The Most Popular DARK Gray (Charcoal) Paint Colors
Are you looking for the perfect dark gray for your cabinets, walls, or exterior? You’ve come to the right blog! Today we’re exploring the DARK side of things with Sherwin William’s most popular charcoal paint colors. But before we start, we need to have a little chat (as usual).
DARK GRAY PAINT COLORS & UNDERTONES
When it comes to gray, there will always be undertones (no matter HOW much you wish otherwise).
And while these undertones are often passive in the lighter end of things, by the time we hit the dark side, they don’t hide as well. This means that there are often FEWER great ‘neutral’ looking options to choose from if you’re one of those who wants to see as little undertone as humanly possible.
Remember, you can’t avoid undertones entirely so you need to pick the one that best suits the finishes in your home!
So, now that we’ve got that awkward little chat out of the way, let’s jump in!
BTW, You’ll find that ALL of these colors have LRV’s that are lower than 30. Not sure what LRV is? It could save your PAINT LOVIN’ LIFE – read all about it HERE.
1. SHERWIN WILLIAMS DOVETAIL SW 7018
WARM GRAY – MILD VIOLET, RARELY GREEN
With its LRV of 26, Dovetail isn’t one of the DARKER grays, but it still has some great meat on its bones (or feathers on its tail might be more the point).
Dovetail has a passive warmth to it and you’d be hard-pressed to EVER see it flashing like a traditional cool gray paint color. It also has some very subtle undertones that you can read about in its full color review.
Benjamin Moore White Dove cabinets, Dovetail island
2. SHERWIN WILLIAMS CLASSIC FRENCH GRAY SW 0077
GRAY – PASSIVE GREEN UNDERTONE
If you ask ME, a color that’s called ‘Classic French Gray‘ should have a violet undertone, don’t you think? Or is it just me making some weird mental connection with something from my childhood? Anyway. Sherwin Williams Classic French Gray has a very subtle green undertone (winking slightly at green-blue in some lights). However, it’s so passive that I consider it to be one of the MOST NEUTRAL dark gray paint colors, with the knowledge that all grays really do have undertones.
Check out Classic French Gray on a sunny day and notice how subtle the undertones are…
And now with soft indirect sunlight…
3. SHERWIN WILLIAMS ROYCROFT PEWTER SW 2848
GRAY – BLUE-GREEN UNDERTONE
If you’re a lover of the DARK end of things, welcome to the club. Not only do I have the STUNNING Urbane Bronze in my home, but I also have Roycroft Pewter – and NOT just on the inside, but on the OUTSIDE TOO!
When we bought our home, it wasn’t BAD…it just wasn’t good (look at how the sun had turned our almond windows a fine shade of yellow-green…
AFTER, with a little KLC, Roycroft Pewter plays into the blue-green hues in the K2 slate stone and gives our home much more presence…
Roycroft Pewter has a BIT more undertone than the average dark gray but doesn’t QUITE step into the colorful end of things. While it caters to a blue undertone, it dips its pedicured toes into green quite nicely. With an LRV of 13, Roycroft Pewter is definitely on the edge of the CONSIDERABLY dark side.
And here it is in our interior with Edgecomb Gray (lightened) on the walls…
Let’s take a quick break to talk about paint samples…
Undoubtedly, you’ll be heading out in the near future to grab paint samples – stop right there! I want you to check out SAMPLIZE. Samplize offers peel and stick paint samples that are more AFFORDABLE, EASIER and more ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY than traditional paint pots. Here are just a FEW reasons why I recommend Samplize to my clients…
- samples arrive ON YOUR DOORSTEP in 1-3 business days, depending on location
- they’re more affordable than the samples pots/rollers/foam boards that are needed for traditional paint sampling
- if you keep the samples on their white paper, you can move them around the room
Visit the SAMPLIZE website HERE
4. SHERWIN WILLIAMS GRIZZLE GRAY SW 7068
GRAY – STRONG GREEN UNDERTONE
Give me some Grizzle fo’ shizzle! Sorry, just channelling my inner gangster. Grizzle Gray has an LRV of 13 which means it has some decent meat on its bones, but won’t ever look blackish. And if you ask me, while Benjamin Moore Amherst Gray is known for its green undertone, Grizzle Gray puts it to SHAME with a more noticeable green and a slightly cooler approach.
Even in this dark basement with shadowed walls (next), Grizzle Gray still holds its color…
5. SHERWIN WILLIAMS GAUNTLET GRAY SW 7019
WARM GRAY – MILD VIOLET, RARELY GREEN
I’m throwin’ down the gauntlet with THIS gray. However, even with its LRV of 17, Gauntlet Gray isn’t the darkest charcoal gray but it sure has some solid depth.
In this next photo, Gauntlet Gray has a subtle violet undertone popping up. And while this IS one of Gauntlet’s undertones, it’s not usually this obvious…
6. SHERWIN WILLIAMS WESTCHESTER GRAY SW 2849
STORMY DARK GRAY, MINIMAL UNDERTONE
When it comes to undertones, it’s hard to beat the subtle approach of Westchester Gray. That’s not to say it’s perfectly neutral, but it’s not as committed as some of the other dark paint colors on this page.
The sun blows this photo out a bit, but I appreciate any photos my E-design clients send in!
While Westchester Gray can look a tiny wink blue, a touch green, it’s fractional and best and given the right exposure, interior lighting, surroundings, it can slightly nod to the other cool undertones.
7. SHERWIN WILLIAMS PEPPERCORN SW 7674
DARK COOL GRAY, MINOR FLEXIBLE GREEN UNDERTONE
If you choose Peppercorn, you’re in for one WILD undertone ride. Not that it’s overpowering by any stretch, it’s just UNPREDICTABLE. Like the color above it in the fan deck, Grizzle Gray, Peppercorn has a green undertone. However, given the right situation, don’t be surprised to see that green fall back to be replaced by a touch o’ blue-violet hues!
In this next bathroom, you’ll see a sneak-peek of Peppercorn as a feature wall with Benjamin Moore Collingwood.
Peppercorn has an LRV of 10, so it definitely has depth, more so than many of the colors on this page. However, it’s not dark enough to wink at the black end of things. Once I get more photos from my E-Design clients showing this color, I’ll add them in. Until then…
8. SHERWIN WILLIAMS WEB GRAY
DARK COOL GRAY, FLEXIBLE BLUE UNDERTONE
I love Web Gray. Its LRV of 13 is a great way to make an impact on the kitchen island, doors or feature walls, but it’s not so dark that it weighs a space down. But when it comes to undertones, it’s darn sneaky!
Web Gray favors a blue undertone, no doubt about it. However, given the situation, it can lean either blue-violet or blue-green. For example, put it against a stronger violet undertone like Sherwin Williams Wall Street and you’ll REALLY see the green pop up in there. But then, place it next to the green of Grizzle Gray and it looks more blue-violet again. COMPARISON IS KEY.
Sherwin Williams Web Gray with Pure White walls, trim and ceiling
And as you know, this review is only the beginning. So, if you didn’t fall in love with this paint color, I’ve got HUNDREDS more to choose from!
CHECK OUT MY ONLINE PAINT COLOR CONSULTING, COURSES & E-BOOKS!