I considered calling this post “50 Shades of White” – the boring version. But actually, choosing a perfect white paint seems like it should be the EASIEST thing in the world. I mean, it’s just white paint, right? Wrong. There are so many choices, it’s enough to make your head spin. I did the agonizing to save you the grief. Here are my favourite white paints my friends!
How to Choose a White Paint
Whites can have undertones of green, yellow, blue or red for example, and of course it all boils down to your personality and vision for the space. It also depends on the lighting in your home and what else you have in the room.
I highly recommend painting a sample board or getting a larger swatch and placing it directly in your home with a couple of the options in the room you are painting vs using the small chip to choose the colour. Also, make sure that you hold the paint swatch up vertically when judging the colour – my mom taught me that. It really changes the way the colour looks (don’t just look it at it flat on a table surface).
My Favourite White Paint Colour
I laugh thinking back to the day we were choosing paint for our home. Oodles of paint chips and swatches for the cupboards, trim, walls…. and I ended up doing EVERYTHING in the same colour. While there are a couple of rooms that I have and will switch up (check out our guest suite post for a nice soft variation), I have no regrets.
So, what colour did I go with? Simply White by Benjamin Moore. It is a soft warm white that is inviting and traditional. I would choose it again in a heartbeat. Simply White pulls a bit of yellow, so if that isn’t your jam I’ve rounded up my other top whites that you should consider for your next painting project.
What Paint Finish for Which Surface?
I get asked this question a lot. Here are the paint finishes that I recommend for both trim and walls (note that I have 2 boys so they have put these to the test!).
Wall Paint Finish
We went with an eggshell finish for the walls which I recommend. It has just the right amount of sheen that lets you wipe off those sweet but dirty fingerprints but still has a flat finish. Going with too much of a glossy paint will show more imperfections – the more matte the finish the fewer flaws you will see, but the harder it will be to wipe off.
Trim Paint Finish
For any of our trim and shiplap we went with a satin finish. It is even easier to wipe marks off, and is more likely to get dirty. I highly recommend it: the satin finish still doesn’t look glossy which is nice. Note: based on experience I highly recommend getting any doors sprayed if possible (vs brushing and rolling). Again, the glossier finish makes any marks more visible, and there are definitely brush and roller marks on ours. Next time I’ll know better!
My Top 5 Whites
Since Simply White isn’t for everyone, here are my top picks for white paint that I stand behind! These are all Benjamin Moore whites (not sponsored) as this is where we ended up choosing our paint for the main area. All of these whites are warmer whites. Some cooler whites, which aren’t my first pick, include Decorator’s White and Intense White.
1. Simply White (OC-117)
I think I’ve said enough about Simply White, but if you’re looking for a nice warm white that doesn’t pull too much yellow (most warm whites do for the record), this is your best bet. I was all-in on this shade, and had no regrets painting my whole house this colour. Note that if you get it colour matched for different surfaces (like we did with our kitchen cabinets) that it will come out looking different. In our case it came out looking darker and creamier, which surprised me and delighted me at the same time. I LOVE how it turned out (mixing cream with white is super classy for the record).
2. Chantilly Lace (OC-65)
Chantilly Lace is one of the most popular white shades on the market, and is an amazing neutral white reminiscent of soft linen. It is warm, but not too warm, and doesn’t pull any particular tone like most whites do. If the warmer look of Simply White isn’t your thing, this one will likely make your heart go pitter patter.
3. White Dove (OC-17)
I love the warm undertones in White Dove. It leans more toward the softly shaded greys but is super cozy and very classy.
4. Swiss Coffee (OC-45)
Swiss Coffee is an off-white that is similar to White Dove but with a bit more of a green undertone to it. Again, it’s a really warm white that is very versatile and would look nice as a wall colour with a white like Chantilly Lace for trim.
5. Cloud White (OC-130)
Cloud White is intended to resemble soft clouds, with some green/yellow undertones. It is a nice neutral warm white as well.