Read all about Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist paint and check out 25 real homes that use it!
Benjamin Moore’s Balboa Mist paint (BM OC-27) is a warm, light gray paint, commonly termed “greige.” It’s a color that looks terrific in many rooms, making it one of Ben Moore’s most popular paint colors.
In case you aren’t familiar with the term “greige,” it’s a fun way to reference a shade that’s a blend of gray and beige. Back in the 90s and early 2000’s beiges were “top dog,” but grays came along and knocked them off their reigning position to take over the top spot for a while.
Now greiges have claimed the spot of the most popular color family.
Since greiges are color blends, some greiges lean more toward the gray end of the spectrum, while others lean toward beige, giving this family of colors a LOT of range.
For some people, choosing a great greige that has ideal undertones for their home can be daunting. However, I always love a challenge.
I’ve created my comprehensive series of posts on paint color reviews to help make the process of choosing paint colors easier and more manageable.
I know from personal experience just how challenging AND rewarding picking paint colors can be. And I want to help you go through the process and land on a color you love – the first time!
What color is BM Balboa Mist?
Balboa Mist paint is a nice light gray with strong beige undertones. Although it’s a light shade, it has plenty of color concentration to hold its own next to white trim (Ben Moore’s Simply White, perhaps?). It’s time to get the skinny on Balboa Mist.
Let’s check in with the experts (aka Benjamin Moore) to hear more about this off-white shade. Did I say “off-white?” Well, that’s what Ben Moore calls it. And I guess they would know. 😉
According to the website, Balboa Mist is “part of the Off-White Color collection. Inherently sophisticated and endlessly versatile, the Off-White collection offers subtle nuances of whites that suit tranquil, serene environments as well as creates color-enhancing accents for dynamic spaces.” Fancy, right?
But does it say enough for you to get an idea of what this shade REALLY looks like? Let’s dive into everything you need to know about this popular greige shade of paint.
Before we dig into undertones, here’s a video peek at Balboa Mist in some beautiful (and very real) spaces…
FAQs about Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist
What other colors are similar to Balboa Mist?
Picking paint matches across brands is a pretty tricky business because the nature of the paint-mixing process will yield similar shades that behave very differently.
The best matches would be Sherwin Williams Limewash and Behr Pebbled Shore. Benjamin Moore Pale Oak is another similar shade, but it’s a bit lighter and will look washed out easier than Balboa Mist.
Is Balboa Mist warm or cool?
Even though this shade tends to be called u0022gray,u0022 it has strong enough beige undertones that it leans warm, giving any room an airy and cozy ambiance.
Where should I use BM Balboa Mist?
I can’t recommend using this versatile shade enough! Use it anywhere – and everywhere. It’s especially wonderful for homes that have cool-leaning or shadowy light because it will lend a warm vibe that balances out the coolness.
When choosing a shade for specific areas, consider this one for your:
Cabinets (including vanity and built-ins)
Balboa Mist is a gorgeous shade that will naturally fit in with modern, transitional, traditional, rustic, and modern farmhouse-style homes. In other words, use it anywhere!
Balboa Mist Undertones
Every gray paint has undertones, and as it turns out, Benjamin Moore’s Balboa Mist has some that may catch you off-guard.
Looking at the swatch below, you can probably see Balboa Mist’s green and brown undertones. But what may surprise you is the slight purple undertone. Don’t see it? Oh, it’s there – I’ll show you more clearly below.
I have a secret weapon that you can trust to help you choose amazing paint colors with confidence. Samplize peel-and-stick paint swatches are easy to move and reposition around your home without damaging your walls. They give you the opportunity to see how YOUR lighting and decor will impact the appearance of any shade you like.
How Different Types of Lighting Affect BM Balboa Mist
Every paint looks different in various types of lighting. Paint colors (especially blends like greiges) can look drastically different in south-facing light vs north-facing or east-facing light vs west-facing.
Honestly, paint can even look very different between natural light and artificial light.
Here’s how you can expect Balboa Mist to look on your walls based on different natural lighting types.
- North-facing light – cool, blue-tinted northern light will create the darkest version of Balboa Mist and draw out those surprising purple undertones. This shade will tend to exhibit a beautiful slight passive warmth in northern lighting.
- South-facing light – warm yellow southern light will lighten this shade and draw out a slight pink tinge as those southern rays warm it up. It will tend to wash out in this brighter lighting.
- East-facing light – eastern light is yellow and warm in the morning and shadowier (and more passive) in the afternoon. This shifting light will draw out those chameleon qualities of Balboa Mist, and you’ll likely notice different undertones throughout the day.
- West-facing light – expect cooler light in the morning and warm light later in the day. Balboa Mist will shift through undertones as the light shifts, giving you a versatile color throughout the day.
In balanced lighting, Balboa Mist will look like a near-neutral warm greige.
When to Avoid Balboa Mist
The answer to this question is largely based on your preferences. However, if you are truly looking for a greige shade that’s fairly neutral, I would caution you on this one in south-facing spaces with an abundance of natural light.
When flooded with the sun’s rays, this tone will shift to downright pink (which may or may not be a good thing to you!)
Additionally, if you have light wood-toned cabinetry, you might want to consider another shade for that space, as this paint may feel a bit one-dimensional.
Don’t have a clue what kind of light you have? It’s okay – you can still pick a fantastic paint color for YOUR home. Grab a FREE copy of my new guide to avoid the paint color picking mistakes people make!
Great Coordinating Colors for Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist
Although this shade is a light, warm-leaning greige, it can shift quite a bit and play well with many other colors.
However, this shade will often look its best when paired with darker warm grays, off-whites, blue-grays, and muted neutrals.
Try checking out these shades to use with BM Balboa Mist:
- Chantilly Lace
- White Dove
- Pure White
- Sea Star
- Sweatshirt Gray
- Summer Shower
- Manchester Tan
- Sea Salt
- Rock Gray
- Hale Navy
- Stonington Gray
- Palladian Blue
- Buxton Blue
LRV of Balboa Mist (OC-27)
In case you haven’t heard of LRV before, the letters stand for “Light Reflectance Value.” Essentially, LRV is a numerical representation of how light or dark a paint color looks visually.
Here’s the Cliff Notes version of the scale: zero = black, and 100 = pure white. Paint colors can (and will) fall anywhere within that range, with the lower number representing darker colors and higher numbers representing lighter colors.
LRV of Balboa Mist: 67.37
Although Benjamin Moore calls Balboa Mist off-white, I personally wouldn’t call it off-white. It’s way too dark for that designation. My rationale? You may ask. It’s all about the LRV.
As an example for reference, most white paint colors fall in the LRV 80-95 range. That puts Balboa Mist as a solid light gray. At an LRV of 67, Balboa Mist is considered a light gray, but not light enough to be labeled as off-white, despite being in the Benjamin Moore off-white collection.
Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist vs. Other Gray & Greige Paint Colors
Alright, time to dig into the good part: all that eye candy! But first, a warning.
Do NOT fall in love with one of these rooms, run out and buy 4 cans and start painting your space! Remember the cardinal rule of painting: sample before you swipe that paintbrush!!!
As far as sampling goes, I highly recommend these mess-free, re-usable, re-positionable peel and stick paint samples ⤵
Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist vs Pale Oak
Compared to Balboa Mist, Benjamin Moore Pale Oak is slightly lighter and reads just a tad more brownish with a touch of pink. It’s a slightly warmer light gray color with a little less purple.
With only two points of difference in their light reflectance values (Pale Oak’s LRV is 69.89), both paints have similar brightness levels. In fact, they are so similar that it’s hard to tell a difference – even when they are side by side!
Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist vs Edgecomb Gray
Now let’s compare two of Ben Moore’s most popular paint grays: Balboa Mist and Edgecomb Gray. Both are extremely versatile paint colors that look terrific in lots of different spaces.
While they have similar brightness, Edgecomb Gray (LRV of 63.88) is darker and has more green-brown undertones. Generally speaking, it will look more “taupe” in a room than Balboa Mist.
Balboa Mist vs Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray
Agreeable Gray from Sherwin Williams (LRV 60) is an extremely popular gray paint color. If you compare these two colors side by side, you will see Agreeable Gray reads darker and warmer with brown and pink undertones. Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist reads more green.
Balboa Mist is a lighter color, but it reads cooler than Agreeable Gray does.
Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist vs Classic Gray
Both of these beautiful hues are warm grays (or greiges), and they can both read taupe in the right lighting.
The biggest difference between these two shades is that Classic Gray (LRV of 74) is brighter and can wash out more. Balboa Mist offers more saturation for better contrast with white trim.
25 Real-Life Homes Using Balboa Mist
Ok, now it’s time to see this beautiful color in action in actual homes! Let’s check out how Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist looks in different lighting situations and with different surrounding decor.
Remember, just because you like how one of these rooms looks or how the swatch in the bottom corner looks below, there is no substitute for seeing it in your own home on a card or in a sample if it’s a color you’re seriously considering.
Gorgeous Balboa Mist Bedrooms
Balboa Mist is a popular paint choice for bedrooms. With its warm undertones, it helps to create a cozy and relaxing space – just what a bedroom should be!
A quick note here: don’t forget to consider picking the right paint finish…it’s not only about getting the color right! We have an in-depth explanation of choosing sheens to help.
1. Gray on Gray Bedroom Design
This bedroom from XO Macenna is gorgeous, right? Here, Balboa Mist is a beautiful warm greige with just a hint of pink undertone. Do you see it?
2. Chic and Sweet Neutral
The picture above had warm lighting, while this bedroom from @hightide_living has great cool lighting. Notice the difference in how Balboa Mist appears.
Here it reads more gray (and less greige) with just a hint of purple undertone.
3. Bold yet Relaxing Bedroom
Oh, Balboa Mist…where are you? You may not notice today’s shade in this bedroom from With Love Mercedes at first.
But if you remember how Benjamin Moore classifies it as off-white, it might click that it appears off-white next to bold shades.
4. Warm and Creamy
The lighting in this bedroom from @storylineinteriors shows off Balboa Mist’s light side. In this particular lighting, it reads light enough to be off-white – even almost cream.
5. Shadowy Gray Nursery
Hello Brittnee shows us how Balboa Mist appears in a room with low, passive light levels. Notice how much darker it looks? It’s still stunning with a passive warmth.
6. Peachy and Gorgeous
Ah, here’s an example from @katandcointeriors of low lighting and decor can pull out Balboa Mist’s peachy-pink undertones.
While many people don’t want to paint with pink undertones, I think it is very subtle and makes the room feel warm and cozy.
7. Pale and Neutral
The cooler grays in this decor from @homebokenstyle pull out Balboa Mist’s neutral side. Reading as a very pale and warm gray, you can see it’s just dark enough to contrast well with the white floor trim.
Living Rooms Featuring Balboa Mist
Warm grays like Balboa Mist are among the favorite paint color choices because they provide a neutral canvas that lets your decor shine. Check out these living room examples.
8. Very Neutral and Classic
Balboa Mist shines in this room from The Zhush. The decor, lighting, and wainscotting all work together to pull out its gray side with just a hint of purple. The result is a lovely, warm neutral.
9. Great Complement to Wood Tones
Vanessa Francis made an inspired choice when using Balboa Mist in this living room. The light greige is perfect to go with the wood side tables, wood floors, and brown accents in the wall painting.
10. Warm Pink Undertones
Even with the blue accents in this room from @alyssadesigns.co, I can see a hint of pink on the walls thanks to the warm lighting and wood accents.
The blue pops of color help to balance out the warmth of Balboa Mist to it reads neutral.
11. Quiet and Neutral
This bright room from Nina Hendrick shows how light and airy Balboa Mist can appear. It may look nearly as light as the ceiling, but if you look down at the baseboards, you’ll see the contrast.
12. Almost Off-White
In a room with lots of bright, natural light, such as this one from @fallforthemankes, Balboa Mist will read as a very light gray…almost an off-white but just a tad darker than that so that it still contrasts with the white trim and accents.
13. Light, Airy, and oh-so Neutral
Saw Nail and Paint has the ideal lighting in this room to show off Balboa Mist’s neutral potential and timelessness. It’s light but offers enough contrast with the white trim and accents.
Gorgeous Balboa Mist Bathrooms
Whether you’re aiming for trendy and fun or timeless, classic and clean – Balboa Mist could play either way in a bathroom.
Don’t forget the finish! For bathrooms, the perfect sheen is either an eggshell or satin. Why? We’ll tell you in this post about paint sheen.
14. Timeless and Classic
When you want a light greige that can expertly fade into the background, check out Balboa Mist, as Postbox Designs did for this bathroom.
It’s completely neutral, great with warm lighting, and makes this small bathroom feel much more spacious than it is.
15. Hint of Pink
Ok, first of all, can I have this bathroom? It’s so beautiful and spacious!
The warm lighting draws out the pink undertones, which give this large space from @jldesignsphilly a much-needed touch of coziness.
Stunning Kitchens Highlighting Balboa Mist
I personally love a good timeless-looking kitchen. Nothing stark, but clean, neutral, and beautiful. Let’s take a look at how Balboa Mist looks in a variety of kitchen spaces.
For kitchens, eggshell or satin are popular finish choices for walls. For cabinets, consider semi-gloss or high gloss for the most durable finish (and a gorgeous glow).
16. Understated Background
Be Colorful Coastal opted to let pops of decor color take center stage by using Balboa Mist to give this kitchen a classic and understated color scheme.
17. Bright and Off-White
Sweeten took advantage of the bright natural light to use Balboa Mist on these kitchen cabinets. The paint reads off-white with just a hint of gray for a clean, cozy look.
18. Perfect with Wood Tones
2 Cabinet Girls expertly chose Balboa Mist in this small kitchen. The light shade keeps the small space feeling airy while the warmth pairs perfectly with the wood flooring.
Dining Rooms using BM Balboa Mist
19. Hint of Green
Nice contrast here from @adamarie_design. And thanks to the surrounding decor and lighting, Balboa Mist is showing off its green side just a tad.
It’s not enough that you would look at this room and say it had green walls, but if you look closely, it’s there.
20. Warm Blushy Undertones
Can you see the ever-so-slight pink undertones coming out as the light dances around this dining room from @opulencestaging? It’s subtle, but it’s there.
Balboa Mist Paint in Other Areas of the Home
Here are examples of using Balboa Mist in other areas, great and small, all around the home.
21. Transitional Space
If you really don’t like pink undertones, you probably won’t like Balboa Mist. However, as this space from Elements of Style Blog shows, the undertones are super subtle and just add a little more warmth and coziness.
22. Bright and Airy
Balboa Mist makes an entryway or foyer like this one from @southshorecolonial delightfully neutral but cozy and comfortable at the same time.
23. Washed Out to Off-White
Balboa Mist looks very off-white in such a bright natural space from @mommadore_adventures. All that brightness makes this space look huge!
24. Delightful Shade for Doors
My friend Karisa has fabulous taste, and it shows here in her hallway having chosen some lovely paint colors…Balboa Mist is the door color, while the popular Swiss Coffee was used as the wall color. It makes for a warm, inviting palette that’s bright, but not cold or stark.
25. Balboa Mist Exterior
Check out how utterly charming Balboa Mist works as an exterior color in this home from Sherry Hart Interior Design.
The darker trim color chosen here is SW Amazing Gray. A beautiful combination, isn’t it?
Well, there ya have it. Twenty-five gorgeous examples of just how amazing Balboa Mist paint is for any room of the house. What do you think?
The best way to be sure of any shade is…drumroll…to sample it! (Did you see that coming?) My recommendation for samples is using these re-usable, re-positionable, peel and stick samples that won’t damage your walls, and you can easily move around your room to see what the paint looks like on each wall ⤵
Interested in exploring other paint colors in this series? Be sure to check out these other interesting paint shades, too:
Pin this post for later! And if use Balboa Mist, leave a comment (or better yet, a photo) on the pin! That helps others know whether they want to try this paint color, too!
More Colors to Try
If you are still not sure whether Balboa Mist by Benjamin Moore is the perfect shade for you, that’s okay! I have several other colors you can consider. Each of these posts breaks down everything you need to know about the shade, plus gives several examples of how it looks in real homes!
- Chantilly Lace (Benjamin Moore)
- Light Pewter (Benjamin Moore)
- Gray Owl (Benjamin Moore)
- Classic Gray (Benjamin Moore)
- Stonington Gray (Benjamin Moore)
- Sea Salt (Sherwin Williams)
- White Dove (Benjamin Moore)
- Repose Gray (Sherwin Williams)
- Agreeable Gray (Sherwin Williams)
- Simply White (Benjamin Moore)
- Revere Pewter (Benjamin Moore)
- Alabaster (Sherwin Williams)
- Pale Oak (Benjamin Moore)
- Ballet White (Benjamin Moore)
Ready to show those boring, beige walls who’s the boss at home? Grab my free guide to help you sidestep the mistakes that almost everyone makes when it comes to picking paint! You’ll be on your way to perfect paint promptly…pinky swear.
I have a question about Balboa mist. Our condo has one killer whale in the living area and a skylight and light from front door. I am worried that Balboa Mist will look to pink or purple with paint swatches all over the living area but still can’t tell. We have a South Exposure