Read all about Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist paint and check out 29 real homes that use it!
Benjamin Moore’s Balboa Mist paint (BM OC-27) is a warm, light gray paint, commonly termed “greige”. Balboa Mist looks terrific in many rooms, making it one of Ben Moore’s most popular paint colors. Let’s dive into everything you need to know about this popular paint shade.
All About Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist
Balboa Mist paint might be a nice light gray, but 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.
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?
Before we dig into undertones, here’s a video peek at Balboa Mist in some beautiful (and very real) spaces…
Balboa Mist Undertones
Every gray paint has undertones, and as it turns out, Benjamin Moore’s Balboa Mist has some surprising undertones.
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 down below.
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What Balboa Mist Looks Like in Different Types of Lighting
Every paint looks different in various types of lighting. Paint colors 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.
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In south-facing light, Balboa Mist can present slightly pink-purple as those southern rays warm it up. Because south-facing light tends to be a bit brighter, this color will look a bit lighter than it will in other types of lighting.
In north-facing light as well as eastern and western lighting, Balboa Mist tends to lean into that purple tendency and exhibit a beautiful slight passive warmth. It will also tend to look slightly darker here.
In balanced lighting, Balboa Mist will look like a near-neutral warm greige. Personally, I wouldn’t call it an off-white. It’s way too dark for that designation. My rationale? You may ask. It’s all about the LRV…
LRV of Balboa Mist
LRV of Balboa Mist: 67.37
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.
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 an off-white, despite being in the Benjamin Moore off-white collection.
LRV…what? Don’t worry, I’ve got you! Grab a FREE copy of my new guide to avoid the paint color picking mistakes people make! Click here or enter your email below. I’ll send the tips right away!⤵️
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 ⤵
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 to me. It’s a slightly warmer light gray color with a little less purple.
Comparing LRVs: With only two points difference in their light reflectance values, both paints have similar brightness. In fact, they are so similar, that it’s hard to tell a difference – even when they are side by side!
- Balboa Mist LRV: 67.37
- Pale Oak LRV: 69.89
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 (check out the LRV’s below), Edgecomb Gray is darker and has more of a green-brown undertone. Generally speaking, it will look more “taupe” in a room than Balboa Mist will.
- Balboa Mist LRV: 67.37
- Edgecomb Gray LRV: 63.88
Balboa Mist vs Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray
Agreeable Gray from Sherwin Williams is an extremely popular gray paint color.
If you compare these two colors side by side, you will see Agreeable Gray’s reads 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.
- Balboa Mist: 67.37
- Agreeable Gray: 60
29 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 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 here.
1. Gray on Gray Bedroom Design | Decor Pad
The lighting in this room shows off some of this paint color’s changeability as it reads as a soft, neutral gray where the light hits but looks a bit more purple in the shadows. The effect is subtle, but it’s there, and it’s brought out more by the blush and purple accents in this lovely room below.
2. Neutral Bedroom | Kelly Boyd Design
In this nice, balanced lighting, Balboa Mist reads as a very neutral light gray that holds its ground next to the white trim and ceiling.
The lighting in this bedroom shows off Balboa Mist’s light side. In this particular lighting, it reads light enough to be an off-white.
Ah, here’s an example of low lighting and decor pulling out Balboa Mist’s peachy-pink undertones. While many people don’t want to paint with pink undertones, I think it is very subtle but makes the room feel warm and cozy.
The cooler grays in the decor 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.
6. Very Neutral and Classic | The ZHush
Balboa Mist shines in this room. The decor, lighting, and wainscotting all work together to pull out its gray side. The result is a lovely, warm neutral.
7. Chic Gray | Active Rain
Lower lighting in this living room coupled with the gray decor allows Balboa Mist to look darker and very chic.
8. Quiet and Neutral | Jimenez Photo
Beautiful, light, and warm. Balboa Mist reads as a neutral light gray here, letting the rest of the decor have its place in the spotlight.
9. Warm Pink Undertones | One Kind Design
Remember those undertones we talked about at the beginning of the post? Here’s a great example of how decor can pull out undertones in paint. In this room, the light shades and bulbs cast a warm light which makes the paint read a little pink.
In a room with lots of bright, natural light such as this one, 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.
Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist can almost be like two paint colors for the price of one if you have a room with a wide variation in lighting (darker corners, lighter areas, etc). That may be something you love…on the other hand, if that’s not your bag, best to know before the brush hits your wall.
Timeless. That’s how Balboa Mist looks in this living room. The color can look great in a formal room, a casual room – or even a beach cottage! It can really be a chameleon.
If you’re of the mind that gray is on the way out, and beige may be on the rise (again), then Balboa Mist could end up looking right on time, regardless of the paint trend du jour.
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.
13. Timeless and Classic | Benjamin Moore Canada via HGTV
Mostly timeless and classic, OC-27 reads clean and neutral here as an almost off-white while letting the peachy-pink vanity have center stage.
Take a moment to really look at the paint in this picture. Notice how near the window, the paint is very light. Even almost off-white.
But farther away from the window, you can see that it’s actually darker and contrasts with the white trim rather than blending in.
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Balboa Mist is on the far corner walls, looking beautifully neutral showing its ever so slight warm pink undertones and letting the darker accent wall above the vanity and the turquoise accents have all the fun.
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 with Colorful Accents | One Kind Design
Neutral walls with fun, colorful accents, and decor. Balboa Mist could be a great open concept paint option…but I’d say ONLY in homes with LOTS of light, like this one, below.
Beautiful! If you want light cabinets but don’t want white, consider Balboa Mist. The color is perfect here – be sure to check out the “before” and “after” pictures.
In a kitchen that has a lot of white cabinets and trim, you may not want to paint the walls too dark and contrast that drastically. Especially in a smaller area.
That’s when Balboa Mist gray becomes the perfect choice: just enough contrast to look lovely while still keeping the room light and feeling bigger than it is.
A great example of lower natural light. Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist looks like a darker gray here and even shows off its purple undertones every so slightly.
Another “before” and “after” example (I love these!). Using Balboa Mist helps to brighten up this small kitchen enough to make it feel almost twice as big.
Nice contrast here, and thanks to the surrounding decor and lighting, Balboa Mist is showing off its green side just a bit – not enough that you would look at this room and say it had green walls, but if you look closely it’s there.
It’s official. Balboa Mist can be a great choice for modern farmhouse style. The way the color plays with yet accents the wood and dark accents in a lovely way.
23. Formal Perfection | Havenly
Remember how I said this color can go from a cozy room to a formal room without blinking an eye? Case in point, right here.
Balboa Mist adds that perfect slight contrast to prevent this formal dining room from feeling stark and sterile.
Can you see the ever so slight pink undertones coming out as the light plays with the paint color? 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.
25. Green Brown Undertones | Laurel Home
I love how the brown and gold decor pieces pull out the greenish-brown – almost taupe – undertones here.
Here in a hallway, Balboa Mist acts as a perfectly neutral backdrop for fun, colorful decor.
Balboa Mist makes an entryway or foyer like this one delightfully neutral but cozy and comfortable at the same time.
Balboa Mist looking very off-white in such a bright natural space. All that brightness makes this space look huge!
Classic: light gray (Balboa Mist) walls that look true neutral and understated, allowing the mirror, flowers, and other decor pieces to stand out.
Well, there ya have it. 29 gorgeous examples of just how amazing Balboa Mist paint is for any room of the house. What do you think?
How to Decide if Ben Moore Balboa Mist is Right For Your Home
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 ⤵
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.