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The 17 best white paint colors are arranged around The Color Strategist Color Wheel according to their hue family.

If you put the paint chips in the same order, you will easily be able to see the spectral gradation of hue.

Let’s talk about hue family for a sec.

Hue family is scientifically determined by measuring a color with a colorimeter or spectrophotometer. It’s the wavelength part of that measurement that defines a color’s hue family.

Hue family is objective, accurate and consistent because of the way colorimeters and spectrophotometers work.

Both (colorimeter or spectrophotometer) take measurements using a consistent light source and illumination method. Because of how they work, they also create consistent measurement conditions. Doesn’t matter if it’s day or night, indoors or outdoors.

The result is anytime and anywhere you have a fast, easy, and accurate way to measure color and quantify how the human vision system sees color.

In Camp Chroma’s on-line, on-demand color training programs you learn how color works. Because it’s only logical that the simple, straightforward color system that is used to make color is the same system we use for specifying color.

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24 thoughts on “The 17 Best White Paint Colors”

  1. This is by far the best list of white paint hues! Thank you.

    I live in the SW and the best paint to use here is Dunn Edwards which is formulated for hot and dry. With that being said I would like to add my favorite DE white which is called just that;
    White DEW380 LRV 93
    Munsell: HUE=4.03GY VALUE=9.6 CHROMA=0.1
    Holy cats, look at the LRV 93 and value at 9.6! None of the other whites have these numbers.

  2. That’s a good one. I don’t talk about DE much because it has such a limited distribution. But I adore the brand: color tools are awesome, quality paint and the color palette is fabulous.

  3. Hi Lori! I just wanted to tell you that this chart has been an absolute life saver as I’ve renovated our newly purchased 1950s home this year. I cannot tell you the number of times I have referred to it! So, I actually came back today because I’m planning on painting our exterior Stonington Gray in hopes of achieving a Cape Cod beachy feel, but I’m stuck trying to find the perfect bright white trim. I just found DE White online today and came here to see if any BM or SW fall in the same range. Now I’m seeing this conversation in the comments. I cannot get DE White where I am located. Any recommendations for BM or SW equivalent? Thank you so much!

  4. “Equivalent” in another brand doesn’t really work in the case of most colors of white. Because so much depends on the color of the base paint and each brand’s bases are unique.

    But pull chips of Chantilly Lace, White OC-151, Super White and Simply White. All four would work just depends on which one works the best with the other elements on your house, like windows, and which one you like the best.

  5. Samantha Lafleur

    If I’m using Alabaster as a wall color would any of those colors above work for a trim color or will it make Alabaster look dingy and yellowish?

  6. Hi Samantha,

    The rule of thumb you want to follow is there needs to be a difference of 0.20 (give or take a few) in Chroma. It’s about contrast and it just about guarantees that neither color of white will make the other look dirty or dingy.

    For example, a good trim/door/cabinet color with Alabaster walls would be SW 7006 Extra White.

    Alabaster’s Chroma is 0.66 and Extra White’s is 0.32. So the difference in Chroma is 0.34.

  7. Lori, I’ve noticed the values you measure for Dunn Edwards differ from those that the company itself reports. I imagine this is due to differences in lighting. I was wondering where their purest white (White DEW380) would fit in the awesome wheel of colors you created for BM and SW! Please do DEW380 next!

  8. Hi Patti,

    What’s important is that the difference is very small. Though the notations may differ, it’s still withing a tight hue family, value and chroma range.

    The difference could be attributed to one – or all – of these three things:

    1. Different samples were measured. While paint chips have to meet some of the strictest paint industry standards for accuracy, nothing is 100%
    2. Different instruments were used. There is generally good agreement between instruments but unless they are calibrated for the same workflow loop, marginal differences in measurement is to be expected.
    3. Math. Using two or three decimal points in the transformation can affect results. Also, which reference white is used in equations can make a difference.

    Keep in mind measuring color, quantifying how the human eye sees color, is more complicated than using a ruler to measure a piece of paper, for example.

  9. This was very helpful! I think we are painting walls in our new build Alabaster. My husband would like the trim to be a “different” white, but I am worried about picking the right one, particularly because the majority of our living space and our kitchen are north-facing. Do you think Pure White would be a good pick? I see the chroma has a difference of >.2, so it should be okay, yes?

  10. You understand the 0.20 rule of thumb perfectly.

    Just make sure you like how the combination looks – is it pretty? A lot of people love Pure White. Personally it’s not my favorite white. I think Extra White is prettier; but that has nothing to do with scientific color measurements. That’s just my opinion. You might have a different opinion of Pure White and that’s perfectly fine and you should go with the look you love.

  11. I’m struggling with the rule of thumb finding what white to use on trim when using SW Snowbound on walls. I’d like to stay SW, but I don’t see a white that has greater than 0.20.

    Would SW Extra White work?

  12. I think it works. The Chroma difference is only 12 but I think it’s enough with these two colors of white. This is an example of why I say a difference of 0.20 (ish) and say it’s a rule of thumb which means more of a guideline than a hard and fast rule.

    Most important is that you like how they look together – is it pretty in your space?

  13. Hi there! Just found you via Houzz, and your system is so interesting! It sounds like so many users over there have benefitted from your knowledge, and I’m hoping I might as well! I have SW 7008 Alabaster (chroma .66) Trim and Cabinets, and I’m considering painting the walls SW 7013 Ivory Lace (chroma .84) The difference in chroma is only .18. Is there enough of a difference that the trim will still look nice and not dirty? I’m going for a subtle, small bit of contrast…more of a layered off-white feel. We get lots of natural light, so that’s not an issue. I’d love to hear your thoughts!! Thanks so much!

  14. Hi Sarah,

    Yes, most likely. The rule of thumb is a 0.20 (ish) difference in Chroma between two colors of white. It’s a helpful guideline for creating all white color palettes, not a formula. So, as long as you think the combination looks pretty in your space with your stuff, then you should be good.

  15. My fireplace wall is alabaster and the new mantel appears to be extra white. There is so little difference in color also the trim is extra white. The facing room is sw svelte sage. Is there an accent color that would make the mantel stand out and work with the alabaster? The fireplace surround is black galaxy granite and there will be a tv above. Thanks

  16. Hi Wanda,

    I’m not sure. We’d have to take a closer look at everything in order to figure out a workable color palette. Unfortunately we’re booked for the next 10 weeks and aren’t taking on new clients at this time.

  17. Hi Lori,

    I’m having a hard time choosing the right white for our doors, trim and ceiling. We will be painting all of our walls in Clare’s Penthouse in eggshell finish
    We need to pick a Sherwin-Williams paint for ceiling and trim because our painter gets a discount there and need to compensate for the extra we are spending on the Clare wall paint.

    Penthouse is described as both a warm and cool greige which is why I am struggling picking a trim. I don’t want too cool or stark but not creamy either because our house will have a fairly modern look.

    The main living areas- kitchen and living room face west. Our cabinets are a mix of high gloss white on the uppers and pantry and dark gray matte on all lower cabinets. Floors are a lighter wood with gray undertones.

    Is there a SW neutral white that you think would work best? Initially I was leaning towards Pure White but saw that you didn’t recommend that for ceilings. Will Extra White be too stark or cool or the perfect match? Or, maybe there’s another white you would suggest?

    Thank you for reading my comment. Really appreciate any advice or help with this!

  18. The Clare color would need to be measured and that would inform the color of white for trim. Wordy descriptions like it’s both warm and cool greige are useless. PPG’s Delicate White is my favorite ceiling color, SW’s match is pretty.

    Frankly, I’d have SW measure the Claire color and see if they can match it

  19. Thanks Lori, I will see if they can match the Clare color.

    Should I just bring a PPG swatch into Sherwin-Williams? Would that be a good trim color as well? Also, I wasn’t sure if the ceiling white should or could be different than the trim/doors. We do not have any crown molding around the ceilings in our home.

    Thanks again!

  20. Sherwin-Williams has the color match formula to PPG’s Delicate White in the computer. Easy and I’ve been happy with that for gallons and gallons. As I mentioned in the email I just sent, one of the Color Strategists that I trained can help you nail down a plan. Here’s the list in case others are interested:

  21. I’m redoing my daughter’s room and there is a LOT of pops of bohemian prints in rust oranges and teals in there. We are thinking of just going white on the walls. Learning that isn’t so simple to pick. The trim work and doors throughout her room and our home are in Alabaster. I see where the Extra White 7006 is a good partner for Alabaster. Is it going to be to “starK” or bright since we seem to have flipped using Alabaster for the trim vs the walls if it goes on all of her walls? Would the Shoji White 7042 be softer? her room is relatively large in scale (24′ x 12’6″) so it’s going to be a lot of paint to regret if we go the wrong direction. Thank you!

  22. Consider repeating Alabaster on the walls – just in a different finish. Like Sherwin-Williams Cashmere in low lustre.

  23. I am repainting the trim and doors in my home, but I’m not sure what color of white would look best with my walls which are SW Argos and SW Tin Lizzie. I am leaning towards either Pure White or Extra White. I have also considered BM Shoreline, but I don’t want it to look dingy. Thank you.

  24. Extra White. Personal preference more than anything. I think Extra White is a prettier color of white than Pure White.

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The Color Strategist Color Wheel by Lori Sawaya