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Benjamin Moore Gray Owl OC-52 2024 [Where To Use Gray Owl]

By: Susie
Updated On: July 29, 2023

There’s something incredibly serene about walking into a room painted with Benjamin Moore Gray Owl OC-52.

It’s as if the stresses of the outside world melt away, leaving you enveloped in a soft, welcoming cocoon of tones that somehow manage to be both warm and cool simultaneously.

And it’s not just me – designers and homeowners across the United States seem to agree that there’s something special about this color.

The term ‘neutral color’ might not excite your world, but trust me when I say there’s nothing bland about Gray Owl.

Imagine watching a morning mist gently lift over a tranquil lake or gazing out at a snowy landscape on a crisp winter’s day – the sophisticated yet calming scenes this shade conjures up in space.

Stay with me, and I’ll tell you why Benjamin Moore Gray Owl OC-52 is more than just gray paint; it embodies tranquility and style for your home.

What Color Exactly Is Gray Owl OC-52?

Gray Owl certainly lives up to its name- it is, in essence, a beautiful grayscale color. But it’s not stark or cold; instead, think of a soft, feathery gray that beautifully portrays the gentleness we associate with these wondrous creatures of the night.

Named by Benjamin Moore, one of North America’s favorite paint brands, Gray Owl OC-52 seems to capture the calming allure of nature right within its tints.

At first glance, you see a solid gray – sophisticated, soft, and neutral. But as with any painting endeavor, dig deep, and you’ll find more layers to this fantastic color.

Gray Owl encompasses subtle undertones that bring depth and warmth to spaces, big or small. It’s got nuances that can swing subtly between green and blue under different lighting conditions.

Gray Owl is more than just a fancy name for another shade of gray. It’s an embodiment of tranquility; it embodies versatility – transferring seamlessly from living spaces to bedrooms without losing its charm.

The Undertones Of Benjamin Moore Gray Owl

Look at Benjamin Moore’s Gray Owl; it’s far more than just a simple gray. Yes, as the name suggests, you have that base of rich gray, but subtle undertones add an extra layer of depth and complexity to the color. Here are some facets to consider:

  • Subtle Green Undertone: The first thing you notice is a very faint tint of green. It’s cleverly hidden beneath the dominating gray tones, only coming forward in certain lighting conditions. The green adds a fresh, crisp edge to the color, preventing it from becoming dull or dreary.
  • Blue Undertone: Besides the green hue, there’s also a blue undertone at work here; this is usually only visible in specific lighting situations. Contrary to popular belief about ‘cold’ colors making rooms feel chilly, the blue pieces seamlessly with the green hue to make spaces appear inviting and serene.
  • A hint of Warmth: When allowed to mature on your walls under warmer lights (‘golden hour’ sunlight or incandescent bulbs), Gray Owl reveals a paradoxical touch of warmth – precisely why many homeowners love this paint for its versatility.

This complex undertones dance makes Benjamin Moore Gray Owl OC-52 much more than your average gray paint.

Benjamin Moore Gray Owl: Warm Or Cool?

In the fascinating world of colors, Gray Owl OC-52 positions itself as a complex chameleon paint. Its temperature relies greatly on its surroundings. Here’s the scoop:

  • First, don’t let the name fool you, this is no ‘one-note’ shade of gray. It can sometimes cast a subtle green or blue undertone that gives it a relaxed mood.
  • However, unlike what you typically associate with more fabulous shades, Gray Owl isn’t cold or stark. Its versatility lies within that soft gray-green balance, providing an unexpectedly warm and inviting ambiance.
  • This balance makes Gray Owl an overall neutral gray. But if you want to pinpoint exact warmth or coolness in this paint color – it leans more towards the cooler side of things due to those elusive blue/green undertones.
  • Room lighting also plays a vital role in establishing how ‘warm’ or ‘cool’ Gray Owl will look on your walls. Natural daylight brings out those cooler tones, while artificial light can warm them a little.

So, there you have it – whether considered cool with its subtle blue/green hue or cozy for its perfect gray neutrality, one thing’s for sure: Benjamin Moore Gray Owl OC-52 is far from monotonous and sparks joy in any setting.

Where You Can Use Gray Owl OC-52

Considered one of the most versatile neutral shades in the market, Gray Owl can transform practically any room into a tranquility-inducing space. Here are some rooms where you can seamlessly incorporate it.


One space where Gray Owl can truly shine is the bedroom. It’s an intimate space that should reflect your personality while projecting tranquility. Gray Owl does just that!

  • Creates a soothing space: It offers a serene, tranquil environment perfect for relaxation.
  • Versatile: Gray Owl plays well with most furniture colors, predominantly white and wooden pieces.
  • Brightens up the room: Paired with bright white trim, Gray Owl adds a subtle sophistication to your bedroom.


But why should the bedroom have all the fun? The bathroom can be another fantastic place to incorporate this color.

  • Adds elegance: The gray undertones lend an elegant yet modern feel to smaller spaces like bathrooms.
  • Flattering light reflection: Gray Owl can help reflect light beautifully, making your bathroom appear spacious and open.
  • Compliments fixtures: Gray Owl can form an ideal backdrop whether you have chrome or brass fixtures.


And don’t forget about one of the most vital rooms – the kitchen! Here’s how you can make it work:

  • Contemporary feel: This color is an excellent choice after a modern kitchen look.
  • Works with countertops and cabinets: Whether your cabinets are dark or light wood or even if you’ve got marble countertops, Gray Owl complements different materials stunningly.
  • Pairs perfectly with metallics: Stainless steel appliances? Bronze knobs? No problem! This versatile shade pairs well with all sorts of metallics.

Applying Benjamin Moore’s Gray Owl OC-52 in these spaces may breathe new life into them. However, remember it’s also important always to consider the type of lighting in your room, as colors can drastically change depending on the light source.


In an era where home offices have become more prevalent than ever, finding the right color to promote productivity while soothing the mind can be a task. That’s where Benjamin Moore Gray Owl OC-52 steps in.

  • Balance of warmth and cool: The beautiful balance between warm and cool undertones in Gray Owl makes it an ideal choice for workspaces. It provides a neutral backdrop that enhances focus and reduces stress, critical factors proved to influence productivity positively.
  • Versatility with furniture: Whether you have dark mahogany desks or sleek white modern tables, the versatility of this gray complements both dark and light-colored furniture.
  • Inspiring ambiance: The clean and crispness of Gray Owl helps in creating a workspace that is inspiring rather than monotonous.

Living Room

For a living room that is essentially the heart of any home, you want an inviting color that adds character to your space. And there could be no better choice than Gray Owl by Benjamin Moore.

  • Unifying color: As a perfect canvas for contemporary and traditional designs, Gray Owl seamlessly binds elements, making the room feel unified.
  • Perfect light reflection: It bounces off natural light beautifully during the day while providing an equally calming ambiance in artificial light.
  • Pop of color friendly: If you are into adding pops of colors through furniture or art pieces, this shade serves as an ideal base color letting those colors truly shine!


Traditionally thought to be dingy spaces where miscellany is thrown together, basements can be transformed entirely with Benjamin Moore’s Gray Owl paint:

  • Lightens up space: Often, basements don’t get enough natural light, making them feel claustrophobic. But painting the walls with Gray Owl can give it an open feel due to its excellent reflective quality.
  • Timeless look: One thing about gray – it never goes out of style. This makes Gray Owl your best bet for creating a timeless, sophisticated look!

Remember these ideas when choosing colors for your home and remember – there’s always more than one way to look at a wall!

Don’t be afraid to play around with different accents or contrasting colors – after all, their impact is even more powerful when paired against our versatile friend, Benjamin Moore’s Gray Owl.

The Lighting Effect Of Gray Owl

Understanding the effect of light on Benjamin Moore Gray Owl OC-52 is a key part of getting your desired aesthetic. Let’s delve into how this versatile shade evolves under different lighting conditions.

East-facing rooms

Wake up to a cooler and more refreshing vibe in your east-facing rooms painted with Gray Owl. As you might already know, east-facing rooms receive the best natural light earlier in the day, and this hue complements well by retaining its cool undertones.

Its gray essence comes to life at sunrise, beautifully reflecting the early glow. Don’t be surprised if the Gray Owl appears slightly bluish – that’s just nature’s way of weaving morning magic!

As daylight progresses, though, east-facing rooms tend to get lesser sunlight and may cast an increasingly cooler hue onto your Gray Owl-painted walls.

So by afternoon or evening, expect the room to echo a much more crisp and pure gray shade, capturing a whisper of frosty sophistication.

West-facing rooms

If we hop across to west-facing rooms, it’s another story altogether. Unlike their eastern counterparts that bask in the early light of dawn, these spaces soak up those divine amber hues come late afternoon and evening.

When bathed in this warm glow, Gray Owl undergoes a fascinating transformation – it becomes warmer and can even reflect subtle green undertones.

In the mornings until early afternoon, however, without direct solid sunlight penetrating your west-facing windows, your Gray Owl walls can lean towards cooler grays with a slight clue towards its bluish undertones, if any.

So to summarize our little exploration so far: In east-facing rooms, Gray Owl casts refreshing cool-toned shades, especially at sunrise while towards sunset, while west-facing settings amplify its complexity by flaunting faintly warm undertones during the evening but appearing cooler during the day.

We end up with a remarkable, adaptable color palette that absorbs and reflects light in contextually beautiful ways.

South-facing rooms

Regarding south-facing rooms, there’s a unique interplay with Gray Owl OC-52. These rooms bathe in intense, warm light for most of the day.

The brilliance of the sunlight can impose a more generous feel on more excellent colors. What I’ve observed with Benjamin Moore Gray Owl in these spaces is intriguing.

  • Interplay with Light: The Gray Owl’s cool undertones come alive in south-facing rooms! The warmth of the sunlight paired with the neutral gray creates an overall soft and gentle vibe.
  • Mood Setting: If you’re after a refreshing and inviting ambiance in your living spaces, south-facing rooms painted in Gray Owl are a sure bet! You’re bringing the calmness of early morning dew into your room.
  • Ideal Rooms: Think about sun-soaked family rooms or lively kitchens that could benefit from an infusion of tranquility.

North-facing Rooms

On the other hand, north-facing rooms offer a completely different lighting scenario. These areas get less direct sunlight and have more astounding illumination throughout the day.

  • Color Perception: Benjamin Moore Gray Owl takes on a slightly darker hue in north-facing rooms due to less light exposure. The color will appear more as a valid medium gray.
  • Setting Tone: Since these spaces are naturally more relaxed, painting them with Gray Owl adds an extra layer of coolness. This setup works wonderfully if you yearn for a calming retreat or cozy nook!
  • Best Fit Rooms: Consider using this shade in a quiet home office or relaxing bedroom to establish that coveted, serene atmosphere.

Remember, colors can vary widely depending on natural and artificial light sources. It’s always wise to paint sample patches under various lighting conditions before deciding!

After all, you want your room to feel right at any time of day – an ambiance that genuinely speaks “home.”

Paired Colors With Gray Owl

Finding the perfect complement to Benjamin Moore Gray Owl OC-52 can take your interior design to the next level. Here are five that work in perfect harmony:

  • Benjamin Moore Providence Blue 1636: This enchanting mid-tone blue adds depth to a space without overwhelming it, providing an excellent counterpoint to Gray Owl’s subtle warmth.
  • Benjamin Moore Boothbay Gray HC-165: Boothbay Gray is a water-inspired shade with teal undertones. When used alongside Gray Owl, it offers an appealing contrast and elevates the aesthetics of your space.
  • Benjamin Moore Lush AF-475: As the name suggests, Lush is a vibrant, leafy green. It shines with Gray Owl, bringing an energizing burst of natural tones into your décor.
  • Benjamin Moore Amherst Gray HC-167: A deeper and more dramatic shade of gray, Amherst imbues a sophisticated edge when paired with a gray owl’s softer and lighter tones.
  • Benjamin Moore Cushing Green HC-125: Cushing Green blends beautifully with Gray Owl, lending an organic touch that resonates with serenity while still striking a dapper note in your interiors.

Gray Owl Is Best For Exterior Paint Color?

The perception of Benjamin Moore Gray Owl OC-52 as an interior paint color is so robust that its remarkable potential for exterior use often goes unrecognized. Perhaps it’s time we appreciate it in this new light, pun intended.

  • Versatility: Gray Owl adds a striking yet subtle touch when applied to exteriors. The adaptability of its gray-and-green undertones makes it amenable to various architectural designs, be it modern minimalistic homes or vintage-styled cottages.
  • Complements natural surroundings: Remarkably, this color can merge harmoniously with any landscape. It enhances verdant greenery during spring and summer, elegantly mirrors the sober shades of fall moods, and stands out against winter white snows majestically.
  • Pair with other colors: Try pairing Gray Owl with Providence Blue 1636 on shutters and trims for a coastal or nautical feel. Or boldly trim your Gray Owl house with Lush AF-475 for an exhilarating pop of color.
  • Perfect backdrop: The beauty of this gray isn’t just that it blends well and provides an expansive neutral canvas highlighting building details or standout features.

But remember, outdoor lighting dramatically differs from indoors. Therefore before you jump all-in with multiple gallons, consider painting some test swatches on different sides of the house to see how it varies throughout the day under natural light conditions.

Use The Sample Before Full Paint

Before painting a whole room or exterior with Gray Owl, I strongly suggest trying out a sample first. Here’s why:

  • Perception is subjective: Just like how a dress can appear to be blue or gold to different people, paint colors can be perceived differently based on an individual’s color sensitivity.
  • Different lighting conditions affect color perception: The amount and type of natural light your room gets will influence how Gray Owl looks on your walls. It might appear more relaxed in a well-lit room with lots of sunlight and warmer in an area with less natural light.
  • Interiors matter: The existing elements of your room — such as furniture, flooring, and artwork — will also interact with the wall color, potentially altering your perception.

Practically speaking, it’s best to apply the paint sample on a few walls in the room you plan to paint (try sites facing different directions if possible). Look at it several times throughout the day under varying light conditions.

FAQs About Gray Owl OC-52

What type of color is Benjamin Moore Gray Owl OC-52?

Gray Owl is a light gray paint color with slightly cool undertones. Its adaptability makes it a top choice for various spaces, offering subtle sophistication and calmness while remaining versatile enough to blend with multiple décor styles.

Can I use Benjamin Moore Gray Owl OC-52 in any room?

Absolutely! The flexible undertones of Gray Owl make it suitable for any room, including the kitchen, bathroom, living room, office, bedroom, or basement. It’s all about adding a tranquil touch to your space.

How does lighting affect the color perception of Gray Owl?

The unique neutral balance in Gray Owl allows it to adapt to different lighting moods. It can appear more relaxed in rooms bathed in sunlight and warmer in rooms with less natural light, emphasizing its versatility.

What colors pair well with Benjamin Moore Gray Owl OC-52?

Gray Owl pairs well with colors like Providence Blue 1636, Boothbay Gray HC-165, Lush AF-475, Amherst Gray HC-167, and Cushing Green HC-125.

Is Benjamin Moore’s Gray Owl suitable for exterior use?

Yes! Due to its adaptability and sophistication, Benjamin Moore’s Gray Owl can create an inviting exterior façade for any home.


Sometimes the most impactful statements are made quietly in a world coloring itself with vibrant hues and bold expressions.

Benjamin Moore’s Gray Owl OC-52 is one such statement — subdued yet far from mundane. This shade is for anyone looking to transcend traditional boundaries of home décor, bringing a unique blend of mellow calm and refined elegance.

It’s an anchor that allows other design elements to shine while providing an understated backdrop brilliantly.

Whether you’re new to interior design or a seasoned pro seeking fresh inspiration, don’t overlook the potential of this versatile color.

Embrace the unpredictable charm it brings under varying lights, relish its adaptability across various spaces, and appreciate how it quietly yet meaningfully transforms spaces into havens of tranquility.

There’s nothing ordinary about Gray Owl! So take out your paintbrushes, pick up that sample can, embrace your creativity, and let Gray Owl work its magic on your space.

You never know — you might find that it fuels not merely an aesthetic metamorphosis but also a personal one.

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