Sherwin Williams Alabaster vs Pure White: What’s the Difference?

When selecting the perfect bright white paint color, two top choices are Sherwin Williams Alabaster SW 7008 and Sherwin Williams Pure White SW 7005. At first glance, these two popular whites can seem quite similar. But looking closely, there are noticeable differences that impact the overall look and feel.

In this in-depth guide, we’ll compare Alabaster vs Pure White to help you determine the best crisp white paint for your space. We’ll examine undertones, LRV, real-world photos, and ideal room applications. By the end, you’ll understand how these whites differ and which Sherwin Williams white is the right choice.

Key Differences Between Alabaster and Pure White

Before diving into the details, here is a brief overview of how Alabaster and Pure White differ:

  • Undertones: Alabaster is a subtly warm white, Pure White is a clean, neutral white.
  • LRV: Pure White has a higher LRV of 84, Alabaster is slightly darker at 82 LRV.
  • Use: Pure White works well whole-home, Alabaster excels as trim and accents.
  • Rooms: Pure White fits modern spaces, Alabaster suits traditional styles.

Now let’s explore Alabaster vs Pure White more closely!

Sherwin Williams Alabaster SW 7008

SW Alabaster

Alabaster SW 7008 is a beautiful warm ivory white paint color with widespread popularity. Its soft versatility allows it to work in any style home.

Here are some key details about Alabaster:

  • LRV: 82
  • Undertones: Subtly warm
  • Sheen: Available in all finishes
  • Rooms: Bedrooms, living rooms, traditional spaces
  • Pairs Well With: Beiges, browns, reds
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Alabaster is an off-white with very faint warm golden undertones. While it reads as a true white, its barely noticeable creaminess gives it a welcoming vibe.

With an LRV of 82, Alabaster reflects a generous amount of light while still providing pleasing contrast. The subtle warmth prevents it from feeling sterile or stark.

Some great colors to pair with Alabaster include:

  • Sherwin Williams Accessible Beige
  • Sherwin Williams Repose Gray
  • Sherwin Williams Peppercorn
  • Sherwin Williams Renwick Olive

While suitable anywhere, Alabaster excels as an airy neutral backdrop in bedrooms, living areas, and traditional spaces. Its soft warmth complements classic color schemes.

Sherwin Williams Pure White SW 7005

Sherwin Williams Pure White
Image Credit:@ ourarkansashouse

Pure White SW 7005 is a gorgeous clean, bright white paint color. Its versatility makes it a popular choice for modern, minimalist spaces.

Here are some details about Pure White:

  • LRV: 84
  • Undertones: Clean, neutral white
  • Sheen: Available in all finishes
  • Rooms: Modern kitchens, baths, contemporary spaces
  • Pairs Well With: Grays, blacks, blues

Pure White is a true white without strong undertones. Its barely detectable coolness gives it a clean, fresh feel. But the undertone is subtle enough to avoid seeming sterile or stark.

With an LRV of 84, Pure White has excellent light reflectance. This creates a bright, illuminated look perfect for contemporary spaces. The high reflectance prevents it from feeling clinical or harsh.

Some pleasing color combinations with Pure White include:

  • Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black
  • Sherwin Williams Mindful Gray
  • Sherwin Williams Rainwashed
  • Sherwin Williams Naval

While suitable anywhere, Pure White excels as the main wall color in modern kitchens, bathrooms, and minimalist spaces. Its clean canvas lets other elements shine.

Comparing Alabaster vs Pure White

Now that we’ve examined Alabaster and Pure White separately, let’s directly compare the two popular Sherwin Williams whites:

Light Reflectance

Pure White has a significantly higher LRV of 84 compared to the 82 LRV of Alabaster. This means Pure White will make rooms feel brighter and more illuminated. The 7-point difference is noticeable to the human eye.


Here is the main distinction. Alabaster is a subtly warm white, while Pure White is clean and neutral.

Alabaster’s faint golden undertone gives it a soft, welcoming vibe. Pure White’s lack of undertones feels crisper and cooler.


The neutral crispness of Pure White makes it extremely versatile for whole-home use. Alabaster’s subtle warmth suits it best for trims, accents, and traditional spaces.

Paint Finishes

Both Alabaster and Pure White come in any sheen from matte to high-gloss. They allow for beautiful white paint finishes.

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Alabaster vs Pure White Comparison Chart

Here is an overview of their major differences:

Paint Color Alabaster SW 7008 Pure White SW 7005
LRV 82 84
Undertones Subtly warm Clean, neutral
Use Trims and accents Whole-home color
Sheens Any finish Any finish

Real Rooms Painted in Alabaster and Pure White

To better visualize Alabaster vs Pure White, below are real world rooms painted in the two crisp whites:

Alabaster SW 7008

Real Room Photos SW Alabaster

Pure White SW 7005

Real Sherwin Williams Pure White
Image Credit:@ theverestplace

While the differences are subtle, Alabaster has faint warmth while Pure White is a touch cooler and crisper. But both still read as fresh, bright whites.

Should You Choose Alabaster or Pure White?

So which Sherwin Williams white paint color is the better choice for your space – soft Alabaster or crisp Pure White? Here are some tips for deciding:

Consider Alabaster SW 7008 if you want:

  • A warm ivory white with a hint of creaminess
  • Classic sophistication for traditional spaces
  • A welcoming, gentle feel while still feeling light
  • Contrast on trims, accents, and focal walls

Consider Pure White SW 7005 if you want:

  • A clean, bright white with zero undertones
  • Lots of illumination perfect for modern rooms
  • A super crisp, neutral backdrop
  • Flexible color for contemporary styles

If still uncertain between the two, get samples and paint large swatches. View throughout different lighting conditions before deciding on the perfect white.

For most homes, one white will likely better meet your goals and style. Keep reading for ideal room applications and color pairings.

Best Room Applications

Here are some rooms that tend to suit Alabaster vs Pure White best:

Alabaster SW 7008 Works Well In:

  • Traditional Bedrooms
  • Rustic Living Rooms
  • Classic Dining Rooms
  • Farmhouse Kitchens
  • Vintage Offices

Pure White SW 7005 Works Well In:

  • Modern Kitchens
  • Contemporary Bathrooms
  • Minimalist Bedrooms
  • Bright Laundry Rooms
  • Sleek, Open Concept Spaces

Both can work beautifully throughout any home. But the above applications maximize their individual strengths.

Design Ideas and Color Pairings

On their own, Alabaster and Pure White create airy backdrops. Combined with other elements, they make gorgeous interiors:

Alabaster Color Pairings

  • Sherwin Williams Renwick Olive accent wall
  • Sherwin Williams Repose Gray walls
  • Medium oak floors
  • Black iron lighting

Pure White Color Pairings

  • Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black accents
  • Sherwin Williams Rainwashed walls
  • Glossy subway tile
  • Brushed stainless steel fixtures

Alabaster vs Pure White – Which is Best For You?

When choosing between Alabaster and Pure White, keep your goals and style in mind:

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Consider Alabaster SW 7008 if you want:

  • A warm ivory white with subtle creaminess
  • Classic, welcoming feel perfect for traditional homes
  • Soft, gentle contrast for accents and trims
  • A timeless white that will stand the test of time

Consider Pure White SW 7005 if you want:

  • A true clean white suitable for contemporary spaces
  • Lots of brightness and illumination
  • Crisp, neutral backdrop to let other elements shine
  • Modern, minimalist aesthetic

While the differences are minor, one white likely better fits your needs and desires. Get samples before deciding between Alabaster and Pure White.

Frequently Asked Questions

Still trying to choose between Alabaster vs Pure White? Here are some common questions answered:

Does Pure White work well in living spaces?

Absolutely! The clean brightness of Pure White looks gorgeous in living rooms, especially modern ones. Pairs nicely with gray sectionals, marble coffee tables, and gallery walls.

What colors complement Alabaster walls?

Alabaster pairs beautifully with sage greens, light blues, deeper grays, and brick reds. Dark wood floors and black iron fixtures help accentuate its traditional warmth and sophistication.

Which white appears warmer – Alabaster or Pure White?

Alabaster SW 7008 has very faint warm golden undertones, while Pure White SW 7005 is crisper and cooler. The differences are subtle though.

Can you use Alabaster in a modern bathroom?

Yes! Pair Alabaster with matte black fixtures, white subway tile, and marble counters for a beautiful, contrasting look. Keep all elements clean and minimalistic.

Is Pure White suitable for trims and doors?

Absolutely! The super crisp Pure White makes the perfect bright white for trims, doors, shutters and accent walls to add contrast. Especially nice with light gray walls.


When comparing Sherwin Williams’ Alabaster vs Pure White paint colors, it comes down to your style and goals:

  • Alabaster SW 7008 is a warm, soft white perfect for traditional trims and spaces.
  • Pure White SW 7005 is a clean, neutral white fitting modern homes beautifully.

While the differences are minor, the undertones help one likely better suit your needs and aesthetic. Consider your goals before deciding between Alabaster and Pure White. Get samples to ensure you select the perfect classic white!

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