Which White Paint Is Best For Walls?
It took a while but I found the perfect white paint color and this is how I found the white that looked best on our bedroom walls........
When we decided to paint our bedrooms I went on the hunt for the perfect white for the walls. Choosing the paint color for the trim was not a problem and the ceiling paint was a given. Who knew selecting the paint color for the walls would be so hard.
The problem was choosing the perfect white for the 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, white with brown tints……you get the idea. I shared our two bedroom makeovers a few months ago but I didn’t share the paint colors or how I selected them. That’s what I’m doing today.
The blue bedroom is the one we repainted first. The bedroom has been this beautiful dark blue color since our son painted it in 2000….or there about. He picked out the color too. I was tired of the dark paint and we decided to paint the room white. We painted the ceiling, walls, all the trim, and the closet. Everything.
Painting The Ceiling
The ceiling paint didn’t matter to me as long as it was white and a good brand of paint. We bought Glidden Ceiling Paint, Spatter Resistant.
The JTS and I have the things we do best when it comes to painting. The JTS works a paint roller really well so he rolls the ceiling and the walls. I usually work the painter’s tape then I paint the trim and do the cutting in around the ceilings and baseboards. A paint edger works great for cutting in. 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.
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 to 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 not a light box and 2x4 to attach the ceiling fan too. I’ll share that project in another post.
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.
How To Select The Best White Paint For Walls
This is the process I went through to select the wall color. Doesn’t mean it’s the best process but it worked for me.
Collect White Paint Color 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. 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 White Color On 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 curtains closed, lights on and lights off in the bedrooms we were planning to paint. I slowly weeded out the paint chips until I was left with four.
You can see the color samples I copied from the each paint brand website above. The paint colors are going to look different on various computers, phones, etc., so don’t assume the colors in the photos are the true-true color. If you are selecting paint colors get the chips at the store.
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 I had 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 2 paint samples named Swiss Coffee. Even thought they have the same name they are by different brands and are definitely different colors.
Paint Sample Boards And Hang On The Wall
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 a bit 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 One 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 I didn’t care for the color tones of the other two colors mainly because they were darker and I had to make up my mind if I wanted the walls to have a bit of color or lean more toward white.
Select 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 in Behr Premium Plus Ultra.
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 corners of the room and…..
along the baseboards and the top of the walls next to the ceiling.
And 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 painter 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.
The hubby used a paint pole to roll the walls. You can see in this photo where I hadn’t painted around the window trim or the baseboards yet. We were working at the same time 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 just worked on it was all rolled and the cutting in was the last thing to do. We couldn’t believe how easily the white paint covered the dark blue paint. What you see in the photo above is one coat of paint.
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 or whatever 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. Should look great against the eggshell sheen walls.
How To Paint Trim
We bought pre-mixed Behr Premium Plus Satin Enamel in Ultra Pure White. No decisions about what white to use.
Protect Painted Surfaces With Painter’s Tape
We painted the trim last but you can paint the walls, ceiling, and trim 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.
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 was dry.
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.
We had these yellow strips of plastic from a paint job years ago that go between the baseboards and the carpet. I tried using them but decided taping over the carpet with painters tape worked better.
I achieved a nice straight paint line and the white trim is a nice contrast to the slightly darker Swiss Coffee color.
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 off some of the paint on the wall or trim. This holds true for anything you use painters tape on….furniture, home decor, etc.
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 a lot of time. Didn’t cover all the nooks and crannies as well as the paint sprayer either.
See the video below...
How To Paint Louvered Doors With A Paint Sprayer
The Best White Paint Color For Bedroom Walls
And this is how the bedroom looks with white walls, fresh ceiling and trim paint, and all new decor.....except for the bed.
Do you have any tips for selecting paint colors? Leave a note and I'll see you next week, Kathy
Lots of good tips here Kathy thank you!
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!
Your so sweet to share, it's always great help.
Just lovely! All ready for spring. And those choices are so hard. Congrats on a job well done.
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.
Thanks Karen, Our rooms are so small I didn't know how a colored ceiling would look. May try it on another room.
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.
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