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Sherwin-Williams First Star Color Review

Learn all about Sherwin-Williams First Star in this paint color review.

SW First Star is a cool blue-gray paint color perfect for bedrooms, living rooms, and even whole-house color palettes.

First Star is similar to Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray – one of the best blue-gray paint colors for whole-house use. But First Star is a bit more muted, so it looks slightly less blue on the wall. 

We used First Star as the foundation color for a condo renovation in Michigan and it worked so perfectly to bring the whole space together.

Keep reading to learn more about Sherwin-Williams First Star and how you can use this soft blue-gray paint color in your own home.

A swatch of Sherwin-Williams First Star, one of the best blue-gray paint colors.
Sherwin-Williams First Star. Photo courtesy of

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What color is SW First Star?

Sherwin-Williams First Star is one of those colors that can look very different from room to room, depending on the natural light and the time of day. First Star is technically a blue-gray paint color – a gray hue with cool blue undertones.

Because First Star is very muted, it doesn’t look very blue on the wall. It’s light enough that in rooms with lots of bright sunlight, it might look more like a white paint color. In rooms with less natural light, it will look darker.

Be sure to test this paint color in all the spaces you plan to use it, to ensure you like the way it looks in different lighting.

What is the LRV of  SW First Star?

First Star has an LRV of 69. LRV is short for Light Reflectance Value, which measures how light (LRV=100) or dark (LRV=0) a color is. At 69, First Star reflects a lot of light but still has a good amount of pigment in it.

What undertone is SW First Star?

First Star has cool, blue undertones that are muted with plenty of gray hues. Like a lot of gray paint colors, its undertones aren’t very clear until they are compared with gray paint colors with green or violet undertones. 

In the image below, for example, First Star is pictured next to Sherwin-Williams Useful Gray and Sherwin-Williams City Loft. In this side-by-side comparison, First Star’s undertones are clear.

A comparison of gray paint undertones
A comparison of gray paint undertones

Is Sherwin-Williams First Star a warm or cool color?

SW First Star is a cool paint color thanks to its blue undertones. Because it is pretty muted, it provides a lovely cool color that won’t risk looking too blue when painted inside.

What is the difference between Sherwin-Williams Agreeable Gray and First Star?

Sherwin-Williams Agreeable Gray is one of the company’s most popular paint colors – and one of the most popular greige paint colors in the U.S. While both Agreeable Gray and First Star are muted gray paint colors, however, they are very different.

SW Agreeable Gray is darker than First Star, with an LRV of 60. It also has strong green undertones compared to First Star’s muted blue undertones. As a result, Agreeable Gray looks a lot warmer on the wall.

When should I use Sherwin-Williams First Star?

This versatile color can be used in many different ways throughout the house.

Can I use SW First Star as an interior trim color?

I wouldn’t recommend SW First Star trim unless you’re wrapping a whole room in this color, including walls, ceiling, and trim. The color is soft enough that that would look really lovely, but it’s dark enough that it won’t work well as trim for any other colors.

Is a SW First Star kitchen a good idea?

I love the idea of a SW First Star kitchen! In my client’s condo, we used First Star on the walls of the kitchen and adjoining open-concept space and I love the soft contrast between the gray walls and the white cabinets. You could use First Star as a cabinet color, but it might be fairly limiting. It would be very pretty with a dark blue island such as SW Sea Serpent.

In this space, where natural light was pouring in on this wall, the color looks a bit warmer and helps this kitchen feel clean and modern without looking cold. We kept the ceiling and trim colors that were already in place.

Photo by Color Concierge client

What about a SW First Star living room?

First Star works very well for a living room, especially if you have an open-concept space like this client. By painting both the kitchen and the living room with Sherwin-Williams First Star, we kept the entire space looking pulled together and cohesive.

First Star often changes as the lighting changes. In this living room, it looks a bit darker and cooler on the walls,, which don’t get the sun shining on them in the same way as the kitchen.

Photo by Color Concierge client
Elevate your walls with a splash of color.

Would a First Star bedroom work?

Yes, absolutely! SW First Star is a lovely, calming bedroom paint color. In my client’s condo bedroom, which gets cooler light, First Star looks darker and cooler than it does in the condo kitchen. 

This is a great example of how this color can look different from room to room and at different points in the day.

Photo by Color Concierge client

Is First Star a good whole house color?

I love to use colors like SW First Star as a whole-house paint color. It’s light enough to be used in any space throughout the home but has enough pigment to not look dingy in rooms with lower light.

It works a lot like Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray and looks different from room to room. This gives each room its own unique look while still keeping the whole house cohesive.

Photo by Color Concierge client

Can I use SW First Star for exteriors?

I wouldn’t consider First Star a great blue-gray for exteriors because it’s too light and could look washed out in direct sunlight as a siding color. It might be interesting as a trim color if the siding is painted with a blue, green, or blue-green color that is much darker. Unless your home is located in a very shady and/or northern latitude like New England, the Pacific Northwest, or Canada, I would avoid SW First Star as an exterior siding.

Which Colors Look Best with SW First Star?

There are so many ways to pair SW First Star with other colors on your walls and your furniture, decor, and hard finishes.

Does SW First Star go with white?

Yes, First Star looks really nice with white trim, white cabinets, and other white finishes, like subway tile and quartz countertops. It offers just enough of a contrast with white to stand out while still keeping a space light and bright. Look for clean, crisp whites instead of warm whites with yellow undertones.

Does First Star go with blue-green colors?

I love to pair blue-gray paint colors like First Star with blues and greens. The cool undertones of this color help it pair beautifully with other cooler tones. In my client’s bedroom pictured above, the First Star walls look really lovely next to the blue-green curtains and blue-green floral bedding.

Does First Star go with brown?

Pairing a blue-gray paint color with brown doesn’t sound like the best combination, but it’s actually really beautiful! I love the way First Star walls look with the deep brown wood floor and furniture in this client’s condo. They would also pair well with a dark leather or suede sofa or dark brown wood bedroom set.

What are the Best Trim and Ceiling Colors For SW First Star? 

I usually prefer brighter whites to pair with blue-gray wall colors. Some of the best options for trim, ceiling, and doors or cabinets include BM Chantilly Lace, BM Simply White, SW Pure White, and SW Extra White.

What is the easiest way to sample SW First Star?

You should always sample and test your paint colors, but it’s especially important with a paint like First Star that can look different from room to room depending on the time of day or the amount of natural light.

The easiest way to sample Sherwin-Williams First Star (and any paint color for that matter) is via SAMPLIZE. Their peel-and-stick paint samples are easy to use and true to color.

There is no mess, and the cost is less expensive than purchasing a sample and a white poster board. Since you don’t need to dispose of the paint, it’s also environmentally friendly!

With Samplize you can easily see how different shades realistically look on your unique wall.

The Best SW First Star Alternatives

SW First Star vs SW Big Chill

Sherwin-Williams First Star and SW Big Chill can work well in similar situations, but they do look slightly different on the wall. While First Star has blue undertones, Bill Chill’s undertones lean toward violet and are a bit warmer. Big Chill is also darker than First Star, with an LRV of 62.

SW First Star vs SW Big Chill

SW First Star vs BM Horizon

Benjamin Moore Horizon is an interesting alternative to SW First Star. Horizon is slightly lighter and much more colorful, with an LRV of 72.82. Horizon can look like a light blue especially if the room has tons of light.

SW First Star vs BM Horizon

SW First Star vs BM Shoreline

SW First Star and BM Shoreline are very similar colors. Shoreline is slightly darker, with an LRV of 67.66, but both have muted blue undertones and can be used for similar applications.

SW First Star vs BM Shoreline

SW First Star vs BM Stonington Gray

Stonington Gray is one of the most popular cool blue-gray paint colors from Benjamin Moore. Stonington is darker than First Star, with an LRV of 59.36, and is less muted so it can look much more blue in person, especially in rooms flooded with light.

SW First Star vs BM Stonington Gray

Key Learning Points

Sherwin-Williams First Star is a cool, muted blue-gray paint color that works beautifully for bedrooms, living rooms, kitchens, and even the whole house.

  • SW First Star is a gray paint color with muted blue undertones that keep it looking cool on the wall.
  • First Star can look different from room to room in different lighting, so it’s important to test anywhere you plan to use it.
  • First Star works just as well with clean white subway tiles as it does with dark wood floors and furniture.

Remember: NEVER, EVER use paint matches from a different brand than the one specified. Results are poor and there are no standards for the sheens.  Even though your painter may truly believe it can be done, don’t do it. See results from paint matching here.

No matter what, always test your paint colors. It’s a standard best practice.  Whenever I test my paint colors, they are perfect, and when I don’t test they turn out wrong. Learn how to test your paint colors here.

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We love your comments! Please note that the blog is meant as general advice, and it is not possible to give out specific answers to your paint questions.  If you want more specific advice, please consider purchasing a color consultation. Thank you for your understanding.

About the Author

Michelle Marceny, principal designer and founder of The Color Concierge, a paint color consulting company in Denver, Colorado.

Hi, I’m Michelle Marceny, founder, owner, and Principal Color Designer at The Color Concierge. I believe a fresh coat of paint can completely transform a space. The Color Concierge was born out of my drive to help clients fall back in love with their homes. My clients trust me to help them find the perfect paint color for their home – whether it’s a whole-house paint color scheme or ideas for a single room. 

Since The Color Concierge was founded in 2017, we have completed over 3000 color consultations, both online and in-person.  I am a Certified Color Expert with 7 years of experience creating interior and exterior color palettes throughout North America.

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One Response

  1. That was very helpful, thank you!
    We are trying to decide on a light gray that will brighten rooms that receive less natural light. So far the ones we have tried look blue when dry. I am also trying to stay away from the tans/beiges since that is what we have had on our walls for the past 20 years!

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Meet Michelle

Driven to help clients fall back in love with their homes with intentional paint color schemes. She started the company based on her passion for color and its ability to make a house a home.

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8 Easy Ways to Pick Paint Colors