Is Iron Ore the Best BLACK for you? LRV, Undertones & More
Whether it’s on exteriors, cabinets, doors or feature walls, black is DEFINITELY on-trend. But regardless of trends, you need to figure out whether black actually 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?)!
In order 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 a TRUE BLACK?
Heck no, but that doesn’t mean it can’t 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)…
Read more: North, East, South, West – Which Paint Color is the Best?
However, when DIRECTLY COMPARED to black, you can see the softness of Iron Ore…
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.
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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 very well MIGHT just see it as soft black!
What’s the best way to sample Iron Ore or any paint color?
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 paint color for my trim if my walls are Iron Ore?
Oh, the world is your oyster, which white do you WANT? Personally, I love the slightly soft approach of Pure White, but also love the crisp contrast of High Reflective White. Keep in mind 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
Is Iron Ore a good exterior color for siding, front door or trim?
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.
5 Tips to Choosing an Exterior Paint Color
Are there any paint colors the same as or similar to Iron Ore?
Sadly, no, Iron Ore is really 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.
What type of paint colors look good with Iron Ore?
When it comes to Iron Ore, it’s ALLLLLL about the undertone…
- avoid colors with blue undertones (gray or otherwise)
- only partner Iron Ore with a violet undertone if it’s a WARM violet, not a cool one
- Iron Ore loves earth-tones and many off-white paint colors for contrast
The Best Dark Colors for DARK ROOMS
5 Tips to 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!
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!
I see no problem, as long as Iron Ore suits your countertop and backsplash!
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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!
YOU BET it does, this could look lovely!
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” 🙂 ).
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.
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?
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??
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
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?
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!
I think this sounds great!