What is the “Undertone” of Tricorn Black?
“Undertone” is a tricky word when it comes to paint color, mostly because it refers to a subjective opinion based on lighting and context. When we scientifically evaluate a paint color, though, we examine three characteristics: hue, chroma, and value. These characteristics are known as spectral data. Spectral data is not subjective or based on opinion; it can be objectively and scientifically calculated using colorimeters and spectrophotometers. Understanding a color’s spectral data can help us accurately predict how it will render on the wall.
Hue, or hue family, refers to the area where a particular color lives on the color wheel (red, yellow, blue, green, etc.). All colors, even the ones that seem to be neutral, belong to a hue family. (It’s sometimes just a lot harder to see on whites, blacks, and grays).
If we look at Tricorn Black’s LCh* spectral data, we can see that it has a hue angle of about 281°, putting it in the Purple-Blue hue family. Chroma, a measure of a paint color’s vividness or saturation, is also very low (only 0.7) for Tricorn Black. So even though SW Tricorn Black is part of the Purple-Blue family, it has almost no discernible hue (or what some people refer to as “undertone.”) This makes it a great choice for pairing with almost any color palette. It’s also why many designers refer to this color as a “true black.”
What is the LRV of Tricorn Black?
Light Reflectance Value (LRV) is a measure of how much light a paint reflects back into a room, with 100% being highly reflective and zero being not reflective at all. With an LRV of only 3, Tricorn Black is one of the darkest paint colors on the market. In fact, according to Jackie Jordan, director of color marketing for Sherwin-Williams, Tricorn Black is “definitely our blackest black, a really rich, deep perfect black.”
You must sample this color in the space you intend to use it before you start putting it on your walls, cabinets, or trim! (We mail 8″ x 10″ paint swatches of our recommendations to our Virtual Color Consultation clients.)
What White Goes With Tricorn Black?
What Other Paint Colors Coordinate With Tricorn Black?
Tricorn Black is incredibly versatile and will work with almost any color you pair it with. We’ve put together a sample Tricorn Black color palette below just for fun and to give you a visual of what coordinating colors might look like. Use what inspires you!
Is Tricorn Black a Good Cabinet Color?
Yes! Seriously, this color goes with just about everything and is as timeless as a little black dress. Painting your kitchen island a different color from the main cabinets is a great way to ground your space and create a unique focal point. Black cabinets can also be a great way to tie in black appliances if you aren’t ready to switch to white or stainless steel.
Is Tricorn Black a Good Exterior Paint Color?
Tricorn Black looks amazing on home exteriors, but we wouldn’t recommend using it on broad surfaces because it absorbs so much light. On large expanses, it can feel a bit overwhelming and actually diminish certain architectural details. However, when paired with lighter colors or big swatches of neutral colors, it can make certain features really pop!
The shutter color is SW6258 Tricorn Black, the trim is SW7004 Snowbound, and the brick is Benjamin Moore Sandy Hook Gray.
Using Tricorn Black on accents and textured details, like a front door, trim, shutters, or a garage door, helps give a structure a little more dimension, drama, and depth. We think it looks especially pretty paired with brick, stone, and natural wood.
The body of this home is Sherwin-Williams Dover White, and the garage doors are Sherwin-Williams Tricorn Black.
Remember, lower LRV colors, like Tricorn Black, tend to fade a lot faster in the sun compared to higher LRV colors. That’s worth considering if you have a southwest-facing front door in a southern US climate and don’t want to re-paint it very often. Again, view paper samples on the exterior wall prior to painting.
Front door and shutters in Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black. All other trim in Benjamin Moore Pure White.
What Other Paint Colors are Similar to Tricorn Black?
I never, ever recommend color-matching between different brands. You cannot color match between brands and expect to get identical results. But if you’re looking for something similar to Tricorn Black in another brand, there are options. Based on their spectral data, these colors are pretty comparable to Tricorn Black:
- Benjamin Moore Black Tar 2126-10
- Benjamin Moore Twilight Zone 2127-10
- Behr PPU18-20 Broadway
- PPG 1011-7 Onyx
- Kelley-Moore KMA87-5 Stiletto
How does Tricorn Black compare to other black Sherwin-Williams paint colors?
Besides Tricorn Black, Sherwin-Williams has a few other popular black paints available.
Tricorn Black vs Black Magic
Tricorn Black vs Caviar
Tricorn Black vs Iron Ore and other softer charcoal colors
If you’re going for a more monochromatic exterior look, we’d recommend using Iron Ore or another lighter charcoal shade on the larger surfaces and accentuating the architectural details in a glossy finish Tricorn Black for drama and dimension.
Need Help Choosing a Color?
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Whether you’re looking for a complete refresh of your space, experimenting with a new style, or just need a little professional guidance to help narrow down your paint color choices, our online color consultations can help!