SW Alabaster is an extremely popular neutral white paint color. Read on for details about SW 7008 and to see pictures of it in real spaces!
White paint is my go-to backdrop wall color for almost any space. It bring a lightness to a room and allows the furniture, artwork, and homeowners bring the color… And Sherwin Williams Alabaster is one of the most beautiful white paint colors.
Despite my husband’s insistence that “are’t all whites the same?!”, whites are actually some of the most difficult paints to choose, as they can vary so much depending on the lighting and other surroundings. I therefore am a firm believer in exploring paint colors in real spaces as much possible. So today I am continuing thepaint color reviewswith some real-life images of Sherwin Williams Alabaster SW 7008 in various spaces.
SW 7008 Alabaster Paint Color
Alabaster was the Sherwin Williams Color of the Year a few years ago, and with good reason! I want to start by talking about the paint: its make up, its undertones, its strengths… Then we’ll get more specific about how to use it in real spaces with actual palettes. Note:allthe images you see in the post are actually painted withSW 7008.
An Elegant Soft White
In short, Alabaster is a soft warm white (for more info on those ideas, feel free to read aboutmy favorite white paints). Alabaster brings connotations of warmth and elegance. It is a great choice if your priority is a light interior with a touch of formality, but it can also be the perfect choice for a homey, cozy space since it is almost a cream color.
Disclaimer: I always recommend testing colors in the actual space where you intend to use them. Even after doing this job foryears, I still bring paint samples into each space and watch them at different times of day before making a decision. So while Alabaster is an incredibly strong option, remember that you’ll want to consider your own space andthese factorsbefore deciding for sure.
With any color, it is important to consider its undertones to know how the paint color may change depending on lighting conditions and color pairings. And this is especially true of white paints.
SW Alabaster Undertones
Undertones are simply the colors that can appear in certain lights or when next to other colors. While Alabaster may look white at first glance, if you place it next to a true white, you will notice that it has some beige – or almost greige – undertones.
As a creamy white, Alabaster leans neither blue nor yellow but is a true warm neutral color.Often when we think of “warm,” we picture a creamy color with a hint of yellow, but Alabaster manages to be a slightly warm off-white color without yellow undertones.
Its neutral undertones of Alabaster can leave it looking almost true white at times, especially with lots of natural light, as you can see in this north-facing room.
But here, in a south facing room at a different time of day, the shade of white looks a little softer and reflects more of the warmth of the floors.
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Light Reflective Value
The Light Reflective Value or LRV of any paint is a number assigned based on how much light the color reflects, with 0 being absolute black and 100 being pure white. The higher the number, the more light is reflected. Sherwin Williams Alabaster white has an LRV of 82.
For the record, no actual paint has an LRV of 100. Sherwin Williams High Reflective White (which is one of the brightest paint whites you can get) is 93. Pretty much anything 80 or above is considered white, and “off whites” can hover from ~70-80.
Alabaster’s LRV of 82 is reflective enough to be a true white while soft enough not to feel stark, even if your style is a bit more traditional or subdued.
How to test Paint Colors
As I said, testing your paint shade in your actual space, especially with whites, is so important. I’ve never had a problem with paint swatches all over my walls, but I realize that’s sometimes inconvenient. And due to challenges in getting paint samples these days, I am excited to share a better option.
Samplize will send you a reusable peel and stick samples made with real paint. It allows you to move the sample around in the room to catch the different lights. I hope you find this tool as helpful as I have!
Get your peel and stick paint samples here.
Curious about what sheen to use? See more in this post about Sherwin Williams Extra White.
Similar Colors to Alabaster
How does Alabaster fit with typical decorating styles? And how does it compare to other popular paint colors?
Alabaster v Snowbound
If you’ve read any of my other paint color reviews, then you know thatanother favorite white paint color of mine is SW Snowbound. Sometimes things are best understood by comparison, and Alabaster SW 7008 vs Snowbound SW 7004 is a perfect example. With LRVs of 82 and 83, respectively, both are soft but true whites (as opposed to “off whites”).
But Alabaster is a warmer white than Snowbound. Alabaster has more of a true beige undertone, while Snowbound has a greige undertone. If you place them beside one another, Alabaster looks creamy, while Snowbound, a more cool white, looks gray.
Typically speaking, Alabaster is a perfect backdrop for a more traditional home with a warmer aesthetic, while Snowbound is a bit more crisp and modern.
Alabaster v Pure White
SW Pure White is an example of a paint with more similar undertones to Alabaster. Both could be described as slightly warm, soft whites, but Pure White has an LRV of 84 and is therefore brighter than Alabaster. It also is not quite a beige as Alabaster.
Alabaster v Benjamin Moore Colors
What is Benjamin Moore’s equivalent to Alabaster? Two very similar colors to Alabaster are the popular whites Benjamin Moore White Dove and Swiss Coffee. Swiss Coffee is probably the most similar to Alabaster with an LRV of 84 and a warm beige undertone. White Dove, with its LRV of 83 and a slightly more gray undertone, is a hair softer and cooler than Alabaster. Both Benjamin Moore colors are a good choice if you want a similar warm aesthetic.
What Trim Colors Go with SW Alabaster
What color cabinets with Alabaster walls? What color trim? It’s a tough question, again, because whites take on so much of the light around them. The question depends on your flooring, the direction your room faces, and so much more… But here are some principles to get you started.
Tone on Tone
Tone on tone is a very popular look in interior design right now. To achieve this, you simply use the same color for your wall paint and trim, but choose different sheens for each. Though I tend to prefer a basic white for ceilings (to bounce more light), some people even include ceilings in this look. For example, you could put flat on the ceilings, flat or eggshell on the walls, and satin or semi-gloss on the trim.
Alabaster’s soft white nature makes it a beautiful color for this option!
Alabaster walls with Pure White Trim
A classic option for Alabaster walls is Sherwin Williams Pure White trim. As mentioned above, it has similar undertones to Alabaster but is more of a true white with a higher LRV. If you like a bit of a contrast between your walls and trim but don’t want to worry about the trim being too cool, then Pure White is a great option.
Alabaster Walls with Bright White Trim
Don’t be afraid of pairing Alabaster with a brighter white trim, though. You need to be careful to test the combination in your space in case the warmer hue of the Alabaster makes your trim look blue by comparison, but bright whites such as SW Extra White or SW High Reflective White can look beautifully crisp against the soft white of SW 7008 walls.
SW Alabaster walls with Colored Trim
What colors coordinate with Alabaster? As a warm, soft white, you have the freedom to pair it with many grays or browns. I would not recommend using a cooler gray, as that could make the Alabaster look dingy, but Agreeable Gray, Accessible Beige (seethis beautiful homeas an example), or even Repose Gray can be a beautiful complement to Alabaster.
A warm gray stained wood, as you see in the living room below, also makes a beautiful accent against Alabaster walls.
For a more dramatic pairing, consider SW Cyberspace, a very dark grayish navy (seen above) or SW Urbane Bronze (below) which is a dark gray with lots of warm, brown undertones. Alabaster’s beige undertones pair beautifully with gray blues, green grays, and olive greens, as well.
Using SW Alabaster on Cabinets and Trim
For all the reasons discussed above, SW 7008 is not only a great choice for walls: family rooms, bathrooms, hallways, bedrooms, etc. It is a common choice for shiplap, trim, and kitchen cabinets, too.
If you want a more traditional or cozy farmhouse style, then you can use Alabaster on trim and cabinetry. Alabaster is not a great cabinetry or trim choice, however, if you are wanting a more contemporary or crisp look.
More Exterior and Interior Paint Color Ideas
What do you think? Are you ready to try white walls?
If you found this helpful, be sure to check out other posts in my paint color series!
- SW 7004 Snowbound in Real Spaces
- SW 7029 Agreeable Gray in Real Spaces
- SW White Duck and SW Tricorn Black ExteriorPaint
- The Best White Paint Colors