How to choose the best white paint colour
18 July, 2019
Choosing the best white paint colour for your home can be trickier than you think!
Many of my clients want to go with white for their walls, and it makes sense. It’s a great base to show off your furniture and artwork and it gives you flexibility to get creative with the rest of your colour palette.
But there are literally hundreds of whites to choose from. And it takes a little research to work out what will best suit your home.
I’ll get onto some of my favourite white paint colours soon. But first, let me give you a few pointers for choosing the best white paint for your home.
WHICH WHITE IS RIGHT?
My first tip is to consider the age of your home.
Contemporary, new build homes tend to have larger windows (often floor to ceiling), allowing in more natural light. These rooms can handle a very cool white because they often have simple square set ceilings and minimal skirting boards and architraves.
In older homes with more character features, warmer whites are usually a more suitable choice. They help keep the character of the space and may work better with your furniture choices.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WARM AND COOL WHITE?
Cool whites have a blue, black or green base, and translate as sharp, fresh, crisp and contemporary on the walls. They can also help to neutralise natural sunlight so cool whites work well in bright north-facing rooms.
Warmer whites have a yellow, red or brown undertone and throw off warmer hues making a room feel cosier. They work well in spaces lacking natural light.
The most important factor in choosing is white paint for your home is natural light. Strong natural light can make warm whites appear too creamy. While a lack of light can make a cool white look very grey or blue.
So it’s important that you paint 30 x 30cm sample patches in numerous areas of your home – including a spot that gets morning light, a spot that gets afternoon light, an area lit by artificial light, as well as a dark corner. This will give you the best indication of how the light will change the look of your white paint. Then you can adjust accordingly.
Remember to undercoat the areas you are sample testing first. This ensures the existing wall colour doesn’t show through into your sample.
LISTEN TO MY PODCAST ON CHOOSING THE BEST WHITE PAINT
MY BEST WHITE PAINT COLOURS
I love the crsipness of Haymes Paint’s Modesty White. It’s a very fresh, bright and clean white. It’s a gorgeous choice for a space with lots of natural light. This white can work well in both contemporary and older homes. The image shows Modesty White used on an amazing houseboat. I love the way it pairs with pale timber, sage green and beige.
Another white I love is Dulux Casper White Quarter. It has just the right amount of colour in it. At first glance it can be hard to tell if it’s a warm or a cool white, but the undertone is a very, very subtle grey-taupe colour. It looks amazing with refinished cypress pine floorboards that are so common in many older Australian homes. Pair it with Vivid White on the trims for extra pop!
Lastly, let’s not forget about Dulux Natural White. This is one of my go-to colours. It works extremely white with the earthy colour palettes that are popular at the moment. It’s a warm white without looking creamy. It gives off a lovely cosy feeling while still feeling fresh. I have used this in my own home which has oak flooring and a concrete roof and it brings a nice softness.
LET ME HELP YOU CHOOSE THE PERFECT PAINT COLOUR
Picking the wrong colour can be a costly mistake. I’ll work with you to choose the ideal paint colour – whether it’s white or another hue. I consider the style of house, the exisiting finishes and furniture and your furniture to ensure you have a room you love.
If you want to deep dive on paint, listen to my new podcast episode on choosing paint colours and buying paint online. It includes a chat with DJ Dikic who is the CEO and founder of Tint Paint. And check out more episodes on the podcast page or search ‘At Home with Lauren Keenan’ in your fav podcast app.
join our mailing list
Styling tips, tricks and news straight to your inbox.