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Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black vs Peppercorn

Looking for the perfect black paint color? Let’s compare Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black vs Peppercorn to see which might be perfect for your home!

Black paint colors are a great option if you have a modern style of home decor.

You could use black paint for a whole room, but it’s more common to use for a home’s exterior, doors, furniture, cabinetry, and accent pieces.

When it comes to black paint colors, not all shades are created equal. Certain colors are much darker or a more true black compared to others.

Two of the most popular colors in this category are Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black and Peppercorn.

Read my full review of Tricorn Black

Read my full review of Peppercorn

Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black vs Peppercorn

Tricorn Black and Peppercorn are both very dark paint colors by Sherwin Williams.

Tricorn Black is considered an extremely neutral, true black paint color. It does not have strong undertones. This means that it holds its color in different lighting.

Peppercorn is a very deep gray that is almost charcoal and, in certain lighting, can almost look black. It does not have a lot of undertones, making it a “true gray” and flexible enough to work in many spaces.

SW tricorn black vs peppercorn

What is similar about Tricorn Black vs Peppercorn?

These are both very dark paint colors that are considered “neutral” and do not have heavy undertones that lean any particular way.

You can see from their RGB (red, green blue) values being SO very balanced, that these are both incredibly balanced, neutral shades.


The undertones in these colors are not wildly different. Because they are both so neutral, they read as almost shades of each other.

However, Tricorn Black is often considered to be slightly warm, while Peppercorn, as more of a gray, slightly cool. The difference, however, is miniscule.

Tricorn BlackPeppercorn
RBGR:47 G:47 B:48R:88 G:88 B:88
UndertonesTricorn Black has very little undertone, making it a true black. If anything, it skews as slightly warm. Peppercorn reads as a slightly cool (but not blue) dark gray paint color.

What is different about Tricorn Black vs Peppercorn?

The biggest difference between these colors is in the Light Reflectance Value, or the color depth.


Tricorn Black is considered a true black. With an LRV of 2, it is about as close to true black (0) as paint colors get.

Peppercorn, on the other hand, has an LRV of 10. While this is certainly still very dark, it is significantly lighter than Tricorn Black.

That brings us to the main difference – Tricorn Black is really black, while Peppercorn is a deep charcoal.

In many circumstances, when not paired with a true black, Peppercorn will read to the eye as black. However, when you put it next to something that is very black, it’s softness and gray tons will be evident.

How do I decide between these two colors?

Do you want a true black or more of a charcoal gray? A softer black, like Peppercorn, can be a bit gentler and easier to decorate with, especially if you don’t want a harsh look.

However, if you want a true black or extreme contrast, it’s gotta be Tricorn Black!

Sherwin Williams Peppercorn color palette

sherwin williams peppercorn paint color palette

Tricorn Black color palette

Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black paint color palette

Still not sure what paint color to choose?

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My Paint Color Formula ebook walks you through the painless process of expertly testing paint swatches to ensure you have the perfect color for your home.

Learn more about the Paint Color Formula here!

The best way to sample paint? Samplize!

Get peel-and-stick removable and reusable paint samples here!

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Thanks for reading!

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