Read all about Sherwin Williams Peppercorn, plus see 30 real homes that use it!
Sherwin Williams Peppercorn (SW 7674) is a rich and creamy dark gray that brings a highly pigmented yet refined touch to a variety of spaces, accent walls, cabinets, and exteriors.
With a name that recalls the complex fragrance of a spicy kitchen staple, it’s the last stop on a journey through dark grays before crossing into deep charcoal and soft black territories. Peppercorn will pack that dramatic touch you’re craving without the heavy starkness of black.
As with any dark color, you will want to approach with caution when considering SW Peppercorn as a paint shade for your home. With some careful thought, Peppercorn can have an absolutely stunning effect in a space or as an exterior color.
Let’s explore all things Sherwin Williams Peppercorn, then see it in action in 30 real-life, beautiful homes!
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What color is Sherwin Williams Peppercorn paint?
SW Peppercorn is a dark gray. It lacks very obvious undertones, so many designers consider it a “true gray” (aka it won’t turn baby blue all of a sudden in your bedroom). While some might call it a charcoal, in my opinion, it’s not quite dark enough to be considered a charcoal shade.
In certain lighting, it might catch a tiny hint of blue or purple, but for the most part, you won’t be caught off guard with a glaring and unexpected undertone.
Is SW Peppercorn a warm or cool color?
While Sherwin Williams Peppercorn paint doesn’t have very obvious undertones, it does lean cool. For this reason, Peppercorn performs best in north-facing rooms where the light tends to be cooler and bring out its natural characteristics.
The warmer, golden light of east, west and south-facing rooms might cause it to read differently. Of course, you might like that! But generally, it’s best to choose a lighter color for rooms with warm, constantly changing light.
In darker spaces, Peppercorn might give off a dramatic, inky-blue vibe, whereas in other spaces, it can sometimes take on a creamy, purple characteristic.
LRV of Sherwin Williams Peppercorn
First, here’s the “numerical” details, or the LRV.
Peppercorn LRV = 10
LRV sounds fancy but it’s a simple acronym that stands for Light Reflectance Value. Think of it as a scale from 0-100 with 0 being pure black, and 100 being pure white. Lighter paint shades REFLECT more light from them and therefore have HIGHER LRV values and vice versa for darker shades.
The LRV of Peppercorn is 10. While not a pure black, Peppercorn is a very dark gray shade. In spaces that lack sufficient lighting, it might just look plain black. So lighting is very important to take into consideration when exploring this color. The right lighting can really bring out its beautiful, natural characteristics.
On the flip side, the wrong lighting can make this shade seem suffocating and gloomy. This color is dark, you guys.
Below, see Peppercorn (10) side by side with pure white (100). The outside of the circle is in black (LRV 0).
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Before we dig deeper, let’s take the 30,000 foot view of this paint shade. Check out a little video preview of this paint shade in action to see if it’s one you want to see more of!
Sherwin Williams Peppercorn Video Preview
Peppercorn Paint Compared to Other Colors
Dark colors, particularly grays, charcoals, and soft black shades can be very difficult to compare. Without studying their color profiles closely, the difference between such dark shades can seem arbitrary.
Since it’s so important to fully understand the implications of paint shades – particularly dark colors – in a room, I want to take some time to compare Sherwin Williams Peppercorn paint to a few other dark colors.
Sherwin Williams Iron Ore vs Peppercorn
Sherwin Williams Iron Ore is a rich and velvety dark gray or charcoal, and with an LRV of 6, it’s almost black. In fact, it’s sometimes considered a soft black that sometimes catches deep blue or purple undertones. Peppercorn (LRV 10) is noticeably lighter than Iron Ore, and has more subtle, gray undertones.
Sherwin Williams Peppercorn vs Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal
Kendall Charcoal by Benjamin Moore is another lovely dark gray color. Compared to Peppercorn, it’s slightly warmer (there’s a tiny hint of brown to it) and slightly lighter (with an LRV of 12.96).
Since Peppercorn leans a wee bit cool, Kendall Charcoal is arguably more neutral and may play better in a wider variety of spaces, such as those with warmer lighting.
Sherwin Williams Peppercorn vs Urbane Bronze
While darker than Peppercorn with an LRV of 8, Urbane Bronze has noticeable brown and bronze undertones, making it a warmer color that can pair with taupe and tan shades. Urbane Bronze is a warm and slightly chalky dark gray.
More Color Inspiration From Our Paint Exploration Series:
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Real Life Homes Using Peppercorn
Okay, let’s get to the good stuff. I LOVE seeing how paint colors look in other people’s homes, and Peppercorn is no exception.
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 ⤵
Kitchens Using SW Peppercorn
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.
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).
1. Peppercorn Kitchen Island
With perimeter cabinets in a very light gray, Peppercorn makes a statement as a kitchen island color in this stylish midcentury-meets-modern kitchen from Kadilak Homes.
2. All Peppercorn Cabinets
When using a no-fail dark gray shade like Peppercorn, repainting your kitchen cabinets is not crazy at all! What a lovely look from Jones Design Company.
3. Dramatic Island Accent Color
Here’s another breathtaking example of a dramatic accent color on a kitchen island with perimeter cabinets in a lighter color. Peppercorn takes on a deep, inky behavior in contrast with the bright white, otherwise monochromatic kitchen.
4. Rich Peppercorn Kitchen Island
A big thank you to Thrifty Decor Chick for sharing her DIY kitchen island saga! Peppercorn makes a beautiful shade for this project, I think. While it might look blue or purple in this photo, but Sarah assures it’s grayer in person, with a bit of a blue undertone.
Bathrooms Using SW Peppercorn
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. Peppercorn Bathroom Vanity
Why should kitchen cabinets have all the fun? This bathroom vanity shared by Favorite Paint Colors blog looks so sophisticated dressed up with Sherwin Williams Peppercorn paint.
6. Impactful Master Bathroom Update on a Budget with Peppecorn
I love this bathroom makeover story from Tag & Tibby. Updating the bathroom vanity with Peppercorn helped add contrast with the existing countertop. Instead of a dated, yellowish shade, now it actually looks white. Amazing that a simple coat of paint can have such magical effects.
7. Above the Chair Rail Bathroom Color
This DIY Playbook bathroom is so pretty! I love the white vanity and white subway tile half-wall. Peppercorn on the top half of the wall adds just the right amount of drama.
8. Peppercorn Bathroom Vanity Refresh
If this DIY bathroom refresh from Hometalk doesn’t inspire you to take on your own home project, I don’t know what will! This bathroom vanity experienced a dramatic facelift with nothing but paint and new faucets. Peppercorn looks great as a dark cabinet color.
9. Bathroom Makeover Reveal
Wow, the Peppercorn beadboard half wall (3/4 wall?) takes this bathroom from Rooms for Rent to the next level of refinement! I love the classic, vintage feel of this farmhouse bath. This room also shows how well this dark shade can look in a small space.
Bedrooms Using SW Peppercorn
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.
10. DIY Peppercorn Planked Wall
Emily’s DIY planked wall painted in SW Peppercorn from Table & Hearth for Kaleidoscope Living adds extra charm and interest to this beach cottage-themed room.
Oh, and if you love this planked feature wall concept, we’ve got many more, too! Check out this shiplap ideas article!
11. Accent Wall in the Master Bedroom
This DIY board and batten accent wall from Our Faux Farmhouse in Sherwin Williams Peppercorn paint adds visual impact to this sweet and simple farmhouse bedroom. The deep shade really gives the space some extra depth.
Living Spaces with Peppercorn Paint
12. Bold and Coastal Living Room
This room by Studio McGee is perfectly styled and sophisticated! Peppercorn shiplap walls contrast beautifully with a white fireplace and wood and leather decor accents to create a stunning (yet neutral) color palette.
A space like this one with lots of natural light can handle a dark shade like Peppercorn without appearing cave-like.
13. Let There Be Light
This home office gets a bold and luxurious treatment with Sherwin Williams Peppercorn paint. Says designer Veronica, of Veronica Russell Interiors: “It works because natural sunlight floods the room, and I’ve contrasted the dark color with layers of white and light colors.” I wholeheartedly agree!
14. Beautiful for Built-Ins
SW Peppercorn is a beautiful choice for built-in cabinets in living spaces, especially with a contrasting color or pattern in the back.
15. A Refined Accent
This colorful sitting room has a level of refinement, especially thanks to the SW Peppercorn wainscoting accent wall. It ties in with the stripes in the accent chairs and contrasts with the cheerful orange decor.
16. Classic Charcoal Family Room
Peppercorn can be a perfect, cozy dark neutral hue for a basement family room.
17. Shiplap in a Dark Neutral
Like shiplap but going for more classic refinement than farmhouse chic? Sherwin Williams Peppercorn paint gives this sitting room a level of stunning moodiness and looks beautiful as a shiplap color.
Sherwin Williams Peppercorn Exterior
Sherwin Williams Peppercorn paint is an especially popular shade for exteriors, especially in the farmhouse style, since it has a crisp and stunning finish. Here are some gorgeous examples of real-life exteriors using SW Peppercorn.
18. Super on Siding
Peppercorn looks crisp and beautiful on exterior siding! This shade can make any style home look instantly more modern.
18. Nearly Blue in Cool Light
Peppercorn looks amazing as an exterior accent color and contrasts dramatically with white. Here in the cool toned natural light, you could almost mistake this dark gray tone for a navy blue, right? Isn’t it amazing how paint reacts in varied lighting situations?
19. Classic Exterior Appeal
Certain home styles need a bit more boldness, and Peppercorn fits the bill on this classic, coastal-feeling home with bright, white trim.
20. Spectacular Siding Color
This gorgeous bed and breakfast looks absolutely breathtaking in Peppercorn with white trim. Who wants to join me for a dinner party in this lovely garden?
21. Winning Trim Color Option
Nothing says lakehouse-like uniquely shaped windows overlooking an incredible view. Let the personality of the original architecture stand out with a muted yet bold shade like Peppercorn.
22. Gorgeous Interior Door Paint Color
On that note, it looks amazing as an interior door color, too. Paired with white trim and very pale gray shiplap walls, it makes the perfect entryway to a farmhouse-chic home.
23. Stately Front Door (and a goat)
How stately is this beautiful front door? I almost didn’t notice the adorable goat! Sherwin Williams Peppercorn paint is a surefire color for any door but works especially well when contrasted with white and pale gray trim and wall shades.
There you go! I hope this article helped you see just how beautiful and versatile Sherwin Williams Peppercorn can be. If you’re searching for a bold, dark gray shade that’s not too dark, Peppercorn might be a great paint choice for you!
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 color, leave a comment (or better yet, a photo) on the pin! That helps others know whether they want to try this color, too!
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