How to pick the perfect white paint
White comes in many different…well, whites. It can get a little tricky, especially if you’re picky. Most white paints have an undertone, which changes the way it looks in different spaces. Whites typically come in four variations: cool, neutral, warm and off-white. It’s pretty simple when you break it down like that. And that’s exactly the way it should be: simple. So we’ve taken the complicated out of something that should be easy by selecting four perfect whites with the best undertones thanks to our colour specialists. Let’s deep dive into everything you should consider when choosing a white to transform your space.
The white Tint range works well for every setting.
Our simple, yet timeless, range of whites hits every tone needed to create a stunning space: cool, neutral, warm and off-white. Keep the description of each white Tint paint top-of-mind as we continue to unpack the world of white.
Paper Plane – Fits in the cool white club. Cool white creates a fresh, modern look, because it neutralises bright, warm light.
So Fresh and So Clean – Our take on neutral, bright white (we’ve added the teeniest touch of warmth, so it doesn’t feel too flat). Neutral whites tend to be an all-rounder and crowd-pleaser, because they offer a clean, bright look and sit well next to almost anything.
Old School – Our version of a warm white that creates a cosy feel in most rooms.
C.R.E.A.M. – As the name suggests, this is our off-white. This white’s on the warmer end of the scale, which brings depth and comfort to a space.
Light affects the way white works.
Directional light changes the mood of a room completely, so let’s break down white with a compass. Northern light is always brighter and warmer, so normally a cool white like Paper Plane is used to counteract this. Southern light tends to be weaker and cooler, so a warmer white such as Old School can liven up a south-facing room. Eastern and Western light leans to be on the warmer side of things with west-facing light becoming much richer and more golden in the evening.
White competing with white?
Make sure you compare the white you’re planning on painting with any large white surfaces that plan on staying, so you know they won’t clash. For example, if you have a big white kitchen with a slightly warm undertone, then putting a cool white on a wall next to it could make it look a lot more yellow than it is. So always place a Tint Sticker Sample next to the other surface before you get the roller out.
Don’t forget about the other colours.
Glance around your room and look at the different colours – both internally and externally – because they can change the way your white looks as well. If your furniture has cool or warm feel, then picking a white with similar undertones will sit best. Like if you had lots of warm pinks and oranges, then our warm white Old School would work best. Or lots of blues and greys would sit perfectly with our cool white Paper Plane. If you’re not sure, then more neutral whites will do the trick like our So Fresh and So Clean.
Location, location, location.
Where you live can be another way to make a decision on pairing the right white to fit in with your vibe. Like if you live up north where there’s endless sun and lots of beaches, then a cool white will help you even out the warmness in your natural surroundings (like our Paper Plane *wink wink*). But if you’re in a lovely hilltop house overlooking Hobart, then you might want to cosy up your space with a warm white like our Old School. But when in doubt, a neutral white, like So Fresh and So Clean, will suit any light, style or space – trust us.
Avoiding a whim when it comes to the trim.
We like to keep it matchy-matchy in most cases. The subtle difference between Wall and Trim sheen is enough to accentuate your trim without overdoing it. But another popular choice is to go lighter and brighter with your trim. For example, pair an Old School wall with a So Fresh and So Clean trim or a C.R.E.A.M. wall with an Old School trim. We normally avoid adding a warmer trim to a cool wall, because it can look a little daggy, but no judgement, because the rules are made to be broken and every space is unique.
Our quick summary.
- The Tint range of whites work well for all settings – that’s why we chose them
- Take light and its direction into consideration before you paint your white
- Make sure a new white isn’t competing with an existing white
- Other dominant colour pieces (like feature walls and furniture) can affect how a white looks
- Use your location as colour inspiration and match your whites to your vibe
- Don’t forget about your trim – the go-to trim choice is usually a lighter white
- Grab some sticker samples in our whites and see for yourself what fits best in your space
We love talking paint — email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org to get the conversation rolling!