Recognizing Undertones in White Paint

Paint colors are often created by using two or more colors. If there is a higher percentage of one color over the other, that creates an undertone.

Warm white paint colors have undertones of redorange, and yellow, resulting in a soft glow and welcoming vibe—seen in this Capri Coast OC-87-painted entrywayCooler whites have hints of greenblue, and violet, contributing to a space that looks crisp, clean and fresh.

When looking for the right white paint, layer a range of white color chips from your local Benjamin Moore store on top of one another. Observe the difference between brightness levels and undertones. View the chips against your home furnishings to find which white is most complementary.

Our Brightest, Cleanest White Paint Colors

One of the most common questions we get from homeowners is “What is Benjamin Moore’s ‘most pure’ white paint?”

We’ve narrowed it down to two hues: Chantilly Lace OC-65 and Super White OC-152. These whites have little to no visible undertone, making them two of our ‘whitest white’ paint colors.

We love these two hues for a few reasons:

  • Adaptable: Color combinations with either of these colors is effortless.
  • Super Bright: If you are looking for a crisp, refreshing white, these should definitely be on your list.
  • High Light Reflectance Value (LRV): In color parlance, this means they reflect a lot of light.

Trim and Sheen

For trim, homeowners love Decorator’s White OC-149 for its clean, bright look. Others opt for White Dove OC-17, which offers less contrast and a slightly more muted approach to white.

If you opt for the classic white-painted trim, we recommend painting all the trim in your home the same color white for continuity. For finishes, consider semi-gloss for trim and doors, matte or eggshell for walls, and flat for ceilings.

Sheens help differentiate any paint color, including white. Use a high gloss sheen to turn up the drama and highlight architectural details. The higher the sheen, the greater the shine and durability. On the other end of the sheen spectrum, a matte finish offers an understated, elegant finish when paired with rich surfaces like marble countertops. In the middle, an eggshell sheen—a homeowner favorite—offers a soft hint of gloss and easy-to-clean practicality.

The Serenity of White Paint

Just-right white paint colors are so indispensable that many interior designers have committed them to memory, as seen in this video.

Favorite Benjamin Moore white paint colors mentioned include Linen White OC-146Atrium White OC-145Cotton Balls OC-122Chantilly Lace OC-65, and Steam AF-15, from the highly efficient mix-and-match Affinity® color palette.

Design professionals share their must-have whites and off-white paint colors.

At Home with White Paint

Layering white and off-white paint colors creates a richly elegant look. Texture, as seen in the throws and pillows of this White Wisp OC-54-painted bedroom, are especially important in an all-white room. Window treatments provide another creative opportunity for white-on-white design.

Color flow—the colors that connect one room to the next throughout your home–is made easier with white hallways, trim and doors. Just make sure the whites you choose for these surfaces “work” with other paint colors used in different rooms. Brushing on paint samples and living with them—even when it comes to hallways, trim and doors—is always the best test.

Living Rooms: White Paint Always Works

A living room painted in layers of white is always an elegant choice. Here Winter Snow OC-63 is the perfect backdrop for a gallery wall and a striking white-painted brick fireplace painted with ADVANCE® Interior paint in a Satin finish.

If white walls hold great appeal for you, but you also crave color on pillows, throws, rugs and other furnishings, white works. Keep in mind that when it comes to home accessories:

  • Red, yellow and neutral colors harmonize with warmer white paint colors.
  • Green, blue and cool gray colors sync with cooler white paint colors.

Explore our Off White Collection online to find paint color pairings, compare similar shades, and more.

Classic White Exteriors

A white or off-white exterior is a longstanding homeowner favorite. White-painted homes effortlessly stand out from surrounding landscapes, as seen here in White Diamond OC-61.

Exterior siding in white paint creates a blank canvas for complementing brick, stone and slate. Other hues we love for all-white homes include Swiss Coffee OC-45Cloud Cover OC-25, and Distant Gray OC-68. Conversely, white-painted exterior trim against deeper hued siding—think windows, columns, railings dormers and rooflines—highlights architectural details and adds clean, crisp lines for any home exterior.

Test Your White Paint Colors

White paint colors are especially prone to taking on different tonalities from morning to evening, under both natural and artificial lighting conditions. Purchase paint samples of white paints you like, and test each one on the wall before you buy.