Sherwin-Williams Alabaster Color Review With Pictures

There’s a lot to be said for the classic look of white walls. And Sherwin Williams Alabaster is one of the most popular white paint colors for a reason! It's a creamy white color with enough depth to make it interesting. In this post, I'm sharing my full review of this color with lots of photo examples and comparisons to other popular white paint colors!

If you've been around here a while, you know I am a BIG fan of painting interior walls white. Why? If you are a color lover like me, nothing makes colorful artwork and decor pop and stand out like white walls. That's why I transitioned to white walls about 4 years ago, and I haven't looked back!

sherwin williams alabaster paint

Needless to say, I've looked at a lot of white paint samples and have tested more white paint color paint samples than I can remember. One of the white colors that I kept hearing about and seeing when I was hunting for white colors was Sherwin Williams Alabaster SW 7008. It was Sherwin Williams color of the year in 2016 and its popularity has remained strong since then.

After exploring Alabaster Sherwin-Williams myself, I can tell you that I totally understand why it is such a popular choice. It's a beautifully balanced white that isn't too cool or too warm, making it a great choice for interiors and exteriors. In fact, when we painted the exterior of our old home, we chose the color Sherwin-Williams Alabaster. It was the perfect choice for us because it was the soft, creamy white we were looking for.

exterior of contemporary house painted with Sherwin-Williams Alabaster color

What Undertones Does Alabaster Have?

If you have never heard the term undertones before, I talk about it in this detailed post about how to choose paint colors for your home. The short version is that undertones are the parts of the color you don't really “see.”

If you have ever wondered, “Is Sherwin Williams Alabaster warm or cool?” you are essentially wondering about its undertones.

The undertones of Alabaster are subtle because it has a neutral base. Alabaster doesn’t lean strongly towards any one color and has both a yellow/beige (warm) and a touch of grey (cool) base. Put in more simple terms, it has a gray-beige undertone–also known as a “greige” undertone. In my opinion, all the best neutrals have a balance of warm and cool undertones like this.

Does Sherwin Williams Alabaster Look Yellow?

But what do those warm undertones mean when you look at Alabaster on walls? Does Alabaster look yellow?

No! Alabaster does not read yellow at all. What your eye sees is a soft, creamy white with a bit of warmth, so it isn't stark white or clinical (like the walls of a hospital or office).

Some people may call it an off-white or cream color, but I would disagree with both of those labels. When you view Alabaster on its own, it's just a lovely soft white. I love how it looks on the shiplap walls in this foyer.

Keep in mind every color, including white paint colors, look different depending on how the sunlight hits them. North-facing rooms are where you will see Alabaster look the closest to a true white because of how the natural light hits it.

Alabaster's Light Reflectance Value

One thing that people often fail to think about when it comes to choosing paint colors is a color's light reflectance value (LRV). Alabaster has an LRV of 82 (the brightest, purest white has an LRV of 100). The LRV of Alabaster is fairly high and means that it will reflect back a lot of light into the room. That makes it a great choice for any room that you want to feel bright and airy.

SW Alabaster vs. SW Pure White vs. SW Extra White

Note: I took the photos below on the brightest white surface I could find to give you the most accurate color representation. But remember, the colors you see will vary depending on the screen settings of the device you are viewing this post on. That's yet another reason that it's so, so important to test paint colors in your own home before choosing one!

You'll see what I mean about Alabaster being a warmer white when you compare it to SW Extra White or Pure White by Sherwin Williams. Both Extra White and Sherwin-Williams Pure White are cooler and look more blueish than Alabaster. When you look at Alabaster next to these “true whites” or next to a bright white piece of paper you may think it looks a bit yellow–that is the warmth of the color.

Sherwin Williams Alabaster vs. Pure White vs. Extra White

Alabaster vs. Benjamin Moore White Dove

A lot of people also consider Benjamin Moore White Dove alongside Alabaster, and they are very similar. To my eyes Alabaster is a bit warmer than White Dove by Benjamin Moore–I see a slight hint of pink in White Dove. White Dove has a higher LRV of 85, which means it will have more of a “true white” appearance than Alabaster. You can see them side by side in the photo below.

Sherwin Williams Alabaster vs. Benjamin Moore White Dove

Alabaster vs. Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee

The biggest difference between these two paint colors is Swiss Coffee by Benjamin Moore has more of a yellow undertone and therefore has a warmer appearance on walls than Alabaster. Alabaster has a nearly identical LRV of 82. If you are wanting a creamy, warm white, I would definitely recommend Alabaster over Swiss Coffee because Alabaster lacks the green undertones of Swiss Coffee.

But does Alabaster look yellow in practice? Absolutely not. When you view Alabaster all by itself, it just reads as a beautiful white color.

More Examples of Alabaster In Real Homes

If you are like me, you want to see photos of Alabaster Sherwin Williams white in real homes! So I've gathered up lots of inspiration for you. Just remember, Alabaster will look different in every home so be sure to read my tips for how to choose paint colors so that you are making sure it will work in your home with your particular lighting before you make your final choice! Testing paint colors doesn't have to be hard–Samplize paint samples are my favorite way to test paint colors with no mess.

Examples of Alabaster on Walls

You can see in the photos below what a pretty shade of white Alabaster is when used on walls. And I love that it's versatile enough to be used in everything from a farmhouse-style home AND a more modern contemporary home.

Examples of Alabaster on Trim & Cabinets

For people that prefer a softer white for their trim color, Alabaster may be a good choice! You can see Alabaster trim with gray walls in the photo below.

Alabaster is also a popular choice for painting kitchen cabinets and other accents like built-in bookcases. You can get a sense of how Alabaster looks on kitchen cabinets below. (By the way, see how different Alabaster looks in this photo taken at night with interior lights turned on?!)

It's beautiful on the built-in lockers below.

Alabaster on Ceilings

Ceilings do not always have to be pure white! In fact, if you've read my post on interior trim ideas that aren't white, you already know that we have a creamy beige color on our ceilings and trim!

Using a color that is a warmer white like Sherwin Williams Alabaster white is a great option for people that favor color and decors that are on the warmer side. The creaminess of this color makes it work beautifully with warmer colors.

Should You Use Alabaster White In Your Home?

If you are looking for a white neutral color, I would definitely consider Alabaster. With its high LRV it will make a room feel bright and airy, which a lot of people (myself included) are looking for. It's a versatile color that is a great choice for everything from a living room to a bathroom. It's a slightly warm white, which will make it feel much cozier and softer on the eyes than something like Sherwin Williams Extra White. That makes it a beautiful backdrop for most rooms and all kinds of decor styles.

If you are considering a white wall color, my best advice is to grab samples of several whites including Alabaster! Make sure to follow my recommendations in this post about how to choose paint colors for painting samples on at least TWO different walls in the same room because it will look different depending on how the light hits them. You can either buy paint samples to paint on yourself or try the peel & stick paint samples that I loooooooove so much! Just cut them in half to try on different walls. Just never, ever, ever pick a paint sample based on the paint swatch or photos on the internet alone. It's a recipe for disaster.

I really thought I was going to be painting the walls in our current home Alabaster because I love it so much. But I didn't love it against our trim color so I went with Sherwin-Williams Pure White–you can see my full review of Sherwin-Williams Pure White here.

Other posts you may enjoy:

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blog post signature with photo of Tasha Agruso of Kaleidoscope Living

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  1. Hello! I’m painting my walls sw agreeable gray and need your advice on what white(s) look best for the following: kitchen cabinets, built-in bookcases, trim, and ceiling. I’m thinking about sw alabaster, bm white dove, and sw snowbound. I’m also open if you suggest another white. (I don’t want a yellow cast or stark white.) Thank you!

    1. Hi Chelle! Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to offer design advice on an individual basis. Giving advice on paint colors is especially difficult since they are so heavily influenced by the light and other elements of your own home. I do offer Designer in a Binder that includes access to a private Facebook group where you can submit questions like this (along with photos) to get feedback from the large Designer in a Binder community :)

  2. Hello! Thank you for this helpful post! We are in a new build and the trim is actually alabaster. My original plan was a white dove wall but now I’m worried about how those will work together. Any insight?

    1. Hi Christina! I’ve never used White Dove and so much depends on the lighting conditions of each particular home, so I’m afraid I can’t answer. Sorry!

  3. HI Tasha,
    Great article. I just saw a bunch of Shea model homes yesterday that all used Sherman Williams Alabaster for the entire interior paint of all 6 model homes. I currently have Tons of shutters throughout my house & thus have all Dunn Edwards Swiss Coffee for all trims, ceilings, interior doors, molding, shutters & was told that if I choose any type of white for my one interior color it has to be Swiss Coffee interior or else it will clash & will stand out like a sore thumb with the existing dunn edwards swiss coffee trims, doors, ceilings, & esp wood shutters. I would think that would be boring with no contrast. Can you help enlighten me? A. If I use the SW alabaster throughout interior paint, will it still look nice with my existing shutters,doors,ceilings,trim Swiss Coffee & be a nice contrast? or B. If it does indeed clash as I have been told by others what do you recommend? Thx so very much. I just don’t know what to do as I’ve made many many $paint mistakes. I have a jungle of interior colors as it is and want to freshen and make my interior house uniform updated,

    1. Hi Fawn. I actually have a whole post about Sherwin-Williams Swiss Coffee as well that you can find here: Swiss Coffee by Benjamin Moore has slightly green undertones, which means it can appear to be a green hue in certain lighting. So if you want a white that provides a bit of contrast, you should probably choose another one that also has green undertones (Alabaster does not). If the undertones are different, it will likely look “off.” I hope that helps.

  4. Tasha –
    Thanks for your info on Alabaster. My kitchen cabinets are Pure White in a new build. My island and butler’s pantry are painted SW Iron Ore. I’ve been searching for a soft, neutral white that will not be too creamy and will be a simple and bright backdrop to art on the walls and my furniture and accessories. I’ve been considering SW Site White, but fear it may be too cool toned, but will have a bit of contrast with the white trim. Was planning on painting trim either Extra White or Pure White. Which trim color would you recommend? I’m also open to painting the trim Alabaster in a different sheen than the walls. I’d love to get your opinion.

    Thanks again – Christy

    1. Hi Christy! Unfortunately due to volume of questions like this that I receive, I’m unable to give out design advice on an individual basis. This is one of the biggest reasons I created Designer in a Binder. Questions that are specific to your individual situation are exactly the types of things that are perfect to ask about in the private Facebook group. If you are already a Designer in a Binder customer, I encourage you to post this question in the Facebook group :)

    2. You need a better proof reader.
      1) “(Does) I love how it looks on the shiplap walls in this foyer”
      2) “One thing that peple often fail to think about when it (comings) to choosing paint colors is a color’s light reflectance value (LRV).”
      Just to point a couple errors at which time i stopped reading.

      1. LOL, thanks so much for your feedback. It doesn’t make sense for me to pay a proofreader for the FREE content I put out. If people want a professionally proofread/edited blog to read, then my blog is not for them :) Best wishes!

  5. Hi Tasha,
    I have a question. We recently moved into a new condo, the interior paint is Sherwin-Williams SW7008 Alabaster, Iso-Flat. I have lived in many homes, and even with flat paint, I was able to wipe off any smudges with water and/or a light cleaner without disturbing the paint. But I find that with this paint, if you rub it at all, even with water, the textured surface becomes smooth–and it stands out from the original texture. Do you know if this is a feature of this particular paint? Defective? Please advise.
    (I haven’t contacted Sherwin-Williams yet. I’m curious what you might have to say.

  6. Thank you for this detailed post! You literally brought in every color I have been looking at for my home. SO HELPFUL!!!