Paint Study: Let’s examine one of Sherwin Williams’ most popular shades of white paint, Alabaster SW 7008, plus see 31 real examples of the paint shade seen in real spaces…
Sherwin Williams Alabaster (#7008) is a creamy, soft white that won’t look stark but is bright enough to look white on almost any surface and in practically any light.
When it comes to paint colors, neutrals are the top dog…the big cheese…the king…you get it. 😉 Thanks to their extreme versatility, neutral paint colors rule the paint palate, and Sherwin Williams Alabaster white is a perfect example.
As a truly neutral off-white paint color, Alabaster perfectly sets the stage to show off any style of decor. It allows the decor to shine as the star of the show while also permitting you to easily change up your accents when you want to switch things up.
Alabaster Color Intro & The Danger of Picking White Paint
“It shouldn’t be this hard!” “I graduated from _________ [insert high school, college, etc], why does choosing a white paint feel make me feel like such a fool?” Either of these sound familiar? If so, I get it!
I know how hard it can be to choose just one neutral (or white!) paint color for your home. After a little while of staring at similar swatches on a wall, your eyes start to roll in towards each other and your head starts to hurt. Kinda like this⤵️
The truth is that you shouldn’t feel badly if you struggle to pick white (or any shade of) paint. It’s NOT something instinctual skill we are born with. Choosing great paint takes a little information, and practice. But it can be done, and that’s what these paint guides aim to help you do.
And to move you quickly from paint zero to hero, I have a great, free resource for you. Grab a copy of 5 Massive Paint Mistakes to Avoid…because when all else fails, as long as you stay away from these 5 cardinal painting sins, you’re probably doing A-OK!
Here’s the skinny on everything you need to know about Alabaster to help make choosing your next white paint color just that much easier.
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Let’s start with a video preview of this shade as seen in some real spaces…
Sherwin Williams Alabaster FAQ’s
Is Alabaster white or cream?
So what color is Sherwin Williams Alabaster, exactly? It’s an off-white with very subtle undertones of greige (both gray and beige). It reads as a bright, warm white that’s clean and crisp but soft and inviting at the same time.
It’s more warm than pure, stark “white”. And less yellow or beige than “cream”.
What are the undertones of Sherwin Williams Alabaster?
Sometimes, undertones can be surprising. Like how Sherwin Williams Passive has a strong purple undertone, even though it’s a “gray” paint.
But Alabaster is more tried and true. It doesn’t have shocking undertones that could scare many people away from it. It’s kind of an open book. What you see is what you get. A true white that isn’t stark, and reads as a warm and inviting wall color. If anything, it’s undertones are neutral gray-beige, AKA greige.
Does Sherwin Williams Alabaster look yellow?
There are lots of white paint shades that do lean yellow. Simply White is one popular example, and we’ll compare them below. But Alabaster, although it does warm up a space, it does not pull yellow.
Is Alabaster warm or cool?
Alabaster is definitely a warm white, but in the most subtle and neutral of ways. As we’ll see in some of these real home examples, Alabaster is politician-esque. It’s a color that plays to its audience.
In any light, the shade reads white. But it does show some tendencies to change temperature depending on its environment.
In low natural light, or spaces with cool accent colors, it appears more greige, even a smidge gray…but just barely. In artificial light, or rooms with very warm accents (natural oak floors, etc), Alabaster will tend toward its warmer end.
What colors compliment Alabaster?
Since Alabaster is such a diplomat, it works well with many colors. For contrast, check out a dark tone like Urbane Bronze, Peppercorn or Iron Ore.
After more of a blue or green pairing? Take a look at Alabaster alongside Tradewind, Sea Salt or Oyster Bay.
If you are wanting a gray that works well with Alabaster, scout out some of the warmer grays or greiges, such as Agreeable Gray, Anew Gray, Accessible Beige, or even Repose Gray.
Is Sherwin Williams Alabaster a popular white paint?
Yes! Alabaster is one of Sherwin Williams’s most popular whites. In fact, this long-time bestseller is so popular and versatile that when Sherwin Williams picked their 2016 color of the year, they choose (…you guessed it!) Alabaster.
What trim paint goes with Alabaster?
Alabaster can be used as a trim color, for sure. But if you want to pick a trim paint with some contrast to this paint shade, consider Sherwin Williams Extra White, Benjamin Moore Super White or Benjamin Moore Decorators White.
Another way to make your trim stand out? Use a different paint sheen! Trim is typically shinier/higher luster than wall paint. Opt for eggshell on the walls, and a semi-gloss or high-gloss for your trim.
Where can Alabaster be used?
This paint shade can be pretty ubiquitous…it can be used beautifully as not only a wall color, but as a ceiling paint, trim paint, exterior paint, and cabinet paint, too! We’ll show you some examples of the versatility of this paint color when we explore it being used in over 30 real homes!
More Alabaster Facts and Information:
Alabaster will look white in both interior and exterior lighting and is bright enough to pop against other colors without being glaring white.
A big part of the reason for Alabaster’s popularity likely has to do with its Light Reflectance Value (LRV).
LRV is a numerical number rated from 0-100 with 0 being pure black, and 100 being pure white. A higher LRV number means that more light is reflected and indicates how bright a color feels.
Alabaster color’s LRV value is 82, which basically means it reflects a lot of light and works well in rooms where you want to create a bright and relaxed, but cheery ambiance. While Alabaster is a very light white, at LRV of 82, it won’t give you that harsh (ahem, sterile) stark pure white vibe.
Does LRV seem like pure gibberish to you? If so, it’s okay. Grab a copy of 5 Massive Paint Mistakes. I’ll give you the breakdown of the 5 paint shade picking mistakes you should steer clear of in order to make gorgeous paint color picks! Click here or enter your email below. I’ll send the tips right away!⤵️
What Sherwin Williams has to Say About Alabaster
When talking about Alabaster as the 2016 Color of the Year, Sherwin Williams called it “a hue symbolic of new beginnings” and said that “Alabaster offers a sense of personal solace and revival to weary minds.”
While there’s no real description offered with these words, there IS a clear feeling conveyed here of calm and comfort. It’s the very feel I want to create in my own home (despite screaming children).
Alabaster vs Other Paint Colors
White paints can be particularly hard to see differences in…white is white, right? That’s until you get them side by side. Then suddenly white paint seems WAY more complicated than you ever imagined.
White paints are all about the undertones: warm undertones, cool undertones, creamy undertones, or yellow ones. And believe me, those subtle undertones make a huge difference in how your white paint looks!
Let’s compare Sherwin Williams Alabaster to other popular white paint colors and see how it differs.
Alabaster vs Snowbound
Snowbound by Sherwin Williams has an LRV value of 82.56. Since Alabaster has an LRV of 82, these two paint colors are nearly identical in brightness.
Both Alabaster and Snowbound are timeless, crisp-looking whites with slight greige undertones, giving them both the perfect balance of warm and cool.
Alabaster reads as a creamy, crisp off-white that isn’t yellow, blue, or too beige. It looks like classic white and works in both interior and exterior lighting as a soft white.
On the other hand, Snowbound is slightly darker than Alabaster and has a little more grey undertone which makes it read cooler than Alabaster.
Didn’t I mention that white paints are complicated? 😉
Alabaster vs Creamy
Sherwin Williams Creamy is another very popular white color. Like Alabaster, it is a warmer white. However, it reads a tad warmer and creamier (ha!) than Alabaster does which makes it a perfect choice to pair with warmer neutrals like warm grays, beiges, or taupes.
While Alabaster’s LRV of 82 is very light, Creamy has an LRV of 81, making it almost identical in terms of brightness but just a teensy bit darker than Alabaster.
Alabaster vs Simply White
Benjamin Moore Simply White has an LRV of 91.7 and is a warm white with yellow undertones. Keeping in mind that the higher the number (100 = pure white) the lighter the color, Simply White is a bright white.
It gives a clean, crisp look without being too bright. If there aren’t other whites around, Simply White will look white, however, use caution if you don’t like yellow-white paint colors.
By comparison, Alabaster is slightly darker and looks just a little more beige. As it’s neither yellow nor white, Alabaster is a true neutral that looks like a soft, creamy white in any lighting. You can read more about Simply White (and see it in 29 different real homes!) here.
Are you are the type of person who never feels completely confident in choosing paint colors? Then grab a copy of 5 Massive Paint Mistakes
31 Real Life Homes Using SW Alabaster
Ok, now that you’ve read all about Alabaster’s undertones and how it reads compared to other popular white colors, it’s time to see it in action – on real-life walls and cabinets as well as exterior paint.
Use these examples as just that – examples. Ideas of how Alabaster COULD look in or on your home. In order to REALLY know what it looks like, test out a large swatch where you think you want this shade before you commit to paying for multiple gallons.
Trust me – every color of white paint will look different on EVERY wall during different times of the day. Test it before you buy it!
Here we go!
Sherwin Williams Alabaster in the Kitchen
The kitchen is the heart of the home – the space where you spend time cooking, entertaining, and just hanging out. A versatile color like Alabaster can look amazing on the walls, the trim, or the cabinets. Here’s how Alabaster looks in a few different kitchens.
1. Alabaster Painted Cabinets
This image shows just how neutral and clean Alabaster looks. It stands out against the greige walls, yet it also complements the white granite and white subway tiles perfectly.
When you want a truly clean, neutral white, Alabaster is a great cabinet color choice as shown here in the home of Painted by Kayla Payne.
2. A Paint That Doesn’t Steal The Spotlight
This kitchen by @kellyscasa is the perfect example of how Alabaster does its job of fading into the background to let decor items shine.
The beautiful wood beams and blue accent color get to be the stars in this while the wall paint hangs quietly in the back of the kitchen.
3. Pairs Well With Wood Tones
Love the modern farmhouse look? Me too! Because @forever.six.acres uses Alabaster as the neutral backdrop in their kitchen, the multiple types of wood, brick wall, barn door, mantle vent, and other rustic elements get the opportunity to be what they should be: eye-catching.
4. Perfect Perimeter Cabinets
Seen in the kitchen of @familyacresfarmhouse, Alabaster perimeter cabinets couple well with a gray island. Clean. Classic. Simple.
5. Clean Kitchen Island
Sherwin Williams Alabaster white seen on the kitchen island of @ourhavenbliss pops against the gray walls and black accents. It gives that perfect bright neutral touch that keeps the space from getting too dark.
6. A Bridge Between Warm and Cool Decor
This kitchen by @boylewaybillet highlights how neutral Alabaster REALLY is by using it as a bridge to bring the warm counters and backsplash together with the cooler walls seamlessly.
7. Black Counters, White Cabinets
@the_marathonmom‘s kitchen uses Alabaster on the cabinets for a large-feeling bright space in an area surrounded by gray walls and black countertops.
8. A Spectacular Shade for Ceiling and Trim
Alabaster cabinets, ceiling, and trim let the wood features and dark accents “do the talking” in this kitchen from @frontlightbuildingco.
9. Works with Every Decor Style
Look at this gorgeous kitchen! The Alabaster cabinets make it feel clean yet comfortable, and simple yet eye-catching. A kitchen like this one seen on the Instagram account @kitchencraftcabinetry_yeg can be a part of any home, any style of decor.
Alabaster White in Living Spaces
Alabaster can do a tremendous job of helping you let your personality shine in the hangout headquarters of your home. Here’s how SW Alabaster looks in some real-life living rooms.
10. Cozy Cottage Vibes
Love a cozy cottage vibe? @megmakesitpretty shows in her living room how comforting and clean SW Alabaster is.
11. Great Gallery Wall + Great Paint = Happy Living Room
Thanks to its high LRV, Sherwin Williams Alabaster can make a small room feel quite spacious and roomy like this happy little living room from @saralynnbrennan
12. White Paint: Simply Complicated
Here is an example that shows just how Alabaster reads warm yet neutral with just the slightest hint of color. The Alabaster walls really make the pure white TV console and shelves pop. And…it shows yet again how complicated white can be in a simply beautifully designed space from J&J Design Group.
13. Buddy with Brick
Whether your style is modern farmhouse, classic, or contemporary like this living room from Kelly Paulson, Alabaster’s versatility makes it a favorite for homeowners of ANY style!
14. Creamy but not Yellow
This living room from Bless This Nest shows how Alabaster can read as soft and creamy without looking yellow.
15. White, but not Sterile
In a smaller room with less natural light like this one from @oliveshellcondo, Alabaster looks pure white but without the sterile, cold feeling that a true pure white can give.
Sherwin Williams Alabaster White in Bathrooms
I don’t know about you, but there are few rooms I’d rather have look “cold” less than my bathroom! My bathroom is my solace – sometimes even my escape for a “Mommy Time Out”. I want it to feel calming and comforting. These real bathrooms show how Alabaster brings a soothing vibe to a room.
16. Works Well With Rustic
This lovely, rustic bathroom by @uniquefindsanddesigns361 has a lot of dark accents in the mix. Coupled with the dark accents, it doesn’t appear to have a ton of natural light. But you can see Alabaster doing a great job of adding life and light to this bathroom in a way that makes it look easy.
Notice how the tone plays in artificial light. It looks warmer in with the lightbulbs used in this space.
17. Stunning on Shiplap
Can a white be rich? Sure it can!
Check out the depth and richness seen in this stunning bathroom remodel by Harper House. The shiplap brings in texture, and the Alabaster brings in brightness, but in a very warm, refined way.
Real Bedrooms with Sherwin Williams Alabaster White
18. Off-White, not Off-Putting
I love the warm creaminess in this room shared by @fioletobe! It looks very off-white without the slightest hint of being yellow.
19. Attic Amigo
A small attic bedroom with limited natural light and odd-shaped ceilings? It might be a disaster with another color, but not with Alabaster. The shade pulls this room by @saint_adelaide_house together seamlessly, and gives the illusion of a higher ceiling, too.
20. On a Bedroom Molding Feature Wall
This lovely bedroom from @southernsourmouth shows Alabaster both with lots of natural light AND the lamps turned on so that you can see how the color interacts with both types of light.
It looks a bit warmer right above the lamps, but there aren’t any heavy undertones in either type of lighting situation seen here.
21. A bridge between shades of white
If you love that white-on-white look, Alabaster, seen here in the bedroom of @roomsbyrachelnalum makes a great bridge between different shades of white as seen here in the ceiling, as well as the textiles in the space, all having white tones.
22. A Predictable Paint Choice
Hello morning, noon, and night! This example from @homewithedith shows that while some colors will change drastically depending on the angle and amount of light in a room, Alabaster stays more predictable.
23. Neutral, but not Boring Bedroom
This relaxing retreat of a bedroom from @fashionablykay shows how SW Alabaster makes a room look soft while playing nicely with other neutral colors.
Like a typical politician, Alabaster can be what you want it to be, almost on command. People-pleaser? Flip-flopper? Yup. In this amazing capture of their attic bedroom renovation, @thefarmhouseatreimers captures a magical moment while staining their floors.
Look in the area with the warmer oak flooring at the walls. See how Alabaster looks warmer there? Then check out the rest of the room where they’ve stained the floors a darker, cooler tone. See how the paint mimics the flooring?
Crazy, right? Moral of the story? Alabaster works well with EITHER type of flooring, warm or cool, dark or light. It just plays well with others, period.
Alabaster Stairways & Halls
Stairways are notoriously difficult to find the right color for because they vary so much in shape, lighting, and size. Check out these real-life stairways using Alabaster.
25. Antidote to a Dark and Scary Basement
No timidly tiptoeing to a dark and scary basement here! On this stairway from @sweetsouthernhomeanddesign, Alabaster reads as warm, soft, and yet also bright just where you need it.
26. But Soft! What Light Through Yonder Window Breaks?
It’s Alabaster! On the stairs. Crisp and clean, but soft, not sterile…Alabaster makes this small stairway from @bellsheepstudio feel bright and anything but drab.
27. Inviting Hallway
The before and after for this little hallway without much natural light is incredible. @bre.bardenwerper.design shows us a perfect example of how your Alabaster paint could look in low natural light…and also what an incredible difference paint can make!
28. Traditional, but not Stuffy
Alabaster excels against woods and dark accents just like in this traditionally decorated home and stairway from @victorian.on.oakbay.
It bridges the warm with the dark to make it all come together in a perfectly warm, neutral way. It can be a great traditional tone, without looking stuffy, dated or worn.
29. Lovely with Leather
When you want a very crisp-looking white without being cold and glaringly white, consider Alabaster like in this lovely hallway at @hestershomestead. Also notice how beautifully the shade pairs with that leather chair seen in the corner of this snap.
Houses Painted Alabaster
Alabaster’s versatility also makes it a great exterior paint! Check out these real-life images of homes with Alabaster exterior paint.
30. Bright, not Blinding
I love Alabaster for exterior paint because it appears perfectly white without looking blindingly bright as you can see on this spectacular modern farmhouse home belonging to @hestershomestead
31. Crisp, not Cold
Also at @hestershomestead, see how Alabaster pops against wood and dark accents. It’s crisp while still exuding warmth.
There you have it! Everything you need to know about Sherwin Williams Alabaster plus seeing it in action in 31 real-life homes.
Still Not Sure About This Shade?
If you are still not sure whether SW Alabaster is the perfect shade for you, that’s okay! I have several other colors you can consider. Each of these posts breaks down everything you need to know about the shade, plus gives several examples of how it looks in real homes!
Pin this post for later! And if you use this shade, leave a comment (or better yet, a photo) on the pin! That helps others know whether they want to try this color, too!
Ready to show those boring, beige walls who’s the boss at home? Grab my free guide to help you sidestep the mistakes that almost everyone makes when it comes to picking paint! You’ll be on your way to perfect paint promptly…pinky swear.