Hey guys! This post is long overdue but I’m so excited to tell you that our home is officially painted WHITE!! The muddy, traditional yellow paint is washed and the kitchen finally feels more bright and open. If you haven’t already, then check out our Home Tour when we first bought the house.
Once we settled into our new home, we spent a few months figuring what we really liked about the house and what we didn’t. And now, almost a year on the one thing, both, Malav and I could not live with was the paint color!! BLUE AND YELLOW. It just didn’t grow on us so once we had some savings I knew this was the first thing that needed to go.
I started pinning heavily for paint ideas and found myself drawn to homes with an all white finish or a more minimalist design. So, with that vision in mind, I read blogs from design pros like Emily Henderson, Amber Interiors to Studio Mcgee for selecting the perfect white. Majority of them swore by Benjamin Moore and with Amber Interior’s white guide in hand, I felt confident to select the paint needed for our home.
This list was great as it gave us a really good starting point but OH MY GOD- We were clueless when we walked into the store!!! Suddenly we had to deal with questions like Which side does our home face? How much natural light do you get? What type of artificial lighting do you use? What ‘sheen’ are you thinking??? I mean how hard is it to just get a can of WHITE PAINT?? It’s just white. We were so wrong. Turns out, it’s really really hard!!!
Luckily for us, the color consultant (Javan Cameron) at the Danville Benjamin Moore was extremely helpful!! He sat down with us for over an hour and really talked us through all the whites and their differences.
Factors Affecting White Paint:
1. Natural Light
Here’s the thing about white paint, it will never look the same in your home as it does on paint chips, paper sheets or tester pots. Infact, it may not look the same in two different walls of your home because LIGHT, LIGHT & MORE LIGHT!!! Light affects all paint colors but more so with white as it is such a strong reflector. As a result of this, it’s really important to consider the direction of your home and how much or how little natural light you receive.
For example, our house is east-west facing. I.e: Our living room and master bedroom are East facing and our guest bedrooms and kitchen are West facing. So, the living room is flooded with light in the morning and by mid afternoon it is filled with shadows and turns dark. At the same time, our guest rooms are quite dull during the day however come evening and they’re basked in this beautiful evening glow. This made it extremely hard to pick one color for our entire house because there was such a large degree of unpredictability. What we learnt and have finally made peace with is that it’s almost impossible to find one color that you love throughout the house. Your best bet is pick a color and if you like it 70% of the time then that’s the one you stick with!
All white paints have undertones. They may be green, grey, blue, yellow- even pink! It’s important to consider this when choosing the right paint and finding the look you like. The Benjamin Moore color guide is extremely useful in helping narrow your options. If you know you want an off-white look, then don’t bother with the crisp or softer whites at all. This avoids you feeling overwhelmed when faced with such a large selection of paint and makes it easier to make a final decision. However, always get a tester pot because light can bring out undertones that you may have never expected so it’s always better to be safer than sorry. This guide by Kylie M Interiors is really helpful in understanding the undertones and picking a suitable white for your space.
**Rule of Thumb: Don’t pick more than 3-4 tester samples.
Based on our consultation and the Kylie M Interiors undertone guide, we decided we wanted a crisp, white finish and so picked a tester pot of ‘Chantilly Lace’ to try on our walls. We were so positive from all our research and consultation that this might just be the color for us, unfortunately seeing it in person on our walls was a total shocker!- It was just TOOOO WHITE. Really stark, cold and bright but not in a good way. Also, in some areas like our stairway it had a really dull chalk finish which made the walls look grey which we absolutely hated! As a result of this, we returned to the store and picked out slightly warmer whites- Simply White, Snowfall White & Navajo White
Overall, we found that Navajo White was just too ‘beige’ for our liking and decided to eliminate it. It was a very close call between ‘OC 117 Simply White and OC 118 Snowfall White’, however Simply White definitely had a more yellow tint which we didn’t fully love! With Snowfall White- it was love at first sight!- Throughout the house it looked bright, crisp and beautiful. At certain times of the day, it also produces a slight yellow tint but overall it just looked like a nice, warm and creamy finish. Benjamin Moore describes this color as: ‘As crisp and clean as winter’s first snow, this mellow, restful white adds radiant warmth to any space’. And we couldn’t agree more with this description!
The last important factor to consider when selecting white paint is the type of finish or ‘sheen’ to use. Usually it’s recommended to use flat or eggshell on walls and and ceiling and semi- gloss on trims, cabinets and baseboards. However, when it comes to white paint- it already bounces so much light into the room that picking a semi-gloss or a more glossier finish than that will just make everything really shiny and over the top bright so for our home, we used an Eggshell finish throughout the house- on all the walls and ceilings and finished off with satin sheen on trims and baseboards.
Choosing white paint isn’t easy but it’s so worth it. It has honestly transformed our home from a dark and dull to a really open, bright and inviting space. The rooms look much bigger and grander and is the perfect backdrop for when we start adding our furnishings and accessories to really transform this space! If you’re over the edge of re-painting then I hope you find this blog useful and don’t forget to sample, sample and sample every wall! I promise it will be worth the effort! xoxo