Let’s Talk About the Best White Paint Colors – and my Favorite

Let’s talk about the best white paint colors for your home.

the best white paint colors and a remodeled galley kitchen view of side of refrigerator and door to bedroom

What is it about white paint colors?

There’s no denying that white is in. White paint colors have been around for a long time and yet they are as popular as ever. Whether your painting kitchen cabinets white or your walls, there’s a white for everyone.

I started my quest for the perfect white paint color when we were planning our kitchen remodel in our Illinois house. I checked out a lot of whites but ultimately narrowed it down and shared some of my favorites in my 5 popular whites for kitchen cabinets post.

5 popular white paint color chips with their name

While they’re all pretty colors, I did end up finding a favorite out of the 5. One thing you need to know about me is that when I find something I love, I stick with it. I used my true love white on the kitchen cabinets, as well as the rest of the kitchen, and now use it in our little cottage. Before we get to my all-time favorite though, I want to share another pretty white I’ve used.

Sherwin Williams Alabaster

I can’t take credit for choosing this color because it was already in our house when we moved in. I had no idea what color it was until we started our fireplace makeover. The previous owner was nice enough to leave all of the old paint, so I was able to figure out what it was and color match it.

SW Alabaster is a soft, warm white. It’s a pretty color but if you’re looking for bright white, this isn’t it.

the best white paint colors and a white brick fireplace with large tv on mantle

We also used it on the bathroom door. Actually most of the doors and trim are painted with SW Alabaster. I’ve changed a few rooms, like the powder room and guest bedroom we’re working on, but for the most part it’s all SW Alabaster.

The best white paint colors and a DIY towel rack made from a porch baluster hanging on the bathroom wall with a striped towel hanging on it

So, what is my all-time favorite white paint color?

Benjamin Moore White Dove

I can’t get enough of it. It’s the perfect white for kitchen cabinets, ceilings, trim, bathroom vanities…

You get the idea.

In my book you can’t really go wrong with it. Just like SW Alabaster it’s a soft white. Actually, they’re very similar, but I prefer BM White Dove.

Our kitchen remodel in Illinois? The paint color turned out to be the main attraction. We painted the tongue and groove plank ceiling in a pearl sheen and the kitchen cabinets were done in a satin sheen, as was the trim. All of it in BM White Dove.

The best white paint colors and white painted cabinets with brown granite countertops in small galley kitchen

Because I loved how it looked in our Illinois kitchen, we have continued to use it in our new little cottage. Initially, I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to use it in our new house. After all, lighting in a room plays a big part in how paint colors look in your house. I pulled all of my sample boards out when we moved in and I was thrilled to see that it looked just as good as it did in our old house.

The first test to see if it really worked was in the powder room we just finished. I used it on the plank walls, ceiling and trim. Even with no natural light it looks great.

The best white paint colors and a small powder room with gray vanity and silver mirror

The trim in the guest bedroom, the powder room barn door and the closet mirrored barn door all got the same treatment.

The best white paint colors and a barn door and toilet in tiny powder room

What can I say, I just love it.

The best white paint colors and a small closet with gray wallpaper and sliding mirrored barn door

So, how can you find your best white paint color out of all of the hundreds of options? You need to test some out…in the room that you want to use it in. Picking out a little paint chip in the store, without looking at it in your room, isn’t going to cut it.

What do I do?

I like to paint a sample on a large piece of poster board and then I put the board in the area that I want to paint. Keep it there a few days. Look at it in different light. I promise you’ll find your perfect match.

The best white paint colors…what are your picks?


pin this for later graphicFavorite white paint colors in a white kitchen, small powder room with white planks on wall, closet with wallpaper and sliding barn door

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  1. Mary-Louise Shimkus
    Tuesday,April 17, 2018 / 8:54 am

    Kristi, I wanted to thank you for such a well written articulate post. You certainly put much time and thought into discussing how each color of ‘white’ played its role. Many of my questions have been answered and I’m nowvprepared to start projects that have only been in my thoughts and dreams.
    Thank you, Mary-Louise

    • Kristi
      Thursday,April 19, 2018 / 4:52 am

      Thanks Mary-Louise. What a great compliment! I’m glad that you enjoyed my post and it made you feel empowered to start your own projects.

  2. Debbie H
    Tuesday,April 17, 2018 / 11:05 am

    Like you said, it depends on the house and lighting on favorite colors. I always go for a white with a yellow cast to it. When I lived in Islamorada I painted the whole house in Benjamin Moore’s White Linen. My condo was a similar color but I can’t remember the name or brand. My new home, if it appraises for the price, is all brown. Brown walls, counters and cabinets. Brown is my least favorite color. I don’t know if I am up to painting all 1100 sq. ft. and I know I cannot do as fine a job as you did in your Illinois home. I loved the kitchen in that home. You and the hubs did a wonderful job.

    • Kristi
      Thursday,April 19, 2018 / 4:54 am

      Thanks Debbie! I still miss that kitchen. I just wish I had more time to enjoy all of that hard work before we moved.

      I know you’ll transform your new house. Looking forward to hearing that it’s yours!

  3. Tuesday,April 17, 2018 / 11:30 am

    I’m about to start painting my kitchen cabinets and I wondered if there was a special paint to paint kitchen cabinets, but it looks like you didn’t use any special cabinet paint other than the color. Did you use a flat or gloss paint on the cabinets?

    • Kristi
      Thursday,April 19, 2018 / 4:57 am

      I didn’t use special cabinet paint but I did use BM Advance in Satin finish. It almost acts like an oil paint in that it gives a smooth finish. Love, love, love that paint. It’s pricey but I highly recommend it. Check out my post I did on painting the kitchen cabinets. I talk more about it there.

      • Thursday,April 19, 2018 / 10:54 am

        There is this paint called “Beyond” specially made for painting cabinets and furniture. It is self-leveling and I found it a demonstration that someone did on Pinterest. It’s not too more expensive than any other paint and you get a kit with a roller brush and some other things. I think I might use that. Have you ever heard of it?

        • Kristi
          Friday,April 20, 2018 / 4:37 am

          I have heard of it. I would just be sure that, whatever you use, you do a lot of research. Read reviews. I haven’t used it but have heard it chips. Painting kitchen cabinets is no joke so you want to use a good paint that won’t chip (because you won’t want to repaint them or constantly fix them). Just my two cents.

          • Friday,April 20, 2018 / 10:45 am

            Good advice, I certainly don’t want to redo anything after I spent all that time in the first place and let’s face it I’m not getting any younger! ☺️

  4. Pat M.
    Tuesday,April 17, 2018 / 11:43 am

    My go-to white is Valspar’s Dove White. Not on walls, where I’ve used gray in large areas, and dark jewel tones in my two small bathrooms, but otherwise on every inch of ceiling, all repainted kitchen and bathroom cabinets, and all doors and trim. I recently had some new floor trim put down and it is pure white, so now have to repaint since Dove White is not a pure white, if pure white is what you’re looking for. I hate making paint decisions, so if I’ve found something I like, I stick with it. Whites are hard …..

    • Kristi
      Thursday,April 19, 2018 / 5:01 am

      Thanks for sharing Pat! I agree with you, whites are hard. That’s why I stick with what I love. I’m glad you found one that you love too.

  5. Marlene Stephenson
    Tuesday,April 17, 2018 / 2:35 pm

    I need to paint again, but i do like white for my walls and a creamier white for trim. I may even try a light gray in some of my rooms. I love your kitchen and sun room so i may try some of your white paint color.

    • Kristi
      Thursday,April 19, 2018 / 4:59 am

      A light gray would look so pretty with creamy white trim. White walls are classic though. Can’t go wrong with either one. 🙂

  6. Susan J Scimeca
    Tuesday,April 17, 2018 / 5:06 pm

    Gosh, I wish you had posted this about two months ago… My husband wanted one of our spare bedrooms painted white. Now I am not a big white fan, especially in a bedroom, I like some color but since I usually have the say on paint color I let him have his way this time. When looking for a white to paint I was literally blown away by all the choices. There are whites with every kind of underlying color in them..blue, green, yellow, etc. It was a west facing room and I wanted something cool but not -to- cool so I eventually picked a white with a ever so slight purple cast. At first I thought I would be seeing the purple in it when the sun set and the level of the light changed..but it didn’t. And now I am happy with it. But I will never take the color white for granted again and I will be keeping a copy of your favorite whites so I can try them for myself…they look perfect. As all your rooms do…. 😉
    PS How about some ideas on grays? For a room that faces north?

    • Kristi
      Thursday,April 19, 2018 / 5:09 am

      Thanks for sharing your experience with white paint Susan. I’m glad that you found something that worked for your room. It is definitely tough though, there are so many choices.

      As for grays, I have a post on them as well (https://www.chatfieldcourt.com/7-great-gray-paint-colors/) . Our Illinois house had several rooms that didn’t get a lot of light so it took some trial and error to get it right. I talked a lot about it in this post https://www.chatfieldcourt.com/repainting-living-room-question/ Again, it’s hard to recommend a color. The light in your room plays a big part. Hopefully my posts help you out. 🙂

  7. Wednesday,April 18, 2018 / 1:11 pm

    Such pretty rooms! Can you believe that I don’t have one white room in my house? 😉

    • Kristi
      Thursday,April 19, 2018 / 5:16 am

      Thanks Kim! I’ve never done white before until this house (the bathroom that I haven’t shared). Still trying to decide if white walls are for me. 😉

  8. Sally
    Sunday,April 22, 2018 / 2:15 pm

    Who is your bathroom faucet manufactured by? Do you know the name of it. Love it!

  9. Monday,April 23, 2018 / 7:06 pm

    I agree when you find a color you love stick with it. I finally found my neutral color after going with different colors. I like your idea of using a poster board painted with the color you are thinking of trying out. It is so hard to visualize from a small paint chip.

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