What the white?!? How to select the perfect shade of white paint for your walls

pouring can of white paint into tray

What the white?!? How to select the perfect shade of white paint for your walls

Have you ever attempted to choose a shade of white paint for your walls? If you have, then you know that this can be a tremendous undertaking. You think you’re going to simply walk into Sherwin-Williams and say “I’ll take two gallons of white paint,” but that is NOT what is going to happen. The reality is, two hours later you will likely be sitting amidst a pile of white paint chips, babbling incoherently and seriously considering leaving your walls as-is. Ok…take a deep breath…we’re here to help. We could get into a very lengthy discussion here about geographic region, cool versus warm undertones, the amount of natural and artificial light in the room and so, SO much more, but we want to actually help you. And, the truth is, the best way to choose a white paint for your walls is to do the following: First, go to an actual paint store Okay – we are purists on this point – buy your paint at an actual paint store. The paint experts at a Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore store will be a huge resource when you are standing baffled in front of 50+ shades of white paint. Take the time to do this part right and it will save you time in the long run. Choose two or three white paints you like Ok so this part CAN be tricky given the myriad white paint options out there. We like the idea of trying out just two or three so as not to become overwhelmed. Can’t narrow it down? Try taking your cue from this excellent go-to white paint list culled from some very savvy and successful architects. Or maybe try out a couple of the Benjamin Moore whites that designers and architects recommend in this white paint article. Or take a look at the whites that top designers are loving right now in this Real Simple article. Once you’ve picked two or three, purchase a quart of each in the finish you prefer. Test the whites in your home The one thing you must NOT DO is pick a white and go paint your walls. Paint looks different depending on the furnishings in the room, the light, which wall they’re on, the time of day and more. A white paint that looks simply divine on a paint swatch may look positively pink on your actual walls. So, to avoid a white paint disaster, take the time to try the colors out in your home before you commit. While some people will paint large areas of a wall to test a paint color, we think a large, movable sample is better. This lets you assess the color on different walls and in different light. So, pick up two or three large pieces of raw lumber/masonite board (the larger the better) and paint them with a couple coats of each of your whites. Then, move the three boards around to different walls at different times of day and see what you think. After a day or two of sitting with the colors you will know if any of them hit the mark. If not, it’s back to the paint store for three more samples…then rinse and repeat! Bet you didn’t think choosing a white paint would be this involved, did you? If you use our method for choosing a white paint, you are sure to find just the perfect shade with zero regrets. And, if you need help, we are always here to help you!

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