BEHR’S TOP 6 SHADES OF WHITE & SOFT WHITE
Do you have questions about some of your favorite Behr paint colors, but can’t find any answers? I’m here to help.
I specialize in Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore paint colors, both on my blog, Instagram, and Online Paint Color Consulting. I figured it was time to dive into BEHR to answer questions you have about some of their best shades of white; questions like:
- What can I expect from these colors re: undertones and general look?
- What are the LRVs of these colors? Not sure what LRV is? Learn about it here: The Ultimate Guide to Picking Paint Colours with LRV
- What Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams paint colors do they COMPARE to?
PLEASE NOTE: I don’t do Online Colour Consulting with BEHR (only BM and SW) and don’t know their colors as intimately. And while I’m usually a SAUCY lil’ Ginger, these blog posts are more straightforward to get you started on your next painting project!
BTW, because I ONLY use photos from my E-DESIGN clients, I don’t have photos of these colors in action, but I will show you COMPARABLE colors.
1. BEHR ULTRA PURE WHITE
If you’re looking for a SUPER white – in fact, THE whitest paint color – this is your lucky day.
IS ULTRA-PURE WHITE A WARM OR COOL COLOR?
Ultra Pure White isn’t warm or cold – it’s bright white.
WHAT’S THE LRV OF ULTRA PURE WHITE?
WHAT ARE ULTRA PURE WHITE’S UNDERTONES?
Because of its lack of commitment to ANY undertone, Ultra Pure White can pick up a bit of gray-blue from your northern exposure or high Kevin bulbs; it can also grab a bit of warmth via your southern exposure or low Kelvin bulbs.
Shown above is a VERY similar colour, Sherwin Williams High Reflective White
WHAT COLORS ARE SIMILAR TO ULTRA PURE WHITE?
- Definitely Sherwin Williams High Reflective White, super close
- Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace is a bit softer but quite comparable
2. BEHR SLEEK WHITE OR-W15
Is Sleek White as smooth as it sounds? Let’s take a look…
IS SLEEK WHITE A WARM OR COOL COLOR?
Sleek White could work for you if you’re looking for a warmer, brighter white.
WHAT’S THE LRV OF SLEEK WHITE?
Sleek White has a pretty darn high LRV of 92, making it a bright white, not a soft or true one (there are 5 types of white).
WHAT ARE SLEEK WHITE’S UNDERTONES?
Sleek White has a pretty noticeable yellow undertone. Does this make me nervous? Heck yes. This degree of yellow could show up in a bad way, especially against a cleaner, softer, or more TRUE white.
However, some homes are just begging for a bright, warm white – especially those with cool northern exposure, so don’t let the crazy lil’ Ginger sway you too much.
Shown above is a VERY similar colour, Benjamin Moore Simply White
WHAT COLORS ARE SIMILAR TO SLEEK WHITE?
- Benjamin Moore Simply White, which is more neutral/less yellow than Sleek White
- Sherwin Williams Whitetail, which is slightly more muted and grounded
3. BEHR SWISS COFFEE 12
Swiss Coffee has been kickin’ it for a LONG time as one of Behr’s most popular white paint colors. In fact, I’ve worked with it DOZENS of times with my Online Colour Consulting clients when they want me to work with their ‘existing Behr Swiss Coffee trim.’
IS SWISS COFFEE A WARM OR COOL PAINT COLOR?
Swiss Coffee is a lovely, warm shade of white. Is it warmer than the AVERAGE popular warm white? Yes, but this is what made it so popular in the late 90s and early 200os, as this extra warmth suited the type of finishes (Tuscan) being installed.
WHAT’S THE LRV OF SWISS COFFEE?
With an LRV of 84, Swiss Coffe is considered ‘soft, warm white‘ as it won’t necessarily ACT like white if there are brighter whites in the space. However, let it be THE white in your home and its soft pretty warmth will do the job.
WHAT ARE SWISS COFFEE’S UNDERTONES?
There’s no foolin’ around – Swiss Coffee has a legit yellow hue, with a touch of orange for balance (so it’s not a yellow-green undertone). All of this combined makes Swiss Coffee softer, darker, and more muted than Sleek White and Ultra Pure White.
Shown above is a similar color, Sherwin Williams Alabaster
WHAT COLORS ARE SIMILAR TO SWISS COFFEE?
- Sherwin Williams Dover White is the CLOSEST to Swiss Coffee
- Sherwin Williams Alabaster is another good comparable
Click HERE to see available packages!
4. BEHR SPUN COTTON YL-W09
When it comes to whites like Spun Cotton, I start getting twitchy(er) – let’s find out why.
IS SPUN COTTON A WARM OR COOL WHITE?
Spun Cotton is definitely a warm white paint color via its lovely undertones, which we’ll look at shortly!
WHAT’S THE LRV OF SPUN COTTON?
Spun Cotton has an LRV Of 89. This makes it on the edge of soft white, BORDERING on the bright white range.
WHAT ARE SPUN COTTON’S UNDERTONES?
Spun Cotton has a high degree of yellow, making it darn hard to decide if it’s a ‘bright white’ or ‘super bright and light yellow.’ This amount of yellow undertones would stop me from putting it in MOST kitchens and on most trims – it’s just not flexible enough.
WHAT COLORS ARE SIMILAR TO SPUN COTTON?
- If you want a bright white with yellow, I will lean more toward BEHR’S Sleek White or Benjamin Moore Simply White.
- Sherwin Williams Whitetail is comparable but a bit more muted than Spun Cotton.
Sadly, BEHR hasn’t signed up with Samplize PEEL & STICK yet, but I sure hope they do.
- samples arrive ON YOUR DOORSTEP in 1 DAY
- they’re more affordable than the samples pots/rollers/foam boards that are needed for traditional paint sampling
Visit the SAMPLIZE website HERE
5. BEHR WHITE 52
Isn’t white just WHITE? Hardly…
IS BEHR’S WHITE 52 A WARM OR COOL SHADE OF WHITE?
White 52 might do the trick for a muted, slightly cool-toned white. But just because it SAYS white doesn’t mean it IS white. Let’s dive in a little deeper…
WHAT’S WHITE 52’S LRV?
With a surprisingly low LRV of 83, White is a soft white getting a bit close to the off-white range. Want to know what that range IS? Read about it HERE.
WHAT ARE WHITE 52’S UNDERTONES?
White has a slightly violet-gray undertone. This undertone makes White 52 pretty fussy when coordinating other colors with it. It won’t like any warm colors or those with green undertones.
If you partner White 52 with a REAL white (i.e., Ultra Pure White), you’ll see its depth/undertones a bit more. However, if you paint your walls and trim White 52, it will act a bit more like white.
In the above photo, Decorator’s White is the bottom sample – see how cool-gray it looks compared to the others.
WHAT COLORS ARE SIMILAR TO BEHR’S WHITE 52?
- Similar to Benjamin Moore Decorators White, which has a slightly cool, slightly gray cast.
6. BEHR PALAIS WHITE GR W15
Last but not least, Palais White! Let’s see what this shade of white has up its sleeves…
IS PALAIS WHITE A WARM OR COOL COLOR?
Palais White is a considerably WARM shade of white. Does this particular warmth make me a bit nervous? Yes, particularly on kitchen cabinets. However, some finishes demand this extra warmth, so sample it carefully!
WHAT’S THE LRV OF PALAIS WHITE?
With an LRV of 87, Palais White is getting up there for sure, kind of in-between legit WHITE and a softer white. And it has a pretty passive warmth to it.
WHAT ARE THE UNDERTONES OF PALAIS WHITE?
Palais White certainly has a yellow undertone, but it’s a very gentle, pretty color with a slightly orange-pink backdrop to it.
Shown above, similar colour, Benjamin Moore White Dove
WHAT COLORS ARE SIMILAR TO PALAIS WHITE?
- Palais White is like a lighter version of BEHR’S Swiss Coffee with similar warmth.
- Sherwin Williams White Flour is similar in that it has a yellow but almost slightly pinkish hue.
- Of all of BEHR’S gorgeous whites, it’s the closest to my FAVORITE WHITE EVER – Benjamin Moore White Dove.
Shown above, Sherwin Williams Pure White – stands alone!
PEOPLE ALSO ASK…
WHAT IS BEHR’S WHITEST WHITE?
Without a doubt, Behr’s brightest white is Ultra Pure White. With its LRV of 94, it’s a popular choice for trims, cabinets, and walls.
IS BEHR SIMPLY WHITE THE SAME AS BENJAMIN MOORE SIMPLY WHITE?
Heck no. While they might have the same name, BEHR’S Simply White is coming in HOT with a considerably stronger yellow-orange undertone when compared to Benjamin Moore’s Simply White. BEHR’S version is also a touch darker, with its slightly lower LRV of 87.8 (Simply White is 89.52).
IS BEHR POLAR BEAR A WARM WHITE?
Polar Bear didn’t make the TOP 6, but it’s a beautiful option if you want a white with an almost pinkish-peach undertone. This makes Polar Bear a warm white, and its LRV of 90 makes it a BRIGHT one.
WHAT ARE BEHR’S VERSIONS OF SHERWIN WILLIAMS ALABASTER & PURE WHITE?
BEHR’S Snowy Pine is reasonably close to Sherwin Williams Alabaster. As for Pure White, I suppose BEHR’S Gallery White or Melting Icicles, but they’re not close enough, and they ain’t got NOTHIN’ on Pure White – I don’t trust their undertones as much.
WHAT ARE BEHR’S VERSIONS OF BENJAMIN MOORE WHITE DOVE & CHANTILLY LACE?
BEHR doesn’t have a white that’s as soft and subtle as White Dove. The closest would be Palais White, but it’s really not that ‘similar.’ BEHR’S Ultra Pure White is similar to Chantilly Lace; it’s just a touch whiter and brighter.
So, there you have it; I hope this helps you pick the right white for your project! If you’re looking for OTHER colors, stay tuned as I’m putting together these blog posts as quickly as possible!
Check out my Online Paint Colour Consulting packages!
KYLIE M INTERIORS E-DESIGN, E-DECOR, AND ONLINE, VIRTUAL PAINT COLOUR CONSULTING SPECIALIZING IN SHERWIN WILLIAMS AND BENJAMIN MOORE PAINT COLOURS
ORIGINALLY WRITTEN IN 2019, UPDATED IN 2023