Behr Polar Bear is a bright white paint color with little to no undertones. This shade brings life and freshness to any room without feeling cold and sterile.
When it comes to choosing a white paint color, the options are overwhelming! Cool whites, warm whites, clean whites, creamy whites…there are thousands to choose from, and that’s only considering the top, most popular brands of paint!
That’s why I created these paint color blog posts. This paint color series is meant to be a helpful tool that offers detailed information about the nuances of each shade you’re considering so you can arm yourself with knowledge, relax, and take a step back as you look at paint chips more subjectively.
And today, I’m giving you the low down on a popular Behr white, specifically Polar Bear (also known as Behr color #75).
If you are looking for a color to create the illusion of more space or a brighter setting, Polar Bear is an excellent choice. It plays well with so many other colors and would be a great pairing with another dramatic color.
Polar Bear Color Intro & The Challenges of White Paint
Could Polar Bear be the ultimate white paint color? Well, in terms of brightness, it’s almost as bright as you can get on the LRV scale (more on that below!).
Now, I am not naive to the challenges of white paint. I’d almost say that white is one of the most complex shades to grace the four walls of any home. Yes, it’s versatile, but it can also show itself off with crazy undertones.
Enter: Polar Bear. This shade of white has super duper soft undertones that almost don’t qualify as undertones. The slight yellow or pink hues are super subtle, so no need to worry about clashing palettes.
This refreshing shade will give off clean and crisp vibes. Your space, or your whole home could feel larger and brighter under any lighting conditions if you choose this paint color.
Here’s the skinny on Behr Polar Bear to help make choosing your next neutral paint color just that much easier. Go ahead and uncross your eyes – you’re about to find out everything you need to know!
Ready to grab the cheat sheet to choosing the perfect color every time? Grab a FREE copy of my new guide to avoid the paint color picking mistakes people make! Click here or enter your email below. I’ll send the tips right away!⤵️
Behr Polar Bear FAQ’s
What undertones does Behr Polar Bear have?
Behr Polar Bear belongs to the white color family, and it tends to have yellow or pink undertones. However, because this paint color is so well-balanced, the undertones aren’t nearly as loud as with other colors.
Depending on the light source, these undertones may be more pronounced at certain times of the day or under certain bulb temperatures.
Is Behr Polar Bear white warm or cool?
Behr describes this color as the “dawn of an Artic summer…”. I don’t know about you, but sunrises remind me of warm, yellow, and pink sunrays, which are exactly the undertones you can expect to find in this shade of white because of its warmth.
Is Polar Bear a good paint color?
Polar Bear is a popular color, and is a great option for homeowners who are looking for a brighter white. This is a creamy shade that’s not overly buttery like some whites and off-whites.
This color screams clean, fresh, and light! If you are trying to make a smaller space feel bigger, this may be a great choice.
Undertones of Polar Bear
Undertones can be a real bully when it comes to choosing paint colors. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to avoid them…they are a direct result of the paint-mixing process.
However, understanding how paint undertones work will make the process of choosing a new paint color much easier and more efficient. Plus, you can avoid any crazy surprises, like a gray paint looking purple…yikes!
Behr Polar Bear lives fully committed to the white paint color family. There’s no argument there. With white paint colors, you will often find yellow, red, or pink undertones, but Polar Bear is a unicorn of sorts as it is well-balanced and isn’t as finicky as other whites.
All of this to say: Polar Bear will only subtly and occasionally produce undertones of yellow or pink, depending on the lighting.
If undertones make your head hurt, you’re not alone! Grab your free copy of 5 Biggest Paint Choice Mistakes Click here or enter your email below. I’ll send the tips right away!⤵️
How Different Types of Lighting Affect Behr Polar Bear
Different lighting situations impact undertones in varying ways. Since this color is so well-balanced, lighting doesn’t play a major role. There might be some minor variations, but nothing that would rock the interior design world.
Here’s a basic idea of how you can expect Polar Bear to read based on natural lighting.
- North-facing light – northern light is cool and blue-tinted, so it will bring out the cooler and (very) slightly grayer side.
- South-facing light – warm light from the south will draw out its warmth even more while adding the most gentle hints of warm yellow to the room. This will not be dominant!
- East-facing light – east-facing rooms have warm yellow light in the morning and cool, passive light in the afternoon. That shifting light might cause the richer yellow undertones to appear. Again, the impact will be minimal.
- West-facing light – west-facing rooms have the opposite lighting situation of east-facing rooms since the light is cool and passive in the morning but very warm in the evening. You may find that Polar looks grayer in the morning light and warmer in the afternoon.
Great Coordinating Colors for Polar Bear
Behr Polar Bear is a great mate for a dramatic color. It adds that neutral, well-balanced vibe to any room. This would be a great pair with a rich, moody hue, above wainscoting, or as a complement to a dramatic accent wall.
LRV of Behr Polar Bear (75)
Polar Bear has an LRV of 90. Bright white paint shades start around 83 on the LRV scale, so this shade is a bright one!
LRV stands for Light Reflectance Value, and it measures the amount of light that a color reflects or absorbs. The scale goes from 0 (completely absorbs all light) to 100 (completely reflects all light).
The higher the LRV number, the more light is reflected and the brighter a color feels. This is important to consider when choosing paint colors for your home because it can affect how bright or dark a room looks.
The LRV of Behr Polar Bear = 90
LRV…what? Don’t worry, I’ve got you! Grab a FREE copy of my new guide to avoid the paint color picking mistakes people make! Click here or enter your email below. I’ll send the tips right away!⤵️
Polar Bear Compared to Other Colors
The great thing about this color is that it’s so bright and airy! While I wouldn’t recommend this paint color to add moodiness or depth to a room, I would totally recommend this paint color as a way to create the illusion of a larger space, to brighten up a room lacking natural light, or to tone down the drama with a darker paint color.
Let’s compare Behr Polar Bear to other popular white paint colors and see how it differs.
Polar Bear vs Sherwin Williams Greek Villa
Sherwin Williams Greek Villa (SW 7551) is a beautiful and soft neutral color that belongs to the white color family. Like Polar Bear, Greek Villa has slight yellow undertones.
It’s a chic, sophisticated paint color that will brighten any room and play well across all decorating styles.
Polar Bear vs Sherwin Williams Pure White
Sherwin Williams Pure White (SW 7005) is a clean, fresh, and crisp white paint without yellow undertones. While the same says a lot, Pure White is actually lower on the LRV scale than Polar Bear.
Pure White reads cooler and more gray than our Behr paint du jour.
Polar Bear vs Benjamin Moore Cloud White
Benjamin Moore Cloud White (OC-130) is a soft and creamy shade of white. Like Polar Bear, Cloud White is a warm shade. It’s not too white and doesn’t have the offensive undertones that other white colors have.
Cloud White is lower on the LRV scale (87.35) than Polar Bear (90), which means Cloud White is slightly darker.
Polar Bear vs Behr Swiss Coffee
Behr Swiss Coffee is another one of Behr’s popular paint colors. We use this shade in our basement, where we have very little natural light, and before renovating, the room felt very dark and cold. So we searched for warm tones, and landed on Swiss Coffee (Behr #12).
Swiss Coffee has an LRV of 84, so it’s slightly more saturated than Polar Bear, and leans a little more toward the warmer end of the color spectrum.
More Colors to Consider
I know from experience how tedious choosing new paint colors can be! If you aren’t ready to commit to Polar Bear yet, check out these other popular choices, similar colors, and just plain beautiful shades:
- Oyster White (Sherwin Williams) – a taupey white
- Benjamin Moore White Dove – a soft, grayish white
- Dover White (Sherwin Williams) – a soft white with a touch of tan
- Eider White (Sherwin Williams) – a beautiful blend of taupe, gray, and white
- Simply White (Benjamin Moore) – another beautiful bright white
- Snowbound (Sherwin Williams) – a light grayish white
- Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace – a popular, clean, neutral white paint
- Swiss Coffee (Benjamin Moore) – same name, different company…another soft, warm white
- Benjamin Moore Classic Gray – a favorite, neutral greige
Real Life Homes Using Polar Bear
Sheen note: Picking the right color is only winning the battle, not the war. Remember to pick the right paint finish, or sheen, also! Read up on what you need to know about picking the perfect paint sheen.
1. Fresh Ideas for a Coastal Family Room
Lauren and Robert from Blesser House have a big heart for Charleston, SC and that was reflected in this beautiful coastal living room!
Polar Bear was used on the tongue-in-groove paneling on the wall. I love how this couple transformed dark, outdated paneling into something so light and fresh!
Incorporating the wood features in the beams, coffee table, and floors was a beautiful touch. The rich blue sofa adds a pop of color and coziness to the open and fresh space!
2. Silky White for a Dreamy Bedroom
Monika Hibbs knocked it out of the park with this stunning all-white bedroom, creating a crisp cloud-like vibe for the whole space!
I love how she allowed Polar Bear to reflect the bright white across the room, while the neutral, muted wallpaper took center stage on the accent wall.
This will also allow her style to evolve and change without needing to repaint! This whole room is a great example of how this paint color can be the frontrunner or the supporting star.
3. Creating Space with a White on White Look
Victorian homes are notorious for tight, small spaces that are begging for more light! Miranda created a wonderful illusion of a larger, brighter space with Polar Bear throughout her home, but most specifically in her hallway.
The dark, winding staircase is a nice contrast to the bright white of Polar Bear. This paint color livens up an otherwise dimly lit part of the house while maintaining the integrity of Victorian style.
4. Guest Room with Style
Polar Bear gave this guest room a big facelift with a fresh coat of paint. She incorporated various textures, patterns, and colors to warm up the white walls.
5. Shade of Shiplap
Polar Bear proved to be the perfect beast for painting shiplap! I love the way this turned out, adding style and the illusion of space to a small hallway.
6. Kitchen Refresh
I love how the charcoal island pops against the white cabinets and walls. The natural wood countertop warms up the space, too.
7. A Bear in the Dressing Room
Britt and Ivy Design revamped this attic into a closet! It was a challenge, but this attic space now has a purpose and feels bigger, cleaner, and brighter!
Behr Polar Bear is the perfect choice to make any space feel brighter and larger! Try pairing it with another dramatic color for a beautiful contrast.
8. Perfect White Paint Color For A Mudroom
A blank canvas in their new build became a beautiful, classic, and crisp black and white color palette in Jennifer of Home Sweet Lawson’s new build.
She chose Behr Carbon as the black cabinet color. And her trim is Behr Ultra Pure White (which is what I use for the trim in my own home as well).
9. Polar Bear Exterior
So far, you’ve seen examples of Polar Bear being used for interior spaces, but could it also be the right white paint for exterior trim work? See what you think!
@whitepicketnest shares their new and improved exterior paint colors here. They chose Polar Bear for the trim color, and the front door is painted in Behr Sea Salt.
Polar Bear Summary
So what do you think of Polar Bear? At first glance, people often think, “white is white, right?” And wouldn’t it be so much easier if that were true? But, alas, we live in a colorful world, and I for one will put up with the difficulty of choosing the best white paint color if it means keeping our amazing color vision!
Remember that the best way to ensure this or any other white look right in your own home is to sample it! Behr paint is sold at Home Depot, so if you’re in the US, it’s readily available in most locations.
Whether you’re on the hunt for a color that will work in your whole house, or your next project is on a smaller scale, like perhaps a dining room or family room…Polar Bear may be worth a closer look, don’t you think?
Good luck on your paint-picking adventure!
Pin this project for later! And if you decide to try it, leave a comment on the pin! That helps others know whether they want to try it, too!
Pssst…before you go, I sure would love to hang out with you again really soon! And before you’re on your way, make sure you grab your free copy of the 5 Biggest Mistakes People Make When Picking Paint, so you can avoid the heartache (and hole in your wallet) when your paint choices don’t quite work out! Click here, and I’ll send your free copy right now!