Skip to Content

Sherwin Williams Iron Ore vs Peppercorn

Are you looking for a black paint color and want to know more about Sherwin Williams Iron Ore vs Peppercorn? I have you covered! I have all the details and compare every aspect of these two phenomenal colors so you can choose the right one for your home.

Both of these paint colors are great so there is no better color. The only thing there is would be which one is right for your home. There are differences so let’s get into them now.

Sherwin Williams Iron Ore vs Peppercorn

Both of these colors are close to being black but it’s really hard to find a true black, just like it’s hard to find a true white.

Both of these colors are considered a dark gray or charcoal color. But what is the actual difference?

A side by side comparison of Sherwin Williams Iron Ore vs Peppercorn.

What is the biggest difference between Iron Ore and Peppercorn?

The biggest differences between Iron Ore and Peppercorn are the undertones and their LRV’s.

Is Iron Ore darker or lighter than Peppercorn?

Iron Ore is definitely darker than Peppercorn.

What is similar between Iron Ore and Peppercorn?

They are both considered soft black colors or charcoal paint colors. If you are looking for a dark color both of these colors are outstanding and some of Sherwin Williams’s most popular colors.

Iron Ore vs Peppercorn Undertones

Undertones make up what a color looks like in different lights. Iron Ore has green undertones that are very subtle. It is more of a cool-toned dark color.

Peppercorn has very subtle undertones of blue and purple. It’s quite a chameleon color though, it looks different in different lights. Most of the time it’s considered warmer rather than cooler.

Iron Ore vs Peppercorn LRV

LRV stands for Light Reflective Value. It’s a scale where 0 is the darkest black and 100 is the brightest white. It measures the amount of light is reflected by a paint color.

You might not think this is a big difference but the LRV of Peppercorn is 10 while Iron Ore sits at 6. Obviously, they are both very dark colors.

Sherwin Williams Iron Ore Color Palette

Iron Ore is a cool-toned color so I like to stick with other cool colors. My favorite to pair with Iron Ore is a crisp white and a light to mid-toned gray. Or if you want something different than a light gray try a mid-toned blue color.

A swatch of Sherwin Williams Iron ore with three coordinating colors and text overlay.

Sherwin Williams Peppercorn Color Palette

Since Peppercorn is a warm color I like to pair it with a creamy white. Then you can take a look at a beige color or a light greige.

A comparison of Sherwin Williams Peppercorn with three coordinating colors and text overlay.

How to pick between Sherwin Williams Iron Ore vs Peppercorn

The first thing to consider is the color scheme of your home. If you have warm-toned colors in your home then it’s a good idea to stick with Peppercorn. Conversely, if you have cool-toned colors stick with Iron Ore.

Some other things to consider are the colors of your floors and any other fixed elements such as cabinetry. You really need to get a sample and test the two colors near the fixed elements to see how they look.

*This post contains affiliate links. For more details see my full disclosure.

How to know if a paint color is right for you?

The best way to judge if a color is good for you then you will want to put a swatch on the wall and look at it over a few days. Look at it in different lights and decide if you really like it.

You can do this by getting a sample from the paint store and using a brush to put it up on the walls, but then you are left with a can that you can’t do anything with. Those samples are used with poor-quality paint and aren’t meant for use on your walls permanently.

I recommend going with Samplize. They are a company that will send you a 12X12 peel-and-stick swatch of a paint color that you can stick to the wall. When you are done just peel it off and throw it away.

It’s easy and much less messy!

A side by side of Iron Ore vs Peppercorn in Real Homes

Iron Ore vs Peppercorn Exterior

Examples of Iron Ore and Peppercorn on exterior of homes with text overlay.

Sources: Picture on top courtesy of Brick and Batten. The picture on the bottom is courtesy of Home Bunch.

You can see here the house painted with Peppercorn is definitely lighter but it also goes really well with the brown accents on the roof and front door.

The house painted with Iron Ore pairs wonderfully with the stone front that has some cool tones in it..

Iron Ore vs Peppercorn Accent Wall

A comparison of Iron Ore and Peppercorn on accent walls in bedrooms with text overlay.

Sources: The photo on top is courtesy of Jeff Puckett Construction. The photo on the bottom is from The Creativity Exchange.

On the interior of the home, the subtle differences are a little harder to see. Both of these colors look amazing on these accent walls but the one painted with Peppercorn is slightly lighter.

The bedroom painted with Peppercorn has more creamy accents that are warm whereas the room painted with Iron Ore has a nice mix. Showing that Iron Ore can go with virtually anything.

Iron Ore vs Peppercorn Cabinets

A comparison of Iron Ore and Peppercorn on cabinets with text overlay.

Sources: The photo on top is from Thistlewood Farms and the photo on the bottom is from Carla Blast.

In a darker room like the bathroom shown here the cabinets painted with Iron Ore are certainly darker but they really look good with the white walls and white countertops. Iron Ore also looks great with the dark charcoal tile floors!

The kitchen cabinets painted with Peppercorn are definitely lighter and pair really well with the mid-toned hardwood floors. They also pop amazingly with the other white cabinets and walls.

Sherwin Willaims Iron Ore vs Peppercorn Recap:

In the end my final thoughts are that both of these are great colors and it’s easy to see why they are both really popular. They are both dark charcoal paint colors, not true blacks.

The differences though subtle are the difference in the LRV’s which makes Peppercorn a little lighter than Iron Ore. Also the subtle differences in the undertones of the colors. Iron Ore is more cool-toned whereas Peppercorn (while having the ability to go both ways) more often than not ends up on the warm side.

If you are planning to paint a room yourself then you will want to check out these DIY paint posts to help you get started and not make any mistakes:

Other Paint Colors You Might Like:

Swatches of Iron Ore and Peppercorn with text overlay.

As a licensed Real Estate Agent and an avid home decorator, I strive to give my clients the very best I can when it comes to staging, selling, and decorating their homes. I have lots of experience with paint color choices and love to DIY my home so I can have everything just the way I want it. I share my ideas and projects with the world in the hopes that I can help others have their homes just the way they want as well.

Sharing is caring!

I accept the Privacy Policy

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.