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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 white paint:

  • 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?

♥ KC.

56 comments

  • Nicki

    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.

  • Calli Ryan

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

  • Tracey Buerckner

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

    • Tania Botha

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

  • Carolyn Doyle

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

  • Samantha Somerville

    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

  • Julie

    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?

  • Jan

    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..

  • Heather

    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

  • Leeanne

    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

  • Judy

    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??)

    • Katrina (author)

      Vivid white is great too!

  • Robyn

    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.

    • Gail

      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.

      • Elisabeth

        Hi Gail,
        Colorbond Surfmist, inside a house is nowhere near white. I’ve used it in bedrooms and it’s a wonderful beigey colour which is so, so restful! I have a Surfmist roof and the comparison of the two, which can be seen at the window, is astonishing. It’s definitely not a white when used inside.

    • Anne-Marie Cres

      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!

  • Jennie

    Hi, My living room is south faceing on western side of the house so it dose not get allot of sun. Also being a Queenslander home can be quite cold. The arcitraves and fret work is painted Antique white USA and the walls amish linen. The Amish linen is looking very dated and yellow so I want to repaint the walls but leave the fretwork. Can you please help with ideas for a white to complement the Fretwork colour antique white USA nothing too stark I am finding it a challenge to get warm without yellow. Our floors are honey timber color.

  • Renae

    I have chosen 1/4 SurfMist in a polished concrete (grey tones) slate tiles (darker grey tones) and monochrome fittings throughout. The carpet is also a chunky weave grey with variation. I am sooo incredibly stuck on the colour of the window finishings against the white walls. The front of the house will be in white plantation shutters however the open living area, the kitchen windows bedrooms etc. I am really unsure about – do you think white block out blinds and white drapes (something in a warm clean tone) will be too stark against the paint and dark floors. Your advice will help me sleep at night Im so stuck !

  • Ange

    I was all set sign dulux vivid white for my current reno and the painter is saying it will look unfinished and he hates it. Now I’m questioning myself. He recommended lexicon quarter which was my second choice but I’ve seen heaps of people have used vivid white as a wall colour!

    • Sam

      Vivid white is the name Dulux uses for all there base white paints it’s untinted it’s not a real colour in terms of a mixture it is stark and can look very much unfinished lexicon 1/4 is a far better option.

      • Sonia

        Hi I’m in the same position
        What did you end up going with please

    • Lynette

      My painter didnt want to paint our frames/skirting vivid white either…. not a real colour apparently. I did it anyway and it is the best part of the room….

      Am renovating a beach house now and thinking of doing all vivid white!!

  • Chris

    Hi Katrina,

    I have been reading your posts and have narrowed down my white but still a little confused. I am currently renovating and will install a satin finish white Shaker style kitchen (manufacturer is waiting for me to give him paint colour). The only cabinet colour I am using apart from a white is Dulux Vipere on the island cabinets. There are lots of windows so the room is very light and faces west. The small amount of wall I have is painted NZDulux Haast Half (I believe it has a green undertone). My dilemma is the white for the major part of the kitchen cabinets and there will be a lot. I am trying to decide which is best between Lexicon Quarter or Lexicon Half? Could you help me with my decision please as I do not want to make a very expensive mistake. Benchtops will be Quantum Quartz Venatino Statuario which has a grey marble-like line running through it. Thank you for your help, I would appreciate it very much.

    • Monique Mazzella

      What did you end up going for?
      I’m in the exact same position as you, except I have lexicon quarter on feature wall cladding as will.

  • Varinder

    Hi Katrina,
    Nice blog.
    We are very confused about the colour can you help.
    We are building new home and can only choose taubmans colour but we like how our friends house is looking in antique white from dulux .
    Do you know what colour matches a same colour in taubman?

    Thanks
    Varinder

  • Larissa Petfield

    Help!
    I have no idea on what colours to paint my house. We are In South West Qld. It’s dry and hot! I started painting the back section of my house Antique USA. This colour we painted in our girls rooms and I was going to continue it throughout the house. But now I’m thinking it’s not the right colour. My house in particular the main section of the house is dark. There isn’t a lot of light coming in. I’m thinking it needs a bright crisp white but after reading your post I’m not so sure. Can you help?

    Larissa

  • Sonia

    Hi Katrina
    Currently wanting to paint interior walls Dulux Vivid White. But what colour ceilings …everything looks dirty white against the vivid. Please help. Thanks Sonia

    • Katrina (author)

      Just use vivid white on the ceiling too 🙂

    • Trieu

      Hi Katrina,
      we have been talking to a professional painter. he told us
      if the ceiling is white ..You need to have a wall with Quarter lexicon(little bit of grey)/Antique USA White(little bit of red)… we like with little bit of creamy and red finish… hence we decided to go with Antique USA (look at the picture above.. you can chose a Quarter/half/full)
      Good lucks,
      TN

  • Hira

    Hi Katrina,
    We want to paint our walls Antique white USA. What color should we choose for ceiling, doors and skirts.

    Thanks.

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