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Benjamin Moore Classic Gray OC-23 [2024 Review: Warm or Cool?]

By: Susie
Updated On: August 18, 2023

As someone who thrives on transforming living spaces, I am particularly fond of versatile colors that complement various design aesthetics.

One such color that continues to capture my fancy is Benjamin Moore Classic Gray OC-23. This subtly refined hue has been my favorite go-to to imbue interiors with a warm ambiance while maintaining a modern edge.

Whether your style leans toward rustic country charm or you are more inclined towards sleek urban themes, Benjamin Moore Classic Gray OC-23 effortlessly aligns with diverse tastes.

This elegant color breathes life into any room, offering an understated elegance that whispers rather than shouts, striking the perfect balance between dynamism and tranquillity.

The Allure of Classic Gray OC-23

A member of the exquisite Off-White Collection from Benjamin Moore, Classic Gray OC-23 is a color that redefines soft elegance.

Ironically, its distinguishing characteristic is precisely its indefinable nature! Cheating slightly on the cooler side of the gray-white balance, this understated shade owes its unique flavor to a stealthy hint of yellow.

When draped across your walls, this secret undertone makes it pop with unexpected warmth. It’s subtle but impactful – a dream for anyone hunting for understated sophistication.

Also known by the label ‘1548’, Classic Gray’s charm lies in its soft and muted grace. Devoid of intense chromaticity, it infuses your spaces with calm and serenity.

Embracing its warm personality while thriving in hushed whispers, this enchanting color can paint cozy moments on your canvas of everyday life.

Whether planning to revamp your place or contemplating a fresh paint venture, consider Benjamin Moore Classic Gray OC-23 – every time you walk past, it will make you pause and embrace the moment.

BM Classic Gray: Understone and LRV

Two essential elements shine through when we delve deeper into the core characteristics of Classic Gray OC-23.

Firstly, it’s the intriguing story of its undertone—the hidden hue that subtly influences the look and feel of this color. Secondly, it’s all about the LRV, or Light Reflectance Value.


We often don’t think twice about a shade, but knowing your undertones can be a game-changer when creating a precise environment for your living space.

Often described as an off-white shade leaning towards gray, Benjamin Moore Classic Gray has a hidden warmth that makes the color stand out.

  • Understone is Not Purely Neutral: At first glance, it may seem like a cool-toned paint color due to its grayish hue; if we delve deeper into its undertones, we discover gentle hints of yellow giving it an almost taupe-like appearance.
  • Perfect for Adding Warmth: This sneaky warmth makes Benjamin Moore’s Classic Gray OC-23 an excellent choice for those seeking to add nuanced depth and layered warmth to their living spaces.

Light Reflectance Value

The Light Reflectance Value (LRV) measures the light a paint color reflects. Determining how light or dark that paint will appear when applied to walls is critical.

  • High LRV: The LRV of Classic Gray is 73.67, making it one of Benjamin Moore’s lighter grays. This high LRV means it will beautifully bounce illumination throughout your space—particularly beneficial in rooms with minimal natural light.
  • Versatile Tone: Because of its high LRV and neutral undertone, Classic Gray can effortlessly transition from room to room while maintaining an organic continuity in varied lighting conditions.

Understanding these subtle nuances brought by undertones and appreciating the magic sparked by LRV will help you grasp why Benjamin Moore’s Classic Gray OC-23 truly stands testament to nuanced elegance.

Is Classic Gray OC-23 Warm or Cool?

Is Classic Gray OC-23 Warm or Cool?

When it comes to adjudicating if a paint color lies on the warm or cool spectrum, it can get complicated. The case of Benjamin Moore’s Classic Gray OC-23 is no different. While its moniker suggests a cooler identity, there is much more to uncover about this hue.

Cool by Name, Warm by Game

At first glance, you might lean towards classifying Classic Gray as a cool grey. After all, in its undiluted form, that may be what it appears to be.

However, OC-23 occupies a unique spot in the middle of the warm and cool spectrum – making it neither distinctly cool nor decidedly warm.

Classic Gray has incredibly sophisticated undertones – the almost invisible infusion of yellow gives it depth without tilting it overwhelmingly into the warm territory.

What Influences Perception?

How we perceive this elegant hue is deeply influenced by several factors:

  • Surrounding Colors: If you pair Classic Gray with stark whites or other cooler colors, its warmer side would be amplified and vice versa
  • Natural Light: Direct sunlight entering the room can add warmth to this color
  • Artificial Light: Depending on whether your light bulbs emit warmer or cooler light can also depart a warmer or cooler impression.

Crafted with exceptional subtlety and purity, Benjamin Moore’s Classic Gray OC-23 represents a rare breed of complex neutrals that can mold themselves effortlessly according to their surroundings.

Benjamin Moore Classic Gray OC-23: Versatile for Every Room

The beauty of Benjamin Moore Classic Gray OC-23 lies in its remarkable versatility. It’s understated hue and warm undertone make it a fantastic choice across various spaces in your abode.

This color can transform any environment, including the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, or living room.


In the heart of your home, apply Classic Gray OC-23 on more than just your walls. The beauty of this color makes it an excellent choice for painting kitchen cabinets.

Paired with a glossy finish, this paint creates an aesthetically pleasing contrast with stainless steel appliances, marble countertops, and brightly colored dishes behind glass-fronted cabinetry.


  • Enhances natural and artificial light: It carries an LRV of 73.67 which can liven up your eating area while perfectly complimenting natural and artificial light.
  • Against bold colors: This balanced neutral provides a stark yet tasteful contrast against darker or more vibrant features.


Wrapped in Benjamin Moore’s Classic Gray OC-23, a bathroom exudes a clean yet serene feel. Classic Gray offers an ideal solution for smaller bathrooms lacking natural sunlight or larger ones seeking to encapsulate tranquil vibes.


  • Flexible for varied bathroom dimensions: Its high LRV diffracts light across every corner, creating an illusion of expanded space.
  • Pairs well with various materials: Whether it’s marble vanities or metallic fixtures, this shade pairs harmoniously, offering elegance and warmth.


Incorporating Classic Gray into your bedroom serves as an invitation to rest. Painting your walls with this gentle color sets the stage for peaceful slumber while still providing enough versatility to complement colorful bedding or upholstery to add personality.


  • Calming atmosphere: The gentle hues soothe your senses and promote tranquillity – perfect for bedrooms.
  • Accommodates diverse interior styles: Whether you adore rustic charm bedsides or sleek minimalist decor items -everything looks twice more enchanting against this backdrop!

Living Room

A living room painted in Classic Gray feels inviting yet upscale —the perfect setting for conversations and get-togethers over coffee tables.

As versatile as it is elegant, you can pair it with patterns like floral cushions or bold artwork to create diversity within harmony effortlessly.


  • Transforms into an impressive setting: Applying classic gray elevates the aesthetics regardless of whether you go minimalistic or favor eclectic decor styles.
  • It is flexible with different furniture materials, such as metal accents tables ~or~ plush velvet interiors arranged against its backdrop.

Classic Gray OC-23’s hidden strength lies in its ability to adapt and heighten elegance in varied design aesthetics around every corner of your dwelling, paving the way for distinct, stylized expression within homely warmth at all times.

Is Classic Gray Good for Interior and Exterior?

Is Classic Gray Good for Interior and Exterior?

Navigating the possibilities of utilizing a particular paint color for your living spaces can introduce excitement and challenges.

When I consider Benjamin Moore’s Classic Gray OC-23, the versatility of this beautiful hue shines through, making it a splendid choice for interiors and exteriors.


Classic Gray fills inside spaces with an enchanting aura. The soft, warm undertones create inviting surroundings, seamlessly blending with various décor styles.

  • Living Room & Kitchen: A dab of Classic Gray on the walls hands you a fresh vibe that brightens the living room or kitchen. Pair it with brighter furniture and fixtures to maintain balance.
  • Bedroom & Bathroom: This serene paint becomes doubly attractive in rooms where relaxation takes precedence. It caresses the atmosphere with peaceful vibes for bedroom walls or bathroom tile accents.


Extending its charm beyond the inner realms of your home, Classic Gray’s high LRV makes it equally remarkable for outdoor use.

  • Neutral Foundation: Its stability gives you a neutral foundation to play around with colorful details like front doors, shutters, or garden ornaments for visual interest.
  • Seasonal Flexibility: Its warmth beautifully complements any season—remaining vibrant in sun-soaked summers while livening up gloomy winter days.

Classic Gray OC-23 is an ode to understated sophistication in interior and exterior settings, carving a legacy that has outlasted fleeting trends. Immerse your world in its tranquil charisma and bask in the haven it weaves around you.

Best Trim Colors with Classic Gray

One of the factors making Benjamin Moore’s Classic Gray OC-23 such a popular choice is its versatility. It pairs exceptionally well with an array of colors, particularly for trims. Here, I’d like to focus on three standouts.

  • OC-117 Simply White: The first recommendation would be OC-117 Simply White. As straightforward as its name implies, Simply White ideally contrasts the muted elegance of Classic Gray. This bright white shade lacks any prominent undertone, rendering it the perfect clean slate against the subtle complexity that Classic Gray brings to a room.
  • OC-17 White Dove: Next on the list is another white variant—OC-17 White Dove. Unlike Simply White’s stark serenity, White Dove carries a soft milky warmth underlined by a hint of gray undertone. This blend makes it an ideal companion for Classic Gray OC-23, particularly if you want to maintain a harmonious palette while infusing some character into your trim.
  • OC-151 Edgecomb Gray: Ending this guide on trim colors that pair beautifully with Classic Gray, we have OC-151 Edgecomb Gray. This shade is perfect for situations where you prefer a seamless transition between walls and trims rather than stark contrast. Edgecomb offers a greige hue leaning towards beige undertones—this warm and earthy shade complements Classic Gray in an elegant dance of balanced neutrality.

Remember that these are just suggestions; you might find your favorite beyond these options. Since nuances can vary based on lighting conditions and overall room decor, testing samples beforehand can help make the right choice for your space.

What Are The Best Light Bulbs To Use?

What Are The Best Light Bulbs To Use?

As you bathe your room in Benjamin Moore’s Classic Gray OC-23, the type of light bulb you use will impact the final look. Here are some insights to ensure your lighting enhances rather than distorts this timeless shade.

  • Soft White Bulbs (2700K – 3000K): These yield a warm and cozy glow, perfect for living rooms and bedrooms. The subtle yellow undertone in Classic Gray gets amplified, imbuing the space with a comforting radiance.
  • Bright White/ Cool White Bulbs (3500K – 4100K): Ideal for kitchens, bathrooms, or workspaces, these bulbs cast a vibrant, lively light. They bring out the cooler hues in Classic Gray.
  • Daylight Bulbs (5000K – 6500K): Simulating natural daylight, these are best for reading areas or craft stations. They maintain Classic Gray’s neutral balance beautifully.

Consider the room’s function and mood when selecting your light bulb. With appropriate lighting, your Benjamin Moore Classic Gray OC-23 will continue celebrating its versatility under any glow.

Lighting And Cardinal Directions

As someone who enjoys revamping interior spaces, I’ve realized that understanding the effect of natural light and cardinal direction is essential.

Cardinal directions can drastically change the appearance of a color, especially when it comes to versatile hues like Benjamin Moore’s Classic Gray OC-23. So let’s delve into how this delightful shade can adapt to celestial temperaments.

North-facing Rooms

North-facing rooms tend to receive more excellent, bluer light throughout the day because they lack direct sunlight. This particular lighting condition often deepens colors and makes them appear more shaded.

  • Ideal For: Classic Gray in north-facing room curbs emphasizes coolness by introducing gentle warmth that softens the overall ambiance.
  • Design Curbs: If you’re dealing with a smaller room or space with limited natural light, using a warmer-toned color can help balance the predominance of cool tones and create an inviting space.

South-facing Rooms

South-facing rooms are bathed in warm, intense light throughout the day, presenting an exciting challenge for your decor choices.

  • Ideal For: The exquisite Benjamin Moore Classic Gray OC-23 performs spectacularly in south-facing rooms. It balances out the intensity of direct sunlight while maintaining its signature elegance.
  • Design Curbs: In bigger south-oriented rooms where sunlight could potentially wash out colors – turning them pale and bland – Classic Gray holds its own by subtly enhancing its warmth while preserving its understated beauty.

East-facing Rooms

Rooms facing east get bright, warm sunlight in the morning and cooler illumination towards late afternoon and evening. This changing lighting palette requires adaptable hues that can transition smoothly throughout the day.

  • Ideal For: With its perfect blend of cool undertones with muted warmth, Classic Gray cheerfully greets you every morning with hardly a touch of glare while relaxing into softer tones as your day winds down.

West-facing Rooms

West-facing spaces enjoy plenty of afternoon sun but may have subdued light conditions during mornings.

  • Ideal For: The beautifully neutral nature of Benjamin Moore’s Classic Gray picks up on these shifts gracefully – gleaming under the afternoon warmth while offering sophisticated tranquility during murkier mornings.

Remember that these are general observations, and slight variations may occur due to specific geographical or structural influences in your place.

To get a precise experience before taking a plunge into larger paint projects, it helps to try sample swatches across different walls at various times to understand how this timeless Benjamin Moore hue might dance around your unique home environment.

The Effectiveness of Sampling Paint

The Effectiveness of Sampling Paint

Before you go forth and immerse your space in a new shade, taking the sample route can save you potential headaches down the line.

And trust me, no one likes to re-paint walls after realizing the color isn’t what they envisioned. It’s not simply about verifying whether you want a shade; sampling offers more advantages than you think.

  • Save Time and Money: A sample pot is an inexpensive way to take your chosen paint for a spin. If the color doesn’t fit your décor, lighting, or personal taste, you’ve saved yourself from a costly misstep.
  • See the Color in Different Lighting: Applying a sample lets you see how it looks under various lighting conditions throughout the day. Depending on artificial light, direct sunlight, or shadowy corners, colors can appear drastically different.
  • Shortlist and Compare: If you’re torn between shades of gray (yes, there are fifty and more), painting them side-by-side on your wall can help clarify your choice. It’s easier to gauge differences when two colors live next to each other.

So before diving headfirst into transforming your space with Benjamin Moore Classic Gray OC-23, grab a sample pot first. Trust this process—it’s about regaining control over your vision and fine-tuning it to perfection.

Coordinating Colors with Classic Gray OC-23

Classic Gray’s versatility doesn’t end with its remarkable ability to work well in different lights and indoor environments. This Benjamin Moore masterpiece also pairs exceedingly well with various other hues.

Here are some stellar color pairings for those considering Classic Gray OC-23 for their next design venture:

  • Navy Peony (2067-30): With its deep, rich blue tones, Navy Peony provides a striking contrast against the subtle softness of Classic Gray. It’s an ideal choice for accent walls or statement furniture.
  • White Dove (OC-17): Opting for a monochromatic scheme? Pairing Classic Gray with White Dove offers an enchanting ballet of lights and shadows in a refined gray-scale harmony.
  • Revere Pewter (HC-172): Want to add depth without straying too far from your palette? Revere Pewter is a warmer gray that works wonderfully with Classic Gray, ensuring cohesion in your color scheme.

From daring contrasts to harmonizing whispers, you’ve got plenty of options when coordinating color with Benjamin Moore’s Classic Gray OC-23—each one guaranteed to elevate the elegance quotient of your space.

FAQs About BM Classic Gray OC-23

Is Benjamin Moore Classic Gray a warm or cool color?

While the gray hue may suggest a cool undertone, Classic Gray leans towards the warmer side due to its subtle yellow undertone.

Does Classic Gray OC-23 suit both interior and exterior applications?

Absolutely! Its adaptable nature makes it a favorite for both interiors and exteriors.

What is the Light Reflectance Value of Classic Gray?

With an LRV of 73.67, Classic Gray is one of Benjamin Moore’s lighter grays, reflecting substantial light.

Does Classic Gray pair nicely with other colors?

Yes, it pairs magnificently with many hues ranging from deep blues like Navy Peony to lighter shades like White Dove.

Which are the best rooms for applying Benjamin Moore’s Classic Gray OC-23?

Due to its unique versatility can be used in any room—from tranquil bedrooms and vibrant living rooms to relaxing bathrooms.


Benjamin Moore Classic Gray OC-23 is more than just a color. It’s a style statement that signifies tasteful elegance and uncompromising sophistication.

Its modest subtlety and versatile nature make it ideal for designer enthusiasts or homeowners who desire an understated backdrop that beautifully complements various decorative elements without trying to steal the show.

Next time you consider a home makeover, I urge you to give this charming color a chance. It oscillates effortlessly between warm and cool tones, allowing it to adapt to various lighting conditions and marry multiple hues seamlessly.

Apply it on walls or mix with other shades; no matter how you decide to use it—be it lavishly or sparingly—this classic gray-white blend is set to transform your area into an embodiment of tranquil elegance.

Benjamin Moore’s Classic Gray OC-23 deserves an honorary mention in interior design for opening the doors to refined simplicity.

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