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Neutral Paint Colors: Sherwin Williams Alabaster

Tell all ya friends and neighbors!

Sherwin Williams Alabaster is a great netural color that is not white, but also not a cream. Come see this color showcased in our entire home and learn why it’s such a great neutral color that will work in any space

Sherwin Williams Alabaster in what rooms of the house

When we set out to create a whole home paint color palette, I knew one thing – I wanted neutral.

I’m not sure if you know this, though, but there are approximately 1950438920 JILLION neutral colors.

It’s precisely why I love certain lines of paint the most like Farrow and Ball and Magnolia Colors.

In fact, I even did a post where I compared Joanna Gaines paint colors matched to Behr paint and even that was overwhelming. And what do I do when I’m overhwhelmed?

Turn things over to the actual Joanna Gaines in this relationship – Jordan.

Aside from a few sentences of input, he actually picked our entire home paint color scheme and I gotta say, he nailed it.

But today specifically, we are going to talk about the very first color he picked out to be the “base” of everything else – Alabaster by Sherwin Williams.

Sherwin Williams Alabaster (SW 7008)

Sherwin Williams Alabaster details

Side bar, have you ever wondered what all those numbers mean when you see paint colors? It’s never made sense to me, but I’ve done a little research because I’m such a kind soul.

RGB: This is red, green, blue. These numbers range on a scale from 0 to 255.

Hex Value: Another way of reading paint colors. The hex value is actually a mixture of the RGB values.

LRV: This number is probably the most important. LRV stands for Light Reflectance Value. It refers to how light or how dark a color will appear once painted on the wall based on how much light the color will reflect.

Get it now? Light reflectance value?

“Why is this important? You’re normally funny, Carmen. This is boring.”

I know, I know. Hear me out. I promise this will make sense and you’ll start looking at this from now on when you go and pick out paint colors.

The LRV will drastically change what your color looks like based on the amount of natural lighting your particular room gets.

The lower the LRV, the darker the color will be. The higher the LRV, the lighter the color will be.

If you want to fully nerd out, Kylie at Kylie M. Interiors did an entire post breaking down the LRV of paint and there’s no need for me to reinvent that wheel over here.

What color is Sherwin Williams Alabaster?

Sherwin Williams Alabaster has an LRV of 82. This means this is a light (off white) color. And if you have a super well lit room, it will be very light and bright.

This is an excellent color choice for you because it works in rooms where there isn’t a lot of natural light.

Not to mention, Sherwin Williams Alabaster white was the color of the year in 2016 and is still one of the best selling white paint colors 4 years later. Holla.

Alabaster Undertones

sherwin williams alabaster in paint color fan deck

Alabaster is technically an off white, and is nestled right under Sherwin Williams Pure White on the Sherwin Williams 2020 fan deck. Sherwin Williams Pure White is a cooler shade of white with a bit more blue undertones.

Alabaster is what I would consider a warm white; it’s way more brown in its undertones than blue. It’s not a cool color at all. But in regards to its undertones, they are very subtle. It has never once looked or felt brown to me.

When Jordan first told me that he wanted white walls, I thought he was crazy, especially knowing that we wanted a lot more kids.

However, seeing the wall in our spaces, especially in the ones that get a lot of natural light, I love it more and more.

Enough chatting, let’s see this color in our house! Consider this a mini home tour, I suppose. I didn’t get the house all dolled up for you though.

Living Room

white couch sherwin williams alabaster walls
shiplap wall painted sherwin williams alabaster and white wingback arm chair
shiplap wall painted alabaster white

You can tell in our living room that this is a white with warm tones, but it’s not extremely white. Our trim and ceilings are Sherwin Williams Extra White and it is a very cool white. It’s noticeably different white, but they do not look bad paired together.

Oh, and PS. Not that it matters, but we finally got rid of that rug. We’ll be putting hardwoods in here once we knock down a couple more walls and get a couple more stacks of hundred dollar bills.

Kitchen

grey painted lower kitchen cabinets and white upper cabinets with Sherwin Williams Alabaster on the walls
Sherwin Williams Peppercorn painted lower cabinets and Sherwin Williams pure white upper cabinets with Sherwin Williams Alabaster on the walls
Simple and neutral spring decor shiplap wall painted Sherwin Williams Alabaster

In our kitchen, we painted our cabinets to have grey lowers and the white uppers that you see is the Sherwin Williams Extra White again that is the same as our trim color.

It’s very obvious in our kitchen that SW Extra White is a very cool white, while Sherwin Williams Alabaster is definitely a warmer shade of white. For us, Alabaster does not look yellow, even in rooms with low natural lighting.

Laundry Room

small laundry room space with tile floor and built in sink with hanging clothes on the wall
amber glass bottles in a black bowl with sherwin williams alabaster white walls and white mermaid tile backsplash

Our laundry room that got a glow up last fall is painted with Sherwin Williams Alabaster.

I really think this room shows Alabaster in its “warmest” shade for us because this room only has one window as its natural light source.

You can tell it’s a bit more brown here, but again, I want to reiterate that I love this color because it’s not yellow.

Entryway

small entry way grid gallery wall

Our entryway gets a lot of natural light from the 2 huge windows in our living room, so it looks pretty white here, but in person, it really is more of a soft, incredibly neutral white.

Charlotte’s Room

accent wall with Sherwin Williams Naval and Sherwin Williams Alabaster white

Here is a room that I hardly EVER show. Our daughter’s room. You can tell this is a before because of the old floors. We’ve since had those bad boys replaced with gorgeous 9″ unfinished oak floors and they look more like this now:

messy little girl's room with wood floors and Ikea bed in Sherwin Williams Alabaster white

We hadn’t fully put her room back together obviously and they weren’t even refinished here.

And before you judge me, this is a photo from our “scary house tour” aka what our house really looks like 9 times out of 10.

Regardless, this is her room painted Sherwin Williams Alabaster. The navy accent wall is Sherwin Williams Naval which has also been a color of the year and it’s gorgeous. I wish I had the nerve to put it other places in our house.

Also, isn’t it crazy how the same color can look completely different in the same room depending on lighting? The sun sets in the front of our house so her room is entirely brighter in the afternoon (messy bottom picture) than it is during the morning (neat and tidy top picture).

How does Sherwin Williams Alabaster compare to other popular paint colors?

Alabster vs Sherwin Williams Shoji White

Sherwin Williams Alabaster vs. Sherwin Williams Shoji White

SW Shoji White has an LRV of 74 which means it’s going to be a darker color than Sherwin Williams Alabaster. Shoji White has more of a brown undertone which almost looks like a super light greige.

Since we knew we were going to have Agreeable Gray (which is technically a greige) in a lot of our rooms as well, having 2 tones of greige just didn’t vibe well.

Alabaster vs. Accessible Beige

Sherwin Williams Alabaster vs. Sherwin Williams Accessible Beige

I’m a little confused as to why Sherwin Williams Alabaster gets lumped into categories with colors that are clearly greige. I can only assume it’s because of its brown undertones, but to me, these colors couldn’t be farther from one another.

Okay, they could totally be farther from one another, but still when it comes to neutral white paint colors especially, I would never consider Sherwin Williams Accessible Beige to be white.

The name of the color is in the name – Accessible Beige.

Alabaster vs. Sherwin Williams Greek Villa

Sherwin Williams Alabaster vs. Sherwin Williams Greek Villa

Okay, this one I can understand. Comparing Sherwin Williams Alabaster and Sherwin Williams Greek Villa, these are incredibly close colors.

In fact, the LRV of Greek Villa is just 2 higher than Alabaster at 84.

In the Sherwin Williams color fan deck, it’s on the page right before Alabaster. I will say that looking at swatches of them both, Sherwin Williams Greek Villa has a bit more of a grey tint to it than Sherwin Williams Alabaster.

Alabaster vs. Benjamin Moore White Dove

Sherwin Williams Alabaster vs. Benjamin Moore White Dove

If you prefer Benjamin Moore colors over Sherwin Williams, that’s your prerogative. Benjamin Moore has a great line of paint, but we just prefer Sherwin Williams and it’s more easily accessible here.

Plus, if I’m being honest, I can’t type out BM without thinking of poop cuz I’m a child.

But if you are looking to a color by Benjamin Moore that is similar to Sherwin Williams Alabaster, your choice is going to be Benjamin Moore White Dove. It’s a little bit lighter with an LRV of 85.38, but it’s beautiful in person.

Does Sherwin Williams Alabaster go with gray?

Absolutely it does. We have grey alll up in our house and even have a part of our stairwell where Sherwin Williams Alabaster is on one wall and it butts up to Agreeable Gray on the corner wall.

stairwell with SW agreeable gray and SW alabaster

It’s hard to tell, but the wall to the right is Agreeable Gray and the wall directly forward is Sherwin Williams Alabaster.

If you’re wondering why we chose to do that it’s because although there is a door leading out to our back porch, our entire kitchen is that Alabaster white and the ceiling connects off to the left.

Should you shiplap? Find out here!

That sentence makes no sense to you, but you can kind of see it in this picture. See how above the door is continued into the stairwell? It would have looked weird if we would have just cut it off before the door.

I’m going to stop rambling and just say yes, yes Sherwin Williams Alabaster goes with gray!

Even though we painted our kitchen cabinets Sherwin Williams Extra White, I think if you wanted to use a softer white, Alabaster would be a great option.

This color almost snuck up in our master bedroom too, but I was feeling froggy and decided to try a “color” and we went with Sea Salt instead.

From trim and doors to kitchen cabinets, if you’re wanting a soft white, Sherwin Williams Alabaster is going to be a great option for you. It will provide the “white” you want that also works great on shiplap, but it won’t feel like “sterile hospital” white!

How do you guys feel about SW Alabaster? Did we make the right choice?

In case you need this for later:

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See Sherwin Williams Alabaster in a REAL house! The perfect neutral white paint that doesn't feel to sterile via Living Letter Home

Mary

Friday 17th of December 2021

What color trim do you recommend with Alabaster?

Tricia Kotter

Tuesday 12th of October 2021

Wondering if Alabaster would look good with green. I love forest and dark greens. If it has a blue undertone it worries me though. If you don't think it would work, what warm off white color would look good with green?

Carmen Smith

Tuesday 12th of October 2021

Yes!! Depending on the shade, but we have a shade of green in our laundry room that's lighter and I love it, another shade in our pantry that's closed off but still looks fine when we open the door and then a super deep dark green in our girls' room that looks awesome with it too!

Jess

Saturday 25th of September 2021

Hey! This was so helpful! We did alabaster on all of our interior walls with pure white trim and cabinets! Now for exterior - I see so many recommendations for alabaster. I are doing Tricorn black front door and courtyard doors (spanish style stucco home)- Will Alabaster be too bright? It looks bright right now but it is just a sample size on the existing brown exterior. What do you think? Will it warm up and not be stark?

Carmen Smith

Thursday 27th of January 2022

It really depends on how the sun hits your home, but there are tons of exteriors painted in Alabaster that look incredible!

Angela P

Sunday 8th of August 2021

I am having a hard time deciding between SW Alabaster and BM White Dove for my bathroom vanity. I have a lot of natural light in my bathroom. I have traditionally used BM in my house but my contractor prefers SW.

Carmen Smith

Tuesday 10th of August 2021

Honestly, they're VERY similar. My friend has BM White Dove all throughout her house and I would say it's a TINY bit cooler than SW Alabaster, but with a ton of natural light, you're not going to be able to tell much of a difference. Hope that helps!

Morgan A Skala

Saturday 24th of July 2021

Thank you so much first of all! So helpful! What color did you do your shilap in that one picture in your post? Is that alabaster too?

Carmen Smith

Monday 26th of July 2021

You're so welcome! And yes, it's Alabaster too!