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Paint Colour Review: Benjamin Moore Classic Gray 1548

Posted on April 23, 2020 by KylieMawdsley

 

Classic Gray: The Best Warm Gray Paint Colour (off-white)

Seriously, I can’t believe I haven’t done a review for this colour! Not only is it one of MY fave warm gray paint colours, but it’s also one of my READER’S faves too! That’s it, two slaps with a wet noodle.

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 colour 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…).

Paint colour review, most popular warm gray paint colour, Benjamin Moore Classic Gray. Kylie M Interiors best paint colour online consulting and edesign services

What kind of paint colour is Classic Gray? Is it warm or cool?

Classic Gray is an off-white, warm gray with soft, muted, slightly feminine undertones. If you don’t like blue or green undertones, this could be right up your alley!

What’s 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 and EVERY paint colour has an LRV number. The closer the number is to 100, the lighter the colour is. The closer it is to 0, the darker the colour 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 get back to Classic Gray. Classic Gray has an LRV of ALMOST 75, which in my crazy lil’ colour world means it’s an off-white. And while it might be CLOSE to my magic LRV number, it gives a soft, easy contrast with white trim, while still lightening a room up.

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, if you have a dark room, Classic Gray could feel a bit dingy and flat. If you have a BRIGHT room, you can expect Classic Gray to wash out quite a bit. However, on a room with average light, it’s pretty darned gorgeous!

Read more: The Ultimate Guideline to Picking Paint Colour with LRV

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.

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

Don’t be scared. 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 a room (and have it in our guest bedroom).

Take a look at this next photo. There’s a reason why I taupe/greige tiles for the vanity wall – they had 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

Classic Gray darkened by 25%. 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.

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

If I’m painting my walls Classic Gray, what’s the best white for my trim, ceilings and doors?

With Classic Gray, I like the following white paint colours…

  • Benjamin Moore Oxford White or Chantilly Lace
  • 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

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 cabinets

Read more: The 8 Best Benjamin Moore WHITE Paint Colours

Let’s take a quick break to talk about paint samples…

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 1-3 business days, depending on location
  • At $6.99, they’re more affordable than the samples pots/rollers/foam boards that are needing for traditional paint sampling
  • If you keep the samples on their white paper, you can move them around the room

CHECK OUT SAMPLIZE AND SAVE MONEY ON SAMPLES HERE

Classic Gray in a north-facing room

Classic Gray holds itself pretty well in northern light. You’ll see it looking like a simple, soft warm gray as the northern light can slightly encourage the ‘gray’ in the colour, not the subtle warmth of it.

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

Read more: The Best Paint Colours for a North Facing Room

Actually, regarding the photos above and below, an E-Design client hired me 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 really interesting how Classic Gray went from being a soft slightly warm 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 she’d love her room day AND nite!

Similar Colour: Colour Review of Benjamin Moore Collingwood

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

Classic Gray in a south-facing room

South-facing light is a warm light and can slightly enhance the soft warmth that’s tucked in Classic Gray.

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

Is Classic Gray a good colour for the exterior of my home?

Ermmmm, probably not. I mean, you can give it a go, but don’t be surprised if those purple undertones come up a wink more. At this depth (unless you live in a shaded area), you can expect it to REALLY wash-out in the sunshine.

Read more: 5 Steps to Picking Exterior Paint Colours

What Sherwin Williams paint colours are the same as or similar to Classic Gray?

When it comes to getting a perfect match, you won’t find one as there will ALWAYS be shifts in undertones, depth and temperature. For a similar approach, you can check out…

Not sure if Classic Gray is right for you? Then check these bad boys out…

BENJAMIN MOORE PALE OAK

Paint colour review of the best taupe greige paint colour. Benjamin Moore Pale Oak. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint color consulting and diy decorating blogger

Read more: Paint Colour Review of Benjamin Moore Pale Oak

BENJAMIN MOORE BALBOA MIST

Best warm gray taupe paint colour, Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist with fake marble look flooring in bathroom. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint colour expert.jp

Read more: Paint Colour Review of Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist

BENJAMIN MOORE GRAY OWL

Hallway with reclaimed wood flooring and white railling. Benjamin Moore Gray Owl and built in bookcase. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint color

Read more: Colour Review: Benjamin Moore Gray Owl

 

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

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

Chat soon,The best warm gray grey paint colors for your room. Online paint colour consulting by Kylie M Interiors Edesign. DIY decorating ideas and blogger

 

Chat soon,

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

READ MORE:

Paint Colour Review: Sherwin Williams Collingwood

Paint Colour Review: Sherwin Williams Repose Gray

Written in 2019, updated in 2020



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Comments

  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!

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      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.

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      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 :).

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      Author

      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
      Author

      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.

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        Author

        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.

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  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.

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