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Sherwin Williams Alpaca: Paint Color Review

Today I am sharing all the details on Sherwin Williams Alpaca. This is a really interesting color and one that is underutilized for sure!

A group of Alpacas with text overlay.

There are so many greige paint colors available today from several paint manufacturers so what makes SW Alpaca special? Well, the undertones of course!

Undertones are the most important thing to look at when choosing a paint color. So let’s get down to business.

*This post contains affiliate links. For more details see my full disclosure.

Sherwin Williams Alpaca Stats

  • Red: 204
  • Green: 197
  • Blue: 189
  • Hex Value:#ccc5bd
  • Color Collections:Diaphanous, Trendsetter, Living Well – Center

Sherwin Williams Alpaca – Is it gray, greige, or taupe?

Alpaca is a taupe gray color (is that a word??? If not I just made it up then!). Taupe is typically used when a color is brownish-gray. I love the color taupe and like to incorporate it in handbags and shoes, they are my go-to!

So taupe gray implies that it’s a brownish-gray that tends to lean more towards gray. And that is correct. The brighter the light in the room the more gray the color is.

An uneven circle with the color of Sherwin Williams Alpaca.

What are the undertones in SW Alpaca? Will it show purple or pink?

Alpaca tends toward purple and pink undertones. Most of the time you won’t see them unless you are super sensitive to these colors.

What’s important is the other decor in the room. If your decor tends to be on the warmer side then the paint color looks more greige. If you use more cool-toned decor then the purple will shine through.

What is Sherwin Williams Alpaca LRV?

LRV stands for light reflective value. This measures how much light is reflected by a paint color on a scale of 0-100, 0 being black and 100 being the purest white.

Alpaca has an LRV of 57 which means it’s a mid-range color. This paint color would not be considered bright but when surrounded by natural light can act as a great neutral for other decor.

One thing I love about paint colors in this mid-range LRV is using them on the trim or even cabinetry. Pairing white walls with Alpaca on the trim makes for a really nice look.

How does lighting affect SW Alpaca?

Here is a general rule of thumb for lighting and how it affects paint colors:

  • North-facing rooms have a light that tends to be a little cooler in nature and will come off slightly blue. Light colors will be a bit more muted or washed out while darker colors will be stunning.
  • East-facing rooms will have brighter light in the morning and less in the evenings. The evening light will be a bit cooler. In the morning with sunrise, the bright sun will be warm. Warm color palettes are great for these spaces because they will help balance the cool feel of the evenings.
  • South-facing rooms have consistent warm light throughout the day. The light really shows off the colors, dark will be very bright, and light colors will shine. Both warm and cool color palettes look good in a south-facing room.
  • West-facing rooms have warm light in the evening and cooler light in the morning. Basically, it’s the opposite of east-facing.

In a north-facing room, you will notice Alpaca showing a little cooler but in a south-facing room the warmth will really come out!

Is Sherwin Williams Alpaca Right for you?

The best way to know if a paint color is right for you is to test it on the walls. You can buy a paint sample from the store but that can get messy.

I really like Samplize. It’s a company that sends you a 12×12 inch square of your selected paint color that is peel and stick.

You can put it on any wall and look at it over the course of several days in different lights to see if that paint color is right for you!

This is the best way to know if a color is right for you and I highly suggest giving Samplize a try.

Sherwin Williams Alpaca Whole Home Color Palette

Get this free whole home color palette for Sherwin Williams Alpaca and you will also be part of the At Lane and High Community! You will receive weekly newsletters on new posts and you can unsubscribe anytime.

Alpaca on the exterior

A home exterior painted Alpaca.
Source: Home and Living Decor

On the exterior paint colors look much lighter and that is evident by this photo of alpaca on the exterior of this gorgeous home. Don’t you just wish you were there?!

Using Alpaca on the exterior is a little tricky. Make sure you coordinate with other elements like the roof, masonry, trim, etc.

Alpaca in Kitchens and Baths

A kitchen with alpaca on the walls and a blue gray on the cabinets and trim.
source: Sherwin Williams

I love this photo from Sherwin Williams. This shows that you can pair a warm paint color on the walls with a cool-toned color on the cabinets.

I love the way these two colors contrast with each other but at the same time, I feel like they play together well.

Alpaca in Family Rooms and Bedrooms

A family room with Alpaca painted on the walls.
source: The Home Colouriste

This is a great example of pairing the paint color with warm-toned decor. This really brings out the greige color.

What is the best white to pair with Alpaca?

I like to pair SW Alpaca with SW Pure White. Pure White has a creaminess to it but not too much. It’s a bright white and when paired with Alpaca brings out the greige color.

A side by side comparison of Alpaca and Pure White.

What paint colors coordinate well with Alpaca?

There are a ton of really great colors that pair well with Alpaca but what I really like is pairing it with really dark greige colors like Mink and Moonlit Orchid.

A side by side comparison of Mink, Alpaca, and Moonlit Orchid.

Whatever color you pair Alpaca with will bring out the different undertones so make sure the end result is what you are looking for.

SW Alpaca vs. SW Agreeable Gray

Agreeable Gray has an LRV of 60 so it’s a brighter color than Alpaca but they are really close.

A side by side comparison of Alpaca and Agreeable Gray.

Agreeable gray is more of a greige whereas Alpaca has more of the brown in it that makes it look taupe.

SW Alpaca vs. SW Repose Gray

Repose Gray and Alpaca are probably the closes in color. RG has an LRV of 58 whereas Alpaca’s is 57.

A side by side comparison of Alpaca and Repose Gray.

They both are on the greige scale and both have a bit of taupe in them. However, Alpaca is more taupe and therefore possibly the reason that it is less popular than Repose Gray.

Color Recap

Sherwin Williams Alpaca is a mid-toned paint color that is taupe leaning towards greige.

It can have a purple undertone when paired with cool-toned decor.

It looks really good when paired with a warmer white color and contrasts nicely with warmer dark colors.

More Paint Color Reviews

Sherwin Williams Alpaca pin for Pinterest.

I hope you learned a little bit about this amazing color. Sherwin Williams Alpaca might not be one of their most popular colors but I think it’s definitely one to watch. It’s such a beautiful color that definitely is not one to forget.

As a licensed Real Estate Agent and an avid home decorator, I strive to give my clients the very best I can when it comes to staging, selling, and decorating their homes. I have lots of experience with paint color choices and love to DIY my home so I can have everything just the way I want it. I share my ideas and projects with the world in the hopes that I can help others have their homes just the way they want as well.

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Saturday 10th of April 2021

What color blue is the cabinets in this post? They are beautiful.


Monday 12th of April 2021

Hi Mary. The photo came from Sherwin Williams and I searched but I couldn't find anywhere they gave the color of the cabinetry. It looks a lot like Smokey Blue which I used in my bedroom renovation.

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