SW Tricorn Black vs Iron Ore

Tricorn Black and Iron Ore are both excellent choices from the deep and dark range of the Sherwin Williams paint colors, but they are not the exact same.

Black paint colors are often so dark that it can be difficult to see what is going on beneath the surface.

This is why even Tricorn Black and Iron Ore from Sherwin Williams, both of which are very dark black paint colors that can look pretty similar to the untrained eye, can actually each give the appearance of a unique look and feel once they are in your space.

The trouble with choosing the perfect black paint color

Deciding to add black into a color scheme can be an daunting decision on its own, but choosing between two different shades of black (which often look pretty much the same), can be even worse.

In reality, black paint shades have a variety of undertones and hues that make up their color, the same way that lighter colors like off-whites, grays and greiges do.

And although these undertones are not always so apparent in these darker shades right away, they will really influence the overall look and feel of the space later on.

SW Tricorn Black vs Iron Ore

Tricorn Black and Iron Ore from the Sherwin Williams catalogue are two of the most popular black paint colors on the market.

Although these shades may seem very similar at first glance, they actually have quite significant variations beneath the surface.

Both Tricorn Black and Iron Ore have become designer-favorites because they are both dark and dramatic colors, but this does not necessarily mean that they can be used interchangeably.

The best way to see how different these shades truly are is to place them right next to each other as follows:

Tricorn Black – Sherwin Williams
(SW 6258)
Iron Ore – Sherwin Williams
(SW 7069)

This makes it easy to see that Tricorn Black is a much truer black color, which can easily be used in a wide variety of designs and color palettes.

Whereas Iron Ore is a bit of a lighter, but softer color, which can be used to create an entirely different look and feel within the space.

In the end, the choice between Tricorn Black and Iron Ore comes down to your personal preference and what you ultimately want your space to feel like once it is done.

Do Tricorn Black and Iron Ore have the same undertones?

Both Tricorn Black and Iron Ore are pretty neutral dark paint colors. However, the most glaring difference between these two shades is the fact that Tricorn Black has subtle purple-blue undertones, whereas Iron Ore has slightly green undertones.

In most circumstances you would not notice Tricorn Black’s undertones and this shade almost always just looks like a pure, true black.

On the other hand, Iron Ore’s undertones are slightly more noticeable (especially when it is placed next to a true black shade), which is what makes the color appear so much softer and earthier.

Comparing the LRV of Tricorn Black and Iron Ore

The Light Reflectance Value (or LRV for short) of a color measures how much visible light the color reflects. You may have noticed that Tricorn Black is slightly darker than Iron Ore, with an LRV of 3.

In fact, many experts regard Tricorn Black as one of the darkest black paint colors (and one of the only true blacks) available on the market.

Iron Ore has an LRV of 6, which still makes it pretty dark, but this means that the color often looks more like a very dark charcoal than a true-black paint color.

How to choose between Tricorn Black and Iron Ore

The differences between Tricorn Black and Iron Ore’s LRVs and undertones may not always be apparent, and this can make it quite difficult to determine which one of the rich, dark paint shades will work best in your space.

In the end, Iron Ore will be the best choice if you want a softer look and Tricorn Black will be better when you want that high-contrast pure black look But some of the other things that can help to guide you in the right direction include:

Tricorn Black is the better choice when… Iron Ore is the better choice when…
  • You have a variety of other colors in your décor and the rest of your color palette
  • You want a crisp contrast
  • You want high-impact drama and sophistication
  • You have many lighter neutral colors in your décor and color palette
  • You want a paint color that will shift and change throughout the day
  • You do not want the space to feel too busy