Sherwin Williams High Reflective White: a TRUE white paint color?
When it comes to specifying white paint colors for my E-Design clients, High Reflective White is one that I refer to all the time. Why? Let’s find out!
What type of paint color is High Reflective White? Is it a TRUE white?
High Reflective White is PRETTY DARN WHITE and is Sherwin William’s TRUEST, most genuine white paint color.
Is High Reflective White a warm or cool white paint color?
High Reflective White is neither cold nor warm; it’s a neutral white paint color with no noticeable hue.
North, East, South, West – Which Paint Color is the Best?
What’s the LRV of High Reflective White?
High Reflective White has an LRV of almost 93. With an LRV THIS HIGH, it’s one of the most LEGIT WHITES on the market (learn more about LRV HERE).
Not sure what LRV is? It could save your paint-lovin’ life – read all about it HERE.
What are the undertones of High Reflective White? Will it pick up undertones of blue, yellow, violet or green?
Whites are hard because while they have their own UNDERTONES, they’re VERY SUSCEPTIBLE for picking up reflections from their environment. Everything from the cool gray-blue of northern light to the reflection of your grass, your neighbour’s brick wall or your bright red sofa can reflect onto white walls, changing how they’re perceived.
However, at heart, High Reflective White is a pretty darn neutral white.
What’s the best way to sample High Reflective White?
Like with every paint color, I highly recommend using SAMPLIZE. Samplize is a peel & stick paint sample that you can easily move around your room for over HALF THE COST of traditional sample pots – and they deliver right to your front door!
Just be careful when sampling. The undertones in white paint colors can be OVEREXPOSED if you compare them to the white paper or poster board. The best way to pick a white paint color is to compare it to OTHER white paint colors that are similar.
Learn all about Samplize HERE
If I’m painting my walls High Reflective White, what’s the best white paint color for my trim or cabinets?
HIGH REFLECTIVE WHITE! That’s right; I would do the same color on the walls, trim and ceilings and just let the change in sheen do any shifting for you (and there will be shifting).
Should my Walls, Trim and Cabinets be the SAME WHITE PAINT COLOR?
The 5 Types of White Paint Colors
The 4 Best White Paint Colors from Sherwin Williams
Can High Reflective White be used on my walls, trims, and cabinets, or is it just a base color?
High Reflective White is actually a BASE that’s used to create other white paint colors; its intention isn’t to be used as an actual paint color. However, Sherwin includes it in the fan deck, and I, for one, have used it DOZENS AND DOZENS OF TIMES.
DAMN, I have some talented clients!
Why isn’t it used as a ‘color’? It doesn’t have enough tint/colorant to offer any hide. ‘Hide’ refers to how well a color covers another color. If you take Sherwin Williams High Reflective White off the shelf as it is, you’ll be five coats deep and might STILL SEE your old color through it.
And while I could go into gratuitous detail here, I’ve written a helpful blog post showing you HOW to get High Reflective White made.
Why is Sherwin Williams High Reflective White SO HARD TO GET? (and how to get it)
Is High Reflective White a good white for kitchen cabinets?
YES! While there are MANY gorgeous white paint colors for cabinets, High Reflective White is a great one to look at if you prefer a cooler paint color palette or some of the popular white quartz or marble countertops.
Is High Reflective White a good color for the exterior of my home?
If you’re wanting a white house or white trim, then HRW could be a great choice for you. It’s bright and simple and will be WHITE looking. Just remember, it WILL pick up cues from its environment based on the exposure of your home and other factors like grass, trees and water.
5 Tips for Choosing an Exterior Paint Color
Is High Reflective White one of the most popular white paint colors?
These days, softer whites are on more people’s radars, but for those looking for a cleaner, whiter approach, High Reflective White is VERY popular, right up there with Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace.
What type of paint colors look good with High Reflective White?
As far as white paint colors go, High Reflective White is one of the more flexible ones and can accommodate a WIIIIIDE range of colors. It’s more about what you might NOT do vs what you can do…
- if you have warm Tuscan products in your home (i.e. golden beige tiles, countertops, carpets, for example), you might find High Reflective White just a bit too stark and clean
- if you have beige/almond windows or bathroom fixtures, HRW could be too stark
WHICH PAINT COLORS ARE COMPARABLE TO HIGH REFLECTIVE WHITE?
If you’re having difficulty getting High Reflective White or want a few alternatives for comparison, check out…
- Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace. The difference between Chantilly Lace is that it’s a tiny bit softer than High Reflective White (read about it HERE)
- BEHR Ultra Pure White. The difference between Ultra Pure White is that it’s a tiny bit WHITER and brighter than High Reflective White (read about it HERE)
- Sherwin Williams Extra White. The difference between Extra White is that it’s a touch COOLER than High Reflective White (read about it HERE)
Not sure if High Reflective White is right for you? Want a bit warmer or cooler? I’ve got more!
Paint Color Review of Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace
Paint Color Review of Sherwin Williams Pure White
Paint Color Review of Benjamin Moore Simply White
Not sure which paint color is best for YOUR home?
Check out my Online Paint Color Consulting – I’d love to help!
ORIGINALLY WRITTEN IN 2019, UPDATED FOR YOU IN 2022
I love your advice. It’s always spot on. Quick question…I’m painting an accent wall in my northern facing master bedroom SW Naval and I’m not sure which white would work best everywhere else. Lots of good light from 5 large windows (bay.) I want a clean look, thinking of SW High Reflective White for tray ceiling, trim and other 3 walls. New carpet being installed after I paint so I’m not committed to a carpet color yet. Do you think that will work?
If you want a crisp look, HRW would be gorgeous with Naval! Some might even look at Extra White, but I find it a flash too cool :).
I was planning to use HRW for my trim to go with Aesthetic White and SW just told me they can’t make that color in Pro Industrial semi gloss. My painters are coming Monday! Now I’m scrambling trying to figure out what to do, not to mention the shortage of paint. Eek!
My contractor used extra white as the base for the HRW, and my entire basement now looks BLUE. Is there anything that can be done? Perhaps a top coat using mixing method #1 as you describe in the article (adding white to the can)? Or should we just repaint with BM Chantilly lace…
Oh, I’m so sorry to hear this! I can’t see adding white making enough of a difference and would recommend moving over to High Reflective White or BM Chantilly Lace (i love Chantilly).
My cabinets are being refaced soon and my cabinet maker needs my white paint color YESTERDAY! They only use Sherwin Williams and the only colors I can come up with are Pure White, Extra White and High Reflective White. It is really hard to look at the colors in my home because the cabinets are that bad orange oak so the light is reflecting that on the paint swatch. My floors are a LVT in a somewhat warm color but can look yellow in the wrong light. Anyway the backsplash tile has a mixture of whites to a warm tan/beige as I wanted something a little different than plain white. To the point….it seems like everything has a gray undertone to me! So at this point I am leaning towards High Reflective White. I have 3 different samples and they all look different though. One I got from Samplize, one from the Sherwin Williams store and a piece of actual cabinet refaced material and they are all different. It is maddening and at this point I am just going to close my eyes and point to one. Is this normal to go through. Surely it cannot be this difficult!!!!! It seems like every decision I make I regret i.e. the floor color, my wall color……Thank you for all the free content you put out there to help people. I binge watch your reviews while on my treadmill!!!
Hi Paula, if it were ME, and I had what you’re explaining, I would choose Pure White. Extra White would be a hard no, and while I love HRW, I’ve seen Pure White turn out so STINKIN’ GOOD so many times, that it’s hard for me to not automatically go there. I know, the small samples make it so DARN HARD and things really only come to life on teh larger scale. I hope this helps :).