Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal HC-166

Picture a room with walls cloaked in a velvety hue that exudes elegance. A color that effortlessly balances modern sophistication with timeless charm. Charcoal gray paint colors have taken the interior design world by storm, captivating homeowners and designers alike with their sophisticated allure. These shades of gray add depth, warmth, and a touch of mystery to any space. Among the myriad options, one paint color reigns supreme for both interiors and exteriors: Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal. Let’s explore the fascinating world of charcoal gray and discuss why this particular color is considered a top shade in this category.

Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal color review

All About Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal

Benjamin Moore describes Kendall Charcoal “as a dark neutral that works beautifully with a wide spectrum of colors.” It’s part of Benjamin Moore’s Historical Collection which is full of timeless paint colors. Its richness gives it a luxe feel that is grounded and versatile. Kendall Gray is a slightly cool dark gray paint color with greenish-black undertones. While some cool colors can feel icy and cold because of blue undertones, you don’t see that in this color which has green undertones. While BM Kendall Charcoal looks dark, it lightens up in bright rooms. It also doesn’t feel too dark or cold in spaces that lack natural light. It’s a beautiful color that looks amazing in lots of different spaces. 

How Light or How Dark is Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal

It’s dark. It’s not black but it’s also not exactly a medium gray either. Its name Kendall Charcoal is fitting because charcoal gray is exactly where it sits on the color charts. Kendall Charcoal is the perfect dark, dark rich paint color if you want something bold and moody but still neutral and not black.

What is the LRV of Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal?

The Light Reflectance Value or LRV of Kendall Charcoal is 14.61.

What is LRV anyway?

Well, Light Reflective Value or LRV is a tool used to determine how light or dark a paint color is. LRV is measured on a scale of 0-100, with 100 being the brightest, most pure white and 0 being black. 

What does that even mean? The operative word here is light. Light Reflective Value means how much light is reflected. The more light that is reflected, the lighter the paint color. This is a dark paint color. It’s not that close to black, which is a 0 on the scale, but it’s much lower than a medium gray like Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray which has an LRV of about 59. 

What Undertones Does HC-166 Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal Have?

Undertones are always super important to examine because they will help you to determine how a color is going to work in your space. Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal has green undertones and black undertones. These green undertones prevent Kendall Charcoal from turning too cold so it will never feel icy or stark. The green, while still cool, gives Kendall Charcoal depth so that it feels grounded and inviting.

What are Some Coordinating Colors to Kendall Charcoal?

Oh, I’m glad you asked. This rich, dark gray is a pretty easy paint color to complement. For white trim, I always recommend Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace. It’s a gorgeous crisp white that really pops against gray walls. If you want something a little cooler to go with Kendall Charcoal you may want to check out Benjamin Moore’s Decorator’s White. Alternatively, White Dove is a great warm white trim color option.

As a rich and versatile neutral Kendall Charcoal really plays nicely with a wide array of colors both cool and warm.

What Paint Sheen Should I Use for Kendall Charcoal?

I think eggshell and satin are both great options as paint sheens for Kendall Charcoal. I prefer more matte finishes but that isn’t to say that high gloss finishes don’t have their place. If you want to evoke a more luxurious feel you could go with a semi-gloss or high-gloss sheen. For trim though, I recommend a satin or semi-gloss for easy cleaning. Additionally, if you love Kendall Charcoal and want to use it as your wall and trim color consider using different sheens for a slight contrast.

Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal in Real Spaces

Kendall Charcoal Traditional Dining Room

If you think charcoal gray is too dark for walls then this dining room may change your mind. The abundance of natural light, plus the white wainscoting, trim, and ceiling all lighten up this space. The bright room lightens up Kendall Charcoal quite a bit and you can see the green undertones ever so slightly.

Kendall Charcoal Exterior

I love, love, love Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal as an exterior paint color. It’s especially gorgeous with white trim and a front door that boasts a pop of color. If you go all charcoal with the siding and trim you get a moodier look. The white trim brightens it up and gives it a more traditional vibe.

Rich Charcoal Gray Home Office

This home office manages to feel luxurious and casual all at once. The warm rug and the white trim and ceiling bring the perfect balance to the richness of the walls.

Dark Gray Bedroom Walls

Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal bedroom wall color
via Lindsey Black Interiors
photo cred Selavie Photography

One of the best places to use Kendall Charcoal in my opinion is as a bedroom wall color. It’s a nice neutral that works well with tons of different accent colors. It’s gorgeous in here with the soft pinks and crisp white room accents. 

Slightly Moody Gray Bathroom

gray walls in bathroom - paint color Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal
via Highmark Builders photo Landmark Photography

Less natural light makes this deep gray feel a little more moody. The white trim and accents bring a little brightness but overall this bathroom has a bit of moody vibes and I’m digging it.

Kendall Charcoal Pops as an Accent Color

Kendall Charcoal gray barn door
via Michelle McCoy Designs

This dark gray is an excellent color for an entire room but it also is a favorite for interior doors, accent walls, and even barn doors like these. The rich charcoal creates a beautiful contrast against the crisp white walls.

Charcoal Gray Kitchen Cabinets

Kitchen cabinets painted in Kendall Charcoal
via Mann Designs Studio photo by Peter Molick Photography

Do we love the charcoal cabinets or do we love them? The color scheme going on here is neutral but interesting. I love the subway tile with dark grout that complements the rich cabinets so well. The whole space is complemented beautifully by the huge, rich, wood island. The entire kitchen is a stunner.

Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal kitchen cabinets
via Hsu McCullough photo by Dan Arnold

These charcoal gray kitchen cabinets are the perfect contrast to the white backsplash and counters.

Moody Dark Gray Living Room

You can see how this monochromatic space is moody yet it remains neutral. It’s luxe and rich. Part of the richness comes from the rich gray trim, doors, and ceiling. One great way to create a mood in a space is to use the same paint color on the walls, trim, door, and ceiling.

Dark Gray Accent Wall

Gray accent walls really pop against lighter walls. I love the black, gray, and white bathroom here. The back accent wall is painted Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal. The contrast with the slate tile, white countertops, and warm wood vanity is really lovely.

Alternative Dark Gray Paint Colors and How They Compare

Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal vs. Benjamin Moore Iron Mountain

Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal and Benjamin Moore Iron Mountain

Benjamin Moore Iron Mountain is on the same paint card as Kendall Charcoal. Iron Mountain is just slightly darker. Benjamin Moore considers Iron Mountain to be a soft black. I would call it another rich dark, dark gray neutral. In comparison on the LRV scale, Iron Mountain is a bit darker. Iron Mountain has an LRV of just under 11 which is a few points lower. If you want to go a touch darker then Kendall Charcoal is a good option!

Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal vs Sherwin Williams Peppercorn

Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal vs Sherwin Williams Peppercorn

SW Peppercorn is a Sherwin Williams charcoal gray. Sherwin Williams calls it a “versatile dark gray, evenly balanced between warm and cool. It has an LRV of 10, slightly lower than Kendall Charcoal’s almost 15. Both are rich neutrals. 

Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal vs. Benjamin Moore Deep Space

Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal and Benjamin Moore Deepspace

If you do want a dark gray with some hints of blue instead of green undertones Deep Space is a great option. It’s slightly darker with an LRV of 10.8. The blue undertones can feel a bit cold but it can be warmed up beautifully with warm white trim.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal is a vibrant dark gray paint color that adds depth and warmth to any space to give it a fresh look. It’s part of Benjamin Moore’s Historical Collection which makes it timeless and sophisticated. The richness of this paint color gives off an air of luxe while the green undertones keep it from feeling too cold. With its LRV of 14.61, it’s definitely a dark paint color but still lightens up in brighter rooms. Overall, this color is the perfect choice if you’re looking for something bold and moody but still neutral and not black.

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