Benjamin Moore Amherst Gray vs Kendall Charcoal: What’s the Difference?

When searching for the perfect neutral paint color, it’s easy to get stuck comparing two similar versatile shades from the same brand. Popular Benjamin Moore choices Amherst Gray HC-167 and Kendall Charcoal HC-166 appear very alike at first glance. But what really differentiates these two beautiful, muted neutrals?

In this guide, we’ll analyze Amherst Gray vs Kendall Charcoal in-depth to help you determine the ideal paint color for your home. We’ll look at undertones, light reflectance, real-life photos, room pairings and more.

Let’s dive in!

Key Differences Between Amherst Gray and Kendall Charcoal

Before getting into the nitty gritty, here is an overview of the main differences between Benjamin Moore’s Amherst Gray and Kendall Charcoal:

  • Undertones – Amherst Gray is a cool gray, Kendall Charcoal is warm
  • Light Reflectance – Amherst Gray has an LRV of 18.8, Kendall Charcoal has an LRV of 14.61
  • Use – Amherst Gray suits modern and traditional styles, Kendall Charcoal fits traditional decor
  • Rooms – Amherst Gray excels anywhere, Kendall Charcoal shines in bedrooms
  • Availability – Both come in all sheens

Now let’s explore Amherst Gray and Kendall Charcoal more thoroughly.

Benjamin Moore Amherst Gray HC-167

Real Benjamin Moore Amherst Gray
Image Credit:@ salemrosehome

With its understated medium gray appearance, Benjamin Moore Amherst Gray HC-167 creates an elegant backdrop well-suited for varied styles and spaces. This versatile neutral works across modern and traditional homes.

Here are some details about Amherst Gray:

  • LRV: 18.8
  • Undertones: Cool gray
  • Finish: Available in all sheens
  • Rooms: Whole home color, especially living rooms and bedrooms
  • Pairs Well With: Pops of color, black and white, wood tones
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Amherst Gray is a relaxed dove gray with the slightest hint of blue undertone. In all lighting it maintains its understated neutral gray appearance.

The 18.8 light reflectance value provides ideal illumination without being too dark or stark. Amherst Gray gives an open, breathable feel.

This adaptable neutral complements a wide variety of colors from bold to muted. Popular Amherst Gray color pairings include:

  • Benjamin Moore Black Forest Green
  • Benjamin Moore White Dove
  • Crisp white trims
  • Rich wood stains
  • Navy blue accents

While suitable anywhere at home, Amherst Gray truly excels in these sleek, serene spaces:

  • Living Rooms
  • Bedrooms
  • Hallways
  • Bathrooms
  • Kitchens

Amherst Gray’s versatility helps create a relaxing yet fresh backdrop, perfect for varied styles and rooms.

Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal HC-166

Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal HC-166
Image Credit:@ archstudioinc

With its warm charcoal appearance, Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal HC-166 creates an understated backdrop well-suited for accentuating traditional decor. This versatile dark neutral works in both formal and casual spaces.

Here are some details about Kendall Charcoal:

  • LRV: 14.61
  • Undertones: Warm gray
  • Finish: Eggshell and below
  • Rooms: Bedrooms, living rooms, dining rooms, offices
  • Pairs Well With: Blues, greens, blacks, wood tones

Kendall Charcoal is a relaxed, muted charcoal gray with faint brown undertones. In certain lights it can read as a weathered slate gray. The welcoming neutral has traditional appeal.

The 14.61 light reflectance value prevents the shade from feeling too dark or moody. Kendall Charcoal strikes a cozy yet bright balance suitable for most rooms.

This versatile neutral complements both cool and warm accents nicely. Popular Kendall Charcoal color pairings include:

  • Benjamin Moore Hale Navy
  • Benjamin Moore Forest Path
  • Black accent pieces
  • Aged wood finishes
  • White trim and mouldings

While suitable anywhere at home, Kendall Charcoal truly excels in these spaces:

  • Bedrooms
  • Living Rooms
  • Dining Rooms
  • Offices
  • Libraries

Kendall Charcoal’s warmth helps create a welcoming, traditional feel perfect as an all-over home color. Use it to allow bold colors to stand out.

Comparing Amherst Gray vs Kendall Charcoal

Now that we’ve examined Amherst Gray and Kendall Charcoal independently, let’s directly compare them:

Light Reflectance

Amherst Gray and Kendall Charcoal have very different LRVs of 18.8 and 14.61 respectively. Amherst Gray will appear much lighter.

Undertones

Here’s where the main difference lies. Amherst Gray is a cool-toned gray, while Kendall Charcoal is subtly warm.

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Use & Rooms

Amherst Gray’s versatility excels anywhere at home. Kendall Charcoal’s warmth is perfect for cozy bedrooms and offices.

Availability

Both Amherst Gray and Kendall Charcoal come in any sheen from matte to glossy.

Amherst Gray vs Kendall Charcoal Comparison Chart

Paint Color Amherst Gray HC-167 Kendall Charcoal HC-166
LRV 18.8 14.61
Undertones Cool gray Warm dark gray
Use Any room Bedrooms, offices
Finishes All sheens Eggshell and below
Style Modern, traditional Traditional

Real-Life Photos: Amherst Gray vs Kendall Charcoal

Let’s look at real-life photos to better visualize the differences between Amherst Gray and Kendall Charcoal:

Benjamin Moore Amherst Gray

Benjamin Moore Amherst Gray
Image Credit:@ flipitrealgood

Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal

Real Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal HC-166
Image Credit:@ gloss_interiors

While they are both gray neutrals, Amherst Gray is much lighter and cooler toned than the deeper, warm Kendall Charcoal. But lighting affects their look.

Should I Choose Amherst Gray or Kendall Charcoal?

So how do you decide between Benjamin Moore’s Amherst Gray or Kendall Charcoal for your home? Here are a few tips:

Choose Amherst Gray HC-167 if you want:

  • A light, airy cooler toned gray
  • A versatile neutral suitable for any room
  • An open, breathable feel for living spaces
  • A backdrop that allows colors to pop

Choose Kendall Charcoal HC-166 if you want:

  • A deeper, warm dark gray
  • A cozy yet sophisticated neutral for bedrooms
  • A versatile color that works with traditional decor
  • A soft, enveloping backdrop

Get samples of both Amherst Gray and Kendall Charcoal. Paint large sections on your walls viewing during different times of day. This gives you the best sense of their undertones and contrast.

You can also pair them with decor you already have to visualize the look. Both offer versatile gray tones for varied spaces.

Ideal Room Pairings

Here are some rooms that are especially well-suited to Amherst Gray and Kendall Charcoal paint colors:

Benjamin Moore Amherst Gray

  • Living Rooms
  • Bedrooms
  • Hallways
  • Bathrooms
  • Kitchens

Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal

  • Bedrooms
  • Living Rooms
  • Dining Rooms
  • Offices
  • Libraries

While both grays work well throughout the home, the above applications make optimal use of their strengths.

Decorating Ideas and Color Pairings

On their own, Amherst Gray and Kendall Charcoal create peaceful backdrops. Complement them with other colors and materials for gorgeous spaces:

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Amherst Gray HC-167 Pairings

  • Benjamin Moore Black Forest Green
  • Benjamin Moore White Dove
  • Crisp white trims
  • Rich wood stains and finishes
  • Navy blue accents

Kendall Charcoal HC-166 Pairings

  • Benjamin Moore Hale Navy
  • Benjamin Moore Forest Path
  • Black accent pieces
  • Aged wood finishes
  • White trim and mouldings

Amherst Gray vs Kendall Charcoal – Which is Better?

So which neutral paint color is better for your home – Amherst Gray or Kendall Charcoal?

Consider Amherst Gray HC-167 if you want:

  • A light, airy cooler toned gray
  • A versatile neutral suitable for any room
  • An open, breathable feel for living spaces
  • A backdrop that allows colors to pop

Consider Kendall Charcoal HC-166 if you want:

  • A deeper, warm dark gray
  • A cozy yet sophisticated neutral for bedrooms
  • A versatile color that works with traditional decor
  • A soft, enveloping backdrop

While Amherst Gray is light and versatile, Kendall Charcoal provides cozy, muted contrast.

Get samples before deciding. Either beautiful Benjamin Moore neutral you choose will suit your home perfectly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Still trying to decide between Amherst Gray or Kendall Charcoal? Here are answers to some common questions:

What are the main differences between Amherst Gray and Kendall Charcoal?

The main differences are their lightness, undertones, and suitability for varied spaces. Amherst Gray is a light cool gray while Kendall Charcoal is a deeper warm dark gray.

What colors complement Amherst Gray?

Amherst Gray looks beautiful paired with sage greens, light blues, black and white graphic patterns, and wood tones for nice contrast.

Can you use Kendall Charcoal in a bathroom?

Yes, Kendall Charcoal’s sophisticated gray hue would work wonderfully in a bathroom paired with white tile and metals for a spa-like look.

Is Amherst Gray suitable for southern exposure?

Yes, Amherst Gray’s 18.8 LRV provides enough brightness for a south facing room without appearing too bold or overwhelming.

Does Kendall Charcoal come in matte finish?

Yes, Kendall Charcoal comes in flat, eggshell, and matte finishes to suit any paint application need.

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