The Top 9 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 colours. 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, but they are far sneakier when tucked into grays and charcoals.
So, let’s take a look at some of the more popular gray paint colours and learn about their undertones – and more!
The Best Gray Paint Colours
1. Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter HC 172
Revere Pewter is a light warm gray. It’s not so light that it comes even close to being an ‘off-white’, however, it’s also not near the medium-toned range – it’s right in the middle. 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 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.
More about Revere Pewter
- While it’s in the lighter 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
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!
Read more: Pick the Best Paint Colour with LRV
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.
More about Stonington Gray
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 a bit more fresh and bright as it’s cleaner looking
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 is best suited to a home with frontal northern exposure.
More about Gray Owl
- Gray Owl works well in south-facing rooms. While it can work in a north-facing room, it won’t feel REMOTELY warm
- Is beautiful and fresh with white
- Gray Owl has a green undertone (that also loves to flex over to blue), but overall, often 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
Read more: Colour Review Of Benjamin Moore Gray Owl
Click HERE or above image to see available packages
4. Benjamin Moore Collingwood Gray OC 28
While Collingwood isn’t greige, it certainly wants to lean that way with it’s 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
More about Collingwood and Balboa Mist
- 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) is similar to that of Gray Owl. Collingwood, with its LRV of 62 is 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
More about Classic Gray
- This is an off-white. You can darken it by 25% if you want a bit more contrast with your white trim (which is what I did in the above bathroom)
- 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!
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 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, however a few times I’ve seen it pick up the TINIEST touch of green. In reality, it’s a WARM gray, but you’d hardly know it unless you directly compared it 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.
It’s also a great choice for exterior trim…
More about Chelsea Gray
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
Read more: How to Pick the Best Paint Colour with LRV
8. Benjamin Moore Amherst Gray HC 167
Amherst Gray is like a darker version of Chelsea Gray. It’s a fab heavy charcoal colour for 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…
More about Amherst Gray
This charcoal can be too strong for an entire room if the room doesn’t have good natural and artificial lighting. However, it ALWAYS looks fab as a feature/accent wall or on cabinets
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
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 – 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 are going for
- Rockport Gray really is a glorified charcoal paint colour, however, the brown in it softens it and warms it up
- 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)
- The photo above is via my Online Color and Decorating Services
Still not sure which colour to pick?
Check out my E-Design and Online Colour Consulting Services!
KYLIE M INTERIORS E-DESIGN ONLINE OR VIRTUAL PAINT COLOUR CONSULTING AND DIY HOME DECORATING BLOGGER EXPERT IN BENJAMIN MOORE AND SHERWIN WILLIAMS PAINT COLOURS