Sherwin Williams Snowbound: LRV, Undertones & a Little More
If you’re looking for the PERFECT white paint color for your trim, walls or exterior – THIS ISN’T IT! Just joking (kind of).
The thing is, Snowbound isn’t a true white. And while in the end, it might be EXACTLY what you’re looking for, you also need to know what you’re getting into before you start slappin’ it on your walls.
To show you RELATEABLE & REAL homes, I ONLY use photos from my Online Color Consulting clients. This means I don’t always have the quality pics I need (hence the ‘QUICK Review’), but DEFINITELY have some SUPER helpful info to help you on your way!
What type of paint color is Sherwin Williams Snowbound? Is it warm or cool?
Snowbound is a warm, soft white paint color. If you have south-facing light or warm afternoon western sun, you may find it looking warmer than usual…
If you have north-facing light, it will mute a bit without looking icy cold or stark. Notice how the above photo shows Snowbound picking up a bit of a yellow hue.
In this next photo, it’s EASY to see how warm Snowbound can flex…
However, in the room below, it leans more (violet-pink)…CRAZY, eh?
North, East, South, West – Which Paint Color is the Best?
What’s the LRV of Snowbound?
Snowbound has an LRV of 83, putting it in the white range, but NOT FAR into it. Most of the more popular whites range from approx. 84-94. With an LRV of 83, Snowbound is a relatively SOFT white with more LIMITING undertones.
In this next photo, compare Snowbound to the white of the door and the fan to see the shift between a white with a HIGHER LRV (similar to Sherwin Williams High Reflective White) and one with a lower LRV like Snowbound…
Not sure what LRV is? It could save your paint-lovin’ life – read all about it HERE.
What are the undertones of Snowbound? Will it look like a TRUE white?
HECK NO! With its slightly lower LRV, Snowbound picks up a beautiful SLIGHTLY TAUPE undertone (violet-pink). In my experience, this is an undertone my color consulting clients often want to avoid (especially in a shade of white) so make sure it’s the look you’re going for!
However, give Snowbound the right environment, and it can lean into its passive warmth and even pick up a faint hint of cream!
And while I’ve read A LOT about it having a green undertone, I’m YET to experience this.
What’s the best way to sample paint colors?
If you aren’t familiar with SAMPLIZE, I highly recommend you try them out! 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!
Learn all about Samplize HERE
What’s the best white trim color with Snowbound walls?
That depends. If you want to downplay the depth/undertone, it’s often best to paint the trim/doors the SAME COLOR as the walls. However, if you want to highlight the soft white look of Snowbound, you could partner it with a cleaner white, such as…
- Sherwin Williams High Reflective White
- Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace
I would avoid warm whites with Snowbound as the yellow of warm whites can react POORLY with the violet-pink in Snowbound.
SHOULD I Paint My Wood Cabinets White? A QUESTIONNAIRE
The 4 Best White Paint Colors from Sherwin Williams
Is Snowbound a good color for the exterior of my home?
With its unpredictable undertones, Snowbound isn’t a color I recommend very often to my E-Design clients (for exteriors). Unless Snowbound is PARTICULARLY nice with its stonework and surrounding finishes, I’m more likely to choose a different, more flexible white or off-white paint color.
With this next home’s palette, Snowbound is the PERFECT soft white paint color for the trims…
5 Tips for Choosing an Exterior Paint Color
Is Snowbound a good paint color for my trim and cabinets?
I’m not going to say NO, but I will advise you to tread carefully. On a ‘room-by-room’ basis, Snowbound can be a lovely trim color (or WALL color) when partnered with the right shade on the walls. However, on a larger scale, i.e. all the trims/ceilings/doors in your home, you may find it limits you long-term should you want to stretch outside of Snowbound’s limited color preferences.
As for cabinets, it does suit some countertops and backsplash tiles. But being a more FINICKY soft white, Snowbound will limit you when it comes to wall color choice and could look a bit off if you have brighter white trim.
Should My WHITE Walls, Cabinets & Trim Need be the SAME WHITE?
Kylie, do you even LIKE Snowbound?
After reading my notes re: Snowbound on cabinets or exteriors…or trims…or ceilings…or doors, you might think I’m not a fan. I AM a big fan of Snowbound – on walls. In fact, here are the IDEAL situations for Snowbound if you ask me (which you kind of are)…
1. you’re painting it in a single room OR multiple rooms with relatively bright white trims/ceilings/doors – AWESOME!
2. you’re doing your walls, cabinets AND trim all in Snowbound – SWEET POTATO!
3. you’re painting your trims and cabinets in Snowbound, and don’t ever plan on changing the paint color on your walls to anything OTHER than what Snowbound quite specifically likes – COOL BEANS!
And while I’m sure there are a few more exceptions, these three are the big ones.
What Benjamin Moore paint colors are the same as or similar to Snowbound?
Every paint color has its own blend, and there will be NO perfect match – you WILL see shifts in undertones, temperature and depths, and Benjamin Moore doesn’t have anything that comes even CLOSE.
And if you’re thinking of color matching between brands (i.e. getting BM to make an SW paint color), you might want to read THIS first.
What type of paint colors look good with Snowbound?
Snowbound is FINICKY, which goes back to my point about not using it EVERYWHERE, especially regarding trims/ceilings/doors. The types of colors Snowbound can humour include some…
- warm gray paint colors with a violet undertone
- some taupe paint colors with violet or violet-pink undertones
- clean whites
- some grays with a stronger blue or blue-green undertone
- darker charcoal grays with ANY undertone (i.e. a feature or accent wall)
I DEFINITELY wouldn’t partner Snowbound with…
- cream, tan or beige paint colors
- stronger taupe paint colors
- green paint colors unless they’re HEAVILY mixed with gray and blue or DARK
Paint Color Review of Sherwin Williams Pure White
Paint Color Review of Sherwin Williams Extra White
The ULTIMATE GUIDE to White Paint Colors
Benjamin Moore’s 8 Best White Paint Colors
Not sure which paint color is best for YOUR home?
Check out my Online Paint Color Consulting – I’d love to help!
Kylie – I have been following you for 3 years. You taught me so much about paint. I have to say I’m disappointed to see you don’t share my mad love for Snowbound. My kitchen cabinets are Snowbound with Agreeable Gray walls and Pure White trim. It was done in the Spring of 2019 and I’m still happy with it. I understand people can disagree. I’m just surprised you don’t like this popular color.
Hi Ally! So, it’s funny, I actually LOVE Snowbound (I’m thinking about using it in our lake build), but it’s just that it’s unpredictable and not as ‘safe’ as other whites. So many people use it as a trim colour and expect it to be flexible, and it just isn’t great for that application! I think what you have sounds LOVELY!
Thanks so much for this review on this not so predictable color. ” I think the joy of color should be approachable and accessible to everyone, whether you live in a bachelor suite or a mansion – I’ve got you covered.” I will always quote your words to everybody, you have been very helpful to me!!!
MELISSSSA, I just love this comment, thank you so much for taking the time to write it :).
This article has helped me a lot! I’m building a beach home and the builders mentioned they’re using Snowbound as the trim work color. I am really not happy about that. I feel the same way you do about, it limits me to the wall selections.
Hi Natalia, it is SUCH a beautiful colour, but yes, a bit limiting. Any way you could ask them to shift to Pure White? I don’t see WHY it would be an issue as it’s the same brand!
I am going to ask!!! Thank you!! 😘
I have new construction underway and I used all snowbound on exterior (trim and hardie) AND snowbound walls and trim interior. In the end, i think what goes with snowbound is SNOWBOUND. Haha I did find a blue, whirlpool, that looks good in my laundry. I tried a few others for hallway and nothing worked right. Painting back to snowbound. I would call it an independently beautiful color.
Kathy, I’m SO glad to hear this, as you’re totally right – Snowbounds favourite white partner IS…Snowbound ;). ?And GREAT job with Whirlpool!!!
Happy to read this. At first I thought you were hating on the color I have in nearly every room of house… but then I realized I followed your rules (snowbound with snowbound with a hint of repose gray and more snowbound) and quickly forgave you. FYI – I do have a lot of warm wood features in my house and (in my opinion) they work really well together. I think a truer white might read too cold / clinical against wood. But I don’t plan on ever testing that theory out to know for sure. These walls will be snowbound until I hand over the keys 🙂
If using snowbound on walls and trim of a bathroom. What color white for the ceiling?
I would look at High Reflective White if you want to play off Snowbound a bit OR just stick with Snowbound :).
I have found Snowbound to be nicely flexible. I have snowbound trim, with rooms painted SW Sea Salt, others Heron Plume, and getting ready to do Agreeable Grey in another. Extra white for the ceiling (all SW colors)
Hi Kylie, I can’t decide what I love more – your wit, style or color sense (do I have to choose?) Question – Kitchen cabinets appear to be Alabaster, trim is Snowbound, walls are Canvas Tan. What should I put on the ceiling?
Well, thank you Lloyd, I’ll tuck those compliments in my back pocket and carry them around with me! Now, there are a lot of shifting undertones going on there, but i would lean into Snowbound for the ceiling :).
Hi Kylie! I’m finding this article a bit late in my process and am wondering if you can help. I’ve painted my 90’s house snowbound on the trim wall and ceilings. Snowbound feels cold on the walls but oddly warm on the trim. I’m wondering what I can paint the walls to warm things up. I was hoping natural linen would work but after reading this article I think not so much!
I’m thinking of using this for my cabinets. Walls are agreeable grey. We are doing a new build and the cabinets have been painted and the countertops were installed and they do not work together well. My counters look pink when they are not (even though there may be a bit of pink undertone) Current paint color is alabaster and the quartz is silestone eternal statuario. When I compared samples of paint to my quartz sample, pure white was a near miss and both alabaster and snowbound worked well. I’m torn in repainting the cabinets now or waiting until everything is done and seeing if lighting and flooring and backsplash will make the pink go away. I’m so sad.
First, I love your insights and voice.
I am trying to pick a whole home color. It is a one story ranch (wide) with windows mostly on the East and West, one bedroom with North, and the master bath with South.
The designer is suggesting #7004 Snowbound for walls and ceilings. Trim is TBD. She gets my design overall, but I don’t know her depth of knowledge on paint, due to lack of asking on my part. My kitchen cabinets (East windows) is penciled in as #7037 Balanced Beige – a definite no on your list with Snowbound. My master cabinets (South window) is penciled in as Escape Gray, which has an intentional green undertone – but a risk on your list with Snowbound. Sounds like you would say I should seek an alternative to Snowbound. Is that accurate, or is there a flexible trim color that can make this work? What article should read for alternative that have a similar effect without the risk of colors fighting.
I want to be able to change one room at a time over the years without redoing all the trim or ceilings in our open concepts plan.
Okayk, this is pretty funny as I saw you post this on an online FB group and I was like ‘nooooo, I wouldn’t do Snowbound’. It’s not that I dont’ like Snowbound, it’s that it’s very unpredictable. I mean, every color is to a degree, but in some lights, Snowbound looks more violet, and in others it almost goes a bit pink-cream. I jsut don’t TRUST it and this variability makes it tough to partner other colors with. What about a simple shift to SW Origami White? It has a wink more depth and is a bit muddier, but still VERY light and subtle. Or how about BM White Dove 25% lighter as a wall/trim application :)?