Our Top 9 White Paint Colors

May 24, 2019

White is white, right? WRONG! There are thousands of white paint colors. You can drive yourself mad finding the right one. Today, I’m going to teach you a little bit about undertones and share my top 9 best white paint colors with you! These are my tried-and-true best white paint colors that I go back to again and again.


My paint brand preferences are Benjamin Moore and Farrow & Ball. I use these brands and colors in every project and I’m very familiar with the quality and colors. I recommend using Regal Select or Aura for the best Benjamin Moore coverage and easy-to-clean finish. Here I’m going to show you lots of pictures from our very own design PORTFOLIO – I can 100% guarantee the color that is on these walls! Sometimes it’s hard to be sure with photos you find online!


Our most used Benjamin Moore white paint colors are Chantilly Lace OC-65, Simply White OC-117, White Dove OC-17 and Intense White OC-51. As you can see from the line up above, Chantilly Lace is the brightest white we use and it has cool undertones. It is great when you need a bright white in low light areas or want a modern look. It has blue undertones so it can read blue in north facing light.

Simply White is my 100% go-to white for almost anything. It’s bright enough but also warm enough to not read “hospital white.” I don’t love the stark white look, I prefer a little warmth and simply white has just a touch of warm/yellow undertones. Next is White Dove, which is my preference for cabinets and trim. It has enough gray where it feels creamy and doesn’t show the dirt as much. Finally, Intense White is great for walls when you don’t want white but a warm soft gray.

Both photos below are from a beautiful, single-family home we completed in the Lakeview area of Chicago in 2018. All walls in this project are Intense White, the trim and wood work is all in Simply White. With most paint colors, when you have lots of natural light the colors look less intense (like in kitchen) this front room gets less light (and so the color seems more saturated).


Ben Moore Intense White on Walls, Simply White on wood work.


Ben Moore Intense White on Walls, Simply White on wood work.

These next two photos are from my own home. Willa’s nursery and our mudroom both have the bright white, Chantilly Lace, as the wall and trim color. This is a great white to use when you are pairing it with black, as it’s a very clean white.


Willa’s nursery with walls and trim in Chantilly Lace.


Our mudroom with brick painted in Chantilly Lace.


Now let’s talk about warm whites for a minute. Warm whites are great when you want to warm up a space or don’t have a lot of natural light to brighten or warm the room. It works well in more traditional homes as well. Below you can see some of the warm whites we tested, both Cotton Balls and Mountain Peak White are my go-to Ben Moore warm whites. This client kitchen and bedroom are in Mountain Peak White.


Glencoe kitchen project in Mt Peak White.


Lakeview condo project in navy grasscloth and Mt Peak White walls.


A note about undertones. I always recommend painting your test swatches nice and large like the photo above. Also, keeping them near each other helps you see the relationship between the colors. Holding up a piece of white computer paper to each swatch, especially with lighter colors and whites, helps you distinguish the undertones coming through in your space. Lastly! Always test in the daylight with natural light and then later see how paint looks with your artificial lighting on. Make sure you like the color/s in both scenarios.FARROW & BALL COLORS:

Now onto a few favorites from Farrow & Ball. These paint colors are listed in order of photos below.

  • Wevet  
  • Ammonite
  • Cornforth White
  • Skimming Stone
top 9 white paint colors

Wevet on the walls Dimpse on wood work for slight contrast.

top 9 white paint colors+ammonite

Ammonite on walls above subway tile.

top 9 white paint colors+cornforth+white

Cornforth White on walls above chair rail.

top 9 white paint colors+cornforth+white

Same home with Cornforth White on walls.

top 9 white paint colors+centered+by+design

My living room with Skimming Stone on walls and Cotton Balls on wood work.

favorite designer white paint colors

I think these are the best white paint colors around! Yes, some of them could be considered pale grays or even taupe with Skimming Stone, but I hope this helps get you more acquainted with how to choose and paint with whites! Emily Henderson also has done a recent round up of her favorite white and grays.


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Meet Claire

Claire’s creative energy comes from her unique perspective on the world as both a trained interior designer and a passionate yoga teacher. Her affinity for kitchen design, timeless style and eclectic decorating are shared here, along with lots of interior design education and tips. Thanks for being here, please enjoy!

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