Read all about Sherwin Williams Iron Ore, plus see over 20 real homes that use it!
Sherwin Williams Iron Ore (SW 7069) is a rich, very dark gray that is absolutely stunning (and popular) on home exteriors. It’s also a solid pick for accent walls and cabinets.
Let me reiterate: Iron Ore is very dark – almost black. It can sometimes read as a soft black with dark gray undertones or a deep charcoal. However you prefer to describe it, it’s a good candidate for those looking for a black paint that’s not too black.
Let’s take an in-depth look at Iron Ore paint to help you decide if it’s the right shade for your next home project!
Here’s a video preview of this dark and lovely shade being used in some real homes and spaces…
Sherwin Williams Iron Ore SW 7069 FAQs:
What color is Sherwin Williams Iron Ore
As described above, ultimately Iron Ore is a dark, deep charcoal gray. Although it is very rich shade, it is softer than true black. This shade can vary in different lighting and when paired with various color palettes.
Is Iron Ore warm or cool?
Iron Ore can play to both warm and cool at different times, depending on the lighting in the space it is in. It doesn’t really read as having a strong temperature persuasion either way. It’s kinda right smack in the middle, or perhaps just a tinge cool.
What are the Iron Ore undertones?
It tends to look like a soft black (and at some angles, almost a true black) when paired with pure white trim and light wood finishes.
In a room with a warm color palette, you’ll clearly see that it’s a gray. Most of the time, it looks like a true dark gray, and sometimes the pigmentation looks downright creamy.
Other times, some undertones might come out. Its undertones can vary greatly depending on the light. Sometimes it reads cool, with slight blue-gray undertones. On rarer occasions, you might catch warm brown, purple, or even green undertones.
I’ve rounded up examples of all of these within this post, so you’ll see what I mean.
Where can Iron Ore be used?
A shade like Iron Ore can be used to create visual impact. This color can look great on exteriors, accent walls, kitchen cabinets, and bathroom shelving and vanities, especially if you’re looking for something a touch softer than black.
What trim color should be used with Iron Ore?
Iron Ore can actually make a great trim color itself if you want a dark shade. For a light trim pairing, look to the light, bright more neutral to slightly cool whites.
Some favorites would be SW Highly Reflective White, Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace, or SW Extra White.
What is the LRV of Sherwin Williams Iron Ore?
First, here’s the “numerical” details, or the LRV.
Iron Ore LRV = 6
LRV = Light Reflectance Value: Rated 0-100 with 0 being pure black, and 100 being pure white.
Lighter paint shades REFLECT more light from them and therefore have a HIGHER LRV, and vice versa for darker shades).
The LRV of Iron Ore is 6. Yes, 6. That means it’s only a few shades lighter than pure black. However, it is enough that you can tell with the naked eye that it’s a charcoal or dark gray shade, and definitely not black.
Below see Iron Ore (6) side by side with pure white (100). The outside of the circle is in black (LRV 0).
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Iron Ore Paint Compared to Other Colors
Dark colors can be very difficult to compare. Let’s take a look at Iron Ore next to a few shades in the dark gray, charcoal, and black families to get a better understanding of its color profile.
Iron Ore vs Peppercorn
While Sherwin Williams Peppercorn is considered by many interior experts as a soft black, it definitely falls in the dark gray and charcoal families. Its LRV of 10 makes it noticeably lighter than Iron Ore, and might be a great choice if black if too stark for you.
Peppercorn will give you a hearty level of drama but with a bit of softness.
SW Iron Ore vs BM Wrought Iron
Benjamin Moore Wrought Iron is often included in “best black paint” lists, though it’s truly a dark gray or charcoal. It is incredibly close to Iron Ore on the Light Reflectance scale. At 6.16 LRV, it’s barely lighter than Iron Ore’s LRV of 6. It’s very difficult to distinguish them from each other with the naked eye, even when placed side by side.
In my opinion, along with being just a touch darker, Iron Ore is a tiny bit warmer and richer than Wrought Iron.
Iron Ore vs Tricorn Black
Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black is dark enough to be considered a true black. It has an LRV of 3, so it’s just a few degrees of separation from pure black. It’s very saturated and free of undertones and is a popular pick for doors and accent walls.
Because it’s deeper, richer, and darker than Iron Ore (LRV 6), it may be a great choice for your next project if you’re looking for more punch than softness.
More Paint Colors To Consider:
If you still aren’t sold on this color, or just want a few more options – here are several other colors to look at that we’ve covered in our expansive paint exploration series:
Still feeling a bit lost? Don’t worry – I’ve got something that will help you pick the PERFECT color every single time. Grab a FREE copy of my new guide to avoid the paint color picking mistakes people make! Click here or enter your email below. I’ll send the tips right away!⤵️
Real Life Homes Using Iron Ore
Alright, time to dig into the good part: all that eye candy! But first, a warning. Do NOT fall in love with one of these rooms, run out and buy 4 cans and start painting your space! Remember the cardinal rule of painting: sample before you swipe that paintbrush!!!
As far as sampling goes, I highly recommend these mess-free, re-usable, re-positionable peel and stick paint samples ⤵
Exteriors Using Iron Ore
Sheen note: Picking the right color is only winning the battle, not the war. Remember to pick the right paint finish, or sheen, also! Read up on what you need to know about picking the perfect paint sheen.
1. Farmhouse Style That’s NOT White!
This exterior from @laurensmythdesign is all about the wow factor. The lighting paired with the texture of the wood siding results in a softer, warmer effect than the photo above.
2. Moody Modern Mountain Home
On this modern, mountain-style home from @minimal_nest, Iron Ore looks decidedly charcoal. It’s a nice contrast next to its natural stone and wood finishes but isn’t as stark as a pure black would be.
3. Classic Cottage in Charcoal
This darling, country-style cottage from @stilettoschu is a great example of the softer side of Iron Ore. When accented with white trim and black shutters, the effect is homey, and not at all dramatic.
4. Updated Traditional Beauty
Pinterest user and homeowner Kathleen @kathleendager posted her gorgeous exterior completed with Iron Ore as the main exterior color with accents of Tricorn Black (shutters) and Sherwin Williams Extra White trim. Makes for a lovely, traditional, yet dramatic trio of colors.
Feeling a little nervous to go all in? Try it on a smaller area first, like your garage doors. Iron Ore looks great as both an all-over color, as well as a trim or exterior accent shade.
Bathrooms Using Iron Ore
Don’t forget the finish! For bathrooms the perfect sheen is either an eggshell or satin. Why? We’ll tell you in this post about paint sheen.
5. Shiplap Takes a Dark, Dreamy Turn
Iron Ore on an interior shiplap wall from The Creativity Exchange gives farmhouse style a clean, modern edge, and will keep this bathroom feeling fresh and polished for years to come.
And if you want to see more amazing shiplap ideas, we’ve got them for you!
6. Basement Remodel with a Pop of Individuality
This bathroom from Carla Bast Design shows Iron Ore as a shelf and cabinet color, and I have to say, it’s a definite win. When paired with white subway tile and beige walls, the look is modern while also creating serene spa vibes. (Photo credit: @alyssaleephotography)
7. Geometric Bathroom Accent Wall
All the heart eyes for this bathroom from @mindypaxton. It’s impressive that this designer managed to use Iron Ore on an accent wall, the bathroom vanity, and the door without making this space look too dark. The white marbled floor, white countertop, walls, and ceilings contrast and balance with the soft black/charcoal shade in such an elegant way, and the gold hardware is the bow on top.
Loving this geometric accent wall idea? We’ve collected lots more like it to check out!
8. Art Deco Darling
This dark bathroom from @reissued_by_suzi_weinstock has the opposite effect of the previous one, but with its Art Deco style, it works. The lighting seems to bring out slight purple or burgundy undertones. With the gold accents, there’s a very warm feeling to this space.
9. Iron Ore Vanity
Here’s another dark vanity look, this one from @seasonsofmyhome. The soft black shade lets the pattern of the wallpaper take center stage and brings balance to the small space.
10. Awesome Accent Wall
Iron Ore is a great color choice for accent walls. Here, @flipping_sykesville adds dimension to an otherwise white and bright bathroom.
Looking for more accent wall ideas? Check these out, too.
Iron Ore in Kitchens
For kitchens, eggshell or satin are popular finish choices for walls. For cabinets consider semi-gloss or high gloss for the most durable finish (and a gorgeous glow).
11. Iron Ore Modern Cabinets
There’s such a creative use of textures in this modern kitchen shared by @morganrogersrealestate. The green-hued marbling of the countertops and textured tile backsplash help to bring out the richness of the flat, dark gray cabinets. Matching the cabinet hardware to the exact color of the cabinet surfaces further contribute to the dramatic effect.
12. Iron Ore Cabinet Update in a Traditional Kitchen
Here’s another example of Iron Ore used on cabinet surfaces paired with gold hardware from @asmallandsimplehouse. The creaminess of the dark gray is very evident here.
13. Sleek Tuxedo-Style Shiplap Kitchen
Iron Ore definitely looks more like a soft black in this predominantly white shiplap kitchen from @25thandbrick. The barstools are an exact match of the shade of the kitchen island, creating a flat monochrome effect.
Ultimately, there are three main finishes/colors in this space: white, black, and natural wood, contributing to a clean and modern farmhouse-meets-Scandinavian style.
Dining Rooms Using Iron Ore
14. Dark and Dramatic Dining
Modern woodworking adds extra interest to this accent wall. Iron Ore looks like a soft black here, which lends the perfect amount of drama without looking too stark. The matte finish looks especially lovely in this dining room.
Remember, if you’re digging that accent wall, there’s more of that geometric goodness here.
15. Cozy Conversation Zone
This cozy home from @greensprucedesignshome uses light and neutral colors to keep everything feeling bright and fresh. Painting just the dining room walls with Iron Ore adds a level of formality to the space and is an appropriate pairing with the crystal chandeliers.
Bedrooms Using Iron Ore
In general for bedrooms, and low-traffic areas, flat paint is fine. If you like something with a bit of shine (and more ease of cleaning) opt for eggshell or satin.
16. Dark and Dreamy Owner’s Suite
The way the light flows in this room from Within the Grove allows Iron Ore to take on a true black look. The contrast between the accent wall and the white walls and ceiling is especially dramatic.
17. Dark and Moody Master Bedroom
In this post from Little House of Four, the title describes this bedroom as “dark and moody,” and I couldn’t agree more. This wall is truly a creamy, dark gray, with the slightest hint of cool blue undertones. The cognac leather throw pillow, plant and brushed gold sconce add extra warmth and elegance.
18. Small Wall Sqaure Footage, Big Impact
Don’t want to commit to an entire accent wall? Steal a page from @plant_gal and paint just the top third of a wall, covering the rest with white wainscoting. It adds such a nice level of dimension to this fresh, mostly-white bedroom!
19. Iron Ore on a Textured Wall
@restoringbeautydesigns shares an example of how Iron Ore looks on a textured wall with a satin finish. It adds a little – but not too much – a contrast to a predominantly pastel palette.
20. Soft Black Board & Batten
This board and batten accent wall by @tiff_tackles adds a cool, sophisticated look to this classic, elegant bedroom. The way the light falls is so interesting, adding some subtle shade variation throughout.
Love board & batten? We do, too. Check out more board and batten ideas here.
Iron Ore in Living Spaces
21. Sophisticated Living Space
This is a great look from @inspire_me_snaphappy: soft black walls, a white brick fireplace, and deer taxidermy. A wooden mantle and houndstooth pattern on the accent chair adds an extra touch of texture.
22. Iron Ore Family Room
In this living space by @alexandra_doeshair, the two different shades of wood and the black brick fireplace actually bring out some warm, brownish undertones in Iron Ore’s dark gray.
23. Buddied up with Brick
The light in this beautiful, Victorian country-style sitting room actually brings out some dark evergreen undertones! The brick fireplace and warm palette in this space from @vintagethreshold are so lovely.
24. A Real Attention Getter
Style and Grace Interiors says “hello” to accents with Iron Ore. The choice of use brilliantly highlights exactly what you would want to feature in this stunning room: the gorgeous fireplace!
I love how the accent color is carried throughout the rest of the room as well.
Iron Ore Sherwin-Williams Summary
Well, that was fun, right? I hope this paint color study and examples of Iron Ore paint in real homes have helped you decide whether you think that SW Iron Ore #7069 could be that perfect dark, moody charcoal gray paint color you’ve been looking for!
And if this is a color you’re seriously considering, remember paint-sampling is better than ending up paint-sorry! I highly recommend these peel and stick samples because they are inexpensive, re-usable and re-positionable…
Pin this post for later! And if you decide to use this paint shade, leave a comment (or better yet, a photo) on the pin! That helps others know whether they want to try this color, too!
Ready to show those boring, beige walls who’s the boss at home? Grab my free guide to help you sidestep the mistakes that almost everyone makes when it comes to picking paint! You’ll be on your way to perfect paint promptly…pinky swear.