Sherwin Williams Iron Ore – Deep Charcoal Gray Paint Color

There’s no doubting black paint and its movement up the trend ladder in the last several years. If you are looking for a dark black paint color with a bit of softness, Iron Ore by Sherwin Williams is a great option. This almost black paint color has slight green undertones but isn’t highly noticeable. It’s a really popular paint color among designers and homeowners alike. It’s one of those colors that doesn’t really surprise you with its undertones therefore it’s typically an easy winner. It’s an excellent paint color for interior and exterior doors, exterior siding or trim, and kitchen islands, and if you are looking for the perfect color for dark walls, it’s a great choice.

I don’t know if I’m ready to call black and dark gray neutral colors but something about Sherwin Williams Iron Ore has that vibe. It just works SO well in so many spaces. It is a stunning dark charcoal gray paint color. It can be described as a soft inky (almost) black or a rich dark gray. It’s a part of several Sherwin Williams collections including Top 50 Colors. It’s really no wonder why this color is so popular, it’s a reliable dark paint color that is perfect for someone who wants to give black paint a try but doesn’t want it to feel too harsh.

How Light or How dark is Sherwin Williams Iron Ore

Sherwin Williams is a pretty dark color. It’s not a true black but a soft black paint color or charcoal gray. When compared to pure white, it looks black but if you hold it up against anything black and you’ll see that it’s more of deep charcoal than pure black.

What is the LRV?

The Light Reflective Value or LRV of Sherwin Williams Iron Ore is 6. The term light is important here. Light reflects, and as a result, the amount of light reflected is measured in terms of the amount of light (100 being true white). On this scale, Iron Ore appears to be quite dark because it absorbs so much light giving it such a low LRV. Even though it isn’t black, Iron Ore is a highly pigmented color and is very close to black.

What Undertones Does Iron Ore Have?

Sherwin Williams Iron Ore has slightly green undertones and I mean every so slightly. With the naked eye, they aren’t very prominent. The color is very charcoal gray and the undertones aren’t noticeable in most lighting situations. One other thing to keep in mind is how the sheen will affect how prominent the undertones are. Iron Ore can appear a bit more gray/green with a satin or glossy sheen. In a space with more warm tones, it’s very evident that Iron Ore is a charcoal gray paint color. In a cooler room, it can read soft black.

Is Iron Ore a Cool or Warm Paint Color?

Iron Ore is a bit of a chameleon color and can go either way in different situations. I want to call it temperature neutral but there are circumstances where it can show a hint of warmth or cool.

What Paint Sheen Should I Use for Iron Ore?

I always recommend an eggshell finish but with this paint color, it’s important to point out that the higher the sheen the more opportunities for Iron Ore’s green undertones to shine through. If you are trying to avoid the soft slightly green gray from popping, I would stick with an eggshell or flat finish. Of course, if you are using this color on cabinets and doors you may want to go with satin but be sure to sample it first so you’re aware of how much the undertones are coming through.

What Trim Color Works with SW Iron Ore?

Iron Ore is a great paint color for many things such as accent walls, doors, cabinets, and even trim. When asked what trim color works well with Iron Ore, first, ask yourself what mood you’re going for in your space. It might very well be that Iron Ore is the best trim color for your space. If you have a preference for white trim colors then a paint color Sherwin Williams Alabaster, or Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace would pair beautifully with Iron Ore.

Sherwin Williams Iron Ore in Real Homes

via Sherwin Williams

This showstopping traditional space showcases Iron Ore in the most beautiful way. Layering the paint color from the wall to the furnishes shows the versatility of the paint color while creating some amazing dimension in the room.

via Little House of Four

This dark and moody bedroom has Iron Ore painted on the ways to create the most gorgeous space. The dark paint color is warmed up with the neutral tones of the wood and bedding.

The Home I Create

Linda painted her the interior of her front door Iron Ore. This is a great example of how Iron Ore can feel differently in different spaces. It looks like a beautiful soft black here.

via @themisfithouse

This might be my favorite use of Iron Ore. It’s moody, it’s traditional, it’s matte black but it’s not so dramatic that you’re wondering what is happening here. It’s just right. Paired with the brass pulls and knobs it’s *chefs kiss* perfection.

via @tararowemckenna

This influencer describes her home as a “desert farmhouse” with the exterior a combination of stone and board and batten painted SW Iron Ore. I love the look of Iron Ore on exteriors. With all of the natural light, it really shows its true color which is a rich, deep charcoal gray.

via @vintage_virginian

Some more moody eye candy with Iron Ore as the backdrop. The trend I’m seeing is neutral colors and wood tones pair really well with Iron Ore.

What are some similar colors to Sherwin Williams Iron Ore? 

To be very honest, Sherwin Williams Iron Ore is in a league all its own. There are some other black and almost black colors that you might want to consider if you are thinking about Iron Ore. Let’s take a look at some of them.

Sherwin Wiliams Iron Ore vs. Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black

If you want to inch close to the black color family, SW’s Tricorn Black is about as close as you’ll get. With an LRV of 3, it’s very close to black and about as close as you can get with paint. It is also in the Sherwin Williams Top 50 collection which is no wonder because it’s definitely a timeless paint color. Tricorn black is really popular for exterior trim. While you can’t really compare Iron Ore and Tricorn Black, it’s nice to see them side by side to prove that Iron Ore really is on the softer side.

Sherwin Williams Iron Ore vs. Sherwin Williams Peppercorn

SW’s Peppercorn is another exceptional option for a dark charcoal gray paint color. It’s relatively neutral in the undertones meaning it’s not too cool and not too warm. This transitional nature means that it will look great with whatever colors it’s paired with, warm or cool. Peppercorn is also in the Top 50 collection of Sherwin Williams paint colors. It has an LRV of 10 making it just slightly lighter on the darkness scale than Iron Ore. 

Sherwin Williams Iron Ore vs. Benjamin Moore Wrought Iron

Here’s what the manufacturer says about Wrought Iron, “a shade of black beloved for its relatively soft, malleable character.” If you appreciate the depth of Iron Ore but the undertones aren’t working for you, Wrought Iron may be a good option. They have the same LRV (of course each manufacturer has a different scale so it’s relative), of 6. Wrought Iron has navy blue undertones which make it slightly cooler than Iron Ore.

Sherwin Williams Iron Ore v. Sherwin Williams Urbane Bronze

Urbane Bronze is a deep gray with some brown or bronze undertones. With a lot of natural light, the undertones become more prominent. We can tell from Urbane Bronze’s LRV that it’s not quite as dark as Iron Ore but they’re pretty close. It’s an 8 while Iron Ore is a 6. was Sherwin Williams’ 2021 Color of the Year. House Beautiful said this about Urbane Bronze, “The dark, warm paint color aims to bring a sense of comfort to the home–whether it’s used for the interior or exterior.” If you are looking for something a little more gray/brown then I would go ahead and try out Urbane Bronze. If you want something more solidly deep gray, Iron Ore is your color.

Wrapping Up

Overall, I think Sherwin Williams Iron Ore is an excellent choice if you are looking for a dark, charcoal gray, almost (but not quite) black paint color. It’s perfect for interior and exterior use and can be used in various spaces. Spaces that you should try Iron Ore include interior and exterior doors and window trim, millwork, bookcases, walls, accent walls, cabinets, as well as kitchen islands.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *