HomeThe Best Paint ColoursBENJAMIN MOORE & SHERWIN WILLIAMS: Paint Color ReviewsBenjamin Moore Cedar Key 982 / OC-16: Paint Color Review

Benjamin Moore Cedar Key 982 / OC-16: Paint Color Review

Posted on May 12, 2022 by KylieMawdsley
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Benjamin Moore Cedar Key: is it beige or is it taupe? LET’S FIND OUT!  

When it comes to choosing the best neutral paint color for your home, it’s often a toss-up between beige and taupe. But what if you could get the BENEFITS of both without committing 100% to either? YOU CAN, which is why we’re taking an up-close and personal look at Benjamin Moore Cedar Key – one of my FAVOURITE color ninjas.

Paint colour review, popular beige paint colour Benjamin Moore Cedar Key. Kylie m


In order to show you RELATEABLE & REAL homes, I ONLY use photos from my Online Color Consulting clients. This means I don’t always have the quality photos I need or the RIGHT photos, but DEFINITELY have some SUPER helpful info to help you on your way!

Seriously, while there are MANY colors that I don’t blame people for not using, I’m SURPRISED that more of my clients haven’t jumped on the Cedar Key train – I sure hope it works for you. If so, I’d love to see your photos of it in action!

What type of paint color is Cedar Key?

In the very depths of its heart, Cedar Key is a BEIGE paint color. However, unlike traditional beige paint colors which can flash overly warm, Cedar Key looks like it’s been lightly dipped in gray, giving it a slightly taupe look.

If you have a south-facing room or one with western afternoon sunshine, expect Cedar Key to look a bit more beige than usual. HOWEVER, in a north-facing room or a room with flatter, duller light, Cedar Key leans into taupe, losing some of its orange-beige looks.

North, East, South, West – Which Paint Color is the Best?

What’s the LRV of Cedar Key?

Cedar Key has an LRV of 61, making it a light-depth paint color. Not sure what LRV is? It could save your paint lovin’ life – read all about it HERE.

If you have a dark room, the subtle warmth of Cedar Key can be a nice way to balance off the shadows without stepping into a LEGIT beige paint color. However, without enough interior lighting, it can look a bit drab.

If you have a bright room, the LRV of Cedar Key helps it hold its depth a bit better than lighter colors, although it will still wash out quite a bit.

How to Make a Dark Room Look Brighter – and it ain’t with paint! 

The Best LIGHT Paint Colors for a DARK room

What are Cedar Key’s undertones?

This is where things get interesting (if you’re a color nerd like me). Because Cedar Key is a beige paint color, it has an orange undertone. HOWEVER, if you compare it to more traditional beige and tan paint colors OR look at it in the right environment, it can lean into taupe. And what does taupe have in it? Violet-pink hues. To say that Cedar Key has a violet-pink undertone would be a HUGE overstatement, as even when it does, it’s subtle and is a bit more PINK-violet, than violet-pink.

What’s the best way to sample Cedar Key?

Undoubtedly, you’ll be heading out in the near future to grab paint samples – stop right there! I want you to check out SAMPLIZE. Samplize offers peel and stick paint samples that are more AFFORDABLE, EASIER and more ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY than traditional paint pots. Here are just a FEW reasons why I recommend Samplize to my clients…

  • samples arrive ON YOUR DOORSTEP in 1 DAY, depending on location
  • they’re more affordable than the samples pots/rollers/foam boards that are needed for traditional paint sampling
  • if you keep the samples on their white paper, you can move them around the room

Visit the SAMPLIZE website HERE

What’s the best white trim color with Cedar Key walls?

Cedar Key looks good with a variety of white paint colors, including…

The ULTIMATE GUIDE to White Paint Colors

3 Steps to Picking the Best White Paint Color

The 8 Best Benjamin Moore White Paint Colors

Is Cedar Key a good exterior paint color for my siding, stucco or brick?

It certainly could be! Cedar Key can be beautiful when partnered with the right brick or stone exterior. However, if you have south-facing light or a home with afternoon western exposure, make sure you like HOW WARM Cedar Key looks when the sun hits it at full steam.

5 Tips for Choosing an Exterior Paint Color

Does Your Exposure REALLY MATTER When Choosing EXTERIOR Paint Colors?

Is Cedar Key a popular color for kitchen cabinets?

Nope, I’ve got a WHOLE RANGE of taupe and beige paint colors that are more popular for kitchen cabinets. And this isn’t Cedar Key’s fault, it’s just that there are fewer countertops/backsplashes that suit Cedar Key’s particular nuances.

How to Choose the Best White Paint Color for Your Kitchen Cabinets

Should You Paint Your Kitchen Cabinets or Keep Them Stained? A QUESTIONNAIRE!

Are Cedar Key 982 & Cedar Key OC-16 the same color?

Yes, they are, they just have different numbers when they’re put in collections.

Cedar Key vs other popular paint colors

Comparison is the KEY to choosing the best paint color for your home. Don’t be afraid to explore other colors to see how undertones, temperatures and LRVs shift…


There are a few differences between Cedar Key and Edgecomb Gray (also known as Baby Fawn). Cedar Key has a bit more beige and taupe to it, meaning you’ll see more of its undertones. On the other hand, Edgecomb Gray comes across more muted and subtle. Cedar Key also caters to a bit more warmth than Edgecomb Gray, which is a bit more balanced between gray and beige.

Living room vaulted tall stone fireplace, neutral greige taupe walls, Edgecomb. tobacco cognac leather sofa. Client photo, Kylie M Interiors Edesign

By the way, if you’re thinking of getting one brand to match another’s paint color, I DON’T recommend it. Read why HERE.

Paint Color Review of Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray


While Cedar Key is listed right below Winds Breath in the ‘Classics’ fan deck, the MAIN difference is that Winds Breath picks up a very subtle creamy hue in comparison to the additional beige in Cedar Key. Part of this is due to the fact that Winds Breath has a higher LRV (almost 70) and different composition.

Living room and dining room, dark wood floor, Benjamin Moore Winds Breath off white paint color on walls, Kylie M Interiors Edesign

On the other hand, Smokey Taupe is listed BELOW Cedar Key and is MUCH MORE like Cedar Key in its tendencies to lean into either beige or taupe depending on its surroundings. It also has a lower LRV of 54.

Benjamin Moore Smokey Taupe, orange warm hue wood floors, bench in front of wall. Best popular greige taupe paint colours. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online

Paint Color Review of Benjamin Moore Winds Breath

Which paint colors go with Cedar Key?

When coordinating paint colors with Cedar Key, it’s important to note that Cedar Key doesn’t LOVE being partnered with colors that are cooler AND lighter than it. Here’s a brief list of some of Cedar Key’s favourite color partners…


The 12 Best LIGHT Taupe & Greige Paint Colors

Paint Color Review of Sherwin Williams Natural Linen

The Best Beige & Tan Paint Colors for Today’s MODERN Home

The Best Warm Neutral Paint Colors That AREN’T BEIGE!

Not sure which paint color is best for YOUR home?

Check out my Online Paint Color Consulting – I’d love to help!

Online paint colour consulting using Benjamin Moore & Sherwin Williams colours. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, DIY update ideas. Market

Chat soon,

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


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