HomeThe Best Paint ColoursBENJAMIN MOORE & SHERWIN WILLIAMS: Paint Color ReviewsSHERWIN WILLIAMS IRON ORE SW 7069: Paint Color Review


Posted on January 19, 2023 by KylieMawdsley
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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?)!

Paint review of Sherwin Williams Iron Ore, soft black paint colour, best for exteriors, trim, feature walls, cabinets, front doors and more. Kylie M Interiors Edesign.

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!


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)…

Interior front door painted Sherwin Williams Iron Ore, Kylie M E-design, red oak flooring. Agreeable Gray paint colour, white trim

North, East, South, West – Which Paint Color is the Best?

However, when DIRECTLY COMPARED to black, you can see the softness of Iron Ore…

Sherwin Williams Iron Ore, best dark black paint color in home office with Ikea. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint colour consultation

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!


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.

Exterior with red brick. Paint colours Sherwin Williams Dovetail and gauntlet gray with Iron Ore front door and white trim. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint colour consultant

Iron Ore is on the shutters.

Not sure what LRV is? It could save your paint-lovin’ life – read all about it HERE.


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.

Alabaster, White kitchen, Alabaster, Island Sherwin Iron Ore, Viatera Aria, Sandbar. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online virtual paint color consulting. Kitchen remodel

The 4 Best Paint Colors for Kitchen Islands & Bathroom Vanities

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!


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


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.

Paint Color Review: Benjamin Moore White Dove

Paint Color Review: Sherwin Williams Pure White


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.

Front door exterior painted Sherwin Williams Iron Ore, Mink siding, Alabaster trim. Kylie M INteriors Edesign, online paint colour consultant

5 Tips for Choosing an Exterior Paint Color

If your home is south-facing or gets afternoon western sunshine, expect to see a bit more of that warm green undertone.

How Does Exposure Affect Exterior Paint Colors?


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.

The 8 Best Black Paint Colors: Benjamin Moore & Sherwin Williams


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


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!


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.

Staircase wood hand railing painted Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black with white spindles

Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black Paint Color Review


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.

Benjamin Moore Wrought Iron dark navy blue door wtih pink purple brick exterior. Kylie M interiors Edesign, online paint colour consultant and blog

Benjamin Moore Wrought Iron Paint Color Review


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.

Benjamin Moore Collingwood with Sherwin Williams Peppercorn feature wall in primary bathroom, Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online diy ideas (2)

Sherwin Williams Peppercorn Paint Color Review


Urbane Bronze is one of my FAVORITE dark paint colors for an island, front door, and feature walls. However, Iron Ore sure gives it a run for its money!

  • 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.

Benjamin Moore Maritime White bathroom and bedroom, travertine tile, Sherwin Urbane Bronze feature accent wall. Kylie M (2)

Sherwin Williams Urbane Bronze Paint Color Review


The Best Dark Colors for DARK ROOMS

5 Tips for Choosing an Exterior Paint Color

The Best Front Door Paint Colors

The 12 Best WHOLE HOME Gray & Greige Paint Colors

Not sure which paint color is best for YOUR home?

Check out my Online Paint Color Consulting – I’d love to help!

Online paint colour consultant Benjamin Moore Sherwin Williams, Vancouver Island, USA, UK. Interior, exterior, edesign colors. Kylie M Interiors, blogger marketing (2)


Chat soon,

Kylie M Interiors, decorating blog, e-design, online colour consulting expert. signature


  1. Hi Kylie! How does iron ore pair with Alabaster? I have AW alabaster walls and am thinking of painting our kitchen island iron ore. Thank You!

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  2. Pingback: SW Iron Ore | March 2022 | Kenneth Axt Painting

  3. Hi Kylie! LOVE your content! Does Iron Ore work with Edgecomb Gray walls and Simply White trim? I want soft black office doors and front door. Also doing a wire brushed white oak with a natural stain. Thanks!

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  4. Hi Kylie,

    Thank you so much for the information you share. It’s so helpful! We love Iron Ore and have used it on the inside of our front door and also on our fridge cabinet (we’ll do the island and the inside of an open cabinet as well). We’re getting ready to use it on an accent wall in our bathroom (with no window) next. Do you think it would pair well with SW Aged White on the other walls? Don’t want to use a bright white because unfortunately our fixtures are Biscuit (which are at least a hair lighter than “almond” 🙂 ).

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      Oooo, I’m a high contrast gal, but in a bathroom, I do worry about this seeming a bit too edgy and graphic. I suppose if you had a bit more soft black in the room, but my first thought is that it goes tooooo far.

  5. Hi Kylie!
    We painted our exterior iron ore. We had planned to do the trim in a tricorn black but unfortunately they do not make vinyl safe tricorn black paint! What would you suggest is the next best thing?

    Thank you!

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      Ooo, my first thought (of course, without seeing your home) would be to do the trim Iron Ore as well for a very simple soft black look with less contrast between house/trim. I wonder if BM has a vinyl safe black, like BM Jet Black, perhaps??

  6. Hello! We are painting the body of our home gauntlet gray, with white trim. I was wondering if iron ore would pair nicely in the base of our home? It says not to mix with gray but we need a darker color for the base of our home and it’s hard to find too much darker than gauntlet gray that looks good. What do you think? Thank you

  7. Hi Kylie, We are remodeling our kitchen. Cabinets will be Pure White and Island is Iron Ore. Countertops are white with a light grey vein. struggling with what color our walls should be. Any expert suggestions?

  8. Hi Kylie,
    I am wanting to paint my bedroom furniture SW iron ore and the bedroom walls are painted SW agreeable gray with extra white trim. Do you think those colors would go well together? Bedding will most likely be a soft white. I wanted a darker gray.. was thinking iron ore or peppercorn? Whatever you suggest I would appreciate!

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  9. We’re painting the house exterior, walls and trim, Iron Ore. I want an orange front door but am not sure if a yellow-orange or red-orange shade would be best. Any paint recommendations would be appreciated.

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      Ooo, I LOVE the sounds of this! It can depend on your roof/surrounding landscape, paving/stones, etc… Generally, orange-red can look slightly less Halloween-inspired, but that can be open to perception. You might check out SW Husky Orange, SW Spicy Hue (for a more muted look), SW Jalapeno, BM Gold Rush and Caramel Latte.

      With a situation like this, it could be about which one EXCITES you the most – that catches your breath when you see the sample up :).

  10. Hi Kylie,
    Love your posts- so informative.

    Want to make my traditional home into a more contemporary design (but don’t want to get too cold). Thinking of painting the walls SW Creamy and making the windows black. How do you feel about Iron Ore and Creamy together? Might it all be too soft without enough contrast?

    Couch/decor will have deep cobalt blues and some linen color and texture.


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      1. Thank you SO much! Trying to design a house while living in another state, so your input means a ton. THANK YOU!

  11. I’m curious about your comment not to pair it with blue gray or gray… Sherwin Williams website wants to pair Iron Ore with CityScape, which we are considering for our exterior. Are you saying no to this? Love your reviews!

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  12. Hi Kylie!
    You have the best information for paints colors! I love watching your videos!
    I also really like Iron Ore for our exterior doors. We’re wanting to paint our house a medium grey. I love the picture you have on the post with the Iron Ore door color and white trim with the grey. I’ve looked all over for what grey it is in the picture. Could you help me with this?

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      Well, thank you Ashley! There are 2 Iron Ore doors, both were a couple of years ago, but the warmer one is Sherwin Williams Mink and the grayer one with is (i think) Gauntlet Gray :).

  13. HI! I have a colonial home painted Iron Ore with Simply white trim. I currently have a burnt orange door which looks nice, but I want something different. I have a double door and double white storm doors. Any suggestions?

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  14. My kitchen cabinets were painted Iron Ore. I am so disappointed the cabinets are so much lighter than the paint chip sample from SW. Instead of looking charcoal grey almost black they just look dark grey. I was wondering if it is because my kitchen has a lot of natural light.

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      Ahhh yes, natural light can definitely shift things as it also play with the SHEEN of your cabinet paint (likely satin/pearl) which reflects more light and can make a color look lighter. HOWEVER, Iron Ore uuuuusually reads pretty dark, on the off-chance they didn’t color match it well, did you put the paint chip on your cabinets to make sure it’s the exact same?

  15. Hello!

    I am new to your resources and have enjoyed your blogs and videos.

    Thoughts on iron ore as an accent wall next to drift of mist and extra white trim and ceiling?

    In addition, any recommendations for kitchen cabinet color?

    Thank you!

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  16. What are your thoughts on using SW First Star with Iron Ore? (Accent wall painted Iron Ore with remainder of walls painted First Star)

  17. I’m late to the party but as one who has used Is iron ore and urban brands as main room colors, Don’t let the word green fool you. Maybe it depends upon lighting. But urbane Bronze had a slightly, well, bronze, undertone in a spare bedroom. And iron ore definitely had a silver undertone. Both colors were absolutely gorgeous. And Every person Who viewed the home ( as it was up for sale), loved and admired the paint color of those two rooms above all others. So don’t be put off by green. I didn’t see a green undertone and nobody else did. But I respect That we all have slightly different ways of seeing things.

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  18. we have a 1930 red brick church with white morter with steeple and i wanted to reccomend changing out the exterior trim color to include iron ore… do you think this will pair well

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  19. I painted our interior doors iron ore surrounded by pure white trim and I adore it. But when I painted the stair rails the same color it’s distinctly dark GRAY and not black. I hate it. What can I do to make them seem darker and not gray?

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      Hmmmm, I have a few thoughts…
      1. Dry some paint from each gallon on a piece of poster board or something, make sure they were mixed the same and really ARE the same color.

      2. If they are, sometimes it’s the CONTRAST of white to black that makes something look darker and more crisp (eg. Pure White trim against black doors), whereas I’ll assume your railing doesn’t have any direct white to contrast with.

      3. If the color isn’t right and it really IS lighter, welllllll, that might be a new paint job.

      4. ALSO…fun fact, light reflects differently off angled or horizontal surfaces vs vertical. Vertical surfaces can make a color look DARKER in comparison and that could be your issue. To combat that, oooof, you’d almost have to paint the railings black, but then I worry about THAT difference making the doors look softer in comparison!

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