The Eternal Quest for the Perfect White Paint

alexislsMarch 14, 2012

I'm hoping GWers can help me out of my white paint quandary. I'm looking for the right white to paint my living room - the windows face southeast, so it gets a lot of sunlight in the morning and throughout the day as we move into summer.

As a result, I was thinking I wanted a cooler white than what I've liked in other places in the house -- BM Acadia because it seems like it would be too creamy (the other rooms I've used it in are on the opposite side of the house and don't get direct sunlight) and BM Simply White because it's too "white".

I've got a bunch of chips taped to the wall and was thinking BM White Dove, but now I'm wondering how that will go with all the wood/warm tones I have in the furniture and art -- my sofa is brick red, the Moroccan coffee table has small tiles in a similar red and a wrought iron base, most of the furniture pieces(and picture frames) are medium to dark brown oak, floor has Navajo rugs overlapping a large jute area rug.

So maybe I should do Acadia after all? Am I over-thinking the "warm light/cool white" pairing?

I'm afraid the pics I have of the living room were taken at night, so until I can get some daylight ones this weekend, here are a couple inspiration pics to give you an idea of what I'm aiming for.

Of all the paint chips in the world, which white would you pick?

From [Drop Box]( From [Drop Box]( From [Drop Box](
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White Dove looks just fine with warm woods and colors! I have it in my home and all my rooms have warm colors. I think it is the "perfect" white.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 7:39PM
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Since every room is different the only way to know is to choose for yourself in your own room. Really, no one can tell you what is the best color for your home. This has been said by every color expert in the world.

For what it's worth (really nothing ;-D) I find White Dove too grey for me altho I know it's recommended a lot. I don't have any white rooms in my home but used Ben Moore Simply White for the trim. It's a more neutral white than many and good with brown tones which several of my walls are.

Here's a great link that hopefully will help you choose the best white.

Here is a link that might be useful: How to pick perfect paint colors

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 7:58PM
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Is your home South Western as the inspiration pics show? One of the things I love about these homes is the option for colors which are historic. There was a museum home in NM I visited which had each room painted with the colors made from nature's mediums. I would look and see what whites are available to match the natural wonders. When selling my home, the realtor actually had me repaint one room to do this and work with the environment I was in.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 8:33AM
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I'll be very interested in all responses! When we first moved into our house and stripped off all the vinyl wallpaper, I wanted to paint everything close to pure white, which I consider fresh looking. Dh insisted "that is not how people decorate", and we compromised finally on BM Linen White, which is a creamier color. It read pink on my walls, and I hated it. For the two or three years we had it up (we don't get around to painting that often), I actually felt uncomfortable and stressed in the house. I've read a lot over the years on how to deal with those rows of white paint chips, and here's a good discussion of how to do it-

Here is a link that might be useful: frugal farmhouse

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 9:18AM
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Thanks for your responses! The articles on narrowing down color choices and getting the pigment formula were very helpful.

The room definitely has a southwestern flavor even though I'm near DC(I used to live in NM and have family there) - I'd describe my decorating style as "Santa Fe adobe meets Maine cottage."

We're having unseasonably sunny weather right now and I moved the paint chips to the wall opposite the windows -- in the direct sunlight, the White Dove looked better than it did on the wall perpendicular to the window (and on an overcast day), and the Acadia looked too creamy.

On both walls, the Simply White was too bright for what I'm going for (though it's perfect on the trim and ceiling in the kitchen and bath - both rooms with little/no direct light).

This will be an interesting project - it's good I'm not facing a deadline! Any other whites I should be considering?

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 11:26AM
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Just had my entire house painted last month and my decorators (sister and niece) chose BM "Cotton Balls" for my hall and all the wood trim in my 1910 brick bungalow, including two fireplace mantels. It is a soft white, not gray, not pink, not cold, not too warm.....just right. I'm really happy with all the colors they chose for me.

We had the lobby of our office painted recently and it is "Cotton Blossom" - maybe Sherwin Williams? Another nice white - in indirect sun looks slightly ecru, but is a whiter white in direct sun.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 2:04PM
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