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White Paint - How Do I Choose The Right One?

White Paint. How do you get the perfect white? You may think it is easy, white is white, but as is the case with all the colours, there is a spectrum of whites to choose from. If done right, a white will look really good. However, if done wrong , your white room can end up looking a dirty cream that really needs a new lick of paint!

Photo: Pinterest

White is the trickiest colour to get right, yet it is used in so many aspects of the home: interior, exterior, cabinets, trim, ceiling. The reason it is so tricky is because of the many undertones that it holds.

To get a white that is as white as the crispness of an A4 piece of paper is incredibly difficult. In addition, with years of its use as a painted surface white is a colour that very much discolours if the brand uses natural pigmentation, looking stained yellow in the long run, so repainting does need to be done. If you look at a paint chart, or on a screen, or place the colour in front of a piece of paper, with the large spectrum of white paint available on the market, you will look and think that the colour is not true white. It is white but what you are seeing is the undertone of the paint colour.

Every colour has undertones, but with white it is the most noticeable. These undertones can range from warm to cool and be peachy, yellow, green or blue in colour. These undertones can really change the colour of the white paint and create different feelings and vibes in a room. With artificial light, the colour will also completely change, often the true undertone coming out making it look completely different to what it looks like in broad daylight.


Sometimes, it is a good idea to look at the paints on top of a piece of white paper as you can really see the undertones and if it is a warm or cold white and which would be best in your home.

For example, do not go for a subtle yellow if you are not a fan of cream. It will appear yellow in colour at night. Same goes for subtle pinks, it will look peach or orange in artificial light. If you want to play it safe, go for a white that has very little undertones to it. There are a few on the market ranging from designer to high street brands. These colours tend to be the branches favourite and most popular because they are guaranteed to work with decorators always choosing this colour.

These specific white paints are known as Pure Brilliant White’s reflecting back all light that hits it. The purity of the colour bounces light and shadow lifting the entire space. Some colours include: Benjamin Moore’s Chantilly Lace, Dulux’s Pure Brilliant White Matt Emulsion, Crown’s Breatheasy Pure White Brilliant White Emulsion.