But Which White?

So you think you’ve gone the easy route by deciding to paint a room white? OK, but which white? I had an hour plus discussion with a set designer once about which was the right white to paint a set. Setting foot in the paint store is overwhelming with options – cool whites, warm whites, light tones of gray or blue or even pink.

Which white is right for your project depends on the overall look and feel you want to achieve and what the existing elements in the room are. Mixing warm and cool can create contrast. My dining room is a super-pale cool lavender which makes our warm wood furniture look awesome. Using two slightly different values of the same color can create subtle shading and depth (a trick we used a lot on set).

I have a friend who went for months trying to find the right white for her living room. While it looked great on the swatch in the paint store, everything took on a greenish cast once on the wall, because she had a lot of windows that were reflecting the greenery outside. Ultimately, a warm pinkish white helped to counteract the green, and gave her the warm antique white effect she was going for.

Still unsure which white? There’s help here.


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