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Kendall Charcoal: A Complete Paint Color Review

Kendall Charcoal, HC-166, is a popular dark gray paint color that is made by Benjamin Moore.

Because it is a very deep gray, it is bold, versatile and luxurious.

Because it is a fairly clean gray, it is easily paired with a variety of shades.

Keep reading for recommendations of coordinating colors for Kendall Charcoal.

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Kendall Charcoal Paint Color Details

While Benjamin Moore’s Kendall Charcoal is a gray paint color, all paint colors carry undertones.

These undertones are important to discuss because they provide us with more detail about what colors will go best with them.

Kendall Charcoal’s main undertones are green and black.

While grays with blue undertones can look icy and overly cool, grays with green undertones tend to feel grounded and stable.

The green undertones in Kendall Charcoal make it a cool gray, though it is a bit less cool than a bluish gray like Boothbay Gray.

Kendall Charcoal has an LRV, or Light Reflectance Value, of 13.

This 0-100 scale tells how how much light a color reflects back into a space, with 0 being absolute black and 100 being absolute white.

As you can tell, an LRV of 13 means that Kendall Charcoal is very, very dark.

Where Should I Use Benjamin Moore’s Kendall Charcoal?

Because Kendall Charcoal is so dark, it is not the best color for a whole room, unless you have a space that will support a dark, moody paint shade.

For example, dens or office rooms can look really stunning in a bold paint color, where as living rooms and bedrooms tend to benefit from much lighter shades.

Truly though, Kendall Charcoal is best when used as an accent color.

It can look gorgeous as a trim color, on interior or exterior doors, on cabinets, or on furniture.

Kendall Charcoal is also a great color for the accents of an exterior of a home, such as shutters, trim, doors, and railings.

It can also be used on the exterior of a home and paired with classic white trim.

What Colors Go with Kendall Charcoal?

Kendall Charcoal is a very versatile color, making it extremely useful. You can pair Kendall Charcoal with most shades.

Benjamin Moore recommends using Kendall Charcoal with Whirlpool, a light gray paint color, and Mascarpone, a creme colored paint.

This neutral color scheme is perfect for any style decor.

Kendall Charcoal Color Scheme 1

For a more sunny look, Benjamin Moore pairs Kendall Charcoal with White Vanilla, an off white paint color, and Old World Romance, a golden yellow paint shade.

Colors that Go With Kendall Charcoal

Last, I recommend putting Kendall Charcoal with Healing Aloe, a blue/green paint color that changes depending on the lighting and time of day, and Decorator’s White, a crisp white paint shade that is perfect for trim.

The green in Kendall Charcoal will likely make Healing Aloe look a little more bluish than it may otherwise.

For more about Healing Aloe, check out this full paint color review.

More color that go with Kendall Charcoal

Kendall Charcoal vs. Other Grays

Kendall Charcoal is a great gray, and but it may not be the best one for you.

Here, you can see Kendall Charcoal vs. Chelsea Gray.

Kendall Charcoal vs. Chelsea Gray

Kendall Charcoal and Chelsea Gray share a color strip (and are both a part of the Historical Colors collection), and both are grays with green undertones.

While they’re not lighter or darker shades of each other, they are fairly similar and can be used together.

Between the two, Chelsea Gray is a bit more useable, because it is lighter.

I talk a little more about Chelsea Gray here in this post about 20 amazing gray paint colors.

Click here for a full color review on Benjamin Moore Chelsea Gray.

Here is Kendall Charcoal vs. Amherst Gray.

Kendall Charcoal vs. Amherst Gray

Again, Kendall Charcoal and Amherst Gray are both part of the Historical Colors collection by Benjamin Moore, and happen to share a color strip.

They are less similar though, as Amherst Gray even more green undertones than Kendall Charcoal. Both are very popular, and can be used in similar spaces.

Because they are so similar in depth, I wouldn’t necessarily use them together though.

Here is Kendall Charcoal vs. Urbane Bronze.

Kendall Charcoal vs. Urbane Bronze

While there are no true matches for Kendall Charcoal and a Sherwin Williams’ gray paint color, Urbane Bronze is actually a pretty good Sherwin Williams equivalent to Kendall Charcoal.

Both have green undertones, but Urbane Bronze also has brown undertones that give it that bronzed look.

Check out this post for a full color review on Urbane Bronze – Sherwin Williams’ 2021 Color of the Year.

Last, here is Kendall Charcoal vs. Peppercorn (by Sherwin Williams).

Kendall Charcoal vs. Peppercorn

Peppercorn is a very dark gray paint color, similar to Kendall Charcoal, but it has less green and more black in it.

Again, these colors are similar but shouldn’t be used together.

Peppercorn has less undertones, and if you want something closer to a true gray, it may be a better bet for you.

Click here for more details on Peppercorn.

Wondering How To Pick the Perfect Paint Color?

I have the best solution for you!

Samplize sells peel and stick paint samples in almost every paint color.

These no-mess, peel and stick sheets are made from real paint, so they will show you exactly what the paint color will look like.

Simply place them on your walls next to your trim, furnishings or fixed elements, and easily see which paint color works best in your space and with your lighting.

Then, peel the sheet off your wall and reapply it somewhere else if you like. You can try several different paint colors with no mess, no fuss and no cleaning paint brushes.

SAMPLIZE Peel and Stick Paint Samples

Oh, and you can have them in your home by tomorrow with OVERNIGHT shipping!

As a bonus, be sure to use the code LoveRemodeled10 at check out to get an extra 10% off! Samplize sheets are cheaper than a sample can of paint, and way less work.

They are the easiest (and fastest!) way to try a paint color in your home, with no hassle.

Final Thoughts on Kendall Charcoal, by Benjamin Moore

Kendall Charcoal is a deep gray paint color with green undertones that is perfect for a bold gray accent in the interior of a home, or as an all over color for the exterior of a home.

When you want a dark gray paint color to underscore the colors of your house, Kendall Charcoal should be on your short list!

Want to see all your paint options in one convenient place? Click here to get everything you need to start painting, including Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore paint color decks!

Kendall Charcoal Color

Have a question? Leave me a comment! Remember to check back for a response – it may take me up to a week or two depending on how busy I am, but I’ll be sure to get back to you!

Want to show off your project? Join the discussion in Love Remodeled’s Facebook group!

Thanks for sharing!


Tuesday 2nd of May 2023


I want to paint my exterior home with Kendall Charcoal. I am undecided about adding stained wood shutters along with stained porch columns and railing. My other option is some type of white or a combination between the two choices. What are your thoughts about the charcoal and stained wood combination. It seems to be a growing trend in my South Georgia area. Thanks.


Tuesday 9th of May 2023

I think this would be a beautiful combo. Accents of real wood are very in style right now!


Thursday 20th of April 2023

Hi Ida! I want to paint our walls in our bar area, pool table, and TV conversation area Ben Moore Kendall Charcoal. I love the way it looks with our furniture and stained trim. It will give a pub vibe and look inviting. Will it work in the area with a navy top pool table? My furniture has some navy in it along with navy accents around the room It’s a fairy large area and fairly open. Thank you for your thoughts! Liz


Saturday 22nd of April 2023

Hi Liz! Yes, I think that Kendall Charcoal will work with the navy in your room, and the whole combo is going to give a really great vibe in there!


Tuesday 14th of March 2023


I know you said not to use Peppercorn with Kendall Charcoal. Is it ok to use Peppercorn and Kendall Charcoal in adjoining rooms? I have Kendall Charcoal in the dining room, and want to paint my accent wall in the kitchen with Peppercorn. There is no door separating these two rooms, so you can see the kitchen through the dining room and vice versa. The Peppercorn accent wall is about 3 feet from the Kendall Charcoal dining room wall. Thanks!


Monday 3rd of April 2023

Hi Ida! You can pull this off if they're in two different spaces. But, the area would probably feel more cohesive if you chose one or the other for both spaces. Good luck!


Sunday 4th of December 2022

HI I have a small powder room, with no windows, that I would like to make dramatic. I would like to use the colour Kendall Charcoal. Is it too dark? Trim is a cream colour and accessories will be gold.

thank you Nancy


Tuesday 27th of December 2022

Hi Nancy! Kendall Charcoal would definitely be dramatic, but would look really nice with the cream trim and gold accessories. Plus, I tend to like daring colors in small spaces like this. If you have enough lighting in there (just a small over the mirror light probably won't do the trick), I think Kendall Charcoal is a great choice!


Tuesday 15th of November 2022

Hi, thank you for your informative posts! I plan to use Kendall Charcoal on my kitchen island and butlers’s pantry. I have a walk-in pantry door that is right next to the butler’s pantry, and I was planning to paint that door Iron Ore to match other similar French doors in the house. I’m afraid the Iron Ore will clash with the Kendall Charcoal. Any suggestions? I’m open to changing the color of the door l, looking for a black color that will pair well with Kendall Charcoal. This is for a new build. Thank you!


Thursday 17th of November 2022

Hi Nancy! I don't know that Kendall Charcoal with Iron Ore if they aren't right next to each other, but I agree, they aren't the best pairing. Tricorn Black is a harder black, but still very nice, and it would be a better corresponding color to Kendall Charcoal. Sounds like your kitchen will be amazing when you're done!