Fresh: Favorite White Paint Colors

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I have been up to lots of painting the past few days. Rolling and brushing on lots of white paint.

First priming with white to block the bright green paint color on the walls in my daughter’s bedroom that I am transforming.

While I am busy at work trying to make progress in this room, I thought I would share my favorite white paint colors.


After the green was pretty much history in the room, which took 3 coats of primer. I used Easy Care Block-Out Primer/Sealer to do that. I rolled on my favorite white paint- Valspar Bistro White.  I used it on the walls in an eggshell finish and semi-gloss on the doors and trim. It is the perfect white – not too cool or warm – just right.



A fresh new slate.  Repainting this room was a bit easier than most I have done in the past. I am removing the rug so I didn’t have to protect it with drop cloths.  Of course the fact that it didn’t matter if any paint splattered or spilled on the rug – none splattered or spilled.  Only when it matters – do you drop loaded brushes or splatter paint by accident.

I am a fan of “white walls” in my home – not on car tires though.  :-)   As I typed the words white walls a fond memory popped up in my head. “White walls” reminds me of my dad.  He would always take notice if a car had them.  When I was a child in the 60’s lots of cars still had white walls.   They were usually on fancy cars or old cars that were in the July 4th parade.  

I like white walls in rooms, but don’t use white paint right off the shelf labeled “White”.  For most brands – this white is very white and almost has a blue tinge to it.  For a real white, you should get it mixed.  Look for paint colors with names like Pure White and True White.

Below are the whites that I use over and over. They are my tried and true and work with the lighting in my house.

My Go-To White Paint Colors:


Every computer will read the colors in online images differently, so it is best to actually get a paint chip to see how each will look in your home.

They are in order of the most white to warmer white and the last is a pastel white.

Paint colors - the purest white paint for interiors

Pure white:   Pure White  – Sherwin WilliamsKitchen cabinets   They used to be Antique White, but I repainted them last summer. You can still see it on the banquette. I have lots of painting to still do so my kitchen is all painted in  Pure White.

White paint colors that work in homes

My favorite white:  Bistro White – ValsparHall bath board and batten and trim

Warm white paint colors for interiors

For a warmer white:  Crisp Linen White – Glidden – Mudroom walls.  I will be updating this color to Bistro White soon.

Neutral White paint colors

Neutral white:  Natural Choice  – Sherwin WilliamsFamily room walls

Classic white:  Alabaster – Sherwin Williams – Trim on first floor and corner cabinets in family room

Pastel white paints to use for decorating

Pastel white:   Pink Petal White – GliddenStudioffice walls

Some of the whites look the same in these photos, but they all are a bit different. All run more true white or have a neutral base.  The darkest white I have in my home is on the walls in my mudroom.

There are literally hundreds of whites to choose from and it is always best to bring the paint chips home and tape them on your walls so you can edit until you are left with a few that you like how they look  – morning, noon, and night. Then buy a sample to make sure.  Once you see the actual paint on the wall and like it – then that is when I would buy it and start to create magic with a roller or brush.

What are your go-to white paint colors?

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  1. We’re currently in the process of painting our living room walls and trim Bistro White so SO glad you like it <3 What color did you paint/keep the ceiling? I'm afraid Ultra White (Valspar) will make Bistro look dingy and I love how yours looks! Thank you!

    1. Hi Kelly – I did keep the original paint color on the ceiling. It was Antique White from Sherwin Williams. Why not use the Bistro White on it in a flat finish?

    1. hi Jen – I mixed two colors of paint together to get the color. I wanted it to match the tub surround. I matched it to: Benjamin Moore Palace White #OC-100

  2. My favourite white is the one you can usually see in those perfect minimalist Scandinavian homes, combined with wooden details and unique prints on the walls. On the other hand I’m also a fan of a kind of modern minimalism which is sometimes considered as cold and impersonal (something like these interiors) so white (or grey) is perfect for that as well. And what am I going to paint white? We are currently searching for a new flat so that’s a surprise even for us… :)

  3. I really am learning to love white paint. It’s such a blank slate that you can match it with anything. Plus, it’s bright. My home is like a CAVE in the spring and summer due to trees, and I can’t paint with darker colors, even if I wanted to (I totally don’t). Good luck with your makeover! I just did my laundry room and I can’t wait for the next room to makeover! So much fun!!

    Serena @ Thrift Diving

  4. We used Sherwin Williams Snowbound for all the trim and most of the cabinetry in our new custom built home. It looks great with walls that are painted Sherwin Williams Dovetail in the main part of the house, and with Sherwin Williams Silvermist accented with Riverway in the masterbathroom, and the wide horizontal stripes in the office painted alternately Dovetail and Black Fox.

  5. There are SO many wonderful whites! I love white walls and a lot of people think as a decorator I’d be against them. I’m not….actually I LOVE them and they’re ALL fantastic in your home. The trouble with the white I see a lot of around here is it’s an “out of the can” white with medium/honey oak trim. That is a combo I’d love to see gone forever. Hahah! So excited to see what you do with this room…and very happy that green is gone ;-)

  6. First I want to tell you that I have been a huge fan of yours since ” Instant Decorating.” I borrowed many of your ideas from the book and continue to do so shamelessly! We copied your board and batten tutorial and also added a framed wall mirror in our new washroom per your instructions. I actually chose the Valspar Bistro White in gloss finish without realizing this was the color you used in your bathroom makeover. Anyway, our new washroom really is stunning! Thank you for always inspiring me to make my house homier!

    1. Hi Patty – Thanks for taking the time to say hi. It makes me so happy to hear that you read my book and did the board and batten in your washroom. XO I have not yet used Bistro White in gloss, but I bet it looks terrific. When I look at the color in my bath, I always love how fresh and clean the color looks without feeling cool. Love the name too – sounds so ooooh…la..la French.

  7. Sheeh, did that white paint add a ton of elegance to your room….. it is already gorgeous and what a perfect painting job you put forth.

    Me, when I paint, I have paint in my hair, my face all over me and my clothes and usually smeared on the floor as well. Even been known to splatter some in my eyes and mouth….. I am a messy painter I guess.

    And isn’t the truth about no spills when it doesn’t matter? I was supposed to finish painting the outside of my front door and the trim too, but sort of did not…… I will have to prime it again at this rate of progress!

    Thanks for all the white paint colors.

  8. Thanks so much for the article on how to make no sew curtains and blinds… and i this article about paint colour not my first but its beautiful anyway.


    1. Hi Yvonne – You are so right – one white can look different even in the same house if the light is coming from the west or east and the time of day. I have the same white in my kitchen as I do in my basement. In the basement it looks taupe. Nobody believes me when I tell them it came from the same 5 gallon bucket of paint.

    1. Hi Laura – I had to add that memory about the tires :-) You rarely see them nowadays, but they did look pretty sharp on certain models of cars.

  9. Love these pictures of your home – it looks so cheerful and inviting. Can’t wait to see what you’re going to do with the bedroom. I love white too. Last year we had every stitch of oak wood in our home, and there was a LOT of it – painted Benjamin Moore Linen White. That includes all kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Our walls were done in various shades of taupes and greys. We are at a standstill as my decorator friend’s husband passed away and my husband went through another RIF – 2nd in seven months. I know you understand!

    1. Hi Lore – I would have painted all the oak white, too! I bet it looks fabulous with the taupes and greys. Sadly yes, I do understand living at a standstill. It is not fun, it has become a way of life for Ed and I. I have to challenge myself every morning to make sure I try to make each day the best I can. If I don’t – I get too depressed with the situation. Ed has had a few consulting jobs, but all were only on a temp basis. He now mentors students at the U of Pennsylvania and coaches others who have lost their jobs or that feel stuck in current positions and want to change jobs. He is so driven and is constantly out networking and making connections. We will continue to hope something comes up for him. Best of luck to your husband. Try to stay as positive as you can. :-)

  10. I love SW pure white, but I also love a gray white from Behr. It will not yellow and always looks clean.

    What primer did you use on your walls?, I too need to prime over green.

    I just love your home…..

  11. We just repainted our entire house. I wanted all the walls white so I could use anything I wanted in decorating the room with colors on the furniture, rugs, and accessories. It took me FOREVER to decide on the whites, as there are truly a ridiculous amount of choices. I finally chose Dover White by Sherwin Williams for the playroom. It turned out to be more yellow than I thought, so it is fine for the playroom, but I used Greek Villa in my main living room, foyer, and hall upstairs. All my trim and the kitchen cabinets are Sherwin Williams pure white. I love it, because the walls are not the focal point – they are clean and lovely, but my furniture rugs, and accessories shine!

    1. Hi Christy – It is the truth about there being so many whites. It is not a simple choice. I know Dover White and agree it does have a more yellow undertone to it. I will have to check out Greek Villa – love the name.