When moving into a new home, the idea of painting the space and making your own is beyond exciting. That is until you try to find the perfect shade of white and realize there are thousands of shades of white available. Don’t worry! We’ve all been there. It isn’t easy picking the perfect shade of white when it comes to painting your home. There are undertones, shades, and finishes to consider before landing on the right one. But, there’s no need to let yourself be overwhelmed by the nuances. Let our expert designers at Spacejoy take you through all you need to know about picking the right white for your walls, as well as a list of our favorites from Sherwin Williams.
Enough small talk. Let’s get into it!
Get To Know Your Whites
No, it’s not just the color of the moon. Every cloud, every eggshell, and every little daisy is a particular, unique shade of white. Head over to your local paint shop or order yourself a paint deck, and the whites will blow your mind! White paints come in blue, red, yellow, and even green undertones. This is why sometimes when you have a bare white wall, some of your furniture or decor may seem like it’s clashing with the paint color. That can be a real head-scratcher when you don’t know the nuances of the color white. Your decor may be predominantly warm-toned. You may have a range of rustic hues from autumnal oranges to sunset yellows. But, let’s say your walls’ color is not merely white but white with a blue undertone. That makes it a cool-toned white. And therein lies your clash! Which brings us to our next point…
Take A Quick Survey Of The Room
It’s always best to scan your room and take note of the hues and accents that stand out the most. Maybe it’s a statement armchair or an accent wall. Maybe it’s the color scheme you have running throughout your home. Once you do this, you’ll have an idea of the palette you’ve chosen for your home, making it that much easier to pick a white that complements it. If your color palette is warm, you’ll want to select a warm-toned white, a shade with undertones of red, pink, orange, or yellow. If your color scheme is on the cooler side, you’ll want to choose a cool-toned white, a shade with undertones of purple, blue or green.
If you’re a minimalist and have chosen a neutral palette for your furnishings, we recommend a warm-toned white. However, if you’ve incorporated a lot of bright colors and vibrant hues in your decor, a cool-toned white would better suit your home.
Lighting Is Everything!
You cannot possibly underestimate the effect that light can have on your whites. Don’t forget to assess the room and note whether you get more natural light, in which case, a pure white would enhance the look of your space, while a more artificially lit room would do better with a pigmented white. Surprisingly enough, the geography of your place can affect the whites you choose. If you’ve got a room facing the North, it won’t be exposed to direct sunlight, and the light coming into your room will have a blue-ish tinge to it. Any whites with blue, purple, or grey undertones are likely to be enhanced by the natural light coming into the room.
On the other hand, if your room faces the South, the direct sunlight has a more intense, natural warm hue. So whites with a red, pink, or orange undertone will be complemented by this natural light. Rooms that face the East or the West will enjoy both cool and warm lighting, depending on the time of day. We recommend a neutral white to stay on the safer side of things!
Take The Leap!
If you’ve come this far, bravo! You’re almost ready to take the leap. Go ahead and take whatever you’ve learned so far to pick a couple of shades of white. Here are a few tips we’ve picked up along the way that’ll come in handy while choosing your colors!
A pure white, i.e., a white with no pigment added into it, can have a very modern, minimal look instead of a white with some color mixed in. If you like that stark, austere white like the one most commonly used in Scandinavian style homes on the cover of an Architectural Digest, this is the one for you!
White can open up a room, even the small ones, and make it look so much more spacious and airy than it is. It gives the illusion of a clutter-free, brighter, and lighter space without you having to do much else!
The best whites in the industry aren’t white at all. Most bright whites are too stark and need to have some percentage of color mixed into them to make them the universally flattering colors used and loved today. If you are unsure of which white to pick, we suggest keeping things neutral. A shade that falls in between the warms and the cools. It’s a safe bet, and we recommend you take it!
Even if you don’t already have furniture that you need to take note of before you paint your home, we still suggest noting down the color scheme you’re leaning towards. Once you put that white down, it’s going to be quite a bummer to have to repaint it later on!
Try It Before You Buy It!
We can’t stress this enough. You absolutely HAVE to try your white on your wall. Bring home a sample-sized can and paint a patch on your wall to see how it reacts with the light, both natural and artificial. It is also a great way to see if it matches the decor in your home. A handy tip is to paint two coats so that you get the most accurate idea of the shade you’ve chosen.
In fact, some designers recommend you paint multiple walls to see how it looks in different light and shadowed places. Colors can shift from wall to wall, room to room, and even ceiling to wall.
Another way to go is to get yourself a movable swatch. You can use that shade’s largest sample and tape it against different walls, and record the light during different times of the day to get a crystal clear idea of what your walls will look like with this shade. The advantage of a movable swatch is you can physically bring it closer to your statement pieces and see how it looks right next to each other! We also recommend sitting with for a few days before making your decision, so you’re absolutely positive when you say YES!
If You’re Still Unsure…
There are a few shades of white our expert designers have put together from Sherwin Williams. We assure you, these shades are the gold standard. We’ve bucketed them into warm-whites, cool-whites, and neutrals, so it’s easier for you to choose!
We hope this helped you get started on choosing the right white for your home. If you’d like a little more help choosing the perfect shade of white, start a project with Spacejoy today. Our expert designers are waiting to help you pick the ideal color palette for your space. They will also put together all the product recommendations you need to transform your space into the home of your dreams. That’s not even the best part! We’ll do it all, keeping your vision, preferences, and budget in mind! We can’t wait to get to work!