Despite the rising popularity of pewter green hues and sophisticated gray tones, white is a classic color we'll never tire of. But, don't just take our word for it. The timeless, versatile, and unfailingly chic neutral is a favorite of leading interior designers all around the world. That said, selecting a shade of white paint isn't quite as straightforward as it might sound. So, which white paint is the right one? The answer comes down to personal preference but, as a general rule of thumb, a warm white paint color that mimics the sun's glow with red and yellow undertones is ideal for any space lacking in natural light. In other words, the paint can bring the warmth into your space for you, despite the fact that your paint might be seemingly colorless.
- Color Family: White
- Complementary Colors: None
- Pairs Well With: All colors
- Mood: Cozy, traditional
- Where to Use: Great for walls, ceilings, and trim
To find out which swatches we should get our hands on before committing to a shade, we went straight to the source—interior designers.
Ahead are the warm white paint colors the pros swear by and how to best use them.
Benjamin Moore White Dove
If you're looking for something with just a little bit of warmth, this is the shade for you. "It helps make a room feel more traditional/cozy rather than going bright white and modern," says interior designer Emily Henderson.
Benjamin Moore China White
China White is a fail-safe choice for every surface, as it maintains a nice, clean tone, even with the warm tones of the sunlight. "My last apartment let in a tremendous amount of natural light, and the space itself had a lot of angles that really reflected all of the sunlight streaming in," explains designer Catherine Kwong. "When I was renovating, I compared over 30 different paint brush-outs on site and definitively decided on Benjamin Moore China White."
Benjamin Moore Simply White
Ask any designer their favorite shades of white paint, and they're bound to list Simply White. It's a cult-classic, and for good reason. "This is my all-time favorite, most versatile white paint color. It's warm, soft, and picks up light and shadows beautifully," says designer Katie Hodges.
Try Benjamin Moore's Personal Color Viewer to compare various whites—or other tones!—in your actual space without painting swatches on your walls.
Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee
The problem with warm whites is that they can often appear yellow, so to avoid that, opt for Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee. "It's clean, but doesn't feel stark, like something you might find in ultra-modern spaces or a gallery wall," says Shea McGee of Studio McGee. "We love that it's warm, but without any yellow undertones—perfect for traditional spaces."
Portola Paints White Cliffs
If you're looking for a warmer white, try this pick from Portola Paints & Glazes. "My favorite white paint is White Cliffs by Portola Paints & Glazes," says designer Stefani Stein. "It is bright and crisp with the just the slightest touch of warmth."
Warmer undertones will pair beautifully with wood tones.
Benjamin Moore White Opulence
For anyone who isn't over millennial pink, this paint gives just a hint of the shade in a grown-up way. "We love Benjamin Moore's White Opulence OC-69," recommends Jessica Helgerson of JHID. "It's a bright fresh white with just a touch of pink that is barely visible, but really gives it a pretty soft warmth and keeps it from feeling too harsh."
Benjamin Moore Marscapone
You've picked your perfect shade, painted a swatch on the wall, and can't understand why it looks so different to the paint chip in your hand. The reason could be artificial lighting. "When you turn on electrical lights in the evening, it can greatly affect how your chosen hue appears," says Erika Woelfel, vice president of color and creative services at Behr. This warm white has yellow undertones, so to adjust the glow, experiment with swapping out cool and warm-colored lightbulbs.