HomeThe Best Paint ColoursBENJAMIN & SHERWIN: Paint Colour ReviewsQuick Paint Colour Review: Benjamin Moore Pale Oak OC-20

Quick Paint Colour Review: Benjamin Moore Pale Oak OC-20

Posted on February 2, 2020 by KylieMawdsley


Benjamin Moore Pale Oak: The Quick and Dirty on LRV, Undertones and a Little More

I love doing colour reviews, but can’t cover EVERY colour out there with wild and glorious photos of it to boot. Which is why I’ve created a ‘Quick n’ Dirty’ series, where I’ll cover the BASICS of paint colours that aren’t talked about as much in the Design world – colours like 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

I love to show RELATEABLE & REAL homes, so ONLY use photos from my Online Colour Consulting clients. This means I don’t always have the quality pics I need (hence the ‘QUICK Review’), but DEFINITELY have some SUPER helpful info to help you on your way!

What type of paint colour is Pale Oak?  Is it warm or cool? Greige or beige?

Pale Oak is a taupe. So, it’s a neutral paint colour sitting in between gray and beige, but leaning WARMER vs grayer. And it has some VERY important undertones that we’ll get into shortly and are one of the reasons why I DON’T refer to this paint colour as often as others.

What’s the LRV of Pale Oak?

Pale Oak has an LRV of almost 70. So, while it’s in the ‘light range’, it has a bit more freshness than many other greige paint colours.

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

What are the undertones of Pale Oak?  Will it look pink or purple?

Now, THIS is where you have to be careful. A lot of people turn to Pale Oak expecting a soft warm gray. And it CAN look like that (especially in a north-facing room), however, it can also flash a purple-pink undertone (not overpowering, but noticeable), so you have to sample it carefully in your space before you start slappin’ paint on the walls.

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

What’s the best way to sample Pale Oak?

Like with every paint colour, I highly recommend using SAMPLIZE. Make sure you place white paper around your sample so that your perception isn’t skewed by your existing wall colour.

Benjamin Moore Pale Oak, update idea for bathroom with beige floor tile. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint color consulting

Learn all about Samplize HERE

Which white paint colours work with Pale Oak (for trim)?

I like to keep things simple, along the lines of BM Oxford White or SW High Reflective White.

Read more: The 4 Best White Paint Colours from Sherwin Williams

Why isn’t Pale Oak as popular?

It’s ALLLL in the undertones. When I do my Online Colour Consulting, there’s a questionnaire where I ask ‘are there any undertones you don’t like?‘ Hands-down, purple and pink (and green) are the LEAST desired undertones (pink is definitely in first place). If you LIKE purple-pink undertones, then you should be ready to roll (literally). However, if you don’t, you’ll want to tread carefully. I find a lot of people approach Pale Oak as though it’s a more simple neutral, but it’s anything but straight-forward.

That doesn’t mean that Pale Oak won’t work for YOU and your room, but might make you think more about whether it really IS the right fit. And if it is…SEND PHOTOS!

Not sure if Pale Oak is right for you? Want a bit more gray, more beige, less undertone? I’ve got more!


Benjamin Moore Collingwood Gray, warm gray , greige paint colour. Online Color Consultation by Kylie M Interiors. 2 storey entryway, curved stairs, black railing (2)

Read more: Paint Colour Review of Benjamin Moore Collingwood


Guest bedroom in neutral paint colour Benjamin Moore Classic Gray with furniture and accents with green undertones. Kylie M Interiors Edesign

Read more: Paint Colour Review of Benjamin Moore Classic Gray


E-design, e-decor online color consultation with Kylie M Interiors. Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray in a farmhouse style dining room with wood beams, flooring and bench

Read more: Paint Colour Review of Sherwin Williams Agreeable 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 your room. Benjamin and Sherwin. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint colour consulting. Home Decorating and diy ideas blogger.market

Chat soon,

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




  1. Hi, Kylie,
    I love your blog and all the information you provide on pant colors. Even your Quick n’ dirty reviews are thorough and easy to understand.
    I have Pale Oak throughout most of my downstairs, and I can attest to the fact that it can flash a slight pink or purple undertone in the right lighting. I have found that sometimes it can look warm gray, off-white with a pink undertone, or even pick up some beige. As I’ve learned from you, though, many times the undertone is not overly obvious, but the color lends a softness to the walls as it remains neutral. I’ve found that it really plays well with black and charcoal gray, as these colors pop out against the softness of Pale Oak.
    Thanks again for the interesting read!


    1. Post

      Thank you Joe, it’s comments like yours that help other readers decide if a colour will work for them or not – I’m glad you’re seeing what I do and I’m glad you love it!

  2. I love this colour! We have it in our bedroom and it looks so nice, clean and cozy. It can definitely flash some pink/purple at certain times of the day. I like that it still provides some contrast with the white trim. We have been trying to find something similar for our main floor but the struggle is real. Collingwood, agreeable grey, and classic grey all flash a lot of pink in our living room (perhaps a lighting issue?). Haha even our current coventry gray flashes a decent amount of pinkish purple in our house. Maybe it is all the dark hardwood and cabinets from 2010. Hopefully I will luck out and be able to purchase a package of yours, they have been sold out every time I check, good for you and your business, bad for me and my sample covered house haha.

  3. I am currently testing out pale oak as our new exterior paint color of our home. I like it but I’m nervous about the purple undertones. My home faces West. Will that mean I’ll see more of that purple pull through? I only have one large area currently painted in the front to test. Hate to wait until the entire home is painted.

    1. Post

      Hi Marci! It depends on how sensitive you are. There’s a local home painted in this colour and PERSONALLY…I find it a touch too violet, but the owner didn’t find it too violet at all, but saw it once I pointed it out ;).

  4. Hi Kylie, Maybe you can shed some light… I have maple cabinets (pulling yellow/orange). I was thinking of using a neutral with purple undertones (pale oak) on the walls to camouflage the orangey-ness a bit (since they are opp color wheel). Room gets significant south-facing light. Ideas? Any help is appreciated!!

    1. Post

      I think this sounds like a GREAT start, absolutely. My only thought is that if the room is super bright, Pale Oak COULD wash out quite a bit. Have you checked out colours like SW Popular Gray and Versatile Gray? Just a thought 🙂

  5. Hi Kylie,
    Thank you for all of the info you provide on your website, it has helped tremendously! I am repainting our master bedroom which is a decent size with large north and west facing windows. We have gunstock oak floors, wood trim, and medium stained wood bedroom pieces. So lots of wood! (Thanks hubby!) I am trying to figure out a warm griege that wont get too dark, and will lighten things up, but also not change into strange colors as the day goes by. We want to paint one of the walls as an accent color of BM Puritan Gray. We have pale oak in the master bathroom and it looks great!! It has a small west facing window in it. Do you think pale oak would be a good color for the bedroom as well, or would it look too light? I tried a bit of edgecomb gray but it looked almost too creamy yellow for my taste.. what would be your slightly darker version than pale oak?

  6. Hi Kylie,
    I’m really enjoying all the videos you have made and am just now navigating the website. We have Pale Oak in our kitchen and connecting living room. I enjoy the color I like grey and my husband likes beige so we compromised with Pale Oak. I understand the pink undertones you brought up. I’m going to be painting the kitchen cabinets soon with a color like you mentioned Chantilly Lace but for the island I wanted to have a darker color like a charcoal or cinder color. I was wondering what your take is for a dark grey they would go well with Pale oaks undertones.

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