How to choose the right white paint – and we why got ours from Clare!
If you’ve been following along since we closed on our condo, you might have seen bits of this transformation – but I’m SO excited to dive deeper and show you the difference side by side because we are in love.
While white paint may seem like a boring wall color to some, it’s also extremely classic. For me, I really wanted to make sure that our living space felt really bright and airy. The deep gray that the previous owners had on the walls was lovely, but it was also really dark in here. Since I am constantly taking photos for this blog, I wanted to make sure that we capitalized on any natural light coming into the space. We just needed to find the right white paint.
Needless to say, we are so happy we didn’t listen to any skeptics and went with our gut ? As soon as we put the first coat of paint on, Adam and I turned around and gushed about how much bigger the room felt. Then, once we got our first glimpse of the gorgeous morning light bouncing off of the walls, we knew we made the right call for us.
If you are thinking about doing the same thing, I know it’s SUPER overwhelming. Why are there so many different white paint colors?! Do you want warm, neutral, or cool undertones? What is it actually going to look like in your home? I hope this post can help answer some of those questions for you!
How To Choose The Right White Paint
Look for Inspiration Photos
Before you get started, spend some time googling, or log in to Pinterest or Instagram and look around. Is there an interior designer that can look to for inspiration? What do you like? What do you want to avoid? I found this step really helped me feel confident in my choice!
Consider Your Design Style
While you’re looking for inspiration, think about your design style! Is your space already decorated the way you want it? Or will you be making other changes, too? What vibe are you going for? All of this will help you narrow down the options.
Do you like cool, warm, or bright white?
This one is where it starts to get a little confusing. If you see a white paint, it’s likely that all you see is a neutral white. But when you put it against another color, it’s easier to see the different shades of whites, along with their undertones.
To give you a little context, our last apartment had cream colored walls that were very warm… and they always looked yellow ? So, when we were picking out whites, my biggest concern was that we don’t end up with walls that look yellow and I reached right for a bright white. Adam reminded me that sometimes a cool or bright white can feel very sterile… and after getting multiple samples, he was totally right. Turns out, we wanted a slightly warm white that wasn’t yellow, but still made the space feel welcoming and cozy. Luckily, Clare paint had an option with the perfect balance!
This is really important! While our condo gets a lot of natural light, it changes at different times of day. When we first saw it, there was beautiful morning light streaming in, but when we came back another time, we saw how dark it got later in the day. Since we obviously weren’t going to take away the shutters (we are OBSESSED ?), painting the walls felt like the best option to brighten everything up. Plus we felt great about the fact that Clare recommends the Whipped color for North facing rooms, which is what we have!
In addition to considering natural light, think about the artificial light in your home, too! Do you mostly have overhead lights on or do you prefer lamps? What will the paint look like with those lights on?
What other colors will be in the room?
If you only like neutral furniture and neutral artwork, maybe the walls are your opportunity to bring in some color and dimension. Totally valid! But since Adam and I have a LOT of houseplants, along with colorful artwork from our travels, we knew that wouldn’t be an issue for us. Now we just have to find the perfect rug…
Once you’ve thought about all of these things, GET SAMPLES! Seriously, it’s SO hard to tell what something is going to look like in your home just based off of an online photo or a quick look in a store. Since we wanted to pick a color before we closed, we knew that painting on the actual wall wasn’t an option. “Hey sellers, can we paint a patch of your wall while you’re still living here?!” ?
That’s why I was SO excited when I discovered Clare paint on The Today Show. Their paints are self-priming, washable, durable, and Zero VOC/GREENGUARD Gold certified. On top of that, their sample is an 8×8 swatch that you can peel and stick right on your wall. The swatches won’t damage the existing paint when you peel them off either, so you can move them around to different parts of the room without worrying.
Our Before and After
Once we decided that we wanted to go with a white paint, I ordered 3 swatches from Clare. I got Snow Day for the bright white option, Whipped for a slightly warmer white, and Timeless to see if we like off-white instead. In our space, Timeless looked a little yellow (deal breaker for me!) and Snow Day was a little too cool. But Whipped was literally perfect. It’s white, but still creamy and warm and perfect for a home. The kitchen looks much bigger and brighter and the light reflects beautifully in the living room. We are so happy with this choice!
It was also really nice that we didn’t have to step foot in a paint store. Preparing to close on your first home AND move AND paint is really overwhelming. Clare made it really easy with their peel and stick swatches and online ordering system. Even if we weren’t trying to limit in-store interactions because of COVID, this would still be incredibly convenient. They also have semi gloss trim paint, ceiling paint, primer, and supplies, too. One stop shop!
Disclosure: This blog post is not sponsored, but once we got the samples and decided on using their paint for this space, Clare gifted us the paint we used. I am so grateful that this worked out and I would 100% purchase additional paint from Clare in the future!
The Best White Paints For Interiors
Obviously we’re a little bit biased because it’s the one we chose, but we LOVE Whipped. They descirbe it as a warm white with a soft feel. They recommend it for north-facing rooms just like ours, but it would have worked in our other rooms too. It is so so pretty in person – I can’t recommend it enough!
They describe Snow Day as a cool white, but I think it’s the most pure white we looked at. It’s very bright, which is why they compare it to a winter wonderland!
If you like the idea of white walls but you don’t want them to be tooooo white, Timeless is a great option. It’s a creamy off-white that will still reflect light, while feeling a little bit warmer.
I have also heard that Benjamin Moore (my friend just painted her living room Chantilly Lace!) and Sherwin Williams has some great white options, too.