Pale Oak OC-20 by Benjamin Moore

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Pale Oak OC-20 by Benjamin Moore

I recently used this neutral Benjamin Moore paint colour on a project, and to say I am thrilled with the results is an understatement.

I’ve also heard a lot of great feedback from those who have painted their walls in Pale Oak by Benjamin Moore. If you’ve used it, please comment below to share your experience.  Do you love it?

As with each of my colour review posts, today about Benjamin Moore’s Pale Oak I’ll be sharing:

  • The undertone of my featured colour
  • Colour comparisons in order to easily see the different colour tones
  • Best white paint colours for the trim and ceilings
  • Beautiful colour combinations to inspire you for your decorating project

After you watch the video, if you would like all this information conveniently laid out for you in one place and have even more paint colour combinations to use with Pale Oak, take a look at my new Perfect Colour Palette.

A must-have for any colour enthusiast or design professional.

Pale Oak Benjamin Moore (1)
Pale Oak Benjamin Moore Paint Guide

Watch the video of my Pale Oak Colour Review

Undertones: Taupe Greige

Pale Oak Paint Colour Blog Graphic

Colour Comparisons

Stonehearth CC-490 and Cedar Key OC-16

Pale Oak & Pale Oak & Cedar Key

With Pale Oak in the middle, you can see how it’s more of a greige and less beige when compared to the other two colours.

Best Whites to pair with Pale Oak:

White Dove OC-17

White Dove by Benjamin Moore is always one of my favourites!

Cloud White CC-40

Cloud White works wonderfully with Pale Oak

Ivory White CC-130

Ivory White is the most creamy of the three

Fabulous Colour Combinations

Healing Aloe 1562

Healing Aloe by Benjamin Moore is so soothing!

Smoky Green CC-700

Smoky Green is more intense & bluer than Healing Aloe.

Newburg Green HC-158

Newburg Green, perhaps my favourite combination with Pale Oak
White Coffee Bar Cabinet Nespresso Coffee Maker Pale Oak Benjamin Moore
Here we used Newburg Green on the floating shelves, which looks beautiful combined with Pale Oak on the walls.

The graphic below shows you all the colours together, plus Chelsea Gray HC-168, thrown into the mix. How gorgeous is this?!

Perfect Paint Palette!
Cozy Sitting Area Blue Accent Chairs Round Ottoman Pale Oak Benjamin Moore Paint 1
Click here to see more photos from this project where we used BM Pale Oak on the walls.

Convenience At Your Fingertips

All of the colour combinations shown above plus more options for you to choose from are included in my Perfect Colour Palette of Pale Oak.

Pale Oak is now part of my Benjamin Moore Whites & Neutrals Collection showcasing all 10 my Benjamin Moore white and neutral Perfect Colour Palettes.

Collections Covers Benjamin Moore (9)

My Perfect Colour Palette library is expanding with more colours to select from!

Click here to see all of them.

Pcp Mock Up 1 1

If you want to get all my Benjamin Moore colour guides in one place, look no further than my Benjamin Moore Ultimate Collection. All 20 of my Benjamin Moore guides in one handy collection.

Collections Covers Benjamin Moore (15)

Remember, it only takes one mistake to take your home decorating project from divine to disaster. Don’t let the paint be what stresses you out!

Take my Colour Quiz and discover your Perfect Colour Palette.

Colour Quiz Graphics Blog 500x750 Resized 1
(68) Comments
  • Nancy
    | 24 March 2019

    I used pale oak on all the walls of my living areas along with dove white on all the trim as well as a shiplap exposed cathedral ceiling. It is stunning. The floors are medium brown hardwood and our upholstered surfaces are blue-greens. Much like your suggestions, so thanks. I chose pale oak because my kitchen cabinets had a subtle violet undertone. I tried every greige and pale oak was clearly the best. Dove was best with the cabinets.

    • Claire Jefford
      | 24 March 2019

      Nancy this is so great to hear, thank so much for sharing. I’m thrilled to hear that everything looks so stunning!

  • Michi
    | 24 March 2019

    Thank you for putting almost all of my favourite colours together! I can’t wait to do some testing… but have to move first!

    • Claire Jefford
      | 24 March 2019

      Awesome Michi! Thanks for watching.

  • Jill Laine
    | 24 March 2019

    The Newberg Green and Chelsea Gray! Love those 2 combos the most.
    Thanks for another great video, Claire!

    • Claire Jefford
      | 24 March 2019

      Jill I am loving that combination too!! Let me know if you use them on a project, I’d love to see them together in real life -you know what I mean. LOL Cheers.

  • Janet Lorusso
    | 24 March 2019

    I love these! The Newberg green combo is delicious!

    • Claire Jefford
      | 24 March 2019

      Yes!! My new favourite colour combo I think!!

  • Laurel Bern
    | 28 March 2019

    Gorgeous palette Claire! And, also some of my favorite colors, as well. xo ~ Laurel

    • Claire Jefford
      | 11 August 2019

      Just seeing this now!! Thanks so much my friend. xx

  • Veronica White
    | 20 May 2019

    I am thrilled I found you! Moving into a new home soon (actually a hundred year old historic home that we are renovating) and picking colors can make a girl crazy! Your videos and blogs have been a Godsend. I absolutely love pale oak and am pretty much going to use it throughout the majority of my house. I was considering using Alabaster SW 7008 LRV 82 for kitchen cabinets (north facing kitchen) and all trim since it seems like a nice warm off white without being too yellow or gray. Do you think that would be a good combo? I am using Pure White SW 7005 LRV 86 for the ceilings as we really want the trim to stand out since pale oak is such a soft color. Your thoughts on this combination would be fantastic as I’ve been really stressed out.

  • Summer
    | 11 June 2019

    Oh wow! SO glad I found this. Thank you! The colour combinations are all so lovely!

    I actually recently paid for a MK colour consultation, and she suggested Simply White for our kitchen cabinets, and Frosty Carrina for our countertops. When I see the two together, I see “cream and grey” … and it makes me nervous. We have a colour board for Pale Oak and, to me, it’s a very close match to the base griege colour in Frosty Carrina. I had been wondering if White Dove was a better option for our cabinets — it looks better, to me, when I have all the colour boards laid out. So, seeing you pick out White Dove with Pale Oak was reaffirming… but the Ivory White pairing you did also looks so good, so that makes me confused again. 😛

    We already have Simply White trim in a bunch of other rooms, but would be fine with White Oak cabinets and Simply White trim (I think!). I guess the debate is: Simply White trim, Simply White cabinets, White Dove walls OR Simply White trim, White Dove cabinets, Pale Oak walls OR Simply White trim, Simply White cabinets, Pale Oak walls. Our adjoining rooms are Stone Hearth, with lots of off-white furniture. If you have any additional thoughts beyond what I’ve already gleaned from this post, that’d be so appreciated. Thanks!

    • Claire Jefford
      | 19 June 2019

      Hi Summer. I have pulled all the large paint boards as well as Frosty Carrina and in good light, the Simply White works very well. So my recommendation based on what you’ve written would be Simply White trim, Simply White Cabinets and Pale Oak Walls. Although, if you have an island, you could paint the island Pale Oak too. 🙂

    • Christine
      | 8 December 2019

      I have pale oak walls, white dove cabinets and sw extra white trim. The white dove can look white, grey or off white depending on lighting. I tried several whites before settling on white dove and I couldn’t be happier with the results. All of my living areas are pale oak which I selected to go with some wallpaper I was unprepared the strip at this time. It’s a lovely neutral that looks clean, updated and makes my open, modern house with lots of windows and high ceilings feel cozy

      • Claire Jefford
        | 9 December 2019

        This is wonderful to hear, thanks so much for sharing your experience Christine!

  • Summer
    | 20 June 2019

    Wow! I can’t believe you even pulled this together with Frosty Carrina for me. That’s so, so amazing. And the reassurance means so much right now as we try to make all these final orders.

    Thank you very, very much for your time!!!

  • Kim
    | 2 July 2019

    I have used Pale Oak on living and dining room and entryway walls in two houses and have also used it as the exterior house color. It is crisp and neither too warm nor too cool. I compared it to many Benjamin Moore whites for trim and went with Snowfall White for a crisp clean contrast. Came out perfect!

    At certain times of day in my current house, I see a slight pinkish undertone in a couple places. But not other places I have used it. Still love it as classic, not beige (dated) or gray (trendy and cold).

    • Claire Jefford
      | 4 July 2019

      Kim thank you so much for sharing your experience with Pale Oak. I have yet to use it so this is helpful to hear!

  • linda diaz
    | 18 August 2019

    i painted my bedroom wall in Pale Oak but now am torn with the trim/wainscotting color. I love F&B white tie but I can’t tell if it goes well with pale oak. Dove white is my second choice as it’s often recommended to use with pale oak walls. What do you think?

    • Claire Jefford
      | 19 August 2019

      Hi Linda. I prefer the White Dove as it is still creamy, but much less yellow than White Tie by Farrow and Ball. Let us know what you decide!

  • Jodi Gauthier
    | 30 October 2019

    I am looking to paint Pale Oak through my whole house with the exception of the lower part of my walls in my dining room. I’m looking for a great blueish gray for that. Can you suggest a good mix?

    • Claire Jefford
      | 31 October 2019

      Hi Jodi. Did you take a look at my new Essential Colour Guides? They include 10 paint colours that will work with each featured colour and Pale Oak is one that we have a guide for. Here is a link to the shop page to learn more. –>

  • Jodi Gauthier
    | 4 November 2019

    Thank you so much!!!

    • Claire Jefford
      | 4 November 2019

      Happy to help!

  • Connie Curran
    | 24 November 2019


    I’m planning to use BM Pale Oak on the walls throughout my 1700 sq. ft. remodel. The kitchen is an open concept which includes a dinning and a living area. My cabinets will be BM Dove Wing. I love BM White Dove as a trim color per your suggestion. What ceiling color would you recommend? I also have two tray ceilings in this area. Any suggestions?


    • Claire Jefford
      | 9 December 2019

      Hi Connie. Thanks for reading. I would not introduce another White Colour, but rather look at White Dove as your first option to match the trim. Remember, as you will have different finishes for each application, the colour will look slightly different anyway. Hope that helps!

  • Connie
    | 26 November 2019

    I would like to paint my walls through my renovation with Pale Oak. My cabinets will be Dove Wing. I love White Dove but I’m not sure if I should use that color on the ceilings or the trim. Any suggestions, please!

    • Claire Jefford
      | 23 December 2019

      Why not use Dove Wing on the ceiling and the trim? That paint will be a different sheen and applied to a different texture, so will take on a slightly different look than the cabinets. But you know that it will work because essentially it’s the same colour.

  • Amber L. Beasley
    | 27 November 2019

    Hi Claire,
    There is a question buried in here I promise. My husband and I just painted all the main rooms in our small two story condo pale oak (living room, dining area, stairwell and small upstairs hallway). I am now trying to decide what color to paint the bedrooms. One bedroom faces North and has lots of cool natural light and the other is south facing and much warmer. I want to be able to stand in both rooms, look out the doorway into the hall that is painted pale oak and have that hallway not look too lavender against the bedroom color in the foreground. At the very least the bedroom color should compliment pale oak somehow. Would your color guide help to get me through the dilemma of not knowing what color to paint the rooms? Any other resources that can help me?

    • Claire Jefford
      | 9 December 2019

      Hello Amber. Yes, my Essential Colour Guides include 10 suggested colours that will work with each featured colour. Of course you still need to check the colour in your own home and I always recommend using a large painted sample board, moving it around the room at different times of the day, to see how it looks. The link to my Pale Oak guide can be found here, if you are interested. –>

  • Cari bruno
    | 10 December 2019

    Hi I need some advice. I have white dove Cabients and tajmahel quartzite counters they have white off white and taupe beige colors. Would pale oak on the walls go with that combination?
    Thank you

    • Claire Jefford
      | 23 December 2019

      Hi Cari. I’m not familiar with that particular counter material, so I cannot say if Pale Oak will work with it. As I always recommend, take a large board and paint it in the desired colour. View it with the fixed elements and move it around the room at different times of the day to see how it looks with your counters. Good luck!

  • Bonnie
    | 13 March 2020

    I’m planning to paint my open space kitchen, dining and living room pale oak my cabinets are cloud white should I do my trim cloud white.

    • Claire Jefford
      | 14 March 2020

      I would. Why introduce a new white? Plus, it will look a little different because it will likely be a different sheen and is on a different application. Thanks for reading!

  • Nancy
    | 3 April 2020

    Thank you for the inspiration! I am thinking about using Pale Oak in adjoining rooms and stairwell. One room gets lots of natural light, the other does not. I am worries about the reviews saying the color can look pinkish/purple. I do not want that. Under what conditions does that effect occur?

    • Claire Jefford
      | 5 April 2020

      Hi Nancy, so glad you found inspiration in my vlog! I absolutely recommend that you paint a large colour board and move it around the room at different times of the day. Here is a link to a free download that will help, it’s Five Tips to Getting Your Paint Colour Right the First Time –>

  • jan stricklen
    | 12 April 2020

    I enjoyed your video very much on White Dove. I first used it in 1990 in our first home, after living in Army quarters for a decade, and have used it as trim in every home since. We are building and I am planning to use White Dove as our wall color in the main living areas with Morning Dew as the trim color. Grey Mirage for built in cabinetry. My question is what to use as the ceiling color. It has a 15 foot vault and I do not want it competing with the beams. Should I just use White Dove in a flat?

    • Claire Jefford
      | 12 April 2020

      Thanks for watching my video! If you feel white dove works with your fixed elements, then you can definetly use it as a trim and ceiling colour. You will likely be using a different sheen for these applications, typically flat for ceiling and high gloss for trim.

    • Claire Jefford
      | 23 April 2020

      Yes! Why introduce a new white if you are already using White Dove for the walls? In the flat finish and on the ceiling, it will look slightly different anyway.

  • Linda Dietz
    | 18 April 2020

    I am excited to have found your site! Our home is going on 3 yrs old and we used Pale Oak in several rooms…one being our shared study. I am happy with most of the other grays I chose, but not this one. It looks washed out and all I seem to see is a light green…of which I am not a fan. I am feeling the need for more color in my life and especially in the study. I was thinking of trying to find a blue for an accent wall in hopes of fixing the situation. However, the more I look at the Pale Oak, the more I want to get rid of it entirely. I’m hoping you can help. I love blues so perhaps a lovely blue gray would work well.

    • Claire Jefford
      | 23 April 2020

      Hi Linda. Perhaps you don’t love Pale Oak as much as the other colours as you really wanted more of a gray to work with the other grays? There are a lot of lovely blue grays, like Stonington Gray and Coventry Gray by BM. You will need to check the paint colour with fixed elements in the spaces and decorative treatments to make sure it’s going to be compatible with what you already have.

  • Tammy robinson
    | 1 August 2020

    Is the matte sheen going to look different than the eggshell in pale oak?

    • Claire Jefford
      | 3 August 2020

      Hi Tammy. The difference of the same colour when applied in a different sheen is very minimal. Whichever sheen you choose is mainly dependent on ‘wipeability’ (not sure that’s even a word, but hopefully you know what I mean!) and how much reflectivity you desire. The higher the sheen of paint, the easier it is to wipe and the more highly reflective it is. Ceilings are best done in a mattte with baseboards/crown being done in a semi or high gloss. Matte walls have become more popular over the past few years.

  • Tammy
    | 3 August 2020

    What does reflectivity mean when it comes to walls ? Will the sun still shine on the walls? Im looking at matte in the regal select benjamin moore.

    • Claire Jefford
      | 3 August 2020

      Sorry Tammy. It means that the higher the sheen value, the more reflective it can be. For example, that is why on the ceiling you will find that a matte is almost always recommended -at least by my company. We don’t want any extra glare from pot lights or other ceiling light fixtures. Hope that makes sense!

  • Sherry
    | 5 April 2021

    Hi, love the video! I’m thinking of doing things a bit differently on my open concept main floor, could you please tell me if this is a bad idea? I’m thinking of white dove walls with pale oak trim. I want the baseboards in pale oak but wondering if doing the crown will make the ceiling feel like it’s coming down lower – it’s 9 ft ceilings. Also, what do I do for cabinets? I was thinking also pale oak with maybe a dark grey or white countertop. Is this all a bad idea?

    • Claire Jefford
      | 16 July 2021

      Hi Sherry. I don’t believe that the Pale Oak on crown would make the room look smaller, but this colour would then be the same for all your trim and crown, so just make sure it works throughout the entire home. For your finishes in the kitchen, of course a white counter will go with almost anything. But you need to look at all your possible choices together, including a backsplash and flooring, to ensure everything coordinates with one another.

  • Mary
    | 29 April 2021

    Hello! What do you think about pairing BM Pale Oak with BM Aegean Teal? I’d like to use Aegean Teal on an entry door with BM Pale Oak on interior walls, and the exterior house color is BM Hale Navy. Do you think the Aegean Teal door color would work? I bought your Essential Color Guide for Pale Oak but I’m still not sure..ugh! Love your videos and blogs!

  • Mary
    | 27 May 2021

    Would you pair pale oak with with a small dose of aegean teal? More specifically, pale oak walls and aegean teal for a side entry door?

    • Claire Jefford
      | 16 July 2021

      Yes, these colours work nicely together, as long as they coordinate well with other elements in your space.

  • Mary
    | 27 August 2021

    I had a sad experience with Pale Oak. After the whole house was painted, I found that four rooms had turned the color of violet tinged concrete. It is not a pretty, sophisticated or soothing color, just dull and muddy. I tried painting samples in all rooms, but you can’t see the violet effect until three of the four walls are painted.

    • Claire Jefford
      | 8 September 2021

      We’ve just used it in a clients living and dining room and it looks amazing. They love the colour and so do I. Sorry to hear you had a bad experience Mary.

  • Christine
    | 6 October 2021

    We are building and ready for paint. I think I have been researching paint for many months to find the right match. I settled on Pale Oak for the entire house and Chantilly Lace for the trim. I have a large sample but I am now second-guessing the combination. I had Swiss Coffee in my last house for trim and I fell in love with the crisp white of Chantilly Lace. We have a lot of windows in our home and our living room is facing North if that helps. Thoughts? Thank you for your insight and your video on Pale Oak!

    • Claire Jefford
      | 14 October 2021

      Hi Christine. While you could use Chantilly Lace, I personally would go with something a bit softer like a White Dove or Cloud White to pair with Pale Oak. But always look to other elements such as counters, tile, backsplash, etc. If those are more bright, then go with Chantilly Lace. If they are more creamy, go with one of the other two I mention. I have done a blog post on White Dove that you can see here–>

  • Brynn
    | 27 April 2022

    Hi Claire, absolutely love following you and all of your advice and design insights :-).

    We just bought a small home (1,200 sq ft.) – do you think Pale Oak pairs well with Simply White?

    • Claire Jefford
      | 22 May 2022

      Yes, absolutely!

  • Carole
    | 16 November 2022

    Hi i plan on using pale oak throughout my house but i’m wondering if SW pure white would look good with it for kitchen cabinets , trim and ceiling? I see that everyone recommends white dove but i’m afraid to see some yellow in the cabinets ? Have you seen that combination of pure white and pale oak?

    • Claire Jefford
      | 25 November 2022

      I just pulled my two boards of each of these colours and they look lovely together! Just make sure they work with your fixed elements, like counter tops, any backsplash, etc.

  • Christine
    | 2 December 2022

    I painted my whole three level condo PALE OAK. Benjamin Moore WHITE for the trim. It’s a clean white and contrasts beautifully. In my sun filled open floor plan main level, it looks creamy off white and in other rooms light warm gray/taupe. It’s gorgeous no matter what. It’s warm, it’s bright and airy, it’s classic. All depending on the amount of light. A great decision.

    • Claire Jefford
      | 6 December 2022

      We love Pale Oak and love hearing this Christine!!

  • Ladd
    | 25 January 2023

    hi I just painted kitchen cabinets pale oak. I need help picking wall color and trim color

    • Claire Jefford
      | 27 January 2023

      In addition to the free content on my site about choosing paint colours, I also have a Pale Oak Perfect colour palette for purchase that includes my 3 best white recommendations for trims and ceilings, as well as specific colours you can pair with Pale Oak as coordinating colours for a decorating project. Here is the link to learn more

  • Christine
    | 7 March 2023

    Pale Oak walls and Benjamin Moore White for trim and doors. Whole three level townhouse! Looks amazing everywhere.

    • Claire Jefford
      | 8 March 2023

      Woo hoo! I love hearing that. Thanks for sharing.

  • Amber
    | 23 March 2023

    My entire Condo faces north and wanting to make it bright and airy as possible. what are your thoughts on White Dove or Dove wing for walls and Pale Oak for trim and kitchen cabinets. or any suggestions. i do want little contrast to trim and cabinets from wall color. or should I do Dove Wing on walls and white Dove for trim and cabinets? thank you

    • Claire Jefford
      | 31 March 2023

      Hi Amber. Whatever white you go with, do the same for both the walls and the trim. It will look a little different anyway because you should be using different sheens. Make sure that you look at all colours and finishes together to ensure you are making the best choice.

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