How to Choose the Best White Paint Color Every Time!

It’s the most frequently asked interior design question for me as an interiors blogger famous for BIG LOVE of inspiring white interiors.“How do I choose the BEST white paint…What is the white paint for my walls?” Today, I will help you discover that elusive JUST RIGHT WHITE for your home. How to Choose the Best White Paint Color Every Time is comin’ at ya.

Strong White by Farrow & Ball is the white paint on walls in this French farmhouse bath by Vivi et Margot. Come explore How to Choose the Best White Paint Color Every Time! #paintcolors #strongwhite #farrowandball #whitepaintcolors
Vivi et Margot (Tour this French farmhouse in HERE) Wall paint color: FARROW & BALL Strong White; Trim paint color: FARROW & BALL French Gray.

Affiliate links follow and won’t cost you a penny more when used may earn this blog a small commission.

How to Choose the Best White Paint Color

I love living with white in my own home!

Why is it so hard to find the best shade of white?

My kitchen painted Benjamin Moore White - Hello Lovely Studio. Come explore How to Choose the Best White Paint Color Every Time! #paintcolors #interiordesign #benjaminmoorewhite
Shop my kitchen RIGHT HERE; Wall paint color: BENJAMIN MOORE White.

Your room’s: lighting, decor plan, furnishings, and geographical location all factor into the equation. Your keen eye and personal opinion come into play as well.

With a million paint colors to choose from, where should you start?

Benjamin Moore White is a bright, gallery like white with minimal undertones. I painted my kitchen this pristine color - Hello Lovely Studio. Come explore How to Choose the Best White Paint Color Every Time! #paintcolors #whitepaints #benjaminmoorewhite
Find ideas for French Nordic decorating RIGHT HERE; Paint color: BENJAMIN MOORE White.

1. My Approach to Choosing White Paint

Be aware one white does not fit all.

The best white paint color for one particular space may be all wrong for another. For example, the light here in Northern Illinois varies dramatically from the light in the Southwest. Don’t fall in love with the name of a color. Instead, narrow your search to a handful of possibilities and then try samples of them on your wall.

Benjamin Moore White on walls in our romantic French Country bedroom with knotty alder door Come explore How to Choose the Best White Paint Color Every Time! #paintcolors #whitepaints #benjaminmoorewhite
My bedroom – Wall paint: BENJAMIN MOORE White. Mirror Paint: BENJAMIN MOORE Revere Pewter

In my own home which we completely renovated ourselves, I tested about five white paint color contenders, observing how each color changed throughout the day. We decided upon Benjamin Moore “White” which imparts: a modern gallery-like feel, coolness with minimal undertones, crispness, and no yellow cast.

Rustic farmhouse style stool! #rusticdecor #stool #farmhouse
Rustic farmhouse stool: FIND HERE

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).

Calm, simple, neutral white bedroom at our fixer upper painted Benjamin Moore White - Hello Lovely Studio. #alderdoor #interiordesign #bedroom

Collect Ideas & Create a Pinterest Board

There are paint color experts who say never look at photos online to choose a paint color and others who say it’s the best way.

Ultimate Guide to Best White Paint Colors!  #paintcolors #hellolovelystudio #bestwhitepaints

I recommend reviewing photos online (where the white paint color used is given) as a starting point. I find this more helpful than viewing a million swatches from the paint stor.

Hello Lovely Studio's kitchen painted bright white (Benjamin Moore White). #hellolovelystudio #interiordesign #paintcolors
Paint color on walls: BENJAMIN MOORE White. Decor Inspiration: Ultimate Guide to Pick White Paint Colors.

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.

White Sand by Benjamin Moore is a warm white with green undertones - we painted our French country home this color - Hello Lovely Studio. #interiordesign #paintcolors #benjaminmoorewhitesand
Paint color: BENJAMIN MOORE White Sand

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. Additionally, Benjamin Moore “White Dove” was used for painting the family piano and various furniture.

Dove Wing by Benjamin Moore for a beautiful white paint color for trim. Come explore How to Choose the Best White Paint Color Every Time! #benjaminmooredovewing #paintcolors
BENJAMIN MOORE Dove Wing – Decor Ideas: Best White Paint Colors.
Benjamin Moore Pale Oak on walls and BM White Dove on trim. Come explore How to Choose the Best White Paint Color Every Time! #paintcolors #benjaminmoore #paleoak #whitedove
Walls: BENJAMIN MOORE Pale Oak; Trim: BM White Dove. How to Choose the Best White Paint Color Every Time!
Benjamin Moore White Dove paint color. Come explore How to Choose the Best White Paint Color Every Time! #paintcolors

2. White Paint Color Advice from More Experts

Country Living revealed which white paint colors Fixer Upper’s Joanna Gaines favors for 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.

Sherwin Williams Alabaster on shiplap walls in white farmhouse kitchen of Joanna Gaines. #paintcolors #sherwinwilliams #alabaster
Joanna Gaines Fixer Upper farmhouse – wall paint: SHERWIN WILLIAMS Alabaster…How to Choose the Best White Paint Color Every Time!
Sherwin Williams Alabaster white paint color. #alabaster #sherwinwilliams #paintcolors
SHERWIN WILLIAMS Alabaster: Joanna Gaines’ Favorite White.

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

Kilz Wedding Band is a grey white Joanna Gaines loves using in projects. #paintcolors #kilzweddingband
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. #kilzweddingband
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 white paint color. #kilzshiplap
Wall color (not wood shiplap) is KILZ Shiplap and one of Fixer Upper’s Joanna Gaines’ favorite wall paint colors
Kilz Shiplap paint color. #kilzshiplap
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. Come explore How to Choose the Best White Paint Color Every Time!
Hello Lovely Studio – BENJAMIN MOORE White. How to Choose the Right White Paint Color Every Time! Hello Lovely Studio.

White Paint Advice from the Pros

Remodelista says this about choosing the best white paint colors:

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.

Based on the number of emails I receive about white paint, a fair share of home decorators get stuck, so I turned to my design pals from Belgium to Buckhead for their favorite white paint colors.

The white paint color on the walls of our bedroom is called "White" by Benjamin Moore - Hello Lovely Studio. #paintcolors #benjaminmoorewhites #whitepaints
Hello Lovely Studio. Walls: BENJAMIN MOORE White. How to Choose the Best White Paint Color.

3. Favorite White Paint Colors Used by Designers

Greet of Belgian Pearls

Farrow and Ball "Pointing" paint color. #pointing #farrowandball

“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 by Farrow & Ball is named for the color of lime pointing used in traditional brickwork. This white has a warm undertone which softens the feel of a room alongside strong, traditional colors.

Pointing by Farrow & Ball is a paint color used on the walls of this English country kitchen with rustic ceiling trusses and farmhouse pendants. #pointing #farrowandball #paintcolors #calmpaintcolors #interiordesign
Pointing by Farrow & Ball – sample it HERE
Pointing paint color by Farrow & Ball on a handmade charming wooden growth chart ruler by Etsy maker RealRulerCo. #pointing #farrowandball #paintcolors
Wooden Ruler Growth Chart for Kids (painted in Pointing), RealRulerCo on Etsy
Panelling in Blue Gray by Farrow & Ball and wall in Pointing. #paintcolors #farrowandball
Wall paint: FARROW & BALL Pointing – How to Choose the Best White Paint Color.
Benjamin Moore White painted kitchen cabinets in a coastal white kitchen by Lisa Furey. #benjaminmoorewhite #paintcolors #whitepaintcolors
Lisa Furey Interiors – Paint color: BENJAMIN MOORE White.

Interior Designers Turn to These Whites

Farrow and Ball White Tie

WHITE TIE from Farrow & Ball is considered their prettiest white, named after the old, pre-brightened, starched cotton used for white tie jackets. A Yellow Based Neutral, White Tie brings a gentle warmth to any room and is deepened with a touch of black pigment.

Charming French country den painted Sherwin Williams Alabaster with leather chair and arched detail over window seat nook. Brit Jones Design.
Brit Jones Design – SHERWIN WILLIAMS Alabaster

Best Whites to Sample First

Lauren DeLoach of Lauren Deloach Interiors:

SW Alabaster - a lovely off white favored by Joanna Gaines. #sherwinwilliams #alabaster #paintcolors

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

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. #paintcolors #ammonite #farrowandball
Cabinetry paint: FARROW & BALL Ammonite – How to Choose the Best White Paint Color!

Megan Pflug of Megan Pflug Designs:

 “My favorite “white” wall color is Farrow and 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 by 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.
Benjamin Moore White Dove paint color on shiplap. #paintcolors #benjaminmoorewhitedove
Trim Color for both bathrooms (including shelving, baseboards, doors and door trim) for both bathrooms Benjamin Moore White Dove - Trim

A Wildly Popular White Paint!

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.

White Dove by Benjamin Moore for a versatile white paint color which changes very little over the course of the day. #benjaminmoore #whitedove #paintcolors #interiordesign #bestwhitepaint
BENJAMIN MOORE White Dove – via Rowe Spurling
Simply White by Benjamin Moore is a beautiful and versatile white paint color chosen for this interior by Studio McGee. #benjaminmoore #simplywhite #paintcolors #bestwhitepaints
Wall color is BENJAMIN MOORE Simply WhiteStudio McGee
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.
Lisa Furey's coastal cottage white kitchen is painted Benjamin Moore White. #benjaminmoorewhite #paintcolors
Lisa Furey Interiors. Paint color: BENJAMIN MOORE White

I hope this helps you choose the best white paint color for your interior, and I’d love to hear your pick for your favorite go-to white paint color!

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. #paintcolors #whitepaint #interiordesign
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Peace to you right where you are.


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White Slipcovered Sofa
French Basket
Courtney Lamp Base
Antique Chinese Wood Rustic Round Stool
French Country Bed
Tuscan Terracotta Urn Vase
Round Farmhouse Table
Rustic Reclaimed Elm Cabinet
Deconstructed Wingback Bed
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Milagro Heart
Linen Slipcovered Chair Set
Rustic Farmhouse Stool
Edgecombe End Table
Silver Rectangle Accent Table
Black Metal Accent Table
Galvanized Console Table
Gabriel Chevron Quilt Set
Metal Martini Table
Marble Subway Backsplash in My Kitchen
French Wire Laundry Basket
White Ruffle Bedding
White Linen Club Chair
Handmade Sunburst Mirror
Wide Pine Sideboard
Linen Napkin Set
French Country Lamp
Venetian Mirror
French Lidded Baskets
French Panel Mirror
Distressed White French Country Chandelier
Antique Chinese Weathered Bench
French Country Headboard
Oval Back Counter Stool, Set of 2
Antique Brass Pharmacy Floor Lamp
Linen & Burlap Tufted Ottoman
Gertrude Wood Bench
Italian Candelabra Chandelier
Colleen Slope Arm Linen Chair Set
White Ruffle Quilt Set
French Louis Style Arm Chair
Avignon Coat Rack With Hooks
Round Farmhouse Dining Table
Reclaimed Wood Dresser
Louis Upholstered Bench
French Accent Chair
Pamela Arm Chair
Sweater Weave Basket
French Wood Chandelier
Terracotta Pots & Basket
French Country Wood Chandelier
French Linen Dining Chair
Gustavian Cabinet
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Bar Stool
Beachy White Slipcovered Sofa
Rattan Armchair
Diptyque Oyedo Candle
Cross Back Dining Chair
French Country Candle Holder
French Industrial Metal Chairs (4)
Designer Favorite Wall Mirror
Holborn Lantern Pendant
French Country 6-Light Chandelier
Rustic End Table
French Country Upholstered Arm Chair
Cedar & Blossom Candle
French Ticking Stripe Pillow
Jute Area Rug
French Candle Style Chandelier
Rustic Industrial Farmhouse Shelves
Belgian Linen Sofa
White Ruffle Bedding
Rustic Wood Candlestick Set
French Market Basket
Linen Modern Wing Chair
French Country Farmhouse Baskets
Concrete Pillar Table Lamp
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Style Lamp
Modern Farmhouse Lamp
White Slipcovered Sofa
Scrubbed Wood 5-Light Chandelier
Arched Champagne Wall Mirror
Moravian Star 1-Light Pendant
Highback Armchair
Mini Pendant Light
White Vase Set
Round Woven Placemat Set
Fireclay Farm Sink (Reinhard, 30″)
Matelasse Coverlet
Quilted Coverlet
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Linen Duvet Set
Round Marble Side Table
Rustic Pedestal Farm Table
Teak Farmhouse Stool


  1. February 15, 2018 / 4:59 am

    Hello – my name is Joan and I am a Hello Lovely Studio Pin-aholic. I have no plans to cure this affliction as this post sent me over the edge with white paint and room design inspiration as I create my photographic art for such spaces. Beautifully shared Michele – thank you.

    • michele
      February 15, 2018 / 9:34 am

      I am thankful for pin-aholics like you, making the world more beautiful, one white backdrop at a time. xox

        August 9, 2020 / 2:46 pm

        Hello, my name is Donna and I just want to say this house is absolutely stunning ! I love the exterior, white with that brick, what is the name of the brick please ?

        • Michele
          August 9, 2020 / 9:37 pm

          Hi there. Not sure which house exterior you are asking about – can you direct me to the image?

  2. February 15, 2018 / 6:44 am

    Man….let’s hope this will solve all the problems of the world….well at least one of them:) I will be sharing this so everyone can start living in a “white world”….hee hee!

    • michele
      February 15, 2018 / 9:33 am

      If the world would just let us be in charge, Sherry…Thanks for playing along and being instrumental in the revolution of right white paints for all!!! xox

  3. February 15, 2018 / 12:18 pm

    This is such a great post — I just had my interiors painted and spent hours choosing just the right white — painting swatches and seeing how they looked throughout the day. Great ideas and recommendations here.

    • michele
      February 15, 2018 / 12:40 pm

      Thank you! You are a kindred soul then! Thrilled to have you here. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Mary
    February 15, 2018 / 1:17 pm

    I read this perfectly timed, gorgeous post the first time at four thirty a.m. I was wide awake, too wired from all of the chocolate eaten during Valentine’s Day. I am getting ready to paint my entire downstairs, and have landed on BM Ivory White. Maybe. Oddly, the front of the house gets a brutal, western, afternoon sun, which can fade fabrics etc, whereas, the back of the house is in deep, eastern shade by afternoon. Any suggestions on the correct white to bridge the gap from front to back where the main rooms are positioned? Natural light is crucial in selecting and I need a high light value in the paint. This is a challenge which is why your post today was a perfect Valentine’s gift! Thank you, Michele.

    • michele
      February 15, 2018 / 1:48 pm

      You’re delightful, Mary! I feel your pain since it sounds like you want to choose just one color. Two exposures and one color. Yep. A couple of questions come to mind. Which exposure will take priority? The answer will be influenced by where you will spend the most time or what time of day you will spend in the spaces. I would also ask yourself what part of the color wheel you are drawn to–cooler or warmer? BM Ivory White could read beautifully balanced in the east and perhaps too yellow in the west. If you want to counter the yellowness of the Western exposure, perhaps you’ll want a white without warm undertones. But I get it. You don’t want the color to read too cool in the east. Nothing solves it like big ol’ swaths of the color on different walls before painting everything! Hope this helps. xox

  5. Dawn Michelle Windham
    February 18, 2018 / 12:44 pm

    Hey! Been looking at BM for our house interior. I searched for “White” and found “White OC151” and “White PM-2”. I have yet to find just “white”. Did your white have a number after it?

    • michele
      February 18, 2018 / 11:40 pm

      Hi Dawn! I am out of town but I do think the number may be OC-151. I’ll circle back here if that’s not right. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Sue
    February 20, 2018 / 9:24 am

    Great article! Perfect timing for our construction! Is there a “rule of thumb” when you are planning white kitchen cabinets/island and white walls? Should they be the same white or contrasting?

    • michele
      February 20, 2018 / 10:02 pm

      Hi Sue! I’m so glad this helped. I don’t care for rules in kitchen design…do you? Think first about the vibe you want to create in the kitchen with your white cabinets. Any color on the walls will work, but the combination will create a mood. To choose the correct white, as I said in this post, take into consideration the natural light in the room and what part of the color wheel you are drawn to – cool or warm. Try a handful of samples on the wall. I’m in Florida right now doing a kitchen makeover where the modern cabinets are a bone white and we want them to fade into the background so we’re keeping the walls in a similar hue and then bringing some caramel and grey interest to the backsplash. As for countertop choice, you’ll likely want it to be a different color than the floor. When we bought our AZ house, the floor matched the counters, and it was all wrong. I’ll try to create a post on this topic as soon as I can! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. February 28, 2018 / 9:50 pm

    Oh dear lord, thank you! I have fought with white for years. So interesting that white is different depending on where in the country you live… i mean i get that the amount of light in the room affects it, but didn’t get that location on earth did! This is the best article about white ever!


    • michele
      March 1, 2018 / 10:43 am

      I’m so glad this helped! We all fight with the right white, and it’s so gratifying when you win a battle. p.s. I am loving seeing your painting on a new wall in my house! Makes me so happy! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Connie
    March 11, 2018 / 4:10 pm

    I too am currently in the market for the ‘perfect white’ for my LR. The tall vaulted ceiling room opens into the upper level of kitchen, dining and hallway space. (Kind of an unusual ’60’s design. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) Anyway…. we have a gorgeous west facing, super large picture window that allows beautiful afternoon light into the room. I’m thinking I’d like a bit warmer white but know if I go with too much yellow undertones, it’ll read yellow in the bright afternoon sunlight. (Not my desire).

    Our former home had wood tone trim and in order for it not to stand out too much, I usually used a yellow-undertoned white. Here, it took me a bit of time to get used to the different light (especially in the LR and master BR both west facing) compared to our former north -facing LR. A much cleaner, brighter white is necessary.

    I’m thinking my perfect color is going to be Valspar White (right out of the can) that we used on walls in the kitchen/dining area and hallway. It has a little of a gray-ish undertone to it making it stand out just slightly from Valspar’s Ultra White 7006-24 that we used on all the trim in the house. Sometime simple is best ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I adore all white rooms! I have off white furniture in my French-inspired LR (several pieces have been painted to look aged–not distressed). Currently there is a pale gray on the walls that can, in bright sunlight, appear nearly white. But I long to have my all white room , and hence the desire to paint over the pale gray done by the former home owners. ๐Ÿ™‚

    To the answer of “Can you actually live in an all white room, especially with kids or pets?” my answer is yes! We have 3 dogs. Slipcovers make clean up easy. And above all, my mantra is “With white, I see the dirt, I clean the dirt.” Sure maybe darker colors will hide dirt, but I’d rather know it needs cleaning than to fool myself into thinking because the dirt isn’t as visible, it’s clean. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    White lovers unite and be happy! Yay! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • michele
      March 11, 2018 / 5:14 pm

      My hands are in the air, and I’m shouting HALLELUJAH on this Sunday afternoon as I read your passion for white and your thoughtfulness as you consider color, nuance, light, and mood. Thank you so much for adding to the beauty with your discussion and analysis here — so grateful you are with us, Connie, making a persuasive argument for living with white and loving it! xox

  9. June 8, 2018 / 7:00 pm

    Great piece of information over here.
    I think that color is the phenomenon of light, the amount of natural and artificial light in the room impacts the tone of the walls. A pure white looks best with a lot of natural light.

    • michele
      June 9, 2018 / 12:26 am

      So true! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for reading.

  10. July 19, 2018 / 12:23 pm

    this is the most beautiful and informative blog ever, thanks for sharing these kind of information with us.

    • michele
      July 19, 2018 / 2:07 pm

      Thanks so much for the encouragement.

    • Jessica
      May 1, 2020 / 8:39 pm

      What color trim would you suggest to put with a white such as Benjamin Moore Swiss coffee? We have north facing sun but not much sun comes in because of our huge back porch that will cover it. I need all help I can get.

      • Michele
        May 1, 2020 / 10:12 pm

        I would use White Dove in satin or semigloss for trim. It’s such a trustworthy, flexible white. Feel free to ask more questions and have a wonderful weekend.

        • Barbara
          May 26, 2020 / 10:08 pm

          I have textured walls in my kitchen, been white for years, awhile back painted it soft yellow but left the cabinets & trim white, I have decided I donโ€™t care for the yellow walls, want to go back to white but I want a really pretty white, a lot of light comes in my kitchen, very large area, what would you suggest, I loooove white, it makes everything look so very clean & fresh

          • Michele
            May 26, 2020 / 10:47 pm

            Start with at least three samples and try them – it’s the only way! For some contrast and a warm white, you could try my favorite – in our prior home the walls were Benjamin Moore White Sand and cabinets were a custom creamy white. It felt beachy and also timeless. If you are after a white that doesn’t change throughout much through the day, Benjamin Moore White Dove works for a lot of folks. It always feels classic to me. For a cool greyed white that still reads clean and tends to feel updated and modern, Benjamin Moore Classic Gray. Each of those will create a different mood…let me know if you have more questions. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. July 25, 2018 / 2:47 am

    thanks for sharing great info for white color lovers like me

  12. Debra Venus Winston
    September 15, 2018 / 4:16 pm

    Just in time! I have a Tudor home with lots of OAK flooring and trim. I want to bring in a little light and airy feeling to my dining room. My husband loves the oakโ€ฆ so it stays. The oak on the floor is light the trim is warmer and darker. My chair are ivory and the inset rug is called Rattan, it’s a berber. I’m thinking of something warm. What do you think?

    • michele
      September 15, 2018 / 10:28 pm

      Let me give it some thought, and I’ll circle back here soon. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • michele
      September 16, 2018 / 7:30 am

      Definitely read through this post to better grasp what factors to keep in mind for choosing a white. My favorite warm white/neutral to use is Benjamin Moore White Sand which we used throughout our prior French country home. If you want something lighter or have limited natural light in the dining room, Benjamin Moore Ballet White may work. Farrow & Ball has gorgeous warm white options, and everyone should own one of their swatch brochures for reference. We used Valspar Salute (a creamy white with green undertones) throughout our vacation home in Arizona – it was beautiful with the strong sunlight there. If you’re after a light white that won’t change much throughout the day in different lighting conditions, Benjamin Moore White Dove is a designer favorite. Hope this helps. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Liz
    January 12, 2019 / 7:30 pm

    What color did you use for the trim to go with BM White walls??

    • michele
      January 12, 2019 / 9:05 pm

      also BM White in satin. Thanks for reading!

  14. Maureen Forbes
    April 3, 2019 / 8:01 pm

    Hi Michele,
    It was just pure destiny that I read this amazing analysis on white! We are in process of deciding color for our master bedroom- room goes north to south, doesnโ€™t get a lot of natural light- large room, and I want to lighten it up, but not make it look too white, too sterile. My designer has suggested โ€˜Marshmallowโ€™ on walls with trim done with a shade lighter than โ€˜Pavilion Beigeโ€™- the tones of these paints go beautifully with the grass cloth looking wallpaper we have also picked out for one of our walls- do you have any thoughts about this? Any other suggestions?
    Ps- our trim everywhere else in the house is White Dove by BM, and Colonnade Grey by SW- gorgeous with all the light that comes into the rest of our house!
    Thanks so very, very much!!!!
    Peace to YOU, too!:) wherever you are- love that!

    • Michele
      April 3, 2019 / 9:28 pm

      I recommend painting a large sample of the colors up for consideration to see how they make you feel both in the morning and at night. The same white will look different depending on so many factors, and you’ll be able to decide if you like the undertones in the white coming through. The plan sounds so beautiful! So happy that you found me. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. April 23, 2019 / 7:31 pm

    Thank you for the wonderful information! I have taken a page of notes. I normally lean toward warm colors (we are painting over a yellowish gold parchment color in our kitchen which only has south facing windows. My question is where does walnut stained trim figure in the white selection?
    Thank you in advance for your consideration!

    • Michele
      April 23, 2019 / 10:53 pm

      With the southern exposure and the contrast you’ll have with the wood trim, I would consider greyish whites. I would still pick a handful of contenders, buy sample pots, and try them on the wall next to the trim. I think a stark white can read too cold with certain wood tones. In the bathroom we added in our lower level, we went with a darker flooring, and the light grey we chose for walls (Benjamin Moore Classic Gray) reads as white even though it’s a pale grey. What do you think?

  16. Alisa Kelley
    May 6, 2019 / 1:26 pm

    Any ideas for an Arizona white interior? I want to bring out the desert colors as accents on a white background and I am not sure where to start

    • Michele
      May 6, 2019 / 10:18 pm

      Check out Sherwin Williams Greek Villa and Valspar Salute. They are similar, and I used Salute throughout our Arizona home and loved it. It has green undertones, and I love the idea of accenting with greens and blues. You might start with a piece of art or fabric where you love the palette. You could also start with an image of a room that makes you feel relaxed and as if you want to curl up in the picture. Spend lots of time digging in my archives on the blog and get your pinterest boards ready for each room so you can organize your inspiration. Pinning away from Hello Lovely is a smart start, and keep in touch with your questions. ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Ginny Moseley
    May 15, 2019 / 11:46 am

    Hello, I am a big fan and would so appreciate some help !! Iโ€™ve got two large projects coming up . One, trying to choose an interior white paint color for our lake house pairing with sherwin Williams bright white already on all the trim and cabinets in the house . Big windows floor to ceiling in the center of the house , yet all windows framing featuring the lake , but the house still seems a tad dark at times.
    And lastly searching for the perfect white for a beautiful old home built in 1917 . Featuring huge tall accordion design pillars & front porch with brick colored slate style floor . The beautiful trim work surrounding the original tall windows that go to the floor , and stunning staircase that welcomes in the Large foyerto with French doors to the left and right . What color white can I paint the house while letting all the beautiful trim stand out using another coordinating white paint color . It would be such a shame for it to get lost in a all white palet , yet not stand out like a sore thumb !?! This may be TMI , I just donโ€™t know where to begin . I have even considered a pale pink being it will be an Antigua and gift shop . I would love some ideas , if you would Please help ?!?
    Thank you

    • Michele
      May 16, 2019 / 12:58 pm

      It’s wonderful to hear from you, and I love the creative energy you have flowing for these projects. Let me give it some thought and circle back here. I’ll probably email you separately – I love to do color consultations! Best to you in the mean time, and thanks for reading! ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Lauren
    June 2, 2019 / 6:29 pm

    Hi Michele. Really enjoy your color insights. Your opinion if you don’t mind. We’re renovating a kitchen in a condo prior to move in so I don’t have the opportunity to be around throughout the day to see the different lighting scenarios. It’s a large, open galley style kitchen bordering a north facing window and also influenced by a west exposure in the living room in front. I veer to the warm side of things so am going with BM Ballet White on the cupboards. What would you suggest on the walls, staying with the lighter neutral motif? Up a shade to BM White Sand? Contrast with one of the tans? Also thinking Cloud White trim, doors and ceiling. Many thanks, in advance.

    • Michele
      June 2, 2019 / 6:37 pm

      Hi Lauren. So happy to offer feedback. I love both BM Ballet White and White Sand. Not sure if you know I used White Sand throughout our entire prior home–it’s a favorite. I would probably gone a little lighter tone on the walls from the cabinets. Would it work to use White Sand on cupboards and Ballet White on walls? Cloud White is a beautiful off white. White Dove is one of my favs for trim. Not sure if you already check out my recent post with warm white paint ideas:

  19. Cheryl Vozzella
    September 17, 2019 / 12:31 pm

    Hello Lauren,
    I am struggling choosing a white for my entire 1st floor. I have cherry kitchen cabinets and dark espresso PB dining room set. I have white oak hardwood floors. My 1st floor is dark and I want to brighten it up with a warm white color without any pink or purple. I have white dove for my trim. Do you think Pale Oak would work?
    Thanks for your advice.

    • Cheryl Vozzella
      September 17, 2019 / 12:48 pm

      Meant to say Michelle not Lauren! See how stressed I am ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Michele
        September 17, 2019 / 9:14 pm

        No prob at all, Cheryl. Wishing you peace – it’s all going to work out beautifully. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Michele
      September 17, 2019 / 9:14 pm

      Hi Cheryl. I do like Pale Oak but haven’t used it. Two warm whites I have experience with (and they have no pink/purple undertones) are Ballet White and White Sand. Ballet White is a lighter version of White Sand and both work beautifully with White Dove for trim. White Sand is what I used in our former home throughout. See what you think. Hope this helps!

  20. Lin
    September 29, 2019 / 12:02 pm

    Great blog!

    South Florida large condo (western exposure) with Sherwin-Williams Pure White Cabinets & trim. Want white on white look but with shade of white on the walls that is slightly darker to provide contrast with trim. Tile floors are greige. Please, please, please help me with the wall paint color using Sherwin-Williams

    • Michele
      September 29, 2019 / 12:20 pm

      Hi Lin – thanks for reading. For a warm Sherwin Williams white, like a lot of interior designers including Joanna Gaines, I love Alabaster. Would that hue work?

  21. Laura Ingemansson
    October 5, 2019 / 9:43 am

    Hi! We are considering installing the LG Minuet quartz in our kitchen and your photos have been incredibly helpful! Do you think classic taupe/beige color walls would work with the Minuet? We have white cabinets (Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee) and bright white subway tile, and am not sure how it will look. I am also hesitant about the Minuet (second choice is Silestone Calacatta Gold) because we have more brown/beige/cream colors in the house and Iโ€™m hoping the Minuet is not too grey. Appreciate your advice!

    • Michele
      October 5, 2019 / 10:39 am

      Hi Laura. I totally understand your concern, and since I did a kitchen in our Arizona house not long after this one with the Minuet, I think I understand. We used Viatera’s Soprano in the Arizona kitchen because it was a creamy, warm white with those warm caramel tones mixed with grey. Here’s the thing, the paint decision is the easiest thing to change. Minuet definitely has crisp grey and no warm taupey tones. It would be perfect with bright white subway tiles and white cabinets, but it’s not going to have taupe or warmth if you’re looking for warmth from the veining. There’s a significant difference in veining from Minuet and Silestone Et Calacatta Gold as well…Minuet has much more busy, delicate all over veining while the Silestone’s is a different scale with grander veining. I’ll try my best to get more photos uploaded so you can have an idea of the grey – but you may be more comfortable with a choice that has more variation in color since you favor those taupey-grays.

  22. Laura
    October 6, 2019 / 9:19 am

    Thank you! Iโ€™m wondering if a wall color like BM ballet white or white sand as suggested above might work with the Minuet and still work with our dark brown couch? I guess weโ€™ll have to play around with paint colors but like you said, paint is the easiest thing to change! Thank you!

    • Michele
      October 6, 2019 / 6:03 pm

      So smart to try a few paint samples. I think those benjamin moore colors (ballet white or white sand) could work with the Minuet – I personally love white with cream and white with linen whether it’s wardrobe or decor!

  23. Jennifer
    October 17, 2019 / 7:54 pm

    Any input on pairing whites with different wood floors/cabinets? Iโ€™m choosing new lvp โ€œwoodโ€ floors along with new paint and Iโ€™m afraid to get it wrong. Our cabinets are currently honey oak which will stay that way for awhile, the floors Iโ€™m leaning towards are a warm medium amber oak color (Lifeproof Trail Oak specifically). Is a yellow white like Alabaster going to complement those wood tones or should I choose a cooler white?

    • Michele
      October 17, 2019 / 10:39 pm

      Take the time to buy different samples – at least 3 – and that way you’ll be able to notice how they work differently with the oak. If you must paint before the floors go down, take a good sized sample of the floor in the space where it will be installed to see it with the sample painted on the wall. Notice how it looks in daylight and at night. Alabaster would be just fine with a warm medium oak, and it’s going to give you a more traditional look. But cooler whites would work too – they are simply going to impart a more modern contemporary mood. This very moment, my husband is painting our yellow-white basement walls Benjamin Moore Classic Gray – which is a very light gray/white. The carpet in there is a warm taupe, and I love the combination of cool grey with warm golds because I want the space to feel more updated and modern. Hope this helps, and feel free to post more questions or discussion.

  24. Brian
    November 17, 2019 / 6:13 am

    Hi Michelle,

    Thank you for this article. Iโ€™m one of many first time renovators struggling with white. I ordered kitchen cabinets- Schuler ( Medallion) in white icing which I now see has a more yellow cast..I am finding it hard to pair with white paints. I wish I had just a plain white as I think it would be easier. I wanted to go with the same white in the entire condo ( lives in Paris for years and love all white) . What white wall paint would work to help the cabinets look more white and less yellow? White oak hardwood floors ( golden) and want blackish counters ( polished or honed?) galley kitchen.

    Thank you!

    • Michele
      November 17, 2019 / 5:12 pm

      Hmmmmm. I have White Icing Shaker style cabinets with no yellow in the white at all. Is this a mistake where they gave you Divinity or was a glaze applied? If not, could there be an issue with your lighting casting a yellow tint – the types of bulbs for instance or the quality of natural light? We don’t get a ton of natural light, but there is no yellow cast from the cabinets at all. I can imagine your disappointment and challenge to get a more pure white effect. I used Benjamin Moore White Sand on the walls of our last kitchen which had more antique white glazed cabinetry, and it was beautiful. A more muted version of that color is BM Ballet White. Maybe going with a warm neutral will create some contrast to help the white appear more white. Let me know what you think.

  25. Sara
    January 9, 2020 / 9:43 am

    Hi Michelle,

    We are in the middle of building our home. We live in Northern Maine and the painting will start soon. Picking the shade of white I want is difficult. We have light gray cabinets. We have 9โ€™ foot ceilings except fir the great room has at least 25โ€™ vaulted ceilings. It will also be shiplap on the vaulted ceilings. We also have Benjamin Moore paint to choose from. Any suggestions? And my main question is when you are painting white do you paint everything the same color? Walks, ceiling, trim?

    • Michele
      January 9, 2020 / 11:00 am

      Thank you so much for sharing this background info. Choosing the best white is an important consideration – let’s start with the identity you want to create for the home. If you are after clean, bright, modern farmhouse whites – you’ll want to avoid those Benjamin Moore options with yellow, green, and brown undertones. Here’s where I would start: get samples of BM Decorator’s White, Chantilly Lace, White Dove, and Simply White (and make sure it is White Dove and not Dove Wing!!! Our former painter made that mistake, and it cost us dearly!). Try them on the walls and watch them through the day in order to choose your favorite. I’m confident one of two will emerge as the winners. It’s all up to you if you want to keep it simple and paint ceilings and trim the same color. I personally like pure white ceilings and don’t want anything yellowy so for our home, it was just one white in flat for ceilings and walls, in semigloss for trim. I would try samples of the whites I mentioned on trim as well – you might find for example that you love a more subdued white like White Dove for trim with the brightness of Decorator’s White on walls. Let me know what you think! ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. March 19, 2020 / 8:56 am

    I have acquired an RV, which came with dingy tan interiors and a faux weathered-wood (gray) vinyl plank floor throughout. Sadly in my 4o+ years living in Seattle I developed an antipathy to gray. But now I live in south Texas, and the poor RV will have a southern exposure. The heat here is brutal. I hoped to tame it with a white interior, and have sewn a slew of white cotton canvas slipcovers for sofa, chairs, and what felt like 1000 pillows in white, beige, and light teal. But then the RV arrived and I saw the medium gray floors. One post by a flooring expert recommended eggshell Pure White for the walls & semi-gloss for trim & upper cabinets. I thought some shade of light teal for the lower cabinets. My concern is whether Pure White could help deal with the heat. What other whites should I consider? (I now have a 10-item list of sample whites to test on my walls–more paint than wall space, none of them specific to my exposure or heat problem. Would you kindly comment?

    • Michele
      March 19, 2020 / 12:27 pm

      Hi Jude. Yay for your pillowfest! That’s so awesome. I think those whites you are considering are wonderful. Paint color choice would be more complicated if you were looking at more saturated colors or even greys. The strong southern light can wash out certain colors. So in Arizona, when I used Behr Sterling on the cabinets, they actually look blue-grey from the strong yellow light – an effect I was going for! So it’s a little trickier getting the right grey. But whites and Southern light have always worked swimmingly for me. I have Benjamin Moore White (which is basically Behr Ultra White) in my South facing studio. Even though there are minimal undertones in the white, a little blue is not a bad idea for that heat issue of which you speak. The yellow light warms the bright white to an off white. So my recommendation for battling that heat factor is a bright white with no undertones or a little blue undertone which will be warmed by Mr. Sun. Does that make sense?

  27. Brook
    April 4, 2020 / 5:33 pm


    I am searching for an exterior paint for a 60โ€™s brick ranch with a small porch, no real roof overhang, and a Hardiboard siding addition on the east side. We live in NW Florida, so lots of sun. It faces the south and the front gets a good amount of sun throughout the day which means it has the potential to completely washout. We do have some pine trees in our front yard but they donโ€™t cast shade on the house, but not a lot of other trees and no shrubs by the house… yet. We also have a large, deep front yard and concrete drive. Our roof is darker brown tin that has oxidized somewhat. The addition will be painted first and then, the brick- all will be the same color. I want a white thatโ€™s not stark and not too yellow and not too cool or too warm. I also want one that will go with browns or grays. I tend to like neutrals for trim but who know for the door. And, because we will paint the addition first, I need one that will pair well with ugly deep reddish-brown (and some gray swirl) brick. I tend to be drawn to farmhouse and cottage-y colors And yet, we are in a ranch. I thought about variations of Revere Pewter- which is throughout my home. Painted on multiple samples, but due to the sun, it appears to almost match the roof. I decided to go with a shade of white to get contrast. Tall order, huh? Iโ€™d like to narrow it to four or five samples.

    • Michele
      April 4, 2020 / 10:56 pm

      Hi Brook. You have articulated your needs so well – thank you for that. The whites I would sample are: Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace, BM White Dove, BM China White, and BM Simply White. I’m leaning toward Chantilly Lace. You may also already be aware that lots of folks have been painting their exteriors (including brick ones) Sherwin Williams Alabaster. It may look a little yellowy with that southern exposure though. For your front door, you might try Behr Classic Silver which with lots of sun, will come off as a tranquil grey-blue. Thanks so much for reading, and do let me know if you have further questions.

  28. Jennifer
    April 14, 2020 / 8:19 am

    I have a kitchen/dining room that looks like it threw up honey (orange) oak cabinets everywhere. The cabinets, trim, floor, and even the side of the builder grade countertops are all oak. Our kitchen/dining room opens into a vaulted ceiling living room. These rooms are divided by a long honey (orange) oak railing. (You have to step down a step into the kitchen/living room.) Since the rooms are open concept you see all of the oak on the railing, trim, and the stair banister coming down from the upstairs. The kitchen/dining room was painted BM Nantucket Gray by the previous owner. I personally do not like green or gray on walls. After living with this color for several years, I can take it no more. However, I thought that color was making me go crazy, but now I feel that trying to choose a paint color to fit with the oak (none of it can be painted at this time for many reasons) is almost worse than living with Nantucket Gray. These rooms are all west facing. So it is dark during the morning and bright in the late afternoon. I would like to choose a warm white that leans toward a light brown/linen/cream color. I know that sound crazy but I know what I want but can’t seem to find it. The past few years when looking for a color I was looking through the browns, but now I have discovered I should have been looking through warm whites. We back up to woods, so in the summer we will have a reflection of green. Right now I have several paint chips on a white poster board hanging on my wall. I have learned recently about undertones. I know the paint chips are small, but I feel like I either see gray/green or yellow in all of them. Obviously, I have established that green/gray is a no go for me, but I don’t want yellow undertones either because the cabinets make the paint scream yellow. My husband would never go for a straight white and does not want any pink undertones. Right now I am looking at BM lambskin, but not sure if this will read too yellow. I would like to update the house to fresh, warm, and inviting. I live in the upper midwest where winter is dreary and cold. We are planning on painting the living room as well, bc right now the paint the previous owners used looks like pea green soup. So a paint color that could go into both rooms is fine, or we may go a shade darker in the living room. I know painting samples is a key thing, but I am on a budget so I have to be careful to choose my colors. Do you have any suggestions for me? Thank You!!!

    • Michele
      April 14, 2020 / 11:00 am

      Hi Jennifer. I think I can feel your pain, and since I live in the Midwest I reallllly hear you. And I can see why you like BM Lambskin as a possibility. We painted our previous home’s interiors BM White Sand and loved living with it. White oak flooring, and red oak stair railings, btw. Maybe try a sample. Ballet White is a little lighter and a gorgeous warm white as well. I helped a client years ago with her kitchen wall color because she hated the contrast with her oak cabinets. We chose a rich and sophisticated gold color close to a tone in the wood to create a monochromatic, very low contrast look she loved. Of course, I would have painted those oak cabinets in a heartbeat because they felt oppressive to me and dampened my mood. Another consideration is that you can always paint trim white without painting cabinets and doors. A lot of folks don’t consider this, and it truly can freshen and lighten the weight of all the wood. In my own home, we have natural wood doors with white door trim and baseboard. Feel free to ask more questions if you like as I’m always happy to help.

  29. Kate
    May 26, 2020 / 11:57 am

    Hi Michele I just found your site and looking forward to learning more from your tips. I also live in the Midwest and wanted to update our north facing rooms which are kitchen, dinette/eat in, and family room all flowing together. We have the 90s yellow oak floors (which we are stuck with for now) and recently updated our appliances to GEโ€™s slate color. We want to make the entire area feel lighter and more open. We are deciding on warmer white cabinets (White Dove, Chantilly Lace, Simply White, Cloud White) and white or gray walls. I was also thinking of Collonade Gray on our 7ft island cabinets. My problem is would they go with slate appliances? And if I want the walls white do I paint it the same color as the cabinets? Are these colors going to fight too much and bring out the dingy yellows and muddy greens? Thanks for your advice.

    • Michele
      May 26, 2020 / 10:29 pm

      Hi there. So glad you found me, and very exciting to be making these updates! Haven’t seen slate appliances before and had to google. ๐Ÿ™‚ I found this kitchen with GE slate and wonder if you have seen it: Slate appears to be as neutral as stainless. Our appliances in our second home in Arizona were Kitchenaid’s SmudgeProof which is a darker version of stainless, and we loved them with our light grey cabinets. In terms of a paint color, you could use a slightly lighter version of the color you select for cabinets. So for example, White Dove mixed at 60% (they understand such things at the paint counter). You could also use the exact same color if you care to play it safe, and this isn’t a bad place to start. White Dove is going to have less undertones than Simply White which has yellow undertones – but it still may be the right white to harmonize with the amber in your oak. You can always change your mind down the line as far as the walls, but arriving at the perfect color for the cabinets is key since you don’t want to revisit painting them again! I think grey will be lovely on the island, and if you look at the kitchen in the link, you’ll see they opted for a light grey island with white cabinets as well. You say the floors are yellow – but maybe just make a mental shift and think of them as warm gold in the design plan. I never tire of cool greys with warm gold – it can truly be lovely.

  30. Kerry Pyne
    May 27, 2020 / 9:36 am

    Hi Michelle! I’ve been following for awhile and love your blog! I was wondering if you could give me advice as to what whites to sample for my sunroom. The room is getting renovated and will have shiplap on the ceiling, and sisal carpet. Three walls are all windows, and in the middle of the room is the back of a large red brick fireplace (classic red brick, not bright red). I’m going down a worm hole and now have a very long list of options. I’m thinking SW Alabaster or 0c-64 pure white; do you think either of those would work, or do you have other recommendations? I’m just very worried if i pick a grayish white it’s not going to work with the red brick (thinking pure white might not work?). Thank you!

    • Michele
      May 27, 2020 / 10:02 pm

      Oh, it sounds so wonderful! SW Alabaster is such a trustworthy white for so many spaces, and shiplap seems to love that hue. You could also sample Chantilly Lace (Benjamin Moore). Let me know if those samples don’t make the cut, and we can go from there. Best to you as you transform that sunroom.

  31. Sharon
    June 5, 2020 / 6:41 pm

    Hi Michelle! I just discovered your site and am obsessed! Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge. Our new home faces North at the back and South at the front. All of our area rugs, curtains, throw pillows, ect. are dark colors such as merlot, deep purple, plum, sage green and denim blue. These worked in our old house but our new 3-year-old home has builders grade beige flat paint in every room. We also have very dark wood floors. What “white” color paint would you suggest? I want it to relfect the light and brighten the space. I have looked at hundreds of paint colors and am lost. Any advice you could provide would be greatly appreciated!!

    • Michele
      June 5, 2020 / 8:53 pm

      Hi Sharon. So happy you found me and are enjoying the blog! For a freshened, contemporary white that will feel much different than the existing beige but not cold and jarring, take a look at some greyed whites. For example, Benjamin Moore Classic Gray actually reads white, and we used it in our lower level family room where there is almost no natural light. Before we painted, the previous owner had painted a very yellowed beige that we lived with for awhile – and I can’t tell you the difference Classic Gray made! You can have the color mixed in any paint you like since they have these colors in the computer at the paint counter. A close friend of mine painted all of the interiors in her new build Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray – doesn’t read white but is so timeless. If you use the search box and type in 1875 farmhouse (they built on to it) you’ll find lots of images. That color comes to mind because my friend installed ebony stained hardwoods and has darker furniture pieces. A very popular white designers use in their own homes is Sherwin Williams Alabaster – it seems to be reliable in a variety of exposures and is the white Joanna Gaines uses over and over in their properties. Let me know if you need more suggestions, and best to you as you sample at least 3 – noticing how they change over the course of the day. ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. Anita
    June 13, 2020 / 2:19 pm

    Hi Michelle!
    I am so glad I have discovered your site! A lot of valuable information! For a long time I was gravitating and wanted to paint my house with light gray but lately I fell in love with white even more. I have decided to paint the interior of my house with white and I am little bit lost. Can you give me an advise for choosing the right shade/shades of white?
    Since I live in North West we have a lot of cloudy and rainy days throughout the year, except for summers and partially springs. Luckily, my house has a lot of windows because I can’t stand really dark houses. Most of my downstairs rooms are facing South. My kitchen/family room (which is one open area) are facing South plus one of the kitchen’s windows is facing West.
    My dining room (which is one open area connected with living room and the entrance) has a South exposure on one side and North from the other (the living room area). I have Cherry Autumn Blush stained cabinets (Kraft Maid Sonata to be exact) in my kitchen and travertine tiles plus golden- brown, amber looking granite countertops (Kashmir Gold). The rest of the house has Merbau hardwood floors which are dark brown with reddish tones (little less red than kitchen cabinets). Although now I really enjoy much lighter and more neutral wood tones of floors and cabinets and more modern and airy spaces, I need to stick with what I have. When we remodeled our house about more than 10 years ago I used to love the dark tones of wood.
    My question is which shade of white would be more suitable to paint my house to make it more modern and airy? There are so many shades of white! Do I need to look more into warm than neutral or cool shades of white for my house? Do I paint the South facing rooms (kitchen, family room and dining room) the same shade as my North exposure facing room (living room/dining room)?
    I was looking into some paint chart examples from Sherwin Williams and thought about: Alabaster, High Reflective White, Extra White and Pure White. While searching the internet I have also fell in love with Chantilly White from Benjamin Moore but I am not not sure if the undertone would agree with the dark red tone of woods that I have. I do not want the red tones to pop up even more red. Other Benjamin Moore’s colors I was looking at were: Simply White, White Dove , White Cloud and Swiss Coffee. I should also mention that I do not want my walls to look yellow.
    Which color would you choose? Perhaps there is a different shade of white that I didn’t mention? I am planning to paint the walls, the moldings and ceiling possibly with the same shade of white or should I paint the ceiling with different white ? Do you have any suggestions? Any advise before I shop for the paint samples would be greatly appreciated! Thank You!

    • Michele
      June 13, 2020 / 2:40 pm

      I like the idea of Alabaster for your interiors based on what you have described. And I wouldn’t adjust it for the rooms that receive less natural light because I think it’s okay for the white to not look exactly the same in each room. Those exposure differences can add interest, and the best part is ONE PAINT FOR TOUCH-UPS. It just makes my life easier. You could do the same color for trim but it’s your call. You could go with Benjamin Moore White Dove for the trim for some contrast. I like plain, bright pure white for ceilings – the ceiling paint right on the shelf. Certain whites can have a yellow cast on the ceiling so I like the brightest and feel it makes a big difference. See this post for more warm whites:

      • Anita
        June 14, 2020 / 1:55 am

        Michelle, thank you for your reply! I will definitely try Alabaster first.

        • Michele
          June 14, 2020 / 11:52 pm

          You bet – let me know what you ultimately choose for color!

  33. Kara
    June 21, 2020 / 4:03 pm

    Hi Michele, thank you for sharing your insights – similar to many above, am searching (and struggling) to find the right white. A new buid in sunny (and sometimes thankfully cloudy) Florida, I have put almost every SW and BM white/off white sample on the walls. I have warm wood furniture (brown/orange/with hints of charcoal), blue/teal/champagne/grey beachy pops of color for artwork) and grey-ish/off white/taupe large with abalone/white ‘shell’, large format/minimal grout. porcelain tile with slight charcoal & slighter brown/orange veining. I want to love SW Alabaster to pull it all together but it looks slightly lime green in some areas (esp. south and west facing walls). Simply white looks beautiful in many rooms but you can see the yellow undertone. All others look a bit dingy, blue or even more yellow (cloud, all the doves, pure white, swiss coffee, decorators white, and sea pearl looks grey/brown). Haven’t tried Whitetail or Dover White but not optimistic. Just found your sight (and have to decide by Tuesday). Open concept kitchen/living room/dining – wanted to do white (maybe a light grey though) cabinets on perimeter with stained oak wood island but cant envision that quite yet. Much appreciation to you and those with savvy color & design skills! Thank you for any help!

    • Michele
      June 21, 2020 / 8:57 pm

      Hi there. That is frustrating, and I think I know just what you mean about the green in Alabaster with strong Southern light. With the warmth of the wood furniture and strikeouts with so many off-whites, I’m thinking it’s time to turn to coolere greyed-whites. I love Benjamin Moore Classic Gray which looks white in our lower level. I’m probably a broken record, but I adore how those cool light greys work with warm golds. It is such an interesting, sophisticated combination. If you search “Michael Delpiero” on this blog, you may see that combination pop up because she is masterful with using greys in sophisticated ways. BM Silver Satin is another possibility.

  34. Kara
    June 21, 2020 / 4:05 pm

    “Build” and “site”…oops!

    • Michele
      June 21, 2020 / 8:58 pm

      Good luck and happy to help – let me know if you need more ideas.

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