Which White Is Right? Choosing the Right White Paint for Your NYC Pad
The simplest thing in the world is choosing the right white paint for your home, right? Wrong! There are probably few things harder than trying to choose the right white paint for your walls. Here are things you need to think about before you choose.
The simplest thing in the world is choosing white paint for your NYC home, right? Wrong! There are probably few things more annoying than selecting the perfect white paint. Many people love white walls because they help increase the sense of space in a room, and the color works with just about any decor. It’d be so much easier if there were simply one or two shades of white, but there are more like 74,000.
Each of these whites have different levels of undertones, with the tiniest shift in level resulting in a brand-new color. These slight variations in tone translate to drastically different colors when applied to a wall.
So how are you supposed to choose? If you’re rocking back and forth on your living room floor surrounded by a pile of paint chips and swath-streaked walls, check out the following tips.
Use adhesive-backed poster board when testing out your paint samples.
Tiny swatches of paint on a wall are nowhere near big enough to give you a true idea of what the white paint will look like on your wall. Get a pack of adhesive-backed poster board that’s at least 11″ x 14″ instead. Hang the painted board on your wall and look at it at different times throughout the day. Need boards? Dick Blick Art Materials has several stores throughout the city.
Don’t just select whites from a fan deck; you won’t get the full picture.
Have you ever noticed that when you look at the white samples on a fan deck, they look anything but white? They look grey, or blue, or even pink. The problem is that when you look at a ton of different white shades lined up alongside each other, your eyes isolate the undertones, and those undertones end up being all that you see.
Instead, try looking at the colors on your computer screen as well. Between the fan deck and the screen, you’ll get a clearer idea of what the white looks like. Many paint companies have online features where you can upload pictures of your room into the site’s interface. You can then “paint” the room on the site. That may help give you a better “at first glance” idea of what your walls will look like.
Check your lighting.
A room with big windows that’s flooded with lots of natural light and painted a particular shade of white will look drastically different from a room without windows painted the very same color. If you get very little natural lighting in your room, warm whites may give it a comforting glow.
If you want to play it safe, choose whites that have little to no undertone.
Choose whites that have little or no undertones. These are ideal for many rooms because they tend to show up crisp, clear, and white, even in the most difficult lighting conditions.
See how warm and cold whites work in your space.
Whites tend to be warm or cold. Crisp, cool whites can either give your room a sleek, modern edge or leave it feeling sterile and impersonal. Warm whites can either cozy up your room or make it feel dingy due to the yellow undertones. Choose carefully so that you end up with a vibe you can live with.
Consider the favorites.
There are certain whites that pop up again and again on “best whites” lists. Benjamin Moore’s White Dove and Farrow & Ball’s Pointing are great warm and creamy whites. Pratt & Lambert’s Silver Lining is the perfect blend of cool and warm.
Main Image: Flickr