Choosing the Perfect Shade of White

For any homeowner, picking the perfect shade of white interior paint is anything but simple. After all, there are thousands of shades of white on the market today, and many vary greatly between manufacturers. So today we’re sharing our favorite tips for choosing a shade of while you’ll love.

Consider the Undertone

When it comes to white, undertone is the name of the game. That refers to the way paint can look in different lighting situations. For example, too much gray can make a room feel cold, while an excess of yellow can make walls look dingy. But just the right balance in a white paint can create an effortlessly fresh room that feels peaceful, clean and full of light.

So how do you get a good idea of paint’s undertone? Unlike all other colors, the best place to compare whites is actually online. Certain manufacturers like Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams have websites where you can browse a wide variety of whites on one page. This is much easier than looking back and forth between paint chips. Once you view several whites together, you can quickly determine their undertones and see slight variations in color. Then it’s just a matter of picking the undertone you find most pleasing.

If you’re still stuck, try to go with a white that has a subtle gray/green undertone, as these tend to look the most like true white at night or in artificial lighting. In most cases, a yellow undertone will look more like a cream color at night, and a pink undertone can look peach.

Tried and True Colors

If you really want to play it safe, choose a white with very minimal undertones. While all whites have some undertone, there are a few shades with very subtle undertones. One example is Benjamin’s Moore’s Decorator White, a color often used by designers and builders. Another popular “true white” is Extra White by Sherwin Williams. If you’re looking for a white with a good balance of warm and cool tones (also known as a “transitional white”), Benjamin Moore’s Simply White is one of the most popular.

Test It Out

Once you made your final decision, it’s important to test the color in various lighting situations. As with any paint color you’re contemplating, always paint a sample board (the size of a poster board is good) and take note of how it looks at all hours of the day, and when you turn on the lights at night.

If you follow these steps, you’re sure to find a white you’ll love for many years to come. For more inspiration, check out our interior painting portfolio. And if you have questions about which shade of white works best for your home, give us a call today and one of our painting contractors will be happy to help you. Happy painting!