Looking for a white that isn’t too cold or stark? Here are the best white paint colors for your home!
White walls are a clean slate, a blank canvas, the perfect backdrop. But, white walls can easily feel cold and sterile.
When you go to the store looking for white paint, you will see that there are rows and rows and rows of options. It’s not as simple as just white.
Picking a white is a lot harder than it sounds!
How do you pick the best white paint color?
My process for choosing paint colors goes:
- Get paper swatches
- Hold them up all over the room
- Choose 3-5 swatches to get samples of
- Paint large samples all over the room
- Look at the samples day and night, lights on and lights off
- Pick your favorite white paint!
There are a few things to consider specifically when choosing a white paint color.
Warm white vs cool white paint
The first thing to consider is undertones. You want to note the undertones of the fixtures in your space – flooring or furniture that won’t be changing – and coordinate with that color palette.
White paint can have either warm undertones or cool undertones.
Warm undertones means that it has hints of yellow, gold, or tan.
Cool undertones means that it has hints of blue or gray.
The best way to determine the undertones of white wall paint is to place a color swatch next to pure white printer paper. When in doubt, add a few swatches of other shades of white paint.
It should be pretty clear if the white feels yellow, blue, green, or even pink!
What color should trim be if walls are white?
You have a few options for trim paint colors with white walls.
One is to paint the trim the same color as the walls. You could choose the exact same shade but in a semi gloss finish to differentiate the two.
Alternatively, you can go for a contrasting color. Black, navy, or a charcoal color are all popular high-contrast trim colors.
Finally, you could go for an accent color. Usually a dustier color works better than a very bright color. Think dusty denim blue! This is a great way to bring color to your walls and break them up without having too much color in the space.
What is the best white paint for interior walls?
Unfortunately, there is not a one-size-fits-all white paint color that works best in every room.
Some rooms do well with a soft white, some need a neutral white, and some need something with more yellow undertones for warmth.
The answer is that you need to test multiple white paint samples in your room, with your lighting and your fixtures, to choose the best white paint for your room!
What type of white paint is best?
With white paint, it’s very important to buy high quality paint, preferably paint and primer in one to get good coverage.
Cheap white paint can take a LOT of coats to get coverage, which will end up costing you more for the extra quantity of paint!
The best warm white paint colors
Here are some of the best white paint colors for interior walls of your home!
Sherwin Williams Alabaster SW 7008
Alabaster is an ultra popular (2016 color of the year!) creamy white paint color. It is not pure white but has creamy beige undertones. It is not at all yellow.
This color is a perfect balance between warm and cool, which is a big part of what makes it so universally appealing.
Sherwin Williams Pure White SW 7005
Pure White is a bright white color with a slight warmth – but no creaminess – to it. This color has a very tiny amount of yellow undertone to it which is what gives it that warmth, however it really does not read as yellow at all.
Benjamin Moore White Dove
White Dove is a soft, warm white color. It has slight green undertones to it. Placed next to a white sheet of paper, it can look slightly yellow, but on its own it almost never reads that way.
This is a great neutral paint color for walls or trim! This is one of the most popular Benjamin Moore paint colors, and for a great reason!
Behr Polar Bear
This color is very close to white dove due to its greenish undertones. However, Polar Bear is a bit brighter and therefore seems lighter. It’s a great option for clean but not stark looking walls or trim.
Behr Swiss Coffee
Swiss Coffee is another ultra popular white paint color by Behr. This color is a bit creamier, with more beige undertones, and less stark white. It has a neutral base, which helps to keep it from looking yellow. It is a slightly off white but does not read tan at all.
Sherwin Williams Aesthetic White SW7035
Aesthetic white is really less of a white and more of a light greige paint color. It has a lot of beige and a little gray to it. North-facing windows will bing out the beige, while southern facing windows will let this color feel more white!
Still not sure what paint color to choose?
My Paint Color Formula ebook walks you through the painless process of expertly testing paint swatches to ensure you have the perfect color for your home.
The best way to sample paint? Samplize!
Thanks for reading!
Morgan is passionate about home decor and paint colors. She has been sharing DIY home decor tips since 2012 at CharlestonCrafted.com. From there, she learned to love paint colors, and the Paint Color Project was born in 2022!