Looking for a white paint?

Are you looking for a white paint but don’t know where to start? Yes, I’ve been there done that! It’s tricky to get it right (and don’t even start me on the colour grey!). Today I have a list of some white paints you might like to consider. The first thing you will need to decide on is whether you are after a COOL white or a WARM white. Once you decide which is your preference you can start to limit your choices.

Here are the 2 broken down with a few ideas for you…

Cool Whites

Cool whites are colours that have a blue, grey or green undertone. Cool colours work well in more modern homes. Usually rooms which are filled in natural light can benefit from a cool white. They offer a crisp, sleek and elegant look.

See some examples below.

Crisp White Taubmans – probably the truest white. This is my colour at home.

Crisp White Taubmans

Lexicon Dulux – this room below was done in half strength (don’t forget that if you narrow your paint choices down that you can also ask for them to be in a half-tint if you think it’s a little too grey/blue).

lexicon

Infinity White British Paints – gorgeous colour – a little hint of grey, but not too much.

Infinity White British Paints

Vivid White Dulux – bright and light.

Vivid White Dulux

Extra White Sherwin-Williams – looks great in a large space.

Extra White Sherwin-Williams

Manhattan Snow Wattyl – Amie and I used this colour in our house at The Block. We loved it!

manhattan snow wattyl

Warm Whites

Warm whites are colours with yellow, red and brown undertones. They are cosy and inviting more suited to traditional styling.

See some examples below.

Whisper White Dulux – a little bit warmer with a slight cream undertone.

Whisper White Dulux

Linen White Wattyl – also a little creamer and looks great bright white gloss accents.

Linen White Wattyl

Love Note British Paints – creamy with the slightest pink tone.

Love Note British Paints

Antique White USA Dulux – I did my last house in this. Not too creamy – just not as stark as a cool white. This is my favourite warm white paint colour.

Antique White USA dulux

Natural White Dulux – fresh brown undertone – great with timber furniture.

Natural White Dulux

White Beam British Paints – natural and inviting.

White Beam British Paints

TIPS when choosing:

  • Hold the swatch away from other swatches (other colours can throw it off).
  • Don’t choose your colour based on the swatch laying down – make sure it’s upright.
  • Buy a piece of plaster board and paint that using your colour (don’t put more than one colour on a board, create new boards per colour) and rest them in your rooms to see how they look at different times of the day.
  • Think about the lighting in your room. Less light might mean your paint choice can be a little brighter/lighter or with half strength tint.
  • Think about the furniture in your room. Black furniture looks better with a cooler colour, timber furniture might look better with a warmer white.

Do you have a favourite white? Or any tips for selecting white paint?

February 8, 2016

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41 Comments

  1. Reply

    Bianca Ward

    February 9, 2016

    I wish I had seen this 5 minutes ago. I just had a lady in looking to match a white, would have been handy????

  2. Reply

    Kirsty McCann Leckie

    February 9, 2016

    Angus Leckie

  3. Reply

    Sum

    February 9, 2016

    Thanks so much for this info. We are building and I was scared off using white because I thought it would look to cold, but all your suggestions on the warm whites are great! I think I may go a warm white vs the 1/4 strength hog bristle I thought I was going to go. Thanks 🙂

  4. Reply

    Jorja Thompson

    February 9, 2016

    Did you seriously read my mind Katrina, thank you so much!! I was so going to ask you to do a blog on this one..
    Aaron check this out please and get your roller ready ????????

  5. Reply

    Georgia Imhoff

    February 9, 2016

    Andrew Flanders – thought of you Flash !

  6. Reply

    Jonas Bel

    February 9, 2016

    Where were you 6 months ago when I was updating my bedroom paint to white? ????
    We went with Antique white USA. Different to swatch but we still like it ????

    Now to do living areas ????

  7. Reply

    Jonas Bel

    February 9, 2016

    Phill

  8. Reply

    Jennie Meiklejohn

    February 9, 2016

    Perfect timing. I picked up some white samples a few days ago to paint my new office!

  9. Reply

    Susan

    February 10, 2016

    Oh could you do this for greys please. I am having a hard time choosing

    • Reply

      Katrina

      February 11, 2016

      Ok sure, I’ll get something written up 🙂

      • Reply

        Michelle

        October 28, 2016

        This is such a great blog about whites! Thanks! But some greys would be awesome….. Please!

  10. Reply

    Jennie

    February 18, 2016

    I’ve had to re-read your post Katrina. The whites are doing my head in! At least I’ve now narrowed it down to the warm whites …..

  11. Reply

    Beck Rudd Adler

    February 19, 2016

    Jo McInnes

  12. Reply

    Jo Murrell

    April 24, 2016

    Have just finished painting 3rd bedroom in American antique white. Looks wonderful….. (the room was blue for over 10 years)

  13. Reply

    Shelly Ramsey

    April 24, 2016

    Love Antique White USA, painted most of the house in this colour 9 years ago…hubby will kill me when I say its time to repaint the house…still think we will go the Antique White USA

  14. Reply

    Nicole Watson

    April 25, 2016

    Painting our house in Dulux Natural White (over the 1/2 strength Hog Bristle) & I absolutely LOVE it.. So fresh & clean !!

  15. Reply

    Jules

    August 4, 2016

    We’ve just bought an older home and are keeping the timber skirtings, doors/windows. I already have all the swatches you mentioned up on my wall and have no idea.

    Any recommendations (or photo examples) with timber trims???

    • Reply

      Donna

      August 7, 2016

      Hi Jules, I used Dulux natural white in our 1930s house with all original wood floors, trim, and Windows. Looks great, really refreshed the rooms but didn’t look too stark next to the wood. Good luck. Donna.

  16. Reply

    Alex

    August 14, 2016

    We are looking to paint the kids playroom white – it’s very sunny and the creamy neutral it is currently painted (I’d guess antique white USA) looks really yellow. The room will also have a blackboard wall, so leaning towards cool whites to go with black but then wondering if it will look odd looking through from the ‘warmer’ coloured living spaces? What would you suggest?

  17. Reply

    Karen

    October 11, 2016

    Hi, I am tossing up between Dulux Mt Aspiring and Dulux Rottnest for our new place. Most of the cabinets are Polar White and the floor will be spotted gum. Side by side Mt Aspiring looks like half strength Rottnest. I want a clean but slightly warm look and the main living area faces north. Suggestions would be appreciated.

  18. Reply

    Steve

    October 17, 2016

    We painted walls in Whisper White and the ceilings in Dulux Ceiling Paint (Lexicon 1/4) .
    Arcs, skirts , and windows all in Lexicon Full Gloss Enamel. Looks fantastic

  19. Reply

    Ruth Thompson

    November 2, 2016

    Oh Katrina, so many choices and little pots all over the place. Have a an old farm house where every room. Limed white and looking got change. Reading is Natural white seemed lovely and refreshing but
    1) what colour gif all the doors and trims?? And
    2) recommended New York for trims and doors looks pink 🙁 and vivid white looked as if I have no imagination…. so true 🙁

    • Reply

      Ruth Thompson

      November 2, 2016

      Sorry about typos. Didn’t check the darn predictive text. Sorry

  20. Reply

    Monika

    November 8, 2016

    Good morning Katrina, I’m in a desperate need of advice. I’m trying to decide what shade of white to choose for our apartment. I was all set to go with half strength of Dulux Terrace White and then I started to read different blogs and I’m back to square one. I’m now thinking of Dulux Vivid White. Our apartment doesn’t get much natural light due to all the tall trees surrounding us and there is the carpet that is gray. I don’t like for the paint to throw any undertone of purple, pink or blue. I think Vivid White would brighten the place up. I’m after a contemporary look. Could you please help what colour to choose? Thank you so much.

    • Reply

      Katrina

      November 8, 2016

      Vivid white is perfect! Or Lexicon 1/4 strength. I’ve seen that yesterday and it’s similar to vivid white but does have a slight colour. Terrace White is quite grey. Hope that helps a bit!

  21. Reply

    Nicki

    December 5, 2016

    Hi Katrina I want to paint my walls white but there are too many whites to choose and I can’t decide Currently the walls are mint My favorite brand is Dulux. Our furniture are brown /black and carpet and tiles are forest green. The frames around the windows are natural timber and so are our doors What do you recommend.

  22. Reply

    Calli Ryan

    March 16, 2017

    We have just sat down with a Colour Consultant for help in choosing a white for our home. Too many choices….very overwhelming.

  23. Reply

    Tracey Buerckner

    March 16, 2017

    This might help me Tania Botha – isn’t it funny when things pop up just after you talk about them!

    • Reply

      Tania Botha

      March 16, 2017

      Ha ha ha! How funny, it is like Facebook reads your mind sometimes doesn’t it! Hopefully it does help xx

  24. Reply

    Carolyn Doyle

    March 16, 2017

    Just read this post on your site, great post!!! and yes I agree…you now have to do one on grey. 🙂

  25. Reply

    Tanya Slack-Smith

    March 16, 2017

    but white is just white!!! Why do we have to choose!!!

  26. Reply

    Samantha Somerville

    March 17, 2017

    I have been meaning to tell you that I have just used Infinity White on a unit I’ve renovated and I got the idea from this article. I love the colour! It’s exactly what I was looking for xx

  27. Reply

    Julie

    March 19, 2017

    Katrina, I have just found this post and the timing is perfect. We are renovating a 50’s weatherboard house and our kitchen cabinets a cool white gloss and the splash back is soft grey. The dining and family room that adjoin the kitchen don’t get a lot of natural light and I want this area to look bright and fresh. But I also don’t want it to look to sterile. Our skirting boards and doors have been painted in lexicon half strength but I am not sure what colour to paint the walls now. Would something like natural white look too warm against the lexicon half strength doors and skirts. Also when painting a room white do you still paint the ceilings ceiling white?

  28. Reply

    Jan

    April 2, 2017

    Hello…Whisper white v’s Antique white USA?? I thought antique looked creamier, but your advice above says otherwise…is there much in it do you thonk..varying degrees of light throughout but mostly, east and west facing..

  29. Reply

    Heather

    April 4, 2017

    Hi Katrina. My dilemma is blocking my thinking processes. Please can you help me?

    The main bedroom is situated in the SE corner of our Queenslander and is enclosed on two sides by sleepouts with french doors. There is very little natural light. Our furnishings are minimal with a focus on warm, natural textiles. I do love the moodiness of the room which is currently painted in Wattyl Metropolitan 1/4 strength with contrasting ceiling and trim (previous owners’ choice). However, we’re moving interstate as soon as our house sells, and I would like to give this room the appearance of being light and bright and inviting, despite the limitations. I’ve read that warm whites work well in rooms with minimal natural light, and I am hoping that you will be kind enough to give me some pointers. Our paint preferences are Resene, Porters Paints or Wattyl. Many, many thanks! ~ heather

  30. Reply

    Leeanne

    April 27, 2017

    Hi … i need help.. i painted the ceilings lexicon half and the walls white exchange half.. now need to paint the kitchens cuboards in white. Which white should i go for ? still unsure of my splash back color to

  31. Reply

    Judy

    May 19, 2017

    I have used Dulux Lexicon half in a very sunny room (Lex 1/4 on trim) and love it. I can ‘see’ the blue shadow in it. As I paint into less sunny rooms, I still want to use white, but I want neither a blue tint or yellow creamy feel.. Would Dulux White on White be suitable?
    We have a narrow hall, so thinking of painting White on White on walls and ceiling. Will that help to make the hallway seem ‘larger’? (Why do painters always want to use Ceiling white everywhere??)

    • Reply

      Katrina

      May 20, 2017

      Vivid white is great too!

  32. Reply

    Robyn

    May 20, 2017

    Arrghhh more confused. Building and kitchen is black, carpet charcoal and tiles creamy grey. Need to lighten a bit so was thinking lexicon 1/4 but don’t want a blue tinge. I want a clean white with a hint of grey… what do you think. Apparently roof will be done in builders white.

    • Reply

      Gail

      June 13, 2017

      Hi Robyn – you may want to try 1/2 or 1/4 SurfMist. SurfMist is what Colorbond use for their white roofs. It looks more white in horizontal, than in verticals but has a very modern, elegant spin on white that will void any blue, pink, green or yellow hues. Will blend nicely with your charcoal and creamy grey. Google some images in surfmist and see what you think.

    • Reply

      Anne-Marie Cres

      June 13, 2017

      Hi Robyn We used Dulux Whisper white in our house. Its a warm white a little creamy but looks greyish . This compliments our grey exposed beams painted with Dulux Milton Moon. Its been 3yrs and i still love it. Im now doing a new kitchen shaker style. I’m tossinf up between Snowy Mountains half or natural white…decorators please guide me!

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