I have a deep love for the darker colors of paint, especially charcoal or dark grays.  There is substance to a dark color that not only provides a rich backdrop to interiors, but also can dramatically enhance the exteriors of homes.  In 2022, the charcoal colors really began to take hold as more homeowners were taking the leap and trying something daring with their exteriors.  The ladies and brick&batten, did a beautiful job with their virtual designs using some of these colors.  Click here to see  “2022 Exterior Paint Color Trends” which are still very popular today.

Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark

I have seen many homes with white walls.  I don’t believe that people always want “just white” on their walls.  Color can be intimidating and many fear of making a mistake with color.  Not me..I am not afraid of the dark.
Charcoal colors, which come in many varied undertones, make a statement.  The color itself is bold, demanding to be noticed and make a statement.  With that presence in a color, respect also needs to be honored in the choice of which charcoal color you choose as well as where you place it.

Architecture Makes a Difference

Before I introduce these colors, I would like to preface that the architecture and the lighting of the home or space does come into play when choosing any colors. With that said, when it comes to these charcoals, the placement, whether it would be on the body or trim, should always be tested.  In my experience, having a charcoal shade for the body of your home lets say, looks best when it is surrounded by trees or the surface/body has additional components, i.e., brick, masonry or wood.

Twelve of the Best

With over 3500 colors to offer, Benjamin Moore offers some of the most stunning charcoal or dark gray colors, which are featured in many exteriors and interiors.  The ones that I show below come in different formats, from color dollops, to square comparison with the undertones listed.  Seeing them side by side, you get a better view of the subtle differences between these rich colors.
Starting with the subtle navy / blue undertones of “Wrought Iron and Cheating Heart”, these both look beautiful with the brickwork on the exterior homes, noting that “Cheating Heart” is one of the more popular ones for this choice.  The brown and green undertones of “Black Beauty” and Black Knight” make these excellent choices for both the main exteriors as well as trim.

“Kendall Charcoal” is a long time favorite for interiors and exteriors.  The depth of the color is rich indeed and when used as an accent wall, it adds a warmth to the space that only a rich color can, without truly being too dark.  “Iron Mountain” is a cross between milk chocolate and deep gray which goes beautiful on most exteriors.  With Raccoon Fur and Graphite, as these are darker, they can be used on the main body of exterior depending on the lighting. They also truly make a statement as the trim on homes.

These last four choices have undertones of blue, green, yellow and brown making them the charcoals with more color showing.  “Ashwood Moss” is one of the richest charcoal green colors, that in the right light still gives that beauty of the forest feeling, with River Rock” as a close second behind that.  If you are looking for something with a bit of blue, “Westcott Navy” is a perfect choice.  With a touch of navy, it shows very elegantly, especially with an off white exterior base and trim and gutters painted with this beautiful color.  I equally love the green undertones of “Deep River”.

This is my first blog post of this year, 2024.  One of the most requested services that I offer, is that of paint color choices.  So starting with that, I figured showing people what colors I do recommend, starting with the charcoals, which again are one of my favorites.  I guess maybe I love something that makes a strong but beautiful statement…
One last tip, especially when it comes to paint color choices, I always look to nature for inspiration, noticing especially through the fall and winter during the sunset, you may very well see all these shades of charcoal in the evening sky.
I do trust nature….as I think she’s got a better understanding of beauty than we give her credit for!