This post will likely epitomize what people make fun of designer types for being like. I am going to analyze the white that will be “our house’s white.”
Before you laugh or say they all look the same, there is a great variety in shades of white and they really can change the feel of a room. That is all the lobbying I will bother doing to make you think I am not crazy. Let us begin.
My vision for our home is to have most of the rooms white. I think lots of white with nice architectural details like thick molding (which I plan to add) is a really classic and beautiful look. So this pick is really important! It will not just be ceilings and trim, but most of the rooms too.
At first, I thought I would like a yellow undertone white, that would feel warm rather than sterile. Once we got the swatches on the wall, they were not crisp enough to us. David and I both clearly leaned toward the true whites for that fresh and clean feeling. I went back to Home Depot for the second time that day (new home ownership does that to you) and grabbed some white-white swatches while waving to all the employees who are certainly starting to recognize us.
Our clear favorite was Ralph Lauren’s “Brilliant White.” (That was the top left in the photo further above). It has been between the time of putting up these chips and getting ready to buy some paint that I had the last straw with “color matching.” I wrote about why I do not like it here. While we sprung for the $35 per gallon paint in the living room for a special color, we will buy gallons upon gallons for the whole house of this white, so I want it to be in a cheaper brand. (I like Behr Pro).
The closest match I could find in Behr was Ultra Pure White. I thought I saw a difference, but also wondered if my mind was playing tricks on me. From the swatches alone, UPW had the cold feel that true whites can get. Giving them another chance to woo me, I decided to try to color match Brilliant White. At Home Depot, the paint matching machine said there was no difference in color between Brilliant White and UPW.
I cannot trust that machine.
What happened was Brilliant White and UPW are each brand’s base white, meaning it is the color that comes in the cans without adding anything to them; it is their truest white.
Can you see any difference? In artificial light, I cannot really. Most of the subtle differences we did see throughout the day could be attributed to light hitting the spot of the wall in various ways. I will say, however, Ralph Lauren was a noticeably higher quality that goes on thicker and smoother. (An extra $16 per gallon thicker and smoother? Not for me.)
Still unsettled, I needed to not leave the warmer white stone unturned. Ace Hardware was running a sale of $.99 for pints of paint, which was a perfect way to get some cheap test pots. I added Valspar’s “Wedding Cake” and “Four Winds” to the running.
Wedding Cake was eliminated as too creamy, almost mushroom. Brilliant White got eliminated on price. This left Ultra Pure White and Four Winds on which I was completely torn. Like when we painted the living room, I am beginning to think you cannot really know until it is on all the walls. What to do? Add more options, of course! I knew I wanted to buy my paint in Behr, so I added in colors already in that brand. Some favorites I saw from researching were Polar Bear, Falling Snow, and Cottage.
As you may have noticed above, these walls have suffered a lot of wear and tear. There are many different shades of white in various rooms, some cream, some pinkish, some yellow-y, some a little blue. As unexciting as it may be to buy some paint and change a white room to a different white, it will make a significant impact for everything to feel brighter, more uniform, and cleaner.
This white was needing to be picked so I can freshen up the baseboards since they will soon be ready to reattach of the finished floor! From where we stand currently, it is between Valspar’s Four Winds and Behr’s Falling Snow. Oh, the agony.