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Snowbound vs Alabaster: Which is the Better Sherwin Williams White for Cabinets, Trim, & More

    So you want to choose the perfect white paint color?

    Snowbound might be the one if you are after a true white look with a toned down brightness. Alabaster might be the one if you are after a cozy white that doesn’t go too cream.

    After reading this express little review, you will be able to choose between Snowbound and Alabaster with confidence!

    Graphic Reads Snowbounds vs Alabaster over side by side photos of white Snowbound walls in one home and creamy white alabaster walls in another

    Looking for more details? Don’t miss the complete reviews:
    Sherwin Williams Snowbound Review (Plus Dupes and Similar Shades!)
    Alabaster by Sherwin Williams a Classic White Review (and Dupes!)

    This post may contain affiliate links. Should you choose to make a purchase through one of my links, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you. I only recommend products that I use.

    What Does Snowbound Look Like Compared to Alabaster?

    Both of these are not the brightest whites, but both are still technically true white paint colors. Snowbound will look a little brighter and more neutral than Alabaster.

    Think of Snowbound as a soft white, and Alabaster as a creamy white. 

    Alabaster swatched beside Snowbound on a color card with a photo of white meringues

    Snowbound vs Alabaster Undertones

    The undertones are what really set Alabaster and Snowbound apart. Alabaster has creamy beige undertones, but they may look a little yellow in comparison to cool whites.

    Snowbound has pinkish gray undertones, but it most often just looks white.

    Alabaster will look yellow compared to Snowbound, and Snowbound will look pink when swatched over Alabaster.

    Paint dot of Alabaster beside hex chart above paint dot and hex chart of Snowbound
    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!"

    Spotting Alabaster’s Undertones

    I have the perfect examples when it comes to showing the difference in undertones for both Alabaster and Snowbound!

    I have pictures of both with the cooler Sherwin Williams Extra White as trim.

    Here you can see that Alabaster looks quite yellow in comparison to the green white of Extra White.

    Alabster and Extra White in a living room on the fireplace wall. Fireplace and built in bookcases are painted in SW Extra White and Alabaster is on the walls and ceiling
    Photo Credit: @slpaintingsf

    Spotting Snowbound’s Undertones

    If you look carefully in certain areas of this next room, you can see that Snowbound does have the slightest pink undertone in comparison to the Extra White trim.

    Snowbound walls with extra white trim outside of a marble tile walk in shower with glass doors
    Photo Credit: @building_up_toelle

    More importantly, you can tell that Snowbound is much closer to being a true white than Alabaster is.

    This is why I describe Snowbound as a “soft white.” Once you know the pink is there, you might be able spot it, but otherwise it would be hard to put your finger on the difference between the walls and trim.

    • Alabaster is obviously creamy compared to the subtle softness of Snowbound

    LRV of Snowbound vs Alabaster

    Snowbound has an LRV of 83 and Alabaster has an LRV of 82.

    What does that even mean?

    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 about 3 – 93 because no paint color is purely black or completely white.

    Snowbound LRV vs Alabaster LRV on a chart showing the LRV of whites and off-whites

    In layman’s terms, Snowbound is a little more reflective (brighter) than Alabaster

    Alabaster is riiight on the edge of being an off-white rather than a true white.

    Snowbound vs Alabaster on Cabinets

    Honestly neither Snowbound or Alabaster would be my first choice for cabinets. If you are after a true white for your kitchen, try Sherwin Williams Pure White. 

    Snowbound on Cabinets

    Snowbound can look like a true white on cabinets, and you may really like it. For me personally, I can always seem to spot the very slight pink of Snowbound when it’s on cabinets. On walls? Nope. Cabinets? Almost certainly. 

    I suspect it’s a sheen thing.

    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.

    Now, I stare at paint nearly all day every day, so you may disagree! I will just say that if you HATE pink, don’t risk using Snowbound on your cabinets.

    In this photo Alabaster looks especially light, but the lower cabinets on Snowbound are pretty accurate:

    Snowbound kitchen cabinets on left hand photos, and Alabaster on kitchen cabinets on right hand photo
    Left: @finishingroommke Right: @mldesignskc

    Alabaster on Cabinets

    Alabaster can also look like a true white on cabinets, but it’s more likely to look slightly creamy. If that’s the look you are going for, you will probably LOVE Alabaster. I’m in the minority and I’m not really a creamy white gal.

    Here is a photo where the two look the most similar:

    Alabaster on cabinets in left hand photo and Snowbound on cabinets in right hand photo
    Left: @humblehilltn Right: @grcabinetpainting

    You can still see that Snowbound is subtley more gray than Alabaster.

    • Alabaster is a perfect creamy white for cabinets
    • Snowbound’s pink undertone is more likely to show on cabinetry
    • Pure White is a safer “true white” bet compared to either Snowbound or Alabaster

    Can You Use Snowbound with Alabaster?

    While you can use Snowbound with Alabaster walls, I would recommend the more similar white of Sherwin Williams Greek Villa

    Alabaster trying on different trim options including Snowbound, Benjamin Moore Simply White, and Sherwin Williams Greek Villa

    If you weren’t after that subtle of a contrast, go much brighter with a still-warm option like Benjamin Moore Simply White.

    With Snowbound walls, Alabaster would be slightly darker and creamier on the trim, but not enough to seem intentionally so. If that’s the look you are going for, try Sherwin Williams Aesthetic White for a darker contrasting trim.

    Sherwin Williams Snowbound trying on different trim choices including Aesthetic White, High Reflective White, and Alabaster

    If you want true white trim, get Snowbound in a higher sheen, or try a brighter white like SW High Reflective White.

    Snowbound vs Alabaster for Trim

    Snowbound is a more versatile white for trim compared to Alabaster. Often when a bright white is too much and a creamy white doesn’t work, Snowbound is the perfect white to split the difference.

    I would go so far as to say that Snowbound might be a truly foolproof white for trim, except when your walls are also white. (But even then it will often work.)

    Accessible Beige with different white trim options Pure White, Snowbound, Alabaster, and

    Alabaster is one of Sherwin Williams most popular whites, and as such is also a popular trim choice. I do find Alabaster to be a little more finicky when pairing it with other colors, particularly grays and blues. In those cases Alabaster can sometimes look yellow, or it may make your walls look slightly purple.

    At the end of the day there is no right or wrong, it depends on what you are looking for. Alabaster is the stronger vintage or farmhouse choice, and Snowbound is the whiter, more dependable, choice.

    Snowbound vs Alabaster Walls

    Much like trim, whether you choose Snowbound or Alabaster for your walls totally depends on what you like. 

    Snowbound is the right choice for a true white that isn’t stark. Alabaster is a cozy warm white, while still being fairly neutral.

    Alabaster will look white if you also use it on your trim, ceilings, and doors.

    Here is a comparison of the two in the living room, where Alabaster looks it’s most white:

    The two look very similar here, but it’s also not the fairest comparison because Alabaster is in bright natural light, and Snowbound is in artificial light at night.

    Here is a shot of a fairly typical look to Snowbound in a side by side of kitchen and dining rooms. You can see that it is a nice true white, without any crazy undertones:

    Here is a bathroom comparison of both Snowbound and Alabaster.

    If you plan to use a lot of true white finishes, I would lean towards Snowbound.

    I would not choose Alabaster expecting to get a crisp look, and I wouldn’t choose Snowbound as a creamy white.

    Snowbound vs Alabaster for Exteriors

    Where Snowbound and Alabaster are the most similar, is undoubtedly on exteriors. 

    Once you’re outside, all colors will look lighter and brighter than they ever can inside, and both Snowbound and Alabaster will look white.

    Albaster on a porch in left photo and Snowbound on painted brick on the right

    Typically outside I would say that Snowbound looks a touch more gray than Alabaster.

    Either Snowbound or Alabaster would be a great white choice for an exterior. Alabaster might be the better choice if you don’t want a blinding white.

    Choosing a white for exterior brick? This post might help more: Stunning White Paint Colors for Classic Brick Exteriors

    Alabaster or Snowbound on Woodwork

    Much like on the walls, Snowbound will look like a true white on woodwork or feature walls, and Alabaster will look softer and slightly creamier.

    Snowbound vs Alabaster on wood feature walls
    Photo credit: @wood_visions

    If you plan to use a higher sheen (for example on board and batten) you may find that Snowbound shows it’s pink undertone more, much like it does on cabinetry.

    When to Choose Snowbound or Alabaster?

    I apologize for saying it a hundred times, but whether you choose Snowbound or Alabaster depends on the look you are going for.

    Choose Snowbound for a nice true white on walls and trim. 

    Choose Alabaster for a classic creamy white on walls and cabinets.

    Either is a great choice for exteriors, but Snowbound may appear slightly more neutral. For a true white on kitchen cabinets, look elsewhere. Try Sherwin Williams Pure White, or Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace.

    What’s that? It’s none of the above for you? No problem at all! Check out these other bad boys:

    Best swiss coffee colors by Sherwin Williams. Best Overall Greek Villa, Creamiest Shoji White, Best for Trim Snowbound, Most Popular Alabaster
    Benjamin Moore White Dove swatched over a photo of an all-white dove living room with big bright windows.
    Blank Canvas and dupes Cold Foam, Polar White, and Swiss Coffee over a background of a cream and gray abstract oil painting.