11 of the Best Sherwin Williams White Paint Colors in 2023
If you’ve never picked out paint colors before, it might surprise you to learn just how many white paint colors are out there. How is white even a color anyway? Let me break it down for you.
There are a couple different factors that go into making different kinds of white paint colors. Some white colors are lighter than others. This is measured by their light reflectance value, or LRV, on a scale from 0 to 100.
A LRV of 100 would be the absolute brightest white possible. Regular white paints start at a LRV of about 83 and go up. Off-whites start around 72 and go up to 83. As you can see, there’s a lot of room for different shades here.
Another important factor in what makes a white paint color different from its peers is how warm or cool it is. Warm whites are going to tend towards the reds, oranges, and yellows. Cool whites are going to tend towards blues, greens, purples, and grays.
Why do these differences matter? What kind of white paint you’ve chosen can make a big difference in what coordinating colors work best with it, and what kind of overall feeling your home will have when you’ve finished painting it.
Best Sherwin Williams White Colors
There are literally hundreds of white paint colors out there, and the choice can be daunting. Even the brochure from Sherwin Williams of “Our Finest Whites” has forty eight colors in it!
Luckily for you, I’m here to help you narrow down the decision. Let’s look at the very best Sherwin Williams white paint colors!
Extra White might be what comes to mind when you first picture the color white: a very bright, neutral white with no undertones. Extra White is clean and crisp, and will easily serve as a trim color that offers a nice, sharp contrast to anything you care to lay against it. With a LRV of 86 it’s tied for brightest white on this list.
Extra White is Great for Accents and Trim
Extra White’s brightness makes it a great choice for anything you want to highlight or contrast.
Snowbound is another one of the very bright whites on this list, with a LRV of 83. It’s a popular choice for exteriors, and it shares Extra White’s talents for things like mouldings, trims, and accents. It has a very slight grayish beige tint that makes it a little different from Extra White or Pure White.
Snowbound is Great for Cabinets
Snowbound is bright enough to offer a contrast even against light colors, such as this soft gray tile.
Alabaster is a popular and well-loved warm white that gives a light glow without the drawbacks of yellow undertones. With a LRV of 82 it’s still plenty light and bright, and will look clean against contrasting colors. But its soft glow prevents it from looking stark.
This color is part of the Color ID: Nurturer palette, and that’s just the sort of color it is: caring and comforting.
Alabaster is Great for Kitchens
Alabaster offers a subtle glow that’s best suited to rooms that warm our hearts.
White Duck takes us into the off-white range, with a natural light beige tint and a LRV of 74. This color can pull double duty as a neutral and a white, depending on your lighting situation and the colors you pair it with.
White Duck is Great for Walls
White Duck has some warmth and personality that keep it from being washed out when it’s used as an all-over color, while still being light enough to make your home welcoming and bright.
Pure White is a bright, neutral white that does what it says on the label: it’s a white paint that doesn’t lean towards any other colors. With a LRV of 84, it’s one of the brighter choices on this list. It’s most similar to Extra White, which is just a little brighter.
Pure White is Great for Contrast
Pure White offers classic contrast with the black and bronze elements in this kitchen. It floods any space it’s in with more light.
White Heron is a softly shaded off-white with a hint of gray. It sits right in the middle of the off-white range, with a LRV of 76. This color is comfortable and restful for the eyes, and it has a very natural vibe.
White Heron is Great for Painting Wood
White Heron was the perfect choice to freshen up the yellowed wood in this home.
Whitetail is an extremely light color that nevertheless does have a beige tint. You wouldn’t think it to look at this color, but believe it or not, this paint has a whopping LRV of 86! For comparison, that’s as bright as the other brightest white on this list, Extra White.
Yet if you put these two colors side-by-side, your eye can absolutely tell you they are not the same. If you want a bright white but you don’t want it to be too stark or cold, try some samples of Whitetail.
Whitetail is Great for Exteriors
Despite its very high LRV, Whitetail brings personality to exteriors, and stands up to sunshine without being washed away.
Creamy is a warm and cozy off-white that brings a sunny glow to a room. Its tones are more beige than yellow, which adds to the subtlety and appeal of this color. Creamy has a LRV of 81, which puts it near the top end of the off-white range.
Creamy is Great for Bedrooms
Creamy’s comforting glow is perfect for any room where we’d like to stay snuggled in. It can also warm up rooms where the lighting situation is too cold.
Dover White is another pleasantly warm off-white with creamy undertones. Its LRV of 83 puts it on the borderline between white and off-white, but it’s got enough of a tint that it really registers as an off-white more than a pure white.
Dover White is Great for Cabinets
Dover White has been described as the perfect cabinet color, and it really offers the best of both worlds when it comes to a clean contrast and a warm glow.
Ice Cube, as you might expect, is a cool off-white. It’s a very light gray, with a LRV of 77 that sits comfortably in the off-white range. Ice Cube has just enough color to it that if you want to contrast it with a true white, such as Extra White or Pure White, you can.
Ice Cube is Great for Relaxing Rooms
Ice Cube’s cool light gray shading is great for relaxing spaces, as well as minimalist styles.
Eider White is a cool off-white that’s softly shaded with a light gray. Its LRV of 73 is near the bottom of the off-white range, so it can contrast with brighter whites. If you’re a fan of the greige family, but you’re looking for something lighter, more like a hint of color, Eider White might suit you.
Eider White is Great for Bright Rooms
Eider White’s subtle shading is good for rooms where bright lighting might overwhelm lighter whites.
Picking the right white paint means paying attention to lighting and warm or cool palettes. It’s crucial to sample your chosen color under each room’s lighting conditions so you know how it will really look in your home. But with some planning, the right white color can be the backbone of your next project’s palette!