The Perfect Neutral Paint Colors

How often do you think about painting your walls a new color? I’m notorious for changing paint colors so often that my friends and family never know what to expect when they walk in the door.

To say I am the queen of paint colors is an understatement!

You have asked me on so many occasions what white paint I use in my home, I thought it was fitting to talk about my favorite whites and neutral paint colors here today!

The Perfect White

The biggest question I get asked is about the white paint I chose for my interior walls. Well here is my official answer: Benjamin Moore Super White. If you are looking for a similar shade by Sherwin Williams, try Extra White.

This shade of white definitely makes the room pop and the fresh vibes it exudes does wonders for a dark small space!

However,  I do want to point out that there is hardly any tint in it so if you are more on the OCD neat freak side, it does easily get dirty. I am not too much of a neat freak about dirty walls. So I just use a white eraser and wipe off the scuffs when needed.

Probably the best example of how a coat of white paint can turn a dark space into a California Cool delight!

 

perfect neutral paint colors

Considerations for Painting White

If you are waffling about whether or not to paint your space white, here are some helpful questions to ask yourself:

  1. Am I going to freak out about scuffs and fingerprints? As mentioned before,  super crisp bright whites generally have little or no tint.
  2. Do you have the intention to use color to dress up the rest of the space? Unless you are striving for an extremely minimalistic look, white walls do best with layers of textiles and colors via furniture and decor. If you want the walls to help warm up the space and use less decor, then consider a more colorful shade. It does not have to be bright and bold, even a warm gray is nice.
  3. Is your millwork white? If you have white wainscoting or board and battan, than a colorful wall is best. White walls on white millwork blend in and you waste the architectural interest you invested in! For example, I got new window frames and baseboards for my bedroom and had them painted white. After it was all said and done, it felt a little anticlimactic because you could barely see the new trim!

perfect neutral paint colors

Additional white paint colors

So, you are probably wondering, what other white colors would be a great consideration?

Here is my list and why:

  1. Benjamin Moore’s White Dove offers a creamier white but it is not too yellow like Swiss coffee. It’s also great for moulding and cabinets.
  2. Benjamin Moore’s Decorator’s White is another good option for a bright white with cooler undertones. I am more drawn to cooler whites than yellow whites so this is a wonderful choice for walls, trim and moulding.
  3. Sherwin William’s Westhighland White is great for trims and moulding but it shouldn’t stop you from painting your walls with it if you want bright white.
  4. Sherwin William’s Alabaster is a softer white with a tiny bit of yellow undertone. I am extremely picky about yellow tones and this one is barely there. It is a nice warm white if you feel your home has reds and browns to complement with.

Commitment phobe to White Walls

If after reading this, you are still afraid to pull the trigger on white walls in your home, then I would highly suggest going greige.

For many years, I was obsessed with greige because white walls scared me too! In our first townhome, we had white walls and I hated it because back in the early 2000s, Mediterranean  yellow and gold toned walls were on trend. I call it the Olive Garden restaurant phase. Faux sponged walls in reds and golds. Eek!

I didn’t necessarily want the faux sponged look but I thought I wanted gold colored walls. In this home, I finally got my wish and immediately wanted gray and white. Just can’t win with me right?

The perfect Greige

As I said before, griege is a wonderful alternative to white walls to lighten your home.

perfect neutral paint colors

 

As you can see in my entryway, this color provides a bright pop to the white bannister.

The many colors and patterns from the rug, decor and plants shine the same as if there is a white wall. It is just a tad richer and deeper in the aesthetics. So if this is what you feel more comfortable with, then go for it!

The greige I used here is Dunn Edwards Ash Gray. And I can’t tell you how many times people have asked me what color this is!

Recently I had a client project that involved a whole main floor renovation. They had previously used a classic early 2000’s color for all model homes called Sandcastle. Of course you can guess the undertone, yellow.

Thankfully my clients agreed it was time to bring their renovated home into 2018. Yet they were quite afraid of painting all their walls white. They had two teenage boys and a big dog. So I found a wonderful greige that pleased everyone.

We are not yet done with the renovations so I don’t have decent pictures to show you yet.

 

perfect neutral paint colors

Image Credit: Etch Design Group

However, this kitchen/family room I found on Pinterest gives you a great idea of how your walls do not need to be white. The cooler toned gray has enough warmth to define itself as a greige.

Finding the right paint color for your home can be daunting. Once found though, it can level up your home’s sophistication in an instant.

I hope this post on perfect neutrals help you transform your space in a remarkable way!

Happy day!

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