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.
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 Super White.
In addition, Sherwin Williams Pure White can also be used on walls, ceilings, exteriors, and doors.
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.
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Pure White Paint Color Comparisons
Pure White vs. Sherwin Williams 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
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
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.
Click here for a full paint color review on High Reflective White.
Pure White 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.
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Wednesday 14th of September 2022
I am thinking of painting my kitchen cabinets pure white. My countertop is granite with browns, golds, and beiges. I want to make sure the pure white will blend in with the warmer tones that I have now.
Monday 19th of September 2022
Hi Melissa! Pure White will work with your warm tones, but I wouldn't exactly say it will blend with them. It is going to look white. When I think of a white color that blends with browns, golds, and beiges, I may pick a shade like Alabaster or Greek Villa. Check those out and see what you think!
Tuesday 13th of September 2022
We are building a new home and trying to choose paint colors for the interior. We want to go with white on the trim and walls but still like a little contrast with the trim to make it pop. We were looking at Alabaster for the walls, do you think Pure White trim in a semigloss next to Alabaster walls (matte) would look weird? Or maybe just sticking with the same color (alabaster or pure white) on trim, walls, and ceiling just in different sheens. We also like gray, but are trying to do something different as our last house was gray and white.
Thursday 6th of October 2022
Hi Gustavo! Pure White semi-gloss next to Alabaster walls won't look weird, it just won't give too much variation. Its a fine option, especially if you plan on repainting someday. Pure White is a great trim color, and will give you a lot of options for wall colors in the future if you use it. I actually have a picture of Alabaster walls next to Pure White trim on my Alabaster post, so check it out and see what you think. Another great option is going with all the same color in different sheens. If you want to see a picture of this, check out my Facebook group and search "Alabaster". There is an awesome picture on there where someone painted their walls, ceiling, trim and cabinets all in Alabaster in different sheens. You can see how the different sheens look different but it all blends perfectly. Good luck!
Saturday 20th of August 2022
New build here. We are planning to do Pure White for cabinets & trim. I am looking for a white color for the walls that would compliment the Pure White, and have gray undertones. Would Ice Cube work? (We painted the outside of our home Ice Cube so that is the only other SW white I know.) Also, would you suggest the cabinets, trim, and room doors all be the same color? What color should the ceiling be? Last question, what sheen do you suggest for cabinets, trim, room doors, ceiling, and walls? Thank you in advance for answering all of these questions :)
Sunday 4th of September 2022
Hi Natalie! Yes, Ice Cube will work with Pure White. I would definitely do your trim and doors in Pure White in a semi-gloss, and the ceiling in Pure White in a flat. For the cabinets, you could go with Pure White in a semi-gloss, or with another shade you like. Walls should be flat or eggshell. Chantilly Lace is another good option for trim and walls with Ice Cube walls. Before you settle on Ice Cube though, you may want to consider whether you want a really cool off-white, like Ice Cube, or more of a warm off-white, such as Shoji White. Alternatively, a good option is Balboa Mist, which is warm white but with a purple undertone instead of a yellow. If you want to talk about this more, feel free to join my Facebook group and we can chat all about it!
Monday 18th of July 2022
Hi Lauren, Thank you for the wealth of information on paint color differences. Hope you can help me. I have 15 yr old custom painted cabinets that changed to a drabby yellow color plus are showing their wear and tear and need to be repainted. I can't decide on a color to go with my Ivory Fantasy granite countertop that has gray, cream, tan and little peach with dark flecks. Backsplash is warm grayish white tiles. My kitchen faces north and I am looking for a Warm White Tone paint color. No Yellow. My house color scheme is soft warm blue, gray, white, geige, some off white. What paint color would you suggest? Thank you in advance.
Wednesday 27th of July 2022
Hi Christene! Its really hard to say without seeing it all, but I would check out colors like Balboa Mist, Aesthetic White, and Pale Oak and see what you think of them. They're all warm whites that don't have yellow. Good luck!
Thursday 9th of June 2022
I painted my large living room, hallways, and entrance in sojo white. I want to paint my adjoining kitchen also but want something a little brighter. What white wall color works well with sojo, and what soft green color will work for a small accent color in both the kitchen and living room? Thank you!
Sunday 12th of June 2022
Hi Janice! I'm not familiar with Sojo White, unfortunately. Do you mean Shoji White? There are so many white paint colors, and so many paint companies :)