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In this article, you will learn about Sherwin Williams Iron Ore and Peppercorn paint colors including a side-by-side comparison. If you are considering either of these colors, the following information will help you make the right decision.

iron ore vs peppercorn paint colors infographic

Beautifully balanced grays can serve both as an accent color and as a neutral if used well.

Depending on your need and the setting, you can use either Iron Ore or Peppercorn to tone down a quiet family room or highlight a wall of display shelving.

iron ore and peppercorn paint colors wall art

Sherwin Williams Iron Ore

Iron Ore from Sherwin Williams is the more saturated color in this listing, though both are very well balanced. If you’ve been looking for a charcoal but couldn’t find a shade that didn’t have an excess of blue in it, this is your color.

Iron Ore paint color wall art under lights

You can create a rich, elegant effect by putting this color on in a velvet finish. If possible, put this color on smooth walls, rather than those with a deep knock-down texture. The shadows thrown by this color will likely appear black, especially if you use direct overhead lighting, which could be too somber for comfort.

Iron Ore would be an ideal choice for a bedroom or a study. Because it uses red, green and blue in nearly equal measure, this could could be an excellent foil for rich jewel tones. A cherry red throw or green velvet armchair or would glow against this wall color.

Consider also using lighter shades of gray against this color. A pale silver suede sofa would be an elegant touch. Teals and purples would also look wonderful against this rich gray.

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Black leather would also suit this shade. If you choose to pair black with gray, do make sure that you consider using a furniture fabric that offers some reflection.

Iron Ore paint color infographic

While a black leather sofa or ottoman would look sharp, a black suede or other fabric with little light reflection may just disappear, creating a visual hole that makes your space feel empty.

Pair your Iron Gray walls with rich, red wood tones. For those who love red oak varnish finishes of the craftsman period, this wall color is ideal. If you love the look of cherry lumber, this wall color would suit both cherry cabinets and rich cherry flooring.

Iron Ore is a stable, anchoring color. It’s perfectly possible to use this staid color as a background for some whimsical touches. If you’ve got this color on an accent wall in your family room and are displaying books or collectibles, add some pastel touches.

Pale aqua, misty pink, lavender and mint green would not look amiss against this gray and could add a visual break from the richness of iron ore.

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Avoid lighting this color from directly overhead. You can add visual interest and shape to your family room by lighting it from below with a Globe Table Lamp.

Keep shadows to a minimum and note how much more private and comfortable the space feels. Keep your lightbulb choices neutral. If you can find a light that has a slightly pink glow, use it.

Be aware that using a gloss or semigloss blend of this paint will result in a very different visual effect. If you’ve been thinking of painting your kitchen cabinets a deep gray, test out the color and sheen with a bit of cardboard.

Remember also that cabinets take up a lot of real estate in most kitchens. Too much Iron Ore in a small kitchen could make the space feel oppressive.

For those who decide that this is their new trim, door or cabinet color, make sure you do your prep work. Light colors in a semigloss or glossy finish are much more forgiving than dark shades.

If you don’t have a lot of experience painting trim or doors, invest in foam rollers so you can apply the smoothest finish possible. Brushstrokes will show up easily in this dark shade.

RGB: 70, 70, 69
HEX Code: #464645

iron ore paint color wall art over a desk

Sherwin Williams Peppercorn

Peppercorn from Sherwin Williams is another beautifully balanced gray, slightly less saturated than Iron Ore. It can also serve as a neutral or as an accent color, depending on your current decor.

Peppercorn paint color wall art under lights

If you love lots of color in your home, this gray on your walls could be very freeing. Too often, those of us who adore bold colors end up painting our walls white in the hope of avoiding too much visual contrast.

However, a room painted in Peppercorn could easily serve as a terrific background for rich colors and textures.

Smoky shades of purple, blue and teal would look terrific against this color. Pale tones, such as pink, aqua, lavender and even peach would glow against Peppercorn. Wood tones, particularly those that have a lot of red in them, would also stand out beautifully.

When it comes time to trim a room painted in Peppercorn, consider a lighter version of the same color. Nebulous White would stand out beautifully against this gray without adding too much blue.

For those who love gray and yellow, this shade is a wonderful choice. Because it’s so well-balanced, you can easily pair this with shades of yellow from whipped butter to sunflower.

When you pair these two colors, make sure to light them as neutrally as possible. This shade of gray is stable, but yellow can change a lot if you put blue light on it. You you may not be happy with your result.

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Peppercorn is a terrific shade to use with rich, warm colors. As it’s a bit lighter than Iron Ore, you can add colors like rust and burgundy without creating a sense of heaviness.

Do take care not to overload the space with texture. A suede sofa is nice, but putting it next to a corduroy armchair may create too much variety in the visual field. If you’re using Peppercorn in a family room, keep as many surfaces as smooth as possible.

Dark colors in all tones can be a lovely way to add formality to a room. To that end, do your best to keep these spaces spare and open.

If you want Peppercorn on the walls of your dining room to show off your antique cherry buffet, go for it! Just make sure that the dining room table isn’t crowded with flowers, candlesticks or other objects. Putting Peppercorn on the walls will create enough visual interest for the space.

Peppercorn paint color infographic

If you also add a lot of objects to the room, you may just end up creating a sense of clutter.

Reflective surfaces can be a great addition to room painted with Peppercorn. To make sure that the space is also restful, use mirrors and metal sparingly.

A large mirror will be more restful than several small mirrors. A single silver candlestick or crystal vase will be more restful than several items in a group.

Don’t forget plants. A houseplant with glossy leaves can add a great deal of visual interest in a room that’s been painted dark gray. Put your plant in a large terra cotta pot for even better effect.

It should be noted that it’s very easy for any room painted in either Iron Ore or Peppercorn to quickly develop a cave-like feel. While you may love this in the master bedroom, it could become too much in the family room or other spaces in the home.

If you choose to put these colors on several walls, make sure you pay special attention to your lighting and incorporate reflective surfaces into the room.

Make sure you also use pops of bright colors to liven up the space. You may love a quiet, cozy family room where you can watch movies together.

However, if you notice it feeling a bit drab, treat yourself to a pine green cushion or a striped throw with a bit of purple in it to brighten the space.

RGB: 89, 89, 90
HEX Code: #59595A

Peppercorn paint color wall art above a desk

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