What are the best, WHITEST shades in the TOP BRANDS? Let’s find out!
When picking the BEST white paint color, it’s easy to take a wrong turn into the wrong undertones. And while I’ve covered MANY versions of white (including the kind that fills my glass on a nightly basis), today we’re going to chat about the WHITEST white paint colors!
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while (thank you for drinking the Ginger-flavored Kool-aid), you’ll know that LRV matters.
WHAT IS LRV?
If you don’t know, you get three slaps with a wet noodle and need to read this blog post ASAP – it’s also good for those needing a refresher!
The WHITEST white paint colors will have the highest LRV numbers. And while LRV goes up to 100, in the ‘real person paint world,’ we only going up to 94, as we’re not slapping scientific white on our walls (it’s not available and only shows up on my bum cheeks in the dead of winter – yes, Mom, I said that).
The WHITEST white paint colors will have the highest LRV numbers
Sherwin Williams Pure White
It’s also important not to judge a color by its name. For example, Sherwin Williams has a GORGEOUS white called Pure White (one of my faves), but let me tell you – it ain’t ‘pure white.’
AND LASTLY, after reading this list, PLEASE keep reading, as I have some IMPORTANT NOTES for you to consider BEFORE you start sampling white paint colors!
The WHITEST White Paint Colors
1. BEHR ULTRA PURE WHITE PR-W15
Ultra Pure White is THE whitest white paint color on the market. And even though I’m in long-term relationships with Ben and Sherm, sometimes I refer to this WHITEST white paint color as the best shade for a project.
And don’t ask me why Behr has four different Ultra Pure Whites (I’ve sent an email asking) – it seems like a great way to complicate things if you ask me. Stick with PR-W15 until I learn otherwise.
Why doesn’t EVERY brand have a white that’s THIS WHITE?
Good question – you get a gold star! Different brands use different BASES to create their paint, and not all white bases were created equally. This is why every brand has a different ‘white,’ and it’s not the same right across the board (it’s also why you should NEVER color match between brands).
2. KELLY MOORE WHITEST WHITE KMW43-1
You’d think that with an LRV of 94.62, Whitest White would be in the number one spot, and it SHOULD be (technically). But what I’m talking about are the WHITEST whites, and even though its LRV is a weeee willy wink higher, Behr Ultra Pure White looks a touch cleaner. This could simply be because Behrs ‘white base’ is a cleaner white – but really, either will do the trick.
3. SHERWIN WILLIAMS HIGH REFLECTIVE WHITE 7757
Sherwin Williams High Reflective White is a white I refer to ALL THE TIME in my Online Paint Color Consulting. With its LRV of 93, it’s pretty dang white. It looks SLIGHTLY warm compared to Ultra Pure White, but remember, that’s just ‘in comparison.’ High Reflective White can also look a bit stark and cool compared to a warmer white!
High Reflective White is WHITER looking than Chantilly Lace (#4), but NOT quite as white as Ultra Pure White. Compare the two, and you WILL see that shift, with HRW looking a wink softer (but again, it’s really a pretty legit white white).
HOWEVER, High Reflective White isn’t easy to get at every Sherwin William’s store – you have a 50/50 shot. If you want to learn how to get it, READ THIS.
4. BENJAMIN MOORE CHANTILLY LACE OC-65
According to Benjamin Moore, their WHITEST shade is Chantilly Lace, with an LRV of 90.04. The LRV has changed as it used to be 92.2 (they’ve improved their color reading technology).
And while it looks like a pretty DARN WHITE WHITE, it can come off just a WINK warm/soft in comparison to Behr Ultra Pure White (but really, it’s a gorgeous white and one I refer to ALL THE TIME when I don’t want a totally stark white).
Chantilly Lace – third down
BTW, people are OFTEN fooled by Benjamin Moore’s Simply White, as it can look quite white as well (LRV of 89.52). HOWEVER, it has a pop of yellow undertone, so be careful where you put it.
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5. FARROW & BALL ALL WHITE 2005
In the words of the great Matthew McConaughey – all wight all wight all wight! With an LRV of 91.8, All White will look white but can come off a bit softer than the others with its slightly lower LRV. While ‘generally speaking,’ the first four colors all do a similar job, All White is just a bit noticeably softer.
WHITE PAINT COLORS & EXPOSURE
I’m not talking FULL-exposure (one of my fave past-times) but the type of exposure coming in your windows – north, east, south, west.
The quality and color of the natural light coming in your windows will shift how white paint colors look. This has a lot to do with their HIGH LRV, as with that high LRV (light reflectance value) they REFLECT more light!
- north-facing light – cool gray light with a blue tinge (read more)
- east-facing light – slightly warm, yellow light (read more)
- south-facing light – yellow-orange (but white at the height of day) (read more)
- west-facing light – yellow-orange, going even more golden at the end of the day (read more)
If you pick one of the above whites but think it looks a bit blue/yellow/etc…it’s not the paint color ITSELF but the light it reflects. This can ALSO happen if you have a lot of greenery outside, such as trees, landscaping, and grass – nature of the beast!
So, there you have it. If you want more reading, I have TONS of blog posts on the best white paint colors, so check out the links below!
PEOPLE ALSO ASK…
WHAT IS THE NEW WHITEST WHITE PAINT CREATED?
Scientists have created a white for residential/commercial use with an LRV of 95.5. As you know, I’m not a scientist; I’m a certified color nerd. The idea is that this SUPER bright white will help with climate change, being used on exterior roofs and siding to reflect the sun. However, an intense white like this won’t necessarily be liveable for the average homeowner on their walls.
Stuart Semple has also created a beta version of his WHITEST WHITE which is said to reflect 99.6% percent of light – HOLY FREAKIN’ CANNOLI! This could be fantastic for artists, but again, I’m not sure we’ll be seeing it on our walls any time soon (I’m a big fan of Semple, as he’s a cheeky monkey).
IS ULTRA WHITE THE WHITEST WHITE FOR INTERIOR WALLS?
No, Ultra White isn’t the whitest, but it’s DARN CLOSE. Kelly Moore’s Whitest White KMW 43.1 is the brightest, with its LRV 94.62. However, Ultra White’s LRV of 94.4 is so close you’re really comparing apples to apples.
Check out my Online Paint Color Consulting packages