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Sherwin Williams Iron Ore SW 7069 – The Delightful Charcoal Gray for Your Home

 sw iron ore paint color review

Sometimes, it’s the dark colors that brighten up our lives!

Isn’t it?

One such instance is Sherwin Williams Iron Ore that is a pure and very rich, dark gray charcoal paint color that continuously proves its sophistication and elegance over and over again!

It is clean and crisp with apparently no undertones at all!

Oozing utmost luxury in a space, Iron ore is a shade lighter than Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black, Caviar, Black Magic, and Inkwell.

If you are looking for a perfect dark gray neutral with charcoal shade, I must say there is no better option than Sherwin Williams Iron Ore.


I absolutely LOVE the look of Iron Ore on walls.

However, it is one of the dark and most daring colors on my list.

Regardless of the glam and luxe, this color has its own baggage of repercussions and conditions.

You simply can’t use it ANYWHERE and HOWEVER, you feel like!

But you need not worry.

I have got your back!

I am going to be sharing some major secrets of using Iron Ore in your homes that will definitely make you go “wow”!

So, are you ready?

Let’s get started!

Sherwin Williams Iron Ore SW 7069 Details and Specifications

iron ore swatch

Each color comes with its own theories and schemes!

If you are new here, let me tell you – there are quite some facts and scientific terms that you would want to acquaint yourself with.

It is important to analyze these values and then determine where, when, and how to use these wall paints!

First and foremost, one of the most important terms that I usually see getting ignored is Light Reflectance Values (LRV)!

Every color has an associated Light Reflectance Value!

For Iron Ore, the LRV is 6!

Which is whopping dark!

sw iron ore LRV

Remember, the lower the value, the darker the paint color is!

And vice versa!

This is almost a soft black with dark gray undertones – so, most of the light is absorbed by this color, and little is reflected away – thus, leaving the color to be very dark!

Oh, if you want to just try Iron Ore you easily can with a peel-and-stick sample from Samplize. Order some samples now!

Moving ahead, let’s discuss the RGB and HEX Values of the color.

Red = 67

Green = 67

Blue = 65

HEX Value = #434341

I am not going to bore you with these scientific details anymore I promise.

Now, let’s talk about the practical aspects of this amazing color.

How Does Iron Ore Feel in a Space?


Iron Ore as a focal point makes your space feel elegant and sophisticated

I must say, DARK and DINGY!

Provided if you don’t properly use the color!

Long story short, this color has quite some terms and conditions. When used in accurate amounts, it will never disappoint you.

Due to its low reflectivity, the color may seem very dark in a space.

So, if you want to make a space look smaller, Iron Ore could be your best solution.

It is a NO-NO if you already are struggling in a small space! But if you would still like to use it, try to pair it with lighter tones and make it an accent!

BTW, this color is a great option for creating a focal point!

How Does Light Affect the Color?

iron ore accent wall example

Blogger Leanna from Life by Leanna paints one wall in Iron Ore to create a perfect contrast

It is true that light highlights the actual saturation and shade of the color!

The more natural or artificial light entering the home – the brighter your space will be (regardless of the LRV of the wall paint)!

For Iron Ore, most of the color is absorbed meanwhile a little is reflected away!

Thus, making your room feel darker and smaller.

So, even if you don’t have ample natural light, try to incorporate artificial lighting to balance out the proportion!

This color may seem medium to dark gray with ample natural light and almost blackish in the absence of light.

Can you relate to where to use this in your home yet?

One way to help find out how this color looks in your home is to buy some temporary wall samples and put them up wherever you want to paint. You can get these easily from Samplize.

What are the Coordinating Colors Sherwin Williams Iron Ore?

dark coordinating color paint deck

If you want, you can check out my full guide on SW Black colors like the ones in the below paint deck strip.

iron ore paint chip strip

You need to balance this dark and daring color with other lighter shades!

Wondering what they should be?

Well, I have a few recommendations for you here!

You could choose either from monochromatic or contrasting themes!

Color Combinations – Monochromatic

For monochromes, I highly recommend choosing the following paint colors to create a cohesive look!

  1. Ice Cube SW 6252 – see my full review here
  2. Pure White SW 7005 – see my full review here
  3. Colonnade Gray SW 7641 – see my full review here

pairing colors sw7069

These colors will promise a bold and authentic look, for sure!

Here are some of great accessories in this color palette to go with Iron Ore:

sw io mono palette decor2


  1. Windmill Sculpture Set (Buy Here)
  2. Tufted Armchair (Buy Here)
  3. Square Pillow Cover (Buy Here)
  4. Graphic Canvas Art (Buy Here)
  5. Geometric Area Rug (BuyHere)
  6. Multi-tiled Table Lamp (Buy Here)

Color Combinations – Contrasting Hues

However, if you are looking for a touch of pop in your space and not everything too black, gray, and white, I recommend adding shades of yellow, orange, and red to balance the temperature!

Some of them are –

  1. Toile Red SW 0006
  2. Butter Up SW 6681
  3. Copper Wire SW 7707

SW iron ore multi paint chips

Remember to use only one of these accents with the above monochromatic palette!

For the trims and moldings, I recommend choosing Sherwin Williams High Reflecting White!

Sherwin Williams Iron Ore Vs. Similar Colors

black vs iron ore

This is one of the hardest questions.

There are so many colors that look exactly like Iron Ore that I myself get caught up in confusion most of the time.

Even though they look similar, they still could make up to great alternatives.

Sherwin Williams Peppercorn and Sherwin Williams Urbane Bronze are the closest cousins of Iron Ore!

Iron Ore Vs. Peppercorn

io vs peppercorn

A shade lighter than Iron Ore, Peppercorn has an LRV of 10! (See my Peppercorn review here).

With grey undertones, this color could make for a perfect lighter alternative in your home.

Peppercorn is more like a dark-gray shade that hardly looks black unlike the Iron Ore that frequently tends to look Black!

Screens could be deceiving, so I recommend you buy real-time swatches and samples to experience the actual color differences in natural light.

Order a wall-stick sample of Peppercorn here to help you compare colors in your own space.

Iron Ore Vs. Urbane Bronze

io vs urbane bronze

Color of the year, Urbane Bronze has a perfect crisp look that every home craves. (See my full guide on Urbane Bronze here!)

With an LRV of 8, this color too is a lighter shade of Iron Ore!

This color has slightly deep green undertones which can be very well visible in ample light!

Regardless of the design style, it is a given that Urban Bronze will never disappoint you.

Order a wall-stick sample of U.B. here to help you compare these colors in your own space.

Where to Use Iron Ore in Your Home?

io dark family room example

Whether you have a Farmhouse, Contemporary, Modern, or Glam design style, Iron Ore can definitely make up to it at every level.

But are you wondering where to use it?

Well, I can say ANYWHERE!

As far as you pair it opposite lighter shades and materials – there is no harm in using the color.

Let’s discuss how to incorporate Iron Ore in your living spaces.

Iron Ore in Living Rooms


Brighter upholstery neutralizes with Iron Ore in this Living Room

What a beauty it will be!

You can use Iron Ore on the focal wall or the wall with fireplace to best streamline the color!

Use lighter shades like off-whites, whites, greys, and greiges to make the most of this color.

Use neutral upholstery and brighter throw pillows to add a sense of depth to your living room.

For the floors, lush hardwood or wall to wall carpeting is definitely a YES-YES!

Iron Ore in Kitchens

io in kitchen

Shelby from Farmhouse Living styles her Farmhouse style kitchen using Iron Ore on the island cabinets

There have been quite a few times that I have recommended this paint color on the walls of the kitchen.

If you have an open concept, spacious kitchen – why not?

Paint the cabinets in pure white and use grey or white backsplash alongside white marble to neutralize the looks!

For further accents, you can use gold or brushed steel pull handles and black focal lighting!

Iron Ore in Bedrooms

master bedroom iron ore

Katie over at Little House of 4 shows off her incredible bedroom makeover

Like I say, bedrooms are the most personal spaces you have!

If you prefer a charcoal type dark gray paint – go for Iron Ore and pair it opposite golds and whites to receive the best appearance!

You can use distressed style white furniture frames or walnut polished furniture!

To create harmony, make sure your upholstery is white or off-white!

Iron Ore on Exteriors

 Iron Ore is going to further look lighter in the exterior façade of your home.

Many homeowners up in the north do use the color on their home shiplap walls!

And you too can.

Pair them with white or off-white trims and decorative moldings!

How to Best Sample This Color?

Here’s my favorite tip when it comes to testing out a color like Iron Ore – go and order a peel-and-stick sample from Samplize.

These guys figured out a great way to sample colors much more easily. Simply stick it up instead of having to get a small can of actual wet paint.

For a few bucks you get a nice sized square to throw up temporarily anywhere you want to “try” on a paint color and any possible coordinating hues you like. Too cool!

Clean and Sophistication in One

It is timeless so, regardless of the type of stone finish – your makeover projects are going to look FABULOUS!

So, are you excited to paint some Sherwin Williams Iron Ore in your home?

Well, do let me know in the comments below as I would love to hear from you!

Sherwin Williams iron ore pin

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Thursday 18th of August 2022

Can you tell me what are the exteriors Color’s on the house plan “Emma rose” house-plan by Archival Design?


Monday 16th of May 2022

We painted our brick SW alabaster and painted all the trim & facia SW iron ore. On the parts of the house that get direct sunlight, the iron ore appears almost brown. We are planning on black gutters and black shingles, but are now wondering if that will look good. What's your opinion?

Mark O

Friday 15th of April 2022

We live in the Central Valley where it can get very hot in summer months. Our home is stucco one story with some brick in front, faces west. I love how Iron Ore makes the landscape pop. Along with a sophisticate look, even along with a blacker trim. We are concerned that we are just going to dark. The only other exterior combo that we are considering is the opposite......the color Snowbound then with Iron Ore trim. What's your honest opinion?


Wednesday 13th of April 2022

Hi Maria, This is such an informative article, thank you! I have a question about exterior paint. My husband chose Dover White for our Andalucian (Spanish) style home. I'm torn between Iron Ore and Caviar for the trim-- I want an updated, contemporary feel to the exterior. Which do you think would go better. Also what do you think of the Dover White? Dover White's LRV is 83. Thanks so much!


Tuesday 12th of April 2022

Hi! We are looking to paint an accent wall in our family room where the fireplace is. We plan to paint the fireplace white and I am torn between iron ore and urban bronze. I think I am most hung up on what white I will choose and the color combo .. between pure white and Albastar?! Any advice will be awesome!

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