Reality

Sherwin Williams Alabaster cabinets

There are a few things to consider before painting your kitchen cabinets with Alabaster by Sherwin Williams, even though this color is an incredibly versatile option.

Neutral paint colors are not only popular because they are less intimidating and loud than some of their darker, bolder counterparts. But also because they can be so incredibly versatile within a design scheme.

Sherwin Williams Alabaster is one of the most versatile light neutral shade options on the market.

This color works well in a variety of applications, but is an especially good choice if you want a kitchen cabinet color that has just the right amount of warmth, but that still works with a wide variety of cool and warm tones.

The surprising benefits of using neutral paint colors

Tackling a new renovation or design project can be overwhelming, and once you get to the painting stage of the project, you may already be burnt out when it comes to making important decisions.

Neutral paint colors are often a popular choice because they tend to blend into the background and can give you a blank canvas to work on.

But just because neutrals paint colors tend to have that classic and calming appearance, it does not mean that they have to be boring and plain.

In reality, once you know what to look for, you will find that these shades of off-white, cream, beige, gray and beige can have a lot of nuance beneath the surface.

Sherwin Williams Alabaster cabinets

Sherwin Williams Alabaster (SW 7008) is perhaps one of the best examples of a neutral paint color which is so much more than a simple off-white.

If you have been scrolling on Pinterest a lot in search of color ideas for a new project, or if you have simply been keeping up with the design influencers over the last few years, you will know that Alabaster is certainly a fan-favorite color.

Alabaster is incredibly versatile and has been used successfully in designs ranging from welcoming entryways and calming neutral bedroom designs, to complex and modern spa-like bathrooms, and more.

Alabaster is really a good all-round light neutral option for pretty much any and every part of the home.

Alabaster is so versatile and popular that the color was actually crowned as the Sherwin Williams April 2022 ‘Color of the Month’ and has been part of the brand’s ‘Top 50 Colors’ for several consecutive years.

Not only is Alabaster, with its slightly warm and creamy (but incredibly well-balanced) undertones, a popular all-over wall paint option, but it also works well in kitchens as a cabinet color.

The kitchen is truly the heart of your home and whether you are going for a classic farmhouse, vintage-inspired or modern, minimalist look, you should definitely consider Alabaster for your kitchen cabinets.

This color has all of the brightness that you need for a clean and crisp feeling design, but it never ends up looking too stark or uninviting.

This is especially great news if you want to achieve the classic all-white kitchen look. Even so, just because a paint shade is popular – it does not mean that it will work in every space.

Alabaster is truly one of the most versatile off-white paint colors on the market, and it is popular for a reason, but painting your kitchen cabinets is a laborious process.

Thus, it is best to be absolutely certain of the color that you will be using before you start unscrewing cabinet doors and gathering supplies.

There are various factors that can affect how a certain paint color looks once it is in your space.

When it comes to kitchen cabinets in particular, the color and tone of the lighting in the room, as well as the color and tone of things like your flooring, countertops and hardware will all have an effect on how seamlessly Alabaster cabinets will work within your space.

This includes the color of all of the other décor and design elements in your kitchen and adjoining rooms.

It is important to consider all of these elements before you even get started, to ensure that you end up with the exact look and feel that you want for your space.

Sherwin Williams Alabaster: All of the finer details

Before you can truly determine whether using Alabaster on your cabinets is the right choice for your kitchen design, it is safest to get to know all of the finer details of the color first.

The most important details that could help you glean a bit more about what is going on with Alabaster beneath the surface, include the following:

Details Sherwin Williams – Alabaster
Color swatch
Color code SW 7008
Undertones Greige (a mixture of beige and gray tones)
LRV 82

If you look at these details closely, you will notice that although Alabaster may just look like a simple white color at first, the color’s greige undertones are actually what make it so versatile.

Alabaster has all of the brightness of a white paint, but it has a subtle creaminess that makes it so much more interesting to look at.

The great thing about Alabaster, as with all greiges, is that although it is slightly warm-toned, it never leans too yellow (since it does have just a little bit of gray mixed in). And this is exactly why the shade works so well in such a variety of spaces.

Colors that are similar to Alabaster

The best way to tell the differences that these subtle undertones and LRV can make is to place Alabaster right next to other, similar colors.

For instance, when you place Alabaster directly next to another fan-favorite off-white paint color, White Dove by Benjamin Moore, you can really see how creamy Alabaster truly is:

Sherwin Williams – Alabaster Benjamin Moore – White Dove

If you do not like this soft, creamy look, you may want to reconsider using Alabaster for your kitchen cabinets.

On the other hand, placing Alabaster right next to an even creamier color like Greek Villa by Sherwin Williams, or a darker color like Swiss Coffee by Benjamin Moore, can clearly show you what that subtle hint of gray brings to the table:

Sherwin Williams – Alabaster Sherwin Williams – Greek Villa Sherwin Williams – Creamy

How warm lighting will affect Alabaster

Alabaster may appear as good as white in the tin, but in reality, this color’s creamier undertones may be exaggerated in spaces with warm lighting.

This includes warmer natural sunlight in south-facing rooms (and even some west-facing rooms in the afternoons) and warm-toned light from lighting fixtures.

Since the kitchen is often one of the most popular gathering spaces in the home, many people welcome this creamy, warm and cozy look.

However, if you do not like the look of a creamy white color and your kitchen has a lot of warm-toned light, it may be safest to stay away from Alabaster entirely.

How cool lighting will Alabaster

On the other hand, if your kitchen is a north-facing room, or it gets a lot of cool light, then painting your cabinets with Alabaster can be a great way to add a little bit of warmth back into the space. Furthermore, it can also neutralize some of those cooler tones.

The best way to judge what Alabaster will actually look like once it is in your space is to get a sample of the paint color and paint some large poster boards with the color. You can then place these boards all over the kitchen.

Remember to get a combination of sunny and shady spots at all different heights to see what the color looks like in varying lighting situations and as the light in the room shifts throughout the day.

Which countertops go with Alabaster cabinets?

Your kitchen cabinets most likely take up the majority of the visual space in your kitchen design. This is why it is imperative to ensure that your cabinet color works seamlessly with the other design, décor and functional elements in the space.

Fortunately, Alabaster works well with just about any style and color of countertops. Alabaster’s creamy undertones integrate seamlessly with the beige and cream colors which are often found in butcher-block or warm-toned quartz countertops (including Carrara Caldia, Frosty Carinna, or other similar styles).

But Alabaster’s greyer tones also work well with more contemporary, dark marble, or even blue-toned, green-toned and gray-toned countertops (like Black Galaxy Steel Grey, Nordic Black, and Brass Blue Granite).

Flooring and Hardware options that work well with Alabaster

Flooring options that match with Alabaster cabinets are just as diverse as the countertop options and range from light wood tones to darker tile.

As long as you stay away from really pure, crisp white colors (which may make the Alabaster appear dirty rather than creamy), you should be able to create a cohesive color scheme with both cool-toned and warm-toned flooring and countertops.

The same can be said for hardware options. Pairing Alabaster with brass-colored drawer pulls and handles, or black hardware options (for a more modern, high-contrast look), are the designer-favorite options.

Trim colors that pair well with Alabaster

Alabaster will work well with most crisp white trim colors. This will obviously be great news if you already have an established kitchen and you simply want to freshen up the look of your kitchen cabinets. But it also means that you are spoilt for choice, even if you are starting from scratch.

Alabaster already has an LRV of 82, which means that it is best to pair it with extremely bright, white trim colors to create the optimal contrast.

This includes Pure White (which has the same softness) or Decorator’s White (which has the same gray undertones), as shown below:

Color name Color swatch
Sherwin Williams – Pure White
Benjamin Moore – Decorator’s White

However, if finding a trim color that will work in your kitchen is proving to be difficult, you may want to consider going all-in with Alabaster.

Color schemes with Alabaster on the cabinets, walls and trim can open up your space and will give you the perfect neutral backdrop for a bold kitchen design – as long as you use different finishes for every element to create a bit of distinction.

Can Alabaster help to modernize oak cabinets?

One reason why Alabaster has remained such a popular cabinet paint color over the years is because it is an excellent color choice for updating the look of old-fashioned oak cabinets.

Painting your cabinets with Alabaster can help you achieve the very classic all-white kitchen look, without making your kitchen feel too industrial or stark.

Alabaster cabinets are also neutral enough to work with a variety of other styles and color schemes.

As an additional bonus, Alabaster also has many of the same creamy tones as warm-toned wooden cabinets. Hence, this color should be able to blend in well with your existing color scheme.

Coordinating colors to use with Alabaster

Alabaster will pair well with any other color that falls into the same greige-undertone family, but some of the most popular pairings that match with this pleasant neutral color include:

Color name Color swatch
Sherwin Williams – Mindful Gray
Sherwin Williams – Sea Salt
Sherwin Williams – Eider White

High-contrast color schemes with Alabaster

If you are looking for a way to up the contrast with this light neutral paint color, some of the best bold and daring color options are:

Color name Color swatch
Sherwin Williams – Urbane Bronze
Sherwin Williams – Tricorn Black
Sherwin Williams – Naval

Will Alabaster ever not work?

One thing about Alabaster that does make it a little bit tricky to use on cabinets is the fact that this color is just not light enough to be considered a “white” paint color.

When you take into account the color’s inherent creaminess, the only instance in which Alabaster will not really work is if you have a very dark kitchen.

Alternatively, if your kitchen already has a lot of elements that are a true, pure white, this may make the Alabaster look like a mismatched color instead of an intentional choice.