What is the Best White Paint for Your Walls?

What is the Best White Paint for Your Walls is for anyone gearing up to paint a room white…which is to say EVERYONE. As a true blue lover of all white decor, mostly white decor, and neutral home decor, I’m passionate about white paint. It makes me happy. Always has. And since you want to know the best white paint colors for your walls, help for choosing the BEST WHITE SHADE is on the way today, kittycats.

French Nordic style and French farmhouse decor in a rustic cottage bedroom by Hello Lovely Studio with alder door, white oak flooring, and white linens. White paint color is Benjamin Moore White.
Hello Lovely Studio. Wall Paint Color: BENJAMIN MOORE White. What is the Best White Paint for Your Walls? Interior Design Inspiration and Help for Choosing the Right White Paint…certainly lovely indeed.

This post contains affiliate links which I hope you will use since they won’t cost you a penny extra yet may earn this blog a small commission.

What is the Best White Paint for Your Walls?

You’ll find folks who say white paint is white paint. And here is what I say to that:

Image result for hilarious gif of blonde saying no way

One Shade Does Not Fit All

Plentiful shades of white paint exist for good reason: they vary in terms of undertones, interaction with natural light, and warmth. A white paint you used in a former home may look all wrong in your present one.

French farmhouse bathroom with clawfoot tub, terracotta reclaimed antique tile floor, and Farrow & Ball Strong White paint on walls. Design by Vivi et Margot.
Vivi et Margot. Wall paint color: FARROW & BALL Strong White.

Why is that?

Because your room’s unique lighting, exposure, decor plan, objects, furniture, etc. impact the complete design picture and do indeed matter.

White classic kitchen with coastal modern farmhouse style and European country influence. Wall paint is Benjamin Moore White.
Hello Lovely Studio. Wall paint color: BENJAMIN MOORE White. What is the Best White Paint for Your Walls? Interior Design Inspiration and Help for Choosing the Right White Paint…certainly lovely indeed.

Is there indeed a BEST WHITE PAINT for your particular walls? Yep.

Let’s find it.

Belgian linen pillows on a window seat and slipcovered chair in a kitchen by Hello Lovely Studio. Wall paint is Benjamin Moore White.
Hello Lovely Studio. Wall paint color: BENJAMIN MOORE White.

Why This Advice Will Help

Advice for choosing the best white paint color for your walls flows from: (1) my vast personal history and love affair with carefully chosen, sophisticated, tried and true, best white paint colors, (2) expert advice from color professionals, and (3) well earned design wisdom from talented designers and decorators who know their way around a white room.

French Nordic style and Belgian influence in a dining room and kitchen with window seat by Hello Lovely Studio. Wall paint color is Benjamin Moore White.
Hello Lovely Studio. Wall paint color: BENJAMIN MOORE White. What is the Best White Paint for Your Walls? Interior Design Inspiration and Help for Choosing the Right White Paint…certainly lovely indeed.

My Personal Tips for Choosing the Best White Paint Color

Dozens of years spent painting rooms and furniture with white paint have earned me my white decor card and trained my eye for color. Since I also work with paint colors as an artist, well, yeah, I’m color savvy. With confidence, I can report that the best white paint color for your room is highly subjective, idiosyncratic, and even scientific matter…a white paint perfect for a particular space could spell disaster for another.

1. Acknowledge Your Geographical Location Matters

Since I live in Northern Illinois where the light is wholly different from the light in the Southwest, a white paint color here will take on a completely different quality.

French farmhouse style and neutral palette in a studio with white piano, rustic shutter, and white bust of Diana. Piano is painted Benjamin Moore White Dove, and walls are Benjamin Moore White.
Hello Lovely Studio. Wall paint color: BENJAMIN MOORE White.

2. Don’t Fixate on Just One Color at the Start

To choose the BEST WHITE, you should not become obsessed with just one color you saw in a magazine and assume it will be perfect without trying a sample. Why? Professional photography often involves editing! The room’s location and lighting may vary significantly from your own! We tend to have emotional reactions to the NAMES of paint colors!

Classic, coastal, and minimal white kitchen with French country counter stools and abstract paintings on wall by Hello Lovely Studio. Wall paint is Benjamin Moore White.
Hello Lovely Studio. Wall paint color: BENJAMIN MOORE White. What is the Best White Paint for Your Walls? Interior Design Inspiration and Help for Choosing the Right White Paint…certainly lovely indeed.

3. Sample Several White Paint Colors

Instead, begin with a handful of tones to sample on your walls. From there, you’ll narrow down your search to the white paint that is just right.

In our home which has been entirely renovated by us DIY style, I first selected around five different white paint color contenders based upon my desire to add crisp, clean, alabaster, bright white to the interiors.

Hello Lovely Studio. Wall paint color in master bath: BENJAMIN MOORE White.

4. Analyze the White Paint Samples

After painting large expanses of walls throughout our home with the samples, I scrutinized. I took time to notice how the white changed or didn’t change throughout the day.

Valspar Honeymilk white paint color
VALSPAR Honeymilk. According to HGTV, this is a Fixer Upper inspired creamy white to capture the look from the show.

5. Recognize White Paints Have Undertones

All whites have subtle undertones of grey, pink, yellow, brown, blue, etc. which influence the white’s appearance in varying light. You’ll truly get an understanding for this as you compare the different white samples and notice how they vary in your home with your lighting.

French Nordic style and shabby chic decor in a studio with white vintage piano and walls painted Benjamin Moore White. Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio. Wall paint: BENJAMIN MOORE White. What is the Best White Paint for Your Walls? Interior Design Inspiration and Help for Choosing the Right White Paint…certainly lovely indeed.

6. Choose the Best White Paint Color

A white paint color emerged as the best white paint to my eye. It has a cool, modern, gallery-like, slightly monastic and ethereal feel and did not feel overly cool or stark for my taste.

Rustic alder front door in an entry with jute area rug. Hello Lovely Studio. Walls are painted Benjamin Moore White.
Hello Lovely Studio. Wall paint color: BENJAMIN MOORE White.

It Really is Just WHITE

We painted all the walls, trim, and ceilings in our North-South exposure home (which receives intense yellow sunlight) BENJAMIN MOORE White, and four years later, it remains and feels just as right. What a transformation when we painted over yellow walls!

Is the minimal simplicity of the name of this Benjamin Moore white crazy or what? No warm and fuzzy paint name for this particular white since it is a base color that other Benjamin Moore colors derive from. Lucky for us, there’s no chance we’ll forget the color’s name!

Romantic French Country bedroom with knotty alder door and shiplap wall #hellolovelystudio #romanticdecor #FrenchCountry
My bedroom – Wall paint: BENJAMIN MOORE White. Mirror frame paint color: BENJAMIN MOORE Revere Pewter. What is the Best White Paint for Your Walls? Interior Design Inspiration and Help for Choosing the Right White Paint…certainly lovely indeed.
Rustic farmhouse style stool! #rusticdecor #stool #farmhouse
Rustic farmhouse stool: FIND HERE

7. Choose Not Just a Favorite White, But a Flattering White for Your Space

Benjamin Moore White is not for the faint of heart since it’s decidedly bright and not nearly as gentle as white paints I have lived with in the past. However, it’s the right white not just because it appeals to my eye but because IT IS THE WHITE THAT COMPLEMENTS OUR HOME’S ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN STYLE.

Copenhagen chair with Belgian linen upholstery (RH) in a French Nordic style living room by Hello Lovely Studio. Wall paint is Benjamin Moore White Sand.
Hello Lovely Studio. BENJAMIN MOORE White Sand.
Dove Wing by Benjamin Moore for a beautiful white paint color for trim
BENJAMIN MOORE Dove Wing. Decor Ideas: Best White Paint Colors.

8. More White Paint Colors I Love

In our prior Country French style home, BENJAMIN MOORE White Sand was the flattering white hue chosen for walls, and BENJAMIN MOORE Dove Wing was the white selected for doors and trim. BENJAMIN MOORE White Dove remains a favorite of mine for vintage furniture and what I chose to paint my family piano. For our second home in Arizona, with its intense sunlight, I chose the creamy, warm, and more putty white with green undertones, VALSPAR Salute for all of the interior walls.

Hello Lovely Studio's kitchen with window seat, Belgian linen stools and slipcovered chairs, and Benjamin Moore white paint color on walls.
My Kitchen – Hello Lovely Studio. BENJAMIN MOORE White used on walls.What is the Best White Paint for Your Walls? Interior Design Inspiration and Help for Choosing the Right White Paint…certainly lovely indeed.

9. It Helps to Review Photos of Rooms Online

While there are paint color experts who may advise against stalking Pinterest and blogland for paint color ideas, I have my own opinion, however biased that may be as a blogger! Collecting images of beautiful white painted rooms online or in shelter magazines (where the paint color name is supplied) can be far more effective for choosing initial samples than deliberating over those little pieces of cardstock under fluorescent lighting near the paint counter.

Classic white coastal style kitchen with polished marble backsplash statement wall, Shaker cabinets, industrial work table, and Viatera quartz (Minuet). Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio. Kitchen cabinetry by Schuler with a bright white “White Icing” painted finish.

I AM OBVIOUSLY a freak FOR WHITE PAINT. And I paint everything! Ask my family! Ever considered painting wood cabinets to brighten up your kitchen, bath, or laundry room? Here’s a tutorial.

Products used: Snow White Water Based Milk Paint and Water Based Top Coat

10. Pinterest for Paint Color Search

I have a Pinterest board HERE devoted to paint colors to which I’m drawn. It may even make sense for you to create a board just for white paint colors. You can truly make Pinterest work FOR you as opposed to against you as a time stealing bandit!

Humorous inspirational quote on Hello Lovely Studio: I would rather be someone's glass of champagne than everybody's cup of tea.
Hello Lovely Studio. This quote’s background is FARROW & BALL Pavillion Gray. Pinterest is also a wonderful source for inspirational quotes!

The infographic below includes a few of my favorite white paint colors and neutrals to which I turn. Classic Gray, for example, is actually more of a white (and I give the magnificent Loi of Tone on Tone all the credit for turning me on to this hue which we used in a bathroom here.)

Pin this post for future reference!

Best White Paint Colors in this Ultimate Guide by Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio. Ultimate Guide to the Best White Paint Colors!

White Paint Color Favorites: Joanna Gaines

If you’re a fan of HGTV’s Fixer Upper, then you know Joanna Gaines has a keen eye for neutral palettes. This story in Country Living revealed the white paint colors Joanna Gaines tends to use again and again in renovation projects.

Joanna Gaines white farmhouse kitchen with shiplap walls, natural wood beam, subway tile backsplash, antique island base, and concrete counters.
Joanna Gaines farmhouse kitchen. HGTV Fixer Upper. Wall paint: SHERWIN WILLIAMS Alabaster. How to Choose the Best White Paint Color Every Time! What is the Best White Paint for Your Walls? Interior Design Inspiration and Help for Choosing the Right White Paint…certainly lovely indeed.

1. White Paint Color: Sherwin Williams Alabaster

Fixer Upper’s foxy creative dynamo’s favorite white? SHERWIN WILLIAMS Alabaster, which she used on the walls in her own home (below) as well as multiple interior design projects on the popular television show.

Fixer Upper and Joanna Gaines favorite white paint: Sherwin Williams Alabaster.
SHERWIN WILLIAMS Alabaster: Joanna Gaines’ Favorite White

2. White Paint Color: Kilz Wedding Band

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

Gray walls in Fixer Upper bathroom by Joanna Gaines painted Kilz Wedding Band.
HGTV Fixer Upper’s Joanna Gaines Loves this Gray for Spa-like baths: KILZ Wedding Band.. How to Choose the Best White Paint Color Every Time!
Kilz Wedding Band paint color is a favorite of Joanna Gaines for Fixer Upper renovation projects.
KILZ Wedding Band. What is the Best White Paint for Your Walls? Interior Design Inspiration and Help for Choosing the Right White Paint…certainly lovely indeed.

3. White Paint Color: Kilz Shiplap

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

Farmhouse style entry with black bench, shiplap, rustic decor. Paint color is Kilz Shiplap.
The wall color (not the wood shiplap) is KILZ Shiplap and one of Fixer Upper’s Joanna Gaines’ favorite wall paint colors.
Kilz Shiplap paint color is a favorite of Joanna Gaines for Fixer Upper houses.
KILZ Shiplap. What is the Best White Paint for Your Walls? Interior Design Inspiration and Help for Choosing the Right White Paint…certainly lovely indeed.
View of hall in French Nordic cottage with Benjamin Moore White walls, Belgian linen upholstery, and European inspired farmhouse style interiors by Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio. Wall color: BENJAMIN MOORE White. How to Choose the Right White Paint Color Every Time!

White Paint Color Advice: Remodelista

Turning to the talented design experts at Remodelista revealed a helpful and highly researched story about how to choose the best white paint colors. These were some of the highlights of the piece for me:

1. Consider Nuance.

I alluded to this point earlier, and Remodelista confirms that it is helpful to understand the varying nuances of white paint colors (is it cool, warm, bluish, pinkish?).

Luxurious and classic white bathroom with high ceiling, shiplap, freestanding tub, and walls painted Sherwin Williams Alabaster.
Curls and Cashmere. Wall paint color: SHERWIN WILLIAMS Alabaster.

2. Note the Warmth of Objects in the Room.

According to these experts, if the objects in the room you will be painting are cool, you should narrow your white paint color search to cool whites. If objects are warm, turn to warm candidates.

French farmhouse kids bedroom with twin metal vintage beds and walls painted Farrow & Ball Strong White.
Vivi et Margot. Paint color on walls: FARROW & BALL Strong White.

3. Assess Natural Light.

If a room receives plenty of natural light, the experts recommend going with a pure white; while a lack of natural light should steer you toward more pigmented whites.

Design: Matthew Quinn of Design Galleria & Lauren DeLoach. Paint color on walls: SHERWIN WILLIAMS Alabaster. Paint color on cabinets: FARROW & BALL Light Blue.

4. Turn to Interior Designer Picks.

Whereas their advice is to first start with a handful of samples and whittle down the possibilities to a favorite, if you’re still stuck, these experts recommend turning to the top paint color picks of interior designers.

So that’s what we did RIGHT HERE!

Inspirational quote about dogs on Hello Lovely Studio: All dogs are therapy dogs...the majority of them are simply freelancing.
A friendly reminder! Hello Lovely Studio. Background color for this inspirational quote: FARROW & BALL Pavillion Gray.
Best White Paint Colors in this Ultimate Guide by Hello Lovely Studio.
Pin this post for future reverence!

If you’re ready to get painting, here are my best tips for painting a room like a pro! And see these stories if you need ideas for the best BLUE GREY PAINT COLORS or tranquil paint colors!

Swedish Wood Electric Candelabra
Evergreen Bucket
Courtney Lamp Base
Capri Blue Candle in Mercury Glass
Flameless Candles & Remote
Antiqued Brass Candlesticks
Round Bronze Accent Table
French Country Lamp
White Ruffle Spread + Shams
French Laundry Basket
Metal Martini Table
Distressed White French Country Chandelier
Farmhouse Dining Table
Helmsley Bronze Door Hardware
Oval Back Counter Stool, Set of 2
Turkish Cotton Blanket
Gertrude Wood Bench
Upholstered Dining Chair Set
White Ruffle Quilt Set
Avignon Coat Rack With Hooks
San Jose Handleset for Front Door
Round Farmhouse Dining Table
Linen Slipcovered Dining Chair, Set of 2
Campaign Style End Table
Louis Upholstered Bench
Oak Laminate Flooring
Knotty Alder Interior Door
Alabaster 30″ Lamp
Louis Ghost Chair
Sweater Weave Basket
Rustic Wood Candleholders
French Linen Dining Chair
Beachy White Slipcovered Sofa
Diptyque Oyedo Candle
PARIS Framed Print
Cross Back Dining Chair
French Country Candle Holder
Tulip Style Modern Round Dining Table
French Industrial Metal Cafe Chair (Set of 2)
White Farmhouse Lantern Pendant Light
Faux Bois Candleholders
Grainstripe Pillow
Bridge Kitchen Faucet (Stainless)
Jute Area Rug
Reclaimed Wood 3 Leg Stool
Belgian Linen Sofa
Venetian Etched Mirror (24″ x 36″)
Rustic Wood Candlestick Set
French Market Basket
Polished Carrara Subway Tile
French Country Farmhouse Baskets
Magnus Table Lamp
Belgian Style Lamp
Modern Farmhouse Lamp
White Slipcovered Sofa
Round Woven Placemat Set
Antiqued Sunburst Mirror
Fireclay Farm Sink (Reinhard, 30″)
Boheme Madera Bench
Round Marble Side Table
Linen Slipcover Dining Chair
Wicker Patio Chair
Teak Farmhouse Stool

See the continuation of this post here in part 2!

Peace to you right where you are.

-michele

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2 Comments

  1. Connie
    March 6, 2019 / 9:09 am

    The perfection and versatility of white is beyond words. 🙂 I too am a huge lover of white.

    I paint my possible colors onto full-sized tag boards rather than the walls. You can move that tag board around the room at various times of the day to see how it reacts to the light from morning through nighttime. That way if for some reason you’ll have a long time from the point of trying to choose a color to the day you actually start, you don’t have to live with paint swatches on the wall. 😉

    When we moved to our current home, I erroneously repainted one room with a warmer white I’d used in our former home, only to find that the light in this house would be better with cooler whites. I’d love to repaint my warm white office with a cooler white…..and then all the furniture will get new paint jobs too! 🙂

    As always, this post was positively lovely.

    • michele
      Author
      March 6, 2019 / 9:43 am

      Great idea with the board! I actually always paint samples on the wall – this way I cannot procrastinate which I am prone to do! Peace to you, fellow ambassador for white!

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