You can’t go wrong with a coat of fresh white paint, especially if you’re looking to lighten and brighten up a room. But this seemingly straightforward color choice can feel like anything but when you discover the endless shades of white paint to choose from. (Who knew?) We asked designers to share their pick for the best white paint colors out there, so you can avoid a shade that’s too muddy or too bright, and instead get a white that’s just right.
Designer: Studio Life/Style
Paint Pick: “For a classic white we typically go with Farrow & Ball’s All White.”
Designer: Paloma Contreras
Paint Pick: “Benjamin Moore’s White Dove is my go-to white paint.”
Designer: Chloe Warner
Paint Pick: “C2’s Vellum is the best white.”
Designer: Grant Gibson
Paint Pick: “Super White by Benjamin Moore.”
Designer: Tharon Anderson
Paint Pick: “Benjamin Moore’s White Heron has become a go-to white for us. It’s the perfect white that doesn’t go too creamy or too stark.”
Designer: Ashley Stark
Paint Pick: “Decorator’s White by Benjamin Moore.”
Designer: Leanne Ford
Paint Pick: “White on White by PPG. My mantra: #wearblackpaintwhite.”
Designer: Sarah Bartholomew
Paint Pick: “Benjamin Moore’s Simply White, or anything by Farrow & Ball.”
Designer: Susan Work
Paint Pick: “Our go-to color from project to project is Benjamin Moore’s White Dove, which is the paint that clads the Dia Beacon museum in upstate New York (my favorite art institution). It is both warm and cool, and looks great no matter the light or environment.”
Designer: McGrath II
Paint Pick: “Acadia White by Benjamin Moore. It’s our go-to white. ”
Know Your Paint Finishes
Color is king, but the paint finish you choose will have a huge effect on the overall appearance of your walls, even with white. Here are the options out there and what you need to know to find just the right photo-worthy paint finish.
FLAT / MATTE
Once reserved for ceilings, this matte finish option is becoming more popular for walls, thanks to new developments that make this once impossible to clean finish newly practical. This velvety finish reflects almost no light, making it ideal for hiding wall surface imperfections.
EGGSHELL / SATIN
With just a bit of sheen, these two paint finishes are the most commonly used options for interior walls, especially in areas like the kitchen and bathroom, because of their durable and easily cleanable bit of gloss. It’s also a new, modern-leaning favorite for kitchen cabinets.
This glossy finish is the general go-to for trims and anywhere that takes a heavy beating, since the extra sheen makes it extra durable. The high reflective factor though is something to keep in mind, as it will make an imperfections in the surface more visible.
Reflective in the extreme, a high gloss finish has been gaining in popularity over the years, especially when paired with statement colors like emerald green or a deep navy blue. Used on the ceiling it can make that surface suddenly noticeable, and it’s a fun option for doors.