Pale Oak by Benjamin Moore is a soft neutral greige paint that can work beautifully in a variety of spaces and lighting situations. It’s a warm, balanced color that reads as an off-white in some rooms and a true greige in others.

No matter where you’re thinking of adding this color, Pale Oak is a delightfully neutral color that adds warmth and charm to any space of your home.

A nightstand in a cream bedroom, painted in Pale Oak Benjamin Moore paint color.
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I love chatting my favorite paint colors with you! It’s one of the things that I know so many of my readers really enjoy, too. Don’t miss my favorite Warm Whites and Greige Paint Colors!

That’s because, let’s face it: paint can be stressful. A room transformation with paint doesn’t come together without some thoughtful prepping and planning! No matter what color you’re searching for, there are too many options and so many decisions to be made.

I love to take the guesswork out of this process for you. That’s why I’ve written in detail about many of our favorite paint colors in the past. Don’t miss the best cream paint colors, our favorite neutral paint colors, and even The Best Paint for Furniture.

A graphic featuring Pale Oak paint

In our primary bedroom, we recently used Pal Oak to paint our new nightstands. I was hoping to add the slightest hint of contrast from our walls and bedding. Learn about Nightstand Decorating here!

I wanted a soft mushroom color that would stand out just a touch from the Soft Chamois paint color on the walls, and this paint color is perfect. So today, I’m sharing Benjamin Moore Pale Oak with you!

A nightstand in a cream bedroom, painted in Pale Oak Benjamin Moore paint color.

Benjamin Moore Pale Oak Details

Pale Oak by Benjamin Moore (# OC-20) is a soft, light, neutral greige tone. In natural lighting, it tends to read as an off-white color. Much like Sherwin Williams Accessible Beige, the accent colors and lighting in your room make a world of difference!

In rooms with less natural lighting, BM Pale Oak reads as a very soft greige tone. To get the biggest impact between color and trim, paint your trim a true, clear white; this shows the difference between the greige of pale Oak next to a real white tone.

This color is so beautiful and warm, especially in North-facing light. It’s a true chameleon that leans on the lighting in your home!

To help you decide which paint color is right for you, I’m breaking them down with pros and cons of each, where they’re best used, etc.

A nightstand in a cream bedroom, painted in Benjamin Moore Pale Oak paint color.

Why You’ll Love Benjamin Moore OC-20

  • Perfect neutral if you’re wanting to avoid white or gray
  • Soft, but not white
  • Flexible, chameleon color
  • Works on trim, walls and exterior
  • Beautiful with white oak floors, and even carpeting

Works Well For

  • Furniture
  • Interior Walls
  • Trim
  • Cabinets
  • Exterior

Feels

  • day – warm, often more of an off-white or a true greige
  • evening – a touch more gray tones show up under LED light bulbs
close up of a nightstand painted in pale oak benjamin moore.

Undertones

  • very slight purple
  • very slight pink

Light Reflective Value (LRV)

Pale Oak has an LRV of just under 70 (69.89).

To clarify, LRV (Light Reflectance Value) measures the percentage of light that is reflected from a surface. It’s commonly used by design professionals and helps to show the light and bright level of a color.

The higher the number, the more light that paint color reflects. So the more “white” a paint color is, the higher the number.

For reference, Accessible Beige is a 58, and Realist Beige is a 59. So as you can see, Pale Oak is a bit lighter than both of these other great beige tones!

A nightstand in a cream bedroom, painted in Benjamin Moore Pale Oak paint color.

Styles it Fits

  • traditional
  • country
  • modern
  • transitional

Pairs Well With

  • Shades of blue like Hale Navy
  • True whites
  • A variety of greens
  • Darker greige tones

Trim and Ceiling Paint to Pair it With

Un-tinted white, Benjamin Moore White Dove, Sherwin Williams Everyday White, or tone on tone trim (same color, just use a higher sheen for trim) or a hint of a soft cream.

How does a monochromatic paint scheme like that work? Well, you paint the walls in eggshell, and use semi-gloss for the trim in the same color. It looks and feels rich! You can learn more about trim paint here.

A nightstand in a cream bedroom, painted in Pale Oak Benjamin Moore paint color.

Similar to

Accessible Beige and Sherwin Williams Realist Beige. Also see Agreeable Beige and Edgecomb Gray for more greige options.

Benjamin Moore Pale Oak Exterior

This color would be beautiful on an exterior, just like this white brick house. Pair with a darker taupe or gray for more of a contrast.

Tips

  • Always start with a paint sample and look at it at several times of day, in different lighting.
  • Try it on two walls in the same room or different sides of your exterior.
  • Test it with your trim or accent color.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Pale Oak warm or cool?

Pale Oak is a light gray/beige color (greige) that reads quite warm and soft in most natural lighting situations. However, at night it can look just a little more gray than beige, depending on your light bulb choices!

Is Pale Oak lighter than Edgecomb Gray?

While the colors are very similar, Pale Oak is a little bit lighter than Edgecomb Gray. Pale Oak has an LRV of 70 and Edgecomb Gray has an LRV of 63, meaning it reflects a touch less light.

A cream bedroom with cream bed and greige nightstand

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11 Comments

  1. I am thinking of painting my family room that has North facing light Pale Oak. The adjacent hallway is painted SW Sea Salt. Was considering doing an accent wall in the family room behind my sofa with Sea Salt and all the surrounding walls Pale Oak.

    1. Hi, Mirta. In my large coastal kitchen, I painted the walla SW Sea Salt and the cabinets BM Pale Oak. They look incredible together! Everyone who comes into the home is in love with the combination. I’m interested to know what you decided to do and how it looks. I see your question was from January, but I am just now seeing it.

  2. Hi, thank you for your wisdom. I am interested in your opinion. In our Northern Michigan Summer home I plan on using
    Simply White on the walls, trim,& ceiling – kitchen cabinets different sheens. The main room faces North with 15 foot vaulted ceilings. Lots of windows. The Master a SW exposure –
    Pale Oak w/ simply white trim. It’s a flat 9 foot ceiling. The second bedroom East exposure upstairs – Pale Oak. This ceiling is all angled. I am choosing the ceiling to be simply white so it looks consistent in the main areas. The two bedrooms would obviously have contrast which gives a different feel. Thoughts? Suggestions?

  3. hi Julie. thanks for this piece on pale oak. I am painting my master bedroom(south facing with tons of natural light) and my master bath (north with less light but has a big Palladian window, so not a cave). our master bed is upholstered in a velvet similar in color to bm rock gray. our master bath has some purply coloring to it in the vanities and marble accent. I am realizing I cannot paint these rooms the same color and get the cohesive look I am after. i am debating between soft chamois and pale oak for the bedroom (a little concerned bc some on line say pale oak can be pinky/purply? ) I was thinking of eider white in the bath bc of the purple undertones. I, like you, like the light airy, clean feel. Any suggestions on how to bring these two spaces together would be appreciated?