Our Review of Pale Oak by Benjamin Moore

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Pale Oak by Benjamin Moore is rapidly becoming one of our favorite neutral exterior paint colors. This elegant hue lends itself to a number of different design styles. Its flexibility is probably what makes it one of Benjamin Moore’s top paint colors! Pale Oak is a taupe/greige shade with a warm tone that makes for an inviting exterior paint color. Read on to find out more about Pale Oak’s technical specs, best applications, color pairings, and similar paint colors to consider for your home.

There are plenty of design elements to consider when overhauling your home’s exterior. Choosing which color to paint your home is one of the biggest, and sometimes most difficult, choices to make. At brick&batten, our expert designers can work with you to make that process easy and painless!

grayish white stucco home with wooden columns

Pale Oak: The Specs

Pale Oak by Benjamin Moore is a versatile neutral. It is a light greige color with warm undertones, reminiscent of white oak. Its subdued tone can pass for gray, taupe, or off-white depending on the colors you pair it with. With an LRV of 69.89, Pale Oak falls near the lighter end of the spectrum. (Learn more about LRV here.)

traditional white brick home with tall peaks

Applications for Pale Oak

Pale Oak by Benjamin Moore looks incredible on any style of home. Neutral colors are universal, and we often recommend them to our clients. This classic shade works well on everything from traditional to modern to Spanish Mediterranean homes. Pale Oak is also a great paint color for all sorts of surfaces, including brick, stucco, and siding. We also recommend this color for trim or on other detailed elements, such as windows or columns.

ranch home with grayish white siding and dark navy garage

Pale Oak Paint Color Pairings

The quiet tone of Benjamin Moore’s Pale Oak makes it a perfect pairing for darker shades. One of our favorite dark colors to use with Pale Oak is Benjamin Moore’s Hale Navy. These two colors both serve as striking main paint choices or work well as accents, respectively. Since Pale Oak is such a light shade, it works best with dark colors.

dark gray home with columns and light gray trim

While we love the deep navy to bring in contrast, Pale Oak also looks incredible paired with charcoal or black. Our designers have paired it with Onyx, Graphite, and Deep River (pictured on the siding above with Pale Oak trim), all by Benjamin Moore. These shades create a striking contrast against the warmth of Pale Oak’s light hue.

large greige brick home with dark trim

Pros and Cons of Pale Oak


  • Its warm undertones make it a more flexible neutral that can pair well with a variety of colors and textures.
  • It’s one of the most popular Benjamin Moore colors, so you know other people love it!
  • It is an on-trend shade and timeless all at the same time, promising some longevity.


  • Like most light colors, Pale Oak might show dirt more easily than some darker shades, but it’s nothing a little washing won’t take care of.
  • Depending on your home’s setting, Pale Oak can show some tricky pink/purple undertones. This is why we always recommend testing paint colors on your home’s exterior!
We always recommend sampling and testing paint colors before committing. Factors such as natural lighting, undertones, and your property’s fixed elements will have a significant impact on how a color will appear on your exterior. Our friends at Samplize offer extra-large 9 x 14.75 inch peel-and-stick paint samples of the colors we love for exteriors. Order your ‘Real Paint, No Mess’ samples from Samplize here.

Alternatives to Pale Oak

If a neutral exterior paint color is what you’re after but you’re not sure Pale Oak is the right choice for you, you’re in luck. There are plenty of similar neutral options that our designers love.

light gray Spanish Mediterranean home with balcony

Light Pewter by Benjamin Moore

With an LRV of 68.39, Benjamin Moore’s Light Pewter is just slightly darker than Pale Oak, and it appears just a little bit more gray. Like Pale Oak, it pairs best with darker tones, especially charcoal. This pairing makes a subdued yet striking statement on the Spanish Mediterranean home shown above.


large white modern farmhouse

Simple White by Sherwin Williams

Sherwin Williams’ Simple White is versatile and a good alternative for 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 and all exterior textures. Not only does Simple White pair with dark colors like navy and darker grays, it also works with wooden accents. Simple White enhances all of the building materials on the exterior of the farmhouse pictured above. With the charcoal trim and subtle wooden accents, this home’s design gives off a modern farmhouse vibe.


large traditional home with cultured stone and greige stucco

Balboa Mist by Benjamin Moore

Part of Benjamin Moore’s off-white collection, Balboa Mist is an excellent alternative to Pale Oak. Its warm tone is versatile and sophisticated. Balboa Mist meshes with a variety of textures and colors. In the photo above, our designers combined the off-white paint with cultured stone, gray trim, and black shutters, demonstrating the color’s dynamism.


Seapearl by Benjamin Moore

We love Benjamin Moore’s Seapearl so much that we chose it as our paint color of the year for 2021. Seapearl is lighter than Pale Oak, but works well in all of the same ways. Because Seapearl is more white than Pale Oak, it pairs more easily with lighter accent shades, like light gray, while still drawing in contrast. Our designers implement Seapearl regularly as both a main exterior paint color and for accents like trim. (Want more warm white color ideas? Here are six of our favorites.)

The Bottom Line on Pale Oak

Neutral paint colors allow us to take creative liberties. Pale Oak is one of the most versatile gray-white tones that can translate across any texture or design style. We haven’t used it as often as some of the other light gray and off-white paint options on the market, but we’re finding ourselves turning to it more and more for virtual exterior designs.

Painting the exterior of your home is a huge step. Don’t take that plunge before you feel comfortable! At brick&batten, our virtual design services allow you to visualize the redesign of your home’s exterior before taking the leap. Fill out our quick and easy questionnaire to get started today!