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Sherwin-Williams Mortar (SW 9584) Color Review

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

A paint can full of Sherwin-Williams Mortar paint

Sherwin-Williams Mortar is one of Sherwin-Williams’ newest light greige paint colors, so there’s not a lot on the internet about it. But I predict this paint will become one of the iconic Sherwin-Williams colors, like SW Alabaster or SW Pure White. It’s truly a work of art!

Mortar is part of the Sherwin-Williams Emerald Designer Collection, which is a special collection of 200 new paint colors. This exclusive collection includes brighter, purer whites and colors you won’t find anywhere else. The colors are made with the Ultra White base, different than other Sherwin colors. (Note: I am NOT sponsored by Sherwin, I just love these colors)

Emerald Designer Collection paint colors can only be used with Sherwin-Williams Emerald Designer paint. You can’t mix these colors with any of the other Sherwin-Williams lines such as Duration, Cashmere, or Super Paint because their bases are different.

Feedback about SW Mortar

I’ve started recommending SW Mortar to my clients and have gotten rave reviews of this color as they’ve tested it so far. I even added it to my own home recently, using it in a room for my elderly parents.

When my dad moved in, he said, “I don’t know what the color is, but when I walk in the room it makes me happy.” That is what you want to feel when you walk into a room!

One of my clients said “Wow, Mortar is quite a unique and interesting color. In the blazing sunset light, we get in the afternoon, it stays true and doesn’t go yellow. What a fantastic color.”

Although this paint color is expensive, I have found that professional painters get a substantial discount from Sherwin which makes it more reasonable.

Keep reading to learn more about SW Mortar, one of the best Sherwin-Williams gray paint colors, and discover if it’s right for your next project.

A swatch of SW Mortar paint
Sherwin-Williams Mortar (SW 9584)

*This post contains affiliate links for products I use and love. If you click on some links and make a purchase, I will get a small commission at no cost to you. This helps pay for the costs of the blog, so I can continue to offer great content to our readers.

What Color is SW Mortar?

Sherwin-Williams SW Mortar (sample) paint is a light and airy warm greige that can be used in place of a traditional white paint color in many applications, including interior rooms and exterior trim. 

Unlike many white colors, Mortar really stays true to its color and doesn’t change much with different lighting throughout the day. It is always soft and light and lovely.

What is the LRV of  SW Mortar?

The LRV (or Light Reflective Value) of Sherwin-Williams Mortar is 74, keeping it light and bright while still having a good amount of pigment. Light Reflective Value refers to the percentage of light a paint color reflects when it’s on the wall. Pure black has an LRV of 0 while pure white has an LRV of 100.

What are the SW Mortar undertones?

SW Mortar has soft, invisible green undertones. It reminds me a lot of Benjamin Moore Classic Gray (color review), although the undertones are slightly different. Sherwin-Williams has taken the best of Classic Gray, without the flashes of violet undertones, and made Mortar.

Mortar has warm green undertones and leans more into beige than grey on the greige spectrum.

Is Sherwin-Williams Mortar paint warm or cool?

SW Mortar paint color is warm, thanks to its soft green undertones. This warmth is one of the reasons this color is so versatile. It acts like a white on the wall but offers more depth. 

Is SW Mortar lighter than SW Agreeable Gray?

Sherwin-Williams Mortar is significantly lighter than Agreeable Gray (color review), one of the most popular Sherwin-William gray paint colors on the market. While they are both warm greige colors with green undertones, Agreeable Gray has an LRV of 60 compared to Mortar’s LRV of 74. 

I actually think SW Mortar is a bit more versatile than Agreeable Gray because of its lighter, brighter look on the wall.

When should I use Sherwin-Williams Mortar?

Can I use SW Mortar for cabinets?

SW Mortar cabinets would look really beautiful in a kitchen. They would provide a similar look as a white kitchen without being too harsh or cold. And because this color is so versatile, Mortar cabinets could work with granite and quartz cabinets and other classic kitchen finishes.

Is an SW Mortar bedroom a good idea?

When my elderly parents recently moved in with me, I knew I needed a neutral paint color that would keep their room feeling bright and welcoming. I chose SW Mortar and we’re all so happy with how it turned out!

A bedroom is painted with Sherwin-Williams Mortar paint.
Photo by M. Marceny

This room was previously painted with Farrow & Ball Setting Plaster (pictured below). I loved this pinky-beige color, but my parents preferred a more neutral paint.

Pick paint colors with confidence
A bedroom is painted with Farrow & Ball Setting Plaster Bedroom Paint
Photo by K. Geha

When I asked them what they wanted, my mom said something light and airy. My dad said he wanted beige. Mortar ended up being the perfect option that they both love – I am obsessed!

A bedroom is painted with SW Mortar paint.
Photo by M. Marceny

I’d actually love to paint the rest of the common areas in my home with this color.

Can I paint an SW Mortar bathroom?

Sherwin-Williams Mortar makes a great bathroom color! I decided to paint my parents’ en suite bathroom in the same color to keep their bedroom and bathroom feeling cohesive and connected. 

A bedroom and bathroom are painted with Sherwin-Williams Mortar paint
Photo by M. Marceny

I love the way this color makes their bathroom look fresh and modern without being too bright white. It also pairs really well with the BM Chelsea Gray bathroom vanity that was already in this room.

A bathroom is painted with Sherwin-Williams Mortar paint
Photo by M. Marceny

Is SW Mortar a good whole house color?

Mortar would absolutely be a lovely whole-house color! I’ve had clients create a whole-house color palette with Benjamin Moore Classic Gray, and SW Mortar acts very similarly on the wall. 

Because this color is so consistent in different kinds of lighting, it will keep your home looking consistent from room to room.

I recently had a client that tested SW Mortar all over their new home. Her comment was, “Wow, Mortar is quite a unique and interesting color. In the blazing sunset light we get in the afternoon, it stays true and doesn’t go yellow. What a fantastic color! It’s definitely our base whole house color.”

Can I use SW Mortar for exteriors?

Mortar is available as an interior paint color.  For exteriors, you can get it as a trim color, but not as a siding color.  Sherwin-Williams hasn’t released the Emerald Designer Collection colors for exterior siding yet.

When they do release it for all exteriors, the color will be amazing!

When you pick colors for exteriors, it’s important to remember that direct sunlight makes colors look about 5x lighter than indoors. In places with high elevation like Colorado or lots of very bright sun like Florida, colors can even seem 10x brighter!

SW Mortar would look really nice as an exterior trim color for a home with a red brick finish or for use with darker exterior paint colors that would contrast too much with a brighter white.

What are the Best Trim and Ceiling Colors For SW Mortar? 

SW Mortar looks best with clean, crisp white trim and ceiling colors like SW White Snow (sample) (also an Emerald Designer color) and SW Pure White (sample). It can even work with cooler white trim like SW Extra White (sample) – one of the most popular trim colors in the U.S.

Avoid very creamy trim and ceiling colors like SW Alabaster (color review), SW Shell White (sample), or SW Westhighland White (sample) because you start to lose your crisp interface. SW Greek Villa (color review) should be ok, but test carefully in the room you plan on using them in to make sure they look right in your lighting.

What is the easiest way to sample Sherwin-Williams Mortar?

We always recommend that you test paint colors on your home because lighting can change a color completely, both with interiors as well as exteriors.  

In the old days, this meant we painted a large poster board with sample pots and a huge mess. 

Now we have a better way to test paint, with Samplize Peel-and-Stick samples!  

  • Samples pre-painted with 2 coats of real paint from the manufacturer.
  • Large 9” x 14” samples to see the color better in the lighting.
  • Delivered overnight
  • Colors are accurate
  • Less expensive than painting a large poster board with sample pots
  • No mess, and no toxic paint to dispose of

 I use these in my own color consulting practice for exact results.  Discover Samplize peel-and-stick paint samples:

Buy 8 samples and get 2 free – no coupon code required. Order today and get samples tomorrow!

Colors Similar to Sherwin-Williams Mortar

Explore some paint colors that are similar to SW Mortar to see how they compare.

SW Mortar vs SW Agreeable Gray

SW Agreeable Gray (sample) is one of Sherwin-Williams’ most popular paint colors. It is a greige color with green undertones, much like SW Mortar, but it is much darker. SW Agreeable Gray has an LRV of 60 compared to Mortar’s LRV of 74. Agreeable Gray also has stronger green undertones.

Paint swatches comparing SW Mortar and SW Agreeable Gray.

SW Mortar vs BM Balboa Mist

Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist (sample) is a popular light gray paint color that can be used in many of the same applications as Mortar and can look like a soft white in bright spaces. Balboa Mist (color review) has violet undertones, however, and is also darker with an LRV of 67.

Paint swatches comparing SW Mortar vs BM Balboa Mist.

SW Mortar vs BM Pale Oak

Benjamin Moore Pale Oak (sample) is a very similar color to SW Mortar. With an LRV of 69, it’s just a bit darker than Mortar. While they are both greige colors, Pale Oak (color review) has soft taupe undertones and appears a bit warmer than SW Mortar.

Paint swatches comparing SW Mortar vs BM Pale Oak.

SW Mortar vs BM Gray Mist

Benjamin Moore Gray Mist (sample) is a light greige with soft green undertones. With an LRV of 74, Gray Mist (color review) is just about as light as SW Mortar. Both colors have soft green undertones, but SW Mortar looks slightly warmer and softer on the wall.

Paint swatches comparing SW Mortar vs BM Gray Mist.

Which Benjamin Moore Color Is the Best SW Mortar Alternative?

Benjamin Moore Classic Gray (sample) is definitely the closest alternative to Sherwin-Williams Mortar paint. They both have soft green undertones but Mortar is warmer. And while BM Classic Gray can sometimes flash violet in certain lighting, both colors can be used in very similar ways throughout a home – as a whole-house color, single room color, cabinet color and even exterior paint color.

Paint swatches comparing SW Mortar vs BM Classic Gray.

Key Learning Points

Sherwin-Williams Mortar is a light and airy versatile color that can be used in just about any room in the house. It’s a great alternative to a white paint color when you want a bright space but don’t want to risk the room feeling too cold.

  • Sherwin-Williams Mortar is a new paint color from the Emerald Designer Collection. We expect it to become one of the most iconic Sherwin-Williams gray paint colors.
  • It has warm green undertones and leans more into beige than grey on the greige spectrum.
  • Mortar has an LRV of 74.
  • SW Mortar works really well as a calming bedroom paint color, keeping the room feeling airy but still warm and cozy.
  • SW Mortar would make a great foundation for a whole-house color scheme, staying true to its color in many different kinds of lighting.

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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Still need help picking the best paint colors?  Discover our Online Color Consulting Package.

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A bedroom is painted with SW Mortar paint and pictured in a graphic.

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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5 Responses

  1. Thank you for this great review! Are you aware of any similar SW colors to Mortar that would be available in the Duration paint? Also, have you noticed a difference in the Emerald Designer Edition vs Duration paint as far as application, coverage, and durability?

    1. Hi Amy,
      There really isn’t a close match to Mortar in the standard Sherwin colors. To get a similar look and feel, I recommend testing SW Pearly White or SW City Loft.

      I’ve tried the Emerald Designer Edition paint, and it is definitely premium. It gets substantially better coverage that Duration in fewer coats, is easier to apply, and so far seems to wear well. What I love the most is that the Designer Edition paints are cleaner and crisper than the other Sherwin paints.


  2. Great review! I am looking at the designer colors and have it down to Sw Sanctuary, Sw Mortar and Sw Sunbleached. I have eastern exposure in the morning and western in the evening and I’m looking to paint my entire house this color. Any advice which one would work best? Thank you

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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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