Selecting a paint color (in general) is overwhelming. Selecting a white paint color can be even more intimidating because there are literally hundreds of options to choose from.
Honestly, white can be one of the hardest ‘colors’ to choose so I’ve narrowed down the vast amount of choices to 10 white paint colors that designers love and use on repeat (because the colors are THAT good)!
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HOW DO I CHOOSE A WHITE PAINT COLOR?
How do you choose a white paint color?
Before we talk about the best interior white paint colors, let’s discuss how to even begin choosing the best white paint color for your home.
Hopefully, you already have some idea of whether or not you want a stark, bright white (i.e. white-white) or a softer white (i.e. slight off-white).
If you haven’t yet narrowed it down to stark white vs. soft white, here’s a general rule of thumb:
If your home decor style is traditional, stick with softer, warmer whites. If you gravitate toward a clean/modern/farmhouse aesthetic, use crisper whites.
However, always remember that you can break ANY decorating ‘rules’ and do whatever you want because it’s YOUR home!
I technically ‘broke’ the ‘rules’ by choosing a warmer white in my modern coastal-style home.
I chose Benjamin Moore ‘White Dove’ which is a soft, very slight off-white color for my interior trim, ceilings, cabinets, interior doors, and my girls’ bedroom walls. This color isn’t for everyone because it can have a bit of a yellow hue in certain lighting, but I absolutely LOVE it!
WHITE PAINT QUICK TIPS
Let’s go over some quick tips for choosing white paint.
TIP 1: STICK TO ONE WHITE PAINT COLOR FOR YOUR HOME
I, personally, prefer to keep all the white paint consistent in my house (i.e. trim, ceiling, doors, cabinets, walls, etc.).
Not everyone agrees with this philosophy, but I’m not a fan of homes where multiple white paint colors are intermixed because one ‘white’ color usually looks too yellow or too stark (and it just doesn’t work).
I think sticking to one white color in your home gives your home a cleaner look and you don’t have to worry about any of your whites clashing.
TIP 2: BE SURE TO SAMPLE PAINT COLORS IN YOUR HOME
White paint colors (or any paint color for that matter) can look VERY different in your home than they do in an edited photo in a magazine or on a screen.
It’s extremely important for you to see a sample of the color in ‘real life’ before you spend money ordering several gallons of paint for your home.
I recommend that you order peel-and-stick paint samples for all of your top white paint color choices.
I personally love Samplize samples and highly recommend them. I have tested these samples for both Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore and the colors are SPOT ON!
TIP 3: CREATE LARGE PAINT SAMPLES
Once you narrow down your white paint colors via the peel-and-stick paint samples, create a large sample of your top two (or three) color choices on your wall, or you can use this trick to create a large paint sample.
Once you have your larger samples, look at the white paint colors in various lighting (morning, afternoon, night, and artificial) and in different rooms to determine which white you like the best.
Psst … this is another reason I recommend peel-and-stick paint samples because they can be reused in different rooms to see how the color looks in the various lighting. I also recommend ordering 2-4 samples of the same color so that you can create a ‘large’ square of the color on your wall.
The samples aren’t expensive … and you can get 15% off with the promo code ’15OFF’ through 11/15/22. Please note that this promo code can only be used once and you need to order a minimum of 6 samples.
POPULAR WHITE PAINT FOR WALLS
All right, now for the fun part that we’ve all been waiting for … the 10 white paint colors that designers love and use on repeat! We’ll start with a list and overview of the 10 colors and then I’ll divide them into categories of cool vs warm whites.
BENJAMIN MOORE ‘WHITE DOVE’ OC-17
We’ll start with my personal favorite white paint color that I have throughout my home.
Benjamin Moore ‘White Dove’ is a soft warm white with a hint of yellow in artificial lighting. This is a VERY popular white and I have it on all of my trim work, ceilings, interior doors, and kitchen cabinets (as well as my girls’ bathroom cabinets, my office cabinets, our laundry room cabinets, and my girls’ bedroom walls).
The hue does change slightly with the lighting. Overall, White Dove looks like a true white, but it takes on a creamier, slightly yellow hue when artificial lights shine on it.
During the day when sunlight is coming into my home and the lights are turned off, my cabinets look white. However, at night when lights are shining on the cabinets, the color looks slightly off-white.
I’m not an ‘off-white person’ AT ALL, but I do love ‘White Dove’ and I don’t consider it to be a true off-white; it’s more of a white with a soft yellow hue at times.
Order a peel-and-stick sample of White Dove.
BENJAMIN MOORE ‘SIMPLY WHITE’ OC-117
Benjamin Moore ‘Simply White’ is another extremely popular white that I probably would have chosen if I had built my home a couple of years later when this color exploded in popularity when it was the Color of the Year in 2016.
‘Simply White’ is a warm white but it isn’t too creamy at all. It definitely is closer to the cool white side than the off-white side.
This color is definitely a fan favorite and is still as popular in 2022 as it was when it was the Color of the Year six years ago.
Order a peel-and-stick sample of Simply White.
SHERWIN WILLIAMS ‘CREAMY’ SW 7012
Sherwin Williams ‘Creamy’ is another soft and subtle warm white that looks beautiful on walls, trim, ceilings, doors, and cabinets.
Order a peel-and-stick sample of Creamy.
BENJAMIN MOORE ‘CLOUD WHITE’ OC-130
Benjamin Moore ‘Cloud White’ is a soft white that has a hint of grey in it. It also has a mix of yellow and grey undertones, so it doesn’t lean fully to either the warm or cool side. It’s just a very neutral white that isn’t too stark.
Order a peel-and-stick sample of Cloud White.
SHERWIN WILLIAMS ‘ALABASTER’ SW 7008
Sherwin Williams ‘Alabaster’ is another soft, almost off-white with beige undertones. It’s a creamy color, but it’s not too creamy.
Order a peel-and-stick sample of Alabaster.
BENJAMIN MOORE ‘SWISS COFFEE’ OC-45
Benjamin Moore ‘Swiss Coffee’ is another warm white that definitely has a hint of a yellow undertone. I would certainly consider this color a true off-white.
Order a peel-and-stick sample of Swiss Coffee.
BENJAMIN MOORE ‘DECORATORS WHITE’ OC-149
‘Decorators White’ is a true cool white with grey undertones.
Order a peel-and-stick sample of Decorators White.
BENJAMIN MOORE ‘NAVAJO WHITE’ OC-95
Benjamin Moore ‘Navajo White’ is a creamy off-white with a strong hint of a yellow undertone. Honestly, I think it looks more ‘yellow’ than ‘white’. This is one I’d love to hear your opinion on in the comments :).
Order a peel-and-stick sample of Navajo White.
BENJAMIN MOORE ‘CHANTILLY LACE’ OC-65
Benjamin Moore ‘Chantilly Lace’ is a very cool, crisp, and clean pure white. It has a hint of blue/grey undertone which makes it a very cool white. This color definitely has a clear white vibe. If you want white-white, this is the way to go!
Order a peel-and-stick sample of Chantilly Lace.
SHERWIN WILLIAMS ‘EXTRA WHITE’ SW 7006
Sherwin Williams ‘Extra White’ is crisp and clean, but not too stark. There is no yellow undertone so it pairs great with blues and grays.
Order a peel-and-stick sample of Extra White.
BEST WARM WHITE PAINT COLORS
Now let’s categorize these colors into warm and cool white paint colors.
What are warm white paint colors?
Warm white paint colors are softer and creamier than cool whites and they range in the spectrum of ‘off-whites’, from slightly off-white to almost yellow.
When you think about warm whites, think ‘off-white’.
Warm whites have an undertone of red and yellow and these colors work well in rooms that get very little sun because they have a soft and welcoming glow.
DESIGNERS’ FAVORITE WARM WHITE PAINT COLORS
Click on the links to order a peel-and-stick sample.
BEST COOL WHITE PAINT COLORS
What are cool white paint colors?
Cool whites are much crisper and brighter than warm whites. Cool whites are your true whites and can sometimes look very stark and cold.
However, cool whites look great in rooms that get a lot of natural sunlight because the cool white tends to neutralize the bright natural light. Cool whites also look great in minimalist and ultra-modern homes.
DESIGNERS’ FAVORITE COOL WHITE PAINT COLORS
Click on the links to order a peel-and-stick sample.
Benjamin Moore ‘DECORATOR’S WHITE’
Benjamin Moore ‘CHANTILLY LACE’
Sherwin Williams ‘EXTRA WHITE’
NEXT STEPS: CHOOSE YOUR WHITE PAINT COLOR
Now you have a list of 10 white paint colors that designers love and use on repeat!
Do remember that colors can look very different in real life vs. on a screen, so go ahead and order peel-and-stick samples of your favorite white colors so you can see exactly how the color looks in YOUR home.
If you’re building your home or haven’t even broken ground yet, that’s ok … just look at the samples in your current home. Do NOT order gallons and gallons of paint until you can see the paint samples in your brand-new home as it goes up.
Again, I love and recommend Samplize paint samples because the color is SPOT ON!
You can get 15% off of your entire purchase through 11/15/22 with the code ‘15OFF’. This promo code can only be used one time (minimum 6 samples), so be sure to order all of your samples in the same order :).
Let me know what white color you decide is a perfect fit for YOUR home!
I have written to you once before about my huge remodel and I appreciate all your advice. I am actually copying some of your ideas (on a much smaller scale) as I am new to all this design stuff. It honestly is like a foreign language to me. I even hired a designer to help but her ideas were almost completely opposite of my taste. I fell in love with your house, your design, and your philosophy of design. So my new kitchen will have White Dove cabinets and trims, LG Viatera Everest quartz counter tops, Accessible Beige walls all thanks to you, Carrie. My husband and I are thrilled with this. However, for the kitchen island we would like to paint it a contrast color, something a bit darker that picks up on the darker color in the Everest. I found one called Adaptive Shade HGSW 3493. But I wonder if you would be so kind as to give me your opinion. Appreciate your blog and all your advice. Thanks you so much,
Paso Robles, California
Hi Susan! I’m not familiar with HGSW 3493, so I can’t give you an opinion on that particular paint color. However, I do think that an accent island color that picks up on the darker Everest flecks will look AMAZING! Please email me a photo when your kitchen is complete! – Carrie
This is a great post! We are doing color samples at our home soon. We are not sure what is going to happen with everything going on but at this time home construction is still going in our city. My question is related to trim, crown, and walls. Did you paint the main spaces in your house all the same white for the walls, baseboards, and crown but with different sheens? I’m trying to figure out what direction to go with our home.
Hi! Yes, I did use the same white EVERYWHERE … interior doors, trim, ceilings, some walls, cabinets, etc. I believe we used satin on all of the trim (I didn’t want glossy at all) and eggshell on the interior doors and ceilings. I can’t remember for sure, but I think that’s what we did. xo, Carrie
[…] TEN WHITE PAINT COLORS THAT DESIGNERS LOVE […]
[…] One other question you may have … what COLOR of white should I use? Start narrowing down your options by reading 10 White Paint Colors that Designers Love. […]
[…] Neutral paint colors include beiges, greys, tans, whites, and other light colors. In addition to the list below, you can find more neutral options in 10 White Paint Colors that Designers Love. […]
What do you think about SW High Reflective White? We are painting our exterior and all interior this color. I have found very little about this color on the internet except it’s comparable to BM Chantilly Lace (which I have found a lot of information about on line). Our builder only uses Sherwin Williams. We are building modern farmhouse on our lake front lot. Do you think SW high reflective white will be to stark? My husband and I do not want undertones in the white and really love BM Chantilly Lace pictures we have seen on line.
Hi Carolyn! Hopefully, you received my email answer to your question :).
I am planning on painting my office and mud room Sherwin Williams Creamy and am trying to figure out what to do about a trim color. I want something bright enough to provide a contrast with the creamy. The rest of my house has Benjamin Moore Decorators White trim — it really does look like a bright white in the rest of the house but would it look too gray against the creamy?
Hi Laura! I might be the wrong person to ask. I personally prefer ALL white paint in my house to match. This includes white walls with white trim. So I don’t really have an answer for you :).
I am painting my open concept living/kitchen area white. I have samples on the wall and am tossed between white dove and swiss coffee. My kitchen cupboards are currently red cherry but will be refinished in white dove (I think) My quartz is called Serra which seems earthy, white, gray and I think I see some green undertones in it. Do you think these colours will work well with my island or do you have another suggestion.
Hi Barbara! My suggestion is to paint your walls ‘White Dove’ if that’s what you plan to paint your cabinets. If there was a drastic color difference between two whites, then you could maybe get away with mixing whites (i.e. cabinets one white paint color and walls another paint color). There isn’t enough contrast between White Dove and Swiss Coffee … I think it will look really ‘off’ if you use these two colors together.
Hello, I’m painting the exterior of my1963 coast ranch in Simply White. I’m struggling with what color to use for the trim. Usually I like to have my trim “pop” when you look at the house. The roof is dark grey and the shutter will be painted a dark navy. Any input would be appreciated!
Hi Dwayne! I personally would have the trim match my painted home IF I were painting my exterior ‘Simply White’. If you really prefer to have the trim pop, I would go with the same color as your shutters or else you’ll have a little too much color contrast happening on your exterior. Just my initial thoughts. – Carrie
I am having a hard time deciding on a white – so thanks for this post! I just read you prefer the same white on trim/cupboards and walls. Would that be alright to do with a creamy? Or too much? I was set on Greek Villa, but it was impossible to find a trim color that looked nice against it. For the whole house, we are looking for a warm white clean feel, not cool at all!
Yes, Jenna, I recommend the same white on trim, cabinets, etc. whether you choose an off-white or a cool white. Not everyone will agree with this, but that is just my opinion :). – Carrie
Hi Carrie, I am hoping you can help with our new home that is nearing painting. Our home is Victorian/Ranch Style leaning more Victorian. Soft very pale pistachio green kitchen cabinets with fancy glass and very dark rustic cherry accent island and cabinets. I want to do a white trim (base, case, crown…quite a bit of finish millwork with the fancy door woodwork above). I’d like a slightly warm wall color (but off white). So white trim and off white wall color but where you can see the trim clearly is not so close to the wall color- can you give advice? The house has alot of sun. Thanks so much
Hi Brenda! Your home sounds beautiful! Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to help with personal design dilemmas since I have over 100K readers on my blog each month. I would recommend that you talk to a local designer for personal advice and support. Best of luck to you! – Carrie
Thank you for this article on choosing a white. I am currently looking for a BM off white or warm white color my new kitchen cabinets. Unfortunately, I am having to work with beige travertine tile floors, which is making this challenging. My walls are BM Bar Harbour Beige and my trim is BM Navajo white. I am trying to decide if I should do my cabinets BM Cloud white or BM Navajo white. I am also looking at SW Creamy. My kitchen faces North/North East and lighting isn’t the best. Thank you for your recommendations.
You are so welcome, Janice :).
Good morning! Our home is white aluminum siding which needs to be repainted. We are going to stay with a white body color. A previous owner painted the brick foundation white and I hate it!! My front door and shutters are Tradd Street Green. Can you please give me your opinion on the best white for the house and what color should I use for the foundation? If you would like a picture of our home, I will be happy to submit. Thank you for your suggestions 😊.
Hi Teresa! Unfortunately, there isn’t enough of me to go around when it comes to offering specific and personalized design advice. I reserve personalized design support and feedback for my paying clients. If you are interested in this, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Best of luck to you! – Carrie
Hi Carrie, love all of your advise! I just wanted to ask if there is a specific white that you would recommend for entire house(all rooms) white look including all trim and ceilings same colour for a modern/Boho look? Thank you for your suggestion!
Hi Tina! Well … modern and boho don’t exactly scream the same ‘white’ to me, so I’m not sure what white to tell you. However, I think that Benjamin Moore ‘Simply White’ is the perfect subtle white that isn’t too bright white and isn’t too creamy. It looks great all over the house.
Hello thank you for this article! I’m searching for a white for the exterior of our home. The front of the home is east facing and we live on in the Pacific Northwest, winters are dark but Summer’s are warm and bright, usually. We are aiming towards a farmhouse look as our house sits on our 5 acre farm. Our painter uses Sherwin Williams and so I’m needing some ideas of your thoughts on this! Thanks so much!
Hi Sue! I don’t provide personal design advice to readers, but I think many of the whites listed in this blog post could work well for your home. My recommendation is to hire a local designer for just a short consultation to help you pick out the perfect white paint color for your home :). And, by the way … you can choose a paint color from any brand and have it made via Sherwin Williams. You aren’t just limited to Sherwin Williams colors.
Hi, Carrie! I am building and starting from scratch. My cabinet supplier has standard colors, so I am just going with the white. Should I just try my best to color match the trim and walls with the cabinets?
Hi Jen! I prefer to keep all whites the same (or at least very close if you don’t have full control over color selections). If it were my house, I would match the trim/ceilings/interior doors to the white cabinets.
We are planning on painting our condo walls Benjamin Moore Navajo white. I am having a problem choosing the right colour for the doors, baseboards and trim. Wld simply white come out too yellow. Wld chantilly lace or decorator’s white be too bright and stark. We are also renting so have to choose a colour for the doors etc. that wld mix well with other off-whites if ever new tenants were to repaint.
Simply White will not look yellow … especially as compared to Navajo White. Chantilly Lace and Decorator’s White tend to be very bright and stark, so I would most definitely get some samples of all of these ‘whites’ so you can see how they ‘interact’ together.
Thank you for your reply. Am now looking at benjamin more super white for the trim. Walls will be in a eggshell finish and the trim in a satin finish. As the dining room and hallways do not get any natural light do you think that nw will still look bright enough in the evening. If I decide to go with another off-white or light beige wld you have recommendations. We are in a rental, so can’t go too crazy. Thanks