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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 paint color?

Well it depends on what you are painting.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you have any questions, please see my disclaimer page.

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 White Paint Colors 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.

Click here for a complete paint color review of Pure White.

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.

Click here to learn more about Extra White.

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 paint 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.

Click here to learn more about Sherwin Williams Snowbound.

Snowbound is a good cool white for cabinets.

The Best White Paint Colors 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.

White Paint Colors 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.

Wondering how to pick the perfect paint color?

I have the best solution for you!

Samplize sells 12×12 stick on paint squares in almost every paint color.

These eco-friendly, peel and stick squares are made from real paint, so they will show you exactly what the paint color will look like.

Simply place them on your walls next to your trim, furnishings or fixed elements, and easily see whether the colors works in your space and with your lighting. Then, peel the square right off your wall and reapply it somewhere else if you like!

Samplize square on wall

Oh, and you will receive them tomorrow with $5 overnight shipping! But, if you enter your email, you’ll get $5 off your first order – which basically means that you will get free, overnight shipping!

Samplize squares are truly the easiest (and fastest!) way to test a paint color in your home.

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.

If you’d like to see a few more paint colors, check out the top white paints from Benjamin Moore!

Want to see all your paint options in one convenient place? Click here to pick up a Sherwin Williams fan deck (contains all SW colors) or a Benjamin Moore Collections fan deck (contains many popular BM colors – other fan decks sold separately)!

RELATED: The Best Neutral Whole House Color Scheme

The Best Sherwin Williams Whites for Your Home

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Stacey

Monday 7th of February 2022

Hi Denise! I so wish I had found this article about a year ago when I was struggling with this initially in my master bath, but I still could use your help. When we built our house, I used SW Downy for all the trim and SW Divine White on the ceilings. Our kitchen, living room, and hallway walls are currently SW Nomadic Dessert. I am really wanting to lighten up but wondering what my best course of action is so that absolutely everything doesn't have to be redone. The kitchen cabinets are pretty close to Downy. I use a lot of ivory and greys in the decor. In my bathroom with the same dilemma, I left the ceiling and used Downy in matte finish on the walls. I am worried that it will be too stark for the main living area. If I repaint the trim or ceiling in the main areas, will I have to carry that through to the bedrooms since it would be redone on the trim/doors on the outside?? Sorry for so many questions but this is hard!!

Lauren

Tuesday 8th of February 2022

Hi Stacey! So first, you could do Divine White on the walls to lighten things up, so the whole ceiling and walls would be in Divine White. It won't be as stark as if you did it all in Downy. You could also look at Natural Linen. It won't be perfect with your Diving White ceiling, but it may be good enough. Of course, test it first! For the bathroom, I think you could definitely repaint the trim and ceiling and not carry it into the main area. The ceilings don't connect, so I don't think you have to worry at all there. For the trim, you can change it where the door hits the stop. It won't be a perfect transition, but if you go to something like Alabaster that is still soft, you may not notice too terribly. Good luck! I agree, it's hard to figure all this out at times!

Mary

Friday 21st of January 2022

Hi Lauren. Thank you for this article - it's one of the best I've read (and I've read a lot.) We are in process of remodeling our master bath which is north facing (no direct sunlight) and has one large window which our cabinets face. Decided to paint our cabinets SW Agreeable Gray. Using Cava Bianco porcelain tile for floor and shower, Viatera Soprano quartz for countertops - both materials are muted whites with grays, golds, browns. We want to paint the walls, trim and ceiling the same color and want a white which I cannot decide on. I'm between SW Pure White and SW Extra White. I'd appreciate your thoughts or any other color suggestions. Thank you so much!

Lauren

Tuesday 25th of January 2022

Hi Mary - what a compliment! Thank you! If it were me, I would lean towards Pure White. It is just a little softer than Extra White, and it doesn't have a blue undertone. From what I can see online, it looks like the quartz and floor tile have golds and browns (like you mentioned), and Pure White is going to be a much better fit. Extra White will be too cool with them, I think. You could also consider Simply White. It is bright and clean, leans warm, but doesn't look too stark. Good luck!

Paula Stoll

Thursday 20th of January 2022

Good morning. I am stuck between pure white and greek villa for my kitchen cabinets. I don't like the look of some of the undertones in some of the SW whites, and it seems that these two colors have the least undertones. I am painting repose gray on my walls and trim is extra white. My flooring is gray stone look tile. My concern with PW is that it will look to stark, and my concern with GV is that it will look yellow or pink. My kitchen is facing east and I do not get much natural sunlight in there. Thanks for your help!!

Lauren

Tuesday 25th of January 2022

Hi Paula! I would definitely go with Pure White over Greek Villa if you don't want undertones. It has a softness to it, so it doesn't look stark in my opinion. Good luck!

Denise

Sunday 5th of December 2021

Hi Lauren I'm sure this an unusually odd hour for someone to ask you for advice but alot of sleepless nights trying to make the right decisions on our new build. We have built a barn home & so the exterior i chose was red w/black trim, roof & wainscoting. On the porch instead of the black wainscoting i decided to go with stone & also used the stone 3' up the pillars & walls & steps up to porch as well. Now that its time for the decisions in the house I'm struggling with some of those. Its open concept w/loft so the main room is open kitchen,dining & living room with 20ft ceiling & main focal point is the ginormous limestone floor to ceiling fireplace we had built & im also going to have a wood tone kitchen island built with the front of it stoned to match fireplace. My vision is to shiplap it all including ceiling & main color thru out to be white. But I never knew there were so many whites & i had some ideas but once I realized how many there was to choose from scared me of making the wrong choice for a big project. My theme thru out is a combo of old general store, antiques, vintage & old farmhouse so my color will come from decorations,antiques & furniture. The floor i want is multi color wood distressed to match all wood tones of our antiques & will include distressed white to tie in with walls & kitchen cabinets. The front wall of the open room has 6 windows, front door w/window at top & 2 oversize side lights so there's plenty of light & for the most part the rest of house has good lighting but in a couple rooms where light lacks there will be ample lighting. Ok i know that was long winded but I wanted you to be able to visualize the look im going for. So that being said if you would give me your opinion for the perfect color of white or whites for my walls,trim, ceiling & kitchen cabinets i would be so greatful.

Thank you Denise

Denise

Monday 13th of December 2021

@Lauren,

Thank you so much for your advice. I think I'll go with the alabaster in the different sheens like you suggested. Again thank you so much.

Denise

Lauren

Wednesday 8th of December 2021

Hi Denise! There are so many decisions with a new build, and I'm sure you thought you had figured most of the hard stuff out... and then you started researching white paint. Ugh, it can be a bear! I appreciate the detail, and I think you can go two ways. You can go with a creamy white, sort of like an antique white, that will create a more muted, soft look. It sounds like this is more what you're looking for. For this, I might consider Alabaster. It is so lovely... soft and creamy but not too yellow. It is perfect for any of the places you mentioned (trim, walls, ceilings, cabinets), and you can differentiate how it looks by changing the sheen. So, you can do the trim and cabinets in semi-gloss. They will look brightest because the light will reflect off them more. Then the walls in satin, and the ceiling in flat. Everything surface will be totally coordinated, but will look just a tiny bit brighter or darker. You can do the same thing in a color like Pure White as well if you want a brighter white look. I think Alabaster is more what you're looking for though. Good luck with the barn home! It sounds so nice!!

Kim

Sunday 12th of September 2021

Thank-you for this really helpful article. We are remodeling and extending our space and looking to lighten things up. What are you thoughts...we have fir trim, painted wainscotting/painted island, fir kitchen cabinets and currenlty fir floors (but might change those...any thoughts on great wood flloring to match fir trim, without using fir flooring)? We have lots of windows so the west side of our house gets lots of like, but the east side of the house has less windows, decreasing the amount of light in the rooms. What are you thoughts for a white paint with the fir? What would a creamy white do vrs say a beige or grey undertone white. thanks, kim

Lauren

Saturday 18th of September 2021

Hi Kim! For the fir trim, a creamy undertone will play into the wood tones. It'll look very warm. Some love this look, as it all blends and looks very coordinated. If you look up pictures with fir trim on Google, you'll see ones with creamy walls and how warm and cozy the space looks. If you want warm but not yellow (creams are yellow bases), you could try a shade like Snowbound. It has some gray in it, and is still warm, but doesn't carry yellow tones. Or, if you want a more modern look, go with a very bright white like Pure White. This will give a balanced look. Pure White is still warm, but it doesn't have the same sort of warmth that a creamy white does.