5 Tips for Selecting the Perfect White Paint
Sharon Grech, Colour & Design Expert at Benjamin Moore, shares her tips for selecting the best white for your space.
While white paint is a popular choice for interior designers and DIY decorators alike, there’s a lot more to the classic—and incredibly versatile—shade than what initially meets the eye. To help you navigate the surprisingly complex colour, we’ve tapped Sharon Grech, Colour & Design Expert at Benjamin Moore, for her tips on selecting the most flattering white paint for any space.
Do your homework.
While a carefully curated Pinterest board has become almost a prerequisite for at-home projects, the step is an especially important one when working with white. Taking the time to browse through magazines, websites, and blogs for white space inspiration can help you narrow down your ideal colour from the hundreds of variations available and better prepare you to face that wall of paint chips at your local hardware store.
Assess your space.
Though walls may be the focus, don’t forget to consider your space in its entirety. Considering a room’s existing interiors, including furniture, textiles, and finishes, as well as its function and exposure to natural light can all help determine which white will work best. Rustic spaces dominated by natural woods may benefit from a creamier white while more modern décor schemes gel better with a cooler tone.
Don’t trust your memory.
Looking to match your walls to the kitchen cabinetry or your favourite white centerpiece? Take a picture of it—or better yet, bring it with you when picking the paint. “People tend to have a bad memory of white,” says Sharon, “It may sound silly but take the drawer front off if you need to! It’s the best way to get a proper sample of what you’re matching to.”
Lay ’em out.
If you’re stuck between a few shades, try laying them side by side. Seeing the colours in this way helps better distinguish each one’s characteristics and minimizes the “surprise factor” once it hits the wall. Overwhelmed by options? Sharon suggests Benjamin Moore’s White Dove OC-17 as a good starting point—the popular shade leans toward both yellow and grey undertones, making it a great neutral that works with warm and cool-dominated décor alike.
Try before you buy.
Sharon’s most valuable piece of advice for selecting a white paint? “Buy a pint size sample and test drive the colour,” she says, “It’s so important with any shade, but especially with white.” Whether you paint it on a board and move it around the room or on one particularly dominant wall, make sure to look at the sample throughout different times of the day as well. “A little bit of pigment can come across very strong,” says Sharon, “especially when hit by natural light.”