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Is dark grey and charcoal grey the same?

Is dark grey and charcoal grey the same?

Is dark grey and charcoal grey the same?

Grey is a neutral color that can have warm or cool undertones. There are many shades of grey, ranging from light to dark. Two commonly used dark grey colors are dark grey and charcoal grey. While they may look similar, there are some key differences between the two shades.

Defining Dark Grey and Charcoal Grey

Dark grey and charcoal grey are both dark, cool-toned shades of grey. However, charcoal grey is the darker of the two. Here are some more specifics on each shade:

Dark Grey

– Also called gunmetal grey.
– Has hints of blue or green undertones.
– Sits between medium grey and black on the color spectrum.
– Closer to medium grey than black.
– RGB color code is approximately RGB(80,80,80).

Charcoal Grey

– The darkest shade of grey before pure black.
– Has more black pigment than dark grey.
– No undertones, completely neutral.
– RGB color code is approximately RGB(45,45,45).

As you can see, charcoal grey contains more black pigment compared to dark grey. This makes it darker in appearance. While dark grey has hints of blue/green, charcoal grey is a true neutral grey.

Comparing Dark Grey and Charcoal Grey

The table below summarizes some of the key differences between dark grey and charcoal grey:

Color Lightness Undertone Use
Dark Grey Lighter Cool with blue/green hint More versatile, can be used in warm or cool-toned spaces
Charcoal Grey Darker Neutral Sleek, modern look. Best for cool-toned spaces.

As you can see, charcoal grey is darker and has a neutral undertone compared to the slightly lighter dark grey with its subtle cool hint.

Dark grey is a more flexible option that can work in both warm and cool palettes. The green/blue undertone gives it visual interest. Charcoal grey has a sophisticated, sleek look but can look austere if not balanced with other colors. It works best in modern, contemporary, or traditionally masculine spaces.

Comparing Dark Grey and Charcoal Grey Paints

If you’re looking to use dark grey or charcoal grey on the walls, furniture or as an accent, here is how they compare in some popular paint brands:

Benjamin Moore Paint

– Dark Grey = Kendall Charcoal (HC-166)
– Charcoal Grey = Collingwood (OC-22)

Sherwin Williams Paint

– Dark Grey = Peppercorn (SW 7674)
– Charcoal Grey = Tricorn Black (SW 6258)

Behr Paint

– Dark Grey = Slate (PPU18-07)
– Charcoal Grey = Rafter Gray (PPU26-11)

As you can see, paint brands have their own names and codes for these grey tones. But generally, dark grey is a warmer, lighter charcoal while charcoal grey is a cooler, darker true grey.

If choosing between the two shades for your space, take into account the overall design and lighting. Dark grey can work well in rooms with warm wood tones or lots of natural light. Charcoal grey makes a dramatic impression but may feel cold and dark if not balanced with lighter accents.

Using Dark Grey vs Charcoal Grey

When using dark grey and charcoal grey in home design and decor, keep the following tips in mind:

– Use dark grey in moderation as an accent wall or on trims/furniture against lighter walls. It can create depth and contrast.

– Charcoal grey makes a sophisticated, contemporary accent wall to anchor a cool-toned space. Pair with crisp white for contrast.

– Dark grey pairs well with warm metals like copper and brass. Charcoal grey looks best with cool metals like silver, chrome or steel.

– For furniture like sofas or beds, dark grey offers flexibility to coordinate with different styles.

– Paint interior doors charcoal grey for an ultra-modern statement. Add metal finishes for industrial edge.

– Use dark or charcoal grey for exterior elements like shutters, front doors or siding to create rich, eye-catching contrast.

Dark Grey vs Charcoal in Men’s Fashion

Dark grey and charcoal grey are versatile neutrals that are staples in men’s wardrobes. Here are some tips for wearing each shade:

– A dark grey suit or blazer has a classic, refined style suitable for the office or formal occasions. Pairs nicely with cool blues and greens.

– Charcoal grey suits have an ultra-sleek, modern look. Elevate with a crisp white shirt and dark tie. Play with lighter greys and lavenders for a sophisticated mood.

– Dark grey trousers or chinos are easy to dress up or down. Look polished with oxford shirts or relaxed with knits and sneakers.

– Charcoal trousers make a sharp addition to a monochromatic suit or casual look. Add texture and interest with charcoal knits and wool coats.

– Dark grey jeans are a modern alternative to traditional denim. Wear with casual button-downs or hoodies and leather jackets.

– Charcoal coats in wool or peacoat fabrics create a refined, gentlemen’s style. Accent with patterned scarves and leather gloves.

Using Dark Grey and Charcoal Grey in Decor

When decorating your home, dark grey and charcoal grey can add subtle depth as accents or make a dramatic statement on feature walls and trims. Use these shades in moderation and balance with lighter neutrals and textures.

– Charcoal grey velvet pillows or throws add luxe contrast to a light sofa or bed.

– Dark grey kitchen cabinets look sleek against bright white quartz counters and backsplashes.

– An accent wall in charcoal grey matte tiles can anchor a bathroom or kitchen backsplash.

– Paint a home office or library dark grey and furnish with warm woods and brass for an elegant, modern look.

– In a living room, use dark grey on the fireplace and Built-ins balanced with ivory walls and marble accents.

– Charcoal grey dining chairs around a wood table create a striking, modern dining nook.

Do’s and Don’ts

When working with dark grey and charcoal grey, keep these do’s and don’ts in mind:


– Test grey paint swatches at different times of day as lighting affects undertones.

– Pick warm greys for north facing rooms to counteract cool light.

– Balance dark grey with lighter neutrals so it doesn’t feel overwhelming.

– Use charcoal grey in moderation to create focal points against lighter backdrops.


– Use dark grey with other cool-toned colors like black or navy – this can look dreary.

– Paint a whole room dark grey or charcoal grey – opt for lighter accent walls instead.

– Use dark grey with warm metals like antique brass or gold – these clash with the cool undertones.

– Choose charcoal grey if you have a warm, traditional home aesthetic – it may look out of place.


While dark grey and charcoal grey may appear similar at first glance, they have distinct differences when it comes to hue, tone, and use. Dark grey is lighter, brighter, and more flexible, with a hint of cool green/blue undertone. Charcoal grey is a richer, darker neutral that creates modern, dramatic statements. When choosing between the two for your home, consider the overall aesthetic you want to achieve. Dark grey offers versatile contrast for both warm and cool palettes. Charcoal grey makes a bold, contemporary accent but can overwhelm spaces if overused. With a balanced approach, both dark and charcoal greys can add stylish sophistication to any room.