Choosing the Perfect Warm White Paint Color

Every other morning or so, I go over and visit our house to check in on the progress. A few weeks ago, during my visit, my contractor told me that he would need the paint for the entire house in a few days. Say what?! I was not prepared for this at all. Since the floors weren’t down and the electrical wasn’t done, I just figured I had more time to agonize over this important decision.Choosing paint swatches

So in order to decide quickly, I hit up my local Benjamin Moore retail store (there is one within walking distance of my house!) and purchased fourteen samples. Yep…14. The guy probably thought I was crazy, but I was on a deadline and there was no screwing up this first big house design decision. In order to figure out which ones to get, I perused all of the swatches, marking ones that caught my eye. I then handed the big stack of swatches over to the kind employee and he got to work whipping them up for me. (Luckily, they were having a buy 2 get 1 free deal, so I saved a bit of cash!).Choosing the perfect warm white paint color

I ended up buying some warm white paint colors, a few dark greens, and a couple of sages. But my number one mission was to finalize the warm white paint color since that would be on a majority of the walls in our new house.

Choosing the Perfect Warm White Paint ColorHow to choose the perfect warm white paint color

So why warm white? Well, our last home was very black, white, and gray. In our new home, I’m planning to change things up (in fact, this week I’m sharing my design vibes for the entire house!) and go with a warmer palette. While I didn’t want a beige color on the walls, I thought a warm white paint would be the perfect backdrop to bring some more color in through rugs and textiles in each space. Warm white paint colors

From Left to Right (all Benjamin Moore Colors)

Simply White || White Dove || Silver Satin || Balboa Mist || Ballet White || Pale Oak || Collingwood || Revere Pewter

In total, I picked up eight white paint samples. Here’s my best advice when it comes to staying organized during the paint sample process.Mark the brushes with the correct paint sample number

  1. Pick up a cheap bristle or foam brush for each sample. That way you don’t have to wash a brush over and over again.
  2. Use a pen and number each can.
  3. Use a pen and number each brush.
  4. Keep the samples in the same order from L to R along the wall.

It’s funny because when I opened up each can they all looked identical. Seriously, I thought it would be so hard to differentiate between each color. But when I put them on the wall and it was a totally different story.  Warm white paint colors

From Left to Right (all Benjamin Moore Colors)

Simply White || White Dove || Silver Satin || Balboa Mist || Ballet White || Pale Oak || Collingwood || Revere Pewter

Flooring near the paint colors

Normally, I would recommend waiting to have all of the flooring and lighting finished in a room before choosing a paint color. But my contractor wants to paint before laying down the floor, so I carried the floor sample around with me from room to room to make sure it coordinated with the paint. Choosing the perfect warm white paint color

While the colors all looked white in the cans, on the wall there were  some beiges and grays going on. I was quickly able to eliminate a few and I kept coming back to the fifth one in line…Ballet White!

I loved the name (I was a dancer my entire life through college) and it was the perfect soft white paint color – not too beige, not too gray. It was just a bit warm, yet still neutral and white. I was sold!

My plan is to paint a majority of the house in this color (in eggshell) and then as I slowly renovate each space, I can change the color if needed. For now, our living room, kitchen, hallways, master bedroom, and office will get this color. I’ll be doing bolder colors in the bathrooms and guest room.

Choosing a White Trim Paint

Choosing a white trim color

Okay, so here’s where I made a big fail. I totally forgot to choose a white trim color for the entire house when I was choosing the wall colors. I think I was so wrapped up in choosing the perfect warm white for the walls that the trim became an afterthought. Luckily, you guys came to the rescue and gave me lots of amazing options on Instagram.

Here were the most popular white trim recommendations.

  • White Dove
  • Simply White
  • Chantilly Lace
  • Decorator’s White

Simply white paint

Since I already had “Simply White” on hand, I tried it on the wall next to Ballet White and it was perfect. It’s bright with a warm undertone, which complemented the Ballet White beautifully.

So I ended up picking up eight gallons of Simply White in semi-gloss for the trim, doors, and windows in our Finn Fixer Upper.

The best warm white paint colors

My contractor has started painting the ceilings on the second floor and I’m obsessed with the sneak peeks I’ve seen thus far. I have a big renovation progress post planned for next week, so I’ll be sure to share updated photos there. I can’t wait to see how bright and happy this home will be with some fresh paint on the walls.


Other Paint Color Resources


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.

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