SW 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.
And I can confidently say those stars aligned PERFECTLY for two of my clients. Not only did they have the cajones to pull it off, but they also had the style to boot…
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.
These two homes could not be different. One is in the warm sun of Hawaii and the other is on another kind of island…a cold gray West Coast style one – Vancouver Island. However, even with our rainy days, we still get some beautiful sunny days and southern exposures!
And I would LOVE to show you the before photos, but one of the homes was a NEW build and the other was an E-Design client and the before photos were the Realtors, so I’m not allowed to use them! (insert pouting face here).
So, without FURTHER ado, let’s check out this wicked white…
What is the LRV of Pure White?
Pure White has an LRV of 84, so it’s what I call pretty darned white – but not stark white.
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 very little colourant in it, which is why its LRV is so darned high! It has 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…
The photo above is NOT Pure White, it’s BM Chantilly Lace. However, it shows how even a SUPER crisp white like BM Chantilly Lace can pick up cues from its environment! Put this bad boy in a north-facing room (or non-extreme southern location like the one above) and it would look DRASTICALLY more clean and crisp!
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.
Pure White vs…
Because Pure White isn’t the ONLY popular white paint colour, I thought I’d do a few comparisons for you…
SW Pure White vs SW Extra White
Extra White is more of a clean/sharp look that can cast just slightly cool vs Pure White
SW Pure White vs BM 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).
SW Pure White vs SW Alabaster
Alabaster is a warmer, softer, creamier white compared to Pure White and has more body to it.
SW Pure White vs BM 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 BM White Dove IS my OTHER absolute fave white paint colour – this month anyway 😉
Need help picking YOUR best white paint colour?
Check out my E-Design packages – affordable and FUN!
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!