Sherwin Williams Alabaster Review & Photos

A laundry room painted Sherwin Williams Alabaster. Image via Erica Mueller Home

Sherwin Williams Alabaster is one of the brand’s most popular paint colors, and for good reason. This soft, slightly warm white is sophisticated and simple, without feeling stark … which is my personal favorite type of white paint.

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I tested this paint color in my bedroom recently when I gave it a mini-makeover, and even though I didn’t use it (I wanted something a little deeper), it’s definitely going to be one of my go-to whites in the future (and may even replace Benjamin Moore Simply White as my favorite white paint.)

Here’s a closer look at alabaster, with photos from the paint samples I did in my own home, plus images I’ve found of finished rooms in Alabaster.

What Color is Sherwin Williams Alabaster?

Alabaster is a shade of off white. While it has some warmth, I’d consider it to be a more neutral off white paint than other popular whites, like Simply White or White Dove, because the undertones read more beige and less cream/yellow.

It’s a great color if you want an off white that has depth, but isn’t on the yellow side.

All that said, the paint color is still very light and the undertones are subtle.

When I tried it in my space, based off of the swatches I had seen online (like the one above), I expected the color to be deeper, almost like a pale greige, but it’s definitely a white paint, so don’t be fooled by how the color swatch looks on a screen.

The brightness feels comparable to Benjamin Moore White Dove or Swiss Coffee.

Which brings me to…

What is the LRV of Sherwin Williams Alabaster?

Here is a photo of Alabaster (the whitest shade at the center-right), against a few deeper shades, Benjamin Moore Natural Cream (top and bottom color) and Benjamin Moore Sea Wind (left color). The wall color is Behr Perfect Taupe. Don’t mind my sloppy paint sampling.

One look at the LRV, or light reflectance value, of Sherwin Williams Alabaster would have tipped me off that this is a brighter paint color. The LRV of Sherwin Williams Alabaster is 82, which is very similar to Benjamin Moore White Dove, which is 83.16.

If you’re not familiar with LRV, it’s a measure of how bright a paint color is, with 0 being absolute black, and 100 being pure white. Most white paint colors are in the 80-93 range.

What are the undertones of Sherwin Williams Alabaster?

Alabaster has beige undertones, which are ideal if you’re looking for a warm off white that doesn’t rely on yellow for that warmth.

Sherwin Williams Alabaster Used in A Home

It’s always helpful to see photos of a paint color used in real homes, so I’ve compiled a bunch of images I’ve found. This help you see how different the color can look on a wall vs. on the paint swatches you see online.

Still, looking at inspo images is no match for trying out the color in real life on your walls. This is a must for any paint color, including whites, since colors look so different depending on the lighting and furniture in a room, and the direction the room faces.

Even in my own bedroom when I tested the paint color, it looked different on each wall. My bedroom windows face north and east, so it gets cool-toned light which made the color look, overall, more like a true white. However, on the south-facing walls, it felt brightest, while on the west facing wall, where my bed is, the color felt dull.

Image via @societyofsumner

This photo looks like a pretty true representation of the color – bright white with a touch of neutral warmth.

Sherwin Williams Alabaster paint paired with an off black. Image via piperjames.co 

Here’s the shade paired with an off-black paint for a modern look that’s not harsh.

Image via Liz Marie Blog

I think Alabaster shines in spaces with a rustic touch, like the home of blogger Liz Marie.

Here’s another example of how fab the hue looks in a rustic space.e

Image via Hester Homestead

Here’s a look at Alabaster on an exterior. It looks like this photo probably has a filter on it, which can warp the true look of the color, but it also brings up a good point, which is that colors tend to look lighter/brighter on exteriors than they do in interiors.

Colors like Sherwin Williams Alabaster

If you’re considering Alabaster, but want to check out a few other similar shades, here are three that I find to be very similar, plus how they compare to SW Alabaster.

Sherwin Williams Alabaster vs. Benjamin Moore White Dove

Alabaster and White Dove are often chosen because they are off white paint colors that are soft, but not yellow-toned. Overall, Sherwin-Williams Alabaster is a bit creamier because it’s undertones lean more beige, whereas Benjamin Moore White Dove has a hint of gray, giving it a slightly cooler appearance

With an LRV of 83, White Dove is also a tiny bit lighter than Alabaster, which has an LRV of 82. .

Sherwin Williams Alabaster vs. Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee

Sherwin-Williams Alabaster and Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee are also both popular off-whites that are often called comparable to each other, but there are definitely some differences between the two.

The biggest is that Swiss Coffee has a more yellow undertone, while the Alabaster undertone is more beige. You can see the difference above, how Alabaster looks almost pink toned when next to Swiss Coffee.

Swiss Coffee has an LRV of 83, which makes a touch lighter than Alabaster.

Sherwin Williams Alabaster vs. Benjamin Moore Alabaster

Benjamin Moore also has its own shade of Alabaster! The two tones are once again similar, but the Benjamin Moore version is paler and even more bige toned than the Sherwin Williams version. See how, this time, SW Alabster looks a little yellow-tinged? That’s because the pinker tones in Benjamin Moore’s color highlight the yellow casts in the Sherwin Williams hue.

Which brings me to my final point: Overall, if you’re considering any of the colors above, I’d sample each one in a room, because depending on the direction your room faces, and what else is in the room, these colors will look different.

The light in in your space can either emphasize or cancel out the undertones in each color. So, you may think you want the more beige tones in Alabaster, for example, but the yellows of Swiss Coffee might actually work better with the lighting of your room. I’m telling you, you’ll never be mad that you took the extra time to try out paint samples.

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