The Reveal – Our Black House (SW Iron Ore): Before and Afters

September 1, 2020

We painted our house black!

A few weeks ago I announced that we chose to paint our house a soft black. This felt like a big decision.

Yes you can change paint color, but painting the entire exterior of a home is a big financial investment. I wanted to get it right. You can read all about the decision making process we went through. It’s safe to say I lost hours of my life combing pictures and paint color choices.

If you’ve ever chosen a paint color for anything major you know exactly what I mean!

Here is what I love about SW Iron Ore for the exterior of our home

1. It is a soft black/deep gray

So many dark colors can feel harsh. Not so with SW Iron Ore. It is actually classified as a really dark gray – a steel color – and it is truly lovely. I know that sounds designer-weird, but it’s true. It is very pleasing to the eye – it’s rich yet soft.

2. It looks stunning in a natural environment

We live in a beautiful area that has trees, fields, and mountains in the distance. The dark color blends with the environment and makes the house feel like it belongs there.

3. It looks good in snow

We have not lived a winter with this color yet, but I know it is going to look great. My design friend, Anne of Pedal Home Interiors, has a white house in Oregon. She said it snowed once and the snow made her white paint color look yellow in contrast. She remarked how thankful she is that it doesn’t snow much or she’d have to re-paint her house. It’s something to consider with white if you live in a snowy climate, and also something to celebrate with black!

4. It adds sophistication

There’s no doubt about it, just like the perfect black dress with a set of pearls takes style up a notch, so does a black home. There is a sophistication about it that is simply timeless and beautiful.

5. Dark paint pops the accents on your home

We have some beautiful beam work on the home and it makes the wood pop. It contrasts the river rock as well (see next note). It also makes decorations pop and I have plenty of those!

6. It even makes me feel OK about the river rock

We have TONS of river rock accenting the exterior of our home and it is not my favorite. I even said I hated it at one point. When we bought the house, the river rock was one of the only downsides to the property in my opinion. To change it would be a hefty cost, and there are other renovations that matter more.

However…. GOOD NEWS! Changing the main body of the house to SW Iron Ore made the river rock looks a thousand times better. I don’t mind it so much anymore!


We still have some exterior changes we want to make to the home. For example, updated black lighting is on the way as I type. But the point of this post is to show you the power of paint alone!

You can see a video tour of the house on my IGTV on Instagram.

The house went from this…

To this…

From this…

To this…

From this…

To this…

Overall opinion of SW Iron Ore paint for the exterior of a house: FIVE STAR

It was a risk to go with such a dark, dramatic color on our home, but I could not be happier with the result. Every day I look at it and LOVE it. It’s beautiful.

If you are thinking about painting your home dark, go for it! You’ll be glad you did.

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  1. […] out our before and after pictures after painting our house SW Iron Ore – they are […]

  2. Maggie Tate says:

    It’s spectacular!! Love the update – great job and so happy it turned out well for you!!

  3. Jessica says:

    Your house turned out beautifully! We like the monochromatic iron ore exterior as well. How did you match the color of your gutters to the trim? Are they painted iron ore or were you able to find a factory color that matched close enough?

    • Krista says:

      Hi Jessica! Thank you so much. We just painted the gutters for now! I’m sure you could find a close match, or they can factory paint them for you. That would be better but we already had ours up so we had to work with what we had!

  4. Rebekkah says:

    This really is stunning! I discovered your blog via Pinterest and am really enjoying it!

  5. Amber Walker says:

    Love the color on your house! We are getting ready to build a cabin in the NW and have chosen Iron Ore as the main color. A bit out of my comfort zone but we are going for it! Big question: What color is your roof? We are going with a metal roof. Struggling to decide between Old Zinc Gray or Matte Black.
    Also did you use a trim color? Would love help! ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Krista says:

      Hey Amber! Where in the NW? That is so exciting – we are in the Inland NW. It’s such a great fit for the natural surroundings. Our roof was already there and it is a gray brown/black color – almost Urbane Bronze like, so it goes well with the Iron Ore. We decided NOT to do a trim color because of some of the other elements around the house. It felt like it would make it too busy. The inner window trim is a deeper black. Hope this helps! Super fun project for you ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Shelby McQueeney says:

    What color did you paint the trim around the windows? Beautiful home!

  7. Ashle Dressel says:

    Were your windows already black? Or did you paint the windows also? I know you said the inner window trim is a deeper black…..and what color are they if you don’t mind sharing. We are about to paint our house Iron Ore, but our windows are a off white/cream color so I’m trying to find a trim color that goes with both, or paint the trim black and just have the windows pop along with the stone (which matches windows) Any advice appreciated

    • Krista says:

      Hi Ashle! Nice choice. You’ll love it. We did the doors Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black, so we also did the inner windows Tricorn. It’s kind of tedious work, but it looks great ๐Ÿ™‚ I see what you are saying about the stone and the white trim. I can do a virtual appointment with you if you want to talk it through and get my opinion. It would help for me to see it to know what to tell you. Good luck!

      • Ashle Dressel says:

        I would love a virtual appointment, what is the cost for that? My email address is below, can someone reach out to me by email?
        Would you want me to provide pictures our of house ahead of time? I can also get exact window color (brand new windows going in a few weeks) In hind site, with all these color decisions, the additional 15-20K might have been worth it to my husband to just pay rather than saying no ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Jamie McCarron says:

    What is the stain color used on the wood beams? We are thinking about doing something similar on our lake house

    • Krista says:

      Hi Jamie!
      The beams are a natural stain. I actually sanded down the big round beams when we moved in and mixed a natural stain with some Sherwin Williams Ebony stain to try and bring the red/orange tones down. It worked! The type of wood you use is the biggest factor. Some are great natural and some need some soft black or dark brown to cut the natural orange, yellow, or red.


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