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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.

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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 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.

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 a great 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.

I love Samplize squares because they are able to be placed on your wall and peel right off when you’re done. You can move these paint squares around your room to easily tell whether a color will go in your home, with your furnishings and accents, and with your lighting.

Plus, you can pick the perfect paint color without having to run to the store or open a can of paint, and you won’t be pressured into picking a color because you have a bunch of different sample colors painted on your walls!

Oh, and you get free shipping and $5 off your first order – that is basically like getting one square for free!

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’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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Jay

Monday 26th of October 2020

Hi Lauren I’m in the process of remodeling. I want to go with white walls and white trim. I have creamy marble floors throughout entire house and just painted a pretty large built in entertainment center in family room Extra White. I’m so disappointed. I feel like it’s too crisp and more blue than what I wanted. I don’t know if I can change the color of the built in. The room faces north and has lots of windows with white shutters that I thought was close to extra white but it appears to be on the warmer side. I’m not sure what paint to choose for my walls. I’d like to warm it up but I don’t know how to do it with Extra White being so stark. Can you please help?

Lauren

Thursday 29th of October 2020

Hi Jay! Ugh, I understand that struggle - who knew shades of white could be so different, right? As a little tip for the built in, a warmer light bulb on it may make a huge difference in how it looks. Try it out to see if you can make the Extra White warm up a bit. For your walls, I wouldn't change your whole plan based on your built-in color. If you paint the walls something warm, it may just help to warm up the Extra White a bit more too. Are you looking for white walls? If so, I've seen Alabaster look really nice with Extra White. For more of a neutral shade, I love Edgecomb Gray. Last, Agreeable Gray is a tried and true favorite of mine. Good luck figuring this all out!

Dayna

Sunday 25th of October 2020

We are slowly updating our new home. Some of the trim had been updated by the prior owner from a color called "mashed potato" (looks just like it sounds!) and a pretty close match is Snowbound. For two north-facing bedrooms, would it be okay to use Snowbound on the trim and built-in cabinets, and then Westhighland White on the walls? I just want to keep my life simple and use the same trim color throughout the house! Do you have a link to your son's bedroom? Thank you!

Lauren

Thursday 29th of October 2020

Hi Dayna! I think Snowbound will be a great trim color if you want to keep things simple. Westhighland White is a bit yellow for Snowbound trim. I would pair it with Incredible White or Toque White for a white wall look. I've never gotten around to snapping a pic of the walls in my son's room, but I'll try to remember to update this comment when I do so you can take a look!

J

Thursday 22nd of October 2020

Great article, helped a lot! Have a question: Which white goes best with knotty pine (yellow undertone not orange). I have knotty pine on some ceilings, window trim and some floors and I do not like yellow on the walls. Thanks for any help!

Lauren

Friday 23rd of October 2020

Hi J! Glad it helped! I would look at a white with cooler undertones to cut the yellow. Extra White is a good very bright white. For one with a bit more color, check out Ice Cube or Rock Candy. They have a blue undertone, so be sure to check them to make sure they won't be entirely blue in your lighting before you paint the whole space :)

Thaara

Wednesday 21st of October 2020

Hey Can you give suggestions on SW white shades? ceiling, trim and cabinets? Have grey/silver vinyl floor and light gray wall

Lauren

Thursday 22nd of October 2020

Hi Thaara! With silver and gray, its good to go with a cooler white usually. I like Pure White because it goes with most shades, but Snowbound or Extra White are also good. I would use any of those for all of those places (but not all together). Pick one that you like, and you can use it in different sheens in different place. For example, use Snowbound on your ceiling in flat, and on your trim and cabinets in a semi-gloss. Happy painting!

Beth

Monday 19th of October 2020

Hi Lauren, I have to say your articles are very helpful! I was wondering if you could help me with my challenging situation. I am in the process of picking new cupboards for my kitchen (They are traditional oak at the moment.) We have medium tone hardwood floors and mahogany wood trim, we live in the trees and have a lack of light as my kitchen is also on the north side of the house. To brighten it up I would like to pick white cupboards but I don’t want a stark white with all the wood I have, I am leaning toward Alabaster after reading your article. Do you think that will be a wise choice? I am looking to brighten things up but nothing stark, just soft white with creamy notes that will blend in with all the wood tones. The one thing I worry about is the greige tones you mention that are in the Alabaster and grey never looks right in my house with the lack of light and wood that I have. What white would you suggest is best? Also do you have suggestion for a neutral wall colour that would go with the white cupboards and wood trim ? HELP!!

Lauren

Thursday 22nd of October 2020

Hi Beth! Thanks for you kind words! Alabaster is a good white and the gray tones are super light. You will probably never look at Alabaster and think gray. Mostly, they just serve to soften it up a it and keep it from looking stark. Another gorgeous white with more creamy tones than Alabaster is Westhighland White. Check it out and see if you like it a bit more! A neutral wall color that would go likely go with your tones is Edgecomb Gray or White Duck. Hope this helps!