Benjamin Moore Moonshine: Where & How to Use


By Robert

When considering interior renovation and home décor projects, most of us immediately start considering different layouts for the furniture sets or how to revamp the lighting of the space.

To truly make or break a space, it is the color of the wall and ceilings acting in cohesion with the flooring that must be taken into account. Here is where wall paints come in.

Wall paints are essential to interior design due to their ability to bring cohesiveness and balance to a space.

An example would be for spaces where brightly colored furnishings are used, wall paints are then used to mute the tones of the space.

Another example would be for dark or light flooring (depending on user preference), where wall paint selection would be used to bring a balance of saturation within the space.

What is Moonshine by Benjamin Moore?

Benjamin Moore Moonshine

Now that we understand why paint color is essential to interior décor, we’re going to discuss about a specific color in the off white category by Benjamin Moore.

There is no perfect paint color for your home as the options are endless, but there are some that come quite close.

Benjamin Moore’s Moonshine, also known as OC-56 is a paint color in the muted tones of gray with a tinge of blue-green, sits perfectly for those seeking sophistication and versatility.

Moonshine’s Crucial Values to Consider

Benjamin Moore’s Moonshine comes with two important factors that are crucial for its selection in the interior palette section. Those are its HEX values (hexadecimal) and its LRV (Light Reflectance Value).

The True Color of Moonshine by Benjamin Moore

Moonshine is classified as a neutral gray color with muted tones of blue, by Benjamin Moore. Its true color is reflected by its hexadecimal values or HEX.

What are HEX values and why are they relevant?

HEX values are considered more towards the technical side of interior design. As most designers use computer aided design for their work processes, hex values/codes are used to bring out the actual color of the paint, onto screen.

The compact value allows the designer to visualize the space in actuality on screen before making a final decision to sample it on site.

Moonshine’s hex values are as follows:
• Red: 212
• Green: 212
• Blue: 204

The hex code that can be used for on-screen sampling is:
• #d4d4cc

What is LRV?

Next, let’s talk breakdown LRV and its significance towards interior décor projects. LRV (Light Reflectance Value), is a crucial metric when it comes to choosing the right color for your space.

The value measures the percentage of light the chosen paint color is able to reflect.  A higher LRV indicates a lighter color, while a lower LRV signifies a darker one.

Moonshine’s LRV

Moonshine’s LRV of 66.53 places it on the lighter side of the spectrum, making it an ideal choice for small to mid-tier rooms with average lighting conditions.

Where spaces are large and allow for more natural light, the usage of Moonshine sparingly can allow for an even more airy illusion of space. Due to its middling LRV, Moonshine is able to enhance the overall brightness of a room.

Moonshine’s muted Blue Undertones

One of the key features of Moonshine would be the subtle blue undertone that permeates the entirety of the color. As undertones are technically a side effect from paint mixing, if used correctly can actually compliment the overall design quite well.

Since Moonshine is inherently a neutral gray, the blue undertones allow it to give off a pleasant cool quality. The term ‘cool’ is generally considered to give clinical vibes off a space, however Moonshine possesses a gentle soft touch of blue.

Whether you’re aiming for a neo-classical look or a modern chic end product, the blue undertones of Moonshine can help bring your space together due to transitional color nature.

How to use Moonshine with Natural Lighting?

Before we deep dive into how we can use Moonshine in a variety of spaces, there is one more important factor to consider, which is natural lighting.

While ambient lighting also has a massive role to play in bringing spaces come to life, natural light is one that as designers and homeowner, we have no control over. So why fight it, when we can use it to our advantage!

Can we use Moonshine on Exterior Facades?

It is also important to note however, that Moonshine is not recommended on the exteriors of homes.

Experts such as Kylie from Kylie M Interiors have noted that due to the balanced reflective value of the paint, on outer surfaces where natural light shines the brightest, the color gives off a washed out look which effectively defeats the purpose.

North Facing Rooms

• Light Temperature: Cool
• Light Color: Bluish
• Time: All day

If your room receives north-facing sunlight, you can expect a cool, blue-toned influence on Moonshine. While it won’t turn the color into a true blue, these subtle blue undertones will be more pronounced, adding depth and character to your space

South Facing Rooms

• Light Temperature: Warm
• Light Color: Yellow-Orange
• Time: All Day

Rooms bathed in south-facing sunlight enjoy consistently bright, warm illumination. Moonshine responds well to this light, showcasing its adaptability to both warm and cool tones.

Bright sunlight intensifies colors, making darker shades appear brighter and softer colors gleam

East Facing Rooms

• Light Temperature: Warm
• Light Color: Yellow
• Time: Before Noon

East-facing rooms benefit from the brightest morning light, casting a warm, yellow-orange tone. This light is ideal for spaces where you’ll primarily be active during the morning and early afternoon.

Moonshine in east-facing rooms may shift from its gray side in the morning to its cooler blue side later in the day.

West Facing Rooms

• Light Temperature: Warm
• Light Color: Red-Orange
• Time: Afternoon

Conversely, west-facing rooms receive cool and passive light in the morning but transform into warm, red-orange tones in the evening. Moonshine in west-facing rooms may appear gray-blue in the morning and shift towards neutral gray in the afternoon.

Understanding how lighting influences Moonshine’s appearance empowers you to make the most of its chameleon-like qualities, adapting it to your space’s unique lighting conditions and desired ambiance.

Complimentary Colors for Moonshine

While considering Moonshine as either your main or accent color for your walls, it is also important to note that complimentary colors must be chosen side by side as well.

Here are two lists, one from the official company to help guide you, while the other being a collection from a variety of industry leaders and their opinions on color selection!

The Official Companion Color List (by Benjamin Moore)

Official Companion Color List

• Distant Gray (OC-68)
• Cloud Cover (OC-25)
• Winter White (2140-70)
• Caldwell Green (HC-124)

The Selective List (by a variety of Industry Experts)

The Selective List

• Decorator’s White (Benjamin Moore | CC-20)
• Aegean Teal (Benjamin Moore | 2136-40)
• Water’s Edge (Benjamin Moore | HC-145)
• Pigeon (Farrow and Ball | No.25)
• Light Pewter (Benjamin Moore | TH-260)
• First Light (Benjamin Moore | 2120-70)
• Arctic Shadows (Benjamin Moore | 1559)
• Silver Drop (Behr | 790C-2)
• Shoreline (Benjamin Moore | 1471)
• Super White (Benjamin Moore | OC-152)
• Misted Green (Benjamin Moore | 2138-50)
• Hale Navy (Benjamin Moore | HC -154)
• Repose Gray (Sherwin Williams | SW 7015)
• Calm (Benjamin Moore | OC-22)
• Desert Twilight (Benjamin Moore | 2137-40)
• Onondaga Clay (Benjamin Moore | 1204)

Color Comparisons

Moonshine VS Gray Owl

Moonshine VS Gray Owl

Gray Owl (2137-60) is often mistaken for Moonshine. While residing in the same off-white charts much like Moonshine, it is a light gray color also hosting a cool muted outlook.

With an LRV of 64.51, this color sits very close to Moonshine and can be used as a great transitionary paint where Moonshine is used as a feature!

Moonshine VS Stonington Gray

Moonshine VS Stonington Gray

Stonington Gray (HC-170) is one of the bestselling colors by Benjamin Moore. It is classified as a silvery gray paint color with tones that are almost neutral. With an LRV of 59.36, it sits quite closely to Moonshine and with the right lighting, can be considered almost identical.

The major difference between the two would be the reduced blue and green undertones in Stonington Gray, shifting it towards more white than gray.

Moonshine VS Cloud Cover

Moonshine VS Cloud Cover

Cloud Cover (OC-25) is a neutral color that falls in the same charts as Moonshine. With a whopping LRV of 80.28, it has a brighter color transference while having majorly the same color palette.

Due to this, it comes off as more white than gray while also having a touch of gray-blue.

Moonshine VS White Wisp

Moonshine VS White Wisp

White Wisp (2137-70), is classified as a gentle white paint color with cool undertones within. Due to it having similar HEX values to Moonshine, it’s higher LRV of 78.4, portrays it as a much brighter paint color. It is recommended by some to be used for trim moldings for Moonshine painted walls.

Best Alternatives to Moonshine

Best Alternatives to Moonshine

Paper White (OC-55)

If you’re opting for a color that has the qualities of moonshine but leans more towards white, Paper White by Benjamin Moore might be the best bet for you!

Much like Moonshine, it too has slight blue-gray undertones hidden under sheen of white. With an LRV of 74.51, this color brightens up spaces immediately.

Silver Satin (OC-26)

Another color from Benjamin Moore’s off-white collection would be Silver Satin. If you prefer the gray tones of Moonshine but with a warmer undertone within, Silver Satin would perhaps be a paint to sample.

With a clean and refreshing outlook, Silver Satin’s lavender-gray tones and an LRV of 74.9 make it a great choice for those who seek a clean slate.

Moonshine in a Variety of Spaces

Here comes the exciting part where we talk about where to effectively use Moonshine in a multitude of spaces. It is purely upto you as to how you want to use it.

Due to the versatility which it offers, Benjamin Moore’s Moonshine can be used as the main feature display, transitionary color or even as muted backdrops for exciting décor items.

Using Moonshine in Bathrooms

Using Moonshine in Bathrooms
Credit: @lindsayconnelldesign

Bathrooms are an arduous affair for most designers and homeowners. While you wish to have them easy to maintain, it also serves as the area where you would strive for either a spa like atmosphere or one that reflects your personality.

Where marble becomes a center piece for the bathroom, Moonshine can serve as the humble backdrop.

The muted tones of blue and green can shift either way dependent on lighting and furnishing choice, providing it to be a great choice for those who appreciate a touch of calm without excessive pigmentation.

Using Moonshine in Living Rooms

Moonshine in Living Rooms
Credit: @estrello_renovations

Living rooms are where design styles come into play. As these spaces function purely as those with the most foot traffic for homeowners and guests, Moonshine allows the adaptation from traditional to modern and most of what comes in between.

Moonshine in Spaces with Plants

Moonshine in Spaces with Plants
Credit: @bellecii

A space full of plants perhaps? Neutral grays and whites essentially help to mirror the space, but Moonshine helps to elevate the entirety of your focused selection.

The interaction of light and the plants transitions Moonshine to lean into its green undertones.

Moonshine in Eclectic Spaces

Got a lot of fancy décor items? Eclectic spaces emphasize Moonshine’s role as a neutral backdrop. Its usage allows the space to feel airier and spacious, where the décor items become the interest point for the users.

Moonshine in Small Rooms

Moonshine in Small Rooms
Credit: @simply_toniann

If you have a small apartment or generally prefer smaller spaces (because let’s be honest, the housing crisis is real), as mentioned before, dependent on lighting, warmth can be brought into the space while simultaneously making it feel larger than it truly is.

It is truly a marvel how adaptable the paint color is to a variety of spaces.

Using Moonshine in Hallways

Recessed lighting or pendant lighting is the norm these days for hallway décor. Since Moonshine is essentially a neutral gray color, its true appearance is allowed to shine through in areas where décor is less widely used.

Dependent on your lighting, you can essentially create a warm or cool atmosphere in your hallway with Moonshine as your general color palette.

Using Moonshine with Hard-Wood Flooring

Using Moonshine with Hard Wood Flooring
Credit: @worthyventures

Moonshine allows to bridge the gap between the white and warm wooden tones. It complements the wooden elements and allows them to become the focus.

Matching Molding Colors

Credit: @artfulwarehouse

Where moldings and their colors are to be selected, it has been noted that bright white (Simply White OC-117) moldings with simplistic designs compliment Benjamin Moore’s Moonshine.

Where wooden floorings are a must have, due to the muted undertone nature of the color, the heavy warmth of wood is subdued slightly with the bluish hues of the paint color.

Moonshine with Marble

Experts such as The Paint People have also noted in their reviews that while Moonshine helps to ground colors across the spaces it has been used, it also emboldens natural elements significantly.

In areas where slabs of marble have been used, the veiny textured marble against the backdrop of Moonshine work elegantly together.

Overall Theme Outlook with Moonshine

We could dive further into Moonshine and how versatile it is in accordance to how you use it in a variety of spaces, but it must be noted that it’s not a miracle paint color.

An apt way of describing Moonshine would be that it is a design tool. While yes, it is a paint with a well-balanced LRV and wonderful sheen on its own without the application of other materials on top, it can’t solve all your problems.

Without assessing your artificial lighting, sun-facing or generally an unresolved design ideology, Moonshine would essentially end up as just another gray color.

Consult an Expert

If you’re able to understand how greys truly work, and further use the traits of Moonshine, that is where the magic happens. If you’re unsure how to progress, consult a professional painter or an interior designer.

The valuable insight they could provide along with other recommendations can truly make your space more than you deem it to be.

Ending Note

Benjamin Moore Moonshine OC-56 at the end of the day, is just a gray paint color with muted blue undertones. How you use it, will ultimately define the spaces you create, whether they be inviting, sophisticated or ever-changeable.

As paint colors go, it has the ability to bring your visions of classical or modernist themes to life, serving to be more than just a backdrop to your home interiors.

If used correctly, Moonshine can bring about a certain elegance to your home, ultimately making it a reflection of your style and soft sophistication. It is one of our favorite go-to colors and we hope it becomes yours as well!

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