COLOR SPOTLIGHT – Benjamin Moore Gray Owl

Grey is one of my favourite colours.  It’s contemporary but still neutral and pairs beautifully with almost anything.  Because of the myriad of undertones, however, it’s also one of the hardest wall paint colours to choose (from personal experience it took a few samples before I committed to Benjamin Moore Cinder for our living room walls).  Ever take home a shade you thought was perfect only to find out that it looks purple or blue on your walls?

For a light gray that works with almost any space and decor,  I keep on going back to Benjamin Moore’s Gray Owl OC-52.  It has the SLIGHTEST greige undertone so it goes equally well with warm colours like orange, green and red as well as cool tones of plum, blue and silver.  Since it’s neutral to work in any room, it’s great if you’re looking for one great shade to paint the entire interior.

TIP: Don’t forget that your floors are a colour too – even if they’re wood.  Because it’s earthy Gray Owl goes great with light woods like pine, oak or maple. For crisp contemporary spaces use Gray Owl with white molding, trim or cabinets.  For drama add accessories or furniture in a high contrast colour like black.

Remember that shinier paints reflect more light and can highlight wall and surface imperfections.  For our stone walls, I find that a matte finish works best. It’s not as chalky as a flat finish can be (save flat paints for the ceiling) but in a high quality paint, a matte paint can still be cleaned for a beautiful yet durable paint job even in the kitchen or bathroom.

Want more tips on picking the right shade of gray for your home?  Check out our tips here.

UPDATE! It looks like our readers love Benjamin Moore Gray Owl as much as we do.  It’s one of our most popular posts so we just updated our blog with more ways to use this beautiful colour at home.  Check it out here!

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9 Responses to “COLOR SPOTLIGHT – Benjamin Moore Gray Owl”

  1. Shauna

    I did gray owl in my living room because I read everywhere that it was the perfect gray. Well, it is absolutely, completely blue in my house. Very disappointing, but I am just going to live with it because the thought of repainting makes me ill.

    • Rowe Spurling Paint Company

      The lighting in a space can have a tremendous effect on how we see colour. Next time you’re changing colours, try a sample size and paint a patch in both the corner of the room and on a wall opposite window or light source. Then observe the colour both during daytime and at night when you turn on the lights. If Gray Owl looks too blue try Classic Gray or Edgecomb Gray.

  2. Priyanka


    I painted my house gray owl, which is lovely and fresh. It does look a bit green at night which is hard to match my cabinet colour with. I’d like to paint my lower cabinets a darker gray . Abby suggestions?



    • Rowe Spurling Paint Company

      You’re right that Gray Own can look a bit on the green side, especially when you turn on the light at night. To match that warmth try Benjamin Moore Amherst Gray HC-167. If you want to go darker try Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal HC-166 or for a lighter shade try Benjamin Moore Secret AF-710. Good luck and thank you for visiting!

  3. Jackie Britt

    What shade of white paint did you use on vaulted plank.ceiling?


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