Benjamin Moore Calm Vs White Dove: What’s the Difference?

Benjamin Moore Calm Vs White Dove What’s the Difference

When selecting a crisp, clean white paint color, two of Benjamin Moore’s most popular choices are Calm OC-22 and White Dove OC-17. At first glance, these two whites may appear quite similar. But there are some subtle differences between Calm and White Dove to consider.

In this article, we’ll compare and contrast Benjamin Moore Calm vs White Dove. We’ll analyze undertones, light reflectance, rooms to use them in, real life photos, and more. Read on to determine which white is right for your home.

Key Differences Between Calm and White Dove

Before diving into the details, here is an overview of the main differences between Calm and White Dove:

  • Undertones – Calm has a slight cool undertone, White Dove is a true neutral
  • Light Reflectance – Calm has an LRV of 75.83, White Dove has an LRV of 83.16
  • Use – Calm excels in darker areas, White Dove fits all spaces
  • Popularity – White Dove is Benjamin Moore’s most popular white
  • Availability – Calm only comes in flat and eggshell sheens

Now let’s explore Calm and White Dove more thoroughly.

Benjamin Moore Calm OC-22

Benjamin Moore Calm

With an exceptional light reflectance value of 75.83, Benjamin Moore Calm lives up to its soothing name. This bright white paint color truly excels at opening up dark spaces.

Here are some key facts about Calm:

  • LRV: 75.83
  • Undertones: Slightly cool
  • Finish: Flat, eggshell
  • Best Spaces: Walls, trim, cabinets in dark rooms
  • Popular Combinations: Grays, blues, greens

Calm has the slightest hint of coolness that gives this crisp white a clean, airy feel. While warm enough to avoid feeling stark, the subtle coolness adds brightness and prevents any dinginess.

The outstanding 75.83 light reflectance value allows Calm to truly excel in darker spaces of the home. With ample illumination power, this white brightens up rooms and makes small spaces appear larger.

Some of the best uses for Benjamin Moore Calm white paint color include:

  • Dark hallways or foyers
  • Bathrooms with no natural light
  • Bedrooms and basements
  • Kitchen cabinets in a dim kitchen
  • High contrast trim against bold walls
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Calm provides a smooth, consistent white backdrop. Pair it with bolder colors like navy blue, black, or dark green for a high contrast look. For softer contrast, combine with grays and blues.

Benjamin Moore White Dove OC-17

As Benjamin Moore’s most popular white paint color, White Dove OC-17 has broad appeal. This versatile neutral provides a clean backdrop across styles from traditional to modern.

Here are some details on White Dove:

  • LRV: 83.16
  • Undertones: True neutral
  • Finish: Available in all paint sheens
  • Best Spaces: Walls, cabinets, trim, ceilings
  • Popular Combinations: All colors

With a light reflectance value of 83.16, White Dove reflects less light than the bright Calm white. However, it still illuminates nicely without feeling dingy.

White Dove is called a true white because it does not have any discernable undertones. The perfectly balanced neutral undertone suits any design aesthetic.

This versatile white paint works beautifully across interior styles from farmhouse to contemporary. Use White Dove anywhere you want a classic, timeless white backdrop. Popular applications include:

  • Whole home paint color
  • Kitchen cabinets
  • Bathroom walls and tile
  • Doors, trim, and moldings
  • Ceilings

White Dove provides a clean slate to layer any colors and finishes over. Pair with bright accent colors or natural wood tones. This flexible white complements everything.

Comparing Calm vs White Dove

Now that we’ve looked at their unique traits, let’s directly compare Benjamin Moore Calm to White Dove:

Light Reflectance

With an LRV of 75.83, Calm reflects significantly more light than White Dove at 83.16 LRV. This gives Calm an advantage illuminating dark, windowless spaces.

However, most rooms could use either bright white. Only very dim spaces require the maximal reflectance Calm offers.


Calm has the slightest hint of coolness, whereas White Dove is a perfectly neutral true white. The coolness makes Calm read crisper and brighter.

But the differences are extremely subtle. Both appear clean, airy, and fresh.

Use & Popularity

White Dove is Benjamin Moore’s most popular white paint color. Its versatility and true neutral undertone make it foolproof for any room.

Calm’s outstanding light reflectance makes it best suited to darker rooms. But most average or lightly colored rooms could use either white.

Paint Finish

A distinction is paint sheen availability. Calm only comes in flat and eggshell finishes. White Dove is offered in every sheen from matte to high-gloss.

So White Dove provides more options if you want a shinier finish like satin or semi-gloss.

Calm vs White Dove Comparison Chart

Here is an overview of how Calm and White Dove compare:

Paint Color Calm OC-22 White Dove OC-17
LRV 75.83 83.16
Undertones Slightly cool True neutral
Use Dark rooms All rooms
Best For Walls, cabinets, trim Walls, cabinets, ceilings
Sheens Flat, eggshell All sheens
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Real Life Photos – Calm vs White Dove

Let’s look at some real life photos of Calm and White Dove to better evaluate how they compare:

Calm OC-22

Real Life Photos Benjamin Moore Calm
Image Credit :@maximizedesign

White Dove OC-17

White Dove

As seen in the real spaces, Calm presents as slightly brighter and more crisp white compared to White Dove. However, the visual difference is quite minor and they both provide gorgeous clean backdrops.

Should I Choose Calm or White Dove?

So how do you decide between Benjamin Moore Calm or White Dove for your home? Here are a few tips:

Choose Calm if you want:

  • A bright white with maximum light reflection
  • To illuminate a dark room or space
  • Slightly cool undertones
  • A crisp, clean backdrop for bold colors

Choose White Dove if you want:

  • A versatile neutral white for whole home use
  • A timeless white with no undertones
  • Availability in any paint finish
  • Benjamin Moore’s most popular white

To make the best decision, view large in-home paint samples of both Calm and White Dove. The right white depends on your lighting conditions, color preferences, and decor.

Both are beautiful classic whites that provide a peaceful backdrop to any interior. Depending on the needs of your particular space, one white may be better suited than the other.

Best Rooms for Calm and White Dove

While Calm and White Dove can work well in any room, here are some spaces that benefit most from their specific traits:

Calm OC-22

Due to its unparalleled light reflectance, Calm excels in spaces that are dark or receive minimal natural light. Use it in:

  • Bathrooms
  • Bedrooms
  • Hallways and foyers
  • Basements
  • Laundry rooms
  • Under cabinet lighting

White Dove OC-17

With its versatile neutral undertone, White Dove fits beautifully in any space. Ideal rooms include:

  • Living rooms
  • Bedrooms
  • Kitchens
  • Bathrooms
  • Dining rooms
  • Offices
  • Entryways

Either Benjamin Moore white will provide plenty of illumination for most average-lit rooms. But when lighting is truly minimal, Calm has the advantage to combat darkness.

Decorating Ideas and Color Pairings

On their own, Calm and White Dove make stunning backdrops. Pair them with other paint colors and materials for gorgeous complete room designs:

Calm OC-22 Decor Ideas

  • High contrast white trim against a bold navy blue accent wall
  • Crisp white shaker cabinets against a dark green kitchen island
  • Bright white bathroom with natural stone tile accents
  • Vivid orange entry door against pristine white siding

White Dove OC-17 Decor Ideas

  • Cozy living room with white walls and stone fireplace
  • White kitchen cabinets with brass hardware accents
  • White wainscoting against soft blue-gray walls
  • White paneled doors in a gray and white bedroom
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Color Pairings

  • With Calm: Dark greens, navy blues, bold black; soft powder blues, grays
  • With White Dove: Any color works beautifully! But try greens, blues, reds, yellows, wood tones

The clean backdrop of Calm or White Dove lets any accompanying colors truly pop. Choose palettes that complement your interior design style.

Calm vs White Dove – Which is Better for Your Home?

So which is the better Benjamin Moore white paint – Calm or White Dove? The truth is it depends on your home’s needs:

Pick Calm OC-22 if you want:

  • Maximum light bounce to combat darkness
  • A bright white with the subtlest cool undertone
  • To illuminate a space with minimal natural light

Choose White Dove OC-17 if you want:

  • Benjamin Moore’s most popular versatile white
  • A timeless white with zero undertones
  • Availability in any paint finish and sheen
  • A foolproof white for whole home use

While White Dove works well in most average rooms, Calm’s unbeatable light reflectance gives it an advantage in truly dim spaces.

The best way to decide is to view large paint swatches in your home at different times of day. In many rooms, you’ll find both whites quite similar. Let your lighting conditions and style guide your choice.

Either Benjamin Moore white paint you choose will provide a classic, adaptable backdrop for years to come. Discover which shade of white is right for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Still deciding between Calm and White Dove? Here are answers to some common questions:

Is Calm a warm or cool white?

Calm OC-22 is a slightly cool white. It has the faintest hint of blue undertone. This gives Calm a brighter, crisper appearance than warmer whites.

Is White Dove warm, cool, or neutral?

White Dove OC-17 is considered a true neutral white because it does not have any noticeable undertones. The perfectly balanced neutrality allows flexibility.

Can you use Calm on ceilings?

Yes, Calm is an excellent ceiling color. At 75.83 LRV it will brightly reflect light. The subtle coolness also prevents any yellowing effect.

What colors go well with White Dove?

The versatility of true neutral White Dove means it pairs beautifully with any wall colors. Try vibrant hues like navy blue, orange, yellow, or sage green against crisp White Dove.

Which white is better for bathrooms – Calm or White Dove?

With its unbeatable light reflectance, Calm may have a slight edge in bathrooms. But White Dove also provides sufficient brightness. Go with the white you prefer aesthetically in your space.

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