My Benjamin Moore Smoke Review – why I love this blue-gray classic

Smoke on the walls and cabinets in my laundry room – don’t mine the kids toys or the fact that we haven’t installed the countertop yet

After trying about 10 different paint swatches for our laundry room remodel, I settled on Benjamin Moore Smoke. I was looking for a blue-gray paint color, something that wasn’t baby blue, but also not too neutral or muddy. I also wanted something that would complement the checkered floors, which are a white and gray marble. I started out thinking Farrow & Ball DeNimes or Benjamin Moore’s Province Blue would be a sure thing for the space. But after trying the swatches, both were too dark.

Onto lighter options! I tried Sherwin Williams Debonair, Sherwin Williams Windy Blue, and Benjamin Moore Winter Lake, along with Smoke, and Smoke was the clear winner.

Since I was painting both the laundry room cabinets and the walls, I ended up using two different Benjamin Moore paint grades for the project: Advance for the cabinets, and Regal Select for the walls, both in a satin finish.

What color is Benjamin Moore Smoke?

Jillian Harris also has a Smoke laundry room.

Smoke is a beautiful, soothing shade of gray-blue. It’s a medium-toned color that tends to be a bit of a chameleon. It looks bright in a well-lit space and a bit deeper in dimly-lit ones, and it switches from a pale blue to a pale gray (and back!) depending on the light and time of day. It’s also what I call a ‘clear’ shade, because it doesn’t have any noticeable brown or taupe-y undertones to it.

I find the color to be incredibly relaxing and peaceful, which would make it a lovely pick for a bedroom or bathroom (or in my case, to lessen the stress of the mountains of laundry in my laundry room!).

Of course, whether this shade will work in your space depends on the lighting in your home, your design style, and the look you’re going for, which is why I always suggest getting a paint sample ( I love these peel-and-stick options from Samplize!).

If you’re considering the color, here’s a more in-depth look at the paint color, plus photos of it in my home, which will hopefully help you decide if Smoke should be a contender for your project.

Is Benjamin Moore Smoke Gray or Blue?

Smoke on the walls in my laundry room, early in the morning- to me, it’s more blue than gray

If you’re wondering if Smoke is gray or blue, it’ll be hard to get a definite answer without trying it in your space. According to Benjamin Moore, Smoke is a “medium gray softened with attractive blue-green undertones.” So technically, Smoke is gray.

However, to me, it 100 percent looks more blue that gray. Like I said, I chose the color because I was looking for a pale blue. The room I used the color in gets a lot of natural light, so if you’re painting a bright space, anticipate the color looking more like a light blue. If you’re painting a north-facing room or a windowless powder room, on the other hand, it will probably read more like a medium toned blue-gray, but I’d still imagine blue would be the first color you’d see.

If you’re looking for a neutral gray color (or a warm gray like Repose Gray), this is not it. But if you’re looking for a blue-toned gray, it’s perfect. The blue undertone is prominent, and it leans towards a blue-green, but I wouldn’t say the color looks green.

Painting Benjamin Moore Smoke on my laundry room cabinets

Benjamin Moore Smoke LRV

Smoke has an LRV of 56, which means it’s a medium-toned color.

If you aren’t familiar with LRV, or Light Reflective Value, it’s a measurement of how dark or bright a paint color is on a scale of 0 (black) to 100 (pure white). The higher the LRV, the more white a color has it it, so the more light it reflects, and the lighter the color looks. There are no paint colors that are 0 or 100, and most tend to fall on a scale of 3 to 94.

By comparison, Benjamin Moore Hale Navy, a dark blue, has an LRV of 6, while Simply White, a bright white, has an LRV of 91.7.

Is Benjamin Moore Smoke Cool or Warm?

Benjamin Moore Smoke is a cooler paint color, thanks to the prominent blue-green undertones. It goes well with brighter whites and cool-toned slate grays, and neutral shades of beige or tan.

Benjamin Moore recommends Chantilly Lace, Steel Wool, Cloud Cover, and Wind’s Breath, above, as matching colors. (Chantilly Lace, a pure white, would be an ideal trim color for Smoke-painted walls!)

What colors are similar to Benjamin Moore Smoke?

If Smoke is not exactly what you’re looking for, there are a few Benjamin Moore shades that are similar, but with slightly different undertones or hues that you may want to try. They include: Yarmouth Blue, Brittany Blue, Palest Pistachio, Wales Gray, and Silvery Blue. I have Wales Gray in my dining room, so hop on over to that post if you’d like to see more photos of that shade.

Yarmouth blue vs. Smoke:

Yarmouth Blue has a more prominent green cast, if you want something that borders a pale sea glass color.

Brittany blue vs. Smoke

Brittany blue is a touch lighter and more gray than Smoke, if you want a color that leans more neutral.

Palest Pistachio Vs. Smoke

For something a little bit lighter, try Palest Pistachio or Iceberg, which are the lighter hues on the Smoke color card

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