As anyone who's wandered down the paint aisle at Home Depot can attest, there are hundreds of swatches and samples to cull through in search of the perfect shade. Between slight variations in undertones and the need to take natural light into consideration, selecting the best white paint presents a particularly daunting challenge. The stakes are surprisingly high—after all, the wrong shade can make your space look as startlingly bright as a hospital hallway.
Because the right color can make or break your space, we asked some of our favorite interior designers to reveal the best white paint colors they turn to—and we're taking note of these pros' picks. Ranging from clean and crisp to warm and welcoming, we're narrowing the selection of seemingly endless swatches down to the six shades interiors designers swear by. Keep scrolling to see which white paints interiors designers deem the best of the best.
Benjamin Moore Simply White
Interior designer Katie Hodges of Katie Hodges Design swears by Benjamin Moore Simply White as the best white paint. "It's clean and crisp, without feeling sterile," she says. "My favorite white of all time—it never disappoints!"
Benjamin Moore White Diamond
"My old living living room was painted this super-cool white, and I loved it for the space," says Emily Henderson of her choice for the best white paint. "I loved it because generally I'm more attracted to cool tones rather than warm tones, and if you put it up to a true white, it looked a little blue, but in person, it just looked really white," she explains. "So if you are looking for the perfect cool white, then this is a great option for you as it doesn't have any yellow or cream tones in it."
Portola Paints & Glazes White Cliffs
"My favorite white paint is White Cliffs by Portola Paints & Glazes," divulges designer Stefani Stein. "It is bright and crisp with the just the slightest touch of warmth."
Dunne Edwards Precious Pearls
When choosing the best white paint for a space, Nate Berkus almost always turns to Dunne Edwards Precious Pearls. "I love working with this shade of white. It works so well as a backdrop in almost any room," says Berkus. "It's not distracting—it's the opposite," he explains. "It immediately makes a room feel calm and will pair beautifully with whatever furniture and objects you choose to live with."
Behr Snow Fall
"What I look for in a good white is its neutrality, and not too bright but not too dark," explains Los Angeles–based interior designer Sarah Sherman Samuel. "I found my white soul mate (I mean the paint, not Rupert) in Snow Fall by Behr."
Benjamin Moore Super White
When we asked Tali Roth of Tali Roth Designs to reveal her choice for the best white paint, she immediately responded with Benjamin Moore Super White. "This is what I use when I want a gallery white with absolutely no other present pigmentation," she says. "It's the purest white you can get and immediately brightens up any space," she explains. "It's definitely not the white for all spaces, but in the right space, it looks absolutely brilliant!"
"Super White by Benjamin Moore has become a new favorite of mine," confesses interior designer Brady Tolbert. "After moving into my current apartment, which had dingy and off-white walls, I used this color in my kitchen, and it gave the entire room a completely new lease on life," he explains of his choice for best white paint. "It is definitely a crisp bright white without yellow or blue undertones, which makes it the perfect tone to brighten up and bounce light around a room without it starting to feel too modern or cold."
Benjamin Moore White Dove
"We used White Dove by Benjamin Moore for this room," explains David John Dick of DISC Interiors. "It's a paint we love for its depth and ability to create warm spaces, and it pairs so beautifully with oak floors," he explains. "It's one of our favorite whites to use for larger spaces such as living rooms and kitchens."
Benjamin Moore Winter White
"I go back to Benjamin Moore Winter White again and again," confesses Los Angeles–based interior designer Natalie Myers. "It's a crisp cool white that lets colors really jump and grays stay true to their base. No buttery creamy undertones," she explains. "Keep in mind that it is more appropriate for modern interiors with clean lines. I used it on this midcentury modern project in Pacific Palisades."
Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee
"While there are so many good whites paints, I think Benjamin Moore's Swiss Coffee is one of my go-tos," reveals Shea McGee of Studio McGee. "There are some really great bright whites that go well in modern settings, and warm whites that are perfect for traditional spaces, but Swiss Coffee is somewhere in between. I like that it can pair across all design styles."
Benjamin Moore White Opulence
"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."
Farrow & Ball Ammonite
"Some of my favorite whites include White Dove by Benjamin Moore, Farrow & Ball All White, and Farrow & Ball Ammonite, which has a subtle gray undertone," offers Vanessa Alexander of Alexander Design. "Any of these create a softer palette instead of a strict white tone which can read a little harsh," she explains. "I love neutrals and mostly white interiors and add wood pieces, hints of leather and fabrics with depth to add texture and warmth."
PPG Pure White
"My new go-to is Pure White by PPG," confesses interior designer Leanne Ford. "It's perfect! Crisp, modern, bright, and has no tint to it whatsoever. I just did my entire house in it, walls, ceilings, wood floors! Inside and out! It's like walking into heaven."
"I love a good warm white paint color. I love whites that have depth and dimension and don't feel too sterile," says interior designer and founder of the direct-to-consumer paint brand Clare Nicole Gibbons. "Whipped from Clare is the perfect warm white that's soft, delicate and versatile enough to work in any space."
Farrow & Ball Strong White
"We use Strong White from Farrow & Ball because it literally is the most neutral white but has a milk quality to it," divulge Caroline Grant and Dolores Suarez of Dekar Design. "It does not have pink or yellow undertones but has a softness that is needed in a true white. When people think of white, they think that sterile hospital white, but Strong White is one that is soft and has depth."
"Farrow and Ball Strong White is my go-to for period properties as it is a very contemporary neutral that adds a fresh subtle urban feel to traditional heavily detailed architectural plaster moldings," says Katharine Pooley. "I always use Estate Emulsion over Modern Emulsion as it has a gorgeous soft patina that only improves with age."
This story was originally published on June 30, 2016, and has since been updated.
Looking for more minimal paint color inspiration? Ahead, interior designers share the neutral paint colors that work in every room.
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