Maybe you’re moving and want to repaint your home with a clean, white paint. Maybe you want to make your home look more modern or open. Or maybe you simply love the crisp brightness of white paint. No matter the reason behind your choice, when you want to paint a room white, you can’t just pick up pure white paint from your local hardware store. Very rarely does pure white paint look good in any room. In order to find the perfect white paint for your home, you need to take into consideration three main factors: undertones, style, and lighting.
How Undertones Affect Mood
There are two main categories when it comes to undertones of white paint - warm and cool. Much like with the difference between warm and cool lighting, the undertones of white paint can affect our mood. Warmer whites, with undertones of red, orange, pink, or yellow, make a room feel more relaxed and cozy while cooler whites with undertones of blue, green, or purple, make a room feel more modern and alert. The first step in choosing the perfect white for your room is to determine which mood you want to evoke. If you’re painting your bedroom, you’ll most likely want to lean towards a warmer ivory white. If you’re painting your living room, you could consider painting it a cooler pure white.
Not sure if your white paint has warm or cool undertones? Put it against a sheet of white printer paper. You’ll be able to see if the paint is cooler or warmer than the paper, letting you know which undertones it carries.
How Different Whites Effect Style
As we’ve mentioned before, not all white paints are created equal. While the undertones of your white paint affect mood, they can also affect the style of your room. Different styles call for different shades of white. If you’re looking to update or remodel your room to a more sleek and modern style, opt for a bright, cool white tones. It will create greater visual contrast if you decorate with bright colors as well as other neutral colors. On the other hand, if you want to give your room a more classic and elegant style, a warmer white will usually do the trick as it can give your room an artificial glow that will make it seem cozier and more comfortable.
If you’re not sold on painting an entire room white, you can always paint an accent wall or DIY wainscoting. White wainscoting contrasts beautifully with hardwood flooring as well as bolder colored walls.
How White and Light Play Together
The last step in choosing the perfect white paint for your room is to find out how well it works with the lighting of the room. Start by choosing your three (or more) favorite shades of white and taping the paint chips around your room. Alternately, you can pick up samples of the actual whites and paint them directly on the walls. Be sure to put the samples in different areas of the room - the brightest wall, the darkest corner, and even the ceiling - to get the best idea of how the white will look at different times of the day and in different weather. Once you find your favorite white, it’s time to paint!