WALLS, CABINETS, TRIMS: THESE POPULAR WHITES HAVE YOU COVERED
If you’ve been looking for that perfect white paint colour for your walls, trims or kitchen cabinets, I’m sure you’ll agree when I say that white is a force to be reckoned with. If you’re not at that point yet, once you have 20 different shades of white slapped on your walls, are elbow-deep in a wine bottle and are ready to toss said bottle at the wall, I’m sure you’ll jump on board the crazy train!
So, I’m here to de-mystify whites for you. That doesn’t mean you’ll know exactly which white is best for your room and its particular needs (reading this can help), but it will help you figure out which whites you DON’T want based on their undertones.
Above all else, here’s the most important thing to know – white is THE most reflective colour. What does this mean to you? It means that white LOVES to mess with you. It will take colours from its surroundings and flash them on the walls – giving you a colour that you maaaaybe hadn’t bargained on, for example:
- if you have a lot of green/trees/grass outside your window, one or more of your walls might look slightly green
- with northern exposure, your walls might look more gray-blue toned
- If you have southern exposure, your walls might look softer and warmer, even creamy
- furniture that’s a particular ‘colour’ (ie: red/blue/green/etc…) can reflect onto your walls
- warm-toned bulbs will make your white will look warmer (picking the best KELVINS for your paint colour)
And THEN it will all change at night when the sun goes down. Really? Yup, and the ONLY thing you can do is make the best-educated decision you can based on what you learn here.
So, I’ve chosen sample blobs (super technical term) to give you a general idea of what you can expect to see. Remember, these are just computerized blobs, so don’t get yer’ knickers in a knot if a colour looks too colourful/yellow/gray/blue/etc…instead, hop into your local Benjamin Moore store to see the samples in REAL-life.
1. BENJAMIN MOORE SUPER WHITE OC-152
LRV 89.09 (learn more)
Super White is very subtly cool white. But even with this slightly cool vibe, the overall look is simple, clean and great for modern spaces.
Above, BM Super White. Below, BM White OC-151
THE BEST ROOMS FOR SUPER WHITE
- If you have a south-facing light, Super White is a great way to balance the warm light without tipping TOO yellow (as it will pick up some of the sun’s warmth).
- Rooms with warm western afternoon sunshine also suit the slightly cool approach of Super White, just make sure you like how it looks in the morning hours too!
WHERE NOT TO USE SUPER WHITE
- If you want a stark bright white. The slightly lower LRV of Super White makes it softer than some others, but the cool tone helps it look white and crisp, but there are BRIGHTER whites.
- With any surface or finish even REMOTELY related to a warm Tuscan style.
FULL Paint Colour Review of Benjamin Moore Super White
2. BENJAMIN MOORE WHITE DOVE OC-17
LRV 83.16 (PREVIOUSLY 85.38) (learn more)
White Dove is a soft, warm white paint colour. It has a warm creamy yellow undertone that’s WELL grounded with a neutral base to calm it down. While some don’t love the bit of yellow in White Dove, most find it acts like a passive warmth, not an actual ‘colour’.
White Dove accommodates many different paint colours because while it’s a warm white, it has a slight neutral base bringing the warmth down. It doesn’t come off as creamy and warm as Cloud White, but also isn’t as clean as Chantilly Lace (both coming shortly). White Dove is a soft white, so it won’t act like white, but a softer warmer version of it.
THE BEST ROOMS FOR WHITE DOVE
- No matter what your exposure is, White Dove is a great option, knowing that it WILL look a bit warmer in southern light and flatter in northern light (as will any warm white).
- It’s a starting place for homes with warmer cream, beige or tan finishes (meaning you wouldn’t want a WHITER white).
WHERE NOT TO USE WHITE DOVE
White Dove only acts like a TRUE white when it’s not compared to a LEGIT bright white and is in the right lighting conditions.
FULL Paint Colour Review of Benjamin Moore White Dove
3. BENJAMIN MOORE SIMPLY WHITE OC-117
LRV: 89.52 (PREVIOUSLY) 91.7 (learn more)
Simply White has a yellow undertone, making it a warm white paint colour. This undertone can be subtle at times, acting more like a true white, but partner it with a cool tone and it can show up a bit more to the party.
Simply White is a great, slightly fresh, warm approach to white. Its yellow undertone is noticeable, but isn’t always obnoxious – adding a touch of life, without too much ‘colour’. It’s a popular choice for kitchen cabinets if you want a bright white, but not stark look, but is touch-and-go with marble because of the yellow in it. Simply White can act like white (in the absence of a ‘real’ white), but watch out for its warmth if you aren’t a fan of yellow-whites.
THE BEST ROOMS FOR SIMPLY WHITE
I rarely refer to Simply White in my Online Paint Colour Consulting. Why? Because I can usually get the job done BETTER with Chantilly Lace, Cloud White or White Dove. Why? Because the yellow in Simply White is that BIT more noticeable.
But, this doesn’t mean Simply White isn’t the best white for you and YOUR home. If you’re looking for a BRIGHT white, not a soft white and have northern light, it can be a fabulous choice!
WHERE TO AVOID USING SIMPLY WHITE
- If your walls are a stronger blue, green or violet.
- It’s okay with grays with those undertones, but not always great with more crisp, clean cool colours – UNLESS you love the play of that warm/cool contrast.
- I’m also hesitant in south-facing rooms as the warmth of the southern light can really jack up the yellow in Simply White.
Shown here with Benjamin Moore Collingwood
FULL Paint Colour Review of Benjamin Moore Simply White
4. BENJAMIN MOORE CHANTILLY LACE OC-65
LRV 90.04 (PREVIOUSLY 92.2) (learn more)
Chantilly Lace is a lovely white that’s one of the WHITEST white paint colours (it’s only beaten by two others!). It has no noticeable undertone, making it neither warm nor cool, which also means it’s SUPER susceptible to responding to the colours in its environment.
Chantilly Lace is a simple, clean choice if you’re looking to use white. It can be a bit chilly for a north-facing room as it will reflect some of that cool gray-blue look, however, in a south-facing room, it can have a beautiful soft warmth to it. It’s often referred to as the best ‘whitest white’ paint colour.
Chantilly Lace is a great white for a super hot sun like you’d find in Hawaii as the sun will warm up your white considerably!
If your trim and baseboards ‘seem’ to be white (but you don’t know what colour they actually are) Chantilly Lace might be a good match. There’s also Benjamin Moore White OC 151 which is just slightly grayed-out compared to Super White, but still pretty damn white.
THE BEST ROOMS FOR CHANTILLY LACE
- Rooms where you want a fresh white paint colour that acts like white without being icy cold (although it could look this way in cold northern exposure).
- It’s HUGELY flexible with a WIDE variety of paint colours, so if you have rooms in multiple colours, this could be your white paint colour.
WHEN TO AVOID CHANTILLY LACE
- If you’re looking for a soft warm white, this isn’t it, unless you look at it in the late afternoon in western sunshine.
Click HERE or on the above image to see your available packages!
5. BENJAMIN MOORE ATRIUM WHITE OC-145
LRV 87.04 (learn more)
If you’re looking for a white paint colour with a pink undertone, this will be one of your BEST shots at it. Atrium White isn’t one of the more popular white paint colours and this is BECAUSE of its undertone. Because of the TYPE of pink it has, Atrium White is a slightly WARM white, not a cold one.
Atrium White is the ‘prettiest’ of the bunch with its weeee willy wink o’ pink! Atrium White will generally act like white in the absence of a real white, but watch out, if you have yellow or green tones in the room it can activate the pink – and not in a good way!
THE BEST ROOMS FOR ATRIUM WHITE
Personally, I’ve only recommended Atrium White one time (in over 7000 consults). Pink is a hard undertone to accommodate when it comes time to outfit your home in hard and soft finishes, as well as coordinate with other paint colours.
Long story short, the BEST room for Atrium White is…
- a room that already has finishes with pink undertones
- for someone who LOVES pink undertones
WHEN TO AVOID ATRIUM WHITE
All the time. Just joking, kind of, but actually, yes. Unless you NEED a pink undertone or LOVE a pink undertone, don’t do it.
6. BENJAMIN MOORE DECORATORS WHITE
LRV 82.68 (PREVIOUSLY 84.69) (learn more)
Decorator’s White is a popular white paint colour with its subtle undertones of gray and violet (violet-blue), making it a COOL white paint colour.
Decorators White might look like a pretty ‘white-white’, but it’s just a flash on the cool side with a touch of gray and blue-purple undertones. Decorators White will act like white when partnered with cool wall colours, but against ‘white’ you’ll see that shadow in it.
THE BEST ROOMS FOR DECORATORS WHITE
When you want with a subtle cool, but not overly STARK vibe.
WHEN TO AVOID DECORATORS WHITE
With its undertones and lower LRV, I wouldn’t recommend Decorators White for cabinets, trims and doors unless you ALWAYS want to live in the cooler end of things (specifically violet-blue).
FULL Paint Colour Review of Benjamin Moore Decorator’s White
Can I Paint My North Facing Room White?
SAMPLIZE PEEL & STICK
Undoubtedly, you’ll be heading out in the near future to grab paint samples – stop right there! I want you to check out SAMPLIZE. Samplize offers peel-and-stick paint samples that are more AFFORDABLE, EASIER and more ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY than traditional paint pots. Here are just a few reasons why I recommend Samplize to my clients…
- samples arrive ON YOUR DOORSTEP in 1-3 business days, depending on the location
- more affordable than the samples pots/rollers/foam boards that are needed for traditional paint sampling
- if you keep the samples on their white paper, you can move them around the room
Visit the SAMPLIZE website HERE
7. BENJAMIN MOORE CLOUD WHITE OC-130
LRV 85.05 (PREVIOUSLY 87.35) (learn more)
Cloud White is one of the BEST warm white paint colours from Benjamin Moore. With its soft cream (yellow) undertone, Cloud White offers warmth without being ‘colourful’ as it has a neutral base to calm it down.
Cloud White won’t act like white as it has more warmth to it. However, for those wanting a softer approach, it can be a GREAT choice for cabinets, walls, trims and more.
Cloud White on the left, compared to the slightly softer White Dove in the middle
Cloud White is one of my fave whites when I don’t want a typical clean white and crave something more subtle.
In this next photo, compare Cloud White to the white trim – this is a great way to see the creamy warmth in Cloud White compared to a more standard shade of white…
Can I Paint My North Facing Room White?
THE BEST ROOMS FOR CLOUD WHITE
- When you want a relatively versatile white that works well with earth tones, warm paint colours and some cool colours.
WHEN TO AVOID CLOUD WHITE
- If you don’t love warm whites.
- If you love CLEAN-looking whites.
FULL Paint Colour Review of Benjamin Moore Cloud White
8. BENJAMIN MOORE SWISS COFFEE OC-45
LRV 81.91 (PREVIOUSLY 83.93) (learn more)
Swiss Coffee is a popular white paint colour, due in part to Studio McGee using it in their own home – but this doesn’t mean it’s best for YOURS. Swiss Coffee is very comparable to White Dove, not just in LRV, but in a general approach. HOWEVER, the difference between the two is that Swiss Coffee is slightly more likely to pick up a wee tiny touch of green.
THE BEST ROOMS FOR SWISS COFFEE
- Swiss Coffee’s passive warmth makes it a great choice for any exposure, knowing that it WILL look that bit warmer in southern light and flatter in northern light (as will any warm white)
WHERE NOT TO USE SWISS COFFEE
- I would be less inclined to partner Swiss Coffee with finishes that have a pink or taupe undertone, as I would worry about the undertones bouncing off each other a bit
- if I have a choice, I’ll choose White Dove over Swiss Coffee EVERY TIME – I find it more predictable
Get your SAMPLIZE PEEL & STICK paint samples of Kylie M’s recommended paint colors.
The Ultimate Guide to White Paint Colours
The 4 Best Sherwin Williams White Paint Colours
White Kitchen Cabinets: 3 Palettes to Create a Beautiful White Kitchen
How to Choose the Best White for your Kitchen Cabinets
Not sure which white is best for your home?
Check out my E-design & Online Color Consulting Packages – I’d love to help!
Originally written in 2018, awesomely updated in 2021
I notice that know one ever mentions rooms that face east or west. I can find no information on using
paint in these facing rooms. Humor me! Why aren’t they mentioned? And what changes do or don’t happen to paint color in those rooms?
Thanks for enlightening me 🙂
Hi Patty, you’re right – it isn’t talked about and I DO have a blog post waiting in my drafts about it! The reason is because east and west rooms change DRASTICALLY throughout the day – they are one way in the morn and literally the OPPOSITE in the afternoon – so there is a good degree of unpredictability with them.
I WILL be chatting about it soon though!
Is alabaster nice for sunroom facing north floor porcelain tile off white and beige is a farm furniture off white chimeneas in whir wash bricks I want to look conf and happy?
Hi Griseet! Alabaster is nice and the warmth of it will fall back a bit as the north facing light will gray it out slightly. Hope that helps! If you would like me to look at the room and advise I do have an affordable and fun e-design services! https://www.kylieminteriors.ca/online-decorating-design-services/
Can’t wait for the Sherwin Williams version of this post! I chose Alabaster for my open floor plan trim, doors and kitchen cabinets and I am pairing it with Agreeable Gray!
Yes, it should be a good one! I DO love Alabaster and great idea, pairing it with Agreeable Gray – you’re right on track!
This is great! But where does Ballet White fit in with these?
Hi Nancy! Ballet White is another beautiful, flexible neutral, but it has more weight to it than a typical white – I wouldn’t ever use it on trim or cabinets I’m sure! It’s a great lighter wall option though.
Where does Navajo White fit in here? Or doesn’t it?????
Hi Celia, I LOVE Navajo White, but it’s actually more in the ‘light’ range (on the lighter side of it) rather than the white or off-white. Navajo White does look beautiful with Cloud White trim!
Thanks, Kylie! So, excuse my ignorance but what’s the difference between “light” and “white”? Is a “light” color a less intense version of a particular color? (Sorry if that question doesn’t make sense).
No problem at all! So basically there is white – which is really as ‘light’ as colours can possibly get – they have the LEAST amount of colourant in them so they are the most white. Next there is off-white, white is a white with MORE colourant in it, so it’s a stitch darker. And THEN there’s a light colour, which is where you’d start seeing some decent contrast between ‘white’ trim and ‘light’ walls. Does that make sense? The more colourant that is added the darker a colour gets! Does that help???
Can Navaho white be used for ceiling?
It can be, but personally I’d go for something more muted as Navajo does have some decent colour to it. It really does depend on what you’re pairing it with/ceiling texture/exposure, but generally I might go to something softer like Cloud White.
Love your posts. And you are only a little distance from us in Vancouver 🙂
We are using White Dove for our trim throughout our 2 bedroom apartment.
What do you think of Dove Wing for a wall colour? We have a beautiful gray sofa….
Well hello West Coast Sue! I LOVE White Dove and I LOVE Dove Wing which is just so soft and gentle and won’t fall as cold on our gray days (of which there have been more lately… boooooo).
I have repose gray on my walls now and it looks lilac at night. I’m going to be painting my wood floors in the same room and I have been considering simply white but will it make the lilac worse? The trim color I use is pure white and I have considered that but I think it might be too harsh of a white in a large well lit space.
Hi Jacquelyn! While Simply White is one of the more safe warm whites, it might still be just a wink too warm if you’re finding the undertones of Repose Gray to be a problem. I might go to a more clean white like SW Pure White which does have a wink of warmth, but it’s fractional compared to Simply White 🙂
Thank you so much! I really appreciate the advice and tips on your blog it’s been a real help decorating my first home.
I too am curious about the Sherwin Williams best whites! I am currently painting a bath in Requisite Grey lightened 25%. Looking for a warm , soft white for trim and ceiling which will also be continued throughout our home. Heck! Gotta start somewhere. Thinking about SW White Flour or BM Cloud White. Any thoughts?
Ask and ye shall receive! https://www.kylieminteriors.ca/the-4-best-white-paint-colours-sherwin-williams/ BTW, for what you’re looking for, I think BM Cloud White would be the best choice – and SW doesn’t have one QUITE like it…
I’ve spent hours on your blog over the past week, and finally picked some colors yesterday. I have a north east exposure kitchen with white cabinets, medium oak floors, and lg viatera quartz countertops in the color minuet, bronze hardware and antique gold lighting. I picked colonnade grey by sherwin Williams. In my low-light, north facing, cathedral ceilinged (is that a triple whammy?!), medium oak floored family room I picked sw summer white (to warm things up?). In my northeast exposed master with vanilla carpet I picked collonade gray. In my northern master bath with gray cabinets, (similar to a lightened functional gray best I can tell), dark wood look tile, minuet quartz counters, antique gold lighting and bronze hardware, I picked summer white. The kids bath with white tile, same gray cabinets, and a small western window, I picked BM iceberg, which I also put in the eastern laundry and southern powder. Dark hallways and foyer into family room are summer white. So, so far my palette is collonade grey, summer white and iceberg. I’m a little stuck in my kids bedrooms. My 1 year old daughter’s room has a single, somewhat blocked western window. I wanted to do a vintage creamy white and warm pale pink and gold color scheme and I picked sw Zurich white as he backdrop. But after reading your western post, I’m rethinking that? Also, for my son’s well lit southern room (seems he has the best lighting in the house!) I was also considering Zurich white to go with a rustic navy checkered bed with pops of red and yellow. But I’m wondering if the Zurich white is right for these rooms? Would a light blue be better in my son’s room? And what do you think of the other selections? Thank you!!
Hi Alexis, thank you for the note! When it comes to detailed questions/comments like yours I Just HAVE to refer to my e-design. I get so many questions in a day via my blog/email that it’s the only way I can spend the proper time with a comment like yours which is so detailed! It is affordable and fun if you’d like to check it out! https://www.kylieminteriors.ca/online-decorating-design-services/ I try to give as much free advice as I can via my blog and then if that doesn’t work, it might be e-design time!
What are your favorite Sherwin Williams whites?
Thanks for the reminder April, I will be doing a blog post on this. My all-time fave though is SW Pure White….
I have a 70s house that needs serious upgrades. Picture a corner humongous brown rock fireplace, poor lighting, in an east facing room. OH my! I plan to paint the fireplace and woodwork white , and the walls a shade darker or lighter than them. Help, please! What colors would brighten up this dark cave of a room?
Hi Susan, sounds like your room is in for a BIG change! Now when it comes to questions that are personal, I DO refer to my E-design. This way I can look at the room/flooring/furnishings/size/natural lighting and of COURSE your personal tastes, so that I can come up with some options that work – otherwise I’m just guessing~!~ It is fun and affordable and I do hope you’ll give it a try! https://www.kylieminteriors.ca/online-decorating-design-services/
Is there a white that is just like Simply White but is a little less yellow? I love Simply White, but in my new space, it comes across as a quite golden yellow. I still want the warmth because it’s a very bright North-facing set of windows—just turn down the yellow a bit.
I think the trim is not helping as well because it’s standard white; I don’t want to use a Simply White trim since I’m taking it throughout the house (prefer a more stark white throughout).
Thanks for your very knowledgeable posts on Whites! It helps to get an idea of what’s going on.
Hmmm, you know, I was just chatting with the gal at SW the other day (not BM, but I actually then got the same info from them to confirm) that you can take a colour like Simply White and have them add 4 ounces of white to it. This doesn’t CHANGE a lot, it just cuts it back slightly. If that doesn’t work, i might look at SW Pure White which has only a FRACTIONAL amount of warmth, that being said, with north facing exposure, I don’t know if it’ll be enough warmth to hit your happy place…
Anyway, I hope that info helps!
Hi Kylie, I am having to pick a white for some custom cabinets in the living room. My walls are in Stonington Gray and all trim is in Chantilly lace. We have plenty of windows and are north facing. I am wondering if I should stick to Chantilly lace for the the cabinets or would it be OK to pick another white like Oxford or Simply White.
Please reply soon! 🙂
Hi Alifiya! Without seeing photos and knowing what I know, I would lean toward Chantilly Lace for consistency!
I just painted my rooms Chantilly Lace and hate the blue tone that it gives off. I want to repaint but am not sure what to pick. I want the walls to be warmer but still white. It is an east facing room with a lot of brown and beige furniture. The carpet is mocha and my paintings are all old antique wood cuts that have yellowed with age and now with the Chantilly Lace look old and dirty. Do I simply choose the BM AURA white base with no color or the Super White? I want the room to feel warm but white.
Hmmm, east facing rooms are tricky as the light does change a bit more from morning to afternoon, more so than north or south. In general, I would treat it a bit more like a north facing room as it won’t have any obvious warm sun rays coming in – slightly in the morning, but not much. Try BM Simply White, it’s probably your best bet to get a warm white. There’s SW Pure White which is a WHITE with fractional warmth, but I don’t know that it would have enough to support your exposure. I hope that helps!
I am definitely leaning towards BM Simply White but worry it will look greenish or too yellow? I do not have a Sherwin Williams store close to me, so would like to stick with Benjamin Moore. May try asking to add the 4 oz of white as you stated earlier on.
Does BM seapearl have warm or cool undertones? Looking to paint cabinets in new kitchen a colour that will coordinate with Dulux wall colour “wood smoke”.
Hi Janie, Seapearl does have a slightly warm look vs a cool one…
Thanks a lot for your response, Kylie!
Before I saw your note, I went ahead and tried to lighten Simply White by 25% at a BM store, just to try that out. It seems like it might be a good bet based on the board that I’ve painted it on. I haven’t been able to really tell much a difference when it was painted on top of a coat of regular Simply White though, but between the boards, there seems to be a good amount of change.
I think this is similar to what you suggested, but when they lighten it, they change the actual formula (vs adding white to it)? Is it 4 oz. of white (BM’s standard white, PM-2) for a gallon? I’ve been playing with the idea of trying to lighten it by 50% as well.
The trim will be Super White, which so far looks nice paired with the lightened version of Simply White. I’m still debating the ceiling; I’m considering Super White or Chantilly Lace. I’m leaning toward Chantilly Lace since it’s known for being BM’s brightest white, but a little worried about how cold both of them might look since ceilings seem to darken any color, particularly with North-facing light, even if it’s bright.
Appreciate your help! I will also check out SW Pure White to see how that compares. I feel better with your advice that I’m headed in the right direction.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked at this post the past couple weeks! It’s so helpful! I am in the process of rebuilding after Harvey and want to paint the entire first floor white. I am torn between chamtilly lace and simply white. I like Chantilly Lace for the kitchen because we are using a marble looking quartz and subway tile, but it has an opening to the living room, which features an entire wall of two story north facing windows. I’m concerned if I choose Chantilly Lace for the kitchen and simply white everywhere else it will look dingy and vice versa. How do the two paints compliment each other from room to room?
Hi Stephanie, thank you for the note! I don’t know, it can totally depend on the exposure in each space, not just the north facing space. I do love Simply White for a north facing room and I don’t find that it makes Chantilly Lace look terribly dingy. You can mix whites, it’s a matter of choosing the right one for each exposure as well as the products in the room (and personal tastes of course 🙂 YOu might find that the north facing light subdued Simply White QUITE nicely!
Hi Kylie – OMG – Great, great article on whites. Thank you so much! I was losing my mind until I read this. Now I feel like I have some sense of direction. You are the best!
I have southern facing NYC apt and have chosen BM Barren Plain for the walls. Was debating between Chantilly Lace, Simpy White, Oxford White and Decorators White for the trim, ceiling and ceiling beam. Id like a “modern” look with a nice contrast between the Barren Plain and the white. Any suggestions between those three? (Im worried that Chatilly or Decorators would be a bad choice since Barren Plain is warm but then again not really sure on whether a warm color pairs best with warm whites or cooler whites).
Hi Raj – thank you! It all depends on the look you’re going for and you’re right, Barren Plain is a bit softer. I might lena a bit more toward Oxford White as the warmth in Simply White might be a touch too yellow for Barren Plain… 🙂
Great posts! My name is Eric from Montreal. My wife and I are looking at pain colors. built 1910 flat…great light in the front of the apartment as it is south facing and a bit darker towards the back of the apartment…high ceilings…beautiful original moldings and trim….what do you think about Simply White OC-117 for the walls and Chantilly Lace OC-65 for the trim and ceilings? We have a few other rooms to paint also (the ones I just mentioned where for the dining room, living room and foyer which are partial open concept so we might check out your design services for a package. What do you think of that original color combo though?
Hi Eric! Off the top of my head it makes me a bit nervous. I am hesitant to advise on homes when I haven’t seen photos, but Simply White is a warm, yellow base white and Chantilly Lace acts like white, but is a stitch cool, I wouldn’t say they are the BEST partnership. I might look at the simplicity of Super White even…
Which white would you recommend for cabinets with agreeable gray walls?
Hi Cherie! With Agreeable Gray it depends on whether you want a more clean look or a softer look. A softer look would be Alabaster, a cleaner one would be High Reflective White. I kind of like the look of SW Pure White though. It ‘acts like white’ but has a tiny wink of yellow in it – like weeee tiny.
Kylee pure white has a wink of yellow ?
I had heard it has a wink of gray in it but not yellow before never knew that
Hi Kylie! Love all your advice, thank you so much! Is there a SW version of White Dove? My shutters are BM White Dove. I am having every inch of my trim painted and want to match, but need to go with SW.
Thanks so much!,
Hi Clair! Well, you can ask SW to colour match it for you, they are usually pretty darned good. Short of that, the closest seems to be SW Alabaster, but it IS warmer. You could ask them to add 4 ounces of white, which will clean it up a bit, but I think it will still sit slightly warmer than White Dove…if you were up to playing around, I wonder if adding the 4 ounces of white, along with a wink of gray would calm it down slightly? You could ask the paint technician to help you out!
Hi Kylie! This is Karina from Arizona. I want to paint my kitchen cabinets and I am planning on using BM Simply White or BM White Dove. I am having a real hard time deciding on which one. I will be using bronze hardware and white sink. I don’t know what the direction of the room is. Not enough light comes in like I would like it to but it’s not a dark room either. Please help me!! Which white do you think will look the best when using bronze hardware? Thank You!
Hi Karina, thank you for your note! I do try to give as much complimentary info on my blog as I can, and if that doesn’t work it might be time for me to check out your home via my E-design, this way I can look at your exposure/flooring/decor, etc…your countertop will also play a HUGE PART in the best colour choice, otherwise I’m just guessing! It’s affordable and fun!~ https://www.kylieminteriors.ca/online-decorating-design-services/
I have spent an awful long time trying to decide which white will go best with Benjamin Moore’s “stained glass” teal paint on an accent wall running east and west. Please help. Can you please recommend a couple whites you think will work best on all the other living and dining room walls (open concept). And what sheen? I am not looking for the room to be really stark but rather fresh but warm. The trim is painted in a simply white. Thanks for your help.
Hi Angela, thank you for your note! I actually have an E-design business built exactly for questions like yours! I do try to give as much complimentary info as i can on my blog and if that doesn’t help, it might be time for a closer look. This way I can take a look at photos of your space, rather than just guessing! https://www.kylieminteriors.ca/online-decorating-design-services/
Hi Kylie! What white would you go with for shaker cabinets in a south facing kitchen (gets a lot of warm light the first half of the day)? Looking for true white that is not too stark, bright, or yellow. Counters will be gray and white quartz and hardware will be matte black. Going for a clean transitional look. Thanks!
Hi Mary! YOu might want to check out SW HIgh Reflective White or BM Oxford White… 🙂
Thank you so much for this great article! My loft bedroom high ceilings and trim are super white and trying to decide between super white and simply white for the walls. Will the super white angled ceiling make simply white walls look too yellow? Thank you, !
Hi Sally! A lot will depend on your exposure. If it’s southern, it could. If it’s northern, you might be okay, but overall, I might stick with the Super White to be safe, even though there is less warmth in it…
What white would you choose to match existing white windows for trim color? I’m considering simply white or cotton balls.
Hi Bobbi Jo! White windows are usually pretty darned white, I would probably clean things up along the lines of BM Oxford White as the others do have some yellow in them 🙂
What neutral (white) paint wall color would you recommend for lilac bedding/accents in an east facing bedroom? Dresser/nightstand are white and headboard is linen color/upholstered.
Hi Sue, due to the amount of emails I get every day, I have to pick ‘n choose which questions to answer, focusing first on the ones that have mass appeal! I do try to give as much complimentary info as I can on my blog and if that doesn’t help, it might be time for a closer look with my E-design. Otherwise, I’m just guessing as to the lighting in the room, exposure, flooring and all of the other things that matter when choosing a colour! https://www.kylieminteriors.ca/online-decorating-design-services/
I hope to hear from you!
Hi there, what a great article with helpful info!
Whites are tough!
I have glossy white upper kitchen cabinets and black bottom cabinets, with some exposed brick painted white. Would you go with simply white or oxford ? Conscious that it will be competing with glossy white .
LJ in Montreal
Hi Laura, without seeing the glossy white, I would be more inclined toward Oxford White, but again – that’s totally a guess as I don’t know which white you’ve got!
Thank you for disclosing your fave whites and for wealth of insights in the comments. I have a south west facing living room with lots of natural sunshine. I’m debating between BM Simply White and Oxford White. Does Simply White look a tad bit yellow/less modern in South West Facing room?
Hi! If you’re looking for a more modern clean look, you might find Oxford White to be a better fit! Of course, it all depends on your decor/flooring/etc…but off the top of my head, i lean that way.
Once again, appreciate your insight! 🙂
Very educating read! Thanks for sharing. I love bright rooms – is white on white (trim and walls) faux pas?
We have a north facing house/ great room. I’m looking for something that I can pair with our ultra white trim that is will be on the warmer side of white without being too yellow. Alternatively, “greys” seem to be all the rage now – is there a whitish-grey that wont be too melancholy in a North facing room?
Hi David, white on white is very ON TREND! And I actually have a blog post re: Can I Paint My North Facing Room White? right here! https://www.kylieminteriors.ca/ask-kylie-can-i-paint-my-north-facing-room-white-or-off-white/
I’m looking for a white cabinet color. My trim around windows and baseboards is SW Hi Hide white and I don’t want to repaint them. My walls will be 50% repose grey. I was leaning toward Chantilly Lace because it’s a pure white and I don’t want my cabinets to appear yellow next to the trim. I had someone tell me to just match the trim but I worry that is too high reflective white. What would you suggest?
Hi Andrea! I’m inclined to match my trim/ceilings/cabinets when I’m doing white, this way I don’t have mix n’ match undertones, as one white can easily make another look warmer/cooler/dirtier/etc…
I enjoy reading your blog!
I am having a kitchen put in and the floor is LVC in a nice natural wood – not too dark and not too light. The island top is calacatta gold which is cream with brown and slight hints of gold in, kitchen cupboards are white.
The kitchen itself is a rather dark big room.
I am thinking Alabaster it A La Mode as I do like white with great and yet purple times in it. Would you recommend them or something else? Thank yu
What do you like better for a crisp bright white for a house exterior – BM Chantilly Lace or BM Super White? Would be painted on hardie plank siding with red door and black shutters. Don’t want white to be too glaring/stark. Or would you recommend another BM white? Thanks!
Hi Melissa, thank you for your note! I actually have an E-design service just for this! I try to give as much complimentary as I can on my website, but if that doesn’t work you may enjoy sending me photos and getting me to spend some time with your home! https://www.kylieminteriors.ca/online-decorating-design-services/
This is really an eye opener. Was never aware of all these nuances.
Would you recommend white dove for a large high ceiling room with full wall of east windows?
I am in Colorado so mostly blue sky days and I have natural red oak floor.
Hi Haily, I like the sounds of that! White Dove is a softer, warmer white and can help out in eastern rooms for sure!
Thank you for your generosity helping us.
I have a large kitchen with plenty of light south west north. I plan to refresh my cabinets that are very warm white maybe time add more Yellow to the original color. My countertop is dark brown granite mat. Floor and backsplash will be replaced.
I was thinking of cloud white. Do you think it is too light? I painted a sample and besides my actual color it is really bright and white
The walls in our house is painted repose gray but the trim looks more creamy than white (not sure of the color) . we are thinking about changing the trim to a different white. Would you recommend extra white, decorators white or pure white? Thanks
Hi Pilar! I do like Pure White as it does have a bit of softness, while still acting quite white – 2nd would be Decorator’s White 🙂
Hi! A time sensitive paint emergency:)! We are painting the walls of our entire first floor (ceilings are Super White) and are trying to complement a stone fireplace (lots of grays and some copper tones), black euro-walls, 32″ light gray faux-concrete tiles, and a mahogany feature wall. I have had no problems with deciding on any features of the house, but the paint is driving me to box wine. How do we decide on the right paint that will pop in an area with both cool and warm elements? We do want the entire area to look bright and airy while the design elements warm it up.
The second question is: what is the best paint to accompany a darker faux-concrete painted wall in a bedroom with black sliders? A million thanks.
Kylie thanks for all your info! I am looking at painting an open living, dining & family room in a FL high rise with big windows and west and southern exposure. I want white with no yellow but have creamy undertones in my tile floor. I have Chantilly Lace in my master br and bath and have learned to like it but it’s too white for my LR walls. I’m looking at Seapearl or White Dove for walls, still using Chantilly for trim. Will they go together? Do you have a better pairing? Thanks!
Hi Kylie! Love your blog…I’ve never giggled while reading about interior design before 😉
“Quick question”: IF your mother in law offered to paint the entire main floor of your home and you were in a panicked rush to choose ONE white for all the walls plus another white for trim before your MIL could get in there with her opinions, WHICH WHITES WOULD YOU CHOOSE?
Ooooo, I hope I’m not too late! If it were ME, I would choose the same white as it can be tricky with mixing and matching white undertones (hot mess). You’ll find that the sheen of the paint will off-set the colour just slightly too (walls would be matte or flat and trim would be satin). For a good general ‘white’, SW Pure White is awesome but can look a bit stark/cold if you have northern light. If you have northern/gray light, BM White Dove is beautiful because it’s softer and warmer.
One blend I DO like though is BM White Dove and BM Oxford White on the trim – but really, I’d just choose 1 white if it were me :).
Amazingly helpful! Thank you for writing these posts!!
What a great blog! I always thought I wanted a stark white exterior trim color but when we selected BM Palladian blue or Bali for our main exterior color, BM’s web site recommended White rock and featherbed as trim colors. Do you have an opinion on those trim
Colors? Would a more stark white color look good too? Thank you so much!
Oooo, those could be pretty…but maybe a bit warm. Opposites attract and bounce off of each other. The warmest I would do would be BM Simply White, where you’ll still get some reaction between the siding/trim, but not as much yellow. I also LOOOVE SW Pure White, which is considerably cleaner, and only a wink soft, if you don’t mind doing a different brand on the trim (I do it all the time).
What do you mean by “act like white”?
Hi Stefanie! It means that if you don’t have a pure/clean/crisp white next to it, it will look white. However, if you put it with a clean white, you will see that it’s actually softer.
Your blog is fantastic! Thank you for this amazing and comprehensive post- you included very helpful information and photo examples. I am trying to choose a white to paint the fireplace in our (very sunny) living room, preferably one that will help tone down the orange-y/yellowish tones of my oak floors. I was leaning toward simply white, but now I’m thinking that may highlight the yellow in our floors. Thank you!
Hi Kylie- I have been laboring over the decision on which white to paint our great room and have read this article no less than 10 times over the last month ????. I want to do one white for the base moulding, walls, and ceiling. We have some beams and soffits that are different heights so I think it would really draw attention to that if we did the ceiling a diff color. It’s a north facing room. I am in between Dove Wing and Oxford White. We have modern furniture. I want to do Dove Wing but afraid it might look too dingy and dark if I do it on the ceiling too. Do you have any experience with painting dove Wing all over like this? I am planning on doing diff sheens: flat for ceiling, eggshell for wall, satin for trim. Thoughts ?
Hi Amanda! So, there is quite a difference between Oxford White and Dove Wing and yes, for what it sounds like you want to do, it could be a bit dingy, in which case, you could look at White Dove on the ceiling to off-set this a bit. However, Oxford White in a north-facing room wouldn’t be very warm (I’m a big White Dove fan for what it sounds like you want to do, just sayin’).
And yes, sheen is a great way to play with a single colour – flat for ceiling, matte or eggshell on walls and satin for trim – my fave combo!
Kylie, you are the best! Thank you for breaking down “whites”! Quick question…what if your room doesn’t have windows…only a skylight?! I’m looking to paint our bathroom and can’t figure out which “exposure” it would be!
i’m helping my son paint his house which is BM linen white . most of the house faces North so the yellow actually gets toned down pretty good. I’m wondering what color to paint the trim ? Most of the doors are a factory white paint i’m trying to get as close to that without it looking to stark ? The SW pure white looks the closest but it comes across a little grey., .any suggestions?
Hi! Any suggestions on a white to go with BM Blue Nose? It’s for a boys room (9 and 12yrs), who wanted American Flag theme. So we did an accent wall with the Blue Nose. The rest of the walls are a creamy/yellowy white and it just doesn’t do anything for the blue. Thanks!!
Well, I might just keep it simple with something like BM Super White!
Your post are really informative thank you!
If I am painting my east facing living room simply white…which sheen would you recommend?
Well, personally, I’m a matte finish gal myself, but it’s NOT as wipeable as eggshell, so it really depends on how hard you are on your home ;).
Dear Kylie: I’ve got an RV whose interior I want to paint white. I live in Texas, with its mildish winters, but brutal summers. When I lived in Seattle, I learned to count on warm colors. Here, I need the opposite. My new (FREE!) floor in south daylight looks white with light gray drybrushing. In lesser lights ranging from greigey tan to downright browny-gray. Except for that, they’re pretty, and I hope to paint the interior a suitable white throughout (if I can find a suitable white that won’t make my horrible summers feel hotter.)
My budget is about 45 cents, so I won’t be re-doing the floor, as it’s new and actually kind of pretty & natural looking in soe lights. In strong sunlight it looks like white & palest gray with very light drybrushing of black. In other lights, they effect darkens to include greigey/beigey tones, making it look resemble weathered wood. By itself, it’s kind of pretty. I’ve already made stark white cotton canvas slipcovers & curtains , which iI can dye when they pass the point of spanking white & slide into the inevitable grimey. Too much gray seems to create a suicidal mood, which I am eager to avoid. but I do want a white paint color that rcan relate to the gray floors and also harmonize with a blue-green (heavier on blue than green). Because the RV is actually a vehicle, it has windows on the front, back & sides, and I’ll be parking it with the front pointed south. Could you possibly give me some guidance regarding the best white paint for my walls & trim?
Hi Jude, I do wonder if you might like the just slightly COOLER approach of Benjamin Moore Decorator’s White, which is a softer white that isn’t warm!
I absolutely adore your writing! It’s rare to find an educated and creative blogger who makes you laugh out loud. I am forever your fan. Thank you for sharing your skills with a grounded, fun and classy perspective.
Wow, well is that every a nice note to get, THANK you! If you can let Tim know that I’m funny, that would be great – he just rolls his eyes ;).
Hi! I’m stumped. What trim would go with Nimbus Cabinet and Walls and Britannica quartz countertops? Thanks!
I might look at BM Oxford White 🙂
Hi Elizabeth, take a look at BM Oxford White, see how it feels 🙂
Great article! I have been comparing whites from different manufacturers and haven’t found one with your detailed ability in comparing them. What are your thoughts on comparing these whites?
Shoelace by Behr
Simply White by Benjamin Moore
Tibetan Jasmine by Ralph Lauren
Wevet by Farrow and Ball
White Tie by Farrow and Ball
Creamy by Sherwin Williams
Pointing 2003 by Farrow and Ball
Hi Kylie – now I regret painting my walls (mostly south facing) Swiss Coffee. Is it worth repainting – will it make enough of a difference to warrant the time and expense?
Well, it depends on what you don’t like about it and what you were HOPING for. In my opinion, seeing as you’re researching and left a comment, that changing it could be a good thing :).
What do you recommend or trim and ceiling color for white walls? All the same color?
Hi Kelly, I DEFINITELY recommend using the same white on a variety of surfaces for consistency. There are some whites that can be mixed and matched, but you have to be so careful as undertones can clash SO fast.
I love your web site and have learned a lot. I wish I had read it sooner. I painted my laundry room Simply White and it flashes yellow. Really yellow. The new appliances and sink we ordered are white. I’m afraid the two will not go together. I’m thinking of repainting the room Oxford White or White heron. Will either of those go with the white appliances? Thanks so much!
Thanks for this amazing information in understanding whites. Very helpful. I’m in the process of choosing the paint colors for my new build. I really like the BM White Dove for all the walls, and leaning towards the BM Simply White for the Trims, doors and Cabinets. Would this be a good combination?
Hi Ijay, i HIGHLY RECOMMEND sticking with the same white for all surfaces so you don’t have one making the other look more dingy/yellow/etc… :).
I love the look of a white kitchen with black accents. Right now my kitchen has Oxford white trim and Simply white cabinets and linen coloured walls. What white would I use on the walls? I don’t want the cabinets to look to yellow (they have lacquer in the finish). I’d like to have the clean white look. The kitchen has a east facing window.
Thanks in advance
Ooo, that’s a tough one Cindy. YOu already have two competing whites going on with different undertones. My best thought would be Simply White as any whiter white WILL make your cabinets look more yellow in comparison, especially with a lacquer. This being said, even Simply White walls could make your cabinets look a bit more yellow in comparison BECAUSE of the lacquer – you’re in a very tough spot as far as white goes.
Would you do something completely different then? I would like the kitchen to be brighter. The house is over 100 years, it has 9’ ceilings, 8” baseboards and 7” headers over the doorways and has crown mouldings. I have a east facing window over the sink, 4 doorways – one door leads out to a south facing covered veranda, so it does let in a bit of light. The walls in the kitchen are BM Natural Linen and the walls in the dining/living room are Piedmont Grey. The entire house has Oxford White trim. Sometimes the light in the kitchen the trim looks almost the same as the Simply White cabinets as it’s oil based paint, painted over 20 years ago. Thanks so much!
Here’s another vote for Atrium White. It’s definitely pink, but it’s in a house where half the first floor is tiled in porcelain that’s supposed to look like ivory travertine. The tile is seriously pink. Atrium White is basically a non-yellow version of White Dove. I have oil trim (which always yellows over time) and the aging color has stayed an off white instead of turning cream like the previous Cloud White trim color did. The worst it’s gotten is a slightly peachy look in places. But it definitely has its limitations. Don’t even think of pairing warm greens or yellows with it. It doesn’t work. Atrium White LOVES Maritime White as a wall color. Edgecomb Gray is okay but flashes a bit green on my fireplace wall in between two Atrium White bookcases. It also loves all cooler blues and grays. It would probably be gorgeous with anything pink or purple as a wall color. It’s okay with a warmer blue like Woodlawn Blue, but that’s pushing it as warm as it could go in our house.
Hi Kylie, I’ve looked at your post the past couple weeks! It’s so helpful!
I’m really studying a lot about paint, and I just feel like I can get a job at a paint shop. LOL
I know you are very busy! and you like to drink a wine. 🙂
However, The more I look at the posting and paint the sample, the more difficult it becomes, so I leave a message because I need your help!
I narrowed the paint colors to paint in my living room to a few.
The floor is the problem. It’s “travertine”. I saw in your post that Kilim Beige goes well with it, but I want to go in a brighter tone (east and west facing widows I have) because the color feels too dark too toasted and there’s not much lighting in my house.
So I think BM white dove or oxford white or SW aesthetic white. I have no furniture yet.
Could you save me from the paint dilemma that lasted for several weeks? I studied a lot with your post, but it’s still hard for me to choose between these three.
I watched a lot of your YouTube videos as well. 🙂
Thank you very much!!!
thanks for this – i’m on the struggle bus. Semi open floor plan and need wall, trim, cabinet paint. Floors dark walnut – both rooms south facing and lots of trees outside so not as much sunlight as I would like even though lots of windows. i’ve read through your website – my kitchen countertops are more like a venetial gold (more bigger movement but those colors as house built 2000). so your blog says I need to focus on warmer whites (backsplash is a travertine – not gold and the grout is more taupe neutral). Considering Alabaster for trim/cabinets. Heres the catch is the wall color for both rooms. My couch is beige but has cooler undertones. Right now walls are SW Neutral Ground and reads too creamy with the couch. I like light airy and I think I can pull off some cool tones as you said south facing as it pulls in some warmth which warms up the cooler walls. I think colors like repose gray and agreeable gray are darker than what I want to go with. But with alabaster trim I have to be careful. Oh and my fireplace is a limestone with some warmth there.
Kylie, I have to say I love your blog! You helped me pick the prettiest gray to my office: on the rocks! Now onto this post.
I’m a happ person living with Atrium White on my walls on a bright basement. I get southeast and southwest direcisun and the room is warm and cozy. The undertones here come out to a light, creamy peach, but very delicate. Its a room full of light wood accents, white furniture, one dark navy/gray couch and a few plants. It pairs nicely with doors, trims and ceiling snowflake white, also by BM. The floor is a medium dark brown.
Phone cameras don’t do it justice but I jave to say it’s such a pretty colora especially at sunrise and sunset. Perfect for my yoga practice or tea with the girls.
THANK you for this, Petula! It’s comments like yours that really help others see if a colour could work for them – especially one like Atrium White that has trickier undertones – thank you!!!
Hello. I painited my ceiling Oxford White but against the Edgecomb Gray walls it looks green or gray and kinda dingy. How would you compare Super White OC-152 to White OC-151 and which one would work better with Edgecomb Gray. Thank you.
Does Valspar have the same colors as Benjamin Moore? I just put a Valspar swiss coffee on my walls and am totally seeing the greenish undertone. Thanks for these tips!
Hi Alissa, while they can definitely have similarities, they’re different colours at heart 🙂
You mentioned that one wouldn’t want to use some of these whites in association with a Tuscan finish. Any ideas for someone who has “Tuscan” walls-meaning that ALL the walls in the house are textured in a faux stucco finish. I’m wanting to paint my walls white but I’m afraid it will look horrible. Because I have really high ceilings and a lot of square footage, untexturing the walls would be costly and difficult. I may have to bite the bullet but I’m wondering if you think there is any color of white that wouldn’t look horrible with this kind of texture on the walls? Or would you recommend a color other than white? An off-white? Thank you for your thoughts.