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Sherwin Williams Alabaster vs Pure White: let’s compare!

Looking for the perfect warm white paint color? Let’s compare Sherwin Williams Alabaster vs Pure White to see which might be right for you.

White is a super popular wall paint color. White walls are fresh and clean, a blank slate for many decorating color palettes to layer on top of.

However, most people who want white walls don’t want something stark or cold.

Instead, a softer, slightly creamy, barely off white hits the spot.

Two of the most popular colors in this category are Sherwin Williams Alabaster and Pure White.

Read my full review of Alabaster

Read my full review of Pure White

Sherwin Williams Alabaster vs Pure White

SW alabaster vs pure white

What is similar about Alabaster vs Pure White?

These are both super popular off-white paint colors. They are really light and bright enough that they will look white on your walls – it’s really only next to a true white (like a sheet of paper) that you will see their creaminess.

They both have soft, warm undertones. Neither has strong yellow or golden color to them.

What is different about Alabaster vs Pure White?

AlabasterPure White
RBGR: 237 G: 234 B: 224R:237 G:236 B:230
UndertonesAlabaster has warm, beige toned undertones.Pure white has slightly yellow undertones. It does not read yellow at all but more slightly creamy – which keeps it from being cold or stark.


LRV measures the color depth, or darkness, of a color. The closer to 100 (white), the lighter the color is.

With an LRV of 84, Pure White is slightly lighter and brighter than Alabaster (LRV 82).

Generally, an LRV of 73-82 is considered off-white, and anything 83 or above is considered white.

Following this rule, Pure White would be considered white and Alabaster would be considered off-white.


These colors also have different undertones. Pure White has slight yellow undertones. SLIGHT. It does not read yellow at all by itself, but there is just a touch of it there to soften it up.

Alabaster has much creamier beige undertones. Theres just a bit more brown or even pink than Pure White.

How do I decide between these two colors?

These colors are very similar, and if you are considering them, I suggest swatching both.

If your room is very bright, I would lean towards Alabaster for a bit more depth. The slight darker shade will wash out in bright light and appear white but not cold. If your room is dark, however, the Alabaster might look slightly dingy or beige.

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.

Click here to get removable peel & stick paint samples to easily swatch with!

Free printable Pure White color palette

Join the (free!) PaintColorProject+ community to access this exclusive color palette! Once you join, you can right click & save the palette image!

Sherwin Williams Pure White color palette

Still not sure what paint color to choose?

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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.

Learn more about the Paint Color Formula here!

The best way to sample paint? Samplize!

Get peel-and-stick removable and reusable paint samples here!

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Thanks for reading!

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