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

When selecting a beautiful, clean white paint color, two of the most popular options are Sherwin Williams Pearly White SW 7009 and Sherwin Williams Alabaster SW 7008. At first glance, these two whites can appear quite similar. But upon closer inspection, there are noticeable differences that impact the overall look and feel of a space.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll examine Pearly White vs Alabaster in-depth to help you determine which is the best white paint for your next project. We’ll compare undertones, LRVs, real-world photos, and top room applications. By the end, you’ll understand how these classic whites differ and which Sherwin Williams white is right for you.

Key Differences Between Pearly White and Alabaster

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

  • Undertones: Pearly White is a crisp, clean white while Alabaster is a warm, creamy white.
  • LRV: Pearly White has a higher LRV of 77, Alabaster is slightly darker at 82 LRV.
  • Use: Pearly White works well whole-home, Alabaster excels for trims and accents.
  • Rooms: Pearly White shines in kitchens, baths, and contemporary spaces. Alabaster fits traditional and rustic styles.

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

Sherwin Williams Pearly White SW 7009

Real Sherwin-Williams Pearly White
Image Credit:@ grosselectric

Pearly White SW 7009 is a gorgeous bright white paint color with widespread popularity. Its clean, neutral vibe works with almost any style.

Here are some key details about Pearly White:

  • LRV: 77
  • Undertones: Crisp, clean white
  • Sheen: Available in all finishes
  • Rooms: Kitchens, bathrooms, contemporary spaces
  • Pairs Well With: Grays, blues, blacks
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Pearly White is a true white without strong undertones. Its barely noticeable coolness gives it a clean, fresh feel. But the undertone is subtle enough to avoid looking stark or sterile.

With an 77 LRV, Pearly White has excellent light reflectance. This helps rooms feel open and airy. The high amount of light reflectance also prevents it from reading as harsh or clinical.

Some pleasing colors to pair with Pearly White include:

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

While suitable anywhere, Pearly White really excels when used as the main wall color in kitchens, bathrooms, and modern minimalist spaces. Its clean neutrality lets accents and architecture pop.

Sherwin Williams Alabaster SW 7008

SW Alabaster

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

Here are some key details about Alabaster:

  • LRV: 82
  • Undertones: Warm ivory
  • Sheen: Available in all finishes
  • Rooms: Bedrooms, living rooms, traditional spaces
  • Pairs Well With: Browns, reds, grays

Alabaster is an off-white with subtle warm golden undertones. While it reads as a true white, its faint creaminess gives it a soft, 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 without compromising brightness.

Some great color combinations 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 for bedrooms, living areas, and traditional spaces. Its soft warmth complements classic color schemes.

Comparing Pearly White vs Alabaster

Now that we’ve looked at Pearly White and Alabaster separately, let’s directly compare the two Sherwin Williams whites:

Light Reflectance

Pearly White has a slightly higher LRV of 77 compared to the 82 LRV of Alabaster. This means Pearly White will make a room feel a touch brighter and more open. However, the 2-point LRV difference is quite minor to the human eye.


Here is the main distinction. Pearly White is a super crisp, clean white while Alabaster has subtle warm undertones.

Pearly White’s barely cool undertone gives it a fresh, neutral vibe. Alabaster’s faint warmth provides a soft, inviting feel.


The barely noticeable coolness of Pearly White makes it extremely versatile for whole-home use. Alabaster’s slight warmth suits it best for trims, accents, and traditional spaces.

See also  BM Pale Oak vs SW Accessible Beige: What’s the Difference?

Paint Finishes

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

Pearly White vs Alabaster Comparison Chart

Here is a summary of their main differences:

Paint Color Pearly White SW 7009 Alabaster SW 7008
LRV 77 82
Undertones Clean, crisp Warm, creamy
Use Whole-home color Trims and accents
Sheens Any finish Any finish

Real Rooms Painted in Pearly White and Alabaster

To better visualize Pearly White vs Alabaster, below are real world rooms painted in the two white colors:

Pearly White SW 7009

Sherwin-Williams Pearly White
Image Credit:@ welcomehomestyling

Alabaster SW 7008

Real Room Photos SW Alabaster

While the differences are subtle, Pearly White leans a hint cooler while Alabaster has faint warmth. But both still read as classic, bright whites.

Should You Choose Pearly White or Alabaster?

So which Sherwin Williams white paint color is best for your home or space – versatile Pearly White or soft Alabaster? Here are some tips for deciding:

Consider Pearly White SW 7009 if you want:

  • A super crisp, clean white with barely any undertones
  • A flexible color suitable for every room
  • Lots of brightness and light reflectance
  • A fresh, modern feel

Consider Alabaster SW 7008 if you want:

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

If still undecided, get samples of both whites and paint large swatches to view in your space. Look at different times of day before deciding on the perfect white.

In most cases, one of these timeless Sherwin Williams whites will better suit your goals and design. Keep reading for ideal rooms and color pairings.

Best Room Applications

Here are some rooms and spaces that tend to suit Pearly White vs Alabaster best:

Pearly White SW 7009 Works Well In:

  • Kitchens
  • Bathrooms
  • Laundry Rooms
  • Hallways
  • Modern Spaces

Alabaster SW 7008 Works Well In:

  • Bedrooms
  • Living Rooms
  • Dining Rooms
  • Offices
  • Traditional Spaces

Both can work beautifully in any home. But the above applications maximize the strengths of each white.

Design Ideas and Color Pairings

On their own, Pearly White and Alabaster create airy backdrops. When combined with other colors and materials, they make gorgeous spaces:

Pearly White Color Pairings

  • Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black accents
  • Sherwin Williams Rainwashed walls
  • Marble counters and backsplash
  • Chrome fixtures

Alabaster Color Pairings

  • Sherwin Williams Renwick Olive accent wall
  • Sherwin Williams Repose Gray walls
  • Medium wood floors
  • Brass hardware

Pearly White vs Alabaster – Which is Best For You?

When deciding between Pearly White and Alabaster, consider your goals, home style, and preferences:

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Consider Pearly White SW 7009 if you want:

  • A true clean white suitable for every space
  • Crisp, modern aesthetic
  • Lots of light reflectance without harshness
  • Flexible neutral for contemporary homes

Consider Alabaster SW 7008 if you want:

  • A warm ivory white with subtle creaminess
  • Soft, welcoming feel for traditional spaces
  • Gentle contrast for trims and accents
  • A classic, timeless white paint color

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

Frequently Asked Questions

Still trying to decide between Pearly White vs Alabaster? Here are some answers to common questions:

Is Pearly White suitable for bedrooms?

Definitely! The clean brightness of Pearly White looks beautiful and soothing in bedrooms. Especially nice paired with light gray walls and crisp white bedding. Adds just enough contrast without starkness.

What colors go well with Alabaster walls?

Alabaster pairs nicely with sage greens, light blues, grays, and deeper reds. Dark brown furniture and warm wood floors help accentuate its soft traditional elegance.

Which of the two whites is warmer?

Alabaster SW 7008 has faint warm golden undertones, while Pearly White SW 7009 is a touch cooler and crisper. The differences are subtle though.

Can you use Alabaster in a bathroom?

Yes, Alabaster can work well in bathrooms, especially for a soft vintage feel. Pair with antique bronze fixtures and natural textures like linen and wicker. Keep tiles and grout crisp white.

Is Pearly White suitable for trims and accents?

Absolutely! The clean brightness of Pearly White makes it the perfect color for trims, doors, shutters, and accent walls to add contrast. Especially nice with gray walls.


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

  • Pearly White SW 7009 is a flexible, clean white suitable for every space.
  • Alabaster SW 7008 is a warm, soft white perfect for trims and traditional homes.

While the differences are subtle, the undertones help one likely better suit your particular needs and style. Consider your goals and home aesthetic before deciding between Pearly White and Alabaster. Get color swatches to ensure you select the perfect classic white!

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