Sherwin Williams Alpaca paint color is quite the chameleon and confuses a lot of us when identifying what color it is really. In general, it can be grouped in the Greige category because it has a combination of gray and beige colors. Let’s take a closer look at Alpaca’s undertones and why it’s such a tricky color to pinpoint.
Looking for other greige paint colors? Colonnade Gray is amongst the most popular along with Accessible Beige, and Repose Gray. Check out my other paint color reviews and my post on the best white paint colors for trim and doors here.
Sherwin Williams Alpaca SW 7022
What color is Sherwin Williams Alpaca? Alpaca is primarily a WARM paint color. It has warm undertones and definitely has browns in it, but it can read a bit gray and cool at certain times. When used in a north-facing room, the cool gray undertones come out but it still keeps its soft, warm feel. When used in reverse, the opposite takes effect. South-facing rooms bring out the warmth in Alpaca and it pulls more taupey.
Alpaca has an LRV of 57 which means it is right on the edge of being considered a “light” paint color.
What Undertones Are in Alpaca?
When considering light, neutral paint colors, undertones are the biggest factor. They truly dictate what a neutral color ACTUALLY looks like because of the “hidden” colors used to create it. Of course, lots of other elements affect undertones and bring them out even more or down play them. For example, the direction of any windows and the amount of light really influences how strong an undertone will look.
Alpaca has brown undertones which makes it a warm paint color. But here’s where Alpaca turns into the wild card color. It also has subtle purple undertones that can throw you off if you aren’t expecting it. That’s why reading color reviews is so important before randomly selecting a paint color!
The purple hues might not bother you and maybe that’s why you like Alpaca! For me personally, it falls a hint too purpley for my taste. You just want to be aware of it so it doesn’t come as a surprise after painting your walls 🙂
White Paint Color for Trim
If Alpaca is the paint for you, what is the best paint color to use on trim? I steer clear of anything too creamy or yellowy as it could clash and look a little strange with purple undertones in Alpaca. A good neutral white is your best bet. Alabaster is a go-to and always looks great. Snowbound is another good option that’s slightly warmer than Alabaster. Here’s a list of my top of 6 white paint colors for trim if you want to see them in action.
Where to Use Alpaca
Let’s take a look at Alpaca in some real life spaces so you can see how it looks! As with most neutral paint colors, they are fairly flexible and can be used in a variety of rooms and spaces.
It’s often used as a main color in large rooms such as living rooms and kitchens. The other materials in your room such as flooring and any fireplace stone or wood furniture and window treatments can impact how the color looks. When downplaying the purple tint in Alpaca, try pairing it with dark brown flooring, brown stone, and other beiges.
via The Home Colouriste
You may want to take the opposite approach and play up the purple hues. You can see in the example below how they intentionally chose fabric on the chairs with a purple undertone, have purple pillows and even purple tulips as an accent. Alpaca fits perfectly and really shines on the walls in this space.
In this bedroom, they used Alpaca as an accent paint color on the closet doors for a little contrast from the wall color. I like how it’s a subtle difference but it’s enough to pop. In this case, Alpaca looks quite cool and gray without purple undertones.
The best way to know for SURE if any paint color is right for you, even after reading paint reviews, is by sampling it in your home. That way you can see it in your light, with your furniture and flooring, and see how it will actually look.
Sherwin Williams sells little jugs of paint samples so you can paint a small section of your wall. I like to paint it on a couple different walls in the room even because light will hit it differently.
You should ALWAYS sample paint colors before gallons of paint. I’ve heard too many stories from clients (myself included) where they bought all the paint and started painting the whole wall only to find out they didn’t like the color. Yikes!!
DIY Painting Tools
I’ve done enough painting over the years when fixing up our first home and painting every single inch of that house, and now our second home painting every single wall and all trim, where I’ve learned what tools work and which are worth the extra money.
A professional finish is all dependent on your tools and prep work so it’s important to choose wisely! Not only will it make your paint job look better, but it’ll go much smoother and faster too. Who doesn’t want to work smarter?!
I’ve used cheap brushes before and they shed bristles in wet paint and they are harder to get more precise lines (important when painting trim). My absolute favorite paint brushes are by this brand on Amazon. They are just a little bit more but trust me, it’s worth it.
Paint Brushes – The BEST paint brushes for the most accurate edging and they last forever if you clean them well.
Painter’s Tape – a must-have when painting trim and to tape off ceilings when doing walls. Even with a precise paint brush you need tape.
Drop Cloths – You’ll need this for sure when doing any painting. It’s better to have plenty than not enough and constantly moving them around.
Wire Brush for Cleaning – This wire brush is ESSENTIAL to get your brushes clean and remove all the dried paint on the outside bristles. Without this, your brushes will only last a few paint projects.