BM Kendall Charcoal vs SW Iron Ore: What’s the Difference?

When searching for the perfect dark gray paint color, it’s easy to get stuck comparing two similar rich shades. Popular choices like Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal HC-166 and Sherwin Williams Iron Ore SW 7069 appear very alike at first glance. But what really differentiates these beautiful deep grays?

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

Let’s dive in!

Key Differences Between Kendall Charcoal and Iron Ore

Before getting into the nitty gritty, here is an overview of the main differences between Benjamin Moore’s Kendall Charcoal and Sherwin Williams’ Iron Ore:

  • Undertones – Kendall Charcoal is a cool dark gray, Iron Ore is a warm dark gray
  • Light Reflectance – Kendall Charcoal has an LRV of 14.61, Iron Ore has an LRV of 6
  • Use – Kendall Charcoal suits modern styles, Iron Ore fits traditional decor
  • Rooms – Kendall Charcoal excels in modern kitchens, Iron Ore shines in libraries
  • Availability – Both come in all paint sheens

Now let’s explore Kendall Charcoal and Iron Ore more thoroughly.

Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal HC-166

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

With its dramatic charcoal gray color, Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal HC-166 creates a bold, sophisticated backdrop that feels chic and contemporary. This deep cool gray works across many styles.

Here are some key details about Kendall Charcoal:

  • LRV: 14.61
  • Undertones: Cool dark gray
  • Finish: Available in all paint sheens
  • Rooms: Modern kitchens, dining rooms, offices, living rooms
  • Pairs Well With: White, green, black, metallics
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Kendall Charcoal is an intense charcoal gray with subtle hints of blue undertones. In certain lights it takes on a bold graphite gray appearance. The sophisticated color has modern appeal.

The 14.61 light reflectance value creates a deep, dramatic feel while avoiding feeling too dark and gloomy. Kendall Charcoal strikes a perfect balance of depth and vibrancy.

This adaptable gray complements both cool and warm accents. Popular Kendall Charcoal color pairings include:

  • Sherwin-Williams Pure White
  • Benjamin Moore Mountain Moss
  • Matte black hardware
  • Brushed brass and gold accents
  • Crisp white trim

While suitable anywhere in the home, Kendall Charcoal excels in these chic, modern spaces:

  • Kitchens
  • Dining Rooms
  • Offices
  • Living Rooms
  • Bathrooms

Kendall Charcoal’s bold sophistication helps create a dramatic yet livable backdrop. Use it to create an upscale modern feel.

Sherwin-Williams Iron Ore SW 7069

Real Sherwin-Williams Iron Ore
Image Credit:@ dennisondigs

With its intense slate gray color, Sherwin-Williams Iron Ore SW 7069 creates a moody, striking backdrop well-suited for accentuating traditional decor. This versatile dark gray works in diverse spaces.

Here are some details about Iron Ore:

  • LRV: 6
  • Undertones: Warm dark gray
  • Finish: Available in all sheens
  • Rooms: Dining rooms, bedrooms, offices, living rooms
  • Pairs Well With: Cream, sage green, blue, wood tones

Iron Ore is a deep gray with subtle warm brown undertones. In certain lighting it can take on a weathered steel or deep mushroom appearance. The dramatic neutral has traditional appeal.

The 6 light reflectance value creates a bold moody feel while avoiding being too dark and overwhelming. Iron Ore strikes the ideal balance of depth and illumination.

This adaptable gray complements various color schemes from light to dark. Popular Iron Ore pairings include:

  • Sherwin-Williams Alabaster
  • Benjamin Moore Black Forest Green
  • Benjamin Moore Teal Lake
  • Rich wood finishes
  • Matte black lighting

While suitable anywhere at home, Iron Ore truly excels in these spaces:

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

Iron Ore’s intensity helps create a striking, elegant backdrop. Use it to dramatize traditional decor.

Comparing Kendall Charcoal vs Iron Ore

Now that we’ve looked at Kendall Charcoal and Iron Ore independently, let’s directly compare them:

Light Reflectance

Kendall Charcoal and Iron Ore have very similar LRVs of 14.61 and 6 respectively. They offer nearly identical low illumination.

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Undertones

Here’s where the main difference lies. Kendall Charcoal is a cooler dark gray while Iron Ore has subtle warm undertones.

Use & Rooms

Kendall Charcoal’s cool modern vibe excels in contemporary kitchens and dining rooms. Iron Ore’s warmth fits traditional living rooms and studies.

Availability

Both Kendall Charcoal and Iron Ore come in any sheen from flat matte to high gloss semi-gloss.

Kendall Charcoal vs Iron Ore Comparison Chart

Paint Color Kendall Charcoal HC-166 Iron Ore SW 7069
LRV 14.61 6
Undertones Cool dark gray Warm dark gray
Use Modern kitchens, dining rooms Traditional living rooms, libraries
Finishes All sheens All sheens
Style Modern, contemporary Traditional, classic

Real-Life Photos: Kendall Charcoal vs Iron Ore

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

Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal

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

Sherwin-Williams Iron Ore

Sherwin-Williams Iron Ore
Image Credit:@ tourdechapeau

While they can overlap, Kendall Charcoal generally appears cooler in tone compared to the subtle warmth of Iron Ore. But lighting affects their look.

Should I Choose Kendall Charcoal or Iron Ore?

So how do you decide between Benjamin Moore’s Kendall Charcoal or Sherwin Williams’ Iron Ore for your home? Here are a few tips:

Choose Kendall Charcoal HC-166 if you want:

  • A cool, bold charcoal gray
  • A dramatic color suitable for modern styles
  • An intense backdrop for contemporary kitchens and dining rooms
  • To allow lighter accents to pop

Choose Iron Ore SW 7069 if you want:

  • A slightly warm, mushroom-toned dark gray
  • A moody color perfect for elegant traditional spaces
  • A bold neutral for living rooms and studies
  • A versatile base that coordinates with varied schemes

Get samples of both Kendall Charcoal and Iron Ore. Paint large sections on your walls viewing at different times of day. This gives you the best sense of how the undertones read in your environment.

You can also visualize them alongside your existing decor. Both offer gorgeous deep grays that suit many elegant spaces.

Ideal Room Pairings

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

Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal

  • Kitchens
  • Dining Rooms
  • Offices
  • Living Rooms
  • Bathrooms

Sherwin-Williams Iron Ore

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

While both deep grays work in many elegant spaces, the above rooms tend to make optimal use of their unique tones and personalities.

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Decorating Ideas and Color Pairings

Complement Kendall Charcoal and Iron Ore with other colors and materials to let them shine:

Kendall Charcoal HC-166 Pairings

  • Sherwin-Williams Pure White
  • Benjamin Moore Mountain Moss
  • Matte black hardware
  • Brushed brass and gold accents
  • Crisp white trim

Iron Ore SW 7069 Pairings

  • Sherwin-Williams Alabaster
  • Benjamin Moore Black Forest Green
  • Benjamin Moore Teal Lake
  • Rich wood finishes
  • Matte black lighting

Kendall Charcoal vs Iron Ore – Which is Better?

So which deep gray paint color is better for your home – Kendall Charcoal or Iron Ore?

Consider Kendall Charcoal HC-166 if you want:

  • A cool, intense charcoal gray
  • A bold modern color for contemporary kitchens and dining rooms
  • To allow light accents to pop against the backdrop
  • A dramatic but livable feel

Consider Iron Ore SW 7069 if you want:

  • A slightly warm, brown-toned dark gray
  • A moody neutral perfect for elegant traditional living rooms
  • A versatile base suitable for varied color schemes
  • A deep color with traditional appeal

While Kendall Charcoal offers modern edge, Iron Ore provides cozy elegance.

Get samples before deciding. Either rich gray you choose will create a gorgeous focal point.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

What are the main differences between Kendall Charcoal and Iron Ore?

The main differences are their undertones and suitability for varied spaces. Kendall Charcoal is a cool dark gray while Iron Ore has subtle warm undertones.

What colors complement Iron Ore?

Lighter neutrals like cream and alabaster, sage greens, softer blues, and wood tones complement Iron Ore’s intensity beautifully. Vivid colors also pop against it.

Can you use Kendall Charcoal in a bedroom?

Kendall Charcoal could work in a modern bedroom if paired with lighter accents and fabrics. Its intensity would need balancing.

Is Iron Ore suitable for northern exposure?

Yes, Iron Ore’s 6 LRV is dark enough for a north facing room without appearing too gloomy or dreary.

Does Kendall Charcoal come in pearl finish?

Yes, Kendall Charcoal is extremely versatile and comes in any sheen from flat matte to pearl to high gloss semi-gloss.

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