Pale Oak vs Swiss Coffee: What’s the Difference?

Pale Oak vs Swiss Coffee

When searching for the perfect warm neutral beige paint color, two Benjamin Moore favorites often top the list – Pale Oak OC-20 and Swiss Coffee OC-45. At first glance they may appear similar, but differences emerge upon closer inspection.

In this article, we’ll analyze Pale Oak and Swiss Coffee in depth. We’ll compare undertones, light reflectance, real photos, and ideal room pairings. Read on to determine if cozy Pale Oak or versatile Swiss Coffee is the best warm beige paint for your home.

Key Differences Between Pale Oak and Swiss Coffee

Before diving into the nuances, here are the main differences between Pale Oak and Swiss Coffee:

  • Undertones – Pale Oak is a golden oak brown beige, Swiss Coffee is a tan beige
  • Light Reflectance – Pale Oak has an LRV of 68.64, Swiss Coffee has an LRV of 81.91
  • Use – Pale Oak for cozy traditional spaces, Swiss Coffee for whole home neutral
  • Rooms – Pale Oak perfect for living rooms, Swiss Coffee suits any room

Now let’s explore Pale Oak and Swiss Coffee more closely.

Benjamin Moore Pale Oak OC-20

Benjamin Moore Pale Oak

With its light brown appearance, Pale Oak OC-20 creates a gorgeous natural-looking neutral. This versatile beige has broad appeal.

Here are some key details about Benjamin Moore Pale Oak:

  • LRV: 68.64
  • Undertones: Strong warm yellow-brown
  • Finish: Available in several sheens
  • Rooms: Living spaces, traditional homes
  • Pairings: Browns, greens, blues

Pale Oak is described as a “golden oak-inspired” color. It has very noticeable warm yellow-brown undertones reminiscent of natural oak wood. This gives Pale Oak a cozy and inviting appearance.

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Despite the oak-inspired base, Pale Oak reads as quite light and airy still. With a 68.64 light reflectance value, this soft neutral helps rooms feel cheerful and bright.

The strong oak undertones pair wonderfully with natural textures and materials like wood furniture and woven accents. Pale Oak helps spaces feel grounded and cozy. Use it alongside other warm, organic tones like:

  • Benjamin Moore Chelsea Gray
  • Benjamin Moore Simply White
  • Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter
  • Benjamin Moore Essex Green

This versatile beige looks gorgeous across many styles from modern farmhouse to craftsman. It excels in these spaces:

  • Living rooms
  • Bedrooms
  • Dining rooms
  • Kitchens
  • Offices

Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee OC-45

swiss coffee

With its tan beige appearance, Swiss Coffee OC-45 creates a flexible neutral backdrop with broad appeal. This popular color is renowned for its adaptability.

Here are some key details about Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee:

  • LRV: 81.91
  • Undertones: Subtle warm tan beige
  • Finish: Available in all sheens
  • Rooms: Any room in the home
  • Pairings: All colors

Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee is a light-medium beige with faint warm yellow-brown undertones. In most lights it appears as a versatile tan neutral. The subtle warmth gives it more adaptability than cooler beiges.

With a 81.91 light reflectance value, Swiss Coffee supplies decent illumination for a beige. Its barely noticeable warmth allows it to complement diverse color schemes and styles. Popular pairings include:

  • Benjamin Moore Black Forest Green
  • Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter
  • Benjamin Moore Simply White
  • Benjamin Moore Gray Owl

Thanks to its flexible neutrality, Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee works well throughout the home. Its tan-beige tone complements paint colors beautifully. Use it in:

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

Comparing Pale Oak vs. Swiss Coffee

Now that we’ve examined their unique traits, let’s directly compare Pale Oak and Swiss Coffee:

Light Reflectance

With an LRV of 68.64, Pale Oak reflects more light than Swiss Coffee at 81.91 LRV. Pale Oak will make spaces feel a bit brighter.

Undertones

This is a key distinction. Pale Oak has very strong warm golden oak undertones. Swiss Coffee has subtle warm tan beige undertones.

Pale Oak’s bold oak warmth feels welcoming and organic. Swiss Coffee’s subtle warmth provides flexible versatility.

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Use

Pale Oak is perfectly suited for traditional, cozy spaces that benefit from its natural oak warmth. Swiss Coffee’s subtle warmth adapts well as a whole home neutral.

Paint Finish

Both Pale Oak and Swiss Coffee come in a variety of sheens from matte to semi-gloss. They allow for beautiful warm finishes.

Pale Oak vs. Swiss Coffee Comparison Chart

Here is an overview of how Pale Oak and Swiss Coffee compare:

Paint Color Pale Oak OC-20 Swiss Coffee OC-45
LRV 68.64 81.91
Undertones Strong warm yellow-brown Subtle warm tan beige
Use Cozy traditional rooms Flexible whole home neutral
Sheen Multiple finishes Multiple finishes
Style Warm, organic Subtly warm, adaptable

Real Photos: Pale Oak vs Swiss Coffee

To better visualize the differences, here are real photos of Pale Oak and Swiss Coffee:

Pale Oak

Real Life Photos-Benjamin Moore Pale Oak

Swiss Coffee

Real Room Photos Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee

As shown, Pale Oak is noticeably warmer and more golden oak-toned, while Swiss Coffee appears cooler and grayer. But lighting impacts their appearance significantly.

Should I Choose Pale Oak or Swiss Coffee?

So how do you decide between Pale Oak vs Swiss Coffee for your home? Here are some helpful tips:

Consider Pale Oak if you want:

  • A light brown beige with bold oak undertones
  • A welcoming, organic traditional feel
  • A cozy cottage style neutral
  • A soft but grounded foundation

Consider Swiss Coffee if you want:

  • A tan beige with subtle warm undertones
  • A flexible, versatile whole home neutral
  • To complement a wide range of color schemes
  • A subtle greige suitable for any room

As with any close paint decision, get samples and test Pale Oak and Swiss Coffee before deciding.

Both of these neutral paint colors create beautiful backdrops.

Ideal Room Pairings

Here are rooms well-suited to showcasing Pale Oak and Swiss Coffee:

Pale Oak OC-20

  • Cozy living rooms
  • Bedrooms
  • Craftsman kitchens
  • Offices
  • Entryways

Swiss Coffee OC-45

  • Living rooms
  • Kitchens
  • Bathrooms
  • Bedrooms
  • Dining rooms
  • Any room!

Pale Oak fits best in cozy cottages and traditional homes, while versatile Swiss Coffee works anywhere. But both provide beautiful warm environments.

Decorating Ideas and Color Pairings

Pale Oak and Swiss Coffee create welcoming backdrops. Pair them with these colors:

Pale Oak Color Pairings

  • Benjamin Moore Simply White (white)
  • Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter (gray)
  • Benjamin Moore Essex Green (olive green)
  • Benjamin Moore Hale Navy (blue)
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Swiss Coffee Color Pairings

  • Benjamin Moore White Dove (white)
  • Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray (greige)
  • Benjamin Moore Black Forest Green (green)
  • Benjamin Moore Gray Owl (gray)

Varying undertones provides nice contrast against these neutral backdrops.

Pale Oak vs Swiss Coffee: Which is Best for Your Home?

So which warm neutral beige paint color works best in your home – Pale Oak or Swiss Coffee? Consider the following:

Choose Pale Oak if you want:

  • A light brown beige with bold oak warmth
  • A cozy, organic traditional cottage feel
  • A soft but grounded foundation
  • A natural welcoming ambiance

Choose Swiss Coffee if you want:

  • A tan beige with subtle warm undertones
  • A flexible and versatile whole home neutral
  • To complement a wide range of color schemes
  • A greige suitable for any casual room

While Pale Oak offers cozy oak warmth, Swiss Coffee provides subtle warm versatility. Test them before deciding! Either one creates a beautiful, welcoming backdrop.

Frequently Asked Questions

Still trying to choose between Pale Oak vs Swiss Coffee? Here are helpful answers:

Does Pale Oak have green undertones?

No, Pale Oak does not contain green. It has strong golden yellow-brown undertones reminiscent of natural oak wood. The warm tones give it a welcoming feel.

What colors pair well with Swiss Coffee?

Swiss Coffee complements a wide variety of colors thanks to its subtle warmth. Great combinations include navy, black, white, gray, sage green and terracotta.

Should I use Pale Oak in a bedroom?

Yes, Pale Oak is a great bedroom color. Its cozy oak undertones create a welcoming sleep retreat. Add contrast with bedding and decor.

Is Swiss Coffee suitable for bathrooms?

Definitely! With its subtly warm and soothing tan-beige tone, Swiss Coffee works wonderfully in bathrooms. It provides a flexible, welcoming backdrop.

Can I use Pale Oak in a dining room?

Sure! With its cozy oak warmth, Pale Oak makes a beautiful backdrop for dining rooms. It feels welcoming and grounded. Add light through white dishes and decor.

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