Benjamin Moore Decorator’s White: LRV, Undertones & a Little More
If you’ve been looking for the WHITEST white paint color, you’ve come to the right place – but the wrong blog post. Because while I DO have a blog post specific to that topic, Decorator’s White is FAR from being the whitest white on the market and today you’re going to find out why!
In order to show you RELATEABLE & REAL homes, I ONLY use photos from my Online Color Consulting clients. This means I don’t always have the range of pics I need, but DEFINITELY have some SUPER helpful info to help you on your way!
What type of paint color is Decorator’s White? Is it warm or cool? Is it a TRUE white?
Decorator’s White is definitely a white paint color with a COOL vibe thanks to some sneaky little undertones (which we’ll chat about shortly). However, it’s not a TRUE white as its LRV is lower than the WHITER white paint colors.
In the above photo, you’ll see Decorator’s White at the BOTTOM below some much whiter whites!
If you have north-facing light, you may find Decorator’s White leaning that wink cooler and more into its undertones, whereas in warmer light, like south-facing or afternoon western sunshine, it can soften up without looking creamy.
What’s the LRV of Decorator’s White?
Decorator’s White has an LRV of 84.61, so it’s actually a CONSIDERABLY soft white compared to some of the whiter options.
In the above photo, notice how Decorator’s White compares to the CLEAN white of the door (especially on the right-hand side).
Not sure what LRV is? It could save your paint lovin’ life – read all about it HERE.
What are the undertones of Decorator’s White? Will it look blue, purple, green or gray?
Decorator’s White has a wee wink o’ gray in it which means it can pick up blue, green or purple undertones, of which Decorator’s White favours purple (slight purple-blue).
Now, a little before and after of a bathroom for sharts and giggles (pun intended, considering it IS a bathroom…)
SO much better in marble in Decorator’s White…
Being a white paint color (high reflectance), if you put it in a room with a lot of greenery outside or tint on the windows it can pick up green quite easily. And to answer your original question, no, Decorator’s White rarely looks like a committed blue, green OR purple – the undertones tend to fall CONSIDERABLY back and only show up seriously if partnered with a white with too much yellow in it.
What’s the best way to sample Decorator’s White and other white paint colors?
Like with every paint color, I highly recommend using SAMPLIZE. Samplize is a peel & stick paint sample that you can easily move around your room for over HALF THE COST of traditional sample pots – and they deliver right to your front door!
With whites, in particular, I recommend comparing them to OTHER whites, but not to paper/poster board. That white, in particular, is unpredictable and can cast quite cool, skewing the undertones of any white you put it with. The best way to pick a white is to compare it to OTHER whites you’re considering for your project!
Learn all about Samplize HERE
If my walls are Decorator’s White, what white paint color should I use on my trim?
Well, it depends…
- If you want to keep thing simple, you can use Decorator’s White on your trim/ceilings/doors and just let the shift in SHEEN do the work for you
- If you want to show off the soft white look of Decorator’s White, you would partner it with a clean, bright white, preferably Behr Ultra Pure White for the WHITEST, cleanest contrast
Read more: Benjamin Moore’s 8 Best White Paint Colors
Can I Paint my Kitchen Cabinets or Bathroom Vanity Decorator’s White?
That’s a tough one as there are SEVERAL considerations…
- If you paint your kitchen cabinets Decorator’s White, there’s a GOOD chance you’d paint your trim/ceilings/doors the same white for consistency. Then, because it’s best to have the trims and what not the SAME white in your main living areas, you’d want Decorator’s White in your other rooms as well, at which point it can REALLY LIMIT YOU with it’s lower LRV and undertones – it’s NOT a flexible white
- If you want to do a white subway tile backsplash, most won’t match Decorator White’s LRV and undertones
- You COULD paint JUST your cabinets Decorator’s White, but you’d need a VERY CLEAN WHITE on your trims, and they WILL expose the lower LRV/undertones of Decorator’s White in comparison
- If you paint a bathroom vanity Decorator’s White, you would do the trim/ceiling/that side of the door the same color. HOWEVER, being a more contained space compared to main living areas, you could transition to a more flexible white in other spaces, but I wouldn’t do an overly warm one or the difference will be too noticeable
The thing is, with it’s lower LRV and undertones, Decorator’s White ISN’T a white I’d use in my WHOLE HOME as it would limit me too much, it’s best on a ‘per-room’ basis.
Is Decorator’s White a good color for the exterior of my home?
Decorator’s White can definitely work on exterior trim or siding, depending on the look you’re going for.
- If you have COOL toned siding with similar undertones (ie: gray with blue-purple undertones), Decorator’s White can be a nice trim color
- If you want a white exterior (siding/brick), it can be a clean cool look, but note, if you have white windows, you WILL see a shift between the house/trim/windows as they’ll be different whites
Read more: 5 Tips to Choosing an Exterior Paint Color
What Sherwin Williams paint colors are similar to or EXACTLY THE SAME as Decorator’s White?
The elusive ‘perfect color match’ – sadly, it doesn’t exist. Every color has its own particular nuances and there will be NO perfect match – you WILL see shifts in undertones, temperature and depths, ESPECIALLY with white paint colors. For a color with similar intentions, you could check out…
- Sherwin Williams Extra White (lacks the violet)
And if you’re thinking of color matching between brands (ie: getting BM to make an SW paint color), you might want to read THIS first.
Remember, LIGHT BULBS affect how a paint color looks – READ THIS!
What type of paint colors go with Decorator’s White?
You’ll want to be VERY CAREFUL with Decorator’s White, as being a COOL white it’s pretty particular about its partners. Ideally, it likes colors such as…
- cool grays with similar undertones in a VARIETY of depths
- cleaner whites
- blue paint colors with a violet undertone
- violet paint colors with a subtle blue undertone
Not sure if Decorator’s White is right for you? I’ve got more!
BENJAMIN MOORE CHANTILLY LACE
BENJAMIN MOORE OXFORD WHITE
Not sure which white to pick?
Check out my Online Paint Color Consulting – I’d love to help!