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Sherwin-Williams Pure White Vs. Extra White: What’s The Difference?

If you're planning a painting project, you might want to know the difference between two popular Sherwin-Williams colors: Pure White and Extra White. Look no further because we did extensive research on both colors and have information to share with you.

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Sherwin-Williams Pure White projects warmth, while Sherwin-Williams Extra White evokes coolness. Both are popular colors, and their impact will depend on where you want to use the paint.

The two colors differ in terms of the following:

  • Color specification
  • Description and preferred use
  • Color temperature
  • Coordinating colors

In this article, we dive deep into what makes Sherwin-Williams Pure White different from Extra White and why the difference is significant to the space you plan to paint. We will also tackle the light reflective values (LRV) and color undertones of both and which white colors are popular for interior and exterior walls.

Minimalist bohemian inspired apartment living room, Sherwin-Williams Pure White Vs. Extra White: What's The Difference?

Sherwin-Williams Pure White Vs. Extra White

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Color Specifications

Sherwin-Williams Extra White is brighter than Pure White. It belongs to five Sherwin-Williams color collections, while Pure White belongs to 10.

Pure White SW 7005 has the following specifications:

  • Light Reflectivity Value (LRV): 84
  • RGV: 237/236/230
  • Hex Value #EDECE6
  • Color Collections: Color ID (Trendsetter), Color ID (Dreamer), Colormix Forecast 2020 (Play), Colormix Forecast 2021 (Sanctuary), Living Well (Unwind), Top 50 Colors, Pottery Barn (Fall/Winter), Pottery Barn Kids (Fall/Winter), Pottery Barn Teen (Fall/Winter), Finest Whites

Extra White SW 7006 has the following specifications:

  • Light Reflectivity Value (LRV): 86
  • RGB: 238/239/234
  • Hex Value: #EEEFEA
  • Color Collections: Colormix Forecast 2019 (Shapeshifter), Color ID (Creative), Pottery Barn Kids (Fall/Winter), Pottery Barn Teen (Fall/Winter), Finest Whites & Neutrals (Finest Whites).

Description, Color Temperature, And Preferred Use

Pure White: This paint produces a look that's clean, fresh, light, and timeless. It's a flexible shade with a slight yellow undertone and is a popular choice as a trim. Pure White is also great for walls and cabinets.

Warm hues are best for bedrooms, and Pure White has a soft warmth thanks to a small amount of black and a bit of yellow. It is creamy rather than yellowish. It can give a bedroom room a feeling of comfort and relaxation. 

Extra White: The high light reflectivity of Sherwin-Williams Extra White makes it a great choice for ceilings and trim. It has an added crispness and a tinge of blue and may be considered a true neutral white, which makes it compatible with many other shades of white.

If you are looking for a clean, true white with coolness instead of the warm undertone that Pure White projects, then Extra White can do the trick. It is a great choice for cabinets, drywall, trim, and ceilings. Because cool whites bring a clean look to a room, paint like Extra White is also preferred for bathrooms. 

Coordinating Colors

Both paints have recommended coordinating colors, as listed below.

Pure White

  • March Wind (SW 7668)
  • Perle Noir (SW 9154)

Extra White:

  • Smoky Azurite SW9148
  • Charcoal Blue SW 2739

Can I Use Sherwin-Williams Pure White And Extra White Together?

Magnifying glass looking at a Sherwin Williams tag

Combining the colors is not recommended. Using Sherwin-Williams Pure White and Extra White together can result in a gray undertone.

Extra White is bright due to its LRV of 86%. Pure White's LRV is a close 84. When Extra White is combined with another white with a similar LRV, the two will not work well together. 

A discussion on why combining them is a mistake reveals that they are near each other in Chroma. Extra White's 0.32 is too close to Pure White's 0.44, which makes the difference less than 0.20, the ideal number for two colors to work together. 

Tips for Decorating With White walls

Open space living room and kitchen area with white painted walls and white ceiling decorated with expensive chandeliers

Whether you prefer the warmth of Pure White or the coolness of Extra White, these tips can help you add a personal touch to your white rooms:

  • Add contrasting colors: You can make a personal statement by adding contrasting colors to your white dining room or bedroom. You can add color with carpet or retro furniture and complement the whiteness of the walls.
  • Add mirrors: Mirrors placed appropriately can create a feeling of added space. If you have mirrors with wooden or colored frames, they will add texture and make the room feel cozy and elegant.
  • Display artwork: Sculptures and paintings work well with walls painted white. The walls draw attention to the art pieces without detracting from them.
  • Rooms with an open layout: If your home has an open layout where you can see a number of rooms at the same time, the use of white can bring a clean, organized look to spaces that have furniture, ornamental plants, or side tables.
  • White is the perfect background: White walls can showcase your style. You can become more creative. Establishing a color scheme of black and white or using industrial elements and complementary lighting can enhance any white room.

How To Test Paint Before Applying It

To test paint before painting your walls or ceilings, use sample boards. You will not have to repaint your walls once you have chosen the right color. You can also try using adhesive paint boards.

Click to see this color collection deck on Amazon.

If you decide to do paint test sampling, follow these steps:

  1. Find a scrap board or buy a sample board from a paint store near you.
  2. Try your paint on cardboard, poster board, or plywood.
  3. Make sure to paint the whole board to avoid discoloration or color distortion.
  4. Allow enough time for the paint to dry. This can take about two hours. Remember that wet paint can look different from dry paint.
  5. Look at and analyze your sample boards multiple times. The paint can look different in direct sunlight and in artificial lighting.
  6. Sample boards are easily moved and placed. Test them with your decor and furniture and look at them under a lamp.

What Are Sherwin-Williams' Most Popular Whites?

Sherwin-Williams Pure White (SW 7005) is the company's most popular white paint. It is ranked among the top 10 white paint colors by experts. Other popular whites include:

  • White Snow (SW 9541)
  • Natural White (SW 9542)
  • Gypsum (SW 8543)
  • White Sand (SW 9582)
  • Sanctuary (SW 9583)
  • Mortar (SW 9584)
  • Sunbleached (SW 9585)
  • Origami White (SW 7636)
  • White Sesame (SW 9586)
  • Mushroom (SW 9587)
  • Limewash (SW 9589)
  • Oyster White (SW 7637)
  • Alabaster (SW 7008)
  • Creamy (SW 7012)

Guidelines For Picking Wall Paint 

Light mint green bedroom walls witht laminated flooring

Sunlight from the north, south, east, or west affects room colors. Here are some guidelines to help you choose between Pure White, Extra White, and other shades depending on the direction your room faces:

  1. Rooms that face north receive indirect natural light that has a coolness to it. To offset this effect, use Pure White due to its warmth.
  2. Rooms facing south receive bright light and sunshine, which gives them warmth. Extra White can help equalize this quality, giving your room an inviting feel.
  3. Rooms facing the east start with bright morning sunlight and gradually darken as the hours pass. Neutral colors are best in this case.
  4. Rooms that face west get warm, yellow light during the afternoon. You should use paint with warmth, like Pure White, or try neutral colors, like blues and greens.

What Is A Good LRV Number?

Light reflective value (LRV) is the percentage of light reflected by a paint color. LRV is calculated on a scale of 0 to 100. 0 is black and has no light reflection, while 100 is white. Paint with an LRV of 100 reflects all light.

For home interiors, having a bright space is popular. In LRV terms, this means 80 to 90. However, some paint experts and decorators suggest an LRV of 50 for interiors.

How Do I Know What Color Undertone My Paint Is?

Undertones occur when colors are blended. The dominant color refers to the mass tone or overtone in contrast to the undertone, which is the color you cannot see.

Wrapping Things Up

Minimalist bohemian inspired apartment living room

Sherwin-Williams Pure White and Extra White belong to the same color family. Pure White is more popular and projects warmth, while Extra White inspires coolness.

Pure White has a yellow undertone. Extra White has a bluish undertone and is compatible with many other colors. Pure White is best for bedrooms due to its relaxing effect, while Extra White is a preferred choice for bathrooms due to its coolness. 

To test paint before applying it, you can use a scrap board or buy a sample board to get an idea of how the color will look with your decor.

If you liked this post, check out other relevant articles as well:

Sherwin Williams Popular Gray Vs Agreeable Gray: Which To Choose?

What Sherwin-Williams Paint Is Best For Interior Walls?

What Sherwin Williams Paint Is Best For Ceiling?