Abalone and Barren Plain?

When it comes to putting these colours in a palette, you can consider some…

Not sure if Abalone or Barren Plain are right for you?


Best true gray paint colour, Sherwin Williams On the Rocks. Kylie M Interiors popular design blog, Edesign color consulting and DIY advice

Read more: Paint Colour Review of Sherwin Williams On the Rocks


Best warm gray paint colour, Benjamin Moore Collingwood. Popular neutral. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online color consultant and diy decorating advice (1)

Read more: Paint Colour Review of Benjamin Moore Collingwood


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

Read more: Paint Colour Review of Benjamin Moore Classic Gray

Not sure which paint colour is best for YOUR home?

Check out my Online Paint Colour Consulting – 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



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