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We’re Painting Our House Black!

August 2, 2020

Should we or shouldn’t we paint our house black?

When we pulled up to see the hot new house listing with our fantastic realtor, Darcy McMurray, I knew that painting this mountain home black would take it from nice to a WOW-CHIC mountain modern with a few simple passes of the paint sprayer.

We ended up buying the house and I’ve been wanting to paint it black ever since!

However, I hear you, black paint critics. It’s not as practical as white because it attracts heat (though we live in the Northwest so our temps are not that hot for most of the year). And it is BOLD. I mean, who paints their house black?

I’m not going to lie, there was a part of me that was hesitant just because it feels like way more of risk than white.

This is why for months I converted to team white. As I gathered bids, I told each one my choice was probably going to be white.

Eduardo from All Star Painting, the awesome painter we chose, called and said they were ready to paint and would be showing the following week. That was just the motivation I needed to go to the paint store for samples, grab the poster boards from Hobby Lobby, and get painting to finally make a decision.

The Finalists

The painted poster boards allowed us to pick the finalists quickly. Holding them up in various parts of the house, and lining them up next to one another was really helpful.

We then painted two walls on the house with the two colors we were considering, one white, one black.

A Big Surprise

As soon as the brush strokes hit the house I knew I was moving quickly back to team black. The black was bold and stunning, yet subtle. It blended with the environment around it. It seemed to accentuate the house without overpowering the house.

The white just didn’t feel right. First, we don’t live in a farm house. It is a mountain style home to the core. Our interior white walls look amazing as I’ve moved toward the mountain modern style (you can view some of our remodel here), but outside it didn’t work as well with the architecture of the house. Second, the white paint seemed to jump off of the house and shout in the natural setting.

The Rock Dilemma

The other factor that came into major play for us was our rock work. I hope to change it in the future, but there is an insane amount of river rock all around the house that we can’t fix yet, and the paint color needed to either blend with the rock or contrast completely to look right. I decided I liked the contrast.

So I took the leap, called Eduardo, and told him to order Sherwin Williams Iron Ore!

When it comes to design, I do my homework. I head to Pinterest, Instagram, and the great world wide web to search high and low for examples I like and don’t like.

Inspiration for our black house:

This wedding venue is unbelievably stunning. I mean, DREAMY!!!!

Black modern farmhouse
black barn
SW Iron Ore
Photo from Spain Ranch

and this one from The House of Silver Lining is just ah-mazing. And she loves Iron Ore as much as I do!

SW iron ore
black modern farmhouse
black modern farmhouse
SW Black Magic
SW Urbane Bronze
Photo from ourpnwfarmhouse

At the same time I was picking out our house color, little did I know a great design blog I follow chrislovesjulia was doing the same! They hired Studio McGee to do their renderings for the remodel. They suggested SW Iron Ore as one of the colors (see the trend?).

modern farmhouse
black house
mcgee and co
modern farmhouse
black house
mcgee and co.

Monochromatic or Contrast?

One of the biggest decisions to make when going black is whether to make the home monochromatic or break it up with a darker black for doors, garage doors, trim, etc.

This SW Iron Ore Tennessee home is all in for the monochromatic look

SW Iron Ore
black home
home build
SW Iron Ore
black house
modern farmhouse

I am so IN LOVE with this next picture of this Berkshires black barn. I mean….. stunning and beautiful in this natural setting.

black barn
modern farmhouse

This house is a good example of contrasting doors / trim

black house
modern nest
modern farmhouse
Photos from the modernnest
Black house
Bend, Oregon

What We Decided: Monochromatic

After hours of combing pictures and way to much thinking about paint colors, we chose monochromatic. I just kept coming back to this look time and time again.

With the natural log elements in our home, the stone, and the large surface area to cover, we went SW Iron Ore on all trim, garage doors, and shingles. We will pop the doors with SW Tricorn Black.

Little did I know I was right in line with the most popular SW colors! I just found this when I tried to find a swatch of Iron Ore and Tricorn Black to show you.

popular blacks
popular grays
Sherwin Williams

This is a great example of a monochromatic front with a deep black door. You will notice that the window trim is the same color of the house, just the interior of the windows is in a deeper black.

black door
black house
farmhouse lighting

This next home mimics our front entrance. This was a great visual for us as we visualized what our home would look like. They don’t have the rock element, but we could see the beam/black contrast.

Black house
modern farmhouse

Last Thoughts On Going Black Beauty

The one mantra I kept going to back to in all of this designing process is “Design should be FUN, so have FUN!” It’s not life or death, it’s PAINT. So…. take a chance, do something different, and have a blast!

Let me leave you with one more picture below. Black houses are jaw dropping stunners.

Check out our before and after pictures after painting our house SW Iron Ore – they are amazing!

To see all of my modern farmhouse exterior pins (black and white), follow this Pinterest Board

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  1. […] 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 […]

  2. angi says:

    hello, i am painting my brick home black right this second!!! are their pics of your after?!?!?

    • Krista says:

      Hi Angi! Yes there is a link at the bottom of the post that shows our transformation. It’s such a great transformation! I say do it to your house 🙂

  3. Jaime Simpson says:

    Gorgeous home!! We currently have 3 sample colors on our home and are seriously considering Iron Ore. What sheen did your painters use? I like the matte finish of a flat but I’m finding more recommendations for a satin. We have horizontal cedar siding.
    Thanks for sharing your beautiful home!

    • Krista says:

      Thank you! You will not be sad about choosing Iron Ore 🙂 I am happy to do an online consultation with you if you need more help!

  4. sharon cook says:

    Thank you for this.
    We did our outdoor shed in Iron Ore to give it a ‘test run’. We love it; however, doing the whole house in it is making me nervous. I just have to go for it.
    But what color garage door?
    Black? – or – Iron Ore too?

    • Krista says:

      Hi Sharon – I say go for it – but then you see what we did to our house 🙂 It’s such a nice change!!! We did use iron ore to make it monochromatic.

  5. sharon says:

    I love your garage door
    did you have it made custom?
    or is it a brand
    please share
    we are in the middle of our renovation NOW!

    • Krista says:

      Hi Sharon! The garage door was here when we bought the house. It was not pretty. We painted the doors and removed the window grids and now it is much better! Honestly I don’t even think this door is still available it’s that old!

  6. Stacey says:

    I would love your help with my exterior monchromatic colors please… time is of the essence as we are about to paint. Would love to talk with you. Like you I’ve spent hours and hours on paint. Thank you!

  7. Andrea says:

    What is the shingle color? We plan to use iron ore on our house, and I like the contrast from the picture. It looks like the shingles have some color dimensions to them. Thanks!

    • Krista says:

      Hi Andrea! The people who owned the house before us put up the shingles. They are actually a soft black as well with a slight sheen.

  8. Treva R. says:

    We just painted our ranch using iron ore. What a bold move for anyone to paint their house black but I love it!!

  9. Leslie says:

    Love this! Do you have the floor plan to this by chance? Love the entire look

    • Krista says:

      Thank you Leslie 🙂 We have the floor plan but it’s not one that is able to be purchased as it was a custom by a builder who is no longer building.

  10. Natasha Tessier says:

    I am about to paint the barn on back of house black but house is white slurry but soft white..I have a few bumpouts that i was going to do in same color as barn. Will iron ore work with white brick?

  11. Alisha says:

    What color is the soffit and facia? We are doing iron ore on the outside And we’re getting ready to replace the roof but are stumped on the color of soffit and facia to do.

  12. Casey Gould says:

    Hey Krista! My wife and I have fallen for the iron or exterior board and batten look at well. Wondering if I could pick your brain for a minute. Most of the curb appeal from the home nobody really thinks about is the roof shingles. We are currently trying to decide on the color that would work best with Iron ore. I think we are going to do a more tan / brown stone , more natural than say light grey or white stone. Question is what color roof! I’m having trouble deciding between like a charcoal, black or more weathered wood .. I like the Tennessee home you have pictured curious if you knew or could help decide? You seem like you are skilled in picking colors. Any help is much appreciated !


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