Benjamin Moore Cloud White: is it the best warm white?
When it comes to the most popular white paint colors, you’ll be hard-pressed to find one that’s more talked about than Benjamin Moore’s Cloud White. It’s not just the versatility of this white that keeps it top of mind, it’s the fact that it’s been kickin’ for a looooong time in the wild world of white, and there are good reasons for that, so let’s jump in…
WHAT COLOR IS CLOUD WHITE – IS IT WARM OR COOL?
Cloud White is a grounded, creamy, WARM white paint color. While its softness and warmth could lead you to believe its an off-white – it’s not. In fact, it’s one of the most popular whites because it sits in a great place between ones that are a bit TOO warm, with more yellow in them, and whites that are more crisp and clean.
Regardless, it’s important to pick the white paint color that best suits the particular finishes in your home, whether you think it’s too creamy/white or not.
Cloud White with Benjamin Moore Gray Owl
If you have north-facing or afternoon eastern light, you may find that Cloud White balances out that cooler, flatter light. If you have south-facing light or afternoon western light, Cloud White can look a bit warmer; be careful that it doesn’t pick more yellow than you planned on.
WHAT’S THE LRV OF CLOUD WHITE?
Cloud White has an LRV (light reflectance value) of 85.05 (its old LRV was 87, but it’s been updated), so it’s getting up there. It’s not quite as white as Benjamin Moore Simply White, but it’s whiter than one of my FAVE go-to white paint colors, Benjamin Moore White Dove.
With this depth of white, a white could normally look like a ‘normal shade of white’, but because of the degree of yellow-cream in Cloud White, it usually looks like a soft, warm white.
Not sure what LRV is? It could save your paint-lovin’ life – read all about it HERE.
WHAT ARE CLOUD WHITE’S UNDERTONES?
The undertones of Cloud White are very soft, with a subtle focus on yellow (which is what makes it a WARM white). However, Cloud White doesn’t have a clear yellow look as a neutral base calms it down, making it popular for trims, walls, and cabinets.
Benjamin Moore Navajo White walls with Cloud White trim
Sherwin Williams Wool Skein walls with Cloud White moldings
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WHAT’S THE BEST WHITE TRIM OR CABINET COLOR WITH CLOUD WHITE WALLS?
If your walls are Cloud White, your best bet is to paint your trim and/or cabinets Cloud White too.
I love the passive warmth of Cloud White – emphasis on passive. The thing is, if you partner it with a different white on your trim or cabinets, this new white will likely showcase the warmth of Cloud White more, making it look more yellow. Cloud White is at its BEST when partnered with itself (or a non-white). I would rather let the shift in paint sheen do the magical work rather than mixing and matching whites.
This next photo is a great example…
Notice the walls (Cloud White) vs the trim and pantry door. Because the door is brighter and whiter than Cloud White, it makes Cloud White look more yellow in comparison. ‘In comparison’ is an important statement; if the door and trims were also Cloud White, it could look LESS yellow as it wouldn’t be directly compared to a brighter white.
Again, in this next photo, compare the brighter white ceiling to the Cloud White walls. And this isn’t to say it’s a BAD look, as both rooms look beautiful! It’s just an important detail if you’re worried about Cloud White being too yellow…
In this next home, because Cloud White isn’t being directly compared to a brighter, cleaner white, it looks more muted and subtle…
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IS CLOUD WHITE A GOOD WHITE FOR KITCHEN CABINETS?
It depends. Cloud White is the perfect color for many laminate countertops from the 90s and early 2000s, as well as granite countertops. Most of the time, it’s a bit too yellow for marble and today’s most popular white quartz countertops.
In this next photo, Cloud White is on the trim and cabinets with Formica Soapstone, one of my UBER FAVE laminate countertops…
We saved a TON of money with laminate on the perimeter and quartz on the island only! See it all HERE
WHAT SHERWIN WILLIAMS’ PAINT COLORS ARE SIMILAR TO CLOUD WHITE?
There will never be a perfect match between brands, ESPECIALLY if you want to color match. Expect shifts in undertones, temperature, and depths. However, there are some shades of white with similar intentions, but different approaches…
- Sherwin Williams Alabaster is the most equivalent to Cloud White, although it’s not as white.
- Sherwin Williams Pure White
- Sherwin Williams Greek Villa
- Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee
Sherwin Williams Alabaster
IS CLOUD WHITE THE MOST POPULAR SHADE OF WHITE?
While it’s not the best in MY books, it’s definitely in the top five. When it comes to whites, unless the products in a space NEED more warmth, I’m more inclined towards a more muted white, along the lines of Benjamin Moore White Dove or even Sherwin Williams Pure White.
Benjamin Moore Cloud White with Ocean Air
PEOPLE ALSO ASK…
While these aren’t THE most popular questions, they do pop up once in a while…
WILL CLOUD WHITE LOOK YELLOW OR GREEN?
Yes, Cloud White CAN look yellow if you compare it to a clean or cool white (i.e., white appliances). As mentioned earlier, it can look more yellow/creamy if you partner it with whiter cabinets or trim.
Another way to enhance the warmth of Cloud White (if you’re so inclined) is to partner it with a cooler color like Sherwin Williams Sea Salt. The cool blue-green hue of Sea Salt brings out the yellow in Cloud White a bit more than usual – great for a coastal look…
As for exposures, if you have south-facing light, Cloud White can lean even more into its warmth courtesy of that lovely southern sunshine (same with the afternoon western sun). However, in a north-facing room (or eastern afternoons), the warmth of Cloud White can help to balance off some of the flat, gray light.
Regarding green undertones, Cloud White doesn’t look green, but if it does, it’s likely being reflected from the outside (grass/trees – which is what any white will do).
In this next photo, notice how Cloud White looks on the cabinet that’s DIRECTLY to the left of the window…that’s the landscaping color reflecting onto it.
CLOUD WHITE vs. WHITE DOVE
Many people want to know if Cloud White is whiter than White Dove, and the answer is YES. While there isn’t a huge difference, Cloud White has an LRV of 85.05 to White Dove’s 83.16. This difference makes Cloud White a touch brighter. As for undertones, Cloud White has a slightly more noticeable yellow undertone than White Dove, although, all things considered, both are pretty darn subtle.
In this next photo, White Dove looks softer and more muted, whereas Cloud White looks brighter.
And while White Dove does look creamier in this image, don’t be fooled; Cloud White’s yellow undertone is definitely there (we’d see it more if the trim were a brighter white).
Not sure if Cloud White is right for you? Want a bit warmer or cooler? I’ve got more!
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UPDATED IN 2023 FOR PHOTOS & CONTENT