When you think “neutral paint,” you probably think immediately of either white or off-white. It’s been a go-to option for a long time, offering a clean backdrop with plenty of variation in the form of subtle shades, tones, and hues.
Plus, it’s a color choice that plays really well with others, whether you like vibrant artwork, decorations, or a bold accent wall.
Gray is a strong choice too, and thundered onto the scene in a big way just a couple of years ago. It seemed like everyone was going gray for much the same reason as white has been so popular for so long.
Today, white interior paint is enjoying time in the spotlight again. The clean simplicity is attractive. To really maximize the full potential though, you have to approach color selection carefully and with your eyes wide open. Believe it or not, white is a tough color to pick!
How to choose the right white paint color
Paint samples directly on your wall
Here’s where it gets tricky: white is almost never just white. You have to be aware of the undertones that come shining to the surface at different times of day, in different levels of light, and in different types of lighting (natural vs artificial).
Your best bet is to paint actual samples on your walls, or paint sections of poster board that you can hang up. Move them around, see what you think, and choose carefully.
If you love white, go all in
Unless you want undertones, go with the purest white you can find. Otherwise you might be surprised by little hints of gray, green, blue undertones, or even yellow, changing the flavor of your room just slightly. Whether you’re color hunting on your own or working with a professional painter or consultant, the best way to avoid this is to research pure whites. For example, check out the aptly named Pure White from Sherwin-Williams.
Remember your paint color temperatures
If pure white is NOT your first choice, don’t underestimate the power of undertones. That little touch of color within the white can instantly make the space feel warmer or cooler: a little yellow adds a cozy, buttery flavor, for example, while blue brings in a crisp chill. Whichever way you lean, just be aware of the difference and the influence it will have on your space as a whole.
Don’t forget to have fun with accent colors and textures
White is so versatile, as we mentioned already. To avoid a stark, sterile aesthetic, bring in fun colors and textures! Warm wood finishes pair beautifully with white walls, but so do stone, metal, and fabrics. Take full advantage of the flexibility here and get creative.
Ask your professional interior painter for help
White isn’t the easiest color to choose, but that just makes the process (and results) all the more rewarding. Collaborate with your house painter, ask questions, and ask for a referral for color consultation services, if needed.
If you’re painting here in the Portland area, reach out to us at Sundeleaf Painting. We’d love to serve you and help bring your vision to life.