Sherwin Williams Peppercorn Paint Color Review


Nothing beats a fresh coat of paint for a quick and easy home refresh, and nothing beats a bold black paint color for introducing a bit of drama into your space.

Sherwin Williams Peppercorn is emerging as one of the more popular black paint colors because it offers a striking modern statement without being an "in your face" black paint color.

Let's take an in depth look at how you can use this softer shade of black to bring the perfect ambience to your home.

Sherwin Williams Peppercorn Paint Color ReviewPin

Ever ended up with the wrong paint color on your walls?

My free guide, How To Choose The Right Paint Color Every Time, will walk you through the simple steps (and tricks) to choosing the right paint color so you never end up with the wrong color again!

What Color Is Peppercorn Sherwin Williams?

Sherwin Williams Peppercorn could be labeled an off-black since it's actually a rich and soft slate gray. Peppercorn offers a solution for those looking to make a transformative room statement without committing to a solid black like SW Tricorn Black. Although Peppercorn paint color is suited to a wide range of home decor styles, it works particularly well with modern and industrial design styles.

SW Peppercorn undertones explained

Some paint experts go so far as to say that SW Peppercorn is a "true" gray, meaning it has no undertones. I wouldn't bet the family farm on that since others insist that Peppercorn can unpredictably flash purple, or even blue or green in certain lighting situations.

The only way you can know for sure how it will look in your space is by testing Sherwin Williams Peppercorn on your walls first. This is a must with any paint color and ensures you'll pick the correct shade (unless you enjoy spending extra time and money repainting 😞).

The Best Way To Test Paint Colors On Your Walls

No need to buy paint samples and paint big squares of each color on your walls! Samplize offers peel and stick paint samples from all major paint brands delivered to your door so you can put them up on the wall with no mess.

Is Peppercorn paint warm or cool?

Like many neutral paint colors, Sherwin-Williams Peppercorn is evenly balanced between warm and cool.

SW 7674 Peppercorn LRV

The Light Reflectance Value (LRV) is a scale from 0-100 that measures how we perceive lightness or darkness of a color and helps determine how we perceive it in a space. An LRV of 0 represents the darkest possible shade on the scale; to the viewer's eye, it would appear as a solid, deep black.

Peppercorn paint has an LRV of 10, meaning it's not a true black but it still absorbs, rather than reflects light. This is an important consideration if you're considering using Peppercorn in a small room or a room with low natural light. To avoid the "dark cave" look, you'll need to balance Peppercorn with a lot of light, natural and white furnishings, flooring, drapes or other room elements.

Peppercorn Paint Color Compared To Other Dark Paint Colors

When stuck deciding between paint colors, I always find it helpful to look at the colors side by side on the wall. Leave the samples up for several days in a variety of light and it will definitely make your choice easier.

Sherwin Williams Iron Ore vs Peppercorn

Iron Ore by Sherwin Williams is noticeably darker than Peppercorn and really pops against white paint colors like SW Extra White. Peppercorn has that unpredictable glimpse of purple, while Iron Ore's undertone is a warmer brownish-green. Both colors look amazing on a modern accent wall; the biggest difference is that Peppercorn SW color is softer and never looks black, while SW Iron Ore does.

Urbane Bronze Sherwin Williams vs Peppercorn

SW Urbane Bronze is another gorgeous luxe accent color, more chocolatey than SW Peppercorn paint with a fair amount of green and brown undertone. Peppercorn is cooler and more of a charcoal gray. Urbane Bronze gravitates toward complementary neutral colors that are warm, like SW Agreeable Gray and SW Alabaster. If the rest of your home color palette is cool, Peppercorn is the better choice.

Sherwin Williams Grizzle Gray vs Peppercorn

SW Grizzle Gray sits next to SW Peppercorn on the same color strip, so it's one full shade lighter. But just because they are on the same color strip doesn't mean they share the same undertones. Like Urbane Bronze, Grizzle Gray has a green undertone mixed in. Grizzle Gray has firmly decided that it is gray and not black, while Peppercorn paint skirts closer to black territory.

Sherwin Williams Peppercorn Room Photo Examples

People typically choose SW Peppercorn paint for cabinets or builtins, and shiplap or accent walls, where it can be a real show stopper. Let's take a look at Sherwin Williams Peppercorn painted in various areas, both interior and exterior, in different homes.

Sherwin Williams Peppercorn exterior

Peppercorn definitely has enough depth and color saturation to hold up to the the brightest sunlight. Paired with a high contrast wood and a charcoal gray roof, this modern Sherwin Williams Peppercorn exterior checks all the boxes for stylish.

You can also use Peppercorn SW on the exterior as an accent color on the trim, shutters, columns and other design elements. Lizzy from Lizzy Designs Blog loves her Peppercorn front door.

peppercorn paint on interior doorPin

Peppercorn cabinets

If you worry charcoal gray will be boring or dull, feast your eyes on this modern kitchen. Sleek white countertops and backsplash keep the room looking airy and open, while Sherwin Williams Peppercorn cabinets grab the attention and really make the space pop.

This cool and elegant living room features clean lines and Peppercorn on the cabinet and shelf builtins. Peppercorn is neutral enough to provide a quiet sophistication that grounds the space and lets the shelf decor step forward.

Shelf decor got you stuck? I’ll show you how to decorate shelves in just 3 easy steps that will work whether your decorating built in shelves, working on living room shelf decor, or bookshelf decor.

Sherwin Williams Peppercorn bathroom cabinets work beautifully paired with Sherwin Williams Sea Salt in this soothing master bathroom.

I know - technically, a fireplace surround isn't a cabinet but I included here because doesn't Peppercorn paint look striking with that black grate and light oak mantel?

Neutral white is the most common fireplace color but painting it dark gray gives it such a presence in the room. (Did you know you can paint a brick fireplace? This post shows you how.)

SW Peppercorn walls

It doesn't take much for Peppercorn color to bring instant drama to a room without feeling oppressive or dark. In each example - from the powder room, to a gallery wall, to a bedroom - Peppercorn walls add depth and high contrast and make the space feel more intimate and cozy.

Peppercorn SW 7674 usually is too dark and moody to be used on all four walls, but in this spacious office, it works beautifully. The preponderance of windows, the contrasting white ceiling and trim, and the light neutral tones in the rug and draperies combine to bring balance and keep the deep gray from overwhelming the room.

This herringbone accent wall is the star of the show in this office makeover by My Faux Farmhouse, where they are admittedly in love with Peppercorn color paint and plan to keep using it often.

Accent walls are one of my fav ways to make a space feel custom. I've got more beautiful black accent wall ideas for you in this post.

Sherwin Williams Peppercorn Coordinating Colors

SW 7674 Peppercorn prefers to live with neutral paint colors that are on the cooler side of the spectrum.

  • SW 7063. Nebulous White - a cool bright white with a slight blue undertone
  • SW 7628. Windfresh White - another cool white that's tinged with violet
  • SW 7741. Willow Tree - a cool green with blue gray undertones

Sherwin Williams Peppercorn pairs well with light wood tones like white oak and textiles in the cream color family.

Other Things to Consider When Choosing Colors For Your Home

A lot of factors go into selecting colors for your home, and it goes way beyond paint color.

Things like your home color palette, existing colors in your home (that you may not be able to change), and the color of the natural light, or lack of natural light can change the way a color shows up in your home.

In my self-paced online color course, Color Made Clear, I walk you through all the steps to choosing and using color in your home to create a pulled together and cohesive look, even if you have things like cabinet color or floors you can't change.