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Pure White Paint Color – Sherwin Williams

Pure White Paint Color, by Sherwin Williams, is a go-to white paint color for walls, trim, exteriors, cabinets, and more.

Pure White is part of the Trendsetter, Dreamer, Pottery Barn – Fall/Winter 2020, Timeless White, 2020 Play, Acute Care Cool Foundations, ABC’s and 123’s, Inbe Tweens, Teen Space, 2021 Sanctuary collections from Sherwin Williams.

Basically, this means that it is extremely popular. It has been chosen by designers repeatedly as a no-fail white paint color.

What Color is Pure White?

Sherwin Williams’ Pure White is a very bright white paint color that is not overly stark. It is a good, fairly clean white that is not too white, but also doesn’t lean in any particular color.

Let me explain that statement a little bit.

It can be hard to define white paint colors in terms of what they are, without also discussing what they are not. For example, Pure White is not a bluish white, is not a yellow white, is not too stark, is not too cool, is not a soft white, and is not too warm.

I would guess that Sherwin Williams gave it the name Pure White because it is not any of those things.

It is, as the name suggests, just purely white (almost).

With that being said, all white paint colors (and actually just about all any color paint colors) have undertones.

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Pure White Undertones

Pure White is a very white paint color, but it does have a hint of a gray undertone. This gray undertone serves to ground the paint color, and keeps it from being too stark.

Pure White also has just the slightest nod towards a yellow undertone. This makes it come off as slightly warm, but not in any perceptible way.

Basically, the yellow in the formula for Pure White keeps it from going cool. It will likely never look yellow on your walls or trim though (unless you have very yellowy lights in the room).

Sherwin Williams Pure White almost perfectly straddles the line between warm and cool. This is why you will see some websites say it is a cool color and other websites say it is a warm shade.

Because it is so bright, and not a soft white, many will say it is cool. But, because it has that nod towards yellow, which is a warm color, it actually lands in the warm category of paint colors.

But it is really ever so slightly warm. This is why I think it is the perfect white paint color that goes with everything.

Pure White has an LRV, or Light Reflectance Value, of 84. Since the LRV scale goes from 1-100, this means that Pure White reflects a ton of light, and is a pretty white white (yes, I know I said ‘white’ twice).

Where Should I Use Pure White?

In my opinion…

Pure White is the best Sherwin Williams white paint color for trim (also called baseboards). On trim, it looks crisp, clean and bright, but not blue, yellow or dingy.

Pure White, by Sherwin Williams, on trim.
Pure White, by Sherwin Williams, on Window Frame, Trim and Chair Rail

Because it doesn’t have much in the way of undertones, it goes perfectly with almost any wall paint color. In fact, I list it on this post about the best white paint colors for every surface as the best white paint color for trim.

Pure White paint color ranks as one of the most popular paint colors for trim, alongside Extra White and Decorators’ White.

In addition, Sherwin Williams Pure White can also be used on walls, ceilings, exteriors, and doors.

Sherwin Williams Pure White Door and Trim
Pure White, by Sherwin Williams, on Door and Trim. Alabaster on Walls.

The 2020 White Paint Color Trend

Have you seen the white paint trend that is all over Pinterest right now? Many of these pictures are of a white paint like Pure White.

While I can’t say for certain that they actually Sherwin Williams’ Pure White, the crisp look they demonstrate, without being too cool or too warm, is entirely reminiscent of Pure White paint color.

I am going to compare Pure White to a few other popular white paint colors, but before I do, let’s talk for a minute out how to choose the best white paint color for your home.

Wondering how to pick the perfect paint color?

I have a great solution for you!

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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!

Pure White Paint Color Comparisons

Pure White vs. Sherwin Williams Extra White

Pure White vs. Extra White

For our first color comparison, lets look at Pure White and Extra White.

Pure White and Extra White are probably the most popular white paint colors for trim. And, both are great, but for different rooms.

While Pure White is has a touch of gray in it, Extra White carries a soft bluish undertone. This hint of blue puts Extra White firmly in the cool category of paints.

In a room with warm colors, I would also go with Pure White over Extra White. In a room with cool colors, I find that either Pure White or Extra White work. But, you want your room to have that crisp, clean look, you may want to choose Extra White.

Pure White vs. Alabaster

Pure White vs. Alabaster

For our next comparison, take a look at Pure White vs. Alabaster.

Alabaster is one of Sherwin Williams’ most popular paint colors. Click on this link to learn more about the paint color Alabaster.

As you can see from the picture, both Pure White and Alabaster have hints of gray in them, but Alabaster has a lot more yellow or beige in it than Pure White does.

This makes Alabaster come off as softer, warmer and much less crisp than Pure White. Alabaster is a great trim or wall color if you want to warm up a room, but it won’t go as well in a room with cool accents.

In addition, if you want your trim or walls to look like a crisp white, you will want to paint them Pure White over Alabaster.

Pure White vs. High Reflective White

Pure White vs. High Reflective White

Next, take a look at Pure White vs. High Reflective White.

High Reflective White is probably the whitest white paint color you can pick. It doesn’t have really any undertones, and it is bright bright bright.

Lest you think that this means it is the perfect white, hold on. I have been told that it doesn’t cover very well. I haven’t tried it on my own, so I can’t verify, but you may want to ask at Sherwin Williams before you purchase a big can of it.

Pure White vs. Snowbound

Pure White, by Sherwin Williams, vs. Snowbound

For one last color comparison, let’s look at Pure White and Snowbound.

Snowbound is a cool white with gray undertones. It has an LRV of 83 (Pure White’s LRV is 84), and is a very similar depth of paint color to Pure White.

Snowbound is a very popular paint color for walls and trim, and they are actually pretty similar colors. Where they differ is that Pure White has that touch of yellow, where Snowbound does not.

If you want a cool paint color with no warmth, but is not particularly stark, Snowbound might be a good choice for you. Click here to read more about Sherwin Williams Snowbound.

Final Thoughts on Sherwin Williams Pure White Paint Color

Pure White is one of my favorite Sherwin Williams paint colors because of its versatility. It is a great color for trim, crown molding, walls, exteriors, cabinets, furniture, and more. Plus, it can coordinate with either warm or cool paint color and accents, because it really straddles the line between warm and cool.

When you want a no-fail white paint color, strongly consider Pure White for your home.

Looking to hire a professional to do the job? You can be connected with a painting professional in your area by clicking here!

Sherwin Williams Pure White

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Saturday 12th of June 2021

Hi! Painting the outside of home. It’s half brick half siding. The brick is red, colored with black, white, and cream texture. Looking for a nice clean white maybe. If nothing else my go to is alabaster and it’s not bad but wanted to see if you had other ideas? Can I go with pure white or is that to much? I know I don’t want to go over a certain lrv value right? Trim and all will be white except for the brick. House faces east and west. Never knew picking out a white would be so hard. Thank you!


Monday 24th of May 2021

Hi! Thank you for your informative perspective. I love this website! We currently are having a difficult time selecting colors for a kitchen and foyer update and are hoping you could help. Given your experience, what paint colors would you recommend for our kitchen wall and cabinet to go with cherry-ish wood floors and blackish-green (without taupe or brown veining) Uba Tuba granite countertops? Currently, we are considering white subway tile and SW Pure White or BM Oxford white paint for the cabinets, and are also unsure of a paint selection that would best update the kitchen and foyer walls, which are currently RH silver sage and very ready for an update. For perspective, we enjoy a large mix of dark blue, denim blue, black, linens, whites, cherry woods, and brown leather decor throughout our home, but do not like yellow. Our kitchen dining set is black and our appliances are SS. The rooms neighboring our kitchen are painted with SW Repose Gray and SW Colonnade Gray, which seem to work nicely in our home. What colors do you feel would be best for the foyer/kitchen walls and white kitchen cabinets, given the current black/green countertops, cherry floors, and our design style color preferences? Thank you so much for helping!


Monday 31st of May 2021

@Lauren, Thank you for your time and wonderful advice! Melissa


Sunday 30th of May 2021

Hi Melissa! Thank you for you kind words! A white would be fine - as long as the white goes with the subway tile white. Those whites can be a little trick at times, so buy your subway tile first and then choose a white paint based on it. I think the other option would be to bring the greige into the kitchen as well. Repose would probably look nice with the cherry floors and Uba Tub. Either white or a greige would really update the space! Good luck!


Friday 14th of May 2021

Painting the exterior of our South Florida home in Repose Gray. Which white trim would look better… Pure White or Extra White?

Thank you!


Sunday 16th of May 2021

Hi Dee! Extra White is very cool - almost blue-ish at times. I would go with Pure White!


Tuesday 13th of April 2021

Hi! This is so informative. I am currently renovating a home and the kitchen cabinets are in Pure White. The first floor is all open and has natural light throughout. I am trying to decide on the white for the walls. I was considering doing walls and trim pure white. Any thoughts on that?



Tuesday 13th of April 2021

Hi Meaghan! Love it! That will give you a really nice, clean looking space. Pure White on the walls can look a little flat if you have a ton of natural light though, so also consider a white with a little bit more color in it like Snowbound. I would pick up some Samplize squares of them both and see what you think!


Monday 12th of April 2021

Hello, I'm thinking of painting my cabinets two-toned and I would like to have pure white on the uppers. What shade of light gray, preferably a little on the warm side, would be complementary with the pure white?


Wednesday 14th of April 2021

Hi Janine! Pure White would look nice with Agreeable Gray, Pediment or On the Rocks. Itss a great shade that goes with most any color. Good luck!