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Best White Paint Color For Walls And How To Paint A Bedroom 2024

When we decided to paint our bedrooms, I searched for the perfect white paint color for the walls. Choosing the paint color for the trim was not a problem, and the ceiling paint was a given. Who knew there were so many colors of white paint?

What Is The Best White Paint Color For Walls?

Have you ever tried to select a white paint color? White is white. Right? Wrong. There are antique whites, whites with yellow tints, whites with green tints, whites with brown tints……you get the idea.

I shared the details on the two bedrooms we painted and redecorated a few months ago but I didn’t include the information on the paint. That’s what I’m doing today.

blue bedroom is going to be painted white

The blue bedroom is the one we painted first. The bedroom has been this beautiful dark blue color since our son painted it in 2000….or thereabout. He picked out the color, too.

I was tired of the dark paint, and we decided to paint. We painted the ceiling, walls, all the trim, the closet doors, and the closet walls. Everything.

How To Select The Best White Paint For Walls

This is the process I went through to select the wall color. It doesn’t mean it’s the best process, but it worked for me.

Collect White Paint Color Chips – Both Warm White Paint Chips and Cool White Paint Chips

I went to Home Depot and Lowes and picked out white paint chips that I thought looked good. I was going for white with just a hint of beige, which is a warm white. I didn’t want a yellow tint or a greenish tint. When I had several chips, I would look at them together, and it would be easy to see the different tints.

Compare The Different White Color Shades On The Walls

A  white paint might have a green tint or a pink tint or a gray tint, etc., when compared to others. If you’ve been through this process or will in the future, you can easily see what I’m talking about. I just kept weeding out paint chips until I went home with about 16.

Study Paint Colors In The Rooms To Be Painted

When I got the paint chips home, I looked at them for several days at different times of the day with curtains open and closed, lights on, and lights off in the bedrooms we planned to paint. I slowly weeded out the paint chips until I was left with four.

How to choose bedroom paint colors

The color samples I copied from each paint brand’s website are shown above. White paint colors will look different on various computers, phones, etc., so don’t assume the colors in the photos are the true colors. If you are selecting paint colors, get the chips at the store.

Color Sample, Sherwin Williams Shoji

Shoji is a light warm, creamy white that borders on greige (beige and gray) with a cozy feel. The color has been described as beige but in my rooms and lighting it had more of a gray shade.

Color Sample, Behr Cotton Knit 

Cotton Knit is described as a chalky white with a blanched white undertone. It tends to look like a smoky beige depending on the time of day and lighting.

Color Sample, Valspar Swiss Coffee

Swiss coffee from Valspar is a warm white with yellow undertones similar to ivory. This paint sample was definitely the lighter white of the three.

Color Sample, Behr Swiss Coffee

This color is a soft white. I couldn’t detect any undertones of yellow, green, or anything else. It does have a warm feel and is not a stark white like the Valspar Swiss Coffee.

Narrow Down The Paint Colors

I returned to the stores and had small sample jars made of each color. The Shoji color from Sherwin Williams was mixed in Sherwin Williams paint and the same with each color…..whatever the brand was for the color is the paint I had it mixed in. You will notice two paint samples named Swiss Coffee. Even though they have the same name, they are by different brands and are definitely different colors.

White Paint Color For Bedroom Walls

Paint Sample Boards And Hang On The Wall – Look At The Different Shades of White

I painted a sample swatch of each paint on poster paper and taped them to the bedroom wall. This is the method I preferred, but I read an article that said not to use sample boards, just paint the samples on the wall.

Notice the color samples taped to the wall look slightly different from the sample chips from the websites. This has to do with lighting in the room and my photography. But the colors are close.

Decide On Your Favorite White Paint Color

I looked at the samples on the wall at different times of the day and in different lighting and decided to go with Swiss Coffee from Behr. It has a very slight beige undertone but doesn’t look yellow.

The Valspar Swiss Coffee was too white, and the Behr Cotton Knit’s color tone seemed to hint at green. Plus, both the Cotton Knit and the Shoji colors were darker whites than Behr Swiss Coffee.

Behr Premium Plus Ultra Interior Eggshell color Swiss Coffee

Select The Paint Sheen

I read all about paint sheens here. I broke the sheen options down to three……Matte, Eggshell, and Satin. The Matte looked close to flat to me, and I didn’t want that. The Satin said it had a pearly finish, so no to that too. I decided on Eggshell mixed in Behr Premium Plus Ultra.

using a paint trim tool in corners

Paint Bedroom Walls

Now, to paint the walls. I found using a paint edger was the best way to do the cutting in. The paint edger worked well to paint the room’s corners, along the baseboards, and the top of the walls next to the ceiling.

cutting in paint around baseboards

The white spots on the wall are where we filled holes to prep the walls for paint. To see my article on how we prepped the bedroom for painting, click here.

cutting in paint around windows

And I used the edger around the window trim and closet trim. Most of these areas had to be gone over twice for full coverage. Some three times, but I’m sure that was because of a painter’s error, namely me trying to get the hang of using the edger. The edger is definitely a time saver, and I would rather use it than a brush.

Best White Paint Color For Bedroom Walls

The hubby used a paint pole to roll the walls. You can see in this photo that I hadn’t painted around the window trim or the baseboards yet. We were both painting so we worked in different areas of the room.

That means when the JTS got to the next wall, I had everything cut in, and when I went to the wall, he had just worked on, it was all rolled, and the cutting in was the last thing to do. We couldn’t believe how well the white paint covered the dark blue paint. What you see in the photo above is one coat of paint.

touch up paint between walls and ceilings

Where the ceiling and the walls meet is not always perfectly smooth. There were a few uneven or slightly bumpy areas from old paint jobs and I used a tiny paint brush to fill in the paint. Took me about 5 minutes.

Paint Baseboards And Wall Trim

Select Trim Paint

The only question I had about the trim paint was about the sheen……semi-gloss or satin. Years ago it seemed semi-gloss was the standard for baseboards and window trim.

I know that is what we used in the past. This time I decided to go with a softer look and chose satin sheen. It should look great against the eggshell sheen walls.

How To Choose The Best White Paint Color For Bedroom

How To Paint Trim

We bought pre-mixed Behr Premium Plus Satin Enamel in Ultra Pure White. No decisions about what white to use.

tape around windows with painters tape before painting

Protect Painted Surfaces With Painter’s Tape

We painted the trim last, but you can paint the walls and ceiling in any order you like. I used FrogTape to protect the paint on the walls, the carpet, and the window frames.

Apply the painters’ tape in a straight line against the area to be painted. Then, run your fingernails or something like a plastic credit card to burnish or seal the edges. After all, that’s why we use the tape……no paint leakage.

painting window trim

Then paint the trim. The latex paint we used for the walls, ceiling, and trim dried really fast, and I applied two coats of paint back to back. By the time I finished up the room, the paint where I started the paint job was dry.

painting a bedroom closet

I don’t think the inside of the closet had been painted since the house was built in 1965. The JTS painted the closet, and we used the white trim paint to make it a bit brighter. Our closets are tiny.

painting baseboards

We had these yellow plastic strips from a paint job we did years ago. The strips go between the baseboards and the carpet. I tried using them but decided taping over the carpet with painters’ tape worked better.

remove painters tape before paint is dry

I achieved a nice straight paint line and the white trim is a nice contrast to the slightly darker Swiss Coffee color.

Important Tape Tip

Always remove painters’ tape before the paint dries. I usually remove the tape as soon as the area is painted. Once the paint dries on the tape, it may pull some of the paint from the wall or the trim. This holds true for anything you use painters’ tape on….furniture, home decor, etc.

Painting The Ceiling White

We painted the ceiling before we painted the walls and trim, but for the purposes of this article, I decided to share the info on the ceiling last.

I think it is a good idea to paint the ceiling first in case you get paint drips on the walls or trim. It’s bad when you mess up a new paint job.

Glidden Ceiling Paint

The ceiling paint didn’t matter to me as long as it was white and a good paint brand. We bought Glidden Ceiling Paint, Spatter Resistant.

cutting in the ceiling with white ceiling paint

The JTS and I have the things we do best when painting. The JTS works a paint roller really well, so he rolls the ceiling and the walls. I usually apply the painter’s tape, then paint the trim and cut in around the ceilings and baseboards. In the photo of me above, I’m using the edger to apply paint around the edge of the ceiling.

The ceiling paint we bought was white, and I got a scare when we painted the ceiling. The ceiling paint was a pale gray. Thank goodness when the paint dried, it was white.

I think the paint is made that way so you can tell where you’ve painted. If the paint rolls on white on a white ceiling, it would be hard to tell what has been freshly painted.

painting bedroom ceiling with paint stick

The JTS rolled the ceiling paint on using a paint pole. You definitely need an adjustable paint pole you can attach to the paint roller for those hard-to-reach places. In this photo, you can also see the gray color of the ceiling paint against the white ceiling.

We removed the light fixture and replaced it with a ceiling fan. That was a job because the original light was inset into the ceiling, and there was no lightbox or 2×4 to attach the ceiling fan too. I’ll share that project in another post. 

painting louvered doors with a paint sprayer

I wrote a post and filmed a short video on painting the louvered closet doors with a paint sprayer. What a time saver. Years ago, when I painted those doors, I used a brush and it took a lot of time. I didn’t cover all the nooks and crannies as well as the paint sprayer does.

See the video below…

How To Paint Louvered Doors With A Paint Sprayer

How to select the perfect white paint color for bedroom walls.

How to select the perfect white paint color for bedroom walls.This is how the bedroom looks: freshly painted from top to bottom, and all new decor, except for the bed.

how to select the best white paint color for walls in your home


Do you have any tips for selecting paint colors? Leave a note and I’ll see you next week, Kathy

Kathy Owen founder of Petticoat Junktion
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Author: Kathy Owen
Kathy Owen is the founder of the home decor blog Petticoat Junktion where she shares tutorials on painting furniture and upcycling thrifty finds into unique home décor. Her DIY projects have been featured on the Home Depot Blog, Plaid Crafts, Behr Designer Series, and in numerous magazines. Kathy’s newest website is HappyHomeDIY.com

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  1. Kathy,
    I pretty much do exactly what you do but I add the step of moving my samples to the various walls in the room as well.
    I too painted my son’s room (was last painted in 2013… I painted it to look like a storm. Grey’s and clouds and a couple of lightening bolts… It is white now. I went with Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace.
    What a difference!

  2. Thank you so much Sharon! You made my day. I think it’s awesome that you decided to freshen up your home. I often see older couples with homes that haven’t been updated in decades. I think sometimes the wife wants to redecorate but the hubby doesn’t. Men just don’t understand. Your bathroom sounds lovely. Thanks again, Kathy

  3. Room looks great!!!!
    keep in mind, you can use different colors on ceilings. I have a light beige in the bedroom and I love it. Warms up the room. I have seen people use light blue and it looks amazing.

  4. I just went through this exercise as we did a living room and dining room. I only use Sherwin Williams paint or Benjamin Moore. I quit using Walmart paint as the coverage was simply not good. Also, My SW guy is excellent at helping select paint colors and type of paint to use. I actually had all kinds of paint colors on the walls and that helped me end up with Sandbar. Everyone wanted me to use gray, but I simply am not a gray person. I was blessed to find a lady painter who was reasonable and my rooms look so good with the new carpet. We are 78 and 80 and decided it was time to freshen up our house. We did the bathroom in Naval by SW. It is dark but with white beadboard and shelving painted white, it looks good. I love your posts and always learn so much from them.