A sophisticated brown-black paint color with the slightest touch of coziness and an irreplaceable glam sparkle for the most unique interiors and exteriors.


Today, we review one of the most sophisticated shades we have ever dealt with – Black Fox SW 7020 from Sherwin-Williams. The brown-black paint color, regarded by most designers as the top exterior paint color this year, is very intricate in its composition and effect on the interior and exterior.

Outstandingly dark, Black Fox feels very imposing if not used appropriately, yet its integration under particular conditions can make the most of your space. This is when knowing the specs of a paint color is more relevant than ever. We cannot wait to spill the beans. What about you? Are you ready to deal with such an intricate yet impressive paint color?

Black Fox paint color features

The brownish shade of black seems very dark, up to the point that poor lighting can offer it a slight Urbane Bronze vibe, which was Color of The Year in 2021 at Sherwin-Williams. Still, Black Fox has its own personality. Cunning as a fox, SW 7020 always finds its way into design. All it requires is appropriate lighting conditions, but later on this. This shade features an amalgam of notes, among which the warm brown trace with a cozy effect and the crispy black scents with an elegant air. That’s right! You can enrich your space with a luxurious sense and even add a bit of comfort with a seemingly firm and devoid-of-emotions color.

Black Fox: is it warm or cold?

We wouldn’t call it warm, yet it is surely not cold. What about “slightly warm”? It seems right this way – the intense black base acquires a new personality once the warm brown notes enter the play. Frankly speaking, this paint color is indeed inspired by the way a black fox looks, and we cannot help but associate its brown-black fur with something warm.

How does lighting affect Black Fox?

The cozy vibe this shade radiates in south-facing rooms transforms into a very cold and dingy effect in spaces with north-facing windows. This is what makes Black Fox an option safe going with in rooms with southern exposure. Next comes artificial lighting, when temperature plays an essential role. A too warm light source can make this shade seem too brown, while cold lighting can brighten the paint color. 

SW 7020 can be called a go-to option only for large spaces, where it can reveal its beauty without risking seeming dingy, which is the case with small rooms that accept Black Fox only as an accent.

Black Fox LRV

Even the warm brown notes cannot avoid the reality that Black Fox is very close to true shades of black, having a Light Reflectance Value of 7. In a few words, the lower the LRV, the more light it absorbs than bounces back, and this is exactly about the intense black shade with courageous brown scents. 

Black Fox undertones

Nothing new on the horizon this time since Black Fox stays true to its brown undertones and black base. A quick reminder – the brown particles that flow through this shade intensify once the lighting seems warmer.

Similar colors

Considering the black category of paints, Black Fox is a standout one, and the appropriate use of this paint color can ensure you an exceptional effect. Still, if it doesn’t feel right for you or you just wonder whether there are any alternatives, the following list of similar shades will come in handy:

  • Sealskin SW 7675 – a similarly accent paint color that looks slightly darker than SW 7020; still, it feels more intense when applied to a surface;
  • Clove SW 9605 – a dark shade of black with the slightest touch of brown, feeling very close to Black Fox, yet it has a slightly lower LRV;
  • Wren by Pantone – identical shade of brown-black; one would simply not notice the difference if it weren’t for the unnoticeably lower LRV;
  • Charcoal Chintz by Dulux Australia – it is surprising to notice that this shade looks exactly like SW 7020, as with the previous variation, yet this one feels less penetrated by brown;
  • Midsummer Night 2134-20 by Benjamin Moore – although the LRV is preserved, this shade of black features the tiniest trace of brown that almost goes unnoticed.

Coordinating colors

Considering trim first, almost true shades of white are the best paint colors to pair with Black Fox, letting the brown-black shade reveal its entire beauty. Usually, we suggest options for monochromatic and contrasting approaches. SW 7020 feels quite dark for a monochromatic interior. Still, if we speak about large spaces, you can consider a few shades, while the range of color variations for contrasting combinations is exceptionally wide. Let’s go through a few specific matches!

  • Pure White SW 7005 – a neutral shade of white that feels neither warm nor cool, which perfectly works for the trim;
  • High Reflective White SW 7757 – timeless white, regarded as the brightest color of this kind at SW, which is another perfect match for the trim;
  • Gauntlet Gray SW 7019 – intense gray variation with deep brown-taupe undertones, making a perfect match for the trim or cabinetry;
  • Dovetail SW 7018 – a slightly warmer shade of relatively intense gray, making it a softer alternative to traditional gray shades;
  • Acier SW 9170 – neutral gray with the tiniest green note flowing through its base, which can appear differently under particular conditions;
  • Greek Villa SW 7551 – appealing white color with the slightest touch of beige, whose warm notes would astonishingly resonate with the brown undertones at Black Fox;
  • Eider White SW 7014 – crispy white with cool gray notes for a more formal pairing with SW 7020;
  • Alabaster SW 7008 – classic white shade with the slightest yellow trace that offers this paint color a softer look;
  • Ancient Marble SW 6162 – very light shade of green with a muted base that feels almost gray and looks much lighter when applied to a surface than it is on the sample;
  • Olympus White SW 6253 – very soft shade of pale blue that almost enters the white category with its light appearance;
  • Cool Avocado SW 9029 – a yellowish-green paint color with a pale surface.

Use of Black Fox in the interior

There is no need to say that Black Fox is not an easy paint to work with. Still, smart approaches always solve the problem. Once again, consider it as an accent in smaller spaces and use it to the fullest in large rooms. To our surprise, this deep paint color works for almost any space, and each feels unique. Let’s see how reliable this fact is!

Glamorous accent

There is something Hollywood glamorous about this paint color. It is most probably the brown notes that dilute the black shade with elegance. Regardless of how large your space is, an accent painted this way will never feel too draining unless there is not enough light. Pick a wall, a built-in bookcase, interior door or go with the kitchen island and choose the accent black paint color from SW on a light background. Here is the trick: different lighting conditions will bring different effects.

Living room with a new personality

From painting the walls entirely or choosing this shade as an accent, your guests will surely be impressed by such a stylish approach to interior design when a single element changes the look entirely. The most emphasized effect is undoubtedly achieved when opting for an all-black living space with the boldest contrasts. This is especially where the previously mentioned Hollywood glam feels like home.

Bedroom with a trace of intrigue

Can a bedroom with walls painted in Black Fox go unnoticed? By no means an accent like this doesn’t receive all the attention. Designers focus on the use of natural wood on the black background. Still, you can go with the most simple layout and let SW 7020 steal the show or opt for the same Hollywood glam with an all-black bedroom with elegant sparkles.

Kitchen with a moody vibe

Just imagine the effect of the black paint color in the kitchen, and not a simple one but Black Fox with brown notes. The tiniest splash will set a moody environment and add a mysterious scent to a seemingly functional area. The exciting fact is that you can paint the walls, cabinets, or the kitchen island if there is one. Still, choose a light companion, such as a white shade or marble, depending on how you integrate the color.

Bathroom with the trendiest look

All-black bathrooms are quite a thing now, and Black Fox seems like the perfect paint to start with. Exceptionally well, it looks on shiplap, combined with a bit of white, and underlined with copper hardware. Contrary to what we said earlier, this shade works for small bathrooms, but them only, integrating this mysterious sense of elegance. Still, nobody said that lighting is not of great importance; it always is.

Personal space with a personal accent

If you are the owner of a home office or any space that belongs particularly to you, where you are free to explore your ideas and put them into practice, don’t hesitate to integrate the unusual shade of black if dark colors somehow define your personality. From a home office for full-time work or a space where you can explore your interests. 

Use of Black Fox for the exterior

Since designers regard Black Fox as one of the best paint colors for the exterior, we cannot help but suggest you go with this shade the next time you plan a makeover, considering that this brown-black variation is quite promising about its future relevance. It looks exceptionally well on wood and brick walls, preserving the Traditional look of stately exteriors or adding a refined splash of coziness to smaller cottages.

The Black Fox SW 7020 paint color by Sherwin-Williams is the perfect alternative to classic black shades that seem too dark or draining for particular spaces. Being less tricky yet bringing a new sense of individuality, this is your go-to paint color if bold decisions are about you and large spaces are about your interior.

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