Douglas FriedmanWhite is one of the most widely used paint colors on the spectrum, making it an excellent choice for bedrooms, kitchens, and bathrooms. However, choosing the right color for you and your space can be a daunting task. White is not just white. There are many undertones and nuances available. Just like any other color, it’s even harder to choose when you consider finishes and lighting.
How do you choose the right paint color? Top designers have shared their top picks for white and the best places to use them. You’ll be able to spend less time trying to distinguish between two shades that are almost indistinguishable, and more time enjoying your space.
1) Benjamin Moore Intense White OC-51
Benjamin Moore “Intense White” has warm gray undertones. It looks great with a whiter trim. It is versatile and elegant, and can be used in modern and traditional spaces.” Sharon Rembaum
2) Dunn-Edwards Warm white DEW380
Dunn-Edwards “I love this white. It is warm enough for me to feel at home, but it is crisp enough to be able to read architectural plans. This is always a problem with ‘white’ paint. It’s the perfect white to paint a wood-floored interior filled with art.” Matthew Boland
3) Sherwin Williams Snowbound SW 7004
Sherwin Williams “I love Snowbound by Sherwin Williams. Because it is warm and not too yellow, it is one of my favourite whites. It has a clean undertone, with no green, blue or pink hues. It will blend well with any color. As a designer, it is crucial to have confidence in your specifications.” — Amy Leferink, Interior Impressions
4) Sherwin Williams White Flour SW 7102
We love this color because of its gentle nature. It isn’t too bright or overwhelming and picks up tones of the other colors in a room.” — Eleanor Trepte and Dekay
5) Benjamin Moore Atrium White OC-145
Benjamin Moore “White can be either a warm or cool color, depending on the tone you choose. A white with a creamy tone is best for creating a calm, relaxing atmosphere in your home. Benjamin Moore’s Atrium White is a bit more peach-toned.” Michelle Gerson
6) Benjamin Moore French Canvas OC-41
Benjamin Moore “Benjamin Moore’s French Canvas is an off-white with bisque colors. It works well for ceilings with a lot of wallpaper or murals on the walls. I prefer it to a soft white that doesn’t seem harsh against the pattern.
7) Benjamin Moore Distant Gray 2124-70
“Distant Gray” is the ideal white, especially when paired with contrasting trim. It is deeper than a pure white but still provides the perfect background for neutral interiors.” Miriam Verga and Mimi Hill
8) Dunn Edwards Cool December DEW383
Dunn Edwards “Cool December” by Dunn Edwards is a favorite of mine for over ten years. This cooler tone seems to open up spaces and add a sense of brightness. A wrong color of white can make a space feel too sterile or stale. Cool December is the right balance for me. It always works. It’s easy to use and it works well with Magic Erasers. This is important for moms like me who have active children.” — Breegan Jane
9) Sherwin Williams Moderne White SW 6168
Sherwin-Williams”White in a kitchen is classic for a reason. White is a classic color in kitchens and bathrooms because it’s what we subconsciously see as pure and clean. “We like to give a twist to our predominantly white kitchens with a splash of orange on the barstool or a boldly patterned backsplash.” — Beth Dotolo, Pulp Design Studios
10) Benjamin Moore Ivory White, 925
Benjamin Moore It is easy to go too yellow. I love Benjamin Moore’s Ivory White. This creamy white is best when you completely enclose the room and paint the trim, walls and ceiling with it. It is reminiscent of lightly tanned skin. It looks great with light wood finishes and is especially nice at a beach house.” Christina Kim
11) Benjamin Moore Snowfall White 2144–70
Benjamin Moore “For the perfect, crisp and icy white, Benjamin Moore Snowfall was used throughout this sky-high pied terre. You feel like you’re floating on a cloud when the San Franciscan fog rolls through.” Kendall Wilkinson
12) Sherwin Williams Alabaster SW 7008
Sherwin Williams “My favorite white paint color is Alabaster by Sherwin Williams, and I love to pair it with Naval by Sherwin Williams. It is important to decide what mood you wish to create before choosing the right white paint. Warmer whites such as Alabaster are best for living rooms. Cooler whites are best for spaces that are ultramodern and minimalist.” — Joelle Smith
“Sherwin-Williams Alabaster is my favorite white paint. It is a warm, fresh white. It’s not too creamy, but it still falls softly and keeps crisp.” — Marian Louise Designs, Mimi Meacham
13) Benjamin Moore Oxford White CC-20
“Oxford White” by Benjamin Moore is a favorite color of mine. It looks great on trims and walls. It is crisp and soft with natural and applied light.
“Oxford White is the best choice for bright, crisp interiors.” It is just a little bit more soft than a pure white and can be used in all types of interiors, traditional and modern.” — Stephanie Brown
14) Sherwin Williams Origami White SW7636
“Origami White” is a soft off-white that can be used to enhance modern interiors. This is a great choice for an organic or eclectic feel.” Stephanie Brown
15) Farrow & Ball School House White No. 291
Farrow & Ball “Farrow & Ball’s Schoolhouse White is my go-to, no-fail white. It is a timeless white that encourages warmth and old-world charm. It creates a comfortable and welcoming home.” — Cortney bishop
16) Benjamin Moore Cloud Nine OC-119
Benjamin Moore MA Allen Buy Now
17) Clare Snow Day
ELLE Decor “Snow Day” is the perfect cool-white that doesn’t feel sterile. This is a great choice for a sunny room, or a bright white that can be paired with cool colors.
18) Sherwin Williams Pure White 7005
ELLE Decor “Finding the right shade of white can be a difficult task. But, it’s not easy to find the right shade of white. I have found that honest shades of white are more successful than those that contain hidden undertones of yellows, blues, or pinks. Pure White by Sherwin Williams is an elegant white that grounds the space and provides a neutral backdrop to let your furniture shine.” Eileen Keshishian
Pure White by Sherwin Williams is my favorite. It’s warm and inviting with a soft brightness. It is great for trim, indoors or out, and it doesn’t look too harsh. It looks great on kitchen cabinets.
19) Benjamin Moore White Dove OC-17
Megan Tatem “Benjamin Moore White Dove is our favorite living room color. It’s a warm, pastel-colored white that complements the feminine space’s fresh pastel colors. This creates a welcoming and calm room perfect for entertaining. To keep the living area a transitional space, we prefer to use wow colors in accessories and fabrics, rather than the walls.
“White Dove’s creamy undertone brings warmth to homes in urban areas or in regions that are often grayed and overcast. White Dove is a crisp white in traditional settings. It’s not too modern or cold, but it does read well in these settings.” Emilie Munroe
“I love White Dove by Benjamin Moore. It is so versatile! This color is great for combining with abstracts, sculptures, and street art because I am a big fan of artists and art. Wise Owl Opalescent Pearl Glaze is my favorite. It shimmers softly with directional lighting and the walls don’t fight with art, fabrics, or rugs. It is simple, clean, and timeless!” — Kari Whitney
“We love Benjamin Moore’s White Dove OC-17. It is warm and doesn’t read as yellow. This makes it look fresh, but not too stark. We love the creamy richness it gives to walls or cabinets when we use it. It can be paired with many other colors, so it works well with any color.
Although it sounds easy to find the perfect white paint color, there are many factors that must be considered when choosing the right tone. White Dove by Benjamin Moore is my go-to because it strikes the right balance between warm and cool. It’s a fan favourite!” — Bria Hammel. Buy Now
20) Benjamin Moore Simply White O-117
American Artist Benjamin Moore Simply White is always a crowd pleaser. It’s warm and true white, that looks crisp and cozy in any space.” Kristen Pena
“Benjamin Moore Simply White has been my favorite choice for a kitchen. It feels just right-not too cold, not too warm.” – Victoria Hagan. Benjamin Moore Natura Simply white has a slight warm undertone that keeps it from feeling too sterile. (No hospital vibes). I have yet to find a color scheme that Simply White doesn’t compliment. Because the paint color radiates, it can work well in darker areas with limited natural light. This eco-friendly paint has zero VOCs for the environment!
Benjamin Moore’s Simply White is a well-known white paint that I love to use. It’s a warm, sunny white paint that I use on both the walls and trim. It is a creamy white color that doesn’t seem too yellow. To enhance the glow, I love to use it with Snowfall White on my ceiling.” — Chauncey Boothby
21) Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace O-65
Benjamin Moore “When I want a clean, pure white, like the one I used in every room in a Spanish Modern home here in Los Angeles, Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace OC 65 is my favorite color. It is a subtle, cool grey base, rather than warm yellow undertones. This makes it a beautiful, clear shade of white.” Rosa Beltran
Chantilly Lace from Benjamin Moore is the most universal paint color that I have used. It is a warm, welcoming paint color that I keep coming back to. This is my tried-and-true method in a sea of whites.
22) Benjamin Moore Chalk White 2126-70
Benjamin Moore “Benjamin Moore 2126-70 is my favorite white paint color. Chalk White is a gray-scale white that can be used in a variety of tones, including warm and cool. This color is used for stain finishes, paint, metal foils, custom-colored reverse-painted glass, and paint. This color is included in almost every paint schedule that our company issues.” Katherine Newman. Buy Now
23. Portola Snow Leopard
Portola: “I’m always looking for a white color that has depth but isn’t too obvious. This color is a great backdrop for traditional and modern projects. It’s also white when it’s up, but it creates a warm, beautiful environment.” Kazuko Hoshino Buy Now
24) Benjamin Moore Navajo White OC-05
“Think melted vanilla ice cream. Its creamy undertone makes it the perfect choice for country houses and spaces that are naturally lit. You can make a whole room with Navajo White. It gives it a personality.” Alexandra Champalimaud. Buy Now
25) Dunn Edwards Whisper DEW340
“I have to admit that I am a sucker for colors with whimsical names. This particular one ‘whispered to’ me when I was trying to paint my entire Guadalajara showroom and office. This color has a calm and soothing tone, which is similar to the natural white shade. It’s very primitive, but it feels organic to me.” Erick Millan Buy Now
26) Benjamin Moore Cloud White 967
Benjamin Moore “Cloud White” by Benjamin Moore is soft and ethereal. It is a timeless white shade that can be used to modernize or reduce a space without making it appear too sterile.” – Anne Hepfer. Buy Now
27) Sherwin Williams Extra White SW 7006
“This color is clean and not too bright. It can be used in a variety of interiors.” Robin Strickler. Buy Now
28) Benjamin Moore Dune White 968
Benjamin Moore “I am currently in a love affair Benjamin Moore’s Dune White. I tend to avoid whites that are too transparent and lacking in pigment. Dune White’s knocked down elements appeal to me. It is a warm and flattering color both inside and out. It’s true white with the dimming switch turned down, which I tell my clients.” Janie Molster Buy Now
29) Farrow & Ball Wevet Number. 273
Farrow & Ball
“I love a white that has depth and texture. This is why I love Wevet from Farrow & Ball. It is a lovely shade of gray. It is a beautiful gray color.
30) Benjamin Moore Super White PM-1
It is the purest expression of white without any color undertones. It reminds me of the Gagosian Gallery’s galleries. This color makes your furniture stand out like an art piece. That’s what I love about it.” Jon Call
Super white is my favorite color. It’s the most brightening and cleanest color I can find. Some people may find it too cool. It’s perfect for me!” — Tali Roth. Buy Now
31) Benjamin Moore Crisp Linen CSP-305
“When it is white paint, I prefer a warm undertone to cool. Simply White by Benjamin Moore is my favorite. For a more historic, lived-in look, I use Simply White by Benjamin Moore.” — Katie Hackworth. Buy Now
33) Benjamin Moore Calm OC-22
Calm by Benjamin Moore is my absolute favorite white. Calm by Benjamin Moore has a softening and cozier feeling due to the inclusion of a little warm gray. It also provides the backdrop for timeless, crisp interiors. Calm can also be sensitive to changes in light, natural or artificial. It can be used in any style, color scheme or room.
Dayna Dabek – Buy Now
34) Benjamin Moore White Diamond 2121-60
“This was my old living room, which I loved for its coolness. It was a cool color that I liked, as I tend to prefer cool tones over warm ones. It looked slightly blue if you made it a true white. It looked great in person. It looked really white in person.
35) Benjamin Moore China White PM-20
It never fails me, regardless of where I am in the country. It doesn’t make pink or break green. It doesn’t break green or pink when compared to pure white.
36) Farrow & Ball All White Number. 2005
It’s called “a completely pure white” and that’s exactly what it is. White paint can be difficult to work with if it is too gray, blue, or green. This will skew the look you are trying to achieve. All White is beautiful and pure without any underlying tone.” — Alessandra, Modsy
It’s like having a friend. It’s easy to have around, reliable and makes you and everything around you look great. It is consistent in all light but can make a room glow in the afternoon.” — Brad Ford. Buy Now
37) C2 Cotton C2-836
“White isn’t shy. It makes everything in its path come forward. Cotton by C2 has a slight yellow undertone and is one of the most soft whites. It is the perfect backdrop for wood, and I love it in bedrooms. It makes skin shine.” Elizabeth Martin
38) Valspar Honeymilk 7003-4
It can be difficult to get white paint just right. A warmer, gentler white with a touch of gray or beige is your best option. Honeymilk is a soft, wall-friendly white. “I’ve used it for a gazillion different rooms and it has never disappointed me.” Elaine Griffin Buy Now
39) Benjamin Moore Lily in the Valley 905
This is a creamy white that really warms up the space. This will not look right in any other brand.
This color was my go-to for trim more than 20 years ago, when I needed a warm, rich white. It is great for rooms with lots of light, as well as those that have a lot.” — Alessandra Branca. Buy Now
40) Farrow & Ball Great White
It’s a white with character and is not sterile. Great White is best when it has natural light, especially in the morning when warm, fresh tones are visible. It changes color throughout the day–from white to not quite-gray.” Kara Mann Buy Now
41) Benjamin Moore Decorator’s White CC-20
This white is great for ceilings, woodwork and any other room that needs a bright, clean look. It is versatile and can be used with any type of light source. While some whites are slightly colder and more blue than others, Decorator’s white is warm and modern.
Benjamin Moore Decorator’s White is my favorite white wall. It is crisp and cool making it the perfect backdrop for other colors in a room.” – Ohara Davies-Gaetano Buy Now
42) Benjamin Moore Paper White OC-55
“Paper white [is great] to create a beautiful lighting gray white.” — Highlyann Kresnow, The Design High
“I use Paper White in my kitchens and bathrooms, because it blends the grays from Carrara marble with the stark white of the sinks and toilets.” — Katie Ridder. Buy Now
43) Farrow & Ballpointing No. 2003
“This ivory is perfect for almost any setting, as it’s not too bright or too creamy. That balance is what we strive for. It has been proven in both a sun-drenched farmhouse living area and a one-windowed bedroom in New York City.” — Anne Maxwell Foster and Suysel Cunningham of Tilton Fenwick
“I’m drawn to colors that I refer to as non-colors like Farrow & Ball’s Pointing. It is similar to an old piece parchment paper and adds warmth to walls. The hue can be intensified by sunlight, adding a warm glow to a space.
44) Benjamin Moore White Wisp OC-54
It’s a tinted, bright white that has a hint gray-green. It’s great for trimming cool-colored walls. I have a lot of wall coverings made from hemp cloth and other natural materials. Many of these papers look crisp when you use White Wisp to trim them.” Frank Roop. Buy Now
45) Farrow & Ball Wimborne No. 239
It has a slight yellow tint, but it doesn’t read too warm. It just feels like a perfectly white, pure, and clean white. It has a richness due to the depth of Farrow & Ball formulas. It’s the white that I prefer for traditional interiors.” Amy Sklar
Farrow and Ball Wimborne White is a gorgeous shade of white with depth and dimension. It can be used in high gloss to achieve a chic, modern look without the need for a lacquer.
46) Benjamin Moore Winter Orchard 1555
“I love Winter Orchard because of its subtle gray tinge. It works well with all colors.” — Taniya Nyak. Buy Now
47) Dunn Edwards Swiss Coffee DEW341
“Every home should have one comfortable room such as the living area. This space is where I prefer to use white paint as the backdrop for my amazing collection of art. It adds a splash of color. Trip Haenisch – Buy Now
48) Farrow & Ball Slipper Satin Number. 2004
Slipper Satin is my favorite for “fleshing up” traditional rooms. It is soothing and provides a sense of serenity and ease. It is inviting and comfortable, but also works well in more architectural houses that have a lot of accoutrements.” — Jeffrey Alan Marks.
49) Dunn Edwards Historic White DET653
The classic warm white is a great choice for any interior, both now and in the future. Ultrapremium paints from the DE Everest series offer clients low-odor and zero-VOC finishes that contribute to indoor air quality.
50) Benjamin Moore Acadia White OC-38
Benjamin Moore’s Acadia White is my favorite Goldilocks. It’s just right: not too hot, not too cold, but just right. It’s the perfect creamy white off-white.” — Patrick Ediger. Buy Now
Kelsey MulveyKelsey Mulvey, a freelance lifestyle journalist, covers shopping and deals for Marie Claire Women’s Health and Men’s Health.
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