Oyster White vs Alabaster: What’s the Difference?

When selecting the perfect neutral white paint color, two popular options from Sherwin-Williams are Oyster White SW 7637 and Alabaster SW 7008. At first glance, these two off-whites can appear very similar. But looking closer, there are noticeable differences between them that impact their aesthetics.

In this article, we’ll compare Sherwin-Williams Oyster White vs Alabaster in-depth. We’ll analyze undertones, LRV, real-world photos, and ideal room applications. By the end, you’ll understand how these whites differ and which Sherwin-Williams color is the best choice for your space.

Key Differences Between Oyster White and Alabaster

Before examining all the details, here is a brief overview of how Oyster White and Alabaster differ:

  • Undertones: Oyster White is a warm white, Alabaster is a cool white.
  • LRV: Oyster White has a lower LRV of 72, Alabaster is brighter at 82 LRV.
  • Use: Oyster White and Alabaster work well throughout homes.
  • Rooms: Oyster White excels in bedrooms, Alabaster shines in bathrooms.

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

Sherwin-Williams Oyster White SW 7637

Real Sherwin-Williams Oyster White
Image Credit:@e.s.decorating

Oyster White SW 7637 is a beautiful warm off-white paint color with a soft, welcoming vibe. Its versatility makes it widely popular.

Here are some details about Oyster White:

  • LRV: 72
  • Undertones: Warm white
  • Sheen: Available in all finishes
  • Rooms: Bedrooms, living rooms, dining rooms
  • Pairs With: Tans, blues, grays

Oyster White is an off-white with subtle beige-cream undertones. While very pale, it avoids feeling cold or clinical white. The warmth gives it a cozy personality.

With an 72 LRV, Oyster White reflects a lot of light to keep rooms feeling bright and open. The creaminess adds gentle versatility.

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This flexible warm white complements a wide variety of color schemes. Pleasing combinations include:

  • Sherwin-Williams Pure White
  • Sherwin-Williams Repose Gray
  • Sherwin-Williams Accessible Beige
  • Sherwin-Williams Rainwashed

While suitable anywhere, this welcoming white excels when used throughout bedrooms, living spaces, and dining areas.

Sherwin-Williams Alabaster SW 7008

SW Alabaster

Alabaster SW 7008 is a gorgeous clean white paint color with the slightest hint of coolness. Its purity makes it a popular neutral choice.

Here are some key details about Alabaster:

  • LRV: 82
  • Undertones: Cool white
  • Sheen: Available in all finishes
  • Rooms: Bathrooms, kitchens, trim, cabinets
  • Pairs With: All colors

Alabaster is a very light white with the faintest undertone of cool blue. Most would perceive it as a true white. The subtle coolness gives it a crisp, bright vibe.

With an LRV of 82, Alabaster reflects a great deal of light for an airy, spacious feel. The hint of blue adds sharpness.

This versatile white complements any color scheme beautifully. Especially pleasing combinations include:

  • Sherwin-Williams Extra White
  • Sherwin-Williams Mindful Gray
  • Sherwin-Williams Silver Strand
  • Sherwin-Williams Black Magic

While suitable everywhere, this clean white excels when used throughout bathrooms, kitchens, molding, trim, and on ceilings.

Comparing Oyster White vs Alabaster

Now that we’ve explored Oyster White and Alabaster individually, let’s directly compare the two Sherwin-Williams paint colors:

Light Reflectance

With an LRV of 82, Alabaster reflects a bit more light than the 72 LRV of Oyster White. However, both reflect ample illumination.


Here is the main difference. Oyster White is a warm white while Alabaster is a cool white.

Oyster White has subtle beige creaminess, giving it a laidback vibe. Alabaster’s coolness is crisper and sharper.


Oyster White’s warmth excels in bedrooms and living spaces. Alabaster’s brightness shines in kitchens, baths, and architectural details.

Paint Finishes

Both Oyster White and Alabaster come in any sheen from flat to gloss. They provide beautiful, versatile white finishes.

Oyster White vs Alabaster Comparison Chart

Here is an overview of their major differences:

Paint Color Oyster White SW 7637 Alabaster SW 7008
LRV 72 82
Undertones Warm white Cool white
Use Whole-home color Whole-home color
Sheens All finishes All finishes

Real Rooms Painted in Oyster White and Alabaster

To better envision Oyster White vs Alabaster, let’s look at real rooms painted in the two whites:

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Oyster White SW 7637

Sherwin-Williams Oyster White
Image Credit:@ lifelovelarson

Alabaster SW 7008

Real Room Photos SW Alabaster

The images demonstrate how Oyster White’s subtle warmth differs from the sharper coolness of Alabaster. But their similarities can also make them seem comparable.

Should You Choose Oyster White or Alabaster?

So which neutral white paint color is the better choice for your space – warm Oyster White or cool Alabaster? Here are some tips for deciding:

Pick Oyster White SW 7637 if you want:

  • An off-white with subtle cream-beige warmth
  • A laidback, welcoming color for bedrooms
  • Flexible white suitable for whole-home use
  • A cozy yet bright neutral backdrop

Choose Alabaster SW 7008 if you want:

  • A clean white with the slightest cool crispness
  • Crisp, airy feel for kitchens and bathrooms
  • Bright definition on cabinets, trim, and ceilings
  • A classic versatile neutral white

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

Either versatile white paint color you choose will provide beauty and brightness. But their minor differences mean one likely better suits your particular goals and style.

Ideal Room Applications

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

Oyster White SW 7637

  • Bedrooms
  • Living Rooms
  • Dining Rooms
  • Kids’ Rooms
  • Offices

Alabaster SW 7008

  • Bathrooms
  • Kitchens
  • Trim/Moldings
  • Ceilings
  • Hallways

Both work beautifully throughout any home, but the above applications maximize their individual strengths.

Design Ideas and Color Pairings

On their own, Oyster White and Alabaster create airy backdrops. Paired with other colors, they make gorgeous interiors:

Oyster White Color Pairings

  • Sherwin-Williams Pure White (trim/ceilings)
  • Sherwin-Williams Peppercorn (accent wall)
  • Sherwin-Williams Repose Gray (furniture)
  • Warm wood tones

Alabaster Color Pairings

  • Sherwin-Williams Tricorn Black (accent wall)
  • Sherwin-Williams High Reflective White (trim)
  • Sherwin-Williams Cityscape (furniture)
  • Matte black fixtures

Oyster White vs Alabaster – Which is Best for You?

When choosing between Oyster White and Alabaster, consider your goals and style:

Pick Oyster White SW 7637 if you want:

  • An off-white with subtle cream-beige warmth
  • A cozy laidback feel for bedrooms
  • A flexible white suitable for whole-home use
  • A welcoming backdrop with versatility
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Choose Alabaster SW 7008 if you want:

  • A crisp clean white with faint coolness
  • Bright, airy vibes for kitchens and baths
  • Crisp definition on architectural details
  • A classic, versatile neutral white

While quite similar, the minor undertone differences mean one likely better suits your space. Get samples before deciding between cozy Oyster White and crisp Alabaster.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

Does Alabaster work in living rooms?

Yes, Alabaster can look beautiful in living rooms paired strategically with warm woods, accent walls, and white trim. This prevents it from feeling too stark and sterile.

What colors complement Oyster White?

Oyster White pairs nicely with tans, grays, blues, greens, and deeper colors like charcoal. Crisp bright whites help add contrast against its subtle warmth.

Which white paint color is cooler?

With its faint blue undertone, Alabaster is slightly cooler than the subtly warm Oyster White. However, both are close to true whites without strong undertones.

Can you use Oyster White in bathrooms?

Definitely! While Alabaster is more popular for bathrooms, the subtle warmth of Oyster White also works well. Especially paired with white tile and metals.

Is Alabaster suitable for trim?

Yes, Alabaster is a perfect trim color! It has enough brightness for crisp definition against wall colors but subtle coolness that prevents it from feeling glaring.


When comparing Sherwin-Williams Oyster White vs Alabaster paint colors, the main differences come down to undertones and aesthetics:

  • Oyster White is a warm white that provides a cozy, laidback feel, excelling in bedrooms.
  • Alabaster is a cool white with bright crispness perfect for baths, kitchens, and architectural details.

While quite similar, the minor undertone variations help one likely better suit your space. Consider your goals when deciding between cozy Oyster White and sharp Alabaster. Samples will ensure you select the perfect Sherwin-Williams white paint color for your needs!

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