7 Tips for Using Kendall Charcoal by Benjamin Moore on Exteriors

In terms of color, the word charcoal means a lot of things to different people. When some think of charcoal paint, they envision a dark gray that could almost pass for black paint. Others may think of a lighter version with cool undertones, while some imagine warm undertones. We love how Kendall Charcoal by Benjamin Moore meets in the middle on nearly all of these stances.

It works as a neutral, but if we had to pick, we’d say it leans ever-so-slightly warm. It’s not so light that we’d consider it a true gray, but it’s far from too dark. So if you’re considering charcoal for your home’s exterior, we’d say pick up a test can. Here, we offer some tips on getting the most out of this paint.

We know choosing an exterior paint isn’t easy, but brick&batten can help. By collaborating with you and considering your project goals, our team of talented exterior designers will create a custom plan and realistic renderings. You’ll get to see your ideas come to life before you invest in the materials. 

#1 Wood Accents Highlight the Warm Undertones

If your home has wood accents, those elements are really going to play up the warmth in Kendall Charcoal. From doors, columns, and soffits, wood definitely plays up Kendall Charcoal in a beautiful way!

wood accent on Kendall Charcoal

#2 Black Accents Also Work with Kendall Charcoal

When we look at Kendall Charcoal, we see slight warm undertones with a hint of green. For this reason, it’s one of the most versatile charcoals we know of. While most designers and DIYers naturally reach for warm brown tones to pair with Kendall Charcoal, try something different, like adding a black awning, railing, or shutters.

#3 Play Up the Green Undertones With Deep-Green Shrubs

To offset the warmth in Kendall Charcoal, choose landscaping plants and shrubs like boxwoods or juniper. Lining the front of your home with these plants will provide a visual border between your home and the grass. Grass typically grows more yellow-green, especially in the spring, and it can actually make your home’s paint appear brown in some lighting scenarios.

Kendall Charcoal

#4 Kendall Charcoal Base + Light Trim

Our virtual exterior designers make a living by creating realistic renderings for virtual exterior design projects. Since the stakes are low with retouching an image, they’ve played around with nearly every trim option on charcoal homes, and the verdict is in: One of best trim colors on a dark home is a lighter color. However, there’s a whole range of light paint that looks great with Kendall Charcoal. Light trim adds contrast and depth. If you’re sticking with the warm color scheme, we suggest painting the trim a white, like Swiss Coffee by Benjamin Moore.

#5 Kendall Charcoal Looks Great as an Accent Color

Kendall Charcoal makes a good base color, but that’s not all it can do. We love painting shutters this color on off-white homes because the charcoal doesn’t read as harsh as black paint options. One of our favorite color schemes is Light Pewter, Simply White, and Kendall Charcoal by Benjamin Moore. These three colors make an absolute dream team when you pair them with wood accents.

We always recommend sampling and testing paint colors before committing. Factors such as natural lighting, undertones, and your property’s fixed elements will have a significant impact on how a color will appear on your exterior. Our friends at Samplize offer extra-large 9 x 14.75 inch peel-and-stick paint samples of the colors we love for exteriors. Order your ‘Real Paint, No Mess’ samples from Samplize here.

#6 Flaunt Your Home’s Stone Elements With Kendall Charcoal

If you own a home with unique architecture like stone columns, walls, or water tables, we say show it off. Paint shouldn’t hide your home’s original unique features, it should highlight them. Kendall Charcoal looks great with natural stone tones.

Kendall Charcoal

But if your home doesn’t already have architectural stone elements, you can still get the most out of this duo by building a simple stone retaining wall for your flower bed or adding oversized landscaping stones to your yard.

#7 Add Color to a Kendall Charcoal Home with Plants and Porch Accessories

Some of our favorite bold colors to pair with Kendall Charcoal include muted yellow, maroon, and even a pale pink. However, less is more when pairing brighter colors with this charcoal.

So, if you want to go with a Kendall Charcoal color scheme but you’re still craving a bit of bold color, you can do it in other ways that vary from the expected painted door (although we absolutely love a good accent door). Adding colorful bushes that stay in bloom for extended periods, like bright pink varieties of hydrangeas, is a creative way to add color to your yard without off-putting potential buyers if you decide to sell.

Porch accessories are underrated. We love using these easy-to-change elements to play with color. For example, you can take on painting your porch swing as a weekend project. If you get tired of the color, you can easily swap it out later.

 Sometimes it takes more than a swatch test to choose an exterior paint color with confidence, especially with dark colors like Kendall Charcoal by Benjamin Moore. Learn more about making your exterior home design project come to life with a virtual rendering, or get started on making your dreams a reality today.