Read all about Sherwin Williams Alabaster, plus see 19 real homes that use it!
Sherwin Williams Alabaster (SW 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.
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 swatches more subjectively.
And today, we’re taking a look at SW Alabaster.
As a true-neutral off-white paint color, Alabaster (AKA the Sherwin William color of the year in 2016) 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 allowing you to easily change your decor when you’re wanting 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 make me feel like such a fool?” Do either of these sound familiar? If so, I get it!
The phrase may be “shades of gray,” but trust me, it applies to whites too!
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 bad if you struggle to pick white (or any shade of) paint. It’s NOT some 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 Sherwin Williams Alabaster to help make choosing your next white paint color just that much easier. Go ahead and uncross your eyes – you’re about to find out everything you need to know!
Let’s start with a video preview of this shade as seen in some real spaces…
Sherwin Williams Alabaster FAQ’s
What color is Sherwin Williams Alabaster?
It’s 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 at the same time.
It will look white in both interior and exterior lighting and is white enough to pop against other colors without being glaring.
Does Sherwin Williams Alabaster look yellow?
If you put Alabaster next to cool-leaning crisp white paint colors, it will tend to look more yellow than they will. Yellow undertones lend warmth to this shade.
However, it’s not as yellow as Creamy and will read as a soft and creamy off-white without yellow undertones on your walls. Although Alabaster warms 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 lean toward its warmer end.
Where can Alabaster be used?
This paint shade can be pretty ubiquitous…it can be used beautifully not only as a wall color, but as a ceiling paint, trim paint, exterior paint, and cabinet paint, too!
Consider this popular color for ANY room in your home! It’s a very versatile shade that can be a great choice for the:
• Living room
• Dining room
• Laundry room
In addition, this color’s versatility makes it a great fit for any home and decor style!
Undertones of Alabaster
Undertones are sometimes seen as a challenge to overcome when choosing paint colors. However, since they are the direct result of the paint-mixing process, there’s no way to avoid them.
With that in mind, I think it’s important to arm yourself with knowledge, so you understand the undertones of any paint color you like. Having knowledge in hand makes the process of picking a new color for your home easier and more efficient since you won’t be dealing with any surprises after you’ve committed.
Let’s take a look at SW Alabaster’s undertones. This shade lives in the off-white color family, but just barely because it’s bright enough to be white. However, when you compare it to a stark, crisp white, Alabaster has some beige and mild yellow undertones.
You won’t really notice them most of the time, though, because the paint will just look like a warm, soft, off-white.
NOTE: NO paint colors will look the same at varying times of the day or in two different places. But Alabaster is even more of a chameleon than many paint colors are.
Use paint swatches (my personal favorite type? These peel and stick paint samples!)to help you know EXACTLY how your lighting and nearby decor will impact the appearance of your favorite colors.
How Different Types of Lighting Affect SW Alabaster
Different lighting situations play with undertones in varying ways. Here’s a basic idea of how you can expect Alabaster to read based on natural lighting.
- North-facing light – northern light is cool and blue-tinted, so it will balance out Alabaster’s warmth.
- South-facing light – warm light from the south will draw out its warmth even more, letting its creamy beige side out.
- East-facing light – east-facing rooms have warm yellow light in the morning and cool, passive light in the afternoon. That shifting light will cause Alabaster to warm and appear creamy in the morning but shift to its more balanced version later in the day.
- 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. Alabaster will likely read as a balanced off-white in the morning and shift to its creamier side in the late afternoon.
Great Coordinating Colors for Alabaster
Alabaster can be used as a trim color, but if you want to pick a trim paint with some contrast to this particular 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.
In addition, many colors look terrific with Alabaster, which only adds to its insane popularity. Need some ideas?
LRV of Sherwin Williams Alabaster (SW 7008)
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, Alabaster white was the “chosen one”.
A big part of the reason for Alabaster’s popularity likely has to do with its Light Reflectance Value (LRV). 🙂 The higher the LRV number, the more light is reflected and the brighter a color feels.
The LRV of SW Alabaster = 82
Alabaster reflects a lot of light and works well in rooms where you want to create a bright and relaxed, but cheery ambiance.
For comparison’s sake, Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray – one of their most popular greige colors, has an LRV of 60. While Alabaster is a very light white, at LRV of 82, it won’t give you that harsh, sterile, stark white vibe.
Alabaster will look white in both interior and exterior lighting and is bright enough to pop against other colors without being glaring white.
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!⤵️
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 feeling I want to create in my own home (despite screaming children).
Alabaster Compared to Other 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 (SW 7004) 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.
However, where Alabaster is warm and creamy thanks to yellow and greige undertones, Snowbound is softened up thanks to pink and purple undertones.
Didn’t I mention that white paints are complicated? 😉
Alabaster vs Pure White
These two soft whites have many similarities between them – even looking at them side by side can be hard to tell the difference! Sherwin Williams Pure White has a slightly higher LRV than Alabaster (value of 84), and it is less creamy.
Both will read as soft whites, but Alabaster is a warmer white, while SW Pure White will be a little brighter, and cooler in hue. Pure White is a very popular pick for trim.
Sherwin Williams Alabaster vs Benjamin Moore White Dove
In terms of popularity, White Dove is the Benjamin Moore equivalent of Alabaster. However, these two shades are not the same. White Dove has a higher LRV of 85.38 and is slightly creamier, while Alabaster has more greige undertones.
More Colors to Consider
I know from experience how tedious choosing new paint colors can be! If you aren’t ready to commit to Alabaster yet, check out these other beautiful shades. 😉
- Drift Of Mist (Sherwin Williams) – a medium to light greige
- Silver Satin (Sherwin Williams) – a gray-tinted off-white
- Shoreline (Benjamin Moore) – a light gray-leaning greige
- Silver Drop (Behr) – a pale gray with a hint of beige
- Worldly Gray (Sherwin Williams) – a popular mid-toned greige
- Swiss Coffee (Benjamin Moore) – a rich, sophisticated off-white
- Greek Villa (Sherwin Williams) – a warm off-white
- Creamy (Sherwin WIlliams) – as the name says…a creamy white paint
- Seapearl (Benjamin Moore) – a versatile, warm off-white with slight gray undertones
- Super White (Benjamin Moore) – a brilliant, sparkling, bright white
- Swiss Coffee (Behr) – a cream color paint that’s never too yellow
- Kilim Beige (Sherwin Williams) – beautiful, creamy shade with beige undertones that looks like a yummy iced latte.
If you’ve read this far and still feel unsure, definitely grab your free copy of “5 Massive Mistakes People Make When Picking Paint” to help you avoid the biggest issues people have while choosing paint color!
19 Real Life Homes Using Sherwin Williams Alabaster
Good news: I’m done throwing information your way! Let’s jump into the fun part of this paint color tour and see how gorgeous Sherwin Williams Alabaster looks in real life. Here are 19 houses that use Sherwin Williams Alabaster paint to their advantage.
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.
Quick note: Don’t forget the finish! Learn all about paint sheen here. For reference, in kitchens, I recommend eggshell or satin for walls, and semi-gloss or high-gloss for cabinetry.
1. Alabaster Painted Island Cabinets
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.
2. Pairs Well with Rustic Decor
Love the modern farmhouse look? Me too! Because Forever Six Acres uses Alabaster as the neutral backdrop in their kitchen, the wood, brick wall, barn door, mantle vent, and other rustic elements get the opportunity to be what they should be: eye-catching.
3. Perfect Perimeter Kitchen Cabinets
In this kitchen from @familyacresfarmhouse, Alabaster perimeter cabinetry couples well with the gray island, wood range hood, and black accents. Clean. Classic. Simple.
4. 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 Front Light Building Co. (Design credit: Blue Palm Staging & Design) It’s effortlessly chic.
5. 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.
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.
Note: Different sheen = different look for your paint. Amping the glossiness of your paint (think satin) will increase the brightness as well. Looking to tone things down a bit? Lean toward less sheen, i.e. the flat and eggshell end of the sheen spectrum, either of which would usually work fine in a living or family room.
6. 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 Sara Lynn Brennan.
7. 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 in the shadowy corner read a bit cooler and grayer while the areas hit by the sunshine give off more warmth.
And…it shows yet again how complicated white can be in this simple yet beautifully designed space from Stephanie Jane Cameron.
8. Alabaster for Any Decor Style
Whether your style is modern farmhouse, classic, or contemporary, like this living room from Jennifer Crow, Alabaster’s versatility makes it a favorite for homeowners of ANY style (and any room)!
Note how bright this color looks in a room blessed with lots of natural light.
9. Creamy but not Yellow
This living room from Bless This Nest shows how Alabaster can read as soft and creamy without looking yellow. There’s no glaring white here!
Sherwin Williams Alabaster White in Bathrooms
I don’t know about you, but there are few rooms I’d rather 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 and timeless vibe to enjoy.
10. Stunning on Shiplap
Can white be rich? Sure it can!
Check out the depth and richness seen in this stunning bathroom remodel by Making it in the Mountains. The shiplap brings in texture, and the Alabaster brings in brightness, but in a very warm, refined way.
11. Modern yet Classic Paint Color
Clark and Aldine took a small bathroom and opened it right up simply by using Alabaster as the main paint color. The shade is warm enough to pair well with the wood accents and yet neutral enough to also play nice with the black accents.
Real Bedrooms with Sherwin Williams Alabaster White
Ok, next to my bathroom, my bedroom is the next room that I don’t want to feel “cold.” Check out how Alabaster warms up these bedrooms.
In general for bedrooms, and low-traffic areas, flat paint is fine. If you like something with a bit of shine (and more ease of cleaning) opt for eggshell or satin.
12. Off-White, Not Off-Putting
Grey Snail Designs used Alabaster in a classic, timeless way by using it as the base and letting the darker, bolder colors take the spotlight.
13. 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.
14. A Look at Alabaster in Variable Lighting
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.
Alabaster Entryways, Hallways, and Stairways
Other parts of the home need a coat of paint too! Check out Alabaster performs in these areas to see if your hallway, entryway, or stairway could use a refresh.
15. But Soft! What Light Through Yonder Window Breaks?
This entryway from The Harper House is a terrific example of Alabaster’s rich quality. The color itself is understated yet elegant.
16. Inviting Hallway
The Rural Legend used Alabaster as a neutral backdrop to let the other decor pieces steal all the attention. But make no mistake: the only reason they “shine” so well is because of all the heavy lifting that Alabaster is doing behind the scenes!
17. 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.
SW 7008 Exteriors
Alabaster’s versatility also makes it a great exterior paint! Check out these homes that use Alabaster as the exterior paint.
Sheen note: for exteriors, consider something with durability and cleanability – my favorites are satin and semi-gloss.
18. Southern Charmer
Doesn’t Alabaster give this traditional home such a warm, inviting appeal? A true neutral, the shade is looking like the perfect choice paired with those subtle green shutters.
19. 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
20. BONUS Round! Crisp, not Cold
Last but not least, look at 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 19 real-life homes.
If you’re in the market for a soft, warm white, give Sherwin Williams Alabaster a look. Its beautiful neutral nature and soft appearance make this one über popular white to use anywhere in the home!
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!
Don’t forget to sample! Grab peel and stick samples from Sherwin-Williams paint (or any brand) from Samplize (they are super easy to use, inexpensive, and very convenient)!
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.