Sherwin Williams Caviar vs Black Magic: What’s the Difference?

sherwin williams caviar vs black magic

When searching for the perfect classic black paint color, two top options from Sherwin Williams are Caviar SW 6990 and Black Magic SW 6991. At first glance, these two deep shades appear identical – true, inky blacks. But upon closer inspection, there are subtle but impactful differences between them.

This in-depth guide will compare Caviar vs Black Magic to help you determine which black is better for your interior needs. We’ll analyze everything from undertones, textures, sheens, real photos, and more.

By the end, you’ll understand how to choose between these sophisticated blacks from Sherwin Williams. Let’s dive in!

Key Differences Between Caviar and Black Magic

Before getting into the details, here’s a high-level overview of how Caviar and Black Magic differ:

  • Undertones – Caviar is a cool black, Black Magic is a warm black
  • Light Reflectance – Both have an LRV of 3
  • Texture – Caviar has a matte finish, Black Magic is subtly reflective
  • Use – Caviar suits accent walls, Black Magic excels on trims
  • Availability – Both come in all sheens

Now let’s explore Caviar SW 6990 and Black Magic SW 6991 more thoroughly.

Detailed Review of Caviar SW 6990

Sherwin Williams Caviar
Image Credit:@ sword.blackfarmhouse

With its cool black appearance, Caviar SW 6990 by Sherwin Williams creates a sleek, contemporary accent wall or focal point. This deep black makes a refined modern statement.

Here are some details about Caviar:

  • LRV: 3
  • Undertones: Cool black
  • Finish: Available in all sheens and finishes
  • Texture: Matte
  • Rooms: Accent walls, modern spaces
  • Pairs Well With: Crisp whites, bold colors

Caviar is a heavily saturated black with very subtle blue undertones. In all lighting, it appears as a true black. The unreflective matte texture enhances its velvety depth.

With an LRV of 3, Caviar provides dramatic contrast when used as an accent. It gives off an urbane, sophisticated vibe.

This saturated black pairs well with light, bright colors needing grounding. Popular Caviar combinations include:

  • Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace
  • Sherwin Williams High Reflective White
  • Glossy brass accents
  • Creamy natural wood tones
  • White trim and mouldings
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While suitable anywhere a deep black is desired, Caviar truly excels:

  • On contemporary accent walls
  • In modern minimalist bedrooms
  • As a dining room focal point
  • On built-in bookshelves and cabinetry

With its cool matte finish, Caviar makes a striking modern statement.

Detailed Review of Black Magic SW 6991

Sherwin Williams Black Magic
Image Credit:@ life_with_moss

With its deep warm black appearance, Black Magic SW 6991 by Sherwin Williams creates a lush, reflective backdrop or bold accent. This versatile black succeeds in any space where you want dramatic elegance.

Here are some details about Black Magic:

  • LRV: 3
  • Undertones: Warm black
  • Finish: Available in all sheens and finishes
  • Texture: Subtly reflective
  • Rooms: Trim, doors, accent walls
  • Pairs Well With: White, wood tones, metallics

Black Magic is heavily pigmented with faint brown undertones. In all lighting, it appears as an inky true black. The hint of reflectiveness provides subtle dimension.

With an LRV of 3, Black Magic offers bold contrast when used as an accent. It gives off refined sophistication.

This adaptable black pairs well with light, airy colors needing depth. Popular Black Magic combinations include:

  • Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace
  • Sherwin Williams Pure White
  • Polished brass hardware
  • White crown molding
  • Gray wood flooring

While suitable anywhere elegance is desired, Black Magic truly excels:

  • As trim and doors
  • In home offices
  • As an accent wall
  • On built-in cabinets and shelves

With its subtle reflectiveness, Black Magic creates cohesive elegance.

Direct Comparison of Undertones

When viewed together, here is how Caviar and Black Magic differ in undertones:

  • Caviar is a heavily saturated cool black with subtle blue undertones.
  • Black Magic is a deep warm black with faint brown tones.

The blue in Caviar makes it feel crisp, while the brown in Black Magic provides a welcoming envelope. But the differences are very faint.

Texture Comparison

  • Caviar SW 6990 has a matte, untextured finish.
  • Black Magic SW 6991 has a subtly reflective texture.

The matte finish of Caviar minimizes light reflection, while Black Magic has more dimension. But again, the differences are very minor unless viewed side-by-side.

Style and Room Pairings

Due to its cool crispness, Caviar SW 6990 excels:

  • On modern accent walls
  • In contemporary bedrooms
  • As a dining room focal point
  • On built-in bookshelves

Black Magic SW 6991 fits best:

  • As trim and doors
  • In home offices
  • On accent walls
  • On built-in cabinets and shelves
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So Caviar feels stark, while Black Magic excels as an elegant neutral. But both create dramatic spaces.

Real-Life Photo Examples

Let’s look at real-life photos to compare Caviar and Black Magic:

Caviar SW 6990

Real Sherwin Williams Caviar
Image Credit:@ mcnuttdesigns

Black Magic SW 6991

Real Sherwin Williams Black Magic
Image Credit:@ imaginasun

You can see Caviar’s matte finish compared to the subtle reflectiveness of Black Magic. But the differences are very minor.

Should You Choose Caviar or Black Magic?

So which Sherwin Williams black should you choose for your space? Consider the following:

Consider Caviar SW 6990 if you want:

  • A super matte black accent wall
  • A crisp cool-toned black
  • To make a dramatic modern statement
  • An unreflective, silky finish

Consider Black Magic SW 6991 if you want:

  • A deeply pigmented black for trim and doors
  • A slightly reflective black with warmth
  • A versatile neutral black for any room
  • A cohesive yet bold element

Caviar feels modern, while Black Magic provides elegant versatility. Choose what best fits your style!

Get color samples before deciding. View them on walls in varied lighting to discern textures.

Either inky black from Sherwin Williams will look gorgeous!

Decorating Ideas and Color Pairings

On their own, Caviar and Black Magic create dramatic ambiance. Here are ideas to complement them:

Caviar SW 6990 Pairings

  • Clean bright whites
  • Polished chrome finishes
  • Large statement artworks
  • Natural stone surfaces
  • Warm wood plank flooring

Black Magic SW 6991 Pairings

  • Crisp pure whites
  • Metallic brass accents
  • Creamy natural wood tones
  • Gray wood flooring
  • White shiplap walls

Choose complementary elements to let Caviar’s coolness or Black Magic’s warmth shine.

Room-by-Room Guide

Here are rooms best suited to Caviar and Black Magic:

Living Rooms

Caviar – A dramatic modern accent wall contrasting light furnishings and art.

Black Magic – Stunning on built-ins to provide elegant flair in formal and casual living rooms.


Caviar – A bold minimalist statement wall behind the bed or bed frame.

Black Magic – Lovely as a bedroom accent wall or on trim for cohesive style.

Dining Rooms

Caviar – A sleek, contemporary statement wall to modernize ornate dining rooms.

Black MagicPolished elegance on dining room wainscoting, trim, or accents.


Caviar – An urbane, artsy vibe for an architect’s office or creative studio.

Black Magic – A refined and prestigious feel with timeless appeal.

Both create dramatic spaces but cater to different aesthetics.

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Caviar vs. Black Magic Comparison Chart

Here is an overview comparison between Caviar SW 6990 and Black Magic SW 6991:

Paint Color Caviar SW 6990 Black Magic SW 6991
LRV 3 3
Undertone Cool black Warm black
Texture Matte Subtly reflective
Use Accent walls Trim, doors, built-ins
Sheen All All

Which Black Paint Color is Best for Your Home?

So which classic Sherwin Williams black is right for you?

Caviar SW 6990 is the best choice if you:

  • Want a matte black accent wall
  • Need a super modern statement color
  • Prefer deep blacks with blue undertones
  • Love bold, dramatic contrasts

Black Magic SW 6991 is perfect if you:

  • Seek black for trim, doors, and built-ins
  • Desire a slightly reflective finish
  • Want a versatile black that works anywhere
  • Prefer blacks with subtle warmth

Caviar modernizes, while Black Magic elegantly refines. Choose what best suits your style!

Be sure to get samples of both before deciding – you can’t go wrong!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Here are answers to common questions about Caviar and Black Magic:

Q: How do Caviar and Black Magic differ?

A: Caviar is a matte cool black accent while Black Magic is a slightly reflective warm black trim color. The differences are subtle.

Q: Which black paint is darker?

A: Caviar SW 6990 and Black Magic SW 6991 have the exact same LRV of 3, making them equally dark as true blacks.

Q: What colors complement Caviar?

A: Clean bright whites, metallic silvers, polished concrete, and blonde wood tones create beautiful contrast against Caviar’s matte black finish.

Q: Can you use Black Magic in a bathroom?

A: Yes, Black Magic SW 6991 can provide elegant distinction on bathroom cabinets, fixtures, trims and even walls when used sparingly.

Q: Does Caviar have brown undertones?

A: No, Caviar SW 6990 is a true black with only faint hints of blue undertones. It does not have any significant brown.


Whether you choose modern Caviar SW 6990 or elegant Black Magic SW 6991, both of these classic Sherwin Williams blacks are gorgeous choices.

Consider your style needs, get color samples, and test them out to find the perfect black paint for your interior design.

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