Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist

For today’s color spotlight, we’re talking about how you can use Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist in your home. This warm gray can work in many different settings, from kitchen cabinets to your guest bedroom. Learn what you can expect should you grab a paint roller and a can of Balboa Mist paint color!

Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist

When I hear the name Balboa Mist, images of a light green or blue come to mind. Something of the sea! But boy, am I wrong. Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist (OC-27) is a light gray paint color. It just goes to show that paint color names aren’t to be trusted.

One of Benjamin Moore’s most beloved paint colors, I have yet to use Balboa Mist in my home personally, but I think it would suit a variety of spaces. I can easily see why it has become a best seller for Benjamin Moore.

I’ve done the research and have determined all the need-to-know info about using Balboa Mist in your house, including the undertones, just how bright this shade really is, the best colors to pair with it, and more.

So before you go and buy a sample size paint for swatching, and start painting like a pro, read this paint review through.


Any time you are choosing a new paint color, you need to try out the real paint color in your home first!

The easiest and quickest way to do that is with Samplize! I solely use them for paint samples now. There’s no mess, no leftover sample pots of paint. Plus, these no-mess, peel-and-stick rectangles made from real paint, are easy to move around the room and easy to save for future reference!

Undertones of Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist

Benjamin Moore’s Balboa Mist is definitely a warm gray. Traditional grays are often cooled-toned and use blue, green, and violet undertones to get that feel. But when you have a warm gray, there will be some yellow or brown undertones at work.

In the case of Balboa Mist, there is a hint of beige undertones, as well as violet. This means it will change its appearance based on the lighting in the room.

That beige warmth will shine through in rooms with warm lighting or lots of natural light. In rooms with cool lighting or minimal natural light, it’s going to lean heavier into gray.

The violet undertones can sometimes shine through. Some even say it looked like a pale lavender in certain lighting.

Light Reflectance Value of Balboa Mist OC-27

The light reflectance value (LRV) of Balboa Mist is 67. If you’re new to LRV, it’s a tool used by many interior designers to determine how much light the paint will reflect. The closer it is to 100, the more it will reflect. The closer it leans to 0, the less it reflects.

At 67, Balboa Mist is right in the medium range and will work well in most dark and light rooms. The paint might get slightly washed out in a super bright room. Bright light will likely turn it into a soft white.

The color will also be dark enough to continue providing contrast in the room. It doesn’t quite classify as an off-white shade since this hint of color is definitely noticeable.

Remember, the type of lightbulbs you use in your room will also affect how the paint looks.

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What Colors Pair Well With Balboa Mist?

Balboa Mist paint color would look great paired with darker grays and many shades of blue. This will provide a nice contrast. Since Balboa Mist is not usually the star of the show, you’ll likely want to pair it with some bolder colors. Feel free to lean into the violet undertones and look for colors that share them.

I would recommend that you avoid using Balboa Mist in a monochromatic sense. Anything that leans slightly towards beige can get shabby if it isn’t paired with bold and bright colors. So you’ll want to avoid whites with too much yellow. Any other greige or beige like Revere Pewter, Edgecomb Gray or Agreeable Gray that have green-gray undertones will not work well with Balboa Mist, which has a violet-gray undertone.

But if you’d like a little contract with Balboa Mist, I’d recommend pairing it with a darker true gray like Kendall Charcoal or Wolf Gray.

What Trim and Ceiling Colors Work With Balboa Mist?

If you’re looking for trim to go with Balboa Mist, you will want something with a relatively high LRV. White Dove will offer a softer contrast as a warmer white option. For a bold white, Chantilly Lace is clean and bright. And if you love Sherwin Williams colors, try Pure White.

I personally love Simply White for trim and Chantilly Lace for the ceilings in most every room.

Other Neutral and Greige Paint Colors vs. Balboa Mist

Benjamin Moore Collingwood vs Balboa Mist

Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist is often compared to Collingwood as they’re both warm grays with violet undertones. You would think they look pretty similar, and they do until you put them side by side. Then you’ll see the true difference between the two.

Collingwood is the darker version. Its LRV is 62, which means it’s less likely to wash out in a bright room than Balboa Mist. Because of its higher LRV, Balboa Mist might look slightly warmer than the two.

So if you’re in a bright room but like the undertones of Balboa Mist, you might want to consider using Collingwood instead so the paint doesn’t wash out. Likewise, a darker room might prefer Balboa Mist.

Benjamin Moore Classic Gray vs. Balboa Mist

Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist in the Home

Let’s see some examples of Balboa Mist in the home! You can use this for inspiration and to understand how the paint might look in different settings.

Living Room

A living room or large space might be my favorite place to use Balboa Mist. It will look amazing with north-facing light and slightly change appearance throughout the day as the sun rises and falls.

It should keep things very bright and cozy. Versatile, you can continue to use all kinds of furniture, fabrics, and colors alongside Balboa Mist paint.


For a brighter bathroom, pair Balboa Mist with crisp whites. Avoid yellowed porcelain, trim, and towels to keep the room looking clean and fresh.

You’ll get a more masculine look in your bathroom when you pair Balboa Mist with other grays. You can also use the tile in the bathroom as a way to play with the undertones of the Balboa Mist paint color, pairing violet with veining in the stone.


When it comes to painting in the kitchen, I like to keep it neutral. This lets you make your countertops, cabinets, backsplash, and floors take center stage. Balboa Mist will happily hang out in the back and let other elements shine.

You can use it to match the countertops and stone or even as a cabinet color.


I can see Balboa Mist working well in a guest bedroom. Using the Balboa Mist paint color, you can create a very neutral yet comfortable and warm design. Pair the paint with crisp white linens on the bed and warm wood furniture. It will create a very welcoming space that all different kinds of guests will enjoy.

Dining Room

Dining rooms often aren’t used when there’s lots of natural light, so you’ll probably rely on extra lighting to create your dining atmosphere. In this case, you can expect the color to give off that true warm gray it promises.

Add a warm wood dining room table, an elegant chandelier, and some accent colors, and you’ll have quite a comfortable, elevated space to serve your guests.

Final Thoughts on Balboa Mist

Balboa Mist isn’t your traditional gray. At times, it can lean beige and, other times, a light gray. In some cases, you may even see that flash of violet.

Balboa Mist won’t work for everyone—no paint does. But overall, it’s pretty versatile. You can pair it with most colors, and it works in both light and dark rooms. It’s hard to go wrong with warm neutrals.

I can see this being a great paint color for a space you want to cozy up in but still keep light.

If you’re interested in trying it, sample it and see it with your own eyes. And then let me know what you think of it!

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