The Best White Paint for Your Space and How to Choose It

The answer is that any room can look great in white. “I like to do the entire home in a white and then add a gloss to the window frames,” McLaughlin says. “I think that every room in the house should go white with some walls accented with either a beautiful textured wallpaper or shiplap walls or other mixed design.”

What white paint is best for walls? 

McLaughlin says: “I love Simply White,” but she doesn’t stop with walls, adding: “Currently I am painting all surfaces the same color white for consistency in the design of the homes that I prepare for the market. I love the final product of moldings, ceiling, walls, and trim all being the same color white. It is so fresh and also makes the space feel like it was just built.”

What is the most common white paint?

Based on the deep dives we did preparing for this article, it seems that, above all others, Sherwin-Williams Pure White, a.k.a. SW 7005, is the most popular color of white paint right now. Close runners-up include Benjamin Moore’s Paper White, or OC-55; BEHR’s Polar Bear 75; and Decorator’s White is a perennial classic.

What to do if you’re stuck between different white paints?

Trust the experts. “I have seen so many of my clients over the years rushing on the decision of the ‘right white’ for their homes, and ultimately [they] end up repainting them once they get a designer involved,” McLaughlin says. “This is something that one should not try on their own unless they really understand spaces, design, and how that color will affect all design choices going forward, like fabrics, wall coverings, and accessories.”

What is a pure white paint? 

Consider location, light, and furnishings before committing to a pure white. 

Photo: Jackie Nickerson

Long story short, a pure white paint does not show its undertones. It is as truly neutral as can be but is not exceedingly “bright” in color, as that brightness can actually come from a touch of yellow added to the mix; the faintest hint of this pigmentation softens the starkness without adding any true color.

Is white paint back in style?

Oh, it certainly is. In fact, colored paint is out. “I would not advise any of my clients to paint walls in saturated color,” McLaughlin says. “Let saturated color be showcased through accessories like pillows or perhaps a very current wallpaper, but not through paint colors.” White is never really out of style, but it can be very much in, and its in moment is now.

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