Sherwin Williams Pure White – The SECOND Best White Paint Colour
White is IN – and not just relating to wine, sneakers and SUV’s, I’m talking whole home paint colour palettes of white-on-white-on-WHITE.
But sadly, that doesn’t mean EVERY home can pull off white walls. In fact, the stars need to align with regard to exposures, finishes, furnishings and tastes in order to pull off a white paint palette.
Luckily, I have some Online Colour Consulting clients with just the right style, furnishings and spaces to pull off white walls. And what white did they choose? Sherwin Williams Pure White, which is officially my 2nd fave white in the world (aren’t you dying to know my first? It starts with char and ends with donnay). Seriously though, keep reading and you’ll discover a few of my OTHER fave white paint colours. Stop reading and you’ll get a spankin’ with a wet noodle.
And all of these homes are different! You’ll see rooms in the warm sun of Hawaii, the cool gray of Vancouver Island as well as a whole RANGE of exposures and lighting, showing you the massive versatility of this awesome white paint colour.
So, without FURTHER ado, let’s check out this wicked white…
What type of paint colour is Sherwin Williams Pure White? Is it warm or cool?
Well, as you’ve probably figured out, Pure White is one of the most VERSATILE, flexible and POPULAR white paint colours on the market – but it’s not a TRUE white, as it has a soft, passive warmth to it, without looking as creamy as some of the other whites. Pure White works well for walls, trims, cabinets and even exterior siding!
What is the LRV of Pure White?
Pure White has an LRV of 84, so it’s what I call a soft white – it’s not stark, but not overly creamy either.
If you aren’t familiar with LRV, you should take a gander here – it’s kind of a big deal and is a GAME-changer when it comes to choosing the best paint colour for your room.
What are the undertones of Pure White?
Pure White has a soft warmth to it in the form of a wee wink of black (which just softens it) and a drop of yellow which makes it slightly warm. But really, when I say SLIGHTLY…I ain’t kiddin’.
And like ANY white, Pure White can EASILY pick up colour from its surroundings. In the above photo, Pure White looks a bit more crisp and clean, whereas, in this next photo, it looks a bit softer and warmer…
In this next photo, at the top of the photo, the wall is getting hit by a SOLID does of northern light and look at how cool it looks (literally and figuratively)…
This means that if you have a bright red couch, Pure White could reflect a subtle pink hue. If you have TONS of grass/landscaping it could pick up a wee wink o’ green. It isn’t always about the white you choose BEING those colours, it’s about what your white paint colour is reflecting back at you, which leads us to our next topic…exposure.
Pure White in a south or west-facing room
South-facing light is warm and slightly yellow, which plays well into the subtle warmth of Pure White.
In a west-facing room, you won’t get that same warm glow in the morning when the sun is on the opposite side, but as the afternoon progresses things will warm up nicely, without going too far.
HOWEVER, if you have a south-facing room and don’t LOVE warm whites, then you might want to look at a few different whites that don’t have that wink of warmth in them.
Pure White in a north-facing room
Northern light is a cool gray light that can cast a touch blue. In a north-facing room, you might find Pure White has a slightly cleaner edge to it vs the softness you’d find in other lights. This means that if you have a north-facing room and want a really warm soft white, you may want to choose another white paint colour.
The exception to that? My one client’s home – the one who lives in Maui (I’m desperately jealous as I hunker down in my igloo). She gets an EXCEPTIONAL amount of warm sunshine and even her northern exposure isn’t that grayed-out. Colour is so friggin’ cool.
Let’s take a quick break to talk about paint samples…
Undoubtedly, you’ll be heading out in the near future to grab paint samples – stop right there! I want you to check out SAMPLIZE. Samplize offers peel and stick paint samples that are more AFFORDABLE, EASIER and more ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY than traditional paint pots. Here are just a FEW reasons why I recommend Samplize to my clients…
- Samples arrive ON YOUR DOORSTEP in 1-3 business days, depending on location
- At $6.99, they’re more affordable than the samples pots/rollers/foam boards that are needing for traditional paint sampling
- If you keep the samples on their white paper, you can move them around the room
Visit the SAMPLIZE website HERE
What’s the best white trim colour for Pure White?
I LOVE Pure White on cabinets or ANY white if it’s on my countertop…in a glass (I’ll fit in a wine innuendo anywhere I can). I mean sure, you could partner it with a cleaner white like SW High Reflective White IF you want to see the warmth of Pure White a bit more (via the contrast between the two), but if it were me, I would stick with Pure White and let the shift in SHEEN from wall to trim/cabinet do the work for me.
This next photo is a FAB example of Pure White in its FULL glory – walls, ceiling, trims AND cabinets.
See more of this gorgeous home HERE
Is Pure White a good kitchen cabinet colour?
Hellllls yeah! As shown above (and below), Pure White is a gorgeous choice for cabinets. It generally ‘looks like white’, without being as stark as more traditional whites. It’s also versatile and suits a WIDE-range of countertop choices. It’s ABSOLUTELY in my top 3 white paint colours for cabinets.
And also, because I have wicked cool clients who send me after photos, I can show you how Pure White shifts from day to night!
Pure White in the daytime with no light bulbs…
And Pure White in the early evening with light bulbs…
In the above photo, you can see how Pure White softens that little bit with the warm bulbs compared to the brighter look of the previous photo. This is the LIGHT warming up Pure White, not Pure White itself.
What Benjamin Moore paint colours are the same as or similar to Pure White?
You won’t find an exact match for ANY colour between brands – you WILL see shifts in undertones, temperature and depths. However, there are some with similar intentions, but different approaches…
- Benjamin Moore White Dove is similar, but a wink warmer, same with Cloud White, which is that bit warmer again
- Benjamin Moore Oxford White is a bit brighter but does the same job in that it’s not OVERLY creamy warm, nor stark
And if you’re thinking of colour matching between brands (ie: getting BM to make an SW paint colour), you might want to read THIS first.
Pure White vs…
Because Pure White isn’t the ONLY popular white paint colour, I thought I’d do a few comparisons for you…
Sherwin Williams Pure White vs Sherwin Williams Extra White
Extra White is more of a clean/sharp look that can cast just slightly cool vs Pure White.
Sherwin Williams Pure White vs Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace
Really, these are opposites. Pure White leans that WEE wink soft, Chantilly Lace acts pretty darned white, but can lean a wee tiny wink cool (not unlike SW Extra White).
Sherwin Williams Pure White vs Sherwin Williams Alabaster
Alabaster is a warmer, softer, creamier white compared to Pure White and has more body to it.
Sherwin Williams Pure White vs Benjamin Moore White Dove
White Dove is a soft warm white along similar lines to Alabaster, but not AS creamy. AND…it’s my other fave for sure.
So, there you have it. If you did your reading, you’ll know that Benjamin Moore White Dove IS my OTHER absolute fave white paint colour – this month anyway 😉
Need help picking YOUR best white paint colour?
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KYLIE M EDESIGN ONLINE, VIRTUAL PAINT COLOR CONSULTANT SPECIALIZING IN SHERWIN WILLIAMS AND BENJAMIN MOORE PAINT COLOURS
Originally written in late 2018, updated and improved in 2020!