HomeThe Best Paint ColoursBenjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams: Paint Ideas3 STEPS to Pick the Best White for Your Cabinets or Walls

3 STEPS to Pick the Best White for Your Cabinets or Walls

Posted on September 1, 2021 by KylieMawdsley

Choosing the RIGHT White for Your Home

It’s time to get your tighty-whities on because TODAY you’re going to learn how to pick the BEST white for your cabinets or walls! But, before we get into the nitty-gritty, let me save you a LOT of time, energy and sanity by saying this…

If you already have something painted white in your room, ie. trim or cabinets and are NOT repainting it, I would HIGHLY SUGGEST that you paint, whatever it is you want to paint, the exact same colour. 

How to choose best white paint colour. Benjamin Moore Glacier White, black built-in bench entryway storage. Kylie M Interiors client photo

Mixing and matching whites is RICKY business as one white can EASILY make another look dirty/warm/cool/etc… Therefore, if you already have a white surface in your room that you don’t plan on repainting, it’s best to stick with it. However, if you don’t know the colour name of the white you have, take a cabinet door/piece of trim to the paint store and have them colour match it for you.

If the white you currently have on trim/cabinets/whatev’s doesn’t actually SUIT the room, you need to be prepared to paint it a new, more suitable white to match your other finishes.

Bathroom with porcelain look marble tile. Paint color similar to Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray. Kylie M INteriors E-design before image

Now, moving along to the guts n’ glory of this blog post…

How to choose best, right white paint colour for walls, cabinets, trim, Kylie M Interiors diy edesign ideas

STEP 1   FIND THE WHITE THAT’S ALREADY IN YOUR ROOM

If you’re painting your existing home, chances are, there’s already a surface in your room that has white on or in it. In this case, this white is your GUIDING WHITE and you don’t want to stray off its path. For example, if your countertop has a warm white in it, you’ll want to choose a warm white paint colour – not a true or cool one.

Where might you find an existing white?

  • COUNTERTOPS
  • TILES
  • CEILING & TRIM
  • FABRICS (ones that you’ll have in your home for a long time)

In this next photo, you can see how the original warm white of the cabinets is TOO warm for the cool tones of the marble backsplash and countertop. The taped up sample shows a MUCH better partnership. Because the countertop and backsplash are permanent surfaces, the white paint colour needs to be chosen to coordinate with them.

The best paint colours for cabinets, white, with marble backsplash, countertop. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint colour advice and consulting

If you’re building or designing a room from scratch and haven’t CHOSEN any finishes yet, you don’t necessarily need to pick THE actual white paint colour you want, but you do need to decide the TYPE OF WHITE you want, and then let your decorative choices work off of that (STEP 2).

STEP 2   FIGURE OUT THE TYPE OF WHITE YOU HAVE or WANT

STARTING FROM SCRATCH

When designing a room from the ground up, you’ll either want to choose a main finish (ie. countertop or tile) and see what type of white it has in it – this will be your GUIDING WHITE and the one you’ll use on trims, walls, cabinets, etc…

Alternatively, you can decide which TYPE OF WHITE you want in your home, narrow down your options, and then choose finishes to coordinate with these whites.

WORKING WITH AN EXISTING SPACE

Now that you’ve FOUND the main white in your room, either in a countertop, tile or fabric, you’ll want to figure out what TYPE of white you’re dealing with.

NOT SURE WHAT YOU’VE GOT? COMPARE

You might be thinking, ‘hey crazy pants, they all look white to me!’ If you aren’t sure which type of white you’re working with, the BEST way to figure it out is via COMPARING IT TO A TRUE WHITE. Comparison is one of the BEST ways to see the undertones in a colour. By placing real white against your white, it should be easier to see which type of white you’re working with and make sure you’re on the right path.

Sherwin Williams Sea Salt in a bathroom with white countertop, vanity, farmhouse bulbs, wood framed mirror. Kylie M E-design, online color consultant

Comparing this countertop to a real white (such as the hanging towel), we see that it’s slightly soft and warm

In this next section, you’ll see a brief overview of the TYPES OF WHITE, however, you’ll find much more detailed information in this blog post – THE 5 TYPES OF WHITE PAINT COLOURS.

TYPES OF WHITE

Warm white

Warm whites aren’t stark and clean, they’re softer looking and often have slightly lower LRV’s.

The fireplace stone above calls for a soft white, not cold, but not too creamy warm either…

E-decor and Online Decorating Services. Beautiful ledgestone, travertine fireplace with Tv above, dark wood mantel and built-in bookshelves wtih 2 cream accent chairs. Kylie M Interiors

The creamy tone in this next countertop definitely prefers a soft, warm white or off-white. If you put a cool white with this, it won’t make sense…

Formica Soapstone Sequoia greige laminate countertop in kitchen with cloud white cabinets. Kylie M E-design

hexagon subway tile backsplash. Maple cabinets painted Cloud White, soapstone formica countertops and gray quartz with kitchen decor

Benjamin Moore Cloud White

The 3 Best Warm White Paint Colours from Benjamin Moore

Clean white

Clean whites are pretty…darned…white.Best white paint colour, Sherwin Williams High Reflective White

Budget friendly kitchen with painted cabinets Benjamin Moore Chelsea Gray, white subway tile and black laminate countertops. Kylie M Interiors Online Color Consulting and E-design

Similar to Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace

Bathroom vanity cabinet High Reflective White, white countertop, subway tile accent feature wall. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint color consultant

SW High Reflective White

The 5 WHITEST White Paint Colours

Cool white

Cool whites aren’t used as often as they aren’t very flexible or fool-proof. You’ll find that most cool whites look fresh and a bit ‘icy’. And remember, if you want to learn MORE about the 5 types of white, read THIS.

Sherwin Williams Extra White. Best white paint colour cool toned

White shaker style cabinets, white quartz countertops, Coventry Gray island and Stonington Gray walls

Similar to Sherwin Williams Extra White

In this next example, the countertop would call for a clean or slightly cool white. If you put a white with too much yellow in it next to this, it would clash with the cool tones.

Budget friendly bathroom update ideas, formica calacatta marble laminate countertops, hexagon tile backsplash. Chelsea Gray vanity. Kylie M E-design

Benjamin Moore’s 8 Best White Paint Colours

Sherwin Williams 4 Best White Paint Colours

Off-white (warm)

Off-whites might fool you in trying to LOOK like whites, but they have more softness and depth to them and are usually on the warm side, but can also be a super light gray/cool colour. Sherwin Williams Alabaster is CLOSE to being an off-white with its low LRV of 82. Not sure what LRV is? It will BLOW your paint lovin’ mind, read all about it HERE!

Kylie M E-design, online paint color consultation expert. Benjamin Moore Sherwin Williams colours Alabaster off-white

Sherwin Williams Alabaster

In this next photo, you’ll see a beige bathroom tile. If you put a stark white or cool white with this, it wouldn’t work. Howver, this photo is here for ANOTHER reason…

Beige tile with warm beige paint colour on the walls, off-white by Sherwin Williams. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, diy decorating and update ideas

If you wanted to paint the WALLS in the above room a white paint colour, it wouldn’t work as the tile can’t support white walls (not enough dominant white in the tile) – they would come off too stark and disconnected. HOWEVER, there’s more flexibility given when you’re painting ONLY trim. Whereas a bathroom like the one above won’t suit white walls (it prefers off-white), there’s forgiveness given when it comes to trim as trim is often SUPPOSED to be white. From there, it’s just choosing the best white to suit the finishes in the room (in this case, a true white or subtle warm white).

The 5 Best Off-White Paint Colours

Sherwin Williams Designer Edition NEW White Paint Colours

STEP 3   PICK YOUR WHITE PAINT COLOUR

You should now be able to go to the paint store knowing which type of white you’re looking for. Personally, I’m a pinot gris fan myself, but I’ll settle for a nice chardonnay.

I’LL BE INCLUDING A TON OF LINKS TO THE BEST WHITE PAINT COLOURS AT THE END OF THIS BLOG POST – BUT KEEP READING FOR NOW!

Remember, a VERY COMMON place to find an EXISTING white is on trims that are already painted. As mentioned earlier, if you already have an existing white surface that you DON’T want to paint, I would suggest using this SAME white on your soon-to-be painted surface. If you are building and have chosen white cabinets, I recommend painting the trim, ceiling and doors the SAME white.

If your existing trim/cabinets/etc… white doesn’t actually suit your room and its hard finishes (countertop, tile, etc…) I suggest NOT using it as your GUIDING WHITE, in which case you’ll pick the RIGHT WHITE and paint ALL the white surfaces this colour – NO MIX N’ MATCH WHITES!

Glam chrome chandelier with coffered ceilings. Kylie M Interior E-design

BTW, you’ll find HELPFUL LINKS to blog posts on the BEST WHITE PAINT COLOURS shortly, but first…

Tips for picking white when you don’t have one 

If you don’t have anything white in your room that you have to work with, you’ll want to look at the neutral colours in your room for guidance. Whether it’s countertop, tile or carpet, the colour of your hard surfaces will help to guide you towards the right white. The exception to this is wood flooring which is far more flexible with regard to whites.

Sherwin Williams Network Gray with white wainscoting or lower walls and ladder shelf. Kylie M Interiors E-design and online colour consulting

Get a look similar to this with Sherwin Williams Network Gray and Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace

IF YOUR EXISTING SURFACES ARE LIGHT OR DARK GRAY, BLUE, GREEN OR VIOLET WITH NO OBVIOUS WHITE IN THEM

While you can create an interesting and dynamic look with soft, slightly warm whites, to keep it simple you’ll want to check out clean whites or slightly cool whites.

Paint colour and backsplash ideas to update uba tuba green granite countertops. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online diy advice blogger

IF YOUR EXISTING SURFACES ARE IN THE GREIGE OR EARTH-TONED FAMILIES

Take a look at warm white, soft off-whites or sometimes true whites.

Bathroom vanity with travertine silver countertop, painted Benjamin Moore Kingsport Gray with white sink. Kylie M Interiors e-design

Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray entryway with white stair railing. Before Kylie M E-design, online color consultant

Get a look similar to this with Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray and Benjamin Moore White Dove

IF YOUR HARD SURFACES ARE IN THE WARMER RANGE – BEIGE, TAN, CREAM, YELLOW, ORANGE OR RED

You’ll want to look at warm whites, sometimes true whites (situational).

Bathroom vanity, travertine tile and countertop, espresso, dark wood, Benjamin Moore Ballet White cream. Kylie M INteriors Edesign, online paint color expert blog

If you’re still not sure which white you’re dealing with, narrow it down to the two white groupings that seem the closest and bring samples home.

MY TOP 3 WARM WHITES

SHERWIN WILLIAMS PURE WHITE

Pure White is one of my faves. It’s pretty darned white with only a weee fraction of warmth in it. If all else fails and I can’t figure out what the heck white I’m dealing with, this is usually my go-to.

Open layout dining room, kitchen dark wood cabinets, tile wood look floor. Sherwin Williams Pure White. Paint color consulting Kylie M Interiors Edesign

FULL Paint Colour Review of Sherwin Williams Pure White

BENJAMIN MOORE WHITE DOVE

White Dove is a soft warm white that’s similar in depth to Pure White.

Wainscoting, panelling Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter, warm gray greige, White Dove walls, home office. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, diy update and consultant

FULL Paint Colour Review of Benjamin Moore White Dove

BENJAMIN MOORE SIMPLY WHITE

Simply White is a popular choice for a BRIGHT warm white.

Benjamin Moore Simply White , Collingwood gray walls, oak flooring, Kylie M Interiors Edesign, (3)

FULL Paint Colour Review of Benjamin Moore Simply White

MY TOP 2 TRUE WHITES

SHERWIN WILLIAMS HIGH REFLECTIVE WHITE

High Reflective White is pretty darned white, not warm, not cold – just white.

Kitchen cabinets painted Sherwin High Reflective White, marble backsplash, white quartz, home decor on countertop. Pewter hardware. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint colour consulting

FULL Paint Colour Review of Sherwin Williams High Reflective White

BENJAMIN MOORE CHANTILLY LACE

Chantilly Lace is my FAVE true white with just the TINIEST wink of softness to it.

Chantilly Lace and feature wall in Hale Navy Benjamin Moore in boys nursery bedroom. Kylie M Interiors paint colour reviews online paint consulting blog

FULL Paint Colour Review of Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace

MY TOP 3 COOL WHITES

SHERWIN WILLIAMS EXTRA WHITE

Extra White will absolutely act like white, but a more ‘fresh and cool’ version of it – without being an actual colour.

Benjamin Moore Charcoal Slate, On t

FULL Paint Colour Review of Sherwin Williams Extra White

BENJAMIN MOORE SUPER WHITE

Super White is also pretty damn white. It can stretch itself JUST slightly cool…but barely.

Stairs with carpet, wood landing, white railings, white walls, Benjamin Moore Super White. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint color advice

(I also like BM Oxford White for a simple, but not overly bright white look)

FULL Paint Colour Review of Benjamin Moore Super White

BENJAMIN MOORE DECORATORS WHITE

Decorators White is another nice pretty darned white colour that nods toward cool undertones.

Bathroom walk in shower. Marble floor and walls in tile. Benjamin Moore Decorators White, best white paint color. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online diy decorating and design advice blog

FULL Paint Colour Review of Benjamin Moore Decorators White

Not sure which white is best for YOU and YOUR home?

Check out my affordable and fun E-design and Virtual Paint Colour packages! 

E-design, virtual online colour consulting expert. Kylie M Interiors. Paint color ideas. Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams circle (5)

Chat soon,

Kylie M Interiors, decorating blog, e-design, online colour consulting expert. signature

READ MORE

6 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Painting Your Cabinets White

Benjamin Moore’s 3 Best Warm Whites

Sherwin Williams 4 Best White Paint Colours

The 8 Best White Paint Colours from Benjamin Moore

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN IN 2018, COMPLETELY UPDATED IN 2021



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Comments

  1. Wow, super timely post… We just had Ikea Hemnes white stain bookcases trimmed out to look built in and I’m trying to find the right white to use that won’t require me to paint the inside of the bookcases. I also need to paint a fireplace on the opposite wall with the same color. I picked two whites and painted them on a board a few hours ago and after reading this post, before even taking them to the shelves, can see they are too warm for the white stain. Back to the drawing board!

  2. I’m in love with the counter in the 1st Kitchen picture under “Warm Whites” (Benjamin Moore Cloud White) I was wondering on your thoughts on how that would look with cloud white on the cupboards and Benjamin Moore’s Natural Linen on the walls? Or would that counter be better suited with a grey wall colour?

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      Hi Patricia, Natural Linen could look quite lovely, I don’t see any problem with that at all and it might be nicer than a lighter cooler gray…

  3. Kylie, I just love your posts and have learned so much from them (can you say LRV!?). Whites are so hard and I’m wanting to paint my 2 story gambrel roof house white. Which Whites work best for exterior use? I live in sunny Florida…….

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      Oooo Susan, great idea for a blog post! The only thing is that I use only my own photos and I don’t have any clients exteriors in the best whites – so it would be hard for me to reference them! Mind you, sometimes just info is helpful! BTW, I would check out SW Pure White…

  4. This is amazing. You cut right to the chase and clearly explained what was what lol Compare, compare! I always learn so much when reading your posts. It def sinks in mi cabesa lol. Excellent and so funny!! Thanks again. Not going to be uptight with white!

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  5. We just bought a home and wanted to repaint the trim. There are a million whites to choose. I was in a dilemma until I read your blog. Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge. I plan to use your online help once we move into the home.

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  6. Thanks, Kylie, for condensing this subject into a great resource for your readers!
    Would you please share the names of a couple of your favorite SW off- whites that fall into the SUPER light gray family as mentioned above? Perhaps a grayed-white?

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      Ooo Shari, you know what – SW just doesn’t have great ones in the super light off-white gray – nobody does really! It seems that undertones come up so much in that range. Eider White is a popular off-white, but it can cast a touch purple. Egret White is a bit warmer/greige and same thing. The best as far as I’m concerned is SW Crushed Ice, but it’s getting closer to the ‘light’ range as it has more depth to it. Ice Cube is a lovely, cooler off-white, but again, you will likely see those cool undertones coming up a bit more than you’d like…

  7. Hey Kylie,
    I’m doing a color consult with you. Love reading your analysis of whites and all undertones for that matter!
    Thanks!

  8. Thank you for your informative articles! I know that once a white is chosen for trim, it should be used throughout the home for continuity’s sake. However, if there is a separation of rooms, can another white be used? i.e. I have a corner utility room that was recently painted SW Vital Yellow with recommended Pure White trim and cabinets. Walking out of that room is my mudroom which has stained wood trim, and into the open area kitchen and family room–all trim and cabinets are stained. The hallway leading to the bedrooms and the bedrooms themselves have painted trim and doors in need of freshening up. The bedroom bath areas have stained cabinets and painted trim. However, I feel that Pure White is not warm enough to compliment all my stained woodwork–I sometimes see a hint of blue in the trim and cabinets in my utility room, and don’t want to see that in the rest of my home. I’m considering SW Alabaster for all remaining trim and doors in these areas. Would that be acceptable? Or do I need to stick with Pure White for the whole house?

  9. Thanks for this post! I think SW Pure White is the best match for my kitchen countertops. If I use Pure White for cabinets and trim, can I use Alabaster on the walls?

  10. I’m helping out with a Church/community children’s area . There are north facing windows only. The prep/activity areas tops are White with some grey bits, not sure of material but easy to clean, may be quartz.. Warmer white would be so nice for the north room but now I see it might clash with the white tops. (thanks to you Kylie!). I think I’m going to suggest pure white now because this sure is a difficulty I have no idea what to do with, and I think you said pure white is great for that ????) …but hm.. I wonder if the north light is going to kill it.
    When you don’t know where to go, I think it’s pure white?

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  11. Hi Kylie!

    I have rainwashed in my entryway (which I just love) but can’t find a color to put on the top of my small dining room. Afraid to go with too much blue or similar shades. Looking for a subtle greyer blue color and failing. Any thoughts?
    Thank you!
    Dylan

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      Hi Dylan, thank you for your note! When it comes to questions like yours, I actually created an Edesign business – this way I can look at photos/questionnaire and come up with ideas that work, otherwise I’m TOTALLY guessing on what things look like on your end! It is affordable and fun! If you find that the complimentary blog post info isn’t working, it might be the next step! https://www.kylieminteriors.ca/online-decorating-design-services/
      ~Kylie

  12. Hello. Just started following your blog, which I love. We are closing on a new home soon and I am looking at tons of colors. Your information has really helped. I am absolutely in love with the edgecomb gray and white dove pic by BM that you have posted. The look is similar to the home we are purchasing. Do you have recommendations for similar/equivalent colors in Sherwin-Williams? Thanks for all the great info!

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      Hi Haddie, unfortunately there isn’t really a comparable in SW – but you could ask them to colour match it for you? It won’t be 100% but close, just check it with the original sample 🙂

  13. Hi Kylie ! I love your site; I think I’ve read every article multiple times in the last 3-4 weeks. We plan to paint our southwest facing DR in BM Newburyport Blue, and the adjoining northwest facing FR in BM Stonington Gray. I was thinking about painting all the trim in White Dove, but the room can we quite dark. What trim color would you recommend ??

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      Oooo, I’m liking the sounds of that! White Dove is just a versatile, easy white to work with! I also like the slightly more clean approach of Oxford White. If you have a lot of ‘white’ in your home, Oxford might be a better fit, but if you have some softer whites, White Dove could be better (I also love SW Pure White which is kind of in between the 2).

      I’d LOVE to see the Newburyport all done!

      ~Kylie

      1. Thanks Kylie! I will definitely send you pictures once it’s done. But it looks like the room actually has a northeast / north / slightly north west orientation (as opposed to NW-SW). I’m worried that the Stonington will read too cold with the northern light …. so now I’m shifting to Silver Satin (FR) and Newburyport Blue (DR) instead. What do you think about Simply White trim? The southwest side of the house will be Smoke Embers … lots of sunlight there, so no issues there.

  14. Hi I’m having my kitchen completely redone. I have to pick a white for my cabinets. I don’t want that cold steel look. I’m looking at both cloud white and dove white. I have one white shutter in my kitchen that is in between two cabinets- I would like to keep that shutter and would like the new white cabinet to match my shutter. Is that going to be problematic? I worry about how it will match my new cabinets. I’m going with a warm wood look on my floor, stainless steel appliances. Considering the anthracite silgranite sink, or cinder colour. I want to add warmth to the room. My countertop will be quartz- Looking at callacatta tuano which is white, but has warm greyge tones,I also saw another that is cooler, but nice and I like it as well. It has a black vein with a cooler grey in it. What’s a safe white with my current situation??

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      Hi Paula, without knowing the exact white of your shutter, there just won’t be a safe white that I can recommend! Between Cloud White and White Dove, I would lean MORE toward White Dove, but again, we just can’t know! If you want it to match the shutter perfectly, you’d want to take it into the store and have them colour match it for you… 🙂

  15. Hi Kylie,
    Thank you for this post and all your responses to your reader’s questions. It has been very helpful! I have narrowed down my wall paint choice to Cloud White. I’m stuck as to what color to paint the trim (the painter just started using a basic white w/o checking with me first). Before he goes any further, what do you recommend- should I be using cloud white on all the trim as well? I am concerned about different undertones competing… Just not sure if there should be contrast between the walls and trim or not.
    Thanks in advance for your advice!
    Kim

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      HI Kim, well if it were ME, I would do Cloud White trim too! The cool thing is that because trim is generally a satin or semi-gloss finish and the walls are either ulti-matte or eggshell, there can be a weeee subtle shift between the 2 surfaces to set things off slightly, without worrying about undertones. I wouldn’t do white…I hope that helps 🙂

      1. Hi, Kylie

        I love reading your posts. The information is always very informative. We are in the process of repainting our master bedroom and master bathroom. There is a large cut glass window over the tub in the bathroom, and the window faces northwest. We have a new Caesarstone Taj Royale countertop. We installed Crema Cappuccino marble in the shower and the floor of the bathroom. The cabinets are painted BM Whital Brown. We decided to paint the walls BM Maritime White, but are having difficulty choosing the trim color. We’ve used Maritime White trim in the rest of the house, but the color looks very brownish in the bathroom on the wall facing Northwest. We are considering BM White Dove and BM Cloud White. The bedroom will be painted BM Manchester Tan, and we hope to use the same trim in the bedroom and the bathroom. Do you have any recommendations? We appreciate your time and your expertise.
        Thank you,
        Dana

  16. Hi Kylie, thank you so much for sharing your experience and knowledge! We are trying to find the best white paint color for our kitchen cabinets. Our trim and crown molding is a close match to BM’s Super White but I’m afraid the kitchen will come across too stark if we go with that. I’m wondering if BM Simply White or SW Pure White would work without it clashing or looking awkward with the trim. If it matters, our walls are Revere Pewter (1/3 darker), Verde Peacock granite (black with green and brown) and yellowish oak floors. I’m also open to other neutral paint colors for the cabinets as long as it won’t go out of style any time soon! I so appreciate any direction and insight you can provide.

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      Hi Jen! Without knowing what that trim is, it’s hard to say, but i AM a big fan of matching my whites for consistency…definitely. From the sounds of it, Pure White might be a better choice as it isn’t as yellow as Simply White, but not AS stark as some whites (but it is more white than not…)

      1. I wanted to come back and thank you for your input but couldn’t find my post! We had to put our cabinets on hold but are revisiting the idea again. It seems that BM Decorator’s White blends the best with our trim but I am nervous to pick a white that leans cool. SW Extra White is the other contender. Hopefully we will pick the “right” white 🙂

  17. Hi Kylie, you are very color savvy! Hope you have some advice for me.
    We are building a new home, so a fixed white starting point for me is the Alpine White of my maple Homecrest brand kitchen cabinets. I also fell in love with LGHausys Viatera Minuet quartz for the countertop. I asked Home Depot to do a custom color match of the cabinet sample – I saved the formula but did not buy a sample pot. They also analyzed which of their current colors would be the closest match – Behr Arcade White (Behr is the brand our builder suggested, but could use another brand perhaps at additional cost). When I brought some swatches home to compare, it did seem to be a close match to the cabinet sample, but I was shocked at how dark it was! Not sure I want that on all the trim and doors in the house, and not sure that it would look ok with the other wall colors I like. I want a light bright, but warm feel to the house – we are building in a Great Lakes beach town. Our floors will be a light finished red oak hardwood. Would using the matching formula, but requesting to lighten it 50% be a possible solution? How should I proceed? Colors all look different depending on weather, time of day, light direction, and what they are paired with! Any advice would be most welcome! Thanks!

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      Hi Nancy! When it comes to Behr, I’m just not as familiar with their colours to really be able to touch on that for you – my focus is primarily BM and SW. There is no harm in asking them to do 50% lighter, but at that shift you can expect the undertones to change, so be sure to do a LARGE sample to make sure you like it. Personally, I’m inclined to keep cabinets/trim/ceilings all the same, but that’s not always possible 😉

  18. Hi Kylie,
    I’ve read your articles on whites at least a dozen times since we’ve started building our new house. My problem is that I keep going back between simply white, cloud white and white dove for cabinets and trim. We have lots of windows facing north east in our open concept and I would like a warm white that is not too bright and doesn’t look dingy either. I love white dove online, but the sample I’ve painted looks a bit green (or dingy). Could that be because the sample is a flatter sheen than cabinets will actually be?? What do you suggest?

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      Hi Monique – you are SO right, the sheen of the cabinets will ABSOLUTELY affect how the colours look! Cabinets are usually a satin/pearl finish (I love BM Advance) and that can make things look that bit brighter. From what I’m hearing, don’t do Cloud White. I wonder if you might like White Dove slightly lightened. Sadly, it’s not an easy thing to sample, but the idea is that they add 4-6 drops of white to the gallon of White Dove, which just lifts it a stitch. That is my BEST thought for you 🙂 I do love Simply White, but find it can look a wink yellowish for my tastes 🙂

  19. Do you ever work with Dunn-Edwards paint? My trim in the entire house is semi gloss Whisper white. The ceilings are flat whisper white. I want to paint my kitchen cabinets semi gloss whisper white and the walls the same white in a velvet. Would this be okay? Is Whisper white a warm white?

  20. Buying a “Cape ” house and want the entire inside to be white . I have to paint trim , 3 built in bookcases and an 80’s brick fireplace and kitchen cabinets. I don’t want any cream but just a white that will go with grays and beige in furniture and rugs. I need to do this asap and my head is spinning. I envision a crisp white on walls and kitchen cabinets and all the trim and builtins a slight different….please help. I thought maybe BM Chanitilly lace but now after reading a bit I’m totally confused. Any suggestions

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      Author

      Hi Kathy, you might want to check out Sherwin Williams High Reflective White, which is just pretty darned white and flexible! I love SW Pure White too, but it is a wink warmer/softer. As for the built-ins, I wouldn’t do them a different white. If you’re doing white throughout, I would do the same white, otherwise, you’ll enhance the undertones in the different whites.

  21. Kylie~Please Help!!!
    Builder paint is all SW Dover White. Looking to go with either SW Agreeable gray or Worldy and using BM White Dove for trim & doors throughout. The painter suggested leaving the ceilings SW Dover White to have the crown & trim POP! Shouldn’t my whites be all the same?

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      Hi Katie! Probably not. Ballet White has a decent depth to it and it really DOES come to life when it has some trim to contrast with. I’d look at BM White Dove :).

  22. I just want to say how awesome you are! My hubby and I love your posts. You really know your stuff, and you are an excellent writer with humor to boot. Thank you for sharing your expertise!

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      Oh Jenny, thank you, I’m glad you guys think I’m funny – my hubby doesn’t always agree (I think I’m ALWAYS funny 😉

      Happy painting!

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  23. Hi! I’m remodeling my entire first floor. Ugh….putting up Half walls of shiplap . Repainting all trim and cabinets. Should I paint the trim/shiplap the same color white as the cabinets?

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  24. Wow – so much information on whites. We are repainting our ranch home in Florida. U shaped house and moving from a creamy white (all looks yellow to me now) to a white. Going for the California coastal modern feel with black windows outside and white on the inside. The issue – we have saltillo tile throughout the house. We tried simply white and I see yellow. Thinking of chantilly lace but thought I’d see if you’ve ever worked with a home with saltillo tile. Looking for a clean white look. I want to stop fighting the floors and let them stand on their own. Kitchen cabinets would be the same. We have honed black granite along the perimeter but changing out the island to make it lighter. White with light top. Going nuts on all the options.

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      Hi Mary! I do find that the Saltillo tiles work a bit better with slightly warmer whites vs stark or cold ones. Take a look at SW Pure White perhaps. I do love Chantilly and it can look great if you have south-facing light, but it can look a bit chilly if you have north-facing light! And whites are THE WORST to sample as the undertones tend to be OVERexposed, so you have to be super patient. And while I never rely 100% on Pinterest, I do sometimes find it easier to base things on Pinterest as in person, those white samples can just look pretty colourful!

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