Moonshine vs Gray Owl: What’s the Difference?

When searching for the perfect warm gray paint color, it’s easy to get stuck comparing two similar versatile shades from the same brand. At first glance, popular Benjamin Moore options Moonshine 2140-60 and Gray Owl OC-52 may appear nearly identical. But what really differentiates these two beautiful, muted grays?

In this guide, we’ll thoroughly compare Moonshine vs Gray Owl to help you determine the ideal warm gray paint for your home. We’ll analyze undertones, light reflectance, real-life photos, room pairings and more.

Let’s dive in!

Overview of Key Differences

Before getting into the details, here is a quick overview of the main differences between Moonshine and Gray Owl:

  • Undertones – Moonshine is a greige, Gray Owl leans more brown
  • Light Reflectance – Moonshine LRV is 66.53, Gray Owl LRV is 64.51
  • Use – Both suit modern and traditional styles
  • Rooms – Moonshine shines in bedrooms, Gray Owl excels as an accent
  • Availability – Both come in any sheen

Now let’s explore Moonshine and Gray Owl more thoroughly.

Benjamin Moore Moonshine 2140-60

Benjamin Moore Moonshine

With its light, warm gray appearance, Moonshine 2140-60 creates an elegant, inviting backdrop well-suited for varied rooms and styles. This versatile neutral works across both modern and traditional spaces.

Here are some details about Moonshine:

  • LRV: 66.53
  • Undertones: Greige
  • Finishes: Available in all sheens
  • Rooms: Bedrooms, living rooms, offices, entryways
  • Pairs Well With: Crisp whites, bold colors

Moonshine is a hazy, sandy greige with faint beige undertones. In certain lights it can take on a more taupe or gray look. This cozy neutral has widespread appeal.

The 66.53 light reflectance value prevents Moonshine from feeling too dark or muddy. Moonshine strikes a cheery, welcoming balance suitable for most rooms.

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This versatile greige complements both cool and warm accents nicely. Popular Moonshine color pairings include:

  • Benjamin Moore Simply White
  • Soft calming blues
  • Crisp black and white
  • Golden oak wood tones

While suitable anywhere at home, Moonshine truly excels in these spaces:

  • Bedrooms – Calm and restful
  • Living Rooms – Relaxed backdrop
  • Offices – Focused atmosphere
  • Entryways – Welcoming pop of color

Moonshine’s cozy tones help create an everyday elegance perfect as an all-over home color. Use it to gently unify varied architectural details.

Benjamin Moore Gray Owl OC-52

Benjamin Moore Gray Owl

With its intense, weathered gray appearance, Gray Owl OC-52 adds bold depth and contrast as an accent color. This dramatic neutral works across styles from modern to traditional elegantly.

Here are some details about Gray Owl:

  • LRV: 64.51
  • Undertones: Brown gray
  • Finishes: Available in all sheens
  • Rooms: Accent walls, dining rooms, bedrooms, living rooms
  • Pairs Well With: Crisp whites, wood tones

Gray Owl is a saturated, mineral-inspired brown gray. In any lighting it maintains a bold sandy charcoal look. This refined neutral has versatile appeal.

The 64.51 light reflectance value makes this color intense without being overpowering. Gray Owl packs visual impact as an accent.

This sophisticated gray pairs nicely with lighter hues. Popular Gray Owl color pairings include:

  • Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace
  • Crisp white trim and moulding
  • Soft warm wood tones
  • Navy blue accent pieces

While bolder than an all-over color, Gray Owl excels when used strategically in these spaces:

  • Accent Walls – Striking focal point
  • Dining Rooms – Elegant for hosting
  • Living Rooms – Grounding backdrop
  • Bedrooms – Cozy and enveloping

Gray Owl’s saturated darkness helps add stylish contrast. Use it to make lighter walls and decor pop.

Comparing Moonshine vs Gray Owl

Now that we’ve examined Moonshine and Gray Owl independently, let’s directly compare them:

Light Reflectance

Moonshine is noticeably lighter than Gray Owl with LRVs of 66.53 vs 64.51. Moonshine will feel more airy and bright.


Here’s the main difference – Moonshine is a taupey greige while Gray Owl is a deeper brown gray.

Use & Rooms

Both suit modern and traditional spaces, though Moonshine shines in bedrooms and Gray Owl excels as an accent.

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Moonshine and Gray Owl come in any sheen from matte to high gloss.


Moonshine is more widely versatile, Gray Owl fits traditional aesthetics best.

Paint Color Moonshine 2140-60 Gray Owl OC-52
LRV 66.53 64.51
Undertones Greige Brown gray
Use All-over color Accents
Finish Any sheen Any sheen
Style Modern, traditional Mainly traditional

Real-Life Photos: Moonshine vs Gray Owl

Let’s look at real-life photos to better visualize the differences between Moonshine and Gray Owl:

Benjamin Moore Moonshine

Real Benjamin Moore Moonshine
Image Credit:@ thejoliehome

Benjamin Moore Gray Owl

Real Benjamin Moore Gray Owl

While they may seem similar at first glance, upon closer inspection you can see Moonshine’s greige warmth vs the deep brown gray of Gray Owl. Lighting affects their look.

Should I Choose Moonshine or Gray Owl?

So how do you decide between Benjamin Moore’s Moonshine or Gray Owl for your home? Here are a few tips:

Consider Moonshine 2140-60 if you want:

  • A light sandy greige with cozy warmth
  • An inviting, everyday elegance
  • Restful all-over walls for bedrooms
  • Wide-ranging versatility across styles

Consider Gray Owl OC-52 if you want:

  • A rich, intense brown gray
  • Striking contrast as an accent wall
  • A bold traditional aesthetic
  • A moody enveloping backdrop

Get color samples of both Moonshine and Gray Owl. Paint large swatches on your walls to view throughout the day and night. This gives you a sense of how the tones shift in different lighting.

Also, hold decor items you already own next to the samples to envision how they’ll look together. Both grays complement most color palettes beautifully.

Ideal Room Pairings

Here are some rooms especially well-suited to Moonshine and Gray Owl paint colors:

Benjamin Moore Moonshine

  • Bedrooms
  • Living Rooms
  • Offices
  • Entryways
  • Hallways

Benjamin Moore Gray Owl

  • Accent Walls
  • Dining Rooms
  • Living Rooms
  • Bedrooms
  • Offices

While both grays work well throughout the home, the above applications optimize the cozy warmth of Moonshine and bold contrast of Gray Owl.

Decorating Ideas and Color Pairings

On their own, Moonshine and Gray Owl make statements. Complement them with other hues:

Moonshine 2140-60 Pairs Well With:

  • Crisp bright whites like Chantilly Lace
  • Soft sage greens and light blues
  • Warm oak wood tones
  • Navy blue accent pieces
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Gray Owl OC-52 Pairs Well With:

  • Crisp whites like Simply White
  • Golden oak wood tones
  • Navy blues and vibrant teals
  • Black iron finishes and hardware

Their muteness allows bold accent colors to shine. Play up Moonshine’s cozy ambiance or Gray Owl’s dramatic contrast.

Moonshine vs Gray Owl – Which is Better?

So which warm gray paint color is better for your home – Moonshine or Gray Owl?

Consider Moonshine 2140-60 if you want:

  • A light sandy greige with cozy warmth
  • An inviting, everyday elegance
  • Restful all-over walls for bedrooms
  • Wide-ranging versatility across styles

Consider Gray Owl OC-52 if you want:

  • A rich, intense brown gray
  • Striking contrast as an accent wall
  • A bold traditional aesthetic
  • A moody enveloping backdrop

Both are stunning, sophisticated grays perfect for varied spaces. Moonshine has relaxed versatility. Gray Owl makes a dramatic statement.

Get samples before deciding. Either beautiful Benjamin Moore gray you choose will elegantly suit your home.

Frequently Asked Questions

Still trying to decide between Moonshine vs Gray Owl? Here are answers to some common questions:

What are the main differences between Moonshine and Gray Owl?

The main differences are their tones and uses. Moonshine is a lighter, warm greige for all-over use. Gray Owl is a deep, intense brown gray best for accents.

What colors complement Gray Owl?

Gray Owl looks beautiful paired with crisp whites like Chantilly Lace, golden oak wood tones, navy blues, and vibrant teals for nice contrast.

Can you use Moonshine in a nursery?

Yes, Moonshine’s cozy, welcoming greige hue would work wonderfully in a nursery paired with bright white trim for a soothing, cheerful space.

Is Gray Owl suitable for a north facing room?

Yes, Gray Owl’s richness is dark enough for a north facing room without feeling gloomy. Add in lighter grays and whites to keep the space bright.

What finish does Moonshine come in?

Moonshine is extremely versatile and comes in any finish from matte to high gloss semi-gloss to match your style.

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