Is Iron Ore the Best shade of BLACK for you? LRV, Undertones & More
Whether on exteriors, cabinets, doors, or feature walls, black is DEFINITELY on-trend. But regardless of trends, you need to figure out whether black SUITS your home, and the best way to do that is with research. So, let’s begin our little spelunking journey into Iron Ore (get it?)!
To show you RELATEABLE & REAL homes, I ONLY use photos from my Online Color Consulting clients. This means I don’t always have the quality photos I need or the RIGHT photos, but DEFINITELY have some SUPER helpful info to help you on your way!
IS IRON ORE BLACK OR GRAY?
While Iron Ore isn’t a TRUE black, it can ACT like black in the right situation, especially if there isn’t a true black around to be directly compared to (and the room is DARK enough). Iron Ore is actually a SOFT black, which we’ll talk about under the LRV section.
In this first photo, Iron Ore looks pretty darn black until you compare it to the DOG, then you see that wink of softness (apologies for the murky quality photo, but it gives you the idea)…
However, when DIRECTLY COMPARED to black, you can see the softness of Iron Ore…
As for temperature, Iron Ore is most definitely a WARM black paint color. In fact, it’s the most popular warm shade of black on the market!
WHAT’S THE LRV OF IRON ORE?
Iron Ore comes in with a WHOPPING LRV of 6, so it’s certainly not the blackest black out there, but it’s thinking about it. For example, Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black has an LRV of 3. TRUE BLACK is 0; however, in the paint world, we don’t have access to that, with our blackest options coming in around 2.5.
Iron Ore is on the shutters.
Not sure what LRV is? It could save your paint-lovin’ life – read all about it HERE.
DOES IRON ORE HAVE UNDERTONES?
Yes, Iron Ore DOES have undertones, but they are damn tricky. On exteriors, Iron Ore tends to lean into a very slight green undertone – but not always. On interiors, I’ve seen this same vague green undertone come up a bit more consistently on walls.
HOWEVER, on cabinets, it can look slightly MORE green due to the satin sheen of the paint. Just keep in mind that I’m pretty anal about these things, and you MIGHT just see it as soft black!
SAMPLING IRON ORE WITH SAMPLIZE PEEL & STICK
Like with every paint color, I highly recommend using SAMPLIZE. Samplize is a peel & stick paint sample that you can easily move around your room for over HALF THE COST of traditional sample pots – and they deliver right to your front door!
Learn all about Samplize HERE
WHAT’S THE BEST WHITE TRIM COLOR WITH IRON ORE?
Oh, the world is your oyster; which white do you WANT? Personally, I love the slightly soft approach of Pure White, but I also love the crisp contrast of High Reflective White. Remember that whites with a slightly stronger yellow/cream undertone could enhance the green undertone in Iron Ore.
IS IRON ORE A GOOD EXTERIOR COLOR FOR SIDING, TRIM, OR THE FRONT DOOR?
Yes, Iron Ore is a great exterior color, as long as it suits the finishes on your home (roof/stone/brick). Again, that subtle green undertone CAN pop up here and there, but it’s not usually committed.
If your home is south-facing or gets afternoon western sunshine, expect to see a bit more of that warm green undertone.
WHAT’S THE BENJAMIN MOORE EQUIVALENT TO IRON ORE?
Sadly, Iron Ore is a creature unto itself. Similar dark colors pick up more blue (Wrought Iron) or go too warm (Iron Mountain). And even if you color match, you can fully expect to see shifts in undertones, temperature, and depth. In other words, there aren’t any black paint colors that are really similar to Iron Ore.
WHAT PAINT COLORS GO GOOD WITH IRON ORE?
When it comes to Iron Ore, it’s ALLLLLL about the undertone…
- only partner Iron Ore with a violet undertone if it’s a WARM violet, not a cool one
- Iron Ore can be a bit fussy with light, overly cool grays and prefers stormy or slightly warm ones
- Iron Ore loves to be partnered with some stormy grays with a blue-green undertone
- Iron Ore loves greiges – light and mid-toned
- any number of subtle, warm off-whites look great with Iron Ore
- Iron Ore loves a wide variety of earth tones
COLORS THAT COMPARE TO IRON ORE
While no paint colors really compare to Iron Ore, it’s via comparison that you see the undertones in colors. There’s a chance that Iron Ore ISN’T the best black for your home, which is why sampling and comparing is KEY and SO MUCH EASIER with Peel & Stick paint samples!
IRON ORE VS TRICORN BLACK
The biggest difference between Iron Ore and Tricorn Black is LRV. However, they also differ in undertone.
- Tricorn Black is a true black with an LRV slightly below 3. Iron Ore’s LRV of 6 makes it a soft black, so it’s not as stark.
- Tricorn Black has no noticeable undertone, whereas Iron Ore has a slightly noticeable green undertone.
IRON ORE VS WROUGHT IRON
Iron Ore and Wrought Iron are similar because they have higher LRVs (in the black world). However, Wrought Iron has a MUCH different undertone…
- Iron Ore has an LRV of 6, to Wrought Iron’s slightly lighter 8.17.
- Wrought Iron has a noticeable blue (blue-violet) undertone, opposite Iron Ore’s warm green undertone.
IRON ORE VS PEPPERCORN
Peppercorn is a sneaky lil’ bugger and much more complicated than Iron Ore…
- Peppercorn has an LRV of 10, putting it on the HIGHEST/lightest end of the dark range.
- Whereas Iron Ore is a soft black, Peppercorn is a DARK GRAY.
- Iron Ore has a subtle warm green undertone. Peppercorn is majorly unpredictable. While it can pick up a flash of green, it can just as easily look a touch violet.
IRON ORE VS URBANE BRONZE
- Urbane Bronze has an LRV of 8, so it’s slightly lighter than Iron Ore’s 6.
- Both Urbane Bronze and Iron Ore had a green undertone. Urbane Bronze’s undertone is warmer and stronger.
Not sure which paint color is best for YOUR home?
Check out my Online Paint Color Consulting – I’d love to help!