Painting a room white might seem like a straightforward undertaking at first, but settling on the right shade is easier said than done. Because, ICYMI: Not all white paint are created equal. With so many brands and different variations available, there are a number of crucial factors to take into account before picking your paint—from sheen and undertones (many whites carry hints of other colors, including blues, grays, and yellows) to personal taste (how do you feel about cool vs. warm?).
In order to get to the bottom of the best white paint dilemma, we asked 15 interior designers for the swatches they swear by—and, believe us when we say, their expert-approved picks are nothing short of life-saving. Read on for the no-fail white paints they can’t design without.
Behr, Ultra White
If there’s anyone who truly understands the ins and outs of decorating with white, it’s interior designer-turned-HGTV superstar, Leanne Ford. Crisp and pure, Behr’s Ultra White is best when used to amplify the character, texture, and structure of a space, and Ford’s white-on-white office nook at her renovated farmhouse (pictured above) serves as solid proof.
“I love using a matte white on a textured wall, walls with wood or interesting trim,” Ford previously told Domino of playing with matte finishes in addition to high-gloss in an exclusively white space. “The mix of both of these finishes in one room feels great as well.”
Benjamin Moore, Simply White
True to name, Benjamin Moore’s iconic color has long been loved the world over for its ease and versatility. Want your walls to radiate utter warmth? This white paint, which boasts subtle yellow undertones, is the one for you. Shavonda Gardner, the blogger behind SG Style, and Cali-based designer and stylist Dee Murphy both claim Simply White as their go-to hue.
Benjamin Moore, Seapearl
Guaranteed to set the stage for elegance, it’s no wonder why Joshua Greene and Katrina Hernandez of the design firm Hernandez Greene love this timeless shade, which falls into the grayish, beige family.
Benjamin Moore, China White
“The white that is in our studio is one that we adore every single day. China White by Benjamin Moore is warm and welcoming, without an ounce of sterility,” says Atlanta-based designer Stephanie Andrews of the delicate, off-white shade. Seasoned NYC-based designer Starrett Ringbom also approves of the shade (though her own home is full of color).
Benjamin Moore, White Dove
When it came to decking out their dreamy San Francisco home, design duo Susan and Ben Work knew they wanted to wash their walls in one particularly luminous hue: White Dove. And to say their pick paid off would be an understatement (note how the clean, modern shade beautifully balances out the stained wood floors and antique dining chairs).
Ashlina Kaposta, the creative behind The Decorista, also firmly stands behind White Dove, a favorite for moldings and trim.
Not too warm and not too cool, this bright white from Dunn Edwards hits the ultimate sweet spot. Artist, designer, and desert-dweller, Lindsay Hollinger is a self-professed fan. (Check out Hollinger’s chill boho patio in Joshua Tree.)
Benjamin Moore, Super White
“My all time favorite is Benjamin Moore’s Super White. No chance of it looking yellow, grey, or dingy! [It] immediately makes the room feel fresh and clean,” says interior stylist and blogger Anita Yokota, who created our favorite new design blog, of the sparkling white paint.
In favor of a more crisp, to-the-point paint, Lark & Linen’s Jacquelyn Clark keeps this serene pick in her back pocket at all times. If your room already boasts cooler tones (like deep shades of green or blue), try Chantilly Lace.
When paired with earthy browns or lively blues, this creamy, off-white color truly shines. Mama-turned-blogger Katrina Blair Sullivan is one of many who can’t live without this top-seller.
No favorite? No problem.
While, yes, most designers have one or two white paints they swear by, for others—like Julia Marcum, one of the designers behind the renovation blog Chris Loves Julia (winner of the best renovation blog), and tiny home-dweller Whitney Leigh Morris—it’s not always so black and white (pun intended).
“We have used so many different white paints in our own home!” Marcum tells Domino. “I don’t think there is a ‘best’ white paint. We’ve used Simply White, Chalk, Alabaster, Ultra White—all of them. And depending on the room, lighting and mood we’re going for, it’s made it best.”
Morris couldn’t agree more. “It all depends on the space,” notes the blogger. “What about grout though? I’d love to hear more designers chiming in on those tones, because grout can have a huge impact on a project!”
All in all, there is no one true “best white paint.” The key is selecting the shade that speaks best to you, your home, and your walls.
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