White paint can look so crisp and clean, but choosing the right shade can be challenging. There are a few reasons why choosing the correct white can be difficult:


  1. White reflects everything around it!  What happens if you have a red wall across from the wall that you are painting white? You guessed it… your white wall now looks pink!  Does your house have a lot of greenery outside the window? This will cause your white walls to pick up a green hue.  Sometimes this is unavoidable, but starting with the correct tone and base color will give you a greater chance of success. Remember to factor in any colors in the room that might reflect onto your white paint.
  2. White paint can be made up of many different undertones. Some people paint their room white and end up not being happy with it. That could simply be because they don’t like the undertone. White paint is created when you mix red, green, and blue light. Because white paint is created from these colors, every white paint has an undertone. For example: you paint a wall white, but feel it has too much pink in it. That is because the paint you have chosen has a red undertone. When choosing a white paint, make sure you consider the undertone.
  3. Is it too bright? If your room is flooded with natural light, a pure white with a yellow undertone can really be too bright causing the room to feel more sterile. If your room has little to no light, then the brighter the better. 


Visit your local paint store and look for paint colors that match the colors you have in your room.  Then, using that color card, go up to the lightest color that is a complimentary color in your space. When choosing the white, go to the most saturated color on the card, this is the undertone in the white. 


I know that all of this information can be very confusing. Let’s simplify!  I’ve chosen my favorite whites and listed the undertones for you. 


White Shades:

  • Ibis White SW 7000 has a warm pink undertone
  • Toque White SW 7003 has a grey beige undertone
  • Extra White SW 7006 is a very clean white (great with blue shades)


For some extra inspiration- 


Gray Shades: 

  • Agreeable gray SW 7029  has a brown undertone (works well with brown cabinets and/or floors)  
  • Repose Gray SW 7015  is a much cooler tone of gray (goes great with white cabinets) 
  • Alpaca SW 7022 a nice warm tone of gray (works well with whites and browns) 


Black Shades:

 If you love bold, try black! 

  • Inkwell SW 6992 has a deep blue undertone 
  • Bohemian black SW 6988 solid matte black (would look great with Extra White and gold accents) 


All the paint shades listed are part of the Sherwin Williams Brand.


As you can see, there are many different factors that go into choosing the correct shade of white. Hopefully, today’s post will help you to navigate the challenges and will inspire you to find the perfect shade of white for your space.