Choose the Right White Paint for your Home Renovation

When it comes to decorating a home, nothing beats classic white as a base colour. But have you ever stood in the paint section of a hardware store, bewildered by the extraordinary array of shades of white on offer? Some throw off green tones, some yellow and others grey…

So how do you know which white is right for your home?

Splitting Whites into Two – Cool and Warm

Every white has a subtle undertone that puts it into the category of either cool whites or warm whites.

Cool whites have grey, blue or even beige undertones. Cool whites are the biggest trend right now. Why? They work perfectly in a modern or minimalist home. This makes them perfect by light and breezy homes such as those decorated in the Hamptons Style. They are also perfect for small rooms or apartment living as they can help create a sense of space and are great with an uncluttered and clean aesthetic.

Ceiling paint colour in Vivid White Matt by Dulux. Walls painted in Rottnest Island low sheen by Dulux.

Warm whites have yellow or pink undertones.

Warm tones can be great for – you guessed it – creating a sense of warmth. Warm tones can look great in either traditional or country style homes.

According to paint supplier Taubman’s ‘a pure white has no base colours and is rarely used.’ So what is the best way to test each white? Taubman’s recommend painting a selection of tinted whites as a test swatch and comparing each up against ‘a piece of pure white paper.’ 

The Impact of Natural Light

Deciding on the right white can be influenced by the amount of natural light that comes into the room. If you are in a large open plan room that gets loads of sunlight, then cooler whites with a grey undertone can work well. Suzanne said ‘grey tones are huge in interior decorating at the moment and work well with some of the rich blues and colour trends emerging in soft furnishings such as sofas, cushions and throws.’

For rooms that don’t get as much sunlight warmer tones can work better to warm up the room. Cool tones may make a small room feel cold and even gloomy.

Different parts of the room will have different levels of light, so it is a good idea to paint test samples in the lightest part of the room and in the darker areas too.

 White not Cream

Choosing the right white in a character home now has more choice than ever. You can opt for the cooler whites or go for warmer. You just need to be consistent throughout the home. One big no-no though is to go for cream colours. Unfortunately, they just look dated and don’t have the clean and crisp feel that the modern shades of white bring to your home. Think along the lines of a stone tinted white instead.

A creamy coloured wall can look great in the right home but can look dated.


Which Ceiling White is Right?

Ceiling white needs to be a true white and for the ceiling your choice is a whole lot less confusing! Most ranges of paint have at least one type of white designated as their ‘ceiling white’ which takes all the guesswork out of it for you.

For the DIY painter, Dulux have Ceiling White NeverMiss which according to Dulux ‘is pink when applied, so you can see where you have painted, and then dries to a beautiful flat white finish’. They also have the aptly named Ceiling White. Either way, the choice is easy for ceilings.

Ceiling white and walls painted with a grey tinted white on the walls.

How to Get Help Choosing the right white paint

Most paint suppliers such as Taubman’s and Dulux happily provide the services of a colour consultant at a very affordable price. Normally this is less than $200 and is a great option if you are simply after a repaint and refresh of your home.

In fact, Taubman’s have an amazing online tool they have called their Paint Visualiser. This is simple and easy to use and allows you to upload pictures of your home (or use a sample room from their website that best matches your room) and you can play around with different colour choices on the screen. We love this tool and highly recommend you try it out!

If you are undertaking a more significant renovation project, we recommend getting an Interior Designer/Decorator on board. You may only need their services for a few hours and their advice can help bring your entire look together.

From the kitchen, to the bathroom and the living areas, you can use colour and selections to tie the whole look together.