There is something very overwhelming and just plain confusing about the hundreds of white paints on the market. The subtle differences between White Dove, White Dogwood, and Lime White can make your head spin.
So what better way to help you sift through the paint chips and find your perfect shade than to ask 10 experts (a mixture of architects, interior and set designers, product designers, and color experts) what they use.
Remember, no matter your choice, always buy a sample size, paint a decent part of your wall and live with it for a few days. Make sure that the color works with every part of the day (rising morning light, bright afternoon light, quiet evening light and dark night light) and that any reflection from a window is considered (if the window shows off a lush green garden, make the sure color green bouncing off the opposite wall doesn't affect the white).
STEVEN SCLAROFF (interior designer whose clients include Kate Spade): "I use Mythic's Carbon Coal 139-1. The paint and pigments are completely non-toxic and this white has a spot of battleship in it that looks very sharp, cool and clean."
THOMAS O'BRIEN (interior, product and furniture designer whose clients include Target and Hickory Chair): "My favorite is Benjamin Moore's industrial high gloss enamel, in Safety White. It is nice and shiny, rich and glossy like the rooms in Gosford Park. I used in the hallways at my Bellport, Long Island home."
LAURA GUIDO CLARK (color expert for companies such as Mattel, Kodak and LG): "I love Benjamin Moore Decorator's White. It strikes the perfect clean balance and doesn't have a tendency to shift to color tints of orange or pink."
ELAINE GRIFFIN (interior designer and author of Design Rules: The Guide to Becoming Your Own Decorator): "Girl, you know I love that Glacier White from Benjamin Moore! Yes! From Lowe's, I love Valspar's Honeymilk."
SUSAN DOBAN (architect and designer of Not Your Mother's…furniture line): "Benjamin Moore's China White has a slight grayish cast that works well with many other colors and is less harsh than many whites. We have used it on furniture over ash veneer with the grain exposed and also in combination with natural woods and bamboo. When used on doors and moldings, it tends to tie the room together rather than pop out."
ANDREW BASEMAN (interior designer and set decorator for Kinsey and The Nanny Diaries): "I use Farrow and Ball Strong White No.2001 for all 22 rooms in a 5-story townhouse in Greenwich Village. Strong White has a pale gray, neutral tone, which coordinates beautifully with both the dark floor surfaces and lighter color furnishings."
SARAH RICHARDSON (designer and HGTV personality): "My favorite white is Snowfall SR29 from my paint line Sarah Richardson Designer Palette for Para Paints. It's got a hint of cream, and is well suited to trim, walls, or cabinetry, so it's a versatile choice!"
RODERICK SHADE (interior designer): "Benjamin Moore's Atrium White is a very flattering white, with a very slight pink tint. Keeps a room very clean and light feeling, and takes light very well. If I am going to paint a room entirely in white this is usually the white I will use. Works very well with other colors."
Shade also has some great tips for painting: "In any interior, I always encourage clients to think about paint color. It is the easiest, most affordable thing you can do to change the look and feel of any space.
When it comes to white, I often use a combination of different shades. First, I consider what colors will be used with the white. Even the deepest, off-white color will read as white if used with deep strong colors, or with no other white in the space for comparison. Where white paint is applied in the room is also a key consideration. I tend to use brighter whites higher up in a room, and warmer whites down around eye level."
Finally, let me know which white you chose and, more importantly, if you chose right.