Sherwin Williams Alabaster – Why It’s A Great Choice For White Walls


Alabaster SW 7008 was chosen Sherwin Williams Color of the Year in 2016, and this soft white paint has endured as a classic color and popular choice for both interior and exterior.

We all know picking paint isn't an easy task but picking white paint should be easy, right? It's kinda just ...white ...not a major color like a bold blue or a deep green.

Well, the world of white paints is surprisingly diverse. But don't worry, discovering the undertones of white paint is pretty simple.

Today we'll look at the specifics of Alabaster white paint by Sherwin Williams, how it compares to other on-trend whites and see it in action in real life homes.

Ever ended up with the wrong paint color on your walls?

My free guide, How To Choose The Right Paint Color Every Time, will walk you through the simple steps (and tricks) to choosing the right paint color so you never end up with the wrong color again!

Ready to dive in?

Great! Let's talk about Alabaster paint color and whether this shade of white is right for your home.

Sherwin Williams Alabaster white - why is it so popularPin

What Color Is Sherwin Williams Alabaster White?

Sherwin-Williams Alabaster is a calm and peaceful neutral white that gives a light and airy feel to a space while not appearing too bright.

Is Alabaster warm or cool?

Alabaster is a barely warm white because it has just a hint of beige to it. One of the reasons it's so popular is because it has the right balance between brightening a space while still giving it a cozy and inviting feel.

What are Sherwin Williams Alabaster undertones?

Whites can have many different undertones.... blue, pink, yellow or even purple. SW Alabaster has a slight beige undertone with a hint of yellow which provides its creamy warmth and saves it from being too stark or bright.

Depending on the lighting, Alabaster can appear either off-white or nearly beige. The more southern exposure/afternoon light, the more Alabaster's brightness will stand out. In rooms with less natural light or northern-facing, Alabaster will warm them with that creamy beige undertone.

(You can save yourself a ton of wrong paint grief by knowing this trick to figuring out neutral paint undertones!)

Does Sherwin Williams Alabaster look yellow?

If that touch of yellow concerns you, rest easy. Because of the neutral base, SW Alabaster generally will not look yellow, but it's always wise to check out the color in your own home before making a commitment.

What is the LRV of Alabaster?

LRV (light reflective value) is a scale to tell how light or dark a color is. The scale goes from 1 (blackest black) to 100 (true white).

Alabaster by Sherwin Williams has an LRV of 82. It's definitely not a bright reflective white but it won't wash out either in high sunlight conditions. In fact it's a go-to exterior color (more on that below) because that soft subtle hue behaves well as both a primary and trim house color.

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Examples Of Rooms With Alabaster Color

Let’s see this white paint color in action in some real life homes.

Alabaster exterior paint

Alabaster paint color is adaptable to just about any style - traditional, contemporary, rustic - and is a fantastic option as a primary or accent color. If you love the monochromatic look, this exterior sets a chic and peaceful tone with Alabaster Sherwin-Williams as both house and trim color.

Alabaster White SW entryway

Sherwin Williams Alabaster white goes particularly well with contrasting dark colors as this entryway shows. The homeowner used Sherwin Williams Iron Ore for the front door, and the abundant natural light in her entryway plays up Alabaster's brightness.

SW Alabaster White in entryPin
Photo Credit: Living Letter Home

SW Alabaster living room and office

The walls, cabinets and trim in this living room are all in SW Alabaster which Lizzy of Lizzy Designs Blog describes as her favorite white, the perfect white and her go-to white.

My own office walls are painted with Sherwin Williams Alabaster. I agree it's the perfect white - not too white, not too bright - just right for lending an air of coziness. When it comes to receding peacefully into the background, Alabaster is a hands-down winner.

Alabaster Sherwin Williams paint in the bedroom

Those spa-like qualities make it the perfect bedroom wall color for promoting rest and relaxation. Notice how Alabaster politely stands back and allows that moody shiplap headboard to take center stage.

Alabaster white sherwin williams paint on bedroom wallsPin
Photo Credit: Bless This Nest

Alabaster kitchen cabinets

Does Alabaster work well on kitchen cabinets? You betcha!

Alabaster Sherwin Williams paint teams up with black hardware and the result is a sophisticated in this clean, contemporary kitchen.

And speaking of cabinets, these living room built ins are painted Alabaster white Sherwin Williams. In both photos, you can see how well the wood floors play into the warmth of Alabaster.

Alabaster bathroom and basement

In this project, Clark + Aldine created livable space in an unused basement for a growing family. I'm loving the dramatic feel created by offsetting Alabaster White walls with Tricorn Black SW 6258 for the ceiling and trim. Again, those wood floors add another layer of wow.

Notice how Alabaster nods to beige in the basement while in the bathroom with more natural light it appears more white.

Alabaster SW 7008 in a laundry room

This pet feeder area in the laundry room by Room for Tuesday is both functional and cute (those dog pics!!). If you're concerned about pairing Alabaster's off-white shade with white appliances, don't worry. They won't match exactly but they're close enough to blend together, and the dark flooring and door - and those dog pics - are what captures the eye.

Alabaster white paint in laundry roomPin

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Alabaster White vs Other White Paint

Let's see how Alabaster stacks up against a few other popular white paint choices.

Shoji White vs Alabaster

Although both colors belong to the white category, Shoji White SW 7042 sits on the cusp between cream and greige. With an LRV of 74, Shoji has more depth and color than SW Alabaster and has more obvious beige-greige undertones. Both paints are flexible enough to be used throughout the interior and exterior for walls, trim, and cabinets.

Alabaster vs Pure White

Pure White SW 7005 is a slightly lighter version of Alabaster with enough yellow in the undertone to save it from being too stark or bright. Both paints are soft whites and straddle that line between warm and cool. While Alabaster can be widely used anywhere, Pure White is best for trim and baseboards due to it being exactly what its name declares: a pure white.

Dover White vs Alabaster

If you're searching for a cozy white, Dover White SW 6385 will step up and do the job. Dover and Sherwin Williams Alabaster are identical in their light reflectiveness, but the similarity stops there. Dover has more depth and color, with a stronger yellow undertone that makes it a warmer white than Alabaster. If you prefer a white that won't look yellow, however, SW Alabaster wins the vote.

Alabaster vs Snowbound

These two are so similar it can be tough to choose between them. Nearly identical on the light reflective scale, Alabaster leans a bit warmer due to its beige/yellow undertone, while Snowbound has a bit more gray and even taupe undertones. Like Pure White, Snowbound is most commonly used as a trim color.

I always recommend testing paint on your walls before making a commitment, and viewing Alabaster paint samples next to several other white paint shades will make your paint decision so much easier.

The Best Way To Test Paint Colors On Your Walls

No need to buy paint samples and paint big squares of each color on your walls! Samplize offers peel and stick paint samples from all major paint brands delivered to your door so you can put them up on the wall with no mess.

What Color Trim Goes With Alabaster Walls?

SW Alabaster is so versatile it can be used almost anywhere including doors, ceilings and trim. If your walls are Alabaster, you can also go with Alabaster trim for a seamless look like this baby boy nursery.

If you prefer a more subtle contrast, Alabaster walls with Pure White (SW 7005) trim is a classic option. In this home office, Alabaster walls reflect the warmth of the wood floors and furnishings and those subdued beige tones are nicely complemented by the clean Pure White trim.

This homeowner chose Alabaster as the trim color with darker walls in Gossamer Veil for more contrast in this elegant dining area.

Alabaster by sherwin williams trimPin

Alabaster Coordinating Colors

What colors go with SW Alabaster? The answer is pretty much everything. For a soft and modern neutral contrast, choose SW Agreeable Gray. If you'd like a stronger statement, SW Peppercorn is a gorgeous soft black. Don't forget about your furniture pieces; warm toned leathers will pair beautifully with Alabaster's warm beige undertones.

ALABASTER coordinating colors modern neutralPin

Alabaster is so well balanced that it will go beautifully with a wide range of colors; whether your color palette includes cool tones or warm tones, this white paint color is a great choice.

Other Things to Consider When Choosing Colors For Your Home

A lot of factors go into selecting colors for your home, and it goes way beyond paint color.

Things like your home color palette, existing colors in your home (that you may not be able to change), and the color of the natural light, or lack of natural light can change the way a color shows up in your home.

In my self-paced online color course, Color Made Clear, I walk you through all the steps to choosing and using color in your home to create a pulled together and cohesive look, even if you have things like cabinet color or floors you can't change.