The Best White Paint
“What white paint color do you recommend,” is one of the number one most asked questions we get. We probably hear this question more than “what’s the market looking like these days?”
White is anything but basic right now! The subtle tones and variations can make a major impact on a space and serve as a perfectly polished backdrop to allow your furniture, art, plants and knick-knacks to really pop. There is no better way to bounce natural light around your home than with a beautiful white paint color as a backdrop.
We are BIG fans of white spaces at Insiders Realty and we thought it would be fun to share our top 4 white paint colors and the best ways to use them in your spaces…
Sherwin Williams Pure White
Our very own Cait Berry has this white paint color in her house from top to bottom. Walls, trim, doors, cabinets – everywhere! While some accent colors and wallpaper are starting to trickle in, this perfect white is in our opinion the best base for a white and bright house. If you Google this color you’ll find that is easily one of the most popular and versatile white paint colors on the market and is loved by many designers. Cait loves it because it has a hint of warmth to it so it pairs really nicely with wood floors and a variety of color palates without ever looking harsh. If you could describe a white paint color as being “spa-like” this one fits the description better than any other color we have come across.
Some may ask – “should I really paint my walls the same color as the trim and cabinets?” The answer is “YES,” you absolutely can do that. One of the best ways to take paint color decisions out of the mix when you are going for a white space is to use the same color on everything but to change the finish depending on the surface. For instance your wall finish can have more of an eggshell finish (best for families because it is easy to clean) and your trim more of a sheen (satin or semi-gloss). There will be an ever-so-subtle difference in the finishes which will still allow the trim to pop against the walls with a guarantee that the two colors will work together!
Benjamin Moore Decorator’s White
This white paint is one of our favorites for someone who wants a clean white look that leans just a hint of gray. The drop of gray softens the white just a touch so it’s not overly bright. For someone wanting to whiten their home but is nervous it will make things feel cold and stark, Decorator’s White it the perfect option!
If you are a lover of marble, whether it be on your counter tops or in your bathroom shower – Decorator’s White is the perfect compliment due to it’s subtle tint of gray. The gray in the paint pairs perfectly with the veining in the marble too.
Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee
The exact opposite of Decorator’s White is Swiss Coffee. It’s the creamiest white with a hint of beige. It’s perfect for someone who wants to stay in the warmer realm. We love to recommend this to our “beige” people who are trying to lighten things up a bit. Gone are the days of tan walls and Swiss Coffee is the perfect lily pad into white spaces.
Swiss Coffee works best with warmer/golden tones. Swiss Coffee cabinets with gold hardware is *chef’s kiss*
Sherwin Williams Alabaster
If you are looking for the world’s most soft neutral…it’s Alabaster. It’s slightly creamy without being too creamy. We love this color for cabinets and trim in a more traditional space. It’s such a cozy and soft white that works with everything!
Alabaster makes for the most calming white in a bedroom space – especially up against a window overlooking fresh snow!
Our White Paint Tips and Tricks:
Change the Strength of the Paint Color
Almost always we recommend changing the strength of the paint color. Think of this as diluting the color a bit. When you look at a white color on a swatch you might be wondering why the swatch really doesn’t look all that white – especially when you hold it up to a pure white swatch.
We find ourselves going with a 75% strength on our favorite white colors quite a bit. It takes the intensity down just a hair and softens the look to a level that we love.
Picking the Proper Sheen
Walls – Eggshell. We overwhelmingly suggest eggshell for your walls when you are painting walls white. Flat can look just that – too flat. Eggshell is also really family/pet friendly and is easy to clean.
Ceiling – Flat. This is the only place we suggest a flat paint finish.
Trim and Baseboards – Satin if you like a subtle sheen. Semi-gloss if you like a little more shine.
Cabinets – Satin. Always satin. Don’t go too shiny on your cabinets
Picking the Right White
The best way to make sure you are going to be happy with your selection is to test it out! Get a sample of the actual paint (not the swatch) and paint large test sections. If you don’t want to paint directly on the wall, you can paint on card stock and hold the test swatches up to the wall. Try the painted swatches in different lighting too.
Use Google, Pinterest and Instagram! Do a search for inspo using the paint color you are considering and see how the color looks in different spaces online.
Happy painting, friends!