Natural White – The Cool Off-White


One of the biggest challenges an interior designer can face is choosing the right paint color for a project. Luckily, I’ve had many many years of experience of this and know what does and doesn’t work! I can totally understand why choosing paint colors as a homeowner becomes stressful: which brand, what type, what color, which shade – the question list goes on!

During my time as an interior designer, I’ve been able to try and test white paint colors. And yes – there are many MANY types of “white paint”! But there is one white paint color that I regularly pull out for my clients. And that is Sherwin Williams Natural White (SW 9542)!

Sherwin Williams Natural White (SW 9542) is a muted off-white paint color that is more cool in undertones than warm. The undertones are gray and can really help to balance out a room.

With a Light Reflective Value (LRV) of 83, Natural White is classed as a soft white, not a bright or true white paint color.

Are you ready to learn more about Sherwin Williams Natural White (SW 9542) paint color and how to use it in your own home? Let’s go!

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Why We Love It!

We love Sherwin Williams Natural White (SW 9542) because it is a versatile off-white color. It’s straightforward to use at home, and suits many different applications and spaces. Sometimes reliability in a paint color is needed, and Natural White does just that.

While this paint color does err on the cooler side, there’s no reason why you can’t use it in warmer toned rooms to help create a balance. We love using Natural White for trims!

How to Use Natural White at Home 

Sherwin Williams Natural White (SW 9542) can be used in a number of different ways which makes the color very appealing to use in the home. The neutral characteristics of the paint color means you can use it to create different looks throughout.

One of our favorite ways to use Natural White at home is on the trimwork. This color would create too much white if used for every single surface in the main areas of the home, so limiting it to the trimwork makes the main colors of the space to “pop” even more! 

Alternatively, use Natural White as an all-over paint color for the “back of house” areas, like the garage, loft space, basement, laundry room or storage closets. You can use it for the walls, ceiling and trim details throughout these areas.

You could also use Natural White as a kitchen cabinet color to create a timeless look. Add brushed brass or matte black hardware to give it a modern and contemporary style.

I’ve also used Natural White for painting shiplap and wainscotting paneling. Similarly to using this color of the ceilings and trim, the natural white of the paneling helps to make other surfaces in the room to stand out.

What to Watch Out for…

As with any paint color, there are some things to be aware of! For Natural White it comes down to the light reflectance value. 

Paint colors with high LRV’s (light reflection value), which paint colors are the most reflective and will pick up colors from their surroundings. This applies to Natural White, so make sure to avoid using bright colors in furniture or accessories nearby if you are looking to create a white look.

Ways to make Sherwin Williams Natural White last in your home…

Making Natural White last in your home is quite straightforward. With the variety of ways you can use this color (see above sections) there is something for everyone! It really is down to personal preference and how white you want your new paint color to look. As this color is a cool off-white, there is little doubt as to whether it will work in your home – it is a timeless color best used to help balance warmth out.

A timeless color like Natural White will last many years if applied to surfaces correctly! Make sure to check the paint color sheen levels for each different application so you can ensure durability. Make sure to integrate this paint color into your decorative accessories too so it mixes in with the other colors you use in the room.

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Personalize Your Space

Would you like a professional interior designer to pull your space together? Contact us for in person interior design services in the Chicagoland area or virtual interior design services anywhere in the world.