Did you know that various shades of gray are one of the most requested color mixes I receive? I am happy to mix grays, as it is the neutral my home is decorated in. I am always finding new accent pieces to paint in a gray hue.


This week I mixed our Vermont Slate and Texas Tea together and created a charcoal gray. As soon as my mix dried, I knew the color name had to be Kingsford, if there was a town of Kingsford in the US. I have to say, Internet search engines make this part of my job so easy! Enter ‘towns named Kingsford’ and up pops Kingsford, MI.



I researched the town and it’s history. Kingsford in located in the UP area of Michigan. It is in the county of Dickinson, which is separated from the county of Florence in Wisconsin by the Menominee River. Yes, it has a tie to Kingsford© Charcoal. That is where this history gets interesting. Did you know that Kingsford Charcoal was formerly known as Ford Charcoal, as in the Ford Motor Company? Charcoal production began as a way for the Ford© Motor Company to repurpose the scrap wood pieces from a FMC factory. Well, of course, since repurposing is one of my favorite things, I had to research more!


Henry Ford wanted to locate a sawmill and parts factory in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for almost a decade prior to the beginning of what eventually became known of Kingsford, MI. The area was rich in iron and wood resources. He sent the husband of his cousin Minnie, Edward Kingsford, to scout the region for an appropriate place to locate his new factory.   In early 1920, the area that soon world become the Village of Kingsford, had only 40 residents, and lacked a community as well as any stores or businesses. Mr. Kingsford facilitated the purchase of over 300,000 acres of land. Late in the same year construction began on the parts factory and sawmill. The factory produced the “Woody” station wagon bodies from wood milled on site. To utilize the wood scraps, Ford built a chemical plant that began processing the waste wood in 1924. They were able to produce 610 pounds of Ford Charcoal from every 2000 pounds of waste wood. In 1951, the sawmill and parts factory were closed. Local business owners purchased the plant and renamed it the Kingsford Chemical Company and rebranded the briquettes as Kingsford Charcoal Briquettes. Kingsford Chemical continued operation of the plant until 1961. The manufacturing of the charcoal was then moved to Louisville, Kentucky.  Today, the Clorox© Corporation owns the Kingsford brand.

I wonder if anyone at Kingsford, Clorox or Ford knows about CeCe Caldwell’s Paints. Kingsford Gray is not endorsed by the Kingsford brand. Kingsford, Clorox or Ford did not compensate me and all opinions are my own. However, if one of the companies would like to work together on a project, I am open to the idea! Just have your people call my people me.

Kingsford Gray: 2 parts Vermont Slate: 1 part Texas Tea

Do you love grays as much as I do. Use #cecegray to share your projects with us.