How To: Pick the Best White Paint

Let's talk white paints, shall we? Whites can be the most beautiful paint colors for a room but can also be the most difficult color to choose. There are pure, crisp and bright whites that are great for modern minimalist spaces or eclectic rooms where you want your bold patterns or colors to pop but if you go too cool, your room will end up looking feeling cold and clinical. Warm whites have yellow undertones and can warm up a space, making it feel both bright yet cozy at the same time but veer to far and you end up with a buttery yellow. Cool whites have a slight blue undertone and are admittedly, a bit colder looking and not nearly as inviting as a soft or warm white and then there are the whites with a brown or grey undertone that really don't count as white as all compared to a true do you even begin to choose?!

how to pick the best white paint color

There are whites with purple, green, pink, blue, yellow and all kinds of other undertones that if you're not expecting them - can really make for a bit of a shock if you think you're about to paint your walls white and end up with a purple looking room instead. So if you're looking to pick a white or off white paint color, here's a few of my tips to keep in mind...


best white paint color

1. Compare to White Paper

When you start to look at white paints it sometimes helps to have a true white to compare to. When you're just looking at a sample you might miss a particular undertone unless you can place it next to a sheet of white paper as a comparison. This is really helpful for making sure you don't end up with an undesired undertone to your white. 

2. Use Daylight

Again, to get the truest sense of the white you're looking at (or any color really) it's best to look at the paint in daylight. Obviously you want to check the colors in the room you're planning to paint but always check your paint colors in true daylight (take them outside!) first to catch all of the subtleties in your colors. 

picking the best white paint color

3. Grab Samples

The tip I ALWAYS tell my clients is once you've picked your color or narrowed it down to two, spend the $5 and go buy a tester sample. Paint chips are never 100% true as the finish on a sample swatch is different than the finish of paint so the color will show slightly differently. In whites, these slight differences can be crucial so for the few minutes it takes to do a few swatches, it's worth the piece of mind before you get started on painting a whole room or house! 

Happy painting!