The Right White: 3 Ways to Pick the Perfect White Paint Every Time

The Right White: 3 Ways to Pick the Perfect White Paint Every Time

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Jennifer Hunter
Jul 12, 2015

How hard can it be to choose a white paint? Trickier than you might think. Don't get fooled by pretty names like Aspen Snow or Whitewash, here's what you really need to look at before you commit to a shade.

The undertones

White paint has hints of other colors to lend it personality. If you want a warmer, creamier feel try something with yellow undertones. If you want a crisp, modern and brighter look, find a shade with blue undertones. Think about the tones of the other colors in your room and pick your paint to work with what you've got, not against it (or, do the opposite and coordinate your furnishings with your chosen shade).

The light

Where you're putting your paint is a huge factor in how it will look on your walls. Does your room get a lot of natural light? It might wind up looking warmer so you can compensate by choosing a slightly cooler shade. If you have few windows are are relying on artificial light (especially fluorescents), it might skew cooler than it does on the swatch. Plan accordingly.

The sheen

Think about how you want to use your room before you pick the finish. Matte will look velvety and absorb light, semi-gloss and gloss will look reflective and eggshell i somewhere in the middle. The higher the sheen factor, the more durable your paint will be which is why you often see semi-gloss shades of white on baseboards, cabinets and in bathrooms. If you anticipate lots of traffic on your painted surface (hello white floors) then pick something with a higher sheen so it will last.

Now, help us out and tell us your favorite whites.

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