Sherwin-Williams Alabaster: The ideal exterior color choice for modern homes

Sherwin-Williams Alabaster is an excellent choice for exteriors, but only in cases where you want to capture a warm and inviting look and feel.

Your home’s curb appeal is important, because it will be the first thing that your guests notice and will help to accentuate your design style.

Sherwin-Williams’s Alabaster works just as well on exteriors as it does on interior surfaces, but it will only be the right choice if you are looking for a warm-toned, bright neutral paint color.

How important is curb appeal really?

It may seem silly initially to think that you have to spend money and time decorating the outside of your home just as you would the inside. But having good curb appeal is not only important for the resale value of your home.

A home with a beautiful façade can serve as a warm welcome to the family and friends that visit your home before you even get the chance to greet them.

On top of this, choosing the design and color scheme of the exterior of your home carefully can also help you highlight any interesting architecture of your home and can help you carry the beautiful design style of the inside of the home, all the way through to the outside.

Is Sherwin-Williams Alabaster the right choice for your exterior?

If you want to make the most of your home’s design and make your indoor, outdoor design choices look more cohesive, you need to be extra careful when picking the color scheme for the exterior of your home.

Sherwin-Williams’s Alabaster has been a fan-favorite among designers and homeowners for years. In fact, it was even chosen as the Color of The Year from the brand in 2016.

The brand markets this color as a calming neutral, which is meant to symbolize new beginnings and a sense of solace in today’s busy atmosphere.

Though these all seem like aspects that any home could benefit from, Alabaster (just like most other neutral shades) is much more complex than it looks at first glance. Thus, the shade might not be perfect for every exterior color scheme.

Sherwin-Williams’s Alabaster is a particularly light off-white neutral shade, which works especially well on the exteriors of homes where homeowners want the brightness that a white paint provides, but still want to keep the overall look soft, warm and inviting.

Alabaster is incredibly versatile and works well with many different design styles, ranging from traditional and vintage, to modern farmhouse, and more.

However, varying lighting situations can alter the way that this warm neutral looks on the outside of your home and it may not be the right choice for your exterior if you prefer a really crisp, clean white look.

This is why it is important to understand all of the nuances within this best-selling shade.

Examining Alabaster’s LRV and undertones

The reason why so many homeowners and designers keep turning to Alabaster when they are looking for the perfect off-white paint color is because the color leans warm, but it is not overly yellow.

This is especially helpful when the color is used on the exterior of homes, because it prevents it from appearing sterile or stark in direct, natural light, even though the color has such a high LRV (Light Reflectance Value), as summarized below:

Shade name Sherwin-Williams – Alabaster
Code SW 7008
LRV 82
Composition R:237 G:234 B:224

Does Alabaster work well on shady exteriors?

Alabaster’s high LRV positions it firmly in the off-white category. This means that this color will reflect 82 percent of the light that shines onto it, which will brighten up the outside of a home that gets ample, direct sunlight significantly.

If you use Alabaster on a home where the exterior has more shade than sunlight, Alabaster will appear less bright since there will be less light for the color to reflect. But it will still bring some much-needed brightness and warmth to these shaded areas.

Does Alabaster work well with brick exteriors?

Since Alabaster has some natural warmth to its undertones, it tends to work well with other warmer tones. This includes natural red or brown bricks, warm-toned wood finishes and copper fixtures.

It is also worth noting that painting over your exterior brick with Alabaster can be a great way to update the exterior of your home. Moreover, it can give the façade a modern, monotone look, without making it feel uninviting.

Can you use Alabaster for exterior trim accents?

Though Alabaster will appear much brighter in natural light, the color is not always the best choice when it comes to choosing an accent color for the exterior trim of your home.

Using Alabaster in this way only really works when you pair it with much darker colors to create stark contrast.

Pairing Alabaster with other light neutrals in an exterior color scheme may cause the color to look muddy and it will not have the same finishing effect that a crisper, pure white would have.

Alabaster is not always the right choice

Alabaster may not be overly warm, but the color definitely has warm undertones. Therefore, it will definitely not be the right choice for the exterior of your home if you prefer a cool color scheme.

Alabaster is also not the best choice for you if you want a color that coordinates well with other cool-toned elements like stone, furniture, flooring or siding.

In this case, it will be better to choose a less warm-toned off-white paint color like Snowbound, Moderne White or Pure White, all by Sherwin-Williams.

Colors that go with Alabaster

Alabaster’s high LRV ensures that the color pairs well with most other warm-toned shades on the exterior of a home. However, Alabaster truly shines when it is paired with darker tones in the same kind of warm, organic category.

Placing Alabaster next to an extremely dark shade will make the color seem even brighter, but will carry that same warm and inviting glow throughout the exterior color scheme.

Some of the best colors to pair with Alabaster include:

Color name Swatch
Sherwin-Williams Iron Ore
Sherwin-Williams Tricorn Black
Sherwin-Williams Urbane Bronze
Sherwin-Williams Gauntlet Gray