Sherwin Williams Creamy vs Alabaster: What’s the Difference?

When selecting a warm, inviting white paint color, two popular options from Sherwin Williams are Creamy SW 7012 and Alabaster SW 7008. At first glance, these two whites may look very similar. But upon closer inspection, there are noticeable differences between them that impact the overall look and feel of your space.

In this in-depth comparison article, we’ll examine Creamy vs Alabaster undertones, LRV, real-world photos, and best room applications. By the end, you’ll understand how these whites differ and which paint color is the better choice for your home.

Key Differences Between Creamy and Alabaster

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

  • Undertones: Creamy is a warm ivory white. Alabaster has subtle warm undertones.
  • LRV: Creamy has a lower LRV of 81. Alabaster is brighter at 82 LRV.
  • Use: Creamy suits transitional and traditional styles. Alabaster works in all decor.
  • Rooms: Creamy excels in living rooms and bedrooms. Alabaster shines everywhere.

Now let’s explore Creamy vs Alabaster more closely!

Sherwin Williams Creamy SW 7012

Sherwin Williams Creamy
Image Credit:@ thishomeonlot19

Creamy SW 7012 is a warm ivory white paint color with beige undertones. It provides a flexible neutral backdrop.

Here are some key details about Creamy:

  • LRV: 81
  • Undertones: Warm ivory beige.
  • Sheen: Available in all finishes.
  • Rooms: Living rooms, bedrooms, dining rooms.
  • Pairs Well With: Browns, tans, greys.

Creamy has noticeable warm ivory undertones rather than being a true white. The beige warmth gives it a soft, welcoming vibe.

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With an LRV of 81, Creamy reflects less light than brighter whites. But its warmth maintains sufficient luminosity to avoid feeling dark or dingy.

Some pleasing color combinations with Creamy include:

  • Sherwin Williams Accessible Beige
  • Sherwin Williams Repose Gray
  • Sherwin Williams Cathedral Taupe
  • Sherwin Williams Ryegrass

While suitable anywhere, Creamy excels as the main wall color in living areas, bedrooms, and other tranquil spaces.

Sherwin Williams Alabaster SW 7008

SW Alabaster

Alabaster SW 7008 is a slightly warm, inviting white paint color. It provides flexible neutrality.

Here are some details about Alabaster:

  • LRV: 82
  • Undertones: Warm white.
  • Sheen: Available in all finishes.
  • Rooms: Bedrooms, living rooms, kitchens, baths.
  • Pairs Well With: Beiges, greys, blues.

Alabaster reads as a true white but has the faintest hint of warm cream undertones. The barely noticeable warmth keeps it soft and cozy.

With an LRV of 82, Alabaster reflects more light than Creamy. But its subtle warmth maintains sufficient brightness and contrast.

Some pleasing color combinations with Alabaster include:

  • Sherwin Williams Accessible Beige
  • Sherwin Williams Repose Gray
  • Sherwin Williams Naval
  • Sherwin Williams Peppercorn

While suitable anywhere, Alabaster excels as the main wall color in bedrooms, living rooms, kitchens, bathrooms, and more.

Comparing Creamy vs Alabaster

Now that we’ve looked at Creamy and Alabaster individually, let’s directly compare the two whites:

Light Reflectance

With LRVs of 81 and 82 respectively, Alabaster reflects a bit more light than Creamy. Alabaster reads as a brighter white.


Here is a main difference. Creamy has bold warm ivory/beige undertones. Alabaster has faint warm undertones.

Creamy’s beige warmth gives it a soft, welcoming vibe. Alabaster appears brighter and cooler in comparison.


Creamy’s warmth excels in living and bedroom spaces. Alabaster’s versatility makes it suitable everywhere.

Paint Finishes

Both Creamy and Alabaster come in any sheen from flat to gloss. They provide warm white finishes.

Creamy vs Alabaster Comparison Chart

Here is an overview of their major differences:

Paint Color Creamy SW 7012 Alabaster SW 7008
LRV 81 82
Undertones Warm ivory/beige Subtle warm
Use Traditional styles All styles
Sheens All finishes All finishes

Real Rooms Painted Creamy and Alabaster

To better visualize Creamy vs Alabaster, let’s look at real rooms painted in the two warm whites:

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Creamy SW 7012

Real Sherwin Williams Creamy
Image Credit:@ marandapenner

Alabaster SW 7008

Real Room Photos SW Alabaster

The images showcase Creamy’s bold ivory warmth vs Alabaster’s faint cool brightness. Creamy suits traditional spaces, while versatile Alabaster works anywhere. But at first glance, their similar warmth can make them appear comparable.

Should You Choose Creamy or Alabaster?

So which warm white paint color is the better option for your home – bold Creamy or subtle Alabaster? Here are some tips to help decide:

Choose Creamy SW 7012 if you want:

  • A warm ivory white with beige undertones
  • Inviting, cozy feel for living and bedroom areas
  • A soft backdrop for transitional and traditional styles
  • Subdued warmth without starkness

Pick Alabaster SW 7008 if you want:

  • A white with only a hint of warmth
  • Crisp, bright feel suitable for any room
  • Flexible neutrality for diverse styles
  • Clean white look with soft contrast

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

Either warm white you select will provide beauty. But their unique undertones mean one likely better suits your particular space and style vision.

Ideal Room Applications

Here are some rooms that tend to suit Creamy and Alabaster best:

Creamy SW 7012

  • Living rooms
  • Bedrooms
  • Dining rooms
  • Transitional spaces

Alabaster SW 7008

  • Kitchens
  • Bathrooms
  • Bedrooms
  • Living rooms
  • Any room!

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

Design Ideas and Color Pairings

On their own, Creamy and Alabaster create welcoming backdrops. Paired with other colors and materials, they make beautiful interiors:

Creamy Color Pairings

  • Sherwin Williams Accessible Beige walls
  • Sherwin Williams Ryegrass accent wall
  • Sherwin Williams Mindful Gray furniture
  • Oak wood floors

Alabaster Color Pairings

  • Sherwin Williams Repose Gray walls
  • Sherwin Williams Peppercorn accent
  • Sherwin Williams Naval cabinets
  • Marble counters and backsplash

Creamy vs Alabaster – Which is Best for You?

When choosing between Creamy and Alabaster white paint colors, keep your goals and style in mind:

Pick Creamy SW 7012 if you want:

  • A warm ivory white with beige undertones
  • Soft cozy feel for living and bedroom spaces
  • Subdued backdrop with relaxed warmth
  • Inviting transitional or traditional decor
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Choose Alabaster SW 7008 if you want:

  • A white with just a hint of warmth
  • Crisp and bright versatility for any room
  • Clean white look with soft contrast
  • Flexible neutrality across styles

While similar warm whites, their undertone differences make one likely better suit your particular space and style vision. Get samples before deciding between Creamy and Alabaster!

Frequently Asked Questions

Still trying to choose between Creamy vs Alabaster? Here are answers to some common questions:

Which white paint color is warmer?

Creamy SW 7012 has bold warm ivory/beige undertones, while Alabaster SW 7008 is only faintly warm. So Creamy reads as the warmer white paint color.

Does Alabaster work well in living rooms?

Absolutely! Alabaster is versatile enough to work beautifully in living rooms, providing a clean but soft neutral backdrop. Its subtle warmth is cozy without feeling too creamy.

What colors go well with Creamy walls?

Creamy pairs nicely with other warm neutrals like beige, tan, and soft greys. Try colors like Accessible Beige, Repose Gray, or Oak Glen for a cohesive wall-to-trim look.

Is Creamy too dark for kitchen cabinets?

It may be. Creamy’s lower LRV and bold warmth could make kitchen cabinets feel too heavy and ivory. A brighter white like Alabaster is likely a better choice.

What about exterior siding – Creamy or Alabaster?

Alabaster’s subtle warmth makes it a flexible exterior siding color. Creamy’s bold ivory undertones may feel too contrasting or dingy outside.


When comparing Sherwin Williams’ Creamy and Alabaster paint colors, the main differences come down to undertones and aesthetics:

  • Creamy SW 7012 is a warm ivory white that excels in cozy living and bedroom spaces.
  • Alabaster SW 7008 is a subtly warm white suitable for any room with flexible neutrality.

While similar warm whites, their undertone variations make one likely better suit your goals. Consider your space when deciding between bold Creamy and versatile Alabaster. Getting samples on your walls can ensure you select the perfect warm white paint color!

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