As house painters in San Diego, we talk to a lot of homeowners about paint colors. Typically, people will know what color they want for their walls, but when we ask them what color they want for their trim or cabinets, they will just say, “white.” When we ask them, “Which white?” we sometimes get a blank stare.
What a lot of homeowners don’t know, especially new homeowners, is that there are many, many different shades of white, ranging from warm to cool, with many options in between. Choosing the perfect white depends on several factors, including the amount of natural light a room gets, the type of lighting in the room, and the other colors being used with the white paint.
To get you started on choosing the best white paint for your San Diego home, here are a few popular options:
If you’re looking for a pure white that’s neither cool nor warm, a good choice is True White, which is part of the Magnolia Home Paint collection by Joanna Gaines. In her description of this color, Joanna says, “It allows anything near it to shine. It contrasts but does not compete. It lets other colors near it have their moment.”
Another option for a pure white is Extra White by Sherwin Williams. This one is bright, but not shockingly so. It’s just a good white that will go with pretty much any other colors in your home.
Benjamin Moore’s Chantilly Lace is a third option for an untainted white that looks great with many other colors. It’s a virtually foolproof color choice for kitchen or bathroom cabinets, trim, or even ceilings.
For a warmer white, Swiss Coffee is a classic choice. Home builders have been using Swiss Coffee for years for trim and doors in new builds. It has some slight yellow undertones and goes well with earth tones like tans, browns, and greens. Behr, Benjamin Moore, and Valspar all have their versions of Swiss Coffee, which vary slightly. Grab a sample of all three and compare them to see which one you like best.
Sherwin Williams Alabaster is another popular warm white. It is a creamy white, but not enough to be called “cream”. If you’re looking for a soft and cozy feel in your home, Alabaster is a great choice.
As for cool whites, you have to be careful with these, because they can end up looking too blue or grey if you don’t choose the right shade, especially if the room doesn’t have much natural light. A good cool white that will give you a nice clean look is Falling Snow by Behr. It has some grey in it, but still reads white when it’s on the wall. It goes great with blues, greys, and purples.
White Dove, a Benjamin Moore color, is a very popular choice right now because it has a hint of grey in it. Many people are using White Dove for trim, baseboards, doors, and kitchen and bathroom cabinets to pair with their grey walls. Or conversely, if your cabinets are grey, you could use this white on your walls to complement them.
If you’re still overwhelmed by all the options of white paint, or unsure of which one will look best in your home, you can always have a San Diego color consultant help you choose the best shade. Color consultants have a good eye for design and are great at putting colors together that complement one another and that will give you the look and feel you want in your home.
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