HomeThe Best Paint ColoursNeutral, Gray, Greige Cream and WhiteWHY I DON’T LOVE BENJAMIN MOORE SWISS COFFEE


Posted on February 5, 2022 by KylieMawdsley

BENJAMIN MOORE SWISS COFFEE – Is it all it’s cracked up to be?

If you’re a fan of Studio McGee and love white cabinets, walls, or trim, you’ve probably come across Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee. And Shea McGee’s BEAUTIFUL home might have you thinking that Swiss Coffee is the colour for YOU – and it might be. But before you start slapping paint on your walls, we need to have a little chat (insert wine here).

Best warm white paint colour, Sherwin Williams Alabaster, open layout kitchen, living room, dining room, best warm white paint colour, painted cabinets. Kylie M Interiors Edesign

NOT Swiss Coffee. This is Sherwin William’s Alabaster

Let me preface this by saying that Swiss Coffee IS a beautiful paint colour, and I’ve seen it look stunning in many homes. So, if you currently have it and it’s working – AWESOME POSSUM (in other words, don’t shoot the messenger).

The 5 Types of White Paint Colours

HOWEVER, there’s a ‘but’. It’s actually such a HUGE ‘but’ that you’ll think it’s been surgically enhanced to be a badonkadonk big enough to make the Kardashians jealous. But before we talk about that…


There are four popular shades in the SOFT white world – Sherwin Williams Pure White, Sherwin Williams Alabaster, Benjamin Moore White Dove, and Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee. All have their place (just so you know, Swiss Coffee isn’t popular in MY world – it doesn’t even make my TOP 10, but it is in others).

Statuario Nuvo white quartz countertop on wood island, red oak flooring, Caesarstone Statuario Nuvo marble look quartz countertop. Pendants, White Dove walls. Kylie M Interiors E-Design

NOT Swiss Coffee. This is Benjamin Moore White Dove

BUT (here it is, and it’s JUICY) if there’s ONE of these white paint colors that’s slightly more likely to flash GREEN, which one do you think it is?


That’s right – green. Is it subtle? YES, very. Can this undertone work for some homes? YES. Will you see it in YOUR home? Maybe not. But for MOST people, GREEN isn’t the undertone they’re looking for when choosing a soft, warm shade of white for their walls, cabinets, or trim.

Sherwin Williams Light French Gray, Pure White, wainscoting, beadboard in small bathroom. Kylie M INteriors Edesign, client photos.

SWISS COFFEE?! Nope. This is Sherwin Williams Pure White

And do you know which white is SO SIMILAR TO SWISS COFFEE THAT IT’S CRAZY? Benjamin Moore White Dove.


While both White Dove and Swiss Coffee are popular white paint colors, White Dove is MUCH more predictable than Swiss Coffee and NOT inclined towards green. So if I’m looking for a soft, warm white, which one do you think I’ll choose 99.9% of the time? White Dove.

White Dove is also a bit WHITER and BRIGHTER than Swiss Coffee, making it a bit more flexible. You might have seen that Shea lightened Swiss Coffee by 25%, which would brighten it – maybe even a WINK lighter than White Dove. Would this affect the way the undertones read? Possibly. I’ll ask Shea next time we chat (wink wink).

Dark wood floor, kitchen cabinets painted Benjamin Moore White Dove, walls Edgecomb Gray (Baby Fawn), island, Kylie M Interiors online paint color consultant, diy

Benjamin Moore White Dove

One of the ONLY reasons I suggest Swiss Coffee to my Online Paint Colour Consulting clients is when it already EXISTS in the home, and it makes sense to continue with it. This is ALSO why I don’t have images of Swiss Coffee to show you, and I have shared my FAVE, more FLEXIBLE shades of white instead.

Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee vs. The TOP 5 Shades of White! 


The ULTIMATE GUIDE to White Paint Colours

Is White Still Trendy on Walls, Cabinets & Exteriors?

Benjamin Moore’s 8 Best White Paint Colours

FULL Paint Colour Review: Sherwin Williams Pure White



-design and online paint colour consulting using Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams paint colors. Kylie M Interiors. DIY and affordable decorating advice blogger. Market

Kylie M Interiors Edesign, signature, online paint colour consultant using Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams paint colours. DIY update advice ideas


  1. I am SO happy to have stumbled across this post!! Too early to pop a bottle of bubbly to celebrate?! I was about to paint my living room with Swiss Coffee, but still with some hesitation…I am so over comparing whites! My walls are covered in samples and my budget is shot buying samples – LOL. My trim everywhere in my house is White Dove and in my east-facing living room I have really struggled with whites. After reading this (and what feels like 2 zillion other white paint comparison stories) I think I am going to paint the walls White Dove, too, and be done with it…or just go wild with hot pink at this point! I’ve kind of come to detest white paint, ha! And now that I’ve found you I will be a regular reader! Thank you very much for your entertaining and expert information!!

    1. Post
  2. We’re building a “coastal” home on the east coast, we’re in California. The exterior paint is SW Blue Horizon. I’m having to choose interior paint from 2500 miles away, so I’m not able to get swatches and see how they look in the room. The family room and kitchen is south facing with windows all along the back wall but there is a solid patio cover keeping the direct sun from all the windows. So, not sure if I need a warm or cool white, lol! I’m at a loss what kind of white paint and I was considering Swiss Coffee. After reading your article, I think I will eliminate it, 1 less to consider, haha! I’m leaning toward doing trim, walls and cabinets the same white to make it simpler. My builder suggested Snowbound but I sense a slight pink cast to it. I’m thinking either Simply White or Pure White. I’m just rolling the dice at this point, lol!

    1. Post

      DON’T DO SNOWBOUND! I’m glad you’re already seeing how that might go ;). Yes, stick with the same white for trims/walls/cabinets. I PERSONALLY would lean into Pure White seeing as you’re in California and have some good southern sun, although with the overhang muting it, Simply White could be that bit brighter/warmer for you.

  3. I’ve finally decided on Alabaster for a bedroom. Will do eggshell for walls. One end of the room has a sloped ceiling with a skylight and meets the wall about 24” from floor. Would you recommend painting the ceiling also in Alabaster eggshell?

    1. Post
  4. So happy I ran across this! I was About to
    Paint my whole living room Swiss coffee!
    Leaning toward edgecomb Gray now . The adjoining kitchen I I was thinking of painting revere pewter. I have old Chicago ( yellow orange and pinkish brick floor)
    Would that look ok with revere pewter paint for walls not sure about cabinets yet??

    1. Post
  5. Your paint reviews on Youtube have been so invaluable, as a first time homeowner! Been trying to update my early 2000s greige travertine bathroom, which happens to be the darkest room in the whole house (tiny window, northern exposure).

    Welp. I test painted a wall Swiss Coffee, which looks great and has a lovely green undertone against the complementary colored tile…for the 3 hours of the day the bathroom gets some light. Then immediately the wall look grungy as soon as the shadows settle in, and at night against the white trim, it looks brown again. Yikes! I should have taken your advice and steered away from this paint.

    Most of the travertine refreshes I’ve seen online have tons of natural light, which is great for white paint, but doesn’t do my tiny dark bathroom any favors. Am I trying to do the impossible here? I would love your advice!

    1. Post
      1. Ooh, I have a fixture that takes 3 bulbs, but I’ve only been using 1, because all the bulbs in the house are 5000+ Kelvin. Swapping them out for more bulbs of a softer light may do the trick. Originally I vetoed White Dove because it looked too cold under the 5000K bulb. I’ll rethink that choice once I try a different light temp.

  6. Love your site!! We’re gutting an old laundry space on Northeast corner of house and putting in all new custom cabinets in Chantilly Lace. Aria quartzite for counters with lovely gray and gold veins, and a ruvati gunmetal sink. Awesome contrast. Thinking White Dove for little bit of wall. The one trick question is this gorgeous Kathryn Beals piece is going over the dryer. It can cast gold to pink depending on how you look at it. Stay with White Dove?

  7. Hi Kylie—–dying to know what you think of (SW) GREEK VILLA — I live in an old 1928 SF apt bldg–currently walls are sort of greige…want to go a bit lighter/brighter..not a fan of Alabaster..Pure White is too white.

    1. Post

      So, what’s funny is that Greek Villa and Pure White are the same DEGREE of white – they’re equally as white as each other. What you’re missing is the WARMTH! And Greek Villa can be a great option when you find Alabaster that bit too yellow :).

      1. Ooh now I think it may be too bright! ;P My apt gets sunlight morn-till night –thx for the info -any other photos or comments on Greek Villa you could provide would be great. I love your attention to detail–congrats on such an informative site.

      2. Ooooooh I think maybe it will be too bright then? My apt gets sun all day along. Thanks for your info–great website–any other photos /blogs about SW Greek Villa you could share would be helpful.

  8. Hi I’m wanting to paint my nursery in off white on three walls and a colored wall where the crib is going. What off white is best to pair with either terracotta or green colors? I’m leaning towards white dove but not sure if the undertones will go well with my theme.

  9. Just in time. Repainting west facing living room and hallway which are currently patriotic white. Because we have a front porch I would like to brighten things up and was thinking of Swiss coffee. Now it’s narrowed down to white dove or seashell. We have seashell in our family room and it’s pretty but also a sunny room. Kitchen abuts both rooms and is crystal blue. We live year round on the northeast coast so want coastal vibe but not over the top.

  10. I’m stumped! Swiss Coffee is what I would like as a trim color…I have looked at pairing it with Halo by Ben Moore or French Canvas by Ben Moore, both seem to have a green undertone in my space…any suggestions?

  11. Kylie – I am so grateful to have run across this post. After numerous Pinterest Boards and suggestions, I chose Swiss Coffee for our basement. I have one coat up on a 1000 sq ft basement (it definitely needs two) and ALL of the things feel wrong… I see lime green everywhere I look! AND it’s coming off way too creamy yellow when it’s not reading green! I hate it so much. I’m $450.00 in on the paint at this moment.
    So my question – if I went back to Ben Moore and ordered White Dove, do you think one coat of this color would be enough to cover the Swiss Coffee since the color is so similar? Do you think this color would be my easiest fix?
    Thank you,

    1. Post

      Hey Stacey, I’m sorry to hear this, but glad it’s not just ME who sees this! So, would one coat fix it? I would think so. HOWEVER, with what you’re explaining, I’m not sure that you’ll feel THAT much better about White Dove as it will still have that creamy hue. Might you consider Sherwin Williams Pure White????

  12. So glad to have found your website!!!!! I keep reading the “whites, cabinets, old granite” posts. (Over and over and over!) Old St. Cecilia granite, dark cabinets, smaller kitchen with not much natural light. Cabinets are being painted next month. Was considering Swiss coffee till reading this. Yikes, it would not have gone well. Just got my samplize sheets and have narrowed it down to: White Down, White Dove, Cloud White, Ballet White. There is a type of travertine backslplash. I think my top 2 are White Down and White Dove. Any thoughts? Thank you again for your SUPER easy explanations! Left to my own devices, I’m kind of a disaster!

  13. I am thrilled to read your article and so glad I chose White Dove on the exterior of my MCM ranch home. I paired it with Benjamin Moores soft green on the textured brick accents and it’s jaw dropping gorgeous!
    Now the thing is I would love to put the White Dove everywhere inside the house but before I learned of White Dove I bought Atrium White which is also Benjamin Moore. Do you think I should toss out the Atrium White and go with White Dove on the interior? Thank you for advice.

    1. Post

      Ooooo, I’m glad you asked! Atrium White is one I don’t use often as it has a pink undertone – I would definitely make a shift! I would also LOVE to see your exterior – I’m always looking for great examples for my blog of REAL homes!

  14. Personally Swiss coffee tends more to yellow tones than greens. I have it in my master bedroom and bath (did tone on tone with the baseboards). I also diluted it 25% and it is a beautiful shade of white. I also used it in my mud room and it is nice and bright in there.

  15. I love all you videos and reviews of colors! I’m painting an accent wall in my bedroom cityscape and I am looking for the right neutral for the rest of the walls. I cannot figure out what compliments it best. I wanted something a little warmer so I was considering Swiss coffee until I read this review, I don’t want green. Any suggestions? It has south light and a vaulted ceiling.

    1. Post
  16. Hi Kylie, I am having a tough time choosing a white and between, Swiss coffee 75% strength, Greek Villa, Alabaster and White Dove. Believe it or not that’s a vastly slimmed down list! My home is light and bright with lots of windows and without doing a full reno, want to freshen things up and update little by little. Have some dark woods in furnishings. I’m also used to seeing white ceilings, trim, doors with a color but it seems people, when using whites opt to use same color for all and change sheens. Thoughts? Favorites?

  17. Hi Kylie! I am trying to pick the best white for kitchen cabinets, walls and trim. (Will be all the same color) I will have black soapstone and kitchen faces north. I do not want a stark white so I’m looking at white dove. What do you think about white dove at 50% less? Have you ever done that before? Or do you think I’ll be okay with full strength? Thanks!!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

More Posts

Meet Kylie

Thank you for visiting!  I'm so glad you're here!  Come on in to learn a little more about me!