Black and white is a classic combo that won’t ever go out of style. We all know how hard it is to choose the perfect white paint color, but what about black?
Tricorn Black is probably the most popular black paint color available.
First up we will talk about Tricorn Black’s color properties, then look through some real homes, see some color palette inspo, and finally take a look at some dupes!
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What Color is Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black (SW 6248)
Tricorn Black is widely considered the “Blackest Black” on the market. It is a true black, and one of the only fail safe “always-looks-black” options.
I’ve been duped before when shopping for a “black” only to choose one that was charcoal. If you want black black, Tricorn is the one!
(Or one of the ones, because you know I’ll be bringing the dupes in just a minute!)
LRV of Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black
The LRV of a color indicates on a scale of 0 – 100 how much light a color reflects (or doesn’t reflect). True black has an LRV of 0 and pure white has an LRV of 100.
In the paint world, we are working in a range of about 3 – 93 because no paint color is purely black or completely white.
The LRV of Tricorn Black is 3, so it’s about as dark as paint comes!
What Are the Undertones of SW Tricorn Black
There are some really dark paint colors in this same LRV range that still have a hint of a color – like Sherwin Williams Greenblack or Benjamin Moore Black Forest – but Tricorn Black does not.
Tricorn Black is technically a purple black, but it has no undertone at all. It always looks black and only black.
Is Tricorn Black Warm or Cool
Tricorn Black is a neutral, because it’s basically as black as they come. Most of the time when you see black paint on Instagram and it looks super dark and sharp, it will be Tricorn.
(There is one exception where Tricorn black looks the tiniest bit warm in comparison, and we will check it out when we talk about Benjamin Moore “Black” below.)
What Trim Colors Go With Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black?
Of course your first instinct is probably to go with a white trim, but what if you did all black?
The designers on this project opted for all Tricorn Black ere’thing:
The white in this space is Benjamin Moore’s Chantilly Lace.
I can tell you that the general public is a fan of this look!
I’ve been made aware by looking at all these homes, that my idea of trim (bright white) is old fashioned. Quite often homeowners and designers are opting to do all of the trim in the wall color.
White Paint that Goes with Tricorn Black
Because Tricorn Black is your traditional solid black, you can kind of pick whatever white you want!
The home inspo I’m about to show you features Sherwin Williams Extra White, which is a true white.
Tricorn Black can also work with warmer whites – shown here with Sherwin Williams White Flour – and in fact that is the more popular choice:
Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black Home Interior
I’m really excited for this post today because I have a beautiful black and white home to tour with you!
Jessica from @Thehouse_on2060 recently built a beautiful house in rural Texas, and she used Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black to its full potential.
In her foyer, not only is there a striking accent wall, but the doors are painted in Tricorn Black as well.
This is one of the only spaces where white trim has been used with the Tricorn Black.
Jessica chose Sherwin Williams Extra White as the main color in her whole house. That is one of the handful of whites by Sherwin Williams that is a pretty true white, and not creamy.
Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black Living Room
Jessica chose to do bold Tricorn black accents in almost every room in her home.
(It might really be every room, I haven’t visited!)
Here in the living room, the dark stone fireplace is extended to the ceiling with a bump out of Tricorn Black:
Speaking of fireplaces, Jessica’s other one is framed by Tricorn Black board and batten.
Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black Cabinets
Moving on to Jessica’s kitchen, here are her lovely Tricorn Black cabinets:
She opted for open shelving instead of uppers on one of the walls, and kept the shelves and end cabinets in natural wood.
The hood vent in Tricorn Black might be my favorite part of this kitchen. If a hood vent can look luxurious, it’s this one.
I wanted to toss in this shot too, from before the space was completed, just so you can envision the possibilities in your own home:
The inky blackness of the cabinets and island looks so expensive.
Here is a wider photo of the kitchen and dining room after paint, when it is all starting to come together:
As someone who likes DIY, this is almost the best part of the project. You can really start to visualize it. Being finished is almost less exciting to me, because I get so addicted to the process. Once it’s done, the days feel a little emptier.
(My husband disagrees.)
Here is one last shot. This is on the right hand side of the kitchen. Jessica opted for a bold geometric tile on the focal wall in the kitchen, and a simple subway for the rest.
Tricorn Black Dining Room
Here is the dining room once it was all completed:
Take note of the black trim!
Don’t Forget Your Supplies!
This little brush might look funny, but it’s my absolute ride or die!
Rollers like these hold the most paint and make the job faster. Get a metal roller cage for easy on and off.
DryDex is the fastest (and funnest!) way to make chips and dents disappear. (Make sure you get a small spackling tool that actually fits in the container, and a sanding sponge.)
This tool will save your back and limit time on a ladder.
Tricorn Black and White Pantry
Okay, so most of us don’t have a full prep kitchen or “butler’s pantry” but if you did, this is what it could look like with Tricorn Black and white cabinets.
(Or let’s be real, what your small kitchen could look like!)
Tricorn Black in the Bathroom
Of course the black and white theme extends into this spacious bathroom:
I really love how much natural wood Jessica used! It’s a welcome third color in the black and white color scheme.
Here is another bathroom with a bold Tricorn Black wall in addition to the vanity:
Jessica is not afraid to play around with tile!
Tricorn Black Interior Doors
A lot of newer homes are opting for colored interior doors, and Jessica did just that with hers.
The gold hardware is a beautiful touch, and like the natural wood here and there, it’s a nice additional color.
Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black Accent Wall
Jessica already showed off her fair share of accent walls, but here are a few more curated looks by some of my favorite paint inspo friends.
This geometric wall is doing the most:
Note the white trim this time!
Here is one more with slotted wood and built in side tables:
Tricorn Black looks a little charcoal here, but I’m quite sure it’s the lighting or filter.
Finally not an accent wall – but definitely a feature – this Victorian inspired fireplace mantle in Tricorn Black:
Did you know you can quite often buy mantles on marketplace? I had never thought of that, but now I’m plotting a faux fireplace! (This one is obvously real.)
Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black Exterior
Back to Jessica’s house for the grand finale: Her home’s exterior!
This shot of something I might be able to afford, is her pool house:
It really is the cutest little black bungalow isn’t it?
Love the Tricorn Black with the cedar posts and fence!
Tricorn Black Exterior Trim
“So where is the main house?” you ask.
Here she is!
This sprawling brick ranch is painted in Sherwin Williams Greek Villa, with Tricorn Black trim and accents.
I’ve actually written a whole post about Greek Villa! I will get it updated soon to include these pictures.
Greek Villa is a smart choice for the exterior instead of Extra White, because it is quite a bit creamier. You may want that because true whites can be blinding and/or washed out.
Here is a pretty shot of the home at sunset. You can really see how Tricorn Black is absorbing the light.
Tricorn Black Front Door & Shutters
While Jessica does have Tricorn Black on her front door, it is mostly glass, so let’s take a look at another home:
This red brick house also has Tricorn Black on the shutters, and white siding:
These homeowners actually did opt to use SW Extra White on their exterior, but it works here where they have more trees and shady overhangs.
Here is a mix of both, a creamy white brick exterior with Tricorn Black shutters:
This Jess chose Sherwin Williams Shoji White for her exterior paint color.
Well we know now that Tricorn Black works with white on white on white, but what about with other colors?
Never fear, Megan is here!
She chose the Sherwin Williams color Felted Wool for this exterior paint job, and Tricorn Black for the trim:
This earthy combo looks warm and inviting.
Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black Color Palette
Just before we hop into black comparisons and dupes, let’s look at Tricorn Black color palettes.
Unsurprisingly I have already cast Tricorn Black in a couple of my favorite palettes, and I thought I may as well share them again!
This first one is what I’m calling “New Neutrals.”
New Neutral Complementary and Coordinating Paint Colors
Let’s dive in!
Behr Diamonds Therapy
Diamonds Therapy is a slightly creamy, slightly gray, white by Behr. It’s a nice alternative to some of the uber popular Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore shades, while still reading “white.”
Sherwin Williams Snowbound
Snowbound is a really popular Sherwin Williams white, and one of my personal favorites! It’s one of the few whites by Sherwin Williams that is warm without being super creamy.
Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace
Chantilly Lace is probably my all-time favorite white! It’s a green-based white, so it’s super neutral, and looks crisp with Tricorn Black.
Benjamin Moore Gray Owl
Gray Owl is a nice light greige color that is actually in the yellow-green family. It is perfect if you are looking for a less expected neutral for your home.
Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter
Of course we have to include the OG use-it-everywhere paint color: Revere Pewter.
It has been a staple Benjamin Moore neutral for years and years. This is sad news for your creativity, but good news if you want your wall color to stay “in” for a long time.
Sherwin Williams Cavern Clay
Cavern Clay is one of my favorite “new neutrals.” It’s a rich terracotta color that is muted and earthy enough to look natural. It would look great with a warm white and Tricorn Black accents.
Sherwin Williams Evergreen Fog
Evergreen Fog is Sherwin Williams “Color of the Year” for 2022. It’s a mid to dark sagey green color.
Sherwin Williams Rosemary
I actually just wrote a whole post about Rosemary!
If you are into greens in the slightest, you will probably like it. It’s a great natural neutral.
Modern Farmhouse Complementary and Coordinating Paint Colors
This trend is still going strong! The “Modern Farmhouse” aesthetic is dominated by creamy whites with black accents.
Tricorn Black is one of the best blacks for maximum contrast.
Valspar Cream in my Coffee
I have covered a good amount of white paint colors, and Valspar’s Cream in my Coffee is one of them!
It’s a darker farmhouse white that gives off a cozy feel.
Benjamin Moore Crystalline
Crystalline reads like a soft blue-green, but it’s actually a gray green and not blue at all. It’s a complicated subtle color that manages to be pale, but without looking baby pastel.
Crystalline has an antique feel that I love!
Benjamin Moore Simply White
I had to toss in another white that was closer to a true white, for those areas of your house that you want to keep as bright as possible.
Simply White is a warm white, but still nice and light.
Benjamin Moore Gray Owl
(Yes, Gray Owl again…)
Sherwin Williams Clean Slate
Clean Slate is a very pale neutral gray with just a hint of blue. It has an antique feel to me, like Crystalline does, and it’s a welcome cooler neutral in a palette of warmth.
Sherwin Williams North Star
No farmhouse palette would be complete without a dusty blue of some kind! North Star is a Victorian-inspired pale blue that is super subtle.
Benjamin Moore Backwoods
Farmhouse palettes are usually dominated by blues, but I have seen so many beautiful green kitchens, and I think it’s time for a change! Backwoods works really REALLY well with warm whites and beiges.
Benjamin Moore Blue Note
Blue Note is a dark navy that leans just a little gray. I know conventional wisdom is to choose one or the other, but I’ve seen them mixed successfully as dark accent colors in bright white homes.
You might also like Sherwin Williams Cyberspace.
Tricorn Black Compared to Other Sherwin Williams Paint Colors
Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black vs Caviar (SW 6990)
Caviar is a purple black just like Tricorn Black, but a little lighter. That might be confusing because the LRV of Caviar is still a 3 (just like Tricorn Black).
Like I mentioned earlier, Sherwin Williams rounds all of their LRV numbers, so most likely Tricorn Black has an LRV around 2.5 and Caviar is a true 3.
Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black vs Black Magic (SW 6991)
Sherwin Williams Black Magic also has an LRV of 3.
Black Magic is the same color as Caviar, but lighter by the slimmest of margins. You can tell only because the divide between these two colors is a little clearer:
Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black vs Iron Ore (SW 7069)
Iron Ore is often listed as a “black” paint color by Sherwin Williams, but it is a dark charcoal and not black. Now it can sometimes look black, or close to it, but it isn’t black.
This could work as a lighter version of Tricorn Black, if you didn’t want to go quite so dark.
The LRV of Iron Ore is 7.
Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black vs Peppercorn (SW 7674)
I have written a post comparing Iron Ore to Peppercorn, so you can check that out if you are interested in either of these colors.
Neither is black like Tricorn, and Peppercorn is the lightest of the three.
The LRV of Peppercorn is 10.
Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black vs Black Fox (SW 7020)
Black Fox is actually not black at all. It is a dark brown (which I guess is technically the color of a “black” fox).
The LRV of Black Fox is 7.
Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black vs Black of Night (SW 6993)
Black of Night is kind of what you picture, the black of the night sky. There is a blueish hue to Black of Night, and it is a bit lighter than Tricorn Black, with an LRV of 4.
Tricorn Black Benjamin Moore Version
Benjamin Moore actually has one of the best dupes for Tricorn Black (or is Tricorn Black a dupe for it? Hmmm…) and I will cover that one first:
Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black vs Benjamin Moore Black (2132-10)
Benjamin Moore “Black” is the closest Benjamin Moore color to Tricorn Black.
I actually had an interesting conversation with a designer when I was preparing for this article.
I asked her if a picture she had posted was Tricorn Black, and she said: “Actually no. It is “Black” from Benjamin Moore. With all the natural light we decided for a solid bold black rather than a softened one.”
I struggled. Wait, what?!
So I still totally disagree that Tricorn Black is a “softened” black, but once I put them side by side, I think I see what she’s saying?
If you are on your computer the difference will be harder to spot, but on your phone you might be able to make out that Tricorn does look the tiniest bit warmer than Black. This makes sense because Tricorn Black is a purple black and Black is a blue black.
The LRV of Black is 2.48 (which is about where I think Tricorn Black would be if Sherwin Williams didn’t round).
Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black vs Benjamin Moore Onyx (2133-10)
Benjamin Moore Onyx isn’t really a dupe for Tricorn Black but I wanted to include it because people often compare the two.
Onyx has an LRV of 2.9, so it is lighter than Tricorn Black.
Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black vs Benjamin Moore Black Satin (2131-10)
Black Satin is lighter than Tricorn Black, but it has an LRV of 2.49, so it is one of the blacker blacks by Benjamin Moore.
Like “Black” it is a blue black.
Valspar Equivalent to Tricorn Black
Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black vs Valspar Cracked Pepper (CI57)
Valspar Cracked Pepper has an LRV waaay down at 2.089. Basically, it’s the blackest of them all!
You can see that it does look a little darker than Tricorn Black even! Good news if you want a black black and you prefer to get your paint from Lowe’s!
Tricorn Black Behr Equivalent (Home Depot)
Different paint brands do different things well. Unfortunately for Behr, they don’t do black well. They have only one color that is a true black and it isn’t as bold as Tricorn:
Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black vs Behr Limousine Leather (MQ5-05)
Limousine Leather is the Blackest Black that Behr makes, and it still has an LRV of 4.
Limousine Leather is closer to Black of Night than it is to Tricorn Black.
Downsides to Choosing Black
I don’t usually talk about any special considerations with a particular color, but black does need a disclaimer!
A lot of people mentioned that they didn’t realize how dusty and dirty it would look.
Think carefully about how often you can really commit to cleaning chair railing, doors, board and batten, or those funky geometric feature walls.
Black cabinets can also be a headache. They show every tiny little drip and streak. All you need is to mop too vigorously and all of a sudden your cabinets need to be wiped again!
Anybody who has had super dark floors can probably remember what it’s like. Just something to consider.
Tricorn Black Final Moody Musings
Tricorn Black is the baddest and blackest black. (Or close to it… here’s looking at you Valspar!)
Consider using it for trim if you also plan to use it on your wall or doors for a seemless look. It also makes a great exterior trim color!
Tricorn Black will work with any white, and nearly every other color too. There aren’t really any downsides to Tricorn Black besides the dust, but that’s every really dark color.
If you want a black that looks black, pick up Tricorn! (Or Cracked Pepper…)
Feeling the dark side? Here are some more options: