Benjamin Moore Pale Oak: Where & How to Use


By Robert

Are you looking for the perfect light-neutral paint color for your home? Let’s talk about Benjamin Moore Pale Oak – undertones, equivalent colors, coordinating colors, and trim colors – and if it might be right for your home!

Pale Oak by Benjamin Moore is a popular neutral that is very versatile. This paint color can dramatically change depending upon the lighting.

In a space with a lot of natural light it looks off white with a hint of grey. However, in a space with very little light, it comes off as a light warm greige, says Nathalie LeBlanc founder of Nat Interiors.

What Color Benjamin Moore Pale Oak is?

Pale Oak Benjamin Moore

If you’ve been checking out design blogs, or scrolling Instagram, for your home paint color inspiration, definitely you’ve come across greige, that trendy blend of grey and beige. Most greige colors are smack in the middle when it comes to light and dark.

If you’re interested in trying this color, but you really prefer a light room, or you don’t want to commit too strongly to the greige tones, then Pale Oak just might be the color for you. Let’s dig a little deeper into this paint color details and see what Pale Oak is all about.

Benjamin Moore Pale Oak Undertones

Pale Oak has a light, warm and inviting feel. In rooms with bright, south-facing windows and a lot of natural light, the color will be more washed out. Pale Oak will appear more like a creamy off white paint color with soft yellowish-brown undertones, that’s why it can be used to create a tranquil and inviting space.

Pale Oak has a subtle wood grain pattern, which adds texture and depth to a room and gives Pale Oak some of the warmth and coziness associated with traditional yellow-toned woods like oak and pine. This makes Pale Oak a popular choice for interior accents and accessories, as well as larger pieces of furniture, like cabinets.

On the other hand, in north-facing rooms without much natural light Pale Oak will appear darker and more grey (due to lack of warm, yellowed light coming in). This can lead to pink or even purple undertones in darker rooms.

LRV of Pale Oak, Benjamin Moore

LRV stands for the “Light Reflectance Value.” The way LRV works is that paint is given a numerical value (between 0 and 100) based on how light or how dark it appears. The higher the number, the more light that color reflects and the brighter it appears, and vice versa.

Knowing a paint’s LRV is very helpful when choosing paint colors because you want to find an LRV range that works for your room and stay within that range to make coordinating colors easier.

The LRV of BM Pale Oak = 69.89

Sitting at nearly 70 on the LRV scale, Benjamin Moore Pale Oak is in the light range. It’s light enough to wash out in lots of natural light, but it has enough saturation to contrast with white paint in the proper light exposure.

Is Pale Oak a Good Whole House Color?

Pale Oak is a great color choice to paint the whole house. It is a light neutral hue that can bring warmth and softness to any interior space. Paired with simple and traditional elements, Pale Oak can give a room a timeless and modern aesthetic.

It is a popular and much-appreciated color due its subtle nature, as it is understated enough to be used in multiple rooms and without making the overall look overwhelming.
In addition, this color is great for making smaller spaces look bigger, such as entryways, hallways, guest rooms, or bathrooms.

Greiges like Pale Oak are valued as neutrals that are great for staging homes, or incorporating into popular styles such as farmhouse, Japandi, minimalist, and Scandinavian styles. Pale Oak is an unobtrusive color that is going to let your design choices shine.

Real Life Homes Using Pale Oak Benjamin Moore


Pale Oak Benjamin Moore Exterior
Credit: @dreamersofdreams

Pale Oak by Benjamin Moore is a great option for your home exterior and it looks incredible on any style of home- from traditional to modern to Spanish Mediterranean homes.
Another great aspect of Pale Oak is, it is a great paint color for all sorts of surfaces, including brick, stucco, and siding.

Tip: You can pair it with dark colors like Benjamin Moore’s Hale Navy. These two colors both serve as striking main paint choices or work well as accents, respectively.


Pale Oak Benjamin Moore Bedroom
Credit: @ourcozycolonialct

If you’re not fond of a dark and moody look in the bedroom, Benjamin Moore Pale Oak might be your perfect match. It gives off a bright and airy vibe that works well with styles that are towards California cool, warm minimalist, and more.

Plus, it looks great with a wide variety of flooring options, whether you have carpeting or natural wood planks.

Dining Room

Pale Oak Benjamin Moore Dining Room
Credit: @higginspired

Traditionally, dining rooms feature more molding than other interiors. That gives you an opportunity to create soft contrast, with beige-leaning Benjamin Moore Pale Oak walls and bright white trim.

Not to mention Benjamin Moore Pale Oak helps set the tone for warmth and relaxation—ideal for when you’re hosting a company, or just having dinner with your family.

Kitchen Cabinets

Pale Oak Benjamin-Moore Dining Room
Credit: @atozinteriorsllc

Although the BM Pale Oak cabinets can be used for different decors and styles, they will match very well with some specific paint colors.

It is an accommodating and inviting color that will go well with stark whites, greens, creams, mid-tone grays, dark grays, dark reds, browns, blacks, and blues.


Pale Oak Benjamin Moore Bathroom
Credit: @phetsamone67

Benjamin Moore Pale Oak is neutral enough that it can pair with just about any finish in a bathroom . This paint color works well in both small and large spaces, but it can look especially welcoming in a half bath or powder room.

With this hue, make the space more serene and aesthetically pleasant by mindful selection of bathroom faucets, lighting fixtures and decor.

How Different Types of Lighting Affect Benjamin Moore Pale Oak?

In both light and darker rooms, Pale Oak is a beautiful, bright neutral color that tends to take a backseat in favor of letting the nearby decor stand out.

However, it can be a bit of a shape-shifter, so here’s a general idea of how lighting exposure can impact how Pale Oak will appear in your home.

North-facing light

northern light is cool and grey-ish, which will tone down the warmth of this shade and draw out the grey base. It will often read soft, warm neutral greige in this light.

South-facing light

warm light from the south will draw out the warm undertones. Depending on how much exposure you have, you may see Pale Oak exhibit a hint of pink/purple.

East-facing light

an east-facing room has warm light in the morning and shadowy afternoon light. Pale Oak will shift with the shifting light, appearing warmer in the morning and more neutral in the afternoon.

West-facing light

west-facing light is passive in the morning but warm in the afternoon. Pale Oak will display a similar shift in its appearance (in the opposite order). The warm, red-tinted light of the afternoon sun will draw out those pink undertones the most.

Coordinating Colors for Benjamin Moore Pale Oak

Coordinating Colors for Benjamin Moore Pale Oak

 Rather than a monochrome color scheme, Pale Oak looks best as part of a contrasting color scheme. In most cases, you’ll likely be selecting darker contrast colors for Pale Oak. This neutral can go with any color you like, so the possibilities are pretty wide open.

Since Pale Oak is a warm greige, it will look amazing with warm dark neutrals, deep blues, warm whites, charcoal grey and dark reds.

On the flip side, Pale Oak is light, but it will still give contrast to a white that’s bright enough. Look for clean whites that have a higher LRV than Pale Oak does to get the best contrast. Light silvery greys are also a good option.

Here are some coordinating color ideas for Pale Oak to help inspire you:

  • Newburg Green by Benjamin Moore
  • White Heron by Benjamin Moore
  • Simply White by Benjamin Moore
  • Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore
  • Chelsea Gray by Benjamin Moore
  • Kendall Charcoal by Benjamin Moore
  • Hale Navy by Benjamin Moore

Trim Colors for Benjamin Moore Pale Oak

When choosing trim color to pair with Benjamin Moore Pale Oak, it is important to keep in mind that the trim color should not overpower the walls.

Neutrals like creamy whites, light greys and tans are a great option, as they will create balance throughout the space without competing with the soft, subtle hue of the Pale Oak.

You can combine Pale Oak with colors of warm Tones like:

Warm Tons for Pale Oak


Cooler tones, like:

Cooler Tones For Pale Oak

Equivalent Colors for Benjamin Moore Pale Oak

Comparing colors is always helpful since you get the idea of the true undertones of a paint color. After all, that’s how we know how a paint color is lighter/darker or warmer/cooler than the others.

Let’s compare Pale Oak to other popular greiges so we can see for ourselves how those undertones come into play.

Benjamin Moore Pale Oak vs Classic Grey

Pale Oak vs Classic Gray

 The main difference between these two colors is their LRV, Pale Oak 69.89 and Classic Grey 74.78. This 5 %difference in light reflectance value is quite noticeable that you can visibly see it.

If we compare the undertones of both colors, Pale Oak has tint and colorant in it which means its undertones are more prominent with beige warmth, which makes it capable of working well in different types of environments.

Whereas Classic Grey, extremely subtle in comparison- is not as deep and more passive, canvas-like color.

Benjamin Moore Pale Oak vs Edgecomb Grey

Pale Oak vs Edgecomb Gray

The LRV of Pale Oak is 69.89 slightly higher then  LRV of Edgecomb Gray which is 63.88, meaning tad lower than Pale Oak, making Edgecomb a bit darker than Pale Oak.

Edgecomb Gray has a bit more yellow – and more vibrancy to it while Pale Oak is more muted and subdued and almost looks blue toned next to Edgecomb gray.

Pale Oak has been said to go a little lavender in cool, north facing light. Additionally, Edgecomb Gray has more Gray to it, while Pale Oak is definitely creamier and more beige.

Benjamin Moore Pale Oak vs Balboa Mist

Pale Oak vs Balboa Mist

These two colors are very similar and belong in the taupe family, thanks to their pink/purple undertones, which helps to distinguish between them.

Choosing between Pale Oak and Balboa Mist ultimately depends on your specific needs and preferences. If you’re looking for a warm, creamy beige with subtle hints of green and grey, Pale Oak is a great option.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a cooler, more muted shade of beige with hints of blue and grey, Balboa Mist is the way to go.

Benjamin Moore Pale Oak vs Collingwood

Pale Oak vs Collingwood

Collingwood is a beautiful gray. Unlike Pale Oak which can read anywhere from off-white to greige, depending on the lighting, Collingwood reads as a soft, light gray in all light levels.

Similar to Pale Oak, Collingwood has the slightest of purple undertones, but it’s really just enough to make Collingwood a nice warm gray and keep it from reading blue or green.

Benjamin Moore Pale Oak vs Fog Mist

Pale Oak vs Fog Mist

These two colors have the same taupe undertones and are almost identical, with a slight difference in LRV. If you want a color with more warmth, Fog Mist is a color to go.

Benjamin Moore Pale Oak vs Agreeable Gray

Agreeable Gray and Pale Oak are both light, bright, and warm toned neutral paint colors. Agreeable Gray is quite a bit darker than Pale Oak and has more pink undertones, while Pale Oak is lighter and more yellow.

What Is the Sherwin Williams Equivalent to Pale Oak?

Sherwin Williams’ Simple White is a good alternative for Benjamin Moore Pale Oak. Simple White has an LRV of 70, so it’s a little closer to white than Pale Oak.

This light neutral is an incredible option for on-trend monochromatic updates. Not only does Simple White pair with dark colors like navy and darker greys, it also works with wooden accents.

Benjamin Moore Pale Oak : Takeaway

For a gentle neutral that offers a hint of color, Pale Oak is the ticket. This light greige goes with anything, and promotes a relaxed, natural atmosphere that’s suitable for many interior design styles.

Pale Oak can contrast with pure whites, but its strongest talent is allowing other colors and decor choices to shine. With these thoughts in mind, Pale Oak can be the color that ties your space together.

I hope this paint review will help you visualize how a color may look on your walls – and the overall process of narrowing down and choosing paint color – easier.


Is Benjamin Moore Pale Oak Warm or Cool?

Pale Oak is a very neutral paint color, with hints of both warm and cool tones. However, due to the prevailing golden yellow undertones, it is considered a warm toned paint color

Does Benjamin Moore Pale Oak Look Pink?

Pale Oak can also have slightly pink undertones in low-lit north facing rooms (or rooms with the overhead lights on at night). Always test swatches and look at them day and night!

Is Benjamin Moore Pale Oak a Popular Color?

Yes – this color is very popular! It is a creamy off white with a hint of grey to it – making it super versatile and universally appealing!

What is the Sherwin Williams equivalent of Pale Oak?

Since each paint color recipe is unique, there are no direct color equivalents between brands. However, if you’re searching for a Sherwin Williams off-white that leans greige and has slight pink/purple undertones, we would recommend Egret White.

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