BM Classic Gray: Undertones, LRV and More!
Seriously, I can’t believe I haven’t done a review for this colour! Not only is it one of MY fave warm-grays, it’s one of my READER’S faves too! That’s it, 2 slaps with a wet noodle.
And it can be hard to find a good neutral 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 colour you LOVE is to know what you’re dealing with going in, which is why you have me (I’m not JUST good looks you know…).
What are the Undertones of Classic Gray?
Do you really want to know? Okay, I’m going to say it, but I’m going to say it lightly…Classic Gray has a passive purple undertone.
Don’t be scared though, as while you might’ve focused on the one ‘p’ word, you might’ve easily missed the other one – passive. Every gray and greige has undertones of blue, green, purple or a mix of those. 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 purple undertone at all, yet I find Classic Gray VERY liveable when it suits the products in the room.
Take a look at this next photo. There’s a reason why I chose those taupe/greige tiles for the vanity wall – they had the same undertone as Classic Gray, just on a darker level.
See more of this AMAZING before and after HERE
Now once in a blue moon (or a pink one, might be more the point), I’ve seen it pick up the TINIEST wink of pink. This has usually been in south facing rooms, but even then, it’s vague and is more about me being anal.
What is the LRV of Classic Gray?
If you’re asking yourself ‘what the heck is LRV?’ then you need to read this, but here’s the gist: LRV refers to how light or dark a colour is based on a scale of 0-100. The closer a colour’s LRV number is to 100, the lighter the colour is. The closer it is to 0, the darker the colour is. Done!
Now that THAT’S out of the way, let’s get back to Classic Gray. CG has an LRV of ALMOST 75, which in my crazy lil’ colour world means it’s an off-white. So, while this might not even be CLOSE to my magic LRV number, it will give a soft, easy contrast with white trim, while still lightening a room up.
What Colour of Trim/White Suits Classic Gray?
With Classic Gray, I do like the more traditional, soft white approach of BM Oxford White. You can warm things up to White Dove, but that subtle warmth can play a bit more into the undertones that are hiding in Classic Gray.
Shown above with Sherwin Williams Pure White cabinets
Classic Gray in a North Facing Room
Classic Gray holds itself pretty well in northern light. You’ll find that it generally acts like a simple, soft gray as the northern light can slightly encourage the ‘gray’ in the colour, not the subtle warmth of it.
Actually, the above client hired me via my Edesign because while she LOVED Classic Gray in the evening light, she found it a bit too cold in the daylight, so she was looking for a warmer alternative. Here it is with interior lighting in the early eve…
It’s really interesting how Classic Gray went from being a soft gray to being a warm greige, just with the lighting (helloooo metamerism)! Either that, or I’m just easily amused and a colour nerd (true and true). Needless to say, I gave her some warmer greige options to consider so that she’d love her room day AND nite!
Similar Colour: Colour Review of Benjamin Moore Collingwood
Classic Gray in a South Facing Room
South facing light is a warmer light and can slightly enhance the soft warmth that is tucked in Classic Gray.
In this next photo, you can see it in sample form on the left, where it’s getting second-hand light, rather than an intense jolt of it. It still has some WARMTH as the light is warm in the room, but it’s not really coming to life.
Now, check it out with a hit of sunlight! The only flaw in this example is that the samples should be TOTALLY vertical as light will reflect differently off of them otherwise, making the colour look a bit brighter than normal, but again, that’s Kylie the Colour Nerd, comin’ in hot. In THIS light, it almost looks the same as the wall colour which is the DRASTICALLY actually a WAY different colour (Benjamin Moore Ballet White). So really, this is more of an example of how to sample properly, rather than a show of Classic Gray – I have never ever
ever in my long legged life seen a long legged sailor with a long legged wife seen it look this warm.
Classic Gray: An Overview
If you’re looking for a soft, light gray, one that isn’t traditionally COLD, but really isn’t a true greige, then Classic Gray could work for you. If you don’t love purple undertones but are okay with vague ones – then Classic Gray could be your colour! However, if you’re more of a traditionalist and prefer grays that are cool and slightly less feminine, then you just might want to keep on looking (or check out my E-design and I can help you figure out which gray is YOUR gray).
A few contenders to check out…
Gray Owl will be a cooler, more traditional gray look compared to Classic Gray.
Collingwood is along similar lines to Classic Gray, but has more depth.
Big Chill is a cool, slightly fresh approach to gray (on the right side wall below).
Because there are other fabulous off-whites to consider!
Not sure which paint colour is best for you and YOUR home?
Check out my affordable and fun E-DESIGN – I’d love to help!