BM Pale Oak vs SW Agreeable Gray: What’s the Difference?

BM Pale Oak vs SW Agreeable Gray

When searching for the perfect neutral backdrop, two of the most popular paint colors are Benjamin Moore Pale Oak OC-20 and Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray SW 7029. Both offer gorgeous, versatile neutrals that work across many home design styles. But what’s the difference between Pale Oak and Agreeable Gray? And how do you select the best one for your home?

In this guide, we’ll do an in-depth comparison of Pale Oak vs Agreeable Gray. We’ll look at undertones, light reflectance values (LRV), real-life photos, and ideal room applications. Read on to determine if warm Pale Oak or cooler Agreeable Gray is the right neutral paint color for your interior design needs.

Key Differences Between Pale Oak and Agreeable Gray

Before diving into the details, here is an overview of the main differences between Pale Oak OC-20 and Agreeable Gray SW 7029:

  • Undertones – Pale Oak has warm yellow-beige undertones, Agreeable Gray has cool purple-gray undertones
  • LRV – Pale Oak has an LRV of 68.64, Agreeable Gray has an LRV of 60
  • Use – Pale Oak complements traditional styles, Agreeable Gray contemporary styles
  • Rooms – Pale Oak excels in cozy rooms, Agreeable Gray open concept areas

Now let’s explore Pale Oak and Agreeable Gray more closely.

Benjamin Moore Pale Oak OC-20

Benjamin Moore Pale Oak OC-20

A warm ivory beige neutral, Pale Oak OC-20 creates a welcoming backdrop for any space. This versatile color complements styles from modern farmhouse to contemporary.

Here are some key details about Benjamin Moore Pale Oak:

  • LRV: 68.64
  • Undertones: Yellow beige
  • Finish: Available in all sheens
  • Rooms: Whole home color, especially living rooms and bedrooms
  • Pairings: Browns, blues, grays

Featuring soft yellow-beige undertones, Pale Oak has a creamy ivory appearance that shifts in different lighting conditions. Sometimes the pale yellow comes forward, other times the subtle beige. The overall effect is a warm, welcoming neutral.

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At 68.64 light reflectance, Pale Oak reflects ample light to keep rooms feeling open and airy. The beige influence gives this pale neutral a soft, soothing feel.

Use Pale Oak OC-20 to create a cozy, livable interior backdrop. This creamy neutral helps rooms feel uplifted yet relaxed. It works beautifully across home areas including:

  • Living Rooms
  • Bedrooms
  • Kitchens
  • Bathrooms
  • Dining Rooms

Some colors that pair perfectly with Pale Oak are:

  • Benjamin Moore White Dove
  • Benjamin Moore Hale Navy
  • Benjamin Moore Gray Owl
  • Benjamin Moore Mascarpone

Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray SW 7029

Agreeable Gray

A bestselling neutral paint color, Agreeable Gray SW 7029 is a versatile, adaptive light gray that works across many styles. This chameleon-like color shifts in different lighting.

Here are some details about Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray:

  • LRV: 60
  • Undertones: Purple-gray
  • Finish: Available in all sheens
  • Rooms: Whole home, especially open concept living areas
  • Pairings: Blues, greens, wood tones

Featuring distinct purple-gray undertones, Agreeable Gray has a slightly dusty, hazy appearance. In some lights the purple is more noticeable, while in others it reads as a clean medium gray. This makes it highly versatile.

With a 60 light reflectance value, Agreeable Gray reflects ample light to keep open concept rooms feeling airy. Yet it has enough depth to provide pleasing contrast against trim, cabinets, and ceilings.

Use Agreeable Gray SW 7029 to create a relaxed, welcoming backdrop for a wide range of interior design styles. This gorgeous neutral gray excels in these room applications:

  • Living Rooms
  • Dining Rooms
  • Bedrooms
  • Bathrooms
  • Open concept kitchens and family rooms

Some colors that pair beautifully with Agreeable Gray include:

  • Benjamin Moore Simply White
  • Sherwin Williams Sea Salt
  • Benjamin Moore Rain
  • Natural wood stains

Comparing Pale Oak vs Agreeable Gray

Now that we’ve looked at Pale Oak OC-20 and Agreeable Gray SW 7029 individually, let’s compare them directly:

Light Reflectance

Pale Oak and Agreeable Gray have similar LRVs, with Pale Oak slightly higher at 68.64 vs 60 for Agreeable Gray. Both reflect enough light to avoid feeling dark and dreary.


Here is the main difference – Pale Oak has warm yellow-beige undertones, while Agreeable Gray has cool purple-gray. Pale Oak feels cozy, Agreeable Gray serene.


The warmth of Pale Oak complements traditional and farmhouse styles. The cooler Agreeable Gray suits modern contemporary spaces.


Pale Oak’s cozy feel makes it ideal for smaller rooms like bedrooms and studies. Agreeable Gray shines in airy open concept living areas.

Paint Finish

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Both Pale Oak and Agreeable Gray are available in any sheen from matte to high gloss.


Pale Oak pairs well with tans, blues, browns and wood tones. Agreeable Gray suits grays, greens, blues and brass metallics.

Pale Oak vs Agreeable Gray Comparison Chart

Here is an overview comparison of key differences between Pale Oak OC-20 and Agreeable Gray SW 7029:

Paint Color Pale Oak OC-20 Agreeable Gray SW 7029
LRV 68.64 60
Undertones Yellow beige Purple gray
Use Traditional, farmhouse Modern, contemporary
Rooms Bedrooms, cozy spaces Open concept living areas
Sheens All sheens All sheens
Pairings Tans, blues, browns Grays, greens, blues

Real Life Photos: Pale Oak vs Agreeable Gray

To give a sense of how Pale Oak and Agreeable Gray compare in actual spaces, let’s look at real life photos of the paint colors:

Pale Oak OC-20

Pale Oak

Agreeable Gray SW 7029

Real Agreeable Gray

In real world spaces, Pale Oak comes across as creamier and warmer than the cooler, more purple-toned Agreeable Gray. But different lighting can impact their look. Generally, Pale Oak feels cozier while Agreeable Gray appears more serene.

Should I Choose Pale Oak or Agreeable Gray?

So how do you decide between these popular Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams paint colors for your home? Here are a few tips:

Consider Pale Oak OC-20 if you want:

  • A creamy neutral beige with yellow tones
  • Warm and cozy ambiance for bedrooms
  • To complement traditional, farmhouse styles
  • A versatile whole-home neutral

Consider Agreeable Gray SW 7029 if you want:

  • A light-medium gray with purple undertones
  • A muted, hazy backrop for modern styles
  • Excellent versatility for open concept spaces
  • A soft alternative to harsher grays

To choose, get large paint samples and view in your actual space, at different times/lighting. See how the undertones come across and affect the mood. Also compare colors alongside your décor.

While both are beautiful neutrals, Pale Oak fits traditional cozy rooms and Agreeable Gray suits modern open floor plans. Select the one aligned with your goals.

Best Rooms for Pale Oak and Agreeable Gray

Here are rooms that tend to be particularly well suited to Pale Oak OC-20 and Agreeable Gray SW 7029:

Pale Oak OC-20

  • Bedrooms
  • Dining rooms
  • Offices
  • Living rooms
  • Bathrooms

Agreeable Gray SW 7029

  • Living rooms
  • Kitchens
  • Bathrooms
  • Open floor plans
  • Dining rooms

While both can work anywhere, the above applications maximize the strengths of Pale Oak’s coziness and Agreeable Gray’s airy adaptability.

Design Ideas for Pale Oak and Agreeable Gray

On their own, Pale Oak and Agreeable Gray create simple backdrops. Use colors, textures, materials and decor to make complete room designs:

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Pale Oak Color Pairings

  • Benjamin Moore Primrose Yellow (accent wall)
  • Classic navy blue accents
  • Antique wood furnishings
  • White cabinetry and molding

Agreeable Gray Color Pairings

  • Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace (trim/ceiling)
  • Brass lighting fixtures
  • Medium oak wood floors
  • Grayish blue accent pillows

Pale Oak vs Agreeable Gray: Which is Better for Your Home?

Is Pale Oak or Agreeable Gray the better paint color for your space? It depends on your goals and style preferences:

Consider Pale Oak OC-20 if you want:

  • A warm creamy beige neutral
  • Cozy and uplifting ambiance
  • To complement traditional designs
  • A whole home neutral with yellow tones

Consider Agreeable Gray SW 7029 if you want:

  • A cool toned gray with purple influence
  • An airy backdrop for modern styles
  • Adaptable color for open concept spaces
  • A soft alternative to harsh whites/grays

Pale Oak suits bedrooms, dining rooms and other cozy spaces. Agreeable Gray works beautifully in airy kitchens, living rooms and whole home plans.

Be sure to get in-home paint samples before deciding. Both are stunning versatile neutrals. Choose the one that best fulfills your goals for the specific room or area.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Here are answers to some common questions about Pale Oak OC-20 and Agreeable Gray SW 7029:

What are the main differences between Pale Oak and Agreeable Gray?

The main differences are their undertones and general aesthetic. Pale Oak is a warm beige, while Agreeable Gray is a cool-toned gray. Pale Oak provides a cozy feel and Agreeable Gray an airy, relaxed feel.

Does Pale Oak have green undertones?

No, Pale Oak does not have perceptible green undertones. It is a creamy beige with subtle yellow-beige influence. The yellow tones give it warmth.

What colors work well with Agreeable Gray?

Cool tones like grays, blues and greens work well with Agreeable Gray. White trim provides pleasing contrast. Warm metallics like brass also pair nicely.

Can you use Pale Oak in a bathroom?

Definitely. At 68.64 LRV Pale Oak avoids feeling too dark. And its creamy beige tones give bathrooms a soft, welcoming feel.

Is Agreeable Gray suitable for a dining room?

Yes, Agreeable Gray is versatile enough for dining rooms. Its 60 LRV prevents it from feeling too somber or dark. And it provides a relaxed backdrop for dining and conversation.

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