When it comes to painting, I am always searching for the perfect white from wall, to ceiling, to trim color. Whites can vary from light to dark with casts of grey, blue, green, yellow and pink. So if you have cool icy tones in your fabric scheme, you may want to go with a white that has more blue or grey. Conversely if you are using fabrics with warmer tones, then the paint could have more yellow tones.
I thought I would share some of my favorite whites and tips on painting
- The light in each room can vary greatly based on ceiling height, number and size of windows, exposure, what floor you are on, what's blocking your windows (other building, trees, window treatments, etc), decorative and recessed lighting (down lights, surfaces mounted light fixtures, sconces, table lamps, torcheres, etc.) All of these elements create shadows and will play into the overall luminosity of a room, thus effecting the color of the room
- For the best results, preselect colors and then confirm on site before making sample boards
- It can be difficult to gauge the actual color from small color chips- darker colors often appear darker in person and some bright whites can appear darker or lighter in person which is why whites are so complex
- Select 2-4 options and have your painter make large sample on 24" x 24" or larger board
- Hold the boards up in different parts of the room, as the light will vary on each wall. You may want to do this during the day or at night, pending on when this room is being used. Always try to select and approve paint colors on a sunny day
- Make sure to bring approved fabrics, especially any curtain fabrics, so you can make sure the color goes well with your schemes
- Make sure to have a roll of blue or green painters tape on hand to help tack up fabrics and samples
- Never hesitate to bring a trusted friend or colleague to help, especially someone who is great at seeing the nuances of color
Other things to consider...
- What sheen do you want on your walls? The higher the sheen the more imperfections you will see. If your walls are not skim coated avoid using a high gloss paint! If you live in a prewar building with old plaster walls with layers of built-up paint, have walls that bow or visible cracks, a flat paint will hide these imperfections better
- Flat latex paint is easier to touch up specific areas than an eggshell finish which may require repainting the entire wall. So be mindful of the following: how much the room get used and in what manner, narrow hallways that may get banged up, how often you move artwork, children's finger prints and so forth.
- Oil based paint applies more evenly and holds up better than water/latex base paint on wood. Wood, even when primed, will absorb the water in latex paint, drying faster and requiring more coats of paint, also resulting in more visible brushstrokes and a less smooth surface. If you are using a water based paint, be mindful that the trim is well sanded and smooth, with minimal imperfections.
- You can never go wrong with an oil based satin impervo
- If you want to go more eco-friendly or your building has strict non-toxic regulations, you may want to use a higher gloss paint like a semi-gloss or high gloss. A semi-gloss latex paint will read more like a oil based satin impervo
- If you do go with an oil based paint, the fumes are toxic so be sure no one is living or sleeping at the home, and allow a week or more for the space to air out keeping the windows slightly ajar
- Oil based paint also yellows over time (within 6 months to a year) so be mindful of that when selecting the color
- Often the ceiling will appear darker than the walls, so if you decide to paint the ceiling the same color as the walls, it usually will appear darker.
- If you paint the ceiling with a sheen make sure it is skim-coated!
- If your room is naturally dark and you want to lighten it up, go for a bright white on the ceiling. It will make a world of difference
Here are some of my favorite whites with notations on the subtly of each color:
Benjamin Moore Super White- Brilliant crisp white, great for clean bright ceilings
Benjamin Moore Snowfall White- Bright, slightly warm white
Benjamin Moore Simply White- A hair more yellow then Snowfall but still bright & clean
Benjamin Moore Cloud White- Slightly taupe & warm green undertones
Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace- Cool white with blue undertones
Benjamin Moore White Dove- Slightly taupe & cool grey undertones
Benjamin Moore Moonlight White- Slightly taupe and warm yellow undertones
Farrow & Ball All White- Crisp, just warm white
Farrow & Ball Wimborne White- Creamier than All White, with more yellow undertones
Donald Kaufman DKC-51- Bright warm white with yellow undertones
Donald Kaufman DKC-67- Cool white with slightly green undertones
Donald Kaufman DKC-70- Creamy warm white with yellow undertones
Donald Kaufman DKC-78- Cool white with grey undertones