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How To Pick the Best Shade of White For Your Walls

February 12th, 2024 | 3 min read

By Kaylea Kuhlman

White walls and ceiling in home office space with wood floors and black window glass door.

Selecting the perfect color for your interior walls is a crucial decision in home transformation projects. If you are considering white, you may be overwhelmed by the options that look fairly similar.

At Brush & Roll Painting in Omaha, NE, we have painted thousands of homes with white shades on interior and exterior painting and cabinet refinishing. Over the years, we have picked up on the best products that make white shades last as well as how to make them look flawless for a long time. 

In this article, we will explore the details of choosing the right shade of white for your home. By reading this article, you will know what to expect and be ready to search for the best shade for your next interior painting project. 

Coverage and Paint Quality with White Shades

White paint being rolled on to a wall.

White paint and lighter shades in general like yellows, may require several coats to achieve complete coverage. This can depend on the shade the wall was previously painted. Covering up a darker color will certainly require more coats of paint. 

The quality of the paint you choose will also impact coverage. Investing in high-quality paint will save you time and money in the long run, as it often requires fewer coats to achieve the desired result. 

High-quality paint, like Aura by Benjamin Moore, also has special technology that bonds pigment into the dry paint film permanently. This makes sure the color stays retained rather than fading. 

Low-quality paint will take several coats of paint with any shade, but 3-5 at least on average with white shades.

The Many Shades of White

Benjamin Moore white colors

White may seem like a simple and uniform color, but in reality, it comes in a wide spectrum of shades and undertones. Benjamin Moore has 177 shades in the white to off-white category.

Some popular white shades include pure white, off-white, warm white, and cool white. Each of these shades has distinct characteristics that can significantly impact the look and feel of your interior space.

Pure White: Pure white is a neutral and classic choice. It can create a clean and crisp ambiance, making it an ideal option for modern and minimalist designs. However, it can appear stark in rooms with inadequate natural light.

Off-White: Off-white shades are slightly warmer than pure white and often have subtle undertones of beige, gray, or yellow. These shades are more forgiving and can create a cozy and inviting atmosphere.

Warm White: Warm white shades tend to have a yellow or beige undertone. They can add a sense of warmth and comfort to a room. These shades are excellent for spaces where you want to create a cozy and inviting atmosphere.

Cool White: Cool white shades have undertones of blue or gray. They can give a room a clean and contemporary look. However, they can appear sterile in spaces with minimal natural light.

Tips for Choosing The Best Shade of White

Meet with a Color Consultant or Designer

People looking through fabric color swatches.

All the decisions don’t have to fall on you, while hiring a painter for your project you can also seek expert advice for what specific shade would be the best for your space. 

A color consultant or designer can help you with the following steps to finding which white shade will work for you.

Consider the Lighting in The Room

Dim room with fresh white walls and ceilings and artificial lighting.

The amount of natural and artificial light a room receives plays a significant role in how a white paint shade appears. 

When choosing a white shade, it's essential to consider the direction and intensity of the light in the room. For instance, rooms with abundant natural light may benefit from cooler shades of white, as they can help balance the warmth of sunlight. 

Conversely, rooms with limited natural light may appear cozier and more inviting with warmer white shades.

Test Swatches of White Shades

Large swatch of white paint on top of wall painted bright blue.

One of the most critical steps in choosing the right white shade is to test swatches in your space. Paint samples on small sections of your walls and observe how the color changes throughout the day as the light shifts. 

This will help you determine whether the shade you've chosen complements your room's lighting and decor.

Primer and Surface Preparation On Interior Walls

Blue painters tape being peeled off a ceiling after the walls were painted white.

Proper surface preparation is crucial for a flawless paint job. This includes patching holes, sanding rough surfaces, and using a suitable primer. 

For white paint, a white primer is recommended to ensure the true color of the white shade is reflected. Primer also enhances adhesion and improves coverage.

It's also important to cut around edges with tape to ensure clean, crisp lines.

While hiring a painter for your interior painting project, ask the company questions while getting quotes, to ensure they provide quality, lasting work.

Consider the Room's Purpose

Bathroom and closet with white walls.

Think about the function of the room when choosing a white shade. For instance, a bright white may be ideal for a kitchen or a bathroom to create a clean and modern feel, while a warm white may be more suitable for a bedroom to foster a sense of relaxation and comfort.


Choosing the right shade of white for your interior painting project is not as simple as it might seem at first glance. With the help of a color consultant or the tips for choosing the best one, your perfect white shade is steps away. 

At Brush & Roll Painting, we help our customers find the best shade for their home with a 1-hour free color consultation appointment. This can help you feel confident in your color choice with a stress-free process. When you’re ready to get started on your next interior painting project, click the button below.


Next, discover the best shades of white for every space in your home.

Kaylea Kuhlman

Kaylea is the Brush & Roll Painting Content Manager.