Best White Paint Colors

One of the most frequently asked questions of decorators like me, is “What white should I use to paint my walls?” And the next question is always, “and what trim color goes with that wall color?” I’m always happy to oblige with a strong opinion and sound advice because for me, there is no better paint color than white. It is the perfect foundation for a room filled with interesting furniture pieces and artwork. Over the years, I’ve tried many, but these are the whites that, in my opinion, never fail to please the eye.

Paint-Colors

In my living room (this photo taken several years ago, now) you can see how soft and slightly gray the Glacier White wall paint looks against this wall of colorful art, and balances nicely the tints and shades of brown, gray and black of the pillows. Benjamin Moore Glacier White with Ivory White trim is the combination I’ve recommended for most of the white living rooms I’ve laid my hands and eyes on. At one point, glacier was my password for everything! Talk about a strong affection for this paint color.BM Glacier WhiteWe used this same combination of Glacier White and Ivory White trim in Abby Larson’s living room, below.abbyGlacier white ended up being the perfect compliment to all of the neutral upholstery and grey-washed Swedish demilunes. FB Slipper SatinFarrow and Ball Slipper Satin with Slipper Satin trim has become a favorite of ours lately. It’s no surprise that this is one of their most popular colors. We love the combination of the same color on walls and trim. It reads very modern and fresh. Just make sure you use a matte finish on the walls and a slightly shiny eggshell on the trim. It’s wonderful.BM Dove White

Benjamin Moore Dove White matte finish paired with Dove White semi gloss trim. This is the perfect white to use when there is a lot of cabinetry or millwork as this color has a very crisp, natural white. It allows the architectural details on baseboard, chair rail, and cabinetry to pop.DKC-05

Donald Kaufman DKC-5 White is a warm white hue that feels incredibly rich in any setting. Designer Marriette Himes Gomez refers to it as Chanel No. 5 and we can see why. We like to pair the matte finish on the walls with the same trim color but in semi-gloss. Have a white paint question for me? Bring it on! 

  • E

    We are trying to pair a white trim color for our dining room with Farrow and Balls ‘Pale Powder’ on the walls. What do you think would work best? We were considering Benjamin Moore’s Floral White. Thanks for the help!

  • su.su

    Thank you for your timely article. Any thoughts on BM’s Super White? Thinking of using in in my bright apartment – matte on walls, semi gloss for trim.

  • Ellen Runyon

    I have a Mediterranean style house with Saltillo (orange)! floors throughout. I am getting ready to repaint all of the puic areas white. Do you have a recommended shade that won’t read too modern, and def not southwest!?

  • Erika L.

    You had written a post on your favourite whites back in 2007 I think, and I was hoping you would update us on your preferences! Thank you! I am looking for a white that will not read too yellow in a small room with no natural light. Just like another reader, I was curious about BM’s Super White? Thanks in advance!

  • Elaine

    Thanks for sharing!! I am building a house and contemplating using Dove White by BM for the exterior brick color with natural woods as accents for our front door. Would love to know what your favorites are for white used for an exterior.

  • Suzanne

    BM Dove White would be very pretty for an exterior with natural woods. Lovely. I’m a big fan of BM Super White for exterior as well.

  • Suzanne

    Thanks for being such a loyal follower! What about BM China White. Perfect for a small room with no natural light. BM Super White in a small room might be too stark.

  • Suzanne

    How about BM Acadia White? It has red undertones, which would complement your orange floors well.

  • Suzanne

    Like it a lot. It’s a very bright white.

  • Suzanne

    Love that you’re using Farrow and Ball Pale Powder paint on the walls! It’s a beautiful color. I would pair it with either BM White Dove OR Farrow and Ball “All White”, Farrow and Ball’s cleanest and whitest white.

  • su.su

    Appreciate your feedback

  • Chris McDermott

    I painted my cabinets BM Dove Wing last year and am now struggling to find the right wall color. I love BM White Dove but worry that there will not be enough contrast. I’ve also considered BM Pale Oak but wonder if this is going to dark. Would love some suggestions?

  • Suzanne

    I’m a big fan of BM Pale Oak. If your kitchen gets a fair amount of sunlight, you should be fine.

  • Erika L.

    Thank you very much!!

  • Donna

    My living room gets a lot of strong, natural light. (Arizona) What whites do you recommend for a room that is already a bright room? Thanks!

  • http://www.powellbrower.com Nancy {at} powellbrowerhome

    I agree with your selections! Beautiful! xo Nancy

  • Christie Graves Thoene

    What finish do you recommend for a large living room with a lot of natural light? LOVE all of the beautiful recommendations–thank you!

  • Maria Costello

    Sorry I’m late to the game but would love your recommendations. Love reading all your suggestions. Whites are so tricky. Getting ready to take Concord Ivory off of my kitchen walls. Cabinets are a pure white and backsplash tile is very similar to the Concord Ivory color. Floors are a warm wood. Not much natural light. Thinking BM linen white with BM simply white trim? Thoughts? Many thanks!!

  • Kristin

    What ceiling color would you paint with your suggestions? Same as wall/trim or contrast? If so, what color? Thanks!

  • Ann

    Hi thanks for your recommendations. We are painting a little farm house all white throughout to lighten and freshen it up (trim is currently dark). It seems very contemporary to keep the walls and trim the same color–and since the house does not have great mill work it makes sense not to offset. Do you also paint the ceiling the same color or do you use a ceiling white? There is no crown moulding in the rooms. Any best bet between glacier and dove? We are painting kitchen cupboards and doors and also bedrooms? Thank you

  • Kelly

    For clarification, is it BM white Dove or Dove Wing?

    BM does not have a Dove White in its color deck. I’ve used both of the colors listed above and they are beautiful.

  • Mackenzie

    What white paint do you recommend on plaster walls with light texture? Also, do you paint ceilings the same color as the wall? Thanks for all of your great work. I love your blog. Mackenzie

  • Janice Heine

    Need a white that will contrast a bit with dove white trim…suggestions?

  • David Ginsberg

    Hi There, I painted my Living room and Hall in my Brooklyn apartment with White Dove recently. I have South facing windows and it shows up with an obvious yellow tint. However, there are parts of the day where it isn’t so obvious. I’m not sure how I feel about that and I’m thinking about repainting. I have light wood floors, a big light brown broken in leather chair, a bunch of lighter wood furniture and some big plants and I think maybe the yellow creamy tone of White Dove is making it look a little drab as opposed to making it all pop. Any suggestions for a more neutral bright white that will complement the decor without bringing it down? Thanks.

  • carolyn

    I agree!! I painted my bedroom White Dove, but want to repaint it. It is too yellow for me. I tried to live with it, but the yellow is not what I wanted. You are the first person to articulate my thoughts…it feels drab and I wanted pop! Thanks for your validation! 🙂

  • Dave

    We are using BM White Dove on our trim and ceilings. We also want white walls but something with a hint of cream white to give that Nantucket feel. Considering Floral White OC-29. will that go with the White Dove trim and cabinets?? tnx!

  • doug popovich

    One other great Glacier White input — the color balance in this white makes the room a great white in the day, yet a completely different feeling warm white at night when rather than sunlight, incandescent lights take the stage… Pulls 2X the duty by making the room feel totally different between day and night!