BM Linen White or Navajo white -- your thoughts please. . .

saydeOctober 28, 2010

I posted this on the Paint Forum but there is so much more going on here . . .

For my east facing (window) old-house kitchen I am now trying to decide between BM Linen White and Navajo White.

I started out looking at beige/creams, thinking to match the floor tile (cream and brown checkerboard). But the cream tiles change from ivory-white-cream to warm almost light apricot grey as the light changes. Anything that looked even remotely like the correct match was only a match for a small part of any day and invariably seemed too dark anyway. Tried and rejected Lighthouse Landing, Frappe, Barely Beige, Opaline, Manchester Tan, F&B Joa's White, Archive and several others that were even less right.

So this brought me to the off-whites and ultimately to Navajo and Linen, which coincidentally are BM's best sellers according to MPC. DUH I could have saved myself a lot of time and trouble. What we always said in school -- the classics are classic because they're classic.

So -- the Navajo is probably closer to the chroma of the tile but sometimes tends toward grey in my kitchen. I want warm, but not grey (or pink or orange or brown) The Linen seems less mutable but is much brighter and more of a contrast with the floor.

Only the wall directly across from the window will be painted (plus little bits of others and the back hall). Gumwood cabinets (midtone), light warm-neutral blackspash, wood and ivory marble counters.

Would so welcome hearing thoughts about either/both of these colors-- the right answer is just not coming to me, though I have at least narrowed it down (I think).

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What about Farrow and Ball Pointing? Have you also tried googling images for the various paints you are considering? You can often see them in a room, may help, although you are missing a generation, different light, etc....

    Bookmark   October 28, 2010 at 6:35PM
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My sister-in law has linen white on the bottom of chair rail in dining room. It is a cheerful color--it does read with some yellow. House Beautiful's annual color edition spoke of linen white as "It's the classic formula. Linen White looks as if it's been on the wall a long time, which works very well with old English and French furniture.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2010 at 6:39PM
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BM Bone White is a great neutral also.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2010 at 6:52PM
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I did BM Linen White for a wall in my dining room and I just love it.

It gets light from the south-east facing windows. I had wanted something that was not too yellowish. I first did a sample drywall board painted in Marscapone, but that was too white/gray. The Linen White was just right. It has a hint of what I think of as 'candlelight' (like when you light a candle, and the flame goes up and where it is the brightest white light of the flame).

The PO had painted the family room in Navajo White (a can was still in the basement when we moved in). It is fine there, because the trim is dark wood there. But I think it wouldn't have been right for the mood I was aiming for in the dining room.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2010 at 8:14PM
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sayde, Linen White is what I used on our ceiling. It comes off as a warm color to me. This is morning sunshine. The windows face north and east. Hope the visual helps. I have to agree with la koala on the "candlelight" color.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2010 at 8:40PM
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I used linen white on this antique vanity I just painted, in though I used a brown glaze on it (burnt umber). It looks creamy off white. I also did a distressed rocking chair in it, it looks antiqued but white. I think it takes on different looks. I'm using it as a base for all my faux walls, though I do find its hard to counteract the warmth- I have to go way gray to get a taupe. But its become my default base color. That said I was about to do marscapone for all my trim and doors but am pausing based on the gray comment. Do others find it gray? I thought it was supposed to be a warm/creamy white?

Linen white server-now-vanity:

    Bookmark   October 28, 2010 at 9:59PM
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I'm a Linen fan. I've used it in my last two homes. To me, it reads soft and creamy in daylight and much more yellowish with incandescent lighting in the evening. No gray at all.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2010 at 2:11AM
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Oh thank you everyone! I so appreciate it. la koala, your comment about candlelight put my mind at ease, as did yours, wendy, that there is no grey. doonie, what a ceiling! gogeous! the linen white looks warm and bright --what a helpful photo. adh73, your vanity has that look I want -- that House Beautiful described in their article. Thank you lke2decor for that quotation! Thank you, thank, thank you, everyone! I think we have a winner!

    Bookmark   October 29, 2010 at 8:07AM
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OK, I've just painted a big test swath of Linen White. The color is very nice -- clear with no grey. It might be just a tad too white/bright. We will look at it for a few days. Was wondering if I wanted to go just a little bit darker but not with black or grey undertones, would Indian White be a good choice? Or just asking to have the Linen White at +25% color? Would that make it too yellow or gold? I don't want to go all the way to beige, but just the tiniest bit more intensity. Any thoughts?

    Bookmark   October 30, 2010 at 6:15PM
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Have you looked at BM Windham Cream in your space? It is a classic that many people seem to like. I really like it in my kitchen. I haven't seen Indian White, maybe someone will post photos. When I have had color added, like you mentioned with going to 25%, it didn't seem to darken the color very much at all.

I can't find my BM fan deck right now, but you could look through the neutral beiges and go up on the paint strip to see the corresponding creams and then try them out.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2010 at 6:36PM
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My 2 cents. I'd skip Navajo white. I think every track home in San Diego (and probably beyond) was painted Navajo white in the 1980's. Every painted surface including doors and ceilings, including mine. I never liked it, but lived with it for years because it was just too much trouble and expense to repaint everything. Maybe that's why it's a big seller.
Been kicking myself since because our paint match wood shutters also need to be refinished to match the white trim and doors we have now. To me the Navajo white has a greenish undertone and looks kind of dirty compared to other colors. Nicotine White is what it's disparaging called here. Can't tell you what to have only what you shouldn't and that would be 1980's track home Navajo White! I'm sure linen and a million other colors are better. When we repainted we went with Botony Beige fron Frazee. On the paint chip it looked slightely darker in tone, but on the walls it's not and it has a more neutral to warm base than the Navajo.
Good luck.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2010 at 3:55PM
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Have you looked at BM's Mascarpone yet? Or any of the whites in their Affinity fan deck? You might find one in there that is just what you're looking for.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2010 at 7:13PM
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Interesting comments on Mascarpone being gray. In my Pacific NW light, it reads very creamy, but NOT gray. Believe me, I recognize gray. It's what I see outside the window most winter days!

Sayde--what's MPC??

    Bookmark   November 7, 2010 at 7:34PM
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We are moving to a new house. Any white paint suggestions for a south facing open plan living room kitchen? The south wall is dominated by three very large windows. There is a red oak floor with a satin finnsh. The adjacent kitchen has a north facing window over the sink and a small east facing window over the adjacent counter. The cabinets are a very low gloss yellow pine. There is plain yellow pine moulding throughout. Our plan is to paint the walls white and add some color as we feel the need later. We are aiming for a warm traditional look. The new light bulbs give a green tone at night that just does not work.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 12:12PM
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