Looking for the perfect neutral paint color for your home? Here are the best cream paint colors that might be perfect for your space!
People love a neutral paint color. I get it – neutral paint lets you choose from many accent colors and you can even completely change your accent color scheme without having to re-paint.
Cream is a popular neutral paint color because it is soft, warm, and generally easy to decorate with.
While cream isn’t an exciting color per se, it’s very unlikely that anyone will be offended by cream. So, it can be a great color to paint your house to sell, too.
Let’s talk about cream paint and some of my very favorite shades!
What color is cream, anyway?
Cream is considered to be a very pastel shade of yellow. It is often an off white with heavy yellow undertones.
We will talk about Light Reflective Values later, but in general:
- LRV > 82 is considered white
- LRV of 73-82 is considered off-white
- LRV < 73 is considered not white at all
Why should you choose a cream color paint?
Cream paint colors are light and bright enough to be very neutral. But, they are more warm and inviting compared to a pure white color. Cream colors also tend to have a bit more depth to them than a warm toned white, making it great for very brightly lit spaces that can easily get washed out.
Cream walls are a soft, neutral option that works with many styles of home decor and different accent colors. Cream colored walls are timeless and this paint job will last you decades!
The easiest way to get a feel for a cream paint color is to get a paint strip for that color.
Follow it down to darker shades. Suddenly it’s easier to see the brown, yellow, or pink undertones!
The easiest way to tell this is to get a paint swatch and hold it up to something true white – such as a sheet of paper. Suddenly the undertones pop out!
What colors go well with cream?
Cream is a neutral color that can go with almost any other color palette.
You can pair cream with other soft colors, such as light tans or grays, for a very neutral look. Or, you can pair it with darker or bold accent colors and it will still look great.
As far as picking accent colors, I suggest looking at the undertones of the cream paint color that you are using and choose colors that coordinate with or complement that tone!
What is the best cream paint?
The best cream paint will depend on where you want to use it and the light conditions and existing fixtures in your home.
My general process for picking a wall paint color is:
- Get paper swatches
- Hold them up all over the room
- Pick 3-5 to get samples of
- Paint on multiple walls, look at it day and night, lights on and light off
- Pick a color
What is the best cream paint color for walls?
The best cream paint color for walls will be one that the undertones coordinate with the existing features in your room.
Remember that light white and cream wall paint has a high LRV – light reflective value. This means that they are light colors but also means that they literally reflect light. They will reflect the colors of the things around them.
So, a cream wall next to a big red rug will get a bit of a pink reflection to it. If the cream already has pink undertones, it could look VERY pink! This is why it’s so important to swatch colors in yours space!
It’s very important to swatch colors on your wall to be sure they look good – day and night – in your actual space before committing.
What is the best cream paint color for the exterior of a home?
Once again, you are going to want to choose a cream paint with undertones that match or coordinate with the color of your home’s siding, brick, or stone outer finish.
Also consider how much bright light the space gets – whites and off whites can look completely washed out in bright light! If your home gets a lot of sun, pick a color with a lower LRV and a bit more color to it to help it still look creamy.
What is the best cream paint color for kitchen cabinets?
Pick a cream paint color that complements your existing features like countertops, flooring, and backsplash. If there are existing white elements, I’d suggest comparing those specifically to the paint samples to be sure you have a good match or at least they don’t clash.
What is the best trim color to pair with cream walls?
You have two options for trim colors when it comes to cream walls: use the same cream on the trim, or go with more of a stark white.
If you want a soft, layered look, going tone-on-tone with the trim is a great option. Choose a flat or eggshell paint for the walls and a semi gloss finish on the trim, but make it the same color!
If you prefer more contrast, you will want a clean white trim. Anything too warm will look murky next to the cream. Think of Extra White or Ultra White, for example.
Popular Cream Paint Colors
Some of the most popular cream paint colors are:
|Sherwin Williams Creamy||81||warm yellow, tan|
|Benjamin Moore Cloud White||85||warm neutral, yellow|
|Sherwin Williams Antique White||72||yellow, beige, orange|
|Sherwin Williams Dover White||83||golden yellow|
|Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee||81||gray, yellow, green|
*Light Reflective Value measures the percent of light that is shone at a color that bounces back. The lower the number, the darker the color is!
The best cream paint colors
I split these warm cream color paints into light and dark shades to help you better find the creamy color of your dreams!
The best light cream paint colors
Light cream colors are going to be closer to an off-white paint color, with warm yellow undertones.
Sherwin Williams Creamy
Undertones: warm yellow, tan
Creamy is a very soft yellow paint color. It is pretty solidly in the off-white color category, but those yellow undertones make it feel nice and – you guessed it – creamy.
Benjamin Moore Simply White
Undertones: yellow, slightly green
Simply White is a very light white cream color. It’s really more of a white with creamy yellow undertones!
This is a great option if you are looking for a white paint color with just a bit of warmth to it.
Benjamin Moore Soft Chamois
Undertones: greige, green, gold
Benjamin Moore Soft Chamois is a golden greige shade off off-white. It has a definite warmth to it and just enough color for interest, without feeling dark at all.
Behr Polar Bear
Undertones: warm, pink
Polar Bear is a warm cream paint color with a bit of pink to it. Polar Bear is a bit brighter and therefore seems lighter than many other creams. It’s a great option for clean but not stark looking walls or trim.
Benjamin Moore Linen White
Undertones: warm yellow
Linen White is a cream paint color, but the undertones feel more warm than straight yellow. It is soft an elegant. With an LRV around 81, it’s on the very light end for an off-white paint color and is practically white.
Benjamin Moore Vanilla Milkshake
Undertones: gray, cream
Vanilla Milkshake is a very light greige paint color that skews beige or cream. It’s a super soft neutral option for a light, bright, and warm wall color.
Sherwin Williams Alabaster
Undertones: warm, beige toned undertones.
Alabaster is an ultra popular (2016 color of the year!) creamy white paint color. It is not pure white but has creamy beige undertones. It is not at all yellow.
This color is a perfect balance between warm and cool, which is a big part of what makes it so universally appealing.
Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee
Undertones: gray, yellow, green
This is a very light and bright cream color. It has a good amount of gray to it, which keeps it from reading too yellow.
Beware cool light which can put a blue cast on and make it read slightly green.
Sherwin Williams Steamed Milk
Undertones: yellow, orange
Steamed milk is on the darker end of the range but is technically still considered an off white. However, it will give you a bit more color compared to some of the other light cream paint colors.
This color almost has a bit of orange to it – which can really show up in warm light. Always swatch before committing!
Benjamin Moore Featherbed
Feather bed is a cream color with a lot of yellow to it. Like, it’s on the edge between creamy yellow and yellow-yellow.
If you are looking for an almost pastel yellow – this could be a great option. It’s light and bright enough to work well on the walls of any room.
Benjamin Moore Cloud White
Undertones: warm neutral, yellow
Cloud White is a warm, creamy white color. If you want something light and bright, this is a great option.
If your room is very bright, be prepared for a shade this light to be washed out and look white – while still warm and inviting – on the walls.
Sherwin Williams Casa Blanca
Undertones: yellow, gray
Casa Blanca is a great neutral cream color. It has a lot of gray in it, which tones down the yellow. But, it still is definitely cream and not gray!
This color has enough depth to it to not get washed out, but is not dark at all.
Sherwin Williams Zurich White
Undertones: gray, yellow
This color is really a warm greige. It has a lot of gray to it – in cool light it might even look more gray than beige.
However, it is truly soft and creamy, making it a great cream paint color choice.
Benjamin Moore Timid White
Undertones: yellow, gray
Timid White is a cream paint color with a bit of gray to it, bringing it close to a greige. The gray helps to keep the color feeling soft and muted. However, the tan/yellow tones definitely are stronger than the gray.
Sherwin Williams Dover White
Undertones: creamy white with golden yellow undertones
Dover White isn’t a typical white – its a very soft, creamy white, verging on the edge of beige.
If you pair Dover White with warm colors – gold, brown, beige – it will look whiter. If you pair it with cool colors – icy grays, silver, blue – it will look more beige/yellow.
This color is light bright and neutral enough to make a great whole house paint color. It’s great as a wall color in homes with warm-toned flooring and accents. It can work for the exterior of a home or even a piece of furniture on a stark white or dark colored wall.
Benjamin Moore Indian White
Undertones: beige, orange
This color is just dark enough that it is barely on the cusp of being considered off-white. That gives it a good amount of depth that won’t wash out in bright light.
Beware the orange undertones – if your room has very warm light, or you decorate with reds or oranges, that could be played up and more noticeable! Not bad, but it has to be something you like!
The best dark cream paint colors
Darker cream paint colors are going to still be warm neutral, but have a bit more depth to them.
Sherwin Williams Everyday White
Undertones: beige, blush/pink
Everyday white is right over the threshold beyond being considered off-white and is more of a true creamy color. If your room is very bright, it will read as lighter. If the room is dark, it will look darker!
Everyday white has a bit of pink and blush to it, so if that scares you, it might not be the right fit!
Benjamin Moore Natural Cream
Undertones: greige, yellow, gray
Natural Cream is really a greige paint color, but it leans towards beige with warm yellow undertones that I count as creamy.
This is a darker, more mid-toned color. It has a lot of depth to it and is not at all light. In a dark room, it will look even deeper!
Benjamin Moore Gentle Cream
Undertones: brown, orange
If you want a cream color with a good amount of depth to it that reads more tan than yellow, this is a great bet. It has a touch of orange to it, keeping it warm without being very yellow.
Sherwin Williams Antique White
Undertones: yellow, beige, orange
With an LRV of 72, Antique White ironically enough is too dark to be considered a white or off white color. This color has a lot of depth which keeps it’s color and interest even in brighter rooms.
It has just a touch of orange to it and is almost approaching a tuscan color aesthetic. It’s definitely too dark for trim or cabinets!
Benjamin Moore Ballet White
Undertones: cream, greige, green
This is a super muted cream color with a lot of gray tones to it. It’s almost more beige than yellow, but I think that it reads like a cream in most spaces.
The color has a nice depth to it so it won’t get too washed out!
What is your favorite cream wall color?
Still not sure what paint color to choose?
My Paint Color Formula ebook walks you through the painless process of expertly testing paint swatches to ensure you have the perfect color for your home.