An Honest Review of Tricorn Black by Sherwin Williams

Tricorn Black by Sherwin Williams is a bold, chic black paint that we love for home exterior designs. Whether they’re used to draw attention to architectural details or to make a dramatic impact on large surfaces, deep black hues are all the rage in home design. With so many moody shades on the market, we’ve done the work for you to find the best picks for your home’s exteriors. Read on for our honest review of Sherwin Williams’s Tricorn Black paint.

Diving into bold, black paints can be a big step. Call on the experts at brick&batten to guide you through the process. Our team of virtual exterior designers can compile a customized design plan for your home’s exterior so you can ensure you’re on the right path before you ever pick up a paintbrush.

How black is Tricorn Black?

Few colors are as timeless as black. The versatile hue complements any design style, and its staying power means that, while black works well with current trends, it doesn’t carry the risk of looking outdated in a few years. Of all the black paints on the market, Sherwin Williams’s Tricorn Black is one of the most popular.

Tricorn Black is very close to true black. On the Light Reflectance Value (LRV) scale, 0 is true black, and 100 is pure white. Tricorn Black has an LRV of 2.45, meaning it’s unabashedly dark. Designers and homeowners love this shade because it’s a neutral black. Its lack of strong undertones means it pairs well with any color, making it a great choice for accents in exterior color palettes.


Applications of Tricorn Black

Our exterior home designers don’t often use Tricorn Black on large homes or broad surfaces because it reflects very little light. However, we love the unique statement it makes on the wooded cabin above when paired with natural wood and stone. It feels cozy in this setting.

On larger homes, Tricorn Black can feel a bit overwhelming. And it can actually flatten architectural details. However, when set against broad swatches of neutral colors or lighter hues, Tricorn Black can make those same details pop.

Try pairing Tricorn Black with crisp white or pearly gray foundation colors. Using this color on textured details like shutters, trim, front doors, and garage doors emphasizes depth and dimension.


How does Tricorn Black by Sherwin Williams compare to other blacks?

Tricorn Black is considered one of the safest black hues because of its lack of undertones. This means there’s no risk of unexpected warm or cool tones popping through on your painted surfaces, potentially clashing with any other colors or materials. One way to know that Tricorn Black is evenly balanced in undertones is its RGB (red, green, blue) values of 47, 47, 48. None weigh too strongly in the paint mix.

When it comes to choosing a dark hue for an exterior remodel, homeowners are faced with a lot of popular dark shades. We’ve compared Tricorn Black to a few of these, so you can pick the perfect paint for the job.

Black Magic by Sherwin Williams: Another true black

In addition to Tricorn Black, Sherwin Williams has two of the other truest blacks on the market. One of these is Black Magic. This paint color has an LRV of 2.88, making it just a touch lighter than Tricorn Black. (It also made our list of 13 Exterior House Colors That Buyers Want.)

Caviar by Sherwin Williams: A brownish-black

The third in the suite of Sherwin Williams’s true black shades is Caviar. With an LRV of 2.94, it’s the lightest of the three blacks, and it has a brownish undertone. This slightly earthier, lighter black pairs well with other brown or taupe colors.

Soot by Benjamin Moore: A rich charcoal

If you’re not ready to dive into the intense saturation of Tricorn Black, Benjamin Moore’s Soot is an easier transition. It has an LRV of 4.11, giving it the look of deep charcoal instead of true black. This allows it to work well on larger swaths of surface. Its balanced undertones mean, similar to Tricorn Black, it is a great option for detail work on trim, doors, shutters, and accessories.

Iron Ore by Sherwin Williams & Wrought Iron by Benjamin Moore: Soft blacks

Sherwin Williams’s Iron Ore (LRV 6, pictured on the siding above) and Benjamin Moore’s Wrought Iron (LRV 6.16, pictured on the brick and vertical siding below) are popular charcoal colors. Both are balanced blacks with little to no undertones, but their lightness gives them a dusty charcoal appearance.

If you’re going for a tonal black-on-black look, you can paint your home’s largest surfaces Iron Ore or Wrought Iron and douse details in glossy Tricorn Black for a monochromatic look with depth.


The bottom line on Tricorn Black by Sherwin Williams

The exterior design experts at brick&batten love using Tricorn Black on homes of all colors, sizes, and styles. This versatile, balanced shade is a deep black that works well in almost any color scheme. We love using it as a way to draw the eye to a home’s unique details, especially when set against a bright, airy color palette.

If you’re ready to dive into the dark side but want to see how black paint would look on your home before beginning, check out our virtual exterior design service. Our expert designers will show you how to work Tricorn Black—or another black hue—into a color palette and design plan that’s best suited for your home. Get started.