The Top 9 Gray & Charcoal Paint Colours: Benjamin Moore
Gray is undoubtedly one of the most popular paint colours. And with a wide variety of depths, shades and undertones to choose from, it’s easy to see why gray has been a top choice for walls, cabinets, exteriors and more.
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, but they are far sneakier when tucked into gray.
THE BEST GRAY PAINT COLOURS
1. BENJAMIN MOORE REVERE PEWTER HC-172
Revere Pewter is a light (closer to light-medium) warm gray. Revere Pewter is slightly warmer than some other comparable grays and has an earth-toned look when up against fresh and cool grays. It’s also WELL-known for picking up a faint green undertone.
Read more: All About Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter
OR check out my wicked video here!
Revere Pewter is also gorgeous on kitchen cabinets and interior doors…
See more of this kitchen remodel here
See more of this entryway here
Revere Pewter was darkened by approx 25-50% for the above kitchen cabinets and doors. Why? Sheen affects how a paint colour looks, and with the satin sheen (vs the standard eggshell on walls), it would’ve looked too soft at regular strength.
WHY IS REVERE PEWTER A POPULAR WARM GRAY?
- While it’s in the lightish range, it can be heavy for a dark room or hallway.
- If it’s a bit darker than you want, try lightening it by 25%.
- With an LRV of 55, it’s important to note that Revere Pewter will not be a fresh, bright gray. While it won’t absorb light, it’s not going to reflect a ton either if you don’t have great natural or artificial lighting (learn some AMAZING THINGS about lighting HERE).
It can also work on the exterior of a home (especially when paired with Cloud White), but can look warmer than you’d expect with natural light on it!
2. 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 with its passive stormy blue undertone. Compared to Revere Pewter, it will look like a more clean, cool gray, but can slide slightly blue-green at times.
WHY IS STONINGTON GRAY SO POPULAR?
The cool nature of Stonington Gray will help balance out the heat of a south-facing room.
- It can pick up a tiny (wee tiny) touch of green, but don’t expect it to – it heavily favours blue.
- It’s a light colour, however, more of 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 look more fresh in comparison.
3. BENJAMIN MOORE GRAY OWL OC-52
Gray Owl is a light gray paint colour with super subtle undertones of blue and green.
View more of this Gray Owl home here
Gray Owl CAN look good on the exterior of a home, but if it gets a good hit of natural light (south or west) it can wash out a LOT. It’s best suited to a home with frontal northern exposure.
WHY IS GRAY OWL ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR GRAY PAINT COLOURS?
- Gray Owl works well in south-facing rooms. While it can work in a north-facing room, it won’t look REMOTELY warm.
- It’s beautiful and fresh with white paint colours.
- Gray Owl has a green undertone (that also loves to flex over to blue), but overall, often acts like a soft, light, fresh gray.
- With an LRV in the mid-60s, Gray Owl WILL freshen and brighten a room as it reflects natural/artificial light back into the space.
4. BENJAMIN MOORE COLLINGWOOD OC-28
While Collingwood isn’t greige, it certainly wants to lean that way with its soft, pretty warmth. But just because it LOOKS gray, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have a sneaky undertone hiding inside – specifically, purple.
5. BENJAMIN MOORE BALBOA MIST OC-27
Balboa Mist is kind of like a lighter, softer version of Collingwood. It’s also slightly more likely to pick up a very weee wink o’ pink in its purple undertone.
See more of this stunning bathroom here: A Marble Inspired Ensuite
WHY ARE COLLINGWOOD & BALBOA MIST SO POPULAR?
- with trends leaning warmer, warm grays like Balboa Mist and Collingwood are more likely to last
- they look great with cherry-toned cabinets.
- they do well in north or south-facing rooms but thrive best in reasonably well-lit rooms
- the LRV of Balboa Mist (LRV 67) with Collingwood coming in at 62 – BANG on my magic number!
6. BENJAMIN MOORE CLASSIC GRAY OC-23
Classic Gray is a beautiful off-white gray with subtle warmth to it. Unlike Revere Pewter which can cast green, Classic Gray has a weeee drop of purple in it, which can sometimes lean just slightly purple-pink. I’m NOT a pink/purple fan at all and have this in my home and LOVE it.
See more of this project here
WHY IS CLASSIC GRAY A POPULAR WARM GRAY PAINT COLOUR?
- Classic Gray is a warm gray, but it doesn’t have enough beige/warmth in it to be greige.
- It has an LRV of 74, so it’s pretty darned light while offering a bit of contrast with the right white trim.
Click HERE or on the above image to see available packages
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
- At $6.99, they’re more affordable than the samples pots/rollers/foam boards that are needing 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
7. BENJAMIN MOORE CHELSEA GRAY HC-168
Chelsea Gray is an AWESOME medium-toned gray. Not too light, not too dark…juuuust right. Chelsea Gray contains only a wink of undertone – green, but it can be VERY vague. And believe it or not, it’s actually a WARM gray, but you’ll hardly know it unless you compare it directly to cooler gray paint colours.
Stonington Gray walls / Chelsea Gray doors
Chelsea Gray is also a beautiful choice for kitchen cabinets, as long as your countertop/flooring can humour that vague green undertone.
WHY IS CHELSEA GRAY SUCH A POPULAR DARKER GRAY PAINT COLOUR?
Whether it’s a small bedroom or a large room, Chelsea Gray is neither overwhelming nor underwhelming as long as you are comfortable with some depth.
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.
8. BENJAMIN MOORE AMHERST GRAY HC-167
Amherst Gray is like a darker version of Chelsea Gray that’s EQUALLY as beautiful on walls, cabinets, cupboards, furniture and feature/accent walls. And like Chelsea Gray, it does love to grab a wink o’ green!
Look how much warmer and brighter Amherst Gray looks on this fireplace surround, this is via the paint finish (satin) and the artificial light shining on it…
IS AMHERST GRAY A POPULAR DARK GRAY PAINT COLOUR?
- While Chelsea Gray is definitely MORE popular, Amherst Gray is top amongst those looking for a shade with more DEPTH.
Amherst Gray can be too strong for an entire room if you don’t have good natural and artificial lighting. However, it ALWAYS looks fab as a feature/accent wall or on cabinets.
It’s a great colour for the exterior body of your home if you’re looking for some 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. If you would something a bit darker yet, check out Kendall Charcoal.
9. BENJAMIN MOORE ROCKPORT GRAY HC-105
Rockport Gray, when compared with Chelsea Gray, is not only lighter, it appears softer and more muted. Rockport is like the perfect mix of gray, and mocha with just a weeee drop of green that’s SO passive you just might never see it. While I wouldn’t say that it’s exactly warm looking – it’s definitely softer and warmer looking than Chelsea Gray/Amherst. If you’re sensitive to green, you might not like it, but if you’re okay with a touch, it could be right up your alley!
With an LRV of 37, Rockport Gray will still absorb light but not NEARLY as much as Chelsea Gray and the others.
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’re going for.
- Rockport Gray really is a greige of sorts, but the green is so passive, that at times, it comes across a bit taupe!
- If you don’t like green undertones, don’t pick this colour. If you don’t like purple undertones, don’t pick this colour (and this means you like blue undertones).
- ALL of the above photos are via my Online Color and Decorating Services!
Still not sure which colour to pick?
Check out my E-Design and Online Colour Consulting Services!