Just Right White Paint Colors

Oh the elusive Just Right White Paint Colors! Even though we know choosing the right white paint color for your interior is dependent on all sorts of factors such as natural light and various interior design elements, it seems that the best white paint color remains a hot topic.

Modern farmhouse bedroom. Photo by Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #modernfarmhouse #bedroomdecor
Just Right White Paint Colors. Photo: Hello Lovely Studio. See this modern farmhouse RIGHT HERE.

And I am all too happy to dive into the topic since I have a doctorate in painting interiors and furniture white.

French farmhouse bathroom with Farrow and Ball French Gray painted trim, Strong White on walls, clawfoot tub, beamed ceiling, and antique terracotta floor tiles. Vivi et Margot. #vivietmargot #frenchfarmhouse #bathroomdesign #clawfoottub #farrowandballfrenchgray
French farmhouse master bathroom. Flooring is reclaimed antique terracotta tile. Wall Paint Color: FARROW & BALL Strong White 2001. Woodwork paint color: FARROW & BALL French Gray. Clawfoot Tub: Hudson Reed: FIND HERE. Design: Charlotte Reiss of Vivi et Margot. See her French farmhouse near Bordeaux RIGHT HERE.

With thousands of white paint color possibilities, it’s important to note the white a stylish blogger used for her modern farmhouse kitchen may look all wrong in your home. Your room’s: amount of natural light, decor plan, finishes, and even geographical location all factor into the equation. So do your personal preferences and artful eye for color. While there are certainly JUST RIGHT WHITE paint colors for your walls, the aim here will be to hold your hand through the process.

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White Paint Color on Walls (above): FARROW & BALL Strong White 2001.

Farrow & Ball Strong White. #farrowandballstrongwhite #strongwhite #paintcolor
FARROW & BALL Strong White 2001. A grey based white. This cool white is both strong by name and strong by nature. One of our Contemporary Neutrals, the subtle urban feel of its light grey undertones add a contemporary twist to period homes, while staying in keeping with modern properties. Pair with Skimming Stone, Elephant’s Breath and All White in any combination for an effortlessly cohesive scheme.

Trim Color (above bathroom)

Farrow & Ball French Grey #farrowandballfrenchgray #frenchgray #paintcolor
FARROW & BALL French Gray. A soothing green grey. French Gray is really much more green than grey, but characterfully flits between the two depending on the light and time of day. Taking inspiration from French design and wallpapers used in the 19th century, it creates the most relaxed of rooms. This soothing hue is perfect for exterior woodwork and a particular favourite for front doors in our matte Exterior Eggshell, or garden furniture where it sits seamlessly amongst the greenery.
Serene white kitchen with window seat and BENJAMIN MOORE White paint color on walls. #hellolovelystudio #kitchendesign #whitekitchen #windowseat #benjaminmoorewhite
My kitchen with BENJAMIN MOORE White. Hello Lovely Studio
Round wood dining table with farmhouse style.
Find a similar round dining table RIGHT HERE.

My opinions here pertaining to the quest for the just right white paint relate to: (1) my personal experience with flattering, beautiful white paint colors, (2) design wisdom concerning the process of choosing the best white paint color from smart design sites, and (3) guidance from talented designers and serial decorators we have come to trust.

Hello Lovely Studio's serene white kitchen with window seat and dining room with lantern. #hellolovelystudio #interiordesign #kitchen #windowseat #serenedecor #whitedecor #benajminmoorewhite
Our white kitchen with window seat and dining room with lantern – Hello Lovely Studio.
Linen slipcovered chair
Linen slipcovered chair: FIND HERE
Agda Classic Elegant Traditional Upholstered Dining Chair
Louis Style Dining Chairs: FIND HERE.
Jonesboro Outdoor Hanging Lantern
Similar lantern: HERE.
Sophisticated, traditional, yet modern for your living room! #Wing Chair
Wing Chair: FIND HERE

Just Right White Paint Colors

1. Best White Paint Color Smarts – From Me.

I have decades of experience as a serial decorator for dozens of homes for myself and others and a trained eye for color as an artist. What I know for sure is the best white paint color for one particular space may be all wrong for another. For example, the light here in Northern Illinois is completely different than the light in the Southwest. So keep in mind you’ll need to narrow your search for the right white paint color to a handful of tones and then try samples of them on the walls.

Bonjour pillow
Bonjour Pillow: FIND HERE.

My Favorite White

In my own home which we have completely renovated ourselves, I tested about five white paint color contenders by painting large swaths on the walls and observing how each color changed throughout the day. All of the whites I chose had very subtle undertones, but a clear winner emerged. We painted all the walls BENJAMIN MOORE “White” which imparts: a modern gallery-like feel, coolness with minimal undertones, crispness, and no yellow cast.

Benjamin Moore WHITE paint color.
BENJAMIN MOORE White.

Can you believe the simplicity of the name of this white paint? Yes, it’s WHITE! There’s no chance of forgetting this one, and it was the only white I found which worked with the intense yellow natural light flooding our North-South exposure home. We painted ceilings with the same white color and also the trim (in satin). What a world of difference it made!

Romantic French Country bedroom with knotty alder door and shiplap wall #hellolovelystudio #romanticdecor #FrenchCountry
My bedroom wall paint color: BENJAMIN MOORE White. Mirror Paint: BENJAMIN MOORE Revere Pewter
Hello Lovely Studio's kitchen
My Kitchen paint color: BENJAMIN MOORE White. Just Right White Paint Colors.

Mixed Messages About Choosing

BEWARE. There are color experts who recommend that we NEVER look to photos online for guidance choosing a paint color and others who insist this is the only way! Why the disparate views?

Here’s my two cents: Reviewing photos online (where the name of the white paint color used is supplied) seems a great place to start and can be more helpful than viewing a small swatch from the paint store!

If you don’t already have a Pinterest board devoted to best whites, create a board and PIN THIS POST so you’ll have paint names at the ready when you head to the store to buy samples to try on your walls.

Here’s an infographic with a few more of my favorite white and neutral paint colors from BENJAMIN MOORE (including Classic Gray which we just used for a new bathroom we added at the fixer upper!):

Just right white paint colors. Ultimate Guide to Best White Paint Colors! #bestwhite #whitepaint #choosingwhite
PIN ME! Just Right White Paint Colors.
Hello Lovely Studio's living room with egg chair upholstered in Belgian linen and Benjamin Moore White Sand paint color on walls. #hellolovelystudio #livingroom #whitedecor #benjaminmoorewhitesand #eggchair #belgianlinen #serenedecor
BENJAMIN MOORE White Sand on the walls in our former living room.

Tried & True Pretty White Paint Colors

In our prior French Country style home, BENJAMIN MOORE White Sand was my favorite shade of white paint for walls, and BENJAMIN MOORE Dove Wing went on all the doors and trim. BENJAMIN MOORE White Dove was used to paint my family piano and various furniture.

Dove Wing by Benjamin Moore for a beautiful #whitepaint color for trim
BENJAMIN MOORE Dove Wing…Best White Paint Colors
Hello Lovely Studio bedroom with Stikwood (Hamptons) statement wall, cottage style furniture, and Belgian linen slipcovered chair. #hellolovelystudio #stikwood #sthiplap #bedroomdesign #cottagestyle #belgianlinen #frenchcountry #interiordesign #bestwhitepaint
Paint color on furniture: BENJAMIN MOORE Revere Pewter. Just Right White Paint Colors.
Paris apartment with Louis dining chairs. Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #parisapartment #diningroom
Hello Lovely Studio.

2. White Paint Color Advice from Pros.

I turned to Country Living to discover the white paint colors Fixer Upper’s Joanna Gaines tends to favor and use in her projects. Her go-to white? SHERWIN WILLIAMS Alabaster, which she used on the walls in her own home as well as many of the homes she and Chip renovated on the show.

Joanna's five favorite Fixer Upper paint colors - #paint #bestwhitepaint #whitepaint
SW Alabaster: Joanna Gaines’ Favorite White

For a soothing grey paint color, Joanna likes Wedding Band from Kilz.

Kilz Wedding Band paint color
Kilz Wedding Band…Home Decor Ideas: Ultimate Guide to Pick Best White Paint Colors!

Is it any wonder, another white paint favorite of Joanna’s is known as “Shiplap?”

Kilz Shiplap paint
Kilz “Shiplap”…Home Decor Ideas: Ultimate Guide to Choose Best White Paint Colors!
View of hall in country cottage with Benjamin Moore White walls and European inspired farmhouse style interiors by Hello Lovely Studio
My home: BENJAMIN MOORE White. Just Right White Paint Colors. How to Choose the Right White Paint Color Every Time! Hello Lovely Studio

Remodelista  published a thoroughly researched piece about choosing white paint colors, and design experts advise:

1. Understand the different nuances of white (is it cool, warm, bluish, pinkish?). 2. Determine if objects in the room are cool (choose a cool white) or warm (choose a warm white). 3. Assess whether the room gets a lot of natural light (go with a pure white) or little light (go with a more pigmented white). 4.Choose a few whites and test large swatches on the walls. 5. If still stuck, turn to interior designers’ top picks.

Everybody’s Hungry For the Perfect White!

Since I am asked about white paint and white decor more than anything else, I have concluded a ton of home decorators get stuck. I turned to a panel of some of my favorite design friends to offer their favorite white paint color picks.

Interior Designer Leanne Ford Gives Us a Tour of Her Renovated Farmhouse
Design: Leanne Ford. How to Choose the Best White Paint Color Every Time!

3. Just Right White Paint Colors: Picks from Experts.

Greet of Belgian Pearls

Farrow and Ball "Pointing"

“It is hard to name a favorite white as using the right color of white is dependent upon the room that has to be painted. Is it a small or a large room? Is there a lot of light coming in or not? Another factor….fabrics to be used in the room for curtains and upholstery. But I often turn to FARROW & BALL Pointing White or White Tie.”

POINTING…Farrow & Ball. This fresh and uncomplicated white is named after the colour of lime pointing used in traditional brickwork. One of our Red Based Neutrals, Pointing has a warm undertone to it which creates the prettiest of spaces when used on walls and always softens the feel of a room alongside strong, traditional colours.

Panelling in Blue Gray by Farrow & Ball and wall in Pointing
Wall paint: Farrow & Ball: Pointing. Just Right White Paint Colors. How to Choose the Best White Paint Color.
Farrow and Ball White Tie

WHITE TIE…Farrow & Ball. Our prettiest white is named after the old, pre-brightened, starched cotton used for white tie jackets. One of our Yellow Based Neutrals, White Tie brings a gentle warmth to any room and is deepened with a touch of black pigment. Combine with Matchstick, String and New White for a delicate scheme with reassuringly creamy undertones.

Maiden Home: Custom, handcrafted sofas for a fraction of the showroom price. #whitelivingroom #minimaldecor
Home Decor Ideas: Ultimate Guide to Best White Paint Colors! Just Right White Paint Colors

Lauren DeLoach of Lauren Deloach Interiors:

Joanna's five favorite Fixer Upper paint colors - #paint #bestwhitepaint #whitepaint

ALABASTER…Sherwin Williams. Sherwin Williams named this the 2016 Color of the Year. Alabaster creates an atmosphere of ease and contentment for many spaces.

French country kitchen by Hello Lovely Studio. Benjamin Moore White Sand paint color on walls. #hellolovelystudio #frenchcountry #kitchendesign #benjaminmoorewhitesand #whitesand
Our prior kitchen. Wall paint: BENJAMIN MOORE White Sand.

Megan Pflug of Megan Pflug Designs:

 “My favorite “white” wall color is FARROW & BALL Ammonite. It is a fantastic changeable color. It looks more like a stone material than a flat wall color. Its a great alternative to a standard white.”
 
Farrow & Ball Ammonite
 
 
 
 
AMMONITE…Farrow & Ball. Ammonite is named after the treasured fossils often found on the Dorset coast. It has a fantastically understated quality, and sits effortlessly with our Easy Neutrals. Neither too warm nor too cool, its subtle grey tone creates a hushed and calming feel in homes both old and new. Try pairing with All White to accent its light grey feel.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sustainable Kitchens - Bright Open Plan Family Kitchen in London. Oak shaker style cabinetry painted in Farrow & Ball Ammonite with built in spice racks on both sides of the Smeg range cooker. The worktop is Bianco Fantasia.
Cabinetry paint: FARROW & BALL Ammonite. How to Choose the Best White Paint Color!
Benjamin Moore white paint color in a gorgeous modern farmhouse kitchen with coastal decor. Design: Lisa Furey. #modernfarmhouse #kitchendesign #benjaminmoorewhite #coastalkitchen #coastaldecor #lisafurey
Paint color: BENJAMIN MOORE White. Beautiful modern farmhouse kitchen with coastal style. Design: Lisa Furey. See more of this cottage RIGHT HERE.
 
 
Trim Color for both bathrooms (including shelving, baseboards, doors and door trim) for both bathrooms Benjamin Moore White Dove - Trim

Is anyone surprised at all that WHITE DOVE still reigns!?!

Sherry Hart of Design Indulgence, Elizabeth of Pretty Pink Tulips and Mary Ann of Classic Casual Home —>WHITE DOVE…Benjamin Moore. Unerring style defines this classic, softly shaded white. Light and luminous, it is a favorite choice for moldings and trim.

Coastal kitchen design with Benjamin Moore white paint on cabinets and walls. Design by Lisa Furey. #coastaldecor #kitchendesign #lisafurey #coastalcottage
Paint color: BENJAMIN MOORE White. Beautiful modern farmhouse kitchen with coastal style. Design: Lisa Furey. See more of this cottage RIGHT HERE.
Simply White by Benjamin Moore. Crisp, clean, but not too stark a white. No surprise undertones.
 
 
 
Amy of Maison Decor —-> SIMPLY WHITE…Benjamin Moore. Fresh as the first snowfall, this clean, crisp, multi-purpose white is  a perennial favorite for trim, ceilings, and walls.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Knotty alder door in serene white bedroom by Hello Lovely Studio #whitewalls #BenjaminMoore
My home. Wall paint color: BENJAMIN MOORE “White” – How to Choose the Best White Paint Color

YOUR TURN! Have a favorite go-to white or neutral paint color? Why do you love it?

French Country Lamp
French Laundry Basket
Farmhouse Dining Table
Gertrude Wood Bench
Upholstered Dining Chair Set
San Jose Handleset for Front Door
Round Farmhouse Dining Table
Linen Slipcovered Dining Chair, Set of 2
Louis Upholstered Bench
French Loveseat
Louis Ghost Chair
Pamela Arm Chair
Weathered Arm Chair
Rustic Wood Candleholders
Aged Terracotta Pots
French Country Wood Chandelier
French Linen Dining Chair
Galvanized Console Table
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Bar Stool
Beachy White Slipcovered Sofa
Rattan Armchair
Diptyque Oyedo Candle
Cross Back Dining Chair
French Country Candle Holder
Tulip Style Modern Round Dining Table
French Industrial Metal Cafe Chair (Set of 2)
Designer Favorite Wall Mirror
Linen Curved Loveseat
White Farmhouse Lantern Pendant Light
French Country 6-Light Chandelier
French Country Loveseat
French Country Upholstered Arm Chair
Oak Accent Stool
French Upholstered Gray Bench
Bridge Kitchen Faucet (Stainless)
Jute Area Rug
Leather Club Chair
French Candle Style Chandelier
Reclaimed Wood 3 Leg Stool
French Linen Sofa
Rustic Wood Candlestick Set
French Market Basket
Linen Modern Wing Chair
French Country Farmhouse Baskets
Parisian Glass Bottle Vase
Life is Beauty…Pillow
Magnus Table Lamp
Spindle Leg Upholstered Bench
Belgian Style Lamp
Modern Farmhouse Lamp
White Slipcovered Sofa
Scrubbed Wood 5-Light Chandelier
Arched Champagne Wall Mirror
Marble Column Lamp
Moravian Star 1-Light Pendant
Highback Armchair
Mini Pendant Light
White Vase Set
Round Woven Placemat Set
Leather Patchwork Ottoman
Modern Brass Globe Pendant
Black Tray Table
Industrial Sconce
Fireclay Farm Sink (Reinhard, 30″)
Leather Chesterfield Sofa
Marsh Rustic Wood Bench
Round Marble Side Table
Rustic Pedestal Farm Table
Linen Slipcover Dining Chair
Teak Farmhouse Stool
So many white paint colors! Let's find out what's the right white for you. Help for choosing the perfect white paint color for your walls from design experts on Hello Lovely Studio
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Peace to you right where you are.

-michele

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2 Comments

  1. judy
    August 25, 2018 / 6:03 am

    Most of my house is painted BM Collingwood…walls, ceilings all in Satin finish and trim in Gloss. I love it and will likely use again in my next house. My other go-to color is RH Stone. There are rooms in my house where Collingwood and Stone somewhat meet up through a hallway and most people don’t realize the color change. Stone has a tint of purple in it and looks great with RH Graphite (cabinetry).

    • michele
      Author
      August 25, 2018 / 8:59 am

      Thank you so much! I’ll be taking a closer look at all of your picks and especially RH Stone. Collingwood is on my radar as one of the best. Thanks for adding another helpful layer of lovely here!

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