How to Choose the Best White Paint | The Ultimate Guide

    Choosing the perfect white paint color can be tough! Who knew there could be so many different shades of white?

    Are you stuck trying to decide between Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffe and White Dove? Can’t decide between Sherwin Williams Alabaster and Benjamin Moore Simply White? Don’t worry – I got you!

    This white paint guide will help you find the perfect color for your home.

    Best White Paint Colors

    popular white paint colors

    Let’s break it down and talk about what makes each shade of white paint unique.  To help you pick the perfect white paint, here’s what you need to know!

    1. Swiss Coffee by Benjamin Moore (OC-45)

    Swiss Coffee – LRV: 83.93 (LRV, or Light Reflectance Value is a scale commonly used by design professionals where 0 = absolute black and 100 is pure white.)

    Swiss Coffee (OC-45) a white paint color by Benjamin More
    Swiss Coffee (OC-45) by Benjamin Moore

    Benjamin Moore is my absolute favorite paint and Swiss Coffee (OC-45) is just one of the many reasons why. I mean, can you really go wrong with a name like Swiss Coffee? Fun fact: my mother-in-law actually puts a lot of significance in paint color names, and I think she might be on to something!

    Swiss Coffee has a LRV of 83.93 which puts it right in the sweet spot for bright white paint colors. It’s bright enough to make a room feel light and airy, but not so bright that walls start to look boring and sterile. Swiss Coffee has mildly warm undertones which tends to create an inviting and happy feel.

    Here’s how Benjamin Moore describes Swiss Coffee:

    This color is part of the Off-White Color collection. Inherently sophisticated and endlessly versatile, the Off-White collection offers subtle nuances of whites that suit tranquil, serene environments as well as creates color-enhancing accents for dynamic spaces…

    The warm inviting entry room below is painted with Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee.

    mud room with ship lap walls an ceiling painted white
    Wall Color: Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee (Image from Pinterest)

    2. Benjamin Moore White Dove (OC-17)

    White Dove – LRV: 85.38 (LRV, or Light Reflectance Value is a scale commonly used by design professionals where 0 = absolute black and 100 is pure white.)

    white dove paint color by Benjamin Moore
    White Dove (OC-17) by Benjamin Moore

    Benjamin Moore White Dove is my go-to white paint color! I love its slightly warm hints of grey. The white creaminess of this paint color has a calming vibe that makes any home feel more inviting.  It’s perfect for interior walls, trim, doors, or even a white shiplap accent wall if you’re feeling brave.

    I like it so much that I used White Dove to paint my entire home! Check out my full White Dove Paint Color Review – I share my personal experience with the color, tons of pictures, and all the nitty gritty details.

    White Dove has sophisticated color nuances, and looks great in all lighting conditions. I’ve found that many warm white colors can be less appealing (or worse) when paired with warm lighting. This is not the case with White Dove. The color isn’t warm enough for that to be a problem.

    Benjamin Moore describes White Dove as:

    Unerring style defines this classic, softly shaded white. Light and luminous, it is a favorite choice for moldings and trim.

    It looks good on moldings and trim, but White Dove is a versatile color that also looks great anywhere! All of the white walls and trim you see in my home are painted with White Dove. It’s my #1 choice for many reasons, but the most important reason is it looks amazing no matter where you put it!

    In the image below, Benjamin Moore White Dove paint pops against the natural tones of the wood accent wall in our master bedroom.

    a master bedroom painted with Benjamin Moore White Dove
    Wall Color: White Dove by Benjamin Moore
    a master bedroom painted with Benjamin Moore White Dove
    Wall Color: White Dove by Benjamin Moore

    Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee vs White Dove

    Swiss Coffee and White Dove are very similar colors with subtle differences. They are both members of Benjamin Moore’s off-white collection.

    Swiss Coffee is creamier and slightly warmer with stronger yellow and grey undertones. White Dove is slightly brighter with a LRV of 85.38 compared to Swiss Coffee’s LRV of 83.93.

    If you’re looking for an interesting white paint color that is a little more off-white than white, then Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee might be the perfect choice for you. Both colors work well in most rooms, however in a room with limited natural light, White Dove would be the better choice.

    3. Antique White by PPG (PPG1024-2)

    Antique White – LRV: 72 (LRV, or Light Reflectance Value is a scale commonly used by design professionals where 0 = absolute black and 100 is pure white.)

    R: 225  G: 218  B: 202

    Antique White (PPG1024-2) by PPG

    Antique White is a stunning off-white paint color that’s new to this list for 2021! With a LRV of 72, you’ll notice right away this is a definitely an off-white color. However, it still feels like white and doesn’t end up looking like a neutral or gray color in most rooms.

    If you’re starting to love this warm off-white paint color, you aren’t alone. PPG is the second largest manufacturer of paint in the world, and this is one of their most popular paint colors. Here’s is how PPG’s describes Antique White:

    Antique White is a light, gray, caramel white with a bronze undertone. It is a perfect paint color for an elegant statement in any room. Pair it with gray or beige to create an elegant historical statement in any room.

    This bright living room with lots of natural like is perfect for PPG’s Antique White paint color.

    Wall Color: PPG Antique White (source)

    4. Alabaster by Sherwin Williams (SW 7008)

    Alabaster – LRV: 82 (LRV, or Light Reflectance Value is a scale commonly used by design professionals where 0 = absolute black and 100 is pure white.)

    Alabaster White Paint Color by Sherwin Williams (SW 7008)
    Alabaster (SW 7008) by Sherwin Williams

    Alabaster (SW 7008) was the Sherwin-Williams color of the year a few years back, and for good reason.  Jackie Jordan, the Sherwin-Williams director of color marketing describes Alabaster as:

    A hue symbolic of new beginnings, Alabaster (SW 7008), is Sherwin-Williams… Color of the Year. At a time of interconnected commotion and overstimulation, Alabaster offers a sense of personal solace and revival to weary minds. It is the true neutral to set the tone…

    Compared to White Dove, Alabaster is less creamy and more of a true white.  This makes it a great option if you are looking for a naturally flattering hue with little undertone. I love how the Sherwin Williams’ director of color marketing describes it, “Alabaster is neither stark nor overly warm, but rather an understated and alluring hue of white.”

    Check out the neutral nursery below, painted with Sherwin Williams Alabaster.

    a room with white walls and a wooden dresser in the foreground
    Wall Color: Sherwin-Williams Alabaster (Image from Pinterest)

    Sherwin Williams Alabaster vs Benjamin Moore White Dove

    Sherwin Williams Alabaster and Benjamin Moore White dove are two of the very most popular white paint colors – they’re both beautiful!

    Each of these white paint colors fall into what I consider the sweet spot for brightness (low to mid 80’s on the LRV scale). White Dove is slightly brighter than Alabaster with LRVs of 85.38 and 82 respectively.

    When I was choosing a paint color for my home, Sherwin Williams Alabaster vs Benjamin Moore White Dove ended up being my two finalists.

    Subjectively, I love both colors and could not choose between the two. Alabaster is slightly warmer, and White Dove is slightly cooler. Because of this difference, one color is usually better suited for your specific home based on natural lighting conditions, and the other colors in a room.

    I recommend testing both colors in your home to see which one looks better in person. If you aren’t committed to painting sample paint splotches on your walls, check out these Peel-and-Stick Paint Samples from Samplize!

    In many cases, once you get the paint samples up on your walls, one will look a little better and seem to belong in a room. I ended up choosing White Dove after using my Samplize Peel-and-Stick Paint Samples to see the paint colors in my home.

    5. Simply White by Benjamin Moore (OC-117)

    Simply White – LRV: 91.7 (LRV, or Light Reflectance Value is a scale commonly used by design professionals where 0 = absolute black and 100 is pure white.)

    Simply White (OC-117) a white paint color by Benjamin Moore
    Simply White (OC-117) by Benjamin Moore

    If you do any research about white paint colors you will probably come across the color Simply White by Benjamin Moore. It was the  Benjamin Moore color of the year in 2016, and for good reason! This color is a crisp, clean, and bright white. Simply White’s fresh finish makes it a great option for bright trim, doors, or cabinets.

    Benjamin Moore describes Simply White as:

    Fresh as the first snowfall, this clean, crisp, multi-purpose white is a perennial favorite for trim, ceilings, and walls.

    Simply White has a LRV of 91.7, which is nearly the highest of all the paint colors on this list.  The high LRV means it is the closest to pure white. The low 90’s is as close to pure white as I recommend going; any whiter and the colors start looking cool, sterile, and lack complexity.

    The sitting room below is painted with Benjamin Moore Simply White.

    A bright room with natural light and white painted walls
    Wall Color: Benjamin Moore Simply White (Image from Pinterest)

    6. Silos White by Magnolia Homes

    Silos White paint color by Magnolia Homes
    Silos White by Magnolia Homes

    I couldn’t write a post about paint without including one from the Magnolia line. All of Joanna’s colors are beautiful (just like everything else she creates), but my favorite white from her collection is Silos White.

    Joanna Gaines describes this color as a warm white with beige undertones. I tend to lean towards the warmer whites (or off-whites) because I love the bright and airy feeling they give off without the stark and sterile vibe that a pure white tends to create.

    The dining room in the image below is painted with Magnolia Homes Silos White.

    a dining room with white painted walls and wood table and chairs
    Wall Color: Magnolia Homes Silos White (Image from Pinterest)

    7. Super White by Benjamin Moore (OC-152)

    Super White – LRV: 89.09 (LRV, or Light Reflectance Value is a scale commonly used by design professionals where 0 = absolute black and 100 is pure white.)

    Super White paint color by Benjamin Moore
    Super White (OC-152) by Benjamin Moore

    Super White by Benjamin Moore is the most basic, classic color on this list, but that isn’t a bad thing! I love the simple, clean white because it appears very pure without coming across as blinding.

    Benjamin Moore describes super white as:

    A brilliant, almost sparkling white, this clean shade suggests clarity and simplicity.

    Super White has less beige, creamy undertones than all the other white paints I recommend. Many true whites tend to be overly cool and bright, but not Super White. How does it do it?

    With a LRV of 89.09, so it accomplishes the ‘white as snow’ look without making you feel like you just checked your phone in the middle of the night with the screen set on max brightness.

    The walls of the great room in the image below are painted with Super White by Benjamin Moore.

    a room painted with super white by benjamin moore
    Wall Color: Super White by Benjamin Moore

    8. Creamy White by Benjamin Moore (OC-07)

    Creamy White – LRV: 72.35 (LRV, or Light Reflectance Value is a scale commonly used by design professionals where 0 = absolute black and 100 is pure white.)

    Benjamin Moore Creamy White
    Creamy White (OC-07) by Benjamin Moore

    Creamy White by Benjamin Moore has the lowest LRV, and the most warm, off-white undertones of all the paint colors on this list. While most of the colors included in this white paint color guide are close to true white, this is not the case when it comes to ‘Creamy White’ – it’s more of an off-white.

    The color might be for you if you’re interested in a more sophisticated color compared to pure white, but don’t want to go full-on beige or grey. With Creamy White (OC-07), you can still expect a clean looking off-white color.

    It’s also a great choice for rooms with north facing windows that let in cool northern light. The light from north facing windows has a tendency to bring out the blue undertones in cool and neutral white paint colors, colors. Using a warmer white, like Creaming White (OC-07) by Benjamin Moore will prevent this from happening.  

    Here is what Benjamin Moore has to say about its Creamy White color

    This color is part of the Off-White Color collection. Inherently sophisticated and endlessly versatile, the Off-White collection offers subtle nuances of whites that suit tranquil, serene environments as well as creates color-enhancing accents for dynamic spaces. A compilation of 152 white and off-white colors.

    The warm vibes of ‘Creamy White’ would be an excellent color choice to make a residential bedroom, guest room, or common area feel extra inviting.  The Creamy White cabinets in the kitchen below creates a warm cozy vibe.

    Creamy White (OC-07) by Benjamin Moore (source)

    9. Chantilly Lace by Benjamin Moore (OC-65)

    Chantilly Lace – LRV: 92.2 (LRV, or Light Reflectance Value is a scale commonly used by design professionals where 0 = absolute black and 100 is pure white.)

    Chantilly Lace by Benjamin Moore paint color splotch
    Chantilly Lace (OC-65) by Benjamin Moore

    Chantilly Lace is one of my favorite newer colors, and it has been gaining popularity. It’s a pleasant bright white paint color with an understated hint of cool greenish hue.

    Don’t be scared of the greenish undertones – it’s just enough to give this paint color a unique appeal that can add character and interest to a room.

    Benjamin Moore aptly describes this paint color in their product listing:

    As delicate and refined as the lace it was named after, this crisp, clean white evokes images of pure silk, soft linen and simpler times.

    With a high LRV of 92.2, this color is a very bright, pure white – it’s the brightest white paint color on this list. The low 90’s is my upper limit for white paint colors that I’ll recommend; once you get into the mid 90’s and above, colors can start looking washed out, sterile or just plain boring.

    Home exterior paint color: Chantilly Lace by Benjamin Moore
    Exterior Color: Chantilly Lace (OC-65) by Benjamin Moore (source)

    10. Snowbound by Sherwin Williams (SW 7004)

    Snowbound – LRV: 83 (LRV, or Light Reflectance Value is a scale commonly used by design professionals where 0 = absolute black and 100 is pure white.)

    R: 237  G: 234  B: 229

    Snowbound (SW 7004) by Sherwin Williams

    Snowbound by Sherwin-Williams is featured in their Top 50 Color rankings! It’s also included in the following color collections: Minimalist, Pottery Barn – Fall/Winter 2021, Living Well – Reflect, Top 50 Colors, and Timeless White.

    This popular new paint color is light, bright, and has a hint of silvery gray. Its ideal for trim, but also makes an excellent walls and ceiling color if you’re looking to keep things light an airy.

    Snowbound is a cool, neutral white paint color with some gray undertones. This means that Snowbound could be a good choice for nearly any room.

    Backsplash Color: Snowbound (SW 7004) by Sherwin Williams (source)

    The easiest way to see paint samples on YOUR walls:

    Before you make a final decision on a paint color, test out your favorites with Peel-and-Stick paint samples from Samplize! The 12″ x 12″ Peel-and-Stick samples use real paint, and make it easy see how a color will look in your home (without the mess).

    Plus, it saves you the trouble of having to pick up multiple tiny cans of paint that end up going to waste.

    Check out my full Samplize Review where I share about my experience using Samplize to help me decide on a paint color.

    sticking a Samplize paint sample on a wall

    Samplize allows you to see different color options in a variety of locations. The peel-and-stick squares have non-damaging adhesive that you can reposition many times, and can even wrap around corners to show contrast between walls.

    Testing out a paint color in your home is important because a paint color’s appearance depends on the unique lighting conditions in your home.

    A paint color can even look a little different throughout the day as lighting conditions shift with the sun’s position in the sky.

    Make sure to examine your paint sample during different times of the day to see how natural light affects the appearance of the color. Also make sure to see how the paint colors look with the lights in the room on, and off. 

    If you want to make a bold paint color statement in a room, I recommend painting all the walls white and choosing only 1 wall to make a your bold statement with an accent wall. Another option is to install a wood accent wall. To learn more about wood accent walls, check out my blog post called: How To Build A Wood Plank Accent Wall.

    How To Choose A Paint Color

    Want to know exactly how to pick the best paint color for your space? How do you know which color of white is the best fit for your home, your decor, the lighting in your home, and your style?

    I created a 5 step paint color selection guide that answers all these questions, and more. It has all the info you need to know – from undertones, sheen, to the lighting in a room, and so much more. Check it out: How To Choose THE PERFECT Paint Color Using Undertones, Lighting, Sheen & More!

    How To Get A Great Deal On Paint

    Did you know that you can use budget friendly paint, and have it color matched to premium Benjamin Moore or Sherwin Williams paint colors? At Joyfully Growing Blog, we always use Glidden Premium paint from The Home Depot.

    Glidden Premium rivals the quality of the top paint lines from Behr, Sherwin Williams, and Benjamin Moore.

    Any paint store, or home improvement store with a paint section will be able to match colors from most major brands. This means that you can select one brand of paint, but get it mixed in any color you want!

    In many cases, affordable paint like Glidden Premium can be up to 50% cheaper than the ‘big name brand’ competition. This can save you a ton of money!

    Our Go-To Painting Supplies

    I recommend ‘Pro Grade’ paint brushes – they’re the perfect budget friendly option. The brushes are high quality, and buying from Amazon, you can get a much better deal than in stores. You might be surprised how cheap this professional quality 5 Brush Set is on Amazon (it’s less than $10!).

    Paint brushes and paint rollers will get the job done, but for serious efficiency and productivity, you cannot beat this Graco Magnum Project Plus airless paint sprayer (Amazon). I personally own this paint spay, and have used it on tons of painting projects.

    It’s an excellent quality sprayer, and powers through any painting projects in a hurry. We used to dread painting, but now with the airless sprayer, it’s actually pretty fun! Painting with an airless sprayer makes it easy to complete projects in much less time.

    airless paint sprayer

    Looking for more ways to brighten up your home? You’re gonna love this post where I share my best tips on How To Brighten Any Space.

    After you’re done choosing a white paint color, check out my Gray Paint Color Guide! White, off-white, and gray paint colors can complement each other nicely in a room’s color palette. The gray paint guide has tons of popular gray paint colors, and it’s designed to help you find the perfect color for your home. 

    So there you have it, that’s all my favorite white paint colors! Which one was your favorite? Let me know know in the comments below.

    My Other Paint Color Resources

    Helping people choose great paint colors is one of my passions! I’ve written several articles to help streamline and destress your decision making process. Check all of them out here:

    Paint Color Trends 2021 | Trending Colors From Top Brands

    Best Gray Paint Colors | The Ultimate Guide

    Green Paint Color Guide | Most Popular Colors

    How To Choose A Paint Color | Lighting, Undertones, Sheen (and more!)

    Best Paint Colors For North Facing Rooms

    Samplize Review | Peel-and-Stick Paint Samples

    White Dove Paint Color Review | After Painting My Whole House!

    Thanks for reading along! If you have any questions, please ask in the comments below!

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