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Sherwin Williams Natural Choice vs Alabaster (Which to Choose?)

    If only there were a natural choice when choosing between Sherwin Williams Natural Choice and Alabaster! If the color name hasn’t made your decision for you, let’s take a look at all the differences (and similarities!) between these two colors.

    Alabaster and Natural choice on a wooden background with flour and natural colored yarn.

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    Sherwin Williams Natural Choice and Alabaster Swatches

    First lets take a look at the colors individually:

    A swatch of the color Alabaster by Sherwin Williams beside a pile of alabaster rocks.
    Swatch of Sherwin Williams Natural Choice beside a picture of yarn in a range of natural tones.

    Honestly when the colors aren’t directly beside each other, the difference is pretty subtle.

    Remember that the true white of your screen isn’t achievable in paint, so neither of these colors are as dark or as creamy as they appear against digital true white.

    Even knowing this, I was pretty startled to see these colors in real photos!

    Natural Choice vs Alabaster Properties

    Here is a handy dandy graphic that I whipped up to help you visualize the differences that we are going to talk about:

    Two swatches of paint, one being Sherwin williams natural choice and the other is sw alabaster, displays LRV of each color and an orange bar to show color family. Background of a white home office setup with a white brick wall and gold accents.

    Natural Choice vs Alabaster LRV

    The LRV of a color indicates on a scale of 0 – 100 how much light a color reflects (or doesn’t reflect). True black has an LRV of 0 and pure white has an LRV of 100.

    In the paint world, we are working in a range of 3 – 93 because no paint color is purely black or completely white.

    True white paint colors range from about 82 – 93.

    Alabaster has an LRV of 82, so it is right on the edge of white and off-white.

    Natural Choice has an LRV of 74, which is near the bottom of the off-white scale, so it teeters between off-white and beige/tan. I would say that in a well lit room, Natural Choice stays in the off-white range.

    Alabaster vs Natural choice swatches over a picture of a white room with a plant in a basket on a stand.

    Natural Choice vs Alabaster Undertones

    Natural Choice and Alabaster are both yellowy-orange white/off-whites. Don’t let the sound of orange and yellow scare you! Every white, beige, gray, black, etc. is somewhere on the color wheel.

    You can see from the colored bar in the graphic that both colors are in the same mustard tone.

    In certain lighting both of these colors can lean towards a yellowy cream color.

    Alabaster vs Natural Choice in a room with blue and pink accessories.

    Remember! These photos have zero light reflecting off of the walls. So the colors appear darker than they will in your house with a light source.

    Natural Choice vs Alabaster – Are They Warm or Cool?

    Because Natural Choice and Alabaster are in the mustard range, they are warm colors.

    Sometimes less saturated whites in the orange and red range can look pretty neutral, or even gray, but I think both of these do read warm.

    Having said that, they are neutral enough to work with a good variety of other colors.

    Graphic reads "Nail down your neutral color scheme in 60 minutes or less" with an image of the foolproof neutrals ebook. Button below reads "Show me how!"

    Natural Choice and Alabaster Color Palette

    Sherwin Williams’ color strips are a little confusing – or at least confusing when it comes to whites.

    You may have noticed that Alabaster is color 7008 and Natural Choice is 7011, but that does not mean that Natural Choice is four shades darker than Alabaster! In fact color 7013 is lighter than Natural Choice.

    Here is a palette of similar tones and a couple of complementary colors:

    an art deco stone building above a color palette inspired by same. Colors range from creamy whites to dark brown with one soft blue-green in the mix.

    Palette Colors – Left to Right

    Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace – My favorite white of all time. I used it here because it’s a nice straight white.

    Sherwin Williams Alabaster

    Sherwin Williams Natural Choice

    Sherwin Williams Taupe of the Morning – A beautiful neutral tan-taupe color.

    Sherwin Williams Drizzle – I was inspired by the glass in the building. A beautiful soft blue green goes great with these sandy colors.

    (You might also like Aegean Teal.)

    Sherwin Williams Urbane Bronze – A beautiful deep neutral brown. This color is super popular for exteriors, especially for trim. If you are looking for an exterior color scheme, Alabaster with Urbane Bronze would be really beautiful.

    Natural Choice with Alabaster Trim

    There is this idea floating around that Alabaster can be used for trim, and I don’t love it.

    I’m addicted to the bright in-your-face whites for this purpose. I just love a good contrast!

    A living room with Natural Choice on half the wall and wood panelling on the other half. A graphic of Alabaster trim and molding has been added to show the contrast.

    However! If you want something softer and monochromatic, then this may suit you.

    By painting the trim in Alabaster or even in Natural Choice itself, the color on the walls will look much more white. If you want to bring out the tan tones, paint your trim a brighter white.

    I personally think something like Snowbound would also be a good choice. It’s a little bit lighter and more neutral, but it’s not a cool or super bright white.

    Don’t Forget Your Supplies!

    This little brush might look funny, but it’s my absolute ride or die!

    Rollers like these hold the most paint and make the job faster. Get a metal roller cage for easy on and off.

    DryDex is the fastest (and funnest!) way to make chips and dents disappear. (Make sure you get a small spackling tool that actually fits in the container, and a sanding sponge.)

    This tool will save your back and limit time on a ladder.

    Natural Choice or Alabaster Accent Wall

    If you are looking to paint your home with a single color and have an accent wall, either SW Alabaster or Natural Choice would be a great choice for your main paint color.

    The contrast between these two colors isn’t enough to have one as an accent wall. Try going with Alabaster and selecting something a few shades darker than Natural Choice for the accent color.

    A palette of paint colors arranged on paint lids over a background of clay
    Natural Choice with Alabaster, SW Rosemary, Valspar Copper Patina, and Chantilly Lace.

    It’s way more fun to go wild with color on an accent wall anyway. It’s such an easy change to make if you get tired of it!

    If you want to stick with neutrals, go with a sophisticated natural tone in a medium or dark shade. Something like SW Taupe of the Morning would be a nice neutral color to contrast with Alabaster. If you want to go bolder, try Urbane Bronze.

    Here is a coordinating palette with some other colors that are all the rage:

    A color palette on white background featuring colored dots as described in article.

    Sherwin Williams Sea Salt – This might be my favorite whole home paint color right now. It’s such a soft soothing color, but still very light.

    Sherwin Williams Cavern Clay – One of the best terracotta colors by Sherwin Williams. I love terracotta with all of the greens that are popular right now, and of course, it looks great with warm whites and tan too!

    Benjamin Moore Manchester Tan – Manchester Tan is a warm tan color that is more towards the beige. It works well with warm whites like Alabaster.

    Benjamin Moore Vintage Vogue – Another new favorite color. Vintage Vogue looks green until it’s beside a truer green and then it looks almost brown! It’s a true chameleon which I love. Vintage Vogue would look amazing with either Alabaster or Natural Choice.

    When to Choose Alabaster or Natural Choice?

    In a very bright room, Alabaster will be closer to a true white and might wash out at times. If you want your home to be a little warmer and stay creamy, then make the Natural Choice. (Last one, sorry!)

    Sherwin Williams Natural Choice and Alabaster on a wall in a living room.

    In bright daylight, even Natural Choice will look pretty darn white.

    I just did a complete review of Behr’s Diamonds Therapy, which has an LRV of 80, and was shocked to see the sample looking straight white in my home.

    Sherwin Williams does have a few customer submitted projects for Natural Choice here.

    I cruised all over Instagram to share some inspo with you, but I ran into problems. Natural Choice is pretty hard to find, and when I did find it, it was often a color “similar to Natural Choice” and it just didn’t look right.

    Here is one of the few examples of Natural Choice that I think is pretty accurate:

    Sherwin Williams Natural Choice in a dining room with cottage style accents.
    Image by Tammy Kate – @keepingtammykate on Instagram

    You’re going to want to follow Tammy Kate if you are into farmhouse white! Her house is a dream. (Also tidy, which is a fantasy…)

    Always keep in mind when looking at inspiration photos:

    • The color could be credited wrong
    • It could be an inaccurate color match
    • Photos could be filtered and brightened
    • Their lighting is not your lighting

    Looking for a warm white and these aren’t it? Take a look at Snowbound.

    Sherwin Williams whitetail swatched on a color card along with many whites from other brands, above a picture of a white panelled kitchen with wood dining furniture.
    A paint can lid labelled Repose Gray, beside a creamy white, and above another white and a paint can lid labelled light french gray. Background is white with willow branches.
    Shoji white paint dot in front of a shoji white great room