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I love the color white and I am not afraid to use it. Say it with me! It is no secret what my favorite color is these days. White is a staple in my decorating and design. I think it is the perfect backdrop to any space. It can allow so many options for pairing other pieces. I love the crisp neutrality of a good white paint. My house is painted white inside and out. Everyone told me not to do it. Do I have any regrets? NOT ONE!
So you want to join me on the light side too? There are so many shades of white. I have tried and tested at least half a million. 🙂 I am going to spill the paint (see what I did there) on my favorites. All white paint is not the same and can give you very different looks.
First, let me tell you the best way to test a paint sample. Paint it directly on the wall. No really, just paint a huge 2′ by 2′ square or blob on the wall of the room. This will give the most accurate color of the paint in the lighting of the room. Maybe you can’t bring yourself to do this for some reason. The next best thing is to buy paint sample paper. I don’t waste my money on fancy sample paper. You can pretty much get the same result on poster board. The poster board will get a little warped from absorbing the paint. That is okay because you can use painters tape to hold it down on the wall. Just use a regular paint brush and put a coat or two of paint on the poster board. Tape it to the wall of the room where you are wanting to paint. I did this same method when we finished the basement in our previous home. It worked like a charm!
The exterior of our home is painted with Sherwin Williams Pure White. I can’t say enough good things about this color. It is just the right amount of bright and warmth. It really is my go-to for white paint. It is great for people who are trying to go white but do not want it to be too stark or cold. This looks great on interior walls and trim as well as exteriors. So, why didn’t I paint my interior Pure White?
I chose to paint my interior walls and trim High Reflective White by Sherwin Williams. This white is not for everyone. It is a not as warm as Pure White. However, It is not stark or cold either. It is a really bright white without any gray or yellow tones. A really crisp and bright white. I decided on this brighter white on the inside because I really liked the sharper tone for inside. I knew it would fade a bit in certain rooms over time. Also, when I added my furniture and decor, it really toned down. I did a satin finish on the walls and semi-gloss on the trim. Now, I do have three little kids running around. I get a lot of fingerprints and footprints on the wall (along with a bunch of other stuff). I simply take wet wipes, Clorox wipes, or Simple Green wipes to clean off the walls, doors, and trim.
Benjamin Moore White Dove is also a favorite white paint of mine. I think it is similar to Pure White by Sherwin Williams. A nice rich and warm white. Perfect for those just easing into white paint. I am somewhat partial to Sherwin Williams because I just love their quality. However, I think Bejamine Moore is also a great option.
You really can not go wrong with any of these white paint colors. I am a really picky and have tried so many shades of white. These three have been the top favorites out of all of the many samples I have tested and used. Don’t be afraid to take the color out of your wall and use white! You can add the color back into the room with your decor and furniture. The possibilities are endless with a neutral and bright canvas like white.
The high reflective white looks just beautiful on the walls and trim. I wonder, did you use it on your ceilings as well?
Yes, I used High Reflective white on the ceiling and walls in satin. I used it on all the doors and trim in semi-gloss. Let me know if you have any more questions. Thanks!
Thanks for the info, I’m trying really hard to find the whitest white atm for my bedroom and I already went to Home Depot and they suggest Behr pure white but it had too much yellow undertone for me, will definitely checkbout SW HR white! Thanks again!
I have a large area similar to the room in your picture. There is wood trim on the stairway, trim, and fireplace mantels. We need to use Oil-based on these areas. Is there anything I need to know? Will the oil-based look the same?
Thank you–these pictures are EXACTLY what I’ve been looking for.
Oil based will look the same, cover better, and hold up better. Oil based will not wash out of anything like latex paint, so be careful to cover areas you don’t want paint. You may be able to get away with an oil based primer and latex paint. Make sure to ventilate the area well because oil based has very strong fumes. Be sure to let it completely dry between coats. Good Luck!
In my limited experience (one time) I found SW High Reflective White does not cover a previous light beige painted wall. Not with one coat, not 2 coats but 3 coats! I made the mistake of helping an absentee owner of his new condo get started with remodeling. They chose the HRW color from a Sherman Williams store in NJ and gave the swatch number to me in Florida. I gave it to the painter, (30 years experience) he had never used it before but he figured how much of a problem could a beige wall present for a white paint. SW touted: they restored the “HOLLYWOOD” sign with this High Reflective White paint. About half way through the job the painter realized it was going to make it. He was going to have to increase the bid. The owner says it must be a defective product. The local SW rep said that the NJ guy should have told him that HRW usually needs more coats and that it is usually used as a tint to make bright colors like yellow even more bright.
Of course, now I’m caught in the middle of a fight. BEWARE! If you don’t know, what you don’t know, it can come back to BITE you.
Sorry to hear that. That would be frustrating. I have never had a problem with coverage. However, I haven’t applied this paint over another darker color such as beige. Thanks for the insight. Best of luck!
I was wondering what quartz you used? HR white seems to bright for all I can find!!
I would love you know what quartz you are using, I have HR white cabinets and it seems to bright for all I can find! I want white counters!
Hi Jenny, My wall was High Reflective White and I loved how bright and pure it was. My cabinets were not HR but a little warmer and the quartz was called “Cosmos, Aspen.” Don’t worry about you counter and cabinets matching perfectly. It is totally fine to have different tones of white. It gives dimension to the space and makes it not feel sterile.
I did the very same thing with the addition of one gray wall in a medium tone (pure gray). It’s beautiful!
I am sure it looks wonderful!
Do you think HR white would look good on cabinets too? I know you said you didn’t use them on the cabinets but wanted your opinion?
I think a bright white cabinet in HR white could look great. Now that also hinges on the wall color, cabinet hardware, lighting the room gets, and the general aesthetic of the kitchen too.
I am struggling with finding the right white for our new kitchen cabinets. Contractor has a white he calls standard white that is just a bit too bright (might be closest to HRW). I had contractor make a sample door in Pure White but it looked a bit more yellow or warm in the water based lacquer on the sample vs the latex paint I sampled. I ordered a new door sample in extra white. Do you think this will be a happy medium, between the pure white and HR?
Yes, I would definitely say Extra White is the happy medium between the three. I hope the sample works and looks good!
I am doing a remodel. The ceilings and trim are Behr Ultra Pure White. We want to use Sherwin Williams paint however – do you happen to know the closest SW match to Behr’s Ultra Pure White?
I am not sure what would be the closest match. Maybe try grabbing some paint samples and hold it up to the Behr. Also, Sherwin Williams can color match any other brand. Bring in your Behr paint and they can match it exactly.
Hi Kate I am redoing a small master bathroom It has no windows and the only lights are from the light fixtures in the room. The shower has a bright white subway tile, the floors will be in a light grey variegated porcelain tile. I am planning on putting shiplap half way up the wall behind the toilet and vanity (vanity is bright white). I want to paint the shiplap Benjamin Moore Storm and the walls and ceiling over the shiplap SW High Reflective White. I think I’ll love it . How does it sound to you?
Sounds like a great plan. I’m sure it will look fabulous. Since there are no windows, I love all the white you are planning to make the space feel bright. Good Luck!
My painter is going to use Sherwin Williams “High Hide White” in the Emerald line. He says it will look exactly like Extra White. Do you think it has a more grayish tint to it than Extra White? I’m looking at it in one coat so far and I’m seeing a grayish hue. I’m hoping it won’t look so stark after the second coat…
I believe the High Hide White does have a tint of gray-blue. Extra White will not have a tint like that.
We are staining our plain brick ranch house. We ordered a stain sample and it has great coverage. We want a white but are having a hard time picking a white. We need to pick a Sherwin Williams color as that is the only brand they will match the stain to. It is on the west side, so gets lots of sunlight.. I don’t want it to have a yellowish cast and I also don’t want it to appear as a shocking white bricks. The roof is a medium brown. We are thinking of adding stained brown shutters. Any suggestions of white and what color should we paint our door? I am happy to pay. 🙂 Thank you!
I would probably say Sherwin Williams “pure white”. Good luck!
Hi, I just had my kitchen cabinets done in SW high reflective white, what would be a good wall color to warm the cabinets up a bit?
Thank you, Mel
Try some sample patches of a few whites on the wall next to the cabinets. Sherwin Williams “Pure White” may look good. Not to warm or cool.
HI, Thank you so much for the info. We decided to paint high reflective white to the walls (Saturn for the walls and Flat for the ceiling). I was wondering if you can suggest a color for the doors? Or should we go with the same high reflective white. NOTE, we have beige tiles (not a fan at all but don’t want to change them now).
I would paint the doors the same!
Do you think pure white on the walls would look good on the walls when paired with high reflective white on the ceiling and trim?
I’m also going to have beige cabinets using sherwin Williams accessible beige… having the hardest time finding a good white paint pairing for the walls and ceiling/trim.
Thanks I’m advance!
I would do the same color “pure white” on the walls as well as ceiling and trim. You can change the finish from semigloss and satin if you would like on the walls to trim but I would stick with the same white for walls, base, and trim. Also, Accessible Beige looks great when you cut it or lighten it by 50%.
Hi. Let me know your thoughts about my selection. Walls in HR white and the ceiling PW. Do they match in a proper manner? thank you
I would do walls and ceiling the same white but you could change the finish from sating to eggshell if you would like.
My cabinets are Simply white from BM, I would like to paint my ceiling, walls and trim Pure White or High Reflective white. What would be your choice? ( I’m worrying about kitchen cabinets looking too creamy compare to the walls).
I would probably go with Pure White. Good luck!
Hi love your decor! I wanted to ask if there was a dofference between extra white, and high hide white. I need a strong white to cover the dark purple in my room. I am using primer but I dont know if when I bought high hide white it will be dull/darker and cover well? I want a bright white. Did I make a good choice?
Can I ask what color trim you used on the exterior with pure white?
The trim was pure white as well.
Can you tell me what brand and color is the floor stain?
They were not stained. It is actually just an LVP flooring. 🙂
This is so beautiful and classy. I think I’d like to do this in the lake house we just purchased. It’s so clean. I wonder if you could also tell me what black trim you used. I also love the LVP. What color/brand? .
Tricorn Corn black by Sherwin Williams is my favorite black. The LVP info is all in another post if your search my site on the search bar you will find it under basement finishes.
Hi, I’m doing my walls with Kestrel White and trim / ceiling in high reflective white. Thoughts?
I don’t have experience using Kestrel white but I love High Reflective White.
Hi. We recently purchased a home and I’m wanting to paint the kitchen cabinets. I was hoping for a soft white with dark hardware. the kitchen wall color is SW Agreeable Gray and the the trim is SW High Reflective White. With the trim color such a bright white, what color cabinet would you suggest? Ive read that unless i plan to repaint the trim, the cabinets and trim should match
The cabinets and trim don’t always have to match. Mine don’t and it really doesn’t bother me. It is a personal preference. I really like Pure White by Sherwin Williams.
I am painting my walls and cabinets. The walls I chose SW high real-time white but a little confused about what color cabinets to do. I was thinking pure white? My kitchen counter is granite with mix of beige, brown, specks of black too.. and backsplash is champagne.. What do you think?
Our new house has A LOT of knotty pine. We are going to keep it, for now, and were thinking of using high reflective white in a lot of the rooms. Many of the walls have knotty pine wainscotting. Do you think the high reflective white will go well with the pine? Any tips for what colour to paint pine ceilings? Thanks!
A good primer and maybe even filling the pine holes and knots if they bother you. I think High Reflective will be fine.