Friday, October 5, 2012

Three Shades of White

I love colors - paint colors, nail polish colors, Prismacolor marker colors, basically if a color comes with a name I'm all over it. In truth - sometimes I fall in love with the name first and the color second, example: cinnamon toast (Prismacolor (rendering marker)) or Gray Owl (Benjamin Moore paint color), or "You Don't Know Jacques" (OPI - nail polish color), what can I say, some names just make me happy.



As fun as colors can be, they can also be tricky, especially when it comes to paint. Earlier this year I talked about my long and painful journey to find the perfect gray. During that process I quickly learned a few key things: one, not all paints are created equal and two, sometimes the most basic colors can be the most complicated.

Over the last year or so I've become increasingly color conscious due to my close workings with Bell Cabinetry. Bell Cabinetry is a custom cabinet company where all finishes are custom. Because of this I've become very aware of the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to paints, but more importantly I've realized possibly the most complex color of them all is white.

White is an important color for interiors. Not only are shades of white the most popular hue of choice for house trim such as door and window casings, baseboards, house crown, etc...,but white is - has been - and will likely continue to be a hot, classic trend for cabinetry, specifically in the kitchen.

So, why is white so complicated? Easy - like most colors there are an abundance of white options, all of which differ slightly. Do you want a white-white, a gray white, a creamy white? So many options, it can make your head spin!

Above are just some of the paint samples I have around my office. All of these are in the white family. As you can see they all have a little something different going on and their difference really stand out when placed side by side.
White becomes especially complicated when it needs to marry up to something else white. This has had a tendency to be problematic because one of the hottest trends in kitchen and bath design is the forever lust worthy white cabinets with white countertop trend. So many times clients pick out their white marble and choose a white paint only to find that the white paint makes the marble look yellow, or even worse, pink... oh the tragedy!

To aid you all in your personal voyage to the perfect white for your projects I've put together a little collection of some of my favorite white options. One is my go-to ol' faithful, and two others are actually new shades recently introduced to me by clients.

Let's start with the bees knees of white paint. Not only does it marry well with most white countertops/tile but it's crisp true depth whiteness makes for a great great choice for trim as well.

White Dove - 

Benjamin Moore''s White Dove - OC-17


See it here on the cabinetry of this kitchen. Notice how it creates a nice backdrop for the Calcutta marble tops and backsplash. It's like a white dream - lovely. 


This photo is my own.

 Above is an example of the White Dove on the trim in this dining room. Notice how the color really pops against the gray/green color of Benjamin Moore's Sea Haze (I'll have to write about the journey to this color one day - another doozie!) So crisp - love it!

Shoji White -



Sherwin Williams' Shoji White - SW7042

This photo is my own.
Here is a sneak peek of my #ChattanoogaProject which showcases Shoji White on the perimeter cabinets as well as on the trim throughout the kitchen. This kitchen doesn't have it's countertops yet, but you can see this shade of white is pure with a hint of beige - no yellow, no gray.

Frostline -

Benjamin Moore's Frostline AF-5.
You may recognize this color from last weeks post. Frostline was the paint color for the mud/bench area.

This photo is my own.
Frostline has a more icy blue-green undertone which makes for a cool wintry white.

Obviously there are a bazillion other white paint options out there, but these are three that I've had success with recently. If any of you know of other great go-to options or better yet, paints that should have a skull and crossbones on the can do tell. Lord knows we can all use all the help we can get in this crazy, options galore world of paint.

Unless otherwise noted all photos are from google search.

8 Appreciated Comments :

mothertabear said...

Those are all gorgeous! I always enjoy your blog. I am a color aficionado too - always HAD to have the box of 128 Crayolas as a child. We love Behr "Cottage White" too, but I have to admit, while I like their colors, we were unhappy with the quality of Behr paint and will stick to Sherwin Williams or Dunn Edwards in the future. What is the new color for next year? I have enjoyed seeing so much of the Tangerine Tango this year?

Courtney Foster said...

Thanks Debbie! I'm not sure what the 2013 color of the year will be but I'm excited to find out!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I found your blog while searching for how on earth to choose the white for our walls and trim and cabinets in our new home. What I know for sure is that I am doing the wall, trim and cabinets the same color because I've seen too many pictures where whites paired together just did not work. The whites together (when done wrong) just more or less put on display each of their individual undertones. So instead of a white and a white together it can be like a grey and yellow. Sooo don't want that! All that being said I can not decide between dove white and cloud white both by benjamin moore. I know everyone loves dove white, but something just keeps pulling me towards cloud white. But I am not a professional by any means, so I was hoping with your experience maybe you could share your opinion on whether or not you think that cloud white is maybe too creamy....like might show up (gasp) yellow? Ugh, who knew picking a white could be this difficult. I literally have to decide by tomorrow and I am just as confused today as I was when I started trying to figure this out!
Thanks so much for reading this novel of a post : ) And for any insight!

Courtney Foster said...

Hi, I have used both White Dove and Cloud White. In my experience White Dove is the way to go. It has a little more of a gray undertone as opposed to yellow. I'm using it in my own kitchen! Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I am planning to paint my kitchen cabinets this spring. They are white with creamy undertone and they turned yellowish over the time. They look shiny and I am not sure if I should use semi-gloss or hi-gloss on them. I painted all walls on main floor using White Dove (love it!) in eggshell last year. I am planning to go with White Dove but need your help with choice of sheen. Thank you:)

Courtney Foster Shearer said...

My kitchen cabinets are White Dove as well and they are semi-gloss! Good luck on your project, crisp white cabinets make for a pretty kitchen! :)

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