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 a HIGHER LRV, 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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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 Colors Covered in our Paint Exploration Series:
If you still aren’t sold on this color, or just want a few more options – here are several other colors to choose from.
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30 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.
Kitchens Using SW Peppercorn
1. Awesome Design Ideas for Kitchen Cabinets | Stunning Kitchen Designs
Without a doubt, Peppercorn makes a winning kitchen cabinet color. This refined kitchen from Stunning Kitchen Designs gets a modern twist with two-toned cabinets (white on top and Peppercorn on the bottom) and a stunning marbled backsplash in a chevron pattern.
2. Alternative Paint Colors for Kitchen Cabinets | Kadilak Homes
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.
3. Call Me Crazy… But I am Going to Repaint the Kitchen Cabinets | Jones Design Company
When using a no-fail dark gray shade like Peppercorn, repainting your kitchen cabinets is not crazy at all!
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.
5. The Last, Final Kitchen Island (EVER) | Thrifty Decor Chick
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 more gray in person, with a bit of a blue undertone.
Bathrooms Using SW Peppercorn
6. Favorite Colours of Instagram | Favorite Paint Colors
Why should kitchen cabinets have all the fun? This bathroom vanity looks so sophisticated dressed up with Sherwin Williams Peppercorn paint.
7. Master Bathroom Update on a $300 Budget | Tag & Tibby
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.
8. Finding the Perfect Dark Gray Paint Color | DIY Playbook
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.
9. Bathroom Vanity Refresh | Hometalk
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.
10. Bathroom Makeover Reveal | Rooms for Rent
Wow, the Peppercorn beadboard half wall (3/4 wall?) takes this bathroom to the next level of refinement! I love the classic, vintage feel of this farmhouse space.
Bedrooms Using SW Peppercorn
11. SW Peppercorn | Salt and Blues
This dark and moody bedroom looks like a cozy place to relax. Peppercorn adds dimension to the walls without the starkness of a darker charcoal or black, and is a perfect complement to the modern decor accents in this space.
12. DIY Planked Wall (Peppercorn Paint Color) | Table & Hearth for Kaleidoscope Living
This DIY planked wall painted in SW Peppercorn adds extra charm and interest to this beach cottage-themed room.
13. Goodbye Gray, Hello Earth Tones | Better Homes and Gardens
Better Homes and Gardens knows a thing or two about color trends. In their 2020 Paint Color Forecast, they feature this refined bedroom with a dark and earthy accent wall. Peppercorn adds depth to this sophisticated room, filled with earth tones in a variety of shades. It also looks especially stunning next to the bright white ceiling.
14. Ask the Expert: Paint Q & A with Sherwin Williams’ Amanda Lowery | Laura Fox Interior Design
Nothing says calm like a bedroom layered in several shades of gray. Peppercorn makes a perfect backdrop, with lighter shades of gray and white adding dimension to this attic bedroom space.
15. Accent Wall in the Master Bedroom | Our Faux Farmhouse
This DIY board and batten accent wall 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
16. Bold and Coastal Living Room | Studio McGee
This room is so perfectly styled and sophisticated! Peppercorn shiplap walls contrast beautifully with a white fireplace and wood and leather decor accents.
17. Let There Be Light | Columbia Metropolitan
This home office gets a bold and luxurious treatment with Sherwin Williams Peppercorn paint. Says the homeowner/designer, Veronica: “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!
SW Peppercorn is a beautiful choice for built-in cabinets in living spaces, especially with a contrasting color or pattern in the back.
This colorful sitting room has a level of refinement, especially thanks to the Peppercorn wainscoting accent wall. It ties in with the stripes in the accent chairs and contrasts with the cheerful orange decor.
Peppercorn makes a perfect, cozy shade for basement family rooms.
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.
Peppercorn looks crisp and beautiful on exterior siding! This shade can make any style home look instantly more modern.
Peppercorn looks amazing as an exterior accent color and contrasts dramatically with white.
You really can’t go wrong with a dark garage and front door on a white or light-colored exterior. Peppercorn is a great shade when needing drama but not wanting to go pure black.
Certain home styles need a bit more boldness, and Peppercorn fits the bill on this classic, coastal-feeling home with bright, white trim.
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?
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.
I absolutely love the look of Peppercorn as an exterior door color, especially when paired with white trim and light gray exterior walls.
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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.
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 post 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!
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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