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May 27, 2024

11 Popular Charcoal Paint Colors for a Moody Aesthetic


Charcoal paint colors are among this year’s hottest home decor trends. It’s a popular choice for both interiors and exteriors, and a recent Zillow report even says a fresh coat of charcoal paint can make your home sell faster (and for a higher price!) thanks to its broad appeal. Additionally, Behr chose the deep charcoal shade of Cracked Pepper as their 2024 color of the year.

So why is charcoal such a popular choice right now? Charcoal paint colors deliver the depth and drama of black while possessing a certain degree of softness. One of the main benefits of charcoal is its versatility; it’s a neutral yet makes a dramatic statement, and it works just as well in a modern industrial-style loft as it does in a formal dining room with intricate crown molding and chair rail details.

Whether it has blue or green undertones, the cool shade of charcoal pairs beautifully with light woods, warm cognac leather, and shiny brass accents. If you’re itching to try out a dark and moody shade but don’t want to go quite as stark as black, charcoal is the way to go. And because there are countless shades to sift through, we’ve done the work for you and asked the experts to give us their top charcoal paint color picks.

Cracked Pepper by Behr

Courtesy of Behr


Behr’s 2024 color of the year is a sophisticated deep charcoal that adds a modern yet timeless edge and is well suited for overall wall color, built-in shelves, or kitchen cabinets. “It’s a versatile soft black that will instantly elevate the room you’re in, offering elegance and a distinguished ambience that shifts with light,” says Erika Woelfel, Behr’s VP of color and creative services.

Paint Color: Cracked Pepper by Behr

Rock Bottom by Sherwin-Williams

Courtesy of Sherwin-Williams


Rock Bottom is a dramatically deep charcoal paint color that delivers a moody aesthetic. “Suggestive of the color of stones in a riverbed, it is a gorgeous dark green with an ample dose of cool gray,” says Sue Wadden, director of color marketing for Sherwin-Williams. Pair it with warm whites and neutrals that have a green undertone to bring out the dark shade’s mossy notes.

Paint Color: Rock Bottom by Sherwin-Williams

Kendall Charcoal by Benjamin Moore

Courtesy of Benjamin Moore


Choose Kendall Charcoal if you’re looking for a charcoal paint color that looks great anywhere. Hannah Yeo, Benjamin Moore’s color marketing and development manager, calls it a rich, luxurious gray that works for every room in the house. Yeo says the best way to incorporate this elegant shade is to “Create contrast with brighter hues to bring balance to the otherwise dark, moody room.”

Paint Color: Kendall Charcoal by Benjamin Moore

Grizzle Gray by HGTV Home by Sherwin-Williams

Courtesy of HGTV Home by Sherwin-Williams


Make a statement in an entryway with Grizzle Gray. “It’s a perfect charcoal gray for a multipurpose space, creating a beautiful backdrop to bring varying color tones and textures together to create a cohesive look,” says Ashley Banbury, color marketing manager for HGTV Home by Sherwin-Williams. It balances a modern aesthetic with timeless sophistication and looks especially striking next to light wood tones, matte black metals, and warm earth tones.

Paint Color: Grizzle Gray by HGTV Home by Sherwin-Williams

Almost Charcoal by Valspar

Courtesy of Valspar


Valspar’s Almost Charcoal paint color is a true gray that has weathered the ups and downs of recent gray trends, according to Sue Kim, the brand’s director of color marketing. “Sitting slightly on the warm side, the color harmonizes well with deeper accent shades that create an immersive and restful space at home,” she says.

Paint Color: Almost Charcoal by Valspar

Black Widow by Glidden

Courtesy of Glidden


Look to Black Widow by Glidden for a chalkboard gray with a cool, moody undertone. “It’s the perfect paint color for an accent wall or all-over color that pairs beautifully with creamy whites,” says Glidden’s color expert Ashley McCollum. This shade lends itself to the modern farmhouse aesthetic since it pairs well with whites, wood tones, and neutrals.

Paint Color: Black Widow by Glidden

Hopper Head by Farrow & Ball

Courtesy of Farrow & Ball


For the deepest charcoal with just a subtle note of blue, turn to Hopper Head by Farrow & Ball. If you’re looking for the most on-trend charcoal paint color, Patrick O’Donnell, the brand’s color consultant and brand ambassador, says this is it. He comments on the tone’s deep sophistication and reveals that it surprisingly never feels too cool. “It also makes a great statement for a hallway, which can often be poorly lit,” O’Donnell says. He suggests leaning into the challenges of little natural light with a dark paint color.

Paint Color: Hopper Head by Farrow & Ball

Galeforce by Sherwin-Williams

Courtesy of Sherwin-Williams


For a blue-leaning charcoal paint color, opt for Sherwin-Williams’ Galeforce. Wadden describes it as “a stormy shade of blue that stands out powerfully and is widely loved for its moody coolness and opulent allure”. Part of the brand’s 2024 color forecast, you can soften this saturated hue with warm taupes, beiges, and light woods or keep it cool and crisp with bright white accents.

Paint Color: Galeforce by Sherwin-Williams

Temptation by Benjamin Moore

Courtesy of Benjamin Moore


A charcoal paint color such as Benjamin Moore’s Temptation is a striking exterior paint pick that instantly boosts curb appeal. “Use Temptation to highlight the architectural details of your home or as an all-around hue for the exterior”, Yeo suggests. This dark and moody gray has a splash of blue undertone whose depth, Yeo notes, helps anchor the house to the landscape for alluring curb appeal.

Paint Color: Temptation by Benjamin Moore

Poppy Seed by Behr

Courtesy of Behr


As Behr’s Poppy Seed proves, a deep charcoal hue can add just as much energy to a room as a bright color does. “This is a bold black with a dark blue undertone that builds anticipation and exhilaration—a color that mimics the adventures that lie ahead,” Woelfel says. Warm up this cool shade with worn-in leather, brass accents, and plenty of textural layers for a cozy and inviting space.

Paint Color: Poppy Seed by Behr

Mostly Metal by Glidden

Courtesy of Glidden


Glidden’s Mostly Metal is an excellent charcoal paint color for exteriors. McCollum points out that the menacing black has a slight green undertone which complements surrounding greenery of the front yard. Go for a contemporary all-over monochromatic look or pop the cool, dark shade with white exterior trim for a more classic aesthetic.

Paint Color: Mostly Metal by Glidden

Decorating with Gray

From kitchens to nurseries, gray is a versatile color that suits nearly any decor style. Go for soothing gray hues in a bedroom, where a modern platform bed will work with gray linens or walls just as well as a traditional four-poster. Gray kitchens are as timeless as white ones, and blending the two colors is a harmonious way to use bright and cool in the same space. Add gray marble to walls and floors in a guest bathroom for a wow moment, or simple gray subway tile in a children’s bath that’s easy to care for and can be accessorized with different colors as kids grow up.



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