Sherwin Williams Iron Ore


If you’re looking for a moody color but don’t feel like dedicating yourself to black, Sherwin Williams Iron Ore is the perfect compromise for you. Learn more about this sultry paint color and how to best use it inside the home.

You’ve got your paintbrush in one hand and a bucket of primer in the other hand. Now, all you need is to figure out what paint color to go with for your home! If you’ve been searching for the ideal true gray and tend to stray to the moodier side of things, let me introduce you to Sherwin Williams Iron Ore.

Sherwin Williams Iron Ore

Iron Ore (SW 1069) appears as a very dark gray, almost black in some lighting. Many see it as a soft black where the gray undertones shine through. When used inside the home, it creates a dramatic look rich in color.

Without a doubt, dark colors like Iron Ore are for the bold. So if you’re feeling like breaking out of the mold, learn more about this daring neutral below.


Any time you are choosing a new paint color, you need to try out the real paint color in your home first!

The easiest and quickest way to do that is with Samplize! I solely use them for paint samples now. There’s no mess, no leftover sample pots of paint. Plus, these no-mess, peel-and-stick rectangles made from real paint, are easy to move around the room and easy to save for future reference!

Undertones of Sherwin Williams Iron Ore

While the untrained eye may consider SW Iron Ore as black, it is actually a true dark gray. That being said, it will appear as a soft gray in most lighting, sometimes even creamy. This is why many label it as a charcoal color.

As with any paint, the light will affect the appearance of the paint, even changing throughout the day as the sun rises and sets. In most lighting, Iron Ore will come across as a cool tone paint with blue-gray undertones. At rare times, you may even spot a hint of purple or even brown or green undertones.

If you select Iron Ore for your home, know that it won’t warm it up. Instead, it’s meant to make a statement. But it doesn’t feel too “cool” when you pair it with the right colors, furniture, and accents. When paired with warmer color palettes, it appears grayer. White trim and light wood do wonders for working with Iron Ore!

Light Reflectance Value of Iron Ore Paint

Whenever you’re shopping for paint color, you will want to consider the light reflectance value (LVR). The number will be between 1-100, with 1 representing pure black and 100 being pure white. The higher the number, the more light you can expect it to reflect.

On the LRV scale, Iron Ore paint sits at a low 6. While very close to black, you can still tell that Iron Ore isn’t pure and holds some gray undertones. However, you still can’t expect it to reflect much light.

Iron Ore works best for rooms that have a lot of natural light or plenty of artificial lighting sources to illuminate the room. In natural light, the blue undertones come across more.

Complimentary Colors for Sherwin Williams Iron Ore

When it comes to black, dark gray, navy, or other popular darker colors, you almost always see the items paired with white. A space needs a little bit of dark and light in order to reach equilibrium.

The sharp contrast also helps to show the true charcoal gray color and ensure the dark color doesn’t overpower. White trim, floors, ceilings, and furniture will work to create that stability in a room where Iron Ore hangs out.

Sometimes, pure white creates too much of a contrast. Another option is to go with a white with warmer undertones to offset the coolness of Iron Ore. SW Alabaster White works well and helps to balance the darkness of the paint and liven the space.

While not technically a color, it’s worth noting that warm, light wood finishes will also provide an excellent contrast to Iron Ore. It can make the room feel cheerier without losing the sophistication that this paint brings to the room.

If SW Iron Ore doesn’t feel like the right color but very close, you can also consider their Tricorn Black or Peppercorn colors. SW Tricorn Black is one shade darker than Iron Ore, and SW Peppercorn is a few shades lighter. It all depends on how close to black you feel like getting!

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Sherwin Williams Iron Ore in the Home

Enough talk about what Iron Ore can look like. Let’s see some examples! Here are some common ways that people use SW Iron Ore paint inside and outside the home


Surprisingly, this may be one of the most popular exterior paint colors that Sherwin Williams carries. Darker colors are popular for home exterior as they are almost always coated in natural light. This means the exterior will appear like creamy charcoal when in the sun.

People also like to use the paint for siding trim, shutters, and even for dark decks and porches. It creates that dark contrast without venturing completely into black.


It’s no secret that people like to stick with neutral colors when it comes to their cabinets. For those who think black may be too harsh, Iron Ore offers the perfect alternative. If you have a brightly lit kitchen, charcoal gray cabinets can create a striking effect. Pair with a light butcher block countertop and a simple white backsplash for a warm and modern kitchen.

This shade also works well for smaller cabinetry, such as a bathroom vanity. Accent it with gold or brass hardware for a luxurious feel. You can also use the paint for built-ins in the office or living room.

Accent Walls

A dark accent wall may just be the thing you need in your home. It will create a moody and sophisticated feel to any living room, den, or bedroom you paint with it. It can easily feel overwhelming so try to limit it to small spaces or only as an accent wall. That being said, I’ve seen some daring designers go for a fully black room, and that is something to marvel at too.


Rising in popularity are colorful interior doors ready to make an announcement. Having a black accent in a room makes it feel like it has more depth and a little more pizazz. A good way to add this is with a door. Dark doors look clean and simple, all while livening up a boring hallway or ushering in people to the powder room.


Iron Ore always makes a clear impact anytime it comes near a fireplace. You can paint a shelf above the mantle, the mantle itself, or even the whole thing the dark charcoal gray color. A dark fireplace adds character and drama, ready for cozy nights in surrounding the fire.

As you can see, there are many places where this moody hue shines. Are you ready to try it out for yourself?

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One Comment

  1. Sherwin Williams makes some great paint. I used this Iron Ore color on an accent wall in my guest bedroom and I love it!

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