The 9 Best Gray and Charcoal Paint Colours: Benjamin Moore
(partner post to The Best Benjamin Moore Neutral Paint Colours)
Gray is undoubtedly one of the most popular paint choices these days. And with a wide variety of depths and undertones to choose from, it’s easy to see why gray has surpassed beige as the most popular neutral.
However, when choosing a gray paint colour, you have to pay EXTRA close attention to the undertones. Of course you always have to pay close attention to undertones when picking a paint colour, however they are far sneakier when they are tucked into grays and charcoals.
So here they are…
**To view these colours on the Benjamin Moore website, please click on the underlined name in the description of each colour.
The Best Light Gray Paint Colours
Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter HC 172
Revere Pewter is a lovely soft gray. Not so light that it comes close to being an ‘off-white’, however not even remotely bordering on the ‘mid-toned’ range. Revere Pewter is slightly warmer than some of the other comparable grays and almost holds a slightly muddy tone compared to the more ‘fresh and cool’ grays and has been known to pick up a faint green/greige undertone.
Check out this post ‘All About Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter’
OR check out my wicked video here!
More about Revere Pewter
Revere Pewter works in rooms with Northern exposure or Southern exposure
- While it is in the light-er range, it can be a bit heavy for a dark room or a hallway
- If it’s a bit darker than you wanted, try lightening it by 25-50%
Exteriors. It’s also great as a choice for the exterior body of the house (especially when paired with Cloud White)
- With an LRV of 55, it’s important to note that Revere Pewter will not be a ‘fresh and bright’ gray. While it won’t absorb light, it certainly won’t be a light and bright colour
Read more: Pick the Best Paint Colour with LRV
Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray HC 170
Stonington Gray is very comparable to Revere Pewter in depth, however it’s on the cooler side of things as it has a very subtle almost stormy blue undertone. It is SUPER passive and more or less retains its ‘cool gray’ look. Compared to Revere Pewter, it will feel like a more ‘clean and cool gray’.
More about Stonington Gray
It’s great for South facing rooms. The cool nature of Stonington Gray will help to balance out the heat of a South facing room.
I find it a little too cool for most bedrooms, however it does look great when placed with black and stark white if you’re looking for a more contemporary and modern look.
While it’s not blue, it does pick up a slight blue undertone as it’s not a warm gray
- It is a light colour, however I consider it a ‘heavy’ light as it’s not AS fresh feeling as many other gray colours (like Gray Owl below…)
- The LRV of Stonington is 59, a bit better than Revere Pewter, but not HUGELY different. Overall, because Revere Pewter is a bit more muddy feeling, Stonington Gray will feel a bit more fresh and bright
Benjamin Moore Gray Owl OC 52
Gray Owl is a light gray paint colour with super subtle undertones of blue and green.
Via Kylie M Interiors E-design and local services
- Gray Owl works well in South facing rooms and while it can work in a North facing room, it won’t feel REMOTELY warm
- Is beautiful and fresh with white
- Gray Owl is a light paint colour.
- While it does have the blue/green undertone, overall it just acts like a soft, light and fresh gray
- With an LRV in the mid 60’s, Gray Owl WILL freshen and brighten a room as it reflects natural/artificial light back into the space
These 2 gray paint colours are the most romantic of the bunch. While they aren’t warm grays, they give off a warmer feeling than more traditional grays because of their slight greige and slightly warm purple undertone. Collingwood is the dark version of Balboa Mist.
More about Collingwood and Balboa Mist
- Look great with cherry toned cabinets
- Do well in north or south facing rooms, but thrive best in a ‘well-lit’ room
- The LRV of Balboa Mist is similar to that of Gray Owl and Collingwood isn’t that far off. Not ‘exceptionally’ fresh and bright colours, but they’ll still do the trick!
The Best Mid-toned and Dark Gray and Charcoal Paint Colours
Benjamin Moore Chelsea Gray HC 168
Chelsea Gray is just the perfect medium toned gray. Not too light, not too dark…juuuust right. Chelsea Gray contains very little undertone which means that it acts quite neutral. This also makes it very flexible with any number of colours.
More about Chelsea Gray
Whether it’s a small bedroom or a large room, Chelsea Gray is neither overwhelming nor underwhelming.
Exteriors. Chelsea Gray is fantastic as an exterior colour, particularly on the body of the house.
Great for cabinets and furniture
- Chelsea Gray has an LRV of 23 – it will absorb light and look quite heavy in a room without adequate lighting
Read more: How to Pick the Best Paint Colour with LRV
Benjamin Moore Amherst Gray HC 167
Via Kylie M Interiors E-design and local colour consulting
More about Amherst Gray and Kendall Charcoal
This charcoal can be too strong to paint an entire room with if the room doesn’t have good natural and artificial lighting, however it ALWAYS looks fab as a feature/accent wall.
Exterior. Great colour for the body of your home if you’re looking for some heavy drama and depth. Also a great accent/trim colour for the exterior.
- The LRV of this paint colour is under 20…yup, it’s dark
Rockport Gray, when compared with Chelsea Gray, Rockport is not only lighter, it appears more soft and muted. Rockport is like the perfect mix of gray, and mocha with just a weeee drop of green in there that is so passive you just might never see it. While I wouldn’t say that it is exactly ‘warm’ – it’s definitely softer and warmer looking than Chelsea Gray/Amherst. Nobody will think you have green or taupe walls – they will just look soft and welcoming.
With an LRV of 37, Rockport Gray will still absorb light but not NEARLY as much as Chelsea Gray and the others.
Via Kylie M Interiors E-décor
More about Rockport Gray
If you put green next to Rockport Gray it will bring out the purple undertones so be cautious if that isn’t the look you are going for
- Rockport Gray really is a charcoal paint colour, however the brown in it softens it and warms it up slightly
- The photo above is via my Online Color and Decorating Services
Benjamin Moore Storm is a more ‘fresh’ medium toned gray than Rockport Gray and has a very subtle greige undertone that softens it. While it is lighter than Chelsea Gray, it is still considered a medium tone as it will add some decent contrast with any white trim.
Source – Helen Thompson In House
Source – Braam’s Custom Cabinets
More about Storm
- Storm is a gray with a very very slight purple undertone, it is so subtle that it’s hard to notice most of the time. And of course the top photo proves me wrong, but it’s true
- With an LRV of 36 (damn close to Rockport Gray), this paint colour sits happily in the medium end of things. While it will still absorb light, it won’t be ‘dense’ or too heavy feeling
Now let me tell you, there are many more Grays and Grays with Undertones that Benjamin Moore offers, this is just the beginning and hopefully it will help you find your perfect gray.
Still not sure what colour to pick? Check out my affordable E-Design and Online Colour Consulting Services!
Kylie M Interiors Interior Decorating, Design, Blog, Home Staging and E-Design Consultations. Based in Nanaimo BC and serving the whole darned World!
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