I'm paint sleuthing again, on the prowl for foolproof neutral colors.
6 Foolproof WhitesHow can such a thing exist, given the unique characteristics in every home? Stormy weather can turn the perfect white into a moody, shadowy beast. Sunshine can add a glow to cold, blinding white walls. A room that faces a shady, covered porch may not look brighter if the walls are white. Trim colors must be chosen with care: warm white woodwork might seem murky against cool, creamy walls. Assertive floor coloring, such as orange or peach-toned tile, can hijack a room's color.
3 Popular Off-Whites and Greiges
3 Popular Off-Whites and Greiges
It's enough to make a girl cry--or eat lots of cupcakes.
I visited two local paint stores and returned with a list of dependable whites (depending on your room's colors and light exposure, of course).
1. Benjamin Moore Linen White
This warm white makes me think of freshly washed vintage sheets hanging on a clothes line, faintly colored by time. It's the go-to color when your head is spinning with whites and off-whites. Linen White has a reputation for behaving well in all types of lighting situations. Put it on the ceiling, walls, or trim to add instant character and "age."
Hand's down, it's one of the most popular white colors. I've never used it, but I'm tempted. Below, the foyer walls are painted BM Linen White in an eggshell finish. The trim is BM Super White in semi-gloss. The dark wood provides a striking, pleasing contrast to this creamy white.
2. Benjamin Moore White Dove
An amazing soft white that is cool and warm, depending on where you use this color and what you put around it. The BM website calls White Dove a "perfectly neutral white." The slight gray undertone creates a color that's easy going and plays well with other colors.
Below, BM White Dove was painted on the trim and ceiling.
BM White Dove on the walls, trim, and ceiling (Western exposure).
3. Benjamin Moore Cotton Balls
Cotton Balls reminds me of freshly poured cream. It is a warm (yet cool) color that feels clean. Thanks to yellow undertones, the color rarely seems too-white.
BM Cotton Balls in semi-gloss:
Cotton Balls looks crisp and pristine--but not overwhelmingly white--when it's used on a gray-shingled house.
4. Benjamin Moore Decorators White
With blue-gray undertones, Decorators White is cool, crisp, and clean. It pairs beautifully with
marble and performs well in sunny rooms or as the backdrop for art.
5. Benjamin Moore China White
Thanks to the gray undertones in China White, the color reads white but it isn't stark. If you are looking for a soft, chalky color, this may be the one.
You can see gorgeous example of a China White kitchen that was designed by Michael S. Smith by clicking HERE.
6. Benjamin Moore Simply White
Simply White is another cool-warm white that has a reputation for being neutral. The green undertones never read "green" or muddy.
Simply White on the walls (eggshell), trim and cabinets(satin), and ceiling (flat on Sheetrock; satin on woodwork).
3 Popular off-whites and greiges:
1. Benjamin Moore Elephant Tusk
The green undertones in Elephant Tusk create a splendid warm greige. The color is almost cream, but not quite. If it's too yellow, tone it down with white. Below, the formula was doubled for Elephant Tusk because it was painted on wood rather than Sheetrock.
2. Sherwin Williams Creamy
The name fits perfectly. This warm, off-white is soft and happy, a pretty
white. It's the color of Devon cream. In person, it appears to be a creamy white. However, the yellow undertones show up in photographs.
Here is Creamy (walls and trim) in a room with an eastern and southern exposure:
#2 Benjamin Moore Winds Breath
A pleasing warm greige. Here, it is paired with BM Simply White on the trim.
#3 Benjamin Moore Ballet White
Ballet White is another color that the BM site refers to as a "perfect neutral white." It's definitely not white, though, with its complex range that changes colors with the light, moving from grey to beige to cream and back to grey.
In a room with northern and eastern light, Ballet White looks like a creamy latte.
In the same room, the walls look gray and beige at the same time,
doubtlessly influenced by the white Macabus granite on the counter.
I've only scratched the surface of white and off-white paint colors. I left out the ever-popular Cloud White by BM and Shoji White by SW, along with so many others.
Do you have a go-to white or off-white paint color?
Has a color performed badly in your home?
What's your favorite trim color?
Note: The paint color in the top photo (staircase) is Porter Paints Sea Sand and the trim is Porter's Antique White. Porter was bought by Pittsburg Paints, but I'm not sure if the old PP colors are still available.
A Metamorphosis Monday contribution.