I receive so many questions about Benjamin Moore Gray Owl that I thought I would go ahead and do a Color Spotlight on the color to talk through the differences between Gray Owl, Sherwin Williams Repose Gray, Benjamin Moore Stonington and Benjamin Moore Classic Gray because there are some significant differences.
Benjamin Moore Gray Owl
Gray Owl has been one of Benjamin Moore’s bestselling paint colors for about 4-5 years now and it’s no surprise because it is a gorgeous and very versatile light warm gray.
Gray Owl has just the right balance of warm/cool undertones that makes it such a dependable color. However, with all light warm grays, the more natural light in a space, the cooler the color will go. I personally think that Gray Owl works best in spaces with either some natural light or very little natural light. In spaces flooded with natural light, the color CAN go cool gray or even blue tone like so many of the light warm grays. The exception is in spaces with an abundance of natural light that is receiving direct West facing sunshine. Gray Owl looks AMAZING is this situation!
It’s very important for me to mention that when it comes to light warm grays, I do not recommend color matching but rather buy the brand of paint of the color you want. I have been seeing some significant differences in color when it comes to the light warm grays when this is done. Sherwin Williams, Benjamin Moore and Behr all have different shades of white bases prior to the color being mixed. Any slight change in base color can dramatically impact these light warm greige colors.
via Heydt Designs
Gray Owl is (in the right lighting) can be one of the prettiest wall colors out there and it can be the perfect foundation for other beautiful design elements and colors in a space.
This bathroom below is the perfect example of when I think Gray Owl looks its best! Notice that the space has a mix of some natural light and some artificial light. To me, this mix is the best situation for Gray Owl.
While Gray Owl is one of my favorite colors, it is a very finicky color and it must be sampled in the space and lighting to be sure all the stars align.
I receive questions all of the time about the differences between Benjamin Moore Gray Owl, Sherwin Williams Repose Gray, Benjamin Moore Stonington and Benjamin Moore Classic Gray and let’s talk about these ever so slight differences.
When you look at the colors above via computer, the differences are not slight but rather pretty significant. However, on a wall, the differences are so subtle but in certain lighting conditions, the differences can be huge!
Sherwin Williams Repose Gray
Gray Owl is ever so slightly lighter than Repose Gray and Repose has just a tad more warmth than Gray Owl. However, these two colors are nearly identical on the wall. Repose Gray is the number one color I recommend for my clients because it’s not as finicky as Gray Owl because Repose has a tad more warmth. BTW, you can read more about Sherwin Williams Repose Gray here.
Here’s Repose Gray below in a space:
Notice above in my client’s dining room that the space has a lot of natural light flooding in. Notice how Repose stays warm in this situation. Gray Owl would more than likely go a tad cooler in this space with this much light.
Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray
As you look above at the color swatches, Stonington Gray looks like it’s a completely different color, right?! On the wall, the differences between Stonington and Gray Owl are very subtle. BUT!! As you can see above, Stonington has more cool gray in the color, which can go very cool in spaces with a lot of natural light. In spaces with a mix or some natural light/artificial light (or west facing direct sun), Stonington can be stunning and sometimes hard to tell the difference between Stonington and Gray Owl. Stonington is also a tad darker in shade.
Benjamin Moore Classic Gray
Benjamin Moore Classic Gray is lighter than the other three colors and is the color I recommend in spaces with an abundance of full natural light when the other three colors could go cool/sterile.
This space below designed by Studio McGee is full natural light and notice how Benjamin Moore Classic Gray is still a beautiful mix of warm/cool light warm gray. Classic gray may not be the best color choice in spaces with no natural light but it’s the perfect alternative to Gray Owl, Repose and Stonington when there is full, full natural light flooding in.
via Studio McGee
I very rarely use Classic Gray but when I do, it’s this exact lighting situation above with an abundance of natural light. Gray Owl, Repose and especially Stonington would go too cool/sterile and maybe even light blue in this light.
So the moral of the story is lighting can dramatically impact this light warm grays significantly! It’s so important to sample the color first in the space just to be sure.
Well… I hope I explained the differences that make sense. Please let me know if I did not or if you have any questions!
By the way, if you’re interested in my “Go-To” colors that I recommend to my clients, you can get to that post by clicking the image below.
Thanks for stopping by today!