How to Pick the Perfect White Paint For Your Home, According to Experts
A fresh lick of white paint can do wonders for a room by making it look significantly brighter and cleaner. When it comes to picking paint for your home, white may seem like the easiest shade to select, after all, it's just white, right? Unfortunately, white is never just white – there is always an undertone of an underlying colour, whether yellow, blue, green, or red. That means, you will need to do a bit more than just grab the first paint pot you see at Bunnings.
To help make things easier, we turned to Dulux's colour and communications manager, Andrea Lucena-Orr, and renovation experts Three Birds Renovations, to find out exactly how to select the perfect white paint for your home whether you're building, renovating, or just want to give your home a refresh.
How to pick the perfect white paint for your home
1. Create a vision board
The Three Birds Renovation team believe that the number one objective when designing your home should be to make it feel a certain way. "Creating a vision board will help you define a style you love and bring together your inspiration pics and words that evoke how you want your home to look and feel," they advise. "Your walls, floors, couches, and cushions which will play a huge role in creating the feel you are after and your vision board will be the best place to start to help you pick what paint colours you're after."
2. Consider the surroundings
Paramount to selecting the right white for your home is choosing one that will work with its surroundings. "If you’re looking for a modern aesthetic, you’ll want to lean towards cooler, greyer whites, or the closest thing to a pure white you can find," says Andrea. "Pure whites can make a room feel light, clean, and crisp, and can make other colours pop. If you’re looking to achieve a cosier feeling, warmer whites with red or yellow undertones can have a creamier or richer appearance and might be the better choice."
3. Lighting is key
Both natural and artificial lighting will also influence how white paint looks on your walls. "In a room with lots of natural light, choose the purest white or even a cool white which can help reduce the light reflectance," says Andrea. "The light will reflect off the walls, illuminating the room. If you rely more on an artificial light in your home, you should test how your chosen paint colour reacts to it. If the lights you use emit warm, yellow light, opt for cooler whites to balance out."
4. Test with some swatches
Once you know what colour you're looking for, the experts recommend popping down to your local paint shop and grabbing some sample pots of a few shades you love.
"I always recommend, once you have narrowed down your colour choice, use Dulux sample pots and test the colours with large painted swatches on cardboard that you can place on the wall, reviewing them at morning, noon, and night to see how they change under varying light conditions and behind different fixtures and furniture," says Andrea.
The Three Birds Renovation team recommend painting each sample in a large swatch at least 30 x 30cm. "Paint them nice and close so you can eyeball them together and notice the different tones in each. Make sure you do two coats and wait for them to dry completely," they say. "Invite a friend over or ask a tradie to hold the sample board up so you can stand back and evaluate it from a distance."
The best white paints to consider
Andrea: "Dulux has an amazing range of whites, our most popular being Dulux Antique White U.S.A.®, Dulux Natural White™, and Dulux Lexicon® Quarter. Dulux Antique White U.S.A.® traditionally has been favoured by architects and designers to be a ‘go-to’ white for any interior. This is because it strikes the right balance between being too yellow or too stark, making it easy to use in many rooms and easy to live with.
Dulux Natural White™ is also a well-balanced neutral white, however slightly lighter and with of a more neutral-undertone. Dulux Lexicon® Quarter is a cool fresh white, and the perfect choice for modern, open plan spaces.
Other than our top three whites, Dulux whites I love to use are Dulux China White – a richer white with a subtle greenish undertone, making it an interesting white with character and depth. It looks great with contrasting trims in a crisp clean white such as Dulux Vivid White™. I also love Dulux Stowe White, a great white for more traditional homes as it works well with traditional colour schemes and has a lovely warmth."
Three Birds Renovations: "Although we're known for our love of white paint, we don't actually have one 'go-to' shade and always follow the same process, as above, for choosing just the right one for the home we're painting. The same paint can look so different from house to house, depending on the light, furnishings, and other surroundings. Bonnie chose Dulux Snowy Mountains Quarter externally and Dulux White on White internally for her home, while Lana's is Dulux Casper White Quarter outside and Dulux Lexicon Quarter inside."