The Best White Paint Colors from Sherwin Williams

White paint colors are super in style right now… no matter if it is on your walls, cabinets or furniture.

But not all white paint colors are created equal. Some can feel flat and boring, and others can warm a room up making it feel inviting and clean.

So how do you choose the best white?

Well it depends on what you are painting.

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White Paint Undertones

Before we go into which white paint color works best where, we should chat for a minute about undertones.

The undertones in white paint can make a big difference in how it looks.

White paint with cool undertones, which are shades of blue, green and purple, will tend to look more stark on your walls.

White paint with warm undertones, which means it will have a hint of yellow, red or orange, will likely look softer on your walls.

There is no right or wrong in which one you decide on, but there are few general guidelines you should consider.

If your room is north facing, there will tend to be a little less light, and a warm white does well to brighten the space.

If your room is south facing, it tends to get a lot more warm, golden sunlight. In this case, a cooler white will look a little warmer on the walls, and may be just perfect to neutralize the warmth of the sun.

So consider these things when you’re picking a white paint color for your home.

The Best Whites for Trim

House trim looks amazing in a crisp, clean white. I can’t tell you what a difference it makes if you repaint yellowed, white paint with a brighter white.

My favorite white trim paint color from Sherwin Williams is Pure White.

As the name implies, Pure White is a good, true white. It is a very bright white with just a touch of warmth to it.

It isn’t yellowy and it isn’t beige. But the hint of color in it makes sure it doesn’t give off a cool blueish tone like many whites do.

Pure White has a LRV (Light Reflectance Value) of 84, meaning it is a very white paint color, with just a hint of color.

Pure White is a great warm white for trim.

If you want a white paint color without any warmth to it, Extra White is also great for trim. Some say that is Sherwin Williams whitest white, or truest white, but it does have a hint of a blue undertone.

You likely won’t see any blue in it if you’re putting it next to another color, but if you hold it up next to a bright white piece of paper (or paint your walls a bright white with a more neutral undertone), you may see a bit of that blue.

It has an LRV of 86, which means it reflects just slightly more light than Alabaster. With its pale blue undertones, Extra White is perfectly cool and crisp.

Extra White is a perfect cool white for trim.

If you need help figuring out how to paint your trim without getting paint all over your floor, check out this post on DIY trim painting.

The Best White Paint Colors for Cabinets

If you are looking for a great warm white for your cabinets, you should check out Alabaster by Sherwin Williams.

Alabaster has an LRV of 82. It is a warm white paint color, with hints of yellow and gray in it.

This very slight hint of yellow it possesses echos the warm undertones of natural wood, making it a perfect complement to a kitchen with wood elements.

Alabaster is so popular, it was named Sherwin Williams’ Color of the Year in 2016. Check out this post for more information about the color Alabaster.

Before you paint your cabinets, check out this post on how to paint your cabinets and hide the wood grain.

Alabaster is a warm white that is great for cabinets.

If you want a cool white paint color for you cabinets, Snowbound is a nice option.

Snowbound has an LRV of 86. It has a slightly gray undertone, making it a great match for other cool colors.

Snowbound is a good cool white for cabinets.

The Best Whites for Walls

If you’re looking for a cool white for your walls, Eider White is a gorgeous choice. It has more than a touch of gray in it, which makes it stand out nicely against white trim.

I should mention, Eider White has a purple undertone.

This sneaky undertone can pop out when you least expect it, so be sure you’re okay with it before you paint your whole house.

Eider White has a LRV of 73, meaning it has the most color in it of all of the whites discussed. Put another way, it is the darkest white listed. In fact, some may look at it and say that it is gray.

I recently painted the the walls in my powder room Eider White. Check out how it turned out with the reveal of my modern boho bathroom.

Eider White is a cool white for walls.

If you prefer a warm white for your walls, Westhighland White is a perfect choice. It is bright and almost creamy, but not yellowish.

Because it has just a touch of color, it will look beautiful and slightly distinct next to Pure White trim, where as some whites will just look the same as the trim.

For example, when Alabaster is placed next to Pure White, it tends to look like the walls and trim are painted the same color.

It has a LRV of 86, meaning it is the bright.

Because it is a warm white, it’ll go nicely with wood or white trim.

I recently painted my son’s room in Westhighland White. I love how it is perfectly creamy without being yellowy at all.

Westhighland White is a warm white for walls.

And while we’re discussing white paint colors, I’ll give you one more bonus one. White Dove, by Benjamin Moore, is highly popular. It is a great soft white with just a hint of gray undertones.

Whites Compared

When you look at all the different whites together, you can see their differences.

Pure White is crisp and clean, not strongly leaning any way (but has a hint of gray that takes the edge of starkness off of this white).

Extra White is cool, with bluish undertones.

Alabaster has beige undertones with a touch of gray.

Snowbound has gray and slightly beige undertones.

Eider White has gray and purple undertones.

Westhighland White has yellow and beige undertones.

Pairing White Walls With White Trim

If you want to paint your walls and your trim white, as is so in style right now, I have another option for you.

Instead of trying to get the undertones of two different paint colors to match perfectly, consider painting your trim and wall color the SAME white, but in different sheens.

So paint your trim Pure White in a semi-gloss, and your walls a Pure White in a satin.

Because a high gloss finish reflects more light, the trim will look brighter than the walls, but the undertones are guaranteed to be perfectly matched (because they are, perfectly matched!).

The Best White Spray Paint

I have one more bonus white for you, and is not a Sherwin Williams color.

If you’re looking to spray paint decor or furniture white, pick up a can of Rustoleum Heirloom White. The spray can lid makes it look almost beige, but I assure that that it is the perfect warm white spray paint color (perfect for a farmhouse themed home).

Conclusion

I hope that this list is helpful for you as you try to choose a white for your home!

Before you pick out a white and paint the whole house, remember to try the colors in your own home. The amount of light a room gets, as well as the other colors in the room will really change how a white looks.

In addition, remember that my recommendations on where to use these white paints are just a guide. Whites are very versatile, and you can use all of the whites listed in other ways – Pure White can go on walls, Alabaster can go on trim, etc.

Be sure to pick up a few swatches from Sherwin Williams, or check out Samplize. At Samplize, you can order stick squares covered with real paint to see how the color will look in your home. These 12×12 squares will help you see if Alabaster will look boring, but Eider White will look amazing! Plus, get $5 off your first order!

If you’re looking to hire someone to paint your home, you can be connected with a painting professional in your area by clicking here!

RELATED: The Best Neutral Whole House Color Scheme

The Best Sherwin Williams Whites for Your Home

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The Best White Paint Colors from Sherwin Williams

This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. I live in S Texas, where deaths from severe heat are not unheard-of. I’m getting an RV, which seems more like a tin can than a house. Summers are twice as long as winters, so I’ve decided to do everything in a cool white–walls, trim, curtains, slipcovers, etc. In the summer I’ll use a duck-eggy blue for pillows, tchachke , rugs, etc. In the winter, I’ll replace the duck-egg with red & warm colors. Here’s my question: I’d like to use Alabaster for the walls, Pure White for the Trim & upper kitchen cabinets, and the duck-egg for the lower cabinets. What I particularly wish to avoid is GLARE and added warmth, since the exposure will be southern. I’m getting conflicting information about the Alabaster: Is is just barely not cool, warm, neutral, or what? The advice I’ve gotten includes all four answers. Do you have an opinion? If not, do you know where I can get a definitive answer?

    1. Hi Jude. Sounds like you’re going to have a lot of fun with your RV! If you want to avoid glare, you’ll want to use an eggshell or flat finish. Remember though, the less sheen you have in the paint, the less you can scrub it. Alabaster is a very light color, and it is warmer than Pure White. That being said, it has greige undertones (VERY UNDERSTATED), which keep it from ever looking yellowy. If you want a cooler white, check out Ice Cube (slightly blue undertones) or Snowbound (gray undertones but less beige than Alabaster). Hope this is helpful for your decision making!

  2. Helpful post, Lauren! I’m stumped at the moment; my walls throughout the house are Colonnade Gray, and I’m installing new vinyl plank (Carolina Pine from CoreTec, so rich honey tones with distressing) and cannot decide on a white for my upper kitchen cabinets and trim. I’m stuck between Pure White, Snowbound and Alabaster. Most of my natural light comes from south/southeast. Thoughts?

    1. Hi Brian! Thanks! Sounds like the house is going to look amazing with those new floors and paint! For the uppers and trim, I would go with Pure White, because it is pretty much fool proof. It looks great with everything I’ve ever put it with. Snowbound would definitely work, and would be a great option too. Alabaster may not give you a bright, crisp white look, due to its greenish undertones, but it will still coordinate with Colonnnade. Good luck!

  3. Hi Lauren, I am choosing a white for my whole house (it’s a small house). I am thinking Snowbound for the walls, Pure White for the trim, and Alabaster for the kitchen cabinets. In the blog you said that Pure White and Alabaster are a little too similar and will look like the same color. Is that the case for Snowbound as well? Or do you think Snowbound on the walls and Pure White on the trim will look good? Thanks!

    1. Hi Emily! Snowbound will actually be closer to Pure White than Alabaster is. If you want white walls with white trim, Snowbound walls with Alabaster trim is great. Alabaster will be just a touch darker than the walls, but depending on your lighting, you may or may not see a difference. If you want some contrast, a white that has a bit more color in it would be a better bet. Toque White, Pearly White, and Zurich White all have a touch more color, but are still pretty white. Good luck!

  4. Hi Lauren-
    I’m painting my walls Repose Gray & Eider White. Which would be the best white trim for these? I have a very small house. Thanks!

    1. Hi Susan! Great choices! I would suggest Pure White. It’s just slightly warm, and will look great with the warm greiges you’ve chosen.

  5. Hi Lauren
    I am lost about wish white to pick for my living room according to my two different living rooms in the same room, the family room is a sectional light grey-brown color and the formal is a golden-brown color.

    Thanks
    Angela

    1. Hi Angela! Alabaster and White Dove are two highly popular white shades that will work with the colors you mentioned. Click on the links to check them both out!

  6. Hi Lauren, Love this post! I have Extra White trim throughout my house and am getting ready to paint the walls white. My painters want to avoid Extra White for the walls because they say it doesn’t cover well. What would you recommend as a bright white with little to no undertone to go with Extra White trim? Doesn’t have to be Sherwin Williams, but it can be! I was considering SW Greek Villa, SW Pure White, PPG White Umber and Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace. Not sure what covers color the best and will go with SW Extra White.

    1. Hi Evelyn! Thanks so much! I would go with Pure White. It is a pretty perfect white, and it should still look pretty bright white next to your trim. It does have a slight gray undertone, but basically everything has some bit of an undertone, and a gray undertone is very livable. I’ve never heard the complaint that Pure White doesn’t cover well either (though I have heard that about Highly Reflective White). Greek Villa may look yellow next to your extra white trim. I’m not familiar with White Umber, and I don’t have a good sample of Chantilly Lace right now to see how it will look next to Extra White – so I’m sorry that I can’t comment on those!

  7. Hi Lauren.. I am having my kitchen cabinets, trim and ceilings painted Benjamin Moore Cloud White. I am wanting to achieve a light warm home and have a open floor plan. I am having a difficult time finding a wall color to work with the cloud white that will be just a little contrast but still light and swarm. I have beige, cream colored upholstery with accents of warm tans, corals, olive green , gold and black throughout my home .i am finding the colors I try appear different in every room. The front of my home faces West the back East with large sliding glass doors in the back sunroom. I would be so thankful for any help you could provide me. My painter is getting frustrated because I can’t settle on the wall color and the areas painted cloud white are almost completed. Thank you so much. Joy

    1. Hi Joy! Unfortunately, all paint colors look different in different rooms, due to the lighting. Have you considered Feather Down or White Sand? Both are warm shades that will go with Cloud White. I also have a post on beige and tan paint colors, there may be something in there that interests you. Overall, if you find a shade that works with your trim and the colors in your home, it won’t matter so much if it changes throughout the day or within the home, because all of the colors in your home are changing with the changing lighting. Hope that makes sense!

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