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Tricorn Black Wall and Choosing a Gray Paint

Choosing paint colors for the new house! We’re planning a Sherwin-Williams Tricorn Black wall for an accent in the living room, and we need to choose a gray color to go along with it. Check out photos of our samples and thought process.

Tricorn Black Wall in the Living Room and Choosing a Gray Paint

I’m just popping in during a moment of calm to let you know I’m still alive. We moved in to our new house last Saturday and have been busy at work since. In fact, we were actually busy at work painting and prepping for the week before we moved in, so this week has really been devoted to getting settled and falling in to a new routine.

It’s amazing what you don’t realize you need until you live in a house. For example, I currently feel like I am typing from the surface of the sun. I actually have sunglasses on. The glare is so bad in my little office nook! I need to add a solar shade or something to our list. But I guess I can’t complain. The plants love it!

setting up an Ikea Couch

As with every move, however, something had to go wrong. The day we moved in, Comcast came out to hook up our Internet and told us that there was no Internet line. It would be a few WEEKS before we had Internet. WHAT? I like being cut off to unwind, but not having any Internet (especially when you’re paying for it) for a few weeks really does a number on a blogger.

Thankfully our sweet new neighbor gave us her wifi password, but we’re trying to not use it that much since it slows her down. Hence why this is my first post in a while. But enough with the updates—let’s chat paint colors on the main level, specifically the living room.

So what have we been up to?

Our first priority for the new place was the living room. I wanted to paint, install a ceiling fan, hang some curtain rods, and get our new couch put together before we moved in. We juuust barely made that goal. Here’s how the living room looked the first day we were in there:

setting up an Ikea Couch

The Tricorn Black wall…

The first thing I did was tackle the big black wall. I have literally been dreaming about my black walls for months now. We used Sherwin-Williams Tricorn Black in Eggshell for two walls in the living room, and they are the main two walls. Mom helped this dream come true…here are a few wet paint shots below.

The black was tough to paint. We ended up doing three coats, and these shots are of the second coat drying. Pro tip: black is a terrible color to practice cutting in with. Don’t ask how I know. But all in all, we’re extremely happy with how it looks!

Tricorn Black Wall
Tricorn Black Wall in a living room

Sherwin-Williams Icy Avalanche vs. Valspar Blizzard Fog

Then I moved on to the remaining walls in the living room, and man did I agonize over that color. After researching the different light grays I was considering, I opted to get samples of four: Blizzard Fog (Valspar), Icy Avalanche (Sherwin-Williams), Repose Gray (Sherwin-Williams), and Tempered Gray (Valspar). Here they are below in order:

Light gray living room paint options
Light gray living room paint options
Mike agonizing over what was surely his greatest decision to date (he said they all looked the same)

After I stared at them for 2 days straight, I decided to paint my top two choices, Blizzard Fog and Icy Avalanche, right next to the Tricorn Black wall (this is before the third and final coat on the black wall):

Tricorn Black Wall in a living room

I wanted the remaining walls to be a super light gray, but I didn’t want a blue tint at all, and I didn’t want it to come out too dark. I really wanted the black wall to pop, but I wasn’t sold on either color, so I ended up going with the second one, Icy Avalanche from Sherwin-Williams, tinted at 50% lighter.

Here’s what Icy Avalanche tinted at 50% lighter looks like:

Tricorn Black Wall in a living room with Icy Avalanche lightened at 50%
Tricorn Black Wall in a living room with Icy Avalanche lightened at 50%

Looks pretty perfect! I was sold, so I finished off the remaining two walls (we hadn’t cut in that messy corner yet) and called it done. It’s amazing what a difference the Icy Avalanche made in the room–it was liberating to paint over that bland ivory.

Tricorn Black Wall in a living room with Icy Avalanche lightened at 50%
Icy Avalanche paint lightened at 50%

Other new purchases…

You’ll also notice in the pictures above that we mounted a new TV, put up a new fan, and put together a new couch. These were three purchases we planned to make for the new house. We have embarrassingly been watching the smallest, worst TV on the planet but decided to hold off on buying something nice until we finally bought a house.

I had also dreamed of having a small sectional couch, but it just wouldn’t fit in any of the apartments we’ve lived in. Here’s the before of the couch and then my mom modeling the after! We got the Ikea Nockeby 3-seat sectional in black and white with wood legs.

Ikea Nockeby Sofa

I also cannot recommend our new fan enough! You can buy it here (affiliate link)! It’s so sleek looking, super quiet, and produces great air flow. It’s remote controlled and has a dimmer, too.

So that’s our progress for now. We just put curtains up (thanks mom for ironing them for 6 hours, you’re the real MVP), but I still have to hem them, and I’m still figuring out how to set up the rest of the room as we settle in. Regardless, we’re loving the new place already, and I’ll be back with more projects and updates soon!

Tricorn Black wall update 5 years later!

Alright folks, popping in a whopping 4.5ish years after originally publishing this post in 2016. It’s now 2021, and I noticed that this post gets a bit of traffic and questions from people looking for Tricorn Black and Icy Avalanche Googlers. Well, years later, and I have to say we are extremely happy with the Tricorn Black wall.

The accent wall is perfect and looks great with the wall-mounted TV. We have not once regretted doing a black wall. In fact, it seems black walls have gotten a ton more popular in the last few years. I will put a few updated pictures from the past few years below so you guys can see!

Tricorn Black Wall in a living room

Bonus—the green foliage of my pothos and snake plants I have over here look fab. And I really love how the large white painted ceramic planter looks against the black wall. This space has changed a lot in the last 4.5 years, especially since we had our daughter. But the black wall remains a staple 🙂

plant against a Tricorn Black Wall in a living room
Check out my pothos plant care guide
Beautiful Tricorn Black Wall in a living room

And adding more Tricorn Black walls to complement this!

We loved the Tricorn Black wall so much that we decided to do another black accent wall down here on the other size of the floor. It’s a little book I used for my workspace for a while until I started working from home during the pandemic. Then I moved my desk up to our room (seen in my post on how to cut chipboard using a Cricut—I decorated the walls with it!) and we turned this into a little Ramona play zone.

Tricorn Black Wall in a workspace
How it looked for a while after we moved in
Tricorn Black Wall in a workspace
A little update a few years later…
Tricorn Black Wall in a workspace
And most recently when I added R’s new desk

We also did a black accent wall in the little powder room down here too. That’s been black for about 3 years. We get compliments on the black walls a lot. Well, that is, back when people came to visit and we had get togethers, lol. (Also check out our all white tiny powder room.)

Tricorn Black Wall in a tiny powder room
Tricorn Black Wall in a tiny powder room

Sherwin-Williams Icy Avalanche…replaced with Repose Gray

Okay but…all that time I spent agonizing over the light gray paint color. I ended up going with Sherwin-Williams Icy Avalanche lightened at 50%. At first I loved it, but after looking at it in multiple different lights and times of day, I decided it was too blue. I couldn’t get over the blue. I hate blue.

So I decided to repaint all of the Icy Avalanche walls, as well as the rest of the floor that we hadn’t painted yet, with Sherwin-Williams Repose Gray. Repose Gray is now about 80% of the house. It’s the perfect gray, in my opinion. It never looks blue but isn’t too beige.

Here are a few photos of Sherwin-Williams Repose Gray in the main area. Also keep in mind that all of the updated photos above of the Tricorn Black walls have Repose Gray, too.

Sherwin-Williams Repose Gray in a living room
Updated living room shot in 2018
Sherwin-Williams Repose Gray in a dining room
Back when we first set up the space on the dining side
Sherwin-Williams Repose Gray in a dining room
Back when we first set up the space on the dining side
Sherwin-Williams Repose Gray in a dining room with a beautiful snake plant and hanging pothos plants
Updated dining space in 2019
beautiful plant shelving against a Sherwin-Williams Repose Gray wall
Same, updated dining space in 2019
beautiful plant shelving against a Sherwin-Williams Repose Gray wall
Updated dining area shot in late 2020; see the DIY tiered plant stand
kitchen island painted repose gray
And on the kitchen island, see more in my post on using Aspect peel-and-stick glass tile

Alright, and that’s a wrap on my update of paint colors on the main level! I hope these additional pictures and details are helpful for you guys. Let me know if you have any questions!

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collage of black rooms with text overlay that says tricorn black around the house
collage of rooms with text overlay that says repose gray around the house
  1. Maricela says:

    Love your grey walls I’m thinking of painting my kitchen icy avalanche or stone isle they are both on the same pallet card but not sure if icy avalanche will be to light for my white cabinets so I was thinking of stone isle what do you suggest?

  2. Michelle says:

    Hi – just wondering if you still like your Nockeby sofa?

  3. Seanna says:

    Hi Brittany! Love this post. Just wondering how your Nockeby sectional is holding up?

    • Hey Seanna! It is holding up very well. However, we’ve only had it since the last week in August, so I’ll definitely keep monitoring it!

  4. Looks awesome! It kind of makes me want to buy a new place ๐Ÿ˜€ Can’t wait to see your future projects!

  5. Julia says:

    Always happy to help you guys! The six hours of ironing was torture, but I was happy to do it. ๐Ÿ™‚ I love your new place!!

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