Picking the perfect white paint for your home is the Holy Grail of design choices. This quest isn’t impossible, though – armed with these tips, you’ll have the right white in no time.
The White Stuff
The first step in finding a shade of white that’s right for you is to get to know the spectrum of whites out there. White paints usually have blue, green, red or yellow undertones – layer chits on a piece of white paper to see those subtle colours pop.
It’s What’s Inside That Counts
Before picking a paint shade for a room, look around at what’s in it (or will go in it). If the furnishings are neutral, pick up a warmer white; if there’s a lot of colour, go with a cooler white.
The Mix Up
Oftentimes, the best white for a space isn’t “white” at all – it’s a true white mixed with a touch of yellow, red, orange or pink for a warmer white; or green, blue or purple for a cooler white.
It’s also a good idea to look at the style of your home – a pure white paint makes a space feel more modern, while a white tinged with some colour feels more traditional.
If you’re not sure whether your home can handle a cool white or if a warmer shade is better suited, split the difference and choose one that’s right in the middle.
The amount of natural light in a room can also have an impact on how the paint looks on the walls. If a space has lots of natural light, a pure white is best; if natural light is low, look for a white with more pigment.
Where you are in the world can also inform how white looks on the walls. In greyer climates, such as coastal B.C., having a grey undertone in the white complements the light quality. In clear-sky prairie locales, the same colour may appear pink (thanks to more blue light coming through).
Before you even think about purchasing a single gallon of paint, take home a handful of paint chips. Take more than you think you’ll need; what looked crisp and modern in the store may be too cool in the actual space or what seemed warm and welcoming could be way too pink for what you had in mind.
Swatch it Up
Since white changes drastically depending on the light in the room, seeing a shade in situ is also a must. Once you’ve narrowed down the chip choices, pick up a few sample cans and paint swatches as big as you can – check back throughout the day to see how the light changes the colour.
If you’re planning to paint multiple rooms white, stick with one shade for everything. It’s way easier to do touchups down the road if you only have to keep track of one paint name/number. This soft, grey-tinged white is an ultra-versatile shade that would look chic in any room.