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What color is oyster white?


Oyster white is a pale off-white color that has a slightly grayish or ivory tint. It is a neutral and versatile color that can work well in many interior design schemes. Oyster white got its name because it resembles the inside of an oyster’s shell. It’s a popular color for paints, furniture, bedding, and accessories.

Defining Oyster White

Oyster white is considered a warm off-white shade. It sits between stark bright white and soft cream on the color spectrum. When compared to bright white, oyster white has subtle yellow undertones that give it a cozier, more relaxed feeling. The grayish tint helps tone down the brightness while adding a hint of sophistication.

Interior designers may describe oyster white as a contemporary neutral. It pairs nicely with other neutrals like beige, taupe, and light gray. It also works well with pastels or even deeper colors like navy blue. The lightness of oyster white helps make spaces feel more open and airy. At the same time, the slight grayness gives it more character than plain white.

Oyster White Paint Colors

Many major paint brands offer their own take on oyster white. Here are some of the most popular oyster white paint colors:

Paint Brand Paint Color Name
Behr Soft Cream
Benjamin Moore Cotton Balls
Sherwin-Williams Shoji White
Valspar Swiss Coffee

As you can see, oyster white goes by many names but the colors are all variations of a warm, muted white. Paint chips can help you compare the subtle differences between each brand’s version. For example, Cotton Balls by Benjamin Moore has a touch more gray than Valspar’s Swiss Coffee.

When using oyster white paint, stick to flat or eggshell finishes. This helps maintain the soft, subtle tone instead of making it look too stark and shiny. Low-sheen finishes also allow the light gray undertones to show through.

Oyster White in Home Decor

Here are some ways to incorporate oyster white into home decor:

– Walls – As mentioned, oyster white makes an excellent wall color. It lightens up a room without being too stark. The undertones add character and set off accent colors beautifully. Use it on all four walls or just an accent wall.

– Trim/molding – For a cohesive look, paint your baseboards, crown molding, window trim, and doorways in oyster white. This frames your walls while tying everything together.

– Ceilings – Oyster white is an ideal ceiling color. It makes rooms feel larger by reflecting light. The soft tone isn’t too harsh or clinical looking.

– Doors – Front doors, cabinet doors, built-ins and closets are great spots to use oyster white. It creates a custom look.

– Furniture – For furniture like beds, sofas, chairs, tables, cabinets, etc. oyster white adds flexibility. It meshes with wood stains as well as bold or pastel upholstery.

– Window treatments – Sheer white curtains take on an elegant appeal in oyster white. Use as full curtains or pair with neutral solids.

– Accessories – Vases, decorative boxes, throw pillows, table lamps and more come alive in soft oyster white hues. Use it to tie a room together.

This versatile, minimalist color works with farmhouse, coastal, modern, traditional, and other style decors. Oyster white has a clean, timeless look with slightly more depth than plain white.

Oyster White vs. Other White Hues

How does oyster white compare to some other popular white paint colors and fabrics? Here is a quick breakdown:

White Hue Description
Bright White Crisp, clean, with no undertones
Cream Warm yellow undertones
Eggshell Slight yellow, with a tiny hint of grey
Oyster White Slight grey and/or yellow undertones
Dove White Very subtle grey undertones
Vanilla Strong yellow base with orange undertones

As shown, oyster white straddles the line between warmer shades like cream and cooler hues like eggshell and dove white. This makes it quite versatile for design purposes.

Matching Oyster White Fabrics

Oyster white paint doesn’t necessarily match every white fabric perfectly. When choosing complementary fabrics, look for these characteristics:

– Cotton fabrics like linen tend to have a warmer, ivory shade that pairs well with oyster white paint. Stay away from bleached white linens.

– Wool fabrics also contain warm undertones that sync nicely with oyster white walls or furniture.

– Silk in an off-white shade or pale beige can offset an oyster white background while providing contrast.

– Cashmere in soft ivory or light tan is luxurious with oyster white.

– Matte satin polyester or blended fabrics work well as they pick up the subtle gray undertones. Avoid stark white polyester.

Be sure to examine fabric swatches under natural lighting next to your oyster white paint sample. Colors can look different under artificial light. Natural light shows the undertones most accurately so you can find a matching fabric.

Benjamin Moore Oyster White

Benjamin Moore’s OC-20 Cotton Balls is one of the brand’s top choices for oyster white paint. At first glance, it appears to be plain white. Upon closer inspection, very faint gray and cream overtones are visible.

This chameleon white pairs well with greys, blues, greens, pinks, and yellows. It works equally great in traditional or contemporary spaces. Cotton Balls has just enough personality without being too assertive.

Reviewers indicate Cotton Balls brightens up rooms nicely. It also provides a clean backdrop for bolder accent colors. Customers frequently use this shade on walls, trim, built-ins, and ceilings with beautiful results.

Sherwin-Williams Oyster White

Shoji White 7102 by Sherwin-Williams is a popular oyster white selection. This color was inspired by Japanese Shoji paper screens. Like rice paper screens, the white has a pale, inviting quality.

Shoji White hits the balance between stark white and creamy hues. It picks up different tones depending on lighting. There is just a hint of gray to offset the warmth. This chameleon ability makes Shoji White versatile for any style.

Homeowners, designers, and commercial clients gravitate to Shoji White for its soft, welcoming vibe. It works in homes both classic and modern. The muted gray influence provides enough contrast against other colors without overpowering.

Glidden Oyster White

Glidden’s hushed oyster white is called Silhouette SDT-3. This paint color has barely perceptible gray undertones. It comes across as a clean white that brightens up living spaces.

Silhouette SDT-3 has enough warmth to prevent rooms from feeling sterile. But the faint gray influence keeps it from looking too creamy. With the right lighting, the oyster white undertones become visible.

This versatile, peaceful hue works well in any room of the home. Use Silhouette SDT-3 on walls, ceilings, trim, doors, and cabinetry. Pair with shades of blue, green, pink, yellow, and pastels for a calming ambiance.

Valspar Oyster White

Swiss Coffee by Valspar is a signature oyster white paint choice. This soft, inviting hue has hints of gray and beige. Swiss Coffee comes across as a clean neutral that complements many color schemes.

The subtle oyster white coloring makes it both soothing and stylish. Swiss Coffee lightens up spaces without looking clinical. It provides a cozy, restful backdrop day or night.

Valspar’s Swiss Coffee works well in living rooms, bedrooms, kitchens, bathrooms, and hallways. It can be dressed up or pared down to match any style. The versatility and elegance of this shade help explain its enduring popularity.

Behr Oyster White

Behr’s Soft Cream is an understated oyster white from their Marquee line. It straddles the line between white and ivory for a coastal influenced, relaxed feeling.

Soft Cream comes across brighter and more cheerful than some oyster whites. The faint beige undertones provide enough warmth without feeling too antiqued or creamy.

Use this versatile neutral as an airy backdrop that allows accent colors to pop. Soft Cream pairs nicely with ocean blues and greens, corals, yellows, and even deep hues like navy and sage. The soft oyster shade creates a serene palette.

Choosing an Oyster White Paint

All the major brands offer beautiful oyster white paint options. Choosing one often comes down to the specific undertones you prefer. Here are some tips when selecting an oyster white paint:

– Decide if you want the white to have subtle gray, beige, or ivory tones. This establishes the warmth level.

– Pick paint chips with names that suit your style (cottage, calming, coastal, etc). Names indicate the mood of the hue.

– View chips in natural daylight to accurately gauge undertones. Artificial lighting distorts colors.

– Paint swatches on walls and view throughout the day. The undertones emerge at different times.

– Get sample sizes to paint on large wall sections. You need a sizable area to appreciate the tone.

– Make sure the white complements your fixed elements like flooring and countertops.

The right oyster white paint can transform a room. Experiment to find the perfect match for your space and style.


Oyster white is a gorgeous off-white shade with subtle gray, beige, or ivory undertones. This versatile neutral works well in all design styles. It lightens and brightens rooms with a cozy, inviting vibe. Oyster whites like Benjamin Moore Cotton Balls, Sherwin-Williams Shoji White, Glidden Silhouette, Valspar Swiss Coffee, and Behr Soft Cream offer refined, welcoming backdrops. Incorporating oyster white into your home provides a lovely, peaceful ambiance that still has character.