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Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal (HC-166) is the dark slate gray of your dreams. It’s moody elegance makes it the perfect choice for an accent wall, to add dramatic flair to cabinets and built-ins, or even to paint the exterior of your house. Not to mention it’s ability to work as a front door color!

paint swipe of Kendall Charcoal

What Color is BM Kendall Charcoal?

Kendall Charcoal is a great color for those who love dark, moody grays! It is considered a dark slate gray with a slight green undertone. While there are many popular dark gray paint colors out there, this is one of my all time favorites!

Hallway with Kendall Charcoal walls and bright white trim and photo frames

It’s such a beautiful paint color when paired with lots of white as many darker shades are. It feels fresh, modern and cozy despite being such a dark color and works with many color schemes.

What are the Undertones of Kendall Charcoal?

Like I previously mentioned, it has a tiny bit of a green undertone that stops it from feeling cold. Since it’s a dark gray, I wouldn’t exactly call it a warm color, but it does sway slightly that way.

Like all warm undertones, the green will become slightly more obvious in really bright rooms with warm south facing light, but I wouldn’t be overly concerned about it. Your room will not ever look green! In darker rooms, or areas with northern exposure, it will always look like a deep slate gray.

What’s the LRV of Kendall Charcoal?

Kendall Charcoal has an LRV of 13, which is not quite black but definitely in the dark gray category. For reference, LRV means light reflectance value. A value of 0 is pure black, while 100 is pure white.

Is Kendall Charcoal Warm Or Cool?

I alluded to this previously, but it’s not super obviously one way or the other. If you had to pick, it does have a smidge of warmth. The great part is it can be paired with both warm or cool shades and still look fabulous.

What Colors Coordinate with Kendall Charcoal

Kendall Charcoal coordinates really well warm whites, greiges, beiges and taupes but can also work alongside some cool shades.

If you are looking for white trim paint to coordinate, Sherwin Williams Pure White, Benjamin Moore Oxford White or Benjamin Moore White Dove are great choices.

If you’re using it as an accent wall color, I would keep the other three walls simple with a slightly warm white like White Dove.

What White Trim Color Looks Best with Kendall Charcoal?

Kendall Charcoal is acting as the accent color here so BM Chantilly Lace trim is the perfect match for a bright white, or BM White Dove for a softer look. Crisp white room accents will finish off the look perfectly!

Bm Kendall Charcoal accent wall in a bedroom

Does Kendall Charcoal Look Good As An Exterior Paint Color?

Yes! Kendall Charcoal is actually just as amazing of an exterior color as an interior paint if you are thinking a dark gray is what you want for your home. I’ve seen an entire house painted with this on the exterior and it was show stopping. Pair it with natural wood shades and crisp whites to avoid looking dark or dingey.

Where Can I Use Kendall Charcoal?

One idea would be to use this color on a wall leading to the second floor of your home where your staircase is. You can turn this into a beautiful accent wall so easily! Other fun ideas would be to use this in your home office, on kitchen cabinets, on the exterior of a home, or in a bathroom. Also explore small spaces like a den, reading nook, or cubby section.

Kendall Charcoal vs Chelsea Gray

Benjamin Moore Chelsea Gray is substantially lighter than Kendall Charcoal, with an LRV of 23 versus Kendal Charcoal’s 13. I would consider it a medium-to-dark gray as opposed to dark gray like Kendall Charcoal. In southern exposure, it can look quite warm, whereas Kendall Charcoal is so dark that it will never have that issue.

color swatch kendall charcoal versus chelsea gray

Depending on the room and lighting conditions, Chelsea Gray’s warmer yellow/green undertone can become evident. It has also been know to sway a tiny bit blue or purple, depending on other colors in the room.

Kendall Charcoal vs Peppercorn

Sherwin Williams Peppercorn is another incredibly popular dark slate gray that I see used a lot to accent woodwork and cabinetry.

color swatch kendall charcoal versus sherwin williams peppercorn

Peppercorn is just a smidge darker than Kendall Charcoal, with an LRV of 10. It does however have a tendency to pick up undertones of purple or blue, making it a cooler color. It’s not “cold” but any means, but slightly cool. In the comparison above, you can see how Kendall Charcoal is a warmer color, and how it makes Peppercorn pull a tiny bit purple.

Peppercorn is also an incredibly versatile dark gray and pairs well with many other colors, particularly cooler ones.

Kendall Charcoal vs Grizzle Gray

Grizzle Gray has a strong blue-green undertone, that you can really notice next to Kendall Charcoal. So much so, that Kendall Charcoal looks much closer to a warmer brown undertone.

color swatch kendall charcoal versus grizzle gray

Pairing a warmer and cooler color together like this really helps you to see the undertones in each, and why pairing warm and cool colors together doesn’t work unless you really know what you’re doing!


Sherwin Williams Grizzle Gray or Storm Warning are similar to Kendall Charcoal. The best way to ensure you’re getting a close match is to take a sample to a Sherwin Williams store and compare swatches.

Chelsea Gray is a good option if you are looking for something lighter and brighter.

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Don’t Forget To Always Use Real Paint Samples!

Don’t forget – no matter what you’ve read or photos you’ve seen online, it’s really important to sample paint colors in your home before committing!

Samplize provides peel and stick paint samples made with real paint, that are easy to move around your home, and cheaper than buying a gazillion paint pots! It’s the only way I buy paint samples.

Final Thoughts

Whether you want to add a bold punch of color to a living room wall, in the dining room, kitchen island, or add luxury to the exterior of your home, Kendall Charcoal is a color to consider! Benjamin Moore’s Kendall Charcoal might be just the thing your space needs for a fresh look.

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