Many of you have asked me about my white paint selections so often I’ve decided to round up my 4 helpful tips for selecting white paint to share how I approached this crazy process.
When I first began to look at paint choices for my new home I knew that white would always be my first choice. Then came the hard part… which white would I choose and why? As I began this fun and challenging process I was surprised at how varied whites can be.. while some are warm, others are cool. There are more whites than I had ever imagined. What would help me narrow the process?
My infatuation with white paint began years ago… From shabby chic homes to the more modern clean spaces, I’ve always loved the effect that white can have on it’s environment. White acts like a canvas allowing other colors to shine and it’s the perfect backdrop for featuring different textures. I’m currently in the mode of less is more in life… white balances this approach beautifully.
At first glance choosing the right white seems an impossible task. After all… there are hundreds of different shades of whites. It wasn’t until a few designer friends asked me.. What is the overall feeling you want to convey when people enter your home that I knew with confidence my direction. I wanted something that was classic and crisp yet not cold nor too warm. Did the right white exist for me? I decided to do some research which leads me to tip #1.
Tip number 1 ~
Research what other experts have discovered through their own paint selection process. I was amazed once I began my search to find that many interior designers favored the same white paints. I’m always asking my designer friends what they think so why not turn to a larger resource… the internet? Below I’m sharing many of the articles that helped me narrow my direction.
While researching I also looked into the many different paint brands as well as the types of paint they offered. Quite a few of my friends favored Benjamin Moore so I decided to look into all their paints and color choices. Benjamin Moore has one of the largest selections of white paints out there. I knew with Benjamin Moore’s new line of Aura paint, known for it’s ‘color locking technology’ and it’s ‘durability’ that I would have that ‘washability’ factor that is so important when using white paints. In my last home I was constantly washing fingerprints and scuffs off my walls. While I love white walls they definitely show more dirt so having this cleaning ability was really important to me. The cherry on top? Benjamin Moore said they would love to partner with me on this project. It was a win win for everyone… Just to be up front with all of you this is a sponsored post but I only post what I believe in so you can be rest assured that I love Benjamin Moore products regardless.
Tip number 2 ~
Know your flooring ahead of time. Floors cover an entire home and once laid… are more permanent than paint so it’s crucial to know the type of floor and the color you are dealing with before beginning your paint search. Walls and floors sit closely to one another and react differently with other factors playing a part.. the time of day and natural lighting. Comparing the two is so important.. I’ll often check and recheck when making my decision, several times a day in fact to make sure that what I’m leaning toward looks as good from morning, noon and night.
Tip number 3 ~
Know your home’s natural lighting. In our new home we have a ton of windows. It’s because of this I felt safe going in any direction (cool or warm) when selecting my white paint. I knew my determining factor would mostly come down to how my white played against my floors but many don’t have that luxury. For example, in my last home we didn’t have as much natural afternoon light so I had to make sure that my white paint choice didn’t appear cold with the lack of warm sun in the main areas of my home. Natural lighting and the direction your windows face can have a huge impact on which white paint may look best.
My family room & kitchen with bright natural lighting all day long…
After painting several whites on different walls within my new home I placed my favorite floor samples under each paint swatch to see how the two would react. You’d be surprised how many paints change their overall appearance with the reflection from the floor sample and the lighting in each room. North facing rooms usually appear cooler, south and westerly facing rooms have the opposite effect. Because of lighting it’s not uncommon for several different whites to be used within one home. Luckily for me all my wood samples meshed beautifully with most of my choices but one paint color stood out against the pack in ALL rooms… Benjamin Moore’s, Chantilly Lace OC-65.
Chantilly Lace is a clean and classic white. Benjamin Moore describes it as ‘refined’ and it looked so elegant and pure on my walls I knew it was the one. That’s when I made the bold decision to go with Chantilly Lace everywhere in my home except the Master bedroom. Chantilly Lace in a matte finish was the perfect choice for my walls, ultra flat for all ceilings, the semi-gloss finish lent an elegant touch to all trim and doors and finally the satin was placed on all the kitchen cabinets.
The only space painted with a different white is my master bedroom. Knowing that wallpaper would anchor the one wall behind my bed it was important to find a white that complimented the wallpaper and my floors. Simply White OC-17 appeared warmer like the wallpaper yet still maintained that light, fresh feel. Simply White OC-17 was the perfect cozy atmospheric solution.
Tip number 4 ~
Go with what YOU love. In the end it’s important to go with your gut and choose what you love when selecting your paint color. Everyone will have an opinion but what matters the most is how it makes you feel. You are the one living in your home after all… ;)
To wrap up, when looking at painting your home with white paint try breaking down the process with these 4 helpful tips ~
- Research popular designer favorite whites (why not use our best resource since they’ve tested and retested for you? This is their expertise after all… Below I’ve listed a few favorite articles that helped with my decision making process)
- Flooring – What kind of flooring are you going with? Wood, carpet, tile. Does your flooring have a sheen or a color that is cast from it when placed against your paint choices? Compare all paints against your floor choice. Paint is easy to change. Floors are not.
- Lighting – Look at the lighting in your home and ask yourself these questions…
Do you have lots of natural light? Does your home appear dark inside? How does your floor look with the lighting before even looking at paints? These factors play a huge difference in choosing a warmer or cooler white.
- Listen to yourself. Go with what you truly love. What matches your comfort zone. It’s your house after all.
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