Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee OC-45 is a soft off-white paint color with a beautiful balance of brightness and warmth. It’s been a favorite among designers years, but Swiss Coffee can be a bit finicky about what it pairs well with. Swiss Coffee is a wonderful choice when you want a white that’s light and colorful, but not overly creamy or yellow. Let’s take a look at Swiss Coffee’s spectral data to see if it’s a good match for your next project.
Walls and ceiling are painted in Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee.
What is the LRV of Swiss Coffee?
Light Reflectance Value (LRV) is a measure of how much light a paint reflects back into a room, with 100% being highly reflective and zero being not reflective at all. BM Swiss Coffee has an LRV of roughly 84% (although the Benjamin Moore website has updated that number to almost 82%). This means it will reflect quite a bit of light but won’t be as glaring or bright as a white with a higher LRV, such as Sherwin-Williams High Reflective White or Benjamin Moore Simply White.
You must sample this color in the space you intend to use it before you start putting it on your walls and trim! (We mail 8″ x 10″ paint swatches of our recommendations to our Virtual Color Consultation clients.)
What is the “undertone” of Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee? Will it look yellow?
It might. It depends on the context of the lighting and what’s around it.
If we take an objective look at Swiss Coffee’s LCh* spectral data, we can see that it has a hue angle of 101.31°, putting it in the Yellow hue family.
Swiss Coffee has a very high lightness value (93.3) which means it’s nice and bright. At 5.39, Swiss Coffee also has a fair amount of chroma, or color saturation. This means that it has just enough color pigment to give it some nice warmth.
In certain qualities of light, Swiss Coffee’s warmth will really stand out and may look more yellowish. Like all white paint colors, Swiss Coffee is highly reflective and vulnerable to the lighting around it.
- Swiss Coffee will look more balanced in rooms with North-facing light or rooms that have dim lighting.
- The warmth of Swiss Coffee will be more noticeable and more intense in rooms that receive a lot of Southern light or afternoon Western light. Both are warmer and a bit yellow.
- Soft white bulbs (the most popular, easily available light bulb color) tend to be quite yellow as well and may amplify the yellow in Swiss Coffee. Using the right color light bulbs (3000 K to 3500 K) will give BM Swiss Coffee a much more balanced appearance.
- Kitchens that have cool-toned marble or quartz countertops, bright white subway tile, or white appliances may be too stark to pair well with Swiss Coffee.
What trim color goes with Swiss Coffee? Can I use it for cabinets and walls?
If you have Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee on the walls, I recommend using Swiss on the trim and cabinets. Simply change the sheen or finish to give it some dimension (e.g., eggshell for the walls and satin for the cabinets and trim). When you start trying to mix and match white paints, their differences in hue and chroma become much more obvious. One will likely end up highlighting the hue family of the other, causing it to look grayer/yellower/dingier by comparison.
These cabinet are paint in Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee in a semi-gloss finish. The walls are Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee in a flat finish.
What other paint colors are equivalent or similar to Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee?
As a reminder, I don’t recommend color matching between brands. This is especially true when it comes to white paint. You cannot color match between brands and expect to get identical results. You will see shifts in color and depth. But if you’re looking for something with a similar vibe to Swiss Coffee in another brand, there are options:
- Sherwin-Williams Shell White 8917
- Sherwin-Williams Alabaster 7008
- Behr N330-1 Milk Paint
- PPG Garlic Clove PPG19-09
The walls are Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee in flat finish, and the paneling is Swiss Coffee in semi-gloss finish.
Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee vs White Dove
Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee and Benjamin Moore White Dove are incredibly similar. Both are soft, warm whites. Based on their spectral data, both reflect about the same amount of light and are in the Yellow hue family. However, Swiss Coffee (chroma = 5.39) is a wee bit more colorful than White Dove (chroma = 4.98). This makes White Dove slightly more versatile and predictable in terms of how it will render on the walls.
Is Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee a good exterior paint color?
It can be for some houses, but it’s not our favorite or one we specify often for exteriors in our color consultations. When it comes to off-white and warm white paints, there are simply others that are a little more flexible. Again, this is why sampling swatches of the actual paint color in its intended space (on an exterior wall) and viewing it at different times of the day is so important.
Home exterior painted in Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee.
What other paint colors go with the Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee color palette?
We think this beautiful warm white looks fantastic with tans, beiges, and shades of green! Take a look at some of our favorite Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee complimentary colors:
Need Help Choosing a Color?
Need help finding the right paint color? Order a Virtual Color Consultation Report from the color professionals at Three Bears Home Staging to get a custom, curated palette and guidance for your next painting project.
One Room Paint Color Report | Virtual
Need help choosing the best paint colors for your room? Then this is the (virtual) service for you! Based on your questionnaire responses and uploaded photos, we’ll create a personalized digital Paint Color Report just for you. We’ll also send you paint swatches! Click below to learn how it works or to get started!
Exterior Paint Color Report | Virtual
Ready to give your home exterior a fresh new look, but feeling overwhelmed with the decision? Get a little virtual help from the color experts at Three Bears Home Staging! Based on your questionnaire responses and uploaded photos, we’ll create a personalized digital Paint Color Report just for your home’s exterior. We’ll also send you paint swatches! Read below to learn how it works…