Sherwin Williams Iron Ore: Paint Color Review

Popular Paint Colors for 2023

If you’re a fan of the current black color trend in design but don’t want to go all out with pure black, Sherwin Williams Iron Ore is a great option. I’ve used it time and time again in multiple settings and the results never disappoint! I love this soft black paint color, it’s one of my favorites from Sherwin Williams!

Is Iron Ore the right color for your own home? Let’s take an in-depth look.

Whether it’s on the exterior of your home, a cabinet color, your interior doors, or an accent color, however trendy black may be right now, you must first determine if this dark paint color is the right choice for your home.

To learn more about this popular paint color for 2023 and to feast your eyes on some inspiration where I’ve used it in my clients’ homes, keep reading!

RELATED: Best Greige Paint Colors

RELATED: Simply White vs Chantilly Lace – Which White Paint Color is Best?

What Color Is Sherwin Williams Iron Ore?

It’s a rich, indulgent deep charcoal paint color with gray undertones and a lot of depth. Iron Ore also has very slight blue undertones, which gives it a dramatic look without it looking as harsh as black to the naked eye.

SW Iron Ore paint is a beautiful soft black hue. It’s perfect for a dramatic look in any space, and it’s also a great way to add a touch of sophistication to your home.

Pin this for easy reference:

sherwin williams iron ore cabinets

Is Sherwin Williams Iron Ore warm or cool?

It’s neither too cool nor too warm, it’s a soft black with the appearance of dark charcoal or gray.

The LRV of Iron Ore (Light Reflectance Value) is 6 on the LRV scale, which is very low, meaning it absorbs light rather than reflecting it making it deep and rich!

When viewed in brighter, more direct light, Iron Ore SW 7069 will appear to be a delicate shade of dark gray or even a touch of blue. It may lean nearly black in low-light settings with artificial light or north-facing rooms, but it will never truly become black since it maintains its gray character in different lighting situations

I’ve gathered examples of these scenarios throughout this post, so you’ll get a better sense of what this means.

sherwin williams iron or wet bar in basement

On cabinets, the paint’s glossier sheen in Iron Ore causes it to appear somewhat bluer. Design by Carla Bast

Where to use Sherwin Williams Iron Ore?

One of the great things about Iron Ore is that it is so versatile! Kitchens, fireplaces, accent walls, and custom shelves are just a few ways I’ve used this fabulous color on in interior spaces. .

Sherwin Williams Iron Ore in the Kitchen

white kitchen and sherwin williams iron ore kitchen island Design by Carla Bast

RELATED: How to Determine your Kitchen Remodeling Budget

If you want to add a touch of drama to your kitchen, then consider painting your center island in Sherwin Williams Iron Ore to contrast with white or stained cabinetry.

Sherwin Williams Iron Ore Wet Bar and Wine Cellar

wine cellar and modern wet bar in sherwin williams iron oreDesign by Carla Bast

Talk about drama! The rich color of Iron Ore on these wine cellar walls, and wet bar cabinetry creates a cohesive look. Brick accents and quartz waterfall bar balance out the dark tones in Iron Ore.

Sherwin Williams Iron Ore Cabinets

sherwin williams iron ore cabinets and gold hardware in a modern farmhouse wet bar

Iron Ore lower cabinets in this wet bar pairs beautifully with gold hardware and contrasting white quartz countertops. Design by Carla Bast

bathroom vanity cabinet in sherwin williams iron ore

Bathroom vanity in Iron Ore with a mix of metal finishes in the hardware and fixtures. Design by Carla Bast

SW Iron Ore Cabinet Hardware Colors

My personal favorite metal finish for cabinet hardware for Iron Ore cabinetry is the warmth of “champagne bronze” or “polished nickel.” Satin or brushed brass or polished brass would have the same warm gold tone to contrast with the deep color of Iron Ore.

Sherwin Williams Iron Ore TV Wall Niche

Large TV Wall Niche in Sherwin Williams Iron OreDesign by Carla Bast

A perfect mix of warm textures with the rustic wood beams and fireplace stone balance this basement family room beautifully with Iron Ore paint in the TV niche accent wall color. It’s a great choice for TV walls, as it won’t reflect the light from the screen and will help create a more immersive viewing experience. When the TV is off, it blends in and becomes part of the room’s color palette.

RELATED: Interior Design Styles Beyond Farmhouse

sherwin williams iron ore paneled wall on a marble mosaic fireplace

We painted the existing paneling in Sherwin Williams Iron Ore to create a dramatic feature wall in this living room. Carrara marble mosaic tile surrounding the fireplace provides a beautiful contrast. Design by Carla Bast

RELATED: A Modern Renovation for Brittany Road

modern fireplace with custom shelves in sherwin williams iron oreSherwin Williams Iron Ore built-in shelves and a lot of natural light. Design by Carla Bast

RELATED: Home Brewers Basement

Sherwin Williams Iron Ore Accent Wall and Ceiling

rustic wood paneled tv wall with sherwin williams iron ore accent paintLow levels of lighting keep this basement family room with Iron Ore accent walls and shiplap in warm tones, ultra-cozy! Design by Carla Bast

Sherwin Williams Iron Ore Home Theater

home theater snack bar in sherwin williams iron ore

Design by Carla Bast

home theater and snack bar in iron ore by sherwin williamsHome This home theater snack bar in Sherwin Williams Iron Ore SW 7069 doesn’t get much light, this results in bold statement! Design by Carla Bast

RELATED: Home Theater Inspiration

Many of my posts contain affiliate links. If you click on an affiliate link and buy something, I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. The affiliate money I earn helps pay the fees to keep this site up and running. Thank you so much for your support.

Peel & Stick Paint Samples – Click HERE!

Get your peel & stick paint samples (real paint) of Iron Ore – HERE!

What is one shade lighter than Iron Ore?

Looking for a slightly less intense dark gray color but aren’t sure if you can commit to something like Iron Ore? Try SW’s Peppercorn.

SW’s Peppercorn, SW 7674 has an LRV of 10, which is slightly lighter than Iron Ore. With grey undertones, this hue may be a suitable alternative if Iron Ore is a tad too dark for you. Peppercorn is more like a dark gray paint color that barely appears black, unlike the Iron Ore that frequently looks Black!

sherwin williams peppercorn
sherwin williams iron ore paint

Get your peel & stick (real) paint sample of Peppercorn – HERE!

What is one shade darker than Iron Ore?

Iron Ore is one shade lighter than SW’s Tricorn Black. Tricorn black, SW 6258 has an LRV (light reflective value) of 3. It is one of the safest choices you can make when painting with black colors. Because it has no obvious undertones, it is a genuine black and a neutral paint color.

sherwin williams tricorn black vs. iron ore

Get your peel & stick (real) paint sample of Tricorn Black – HERE!

Is Iron Ore too dark for exteriors?

It’s easy to go overboard with a stark, true black for your home’s outside. For home exteriors, slightly milder (but still wonderfully dark) hues like SW’s Iron Ore are quite popular. Their intensity is softened by lighter tints that lend a more natural appearance, which is preferable for house exteriors.

home exterior painted sherwin williams iron ore with white trim
Iron Ore exterior paired with a white trim color | Source

There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing an exterior paint from the black color family. In addition to the overall aesthetic, you’re going for, you also need to take your home’s surroundings into account. For example, if your home is located in a green area with lots of trees and foliage, then you may find that the popular Iron Ore color from Sherwin Williams has a very slight green undertone when used for an exterior paint color. On the other hand, If your yard has little green foliage, and is surrounded by neutral colors, then most likely those subtle green undertones will not appear.

Ultimately, what works best for your exterior depends on a number of different factors, so it’s always best to test out potential colors before making a final decision.

sherwin williams iron ore wet bar in basement
Design by Carla Bast

RELATED: Neutral Paint Colors We Love!

When it comes to perfect paint colors in the paint world, Sherwin Williams Iron Ore is truly in a league of its own. This rich, dark hue is perfect for adding an element of sophistication and elegance to any room.

Sherwin Williams Iron Ore takes paint color to the next level!

This rich and sumptuous hue is sure to win you over with its perfect blend of elegance and drama. From vintage designs to modern masterpieces, this versatile paint shade stands out no matter what style you’re going for. If you want to create truly eye-catching spaces with bold color, Sherwin Williams Iron Ore may be your perfect color.

So, what are your thoughts on Iron Ore? Have you used it in your home? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. And be sure to check out our other paint color reviews for more inspiration.


Hi, I’m Carla


I’m glad you’re here! You are in the right place if you are feeling overwhelmed at the thought of embarking on a remodeling or interior design project. Living with an outdated home and don’t know where to start? I’ve helped families like yours update their home and create spaces that reflect what’s important to them for over 25 years.

Join me!

I’ve been honored to be featured in and receive awards from:

The Spruce

Apartment Therapy / Cubby

Houzz / Best of Service & Design

Minnesota Chapter ASID – First Place Award

MSP Magazine, Best Use of Color

Minneapolis Star Tribune


Home Crux

Tips for a stress free remodel

5 Tips for Stress Free Remodel

Don’t miss a thing!

Enter your email below to be the first to know about design posts, new products and tips for a more beautiful home.

More Posts We Think You'd Love

20 Responses

  1. I love your work! Thank you for sharing this blog. Your pictures on Houzz have been a huge inspiration for our basement project.

  2. Love this Blog! We are updating a traditional kitchen – small details. We will be painting our island Iron Ore. Would pewter hardware work with this? (We have stained knotty alder cabinets). Trying to get away from the oil rubbed bronze.

  3. Great article Carla! I am going to paint my kitchen cabinets, fireplace and built in shelves in Iron Ore but I am unsure what finish to use. Shiny or dull, what type of paint would you recommend? I am so stuck! Many thanks in advance.

    1. Thank you so much, Suki! I recommend a semi-gloss or eggshell sheen; this will not only look best be make them easier to wipe off. In more modern kitchens, a high gloss looks pretty sharp, too! Be sure to check with your paint store for the best products to use. I prefer Benjamin Moore Advance.

  4. Love this blog! We are in the process of doing some updates to our 90’s home! We have custom made oak cabinets and would like to keep them if possible. We will be taking out part of a counter and adding an island which will have our stove/oven and seating for four. I’m trying to decide what color to do our island in and will be replacing the backsplash and countertops with a white quartz with some light veining. Walls are currently a gray color and may change to a lighter gray or my of a white. We will also be adding new flowing throughout the area, which is all open to kitchen, dining room and living room. Any ideas would be appreciated.

    1. Hi Juliene! Thank you so much, I am so glad you are finding my articles helpful! I’m working on new posts to add, so stay tuned! For your island, with what you have described, I think Iron Ore is a definite contender! Another idea is to do a color that will coordinate with the rest of your accent colors in your home (check out my article on Hale Navy, maybe this is a good choice for you). The important thing to remember is to contrast with your floor and counters, and tie in the veining in the counters color if you are going with a blue or dark charcoal. If the veining is bluer a blue island works, if it is warmer like a deep charcoal brown, then you will want to stay away from blue. Order samples (link in the post above for awesome Samplize samples that peel and stick)…and look at the samples with your countertops in the different lighting of day and night. I hope this is helpful!

  5. I’m sold on Iron Ore for my kitchen cabinets, but I’m torn between satin and semi-gloss for the finish. It’s a high traffic kitchen with two dogs, two cats, a toddler, as well as the door that leads to the back yard. I want easy to clean but not a shiny appearance. Your thoughts?

    1. Hello Mark! I would not do a semi-gloss, I think it is too reflective for a kitchen unless it is ultra-modern. A good quality paint in a satin finish will work beautifully.

  6. I have a stack stone fireplace that my husband is building some custom built-ins on each side. The stone colors are earthy brown and blue/gray with more gray stones than brown. Would painting the built-ins SW IRON ORE help to highlight more of the earthy brown stones? We’re thinking of doing an accent wall on the adjacent wall from the fireplace. Would the peppercorn grey be too dark if we paint the built-ins iron ore?

    1. Hi Christy – I don’t recommend a dark color like Peppercorn with Iron Ore. I think they will fight with each other and make it look like you tried to match them but missed. I probably would not do an accent wall either, one focal point is all you need for a room. Add interest to your space with pops of color or textures on rugs, pillows, and art/accessories.

  7. Hi Carla,
    I am thinking about painting my interior doors in Iron Ore. My walls are in SW Tony Taupe and was leaving the trim white.
    Do you think this will work and if so, what finish do you suggest.

  8. Hi Carla – what white did you use for the upper cabinets and wld recommend going with Iron Ore? We are painting our cabinets and want darker bottoms with lighter uppers. It’s a wide alley kitchen with floor to ceiling windows at the end making it quite bright. Thanks so much.

    1. Hi Claire- I would recommend a white color that works with your other finishes such as your countertops and backsplash. These are key finishes you need to work for your white with vs. the Iron Ore. Are they warm or cool? If you have warmer tones, go with something like Benjamin Moore White Dove or Sherwin Williams Snowbound. If your other finishes are cooler in tone maybe try Decorators White or Super White. A more middle of the road white would be Simply White or Chantilly Lace.

Leave a Reply

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

Comments links could be nofollow free.

how to choose paint colors with confidence

Free Design Guide

5 Tips for a Stress Free Remodel

Get The FREE Guide

Ever wonder what your own personal interior design style is?

Unlock Your Unique Design Style

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.