Choosing the right shade of white paint can be a big challenge. It’s highly reflective so you have to consider the other elements in the room. Accent walls, wood tones, bold furnishings, ceiling color, light bulb color temperatures, even the direction the windows are facing (and possibly what’s outside those windows) can all affect the color. White paint is also notorious for having subtle undertones (they’re actually hue families) lurking in it that tend to be magnified once they’re on the wall.
And in case you haven’t noticed yet, white walls are trending right now. Color popularity shifts about every 5 to 7 years. With grays and taupes starting to see a decline, white walls are on the rise.
Tip: If you’re painting your walls white, consider painting the trim, cabinets, and ceiling the same color but in different sheens.
When choosing white paint for your home, start by picking up a few actual paper swatches from the store (or get them from one of our Color Consultations). Next, hang them up and compare them in your own home.Don’t ever make a paint decision based solely on a swatch you only looked at while in the store, online, saw in your friend’s house, or read about in a blog post!
My hope is that this blog post will help point you in the right direction and at least eliminate the colors that won’t work for you. With that in mind, here are a few of my top favorite white paint choices to use when selling your home:
Benjamin Moore White Dove OC 17
Benjamin Moore White Dove OC 17 is a soft, warm off-white. It’s a classic versatile color that has almost a gray-brown feel (not yellow or creamy). This paint works well with a variety of warm and cool colors without being too stark or bright. It’s also a favorite choice for doors, ceilings, and trim. The cabinets in the photo below are painted in White Dove:
Sherwin-Williams Alabaster 7008 is a great off-white that’s just a little bit softer and more subtle without being too yellow or creamy. The warmest of the whites I chose, it works really well in homes with lots of earth tones. Whereas many whites are used primarily as a trim color, Alabaster works just as well on large areas as it does on small ones. Because it’s still neutral with just a hint of warmth, it works especially well in rooms with a southern exposure. Conversely, it may look a bit lackluster in rooms with north-facing windows. Learn more in our paint color review for Alabaster.
The walls and ceiling of this beautiful kitchen are SW 7008 Alabaster
Sherwin-Williams Pure White 7005
Sherwin-Williams Pure White 7005 is similar to Alabaster in that it’s a great neutral base with just a tiny hint of warmth. It’s a little crisper than Alabaster and works really well in both warm- and cool-toned homes as a trim, ceiling, and cabinet color. It reads a little warmer in rooms with a southern exposure, while north-facing windows diminish that effect a bit. The perimeter cabinets in this stunning kitchen remodel are in SW 7005 Pure White.
Sherwin-Williams Extra White 7006 is considered by many designers to be the whitest white in the SW palette. My personal opinion is that it reads a just little more on the cool side. This often makes it a better choice for homes that feature grays, blues, silver tones, and espresso-colored woods. As a trim color, it doesn’t pair up quite as well next to warm or earth tones as Alabaster or Pure White. Extra White is a clean, crisp color that works great for homes that have a more contemporary feel. In rooms with a northern exposure, you may see a bit more iciness in the color. The light from a south-facing room may neutralize this effect (during daylight hours, anyway).
Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace OC-65 is a crisp, clean white with a bit of an icy edge. It pairs well with cool-toned colors, particularly blues. It may look a little stark in rooms with a northern exposure. The walls of this gorgeous bathroom are painted in Chantilly Lace:
All cabinetry and wood work in this kitchen was done in SW 7757 High Reflective White in a low lustre.
Need Help Choosing a Color?
If you’re having a hard time choosing the right color, let us help! The right color can transform a room! Let us help you reinvent your space with paint. Three Bears Home Staging has extensive training and experience with interior and exterior color consultations. Whether it’s for an interior or exterior space, we’ll help you create a custom color palette. Watch this quick video to learn more about our Virtual Color Consultation Reports, then click below to get started!
One Room Paint Color Report | Virtual
Need help choosing the best paint colors for your room? Then this is the (virtual) service for you! Based on your on your questionnaire responses and uploaded photos, we’ll create a personalized digital Paint Color Report just for you. We’ll also send you paint swatches! Click below to learn how it works or to get started!
Ready to give your home exterior a fresh new look, but feeling overwhelmed with the decision? Get a little virtual help from the color experts at Three Bears Home Staging! Based on your on your questionnaire responses and uploaded photos, we’ll create a personalized digital Paint Color Report just for your home’s exterior. We’ll also send you paint swatches! Read below to learn how it works…
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About Vannessa Rhoades
Vannessa Rhoades is the author of Just Right! Easy DIY Home Staging: Second Edition and founder of Three Bears Home Staging®. She is an HSR Certified Professional Home Stager™ and Certified Expert E-Designer™ and has staged and consulted on hundreds of properties in person throughout the Houston metro area and virtually across the country.