HomeThe Best Paint ColoursBENJAMIN MOORE & SHERWIN WILLIAMS: Paint Color ReviewsBenjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal HC-166: QUICK Paint Color Review

Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal HC-166: QUICK Paint Color Review

Posted on January 4, 2021 by KylieMawdsley
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Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal: The Best DARK Gray Paint Color? Maybe! 

If you’re looking for a WICKED dark gray paint color, Kendall Charcoal should be at the TOP of your list. Not only is it awesome for feature walls and cabinets, but it’s also gorgeous on bathroom vanities, front doors and exteriors too!

Paint review, most true dark gray paint colour. Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, popular design and diy decorating blogger with advice

I love to show RELATEABLE & REAL homes, so ONLY use photos from my Online Color Consulting clients. This means I don’t always have the quality pics I need (hence the ‘QUICK Review’), but DEFINITELY have some SUPER helpful info to help you on your way!

What type of paint color is Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal? Is it warm or cool? Is it a TRUE gray?

Although Kendall Charcoal can look PRETTY DAMN GRAY, it does have a weeee tiny wink o’ warmth as well as a super passive undertone which we’ll get into shortly. THAT ALL BEING SAID, Kendall Charcoal ‘generally speaking’ does act like a pretty neutral dark gray paint color.

If you have south-facing light, you can expect Kendall Charcoal to lean INTO that warmth, without going remotely greige. If you have north-facing light, Kendall Charcoal will commit hardcore to its gray base without any warmth in sight, UNLESS you partner it with a LEGIT icy cold gray.

Read more: North, East, South, West – Which Paint Color is the Best?

What’s the LRV of Kendall Charcoal?

Kendall Charcoal has a SKOOKUM dark LRV of 12.96, putting it ALMOST in the DARK range. If you have a bright room, it will lighten up for sure, while holding a KILLER contrast with white trim. However, if you have a dark room, you can expect Kendall Charcoal to look almost black.

Not sure what LRV is? It could save your paint lovin’ life – read all about it HERE.

What are the undertones of Kendall Charcoal? Will it look blue, green or purple?

Every gray has undertones, either blue, green or purple. And while some grays can easily flex into ANY of those, Kendall Charcoal usually commits to green – it’s SUBTLE, but it tends to NOT go blue or purple.

Feature or accent wall Kendall Charcoal in nursery room warm greige walls, beige carpet. Kylie M interiors, client photo

Thank you to my client and Tim Hanson Productions for this great shot of Kendall Charcoal in action!

What’s the best way to sample Kendall Charcoal?

Like with every paint color, I highly recommend using SAMPLIZE. Samplize is a peel & stick paint sample that you can easily move around your room for over HALF THE COST of traditional sample pots – and they deliver right to your front door!

I also recommend getting a sample of Benjamin Moore Black 2132-10. Comparing the two will help you see the real DEPTH and body of Kendall Charcoal.

Learn all about Samplize HERE

If I’m painting my walls Kendall Charcoal, what’s the best white paint color for my trim?

Kendall Charcoal is pretty friendly with a WIDE-RANGE of white paint colors. However, it doesn’t LOVE super cool whites or OVERLY creamy ones and is more inclined towards the likes of…

  • Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace for a clean contrasting look
  • Benjamin Moore White Dove for a softer, more subtle (but still contrasting) look
  • Benjamin Moore Oxford White, which is in the middle!

The 8 Best White Paint Colors from Benjamin Moore

Is Kendall Charcoal a good color for the exterior of my home? 

HELLS YEAH! Well, I mean, I can’t promise it’ll look good on YOUR home, but I can say that if your home (roof/stone/brick/surroundings) can handle a dark charcoal gray with this super passive green undertone – it could look pretty badass.

5 Tips to Choosing an Exterior Paint Color

Is Kendall Charcoal a popular paint color right now?

Kendall Charcoal isn’t popular, but that’s only because when it comes to gray, MOST people are aiming for the lighter, brighter end of things. As far as dark charcoal grays go though, it HAS to be in the top three for sure!

The Best Paint Colors for Bathroom Vanities

What Sherwin Williams paint colors are the same as or similar to Kendall Charcoal?

Wellllll, this is where it gets awkward (like me pulling out my wedgie at the coffee shop). Every color has its own particular nuances and there will be NO perfect match – you WILL see shifts in undertones, temperature and depths. Kendall Charcoal exists in its own world, so really, the NEXT best thing is…

  • Sherwin Williams Peppercorn is a SUPER deadly dark gray paint clour, but is waaaaaay more flexible with its undertones and can pick up ANY of them. I refer to it 10 times less than I do Kendall Charcoal, just because it’s that bit more unpredictable
  • Sherwin Williams Gauntlet Gray is like a LEGIT warm gray, so it’s in the same ballpark, but hitting a different ball. However, I do suggest it ALL THE TIME to my Online Color Consulting clients

BTW, if you’re thinking of color matching between brands (ie: getting BM to make an SW paint color), you might want to read THIS first.

Not sure if Kendall Charcoal is right for you? I’ve got more!

Paint Color Review of Sherwin Williams Grizzle Gray

Paint Color Review of Benjamin Moore Amherst Gray

The 4 Best Paint Colors for Your Kitchen Island

Not sure which paint color is best for YOUR home?

Check out my Online Paint Color Consulting – I’d love to help!

Online paint colour consultant Benjamin Moore Sherwin Williams, Vancouver Island, USA, UK. Interior, exterior, edesign colors. Kylie M Interiors, blogger marketing. Best exterior paint colors



  1. Hi Kylie, thanks for your post on Kendall Charcoal. We are painting our south facing home exterior siding this color with warm rock details and trim in a light grey/creamy color. Just wondering what color garage door we could do that’s darker than Kendall, but not too dark?
    thanks for any advise you have!

    1. Post

      Hi Angela! Well, Kendall Charcoal is already pretty darn dark on its own, so not TOO dark is a relative term ;). I might look at SW Iron Ore????

  2. Hi Kylie, I tested this on my walls and LOVE it. If I want to do Kendall Charcoal for a focal wall, what light neutral would you pair it with? Like the nursery image in this post? Love your work! Thank you.

    1. Post

      Hi Samantha, Kendall Charcoal is pretty darn flexible, so it depends on what suits your flooring/exposure! Off the top, I would check out Benjamin Moore Classic Gray and Edgecomb Gray 🙂

  3. Ohh I love Kendall Charcoal on my shiplap fireplace focal wall! I’ve gone through a couple colours on the other walls however and none look right. Southern exposure with white oak floors.

    Any suggestions? I’ve heard southern should have a cooler paint colour but I’m hesitant to choose another colour!


  4. Hi ,

    Our South facingTudor inspired exterior will be mainly an off white greigy brick (Riverway by ACME Brick) … Am considering Rockport Gray for some siding blocks and Kendall Charcoal for the trim. Do you think this would work?

    Thank You,

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