Monday, December 14, 2009

The right white.


In the last post, someone asked me to name the perfect shade of white. Too bad I am totally unqualified to answer this.

I am TERRIBLE with color. I know what I like when I see it, but sending me into the store to pick a color is like sending me to Trader Joe's when I am hungry. At TJs, suddenly every sugar-laden crap-ass carb-loaded treat seems like a good idea. At the paint store, I think I am going to find some cool on-trend shade of fabulousness, but then I come out of the store with some totally un-subtle blinding primary-color bullshit. This poor internal color compass is what led me to paint my front room a shade of yellow that my step-kid named "cat-lady yellow".

So, I can't really be responsible for telling all of you what the "right" white is. But I know a number of you out there have your strong opinions about this.

So, let's hear it. What's a great white? And please also tell us where you live. (The right white for Seattle may not be the right white for Phoenix. Or maybe that's a myth? You tell me.)

100 comments:

Bailey @ peppermintbliss said...

I live in Chicago, but I have only ever used this shade in Houston, once my house is finished (if it is EVER finished f!@%*) I plan on using Benjamin Moore White Dove...I'll let you know how it goes!

pennyrounds said...

I've used navajo white by benjamin moore and love it. It's really warm, but of course it depends on your place.

Denise Smith said...

Cloud White OC-130 from Benjamin Moore.
Thread over.

Denise Smith said...

Cloud White OC-130 from Benjamin Moore.
Thread over.

Anonymous said...

White Dove - by Ben. Moore- just enough cream in it for trim ( semi-gloss) walls ( flat)-Virginia Beach, VA

laurencorbyn said...

Any color you pick out in the store you MUST test: either on the wall, or paint some poster board. Check the samples out in different times of daylight. It's the only way to feel more sure. Also, I prefer NOT painting four samples on the wall next to each other. WIthout a doubt, they affect each other.

Blue said...

"All White" by Farrow & Ball.

Description from their web page: Neutral. Only different coloured white pigments but no modern brighteners used to formulate this bright white.

I live in Atlanta.

laurencorbyn said...

Any color you pick out in the store you MUST test: either on the wall, or paint some poster board. Check the samples out in different times of daylight. It's the only way to feel more sure. Also, I prefer NOT painting four samples on the wall next to each other. WIthout a doubt, they affect each other. I haven't done a lot of white, but apparently a very pure one is Benjamin Moore's Decorator's White. Can't wait to hear some true recommendations.

Arched Brows said...

This is my favorite subject --White Paint.
I have tried so many different shades and most brands, and I can tell you with certainty that the perfect white is different in every home. (I live in Florida, and have lived in three different homes, with different window exposures. Whites change dramatically here from cool to warm as the sun moves.) I have tried being a paint snob, in my last home I used only Benjamin Moore -- China White in some rooms, Super White in others. But I have to tell you that in my first home I was perfectly happy with matt-finish White from Sears (yes, it is just called "White") and the price was amazing.
In my current home, a white from Behr called "Popped Corn" is just white enough not to make my all-white furniture look dingy. But I think I tried close to ten different whites until I found the right one.
I think the best advice must be to paint swatches and live with it for a couple days.

With all that said, I am ready to repaint all the walls gray.... Any suggestions?

STUDY said...

Benjamin Moore's Linen White will save you every time.

Ab said...

bm moonlight white. EXACT same shade as spackle. (boston)

David said...

The best white, also has the best name- Dunn Edwards, Pearl Neckless. DEW 343.

Shelley said...

I have the same dilemma with color. I have a dark navy couch, two super-awesome, vintage copper/orange chairs, of which I want to put in the same room, as they are. But, trying to come up with a color to cover my sectional is like trying to see the image in the magic eye pictures. (I never could see those damn things.) I have tried looking to patterns to find a great third color...Every color combo I see is blue and brown. UGH! If I see another stitch of brown and blue I will spit! It's been like a decade of blue and brown, shouldn't we be over it already? I try to be creative with color on my own, but when I look at a book of solid fabrics, it is just overwhelming, I CANNOT decide! 40 yards of fabric is a huge investment! SOMEONE PLEASE! HELP!

By-the-by, I would say that Sherwin Williams Snowbound is a pretty fabulous shade of white, not too yellow, not too grey, not cold either. Shelley, Omaha, NE

brianne said...

we (seattleites) LOVE 'Alabaster' from Sherwin Williams. Its the perfect warm white without being "cream" or ivory. Best in eggshell finish (remember that finish makes all the difference!)

Libby at Aurora Primavera said...

There's an interesting slideshow on white paint (plus a few other ringers) at House B (http://www.housebeautiful.com/decorating/colors/paint-best-sellers-0308?click=main_sr) that flips thru supposed best sellers with commentary by designers on the paint swatches and their qualities.

reclamationdesign@yahoo.com said...

OK. I hope you won't all hate me for this, but the perfect white is indeed ... Benjamin Moore's Decorator White. In New York City, I have used it in several different places that had varying amounts of light and with different complementary colors: In a bridal gown shop with open store-front windows, a burgundy rug and soft pink and yellow furniture (w shots of hot green). It was the perfect backdrop. And I have it in my bedroom now, where I am surrounded by tall buildings and the sun only peeps in. There I have it w BM Super White ceilings (actually super white ceilings throughout the apartment), one "Hermes" orange wall, dark furniture and white/greyish blue/orange accessories. C'est parfait. And in my brothers sprawling high ceiling sun drenched apartment (he would never consider anything but white) I steered him away from those ivory/bone/cream shades to the Decorator White -- walls and ceilings. He loves it. If pressed, I would say DW has a very slight gray tint, but my brother and I agree that it takes on the tint of whatever surrounds it. I wish I could be more original, but Decorator White it is.

Holly said...

Love Benjamin Moore's "White Dove," which has a warmish grey undertone. Really, really nice, and not chilly. It's a favorite of designer Victoria Hagan, who does the top-to-bottom white thing beautifully. Ralph Lauren's "Pocket Watch White" is another great warm white. These are terrific in Memphis. I think amount of light and quality of light is everything. And what's outside your window also matters. Got trees and shrubs? They reflect green back into the room.

VoiceTalk said...

Benjamin Moore Cameo White. I live in a North facing NYC apartment. After going through more than ten specially mixed colors, it was the only one that 'worked'- and it was right off the shelf.

manvi@mochatini said...

totally agree! after several (sometimes expensive) tries, the behr premium white works best in my home.

Anonymous said...

benjamin moore white dove. the best. used it a million times in northern california and it always looks great. a perfect slightly warm white.

debbieeastbay said...

I am a residential designer in the Berkeley area and we always use color consultant Angelisse Karol. I've learned from her that the right white is relative to the color it is adjacent too. Typically though if it is contemporary we often use Super White. When things are more traditional and muted Linen White. In some schemes such as a contemporary soft chartreuse, Mayonaise was the companion white. One thing people make the biggest mistake in terms of white is ordering clad windows in standard white. This really locks you in and never looks good. Fiberglass clad is paintable but not aluminum or vinyl. (All whites quoted above are from Benjamin Moore). In the end though use a color consultant if you know one it will save you money, agony and the labor of trial and error.

Carla Pysh said...

Farrow and Ball - All White

It's warm but crisp and modern, goes with nearly everything. I live in Calgary, AB.

amy said...

I love it ! Very creative ! That's actually really cool Thanks.

Amber said...

I have been searching for the perfect white for a while and finally found two versions I love! Valspars Martha Stewart's Zen Garden Sand and Benjamin Moore's Chantilly Lace. We live in Charlotte, NC and it's bright, soothing and lovely! Our whole house is done in the Valspar color!

An Aesthete's Lament said...

There are cold whites, warm whites, mediocre whites (magnolia and/or cream, anyone?), bright whites (think David Hicks or any photography studio), and whites that unfortunately yellow over time or which have a yellow tinge ... the one I've used most is probably the most common in the U.S., White Dove (OC-17) by Benjamin Moore. It is a lovely colour and seems to work wonderfully, being soft in character and warm but not yellowish. That being said, Farrow and Ball have some lovely shades of white (many of them "dirtied"), including Blackened, Great White, Cornforth White, Wimborne White, and Slipper Satin.

House and Life said...

Darryl Carter loves Moonlight White on walls contrasted by Simply White on trim. All Ben Moore. The dude knows white! I think you know he lives in D.C. Best of luck Decorno.

honey living said...

i live in NY and i love bm decorator's white. but i ALSO love ralph lauren parchment as a white alternative.

AppleTree Staging said...

Shelley:
How about a gold/yellow for your sectional? Or maybe a really subtle print, with navy and copper in it.

sketch42 said...

(NYC) My contractor painted my whole apartment white dove before I moved in. For a few weeks I LOVED it, it felt so clean... but after about a month, I began to feel like it looked GREEN!! It really took on a greenish/yellowish dingy cast (it was flat) and I HATED IT!
Although, I have seen it used as a trim in super glossy and it looked great!

For my own house I used BM "White" there is such a color, for trim in super high gloss... Ceilings are Decorators white and the walls are all different...

Anonymous said...

nothing but benjamin moore's 'white dove'. ever. it's perfect.

Sonchia said...

Ben Moore's Navajo White - warm, creamy. Perfect "warm white" for Telluride, CO (where I live) where we are surrounded by blue/white snow nearly all year long.

Black Dog Salvage said...

i have no sense for color, so i rely on a good friend of mine who does... she swears by Dover White by Sherwin Williams for trim...thus, my entire house and new kitchen cabinets are 'dover' and i love them!

Roanoke, VA

home before dark said...

I confess I am the one who posted that I have lost years of my life trying to find the perfect white. I live in Kansas. So far my favorite is BM's Chantilly White. I think the best advice I've gotten is from the lady at the tile store: pick your tiles, carpet, appliances (if kitchen) plumbing fixtures and then dwell on the paint choice. Paint can be tinted, but those other big ticket items can't. On trying to find a white for my living room to go with existing white curtains, I give up. I'm upholstering the walls and putting in new curtains instead. What a headache!

Iheartfashion said...

Ben Moore's Decorator's White all the way.

DesignAddict said...

I have had BM Navajo White, Cameo White, Bright White and Linen White on my walls. Linen White is my choice. I live in the NYC Tri-State area. But, as someone mentioned, it depends on the colors that are nearby. If I wanted a white that could look like a color, I would go with Cameo White. If I wanted a warm light cream white, I went wtih Navajo. Now, I want a warm, but not creamy white...hence the linen. The bright white was my husband's idea...he wanted his bathroom to look hospital clean. It didn't last long...now it is a nice light green. :)

Lisa said...

I live in Portland and have been using paint by Yolo Colorhouse. I love their Air 01 - a truly warm white that is not too bright and not too yellow. I used it on the ceilings and am now considering it for the walls. Unfortunately, I painted the walls with Air 02 for a white on white contrast. Air 02 has way too much yellow in it and I didn't get the look I wanted. I may spend the rest of the winter re-painting the walls with Air 01. Ugh. Yolo's colors are designed for the PNW. Another white is WHIP by Devine, also a paint line developed for the PNW.

Anonymous said...

White Dove.

Will said...

I live in NYC--agree w/ other NYers, Ben Moore Decorator's White can go warm or cool. Can't go wrong.

Marija @ Holding Court said...

I use white all the time (unless I'm using grey or cream but aren't they really just white?!) Sherwin Williams Alabaster (matte/cashmere finish)for a warm white; Benjamin Moore Palace White (matte) for a cream that's not too yellow; Benjamin Moore American White for a not too cool, not too warm VERY light grey. For a white that has only a touch of grey go with Winter White from Ben Moore. Love this topic. I'll post related pics on my site eventually!!

Anonymous said...

I adore this blog. I would rather read about what white to use than profess that I know a thing about paint. BUT, would you tell me where I can find coffee tables like these? I would be eternally grateful!

my favorite and my best said...

jeff lewis loves behr's "pearl necklace". with good reason. it's creamy.

Katherine Lee said...

I'm going to have to go with "decorator white" by Benjamin Moore, with "All White" by Farrow and Ball close behind. Most of all, I'm a firm believer in glossy whites, no mattes for me please!

xo Katherine aka. Urban Flea :)
http://www.urbanfleadesign.net

gayhooker said...

Pearl Necklace (Dunn Edwards)

Decorina said...

When I was growing up in Phoenix everything that didn't move was painted Navajo White. It looked like white paint with dirt mixed in it to me. Too brown.

Now I live in Colorado and I'm using White Dove by BM. In Virginia I used Linen White (it has a yellow caste) and China White (with a grey/cool tint).

It does depend on your location.

Anonymous said...

Go to your local Benjamin Moore store and get their brochure-thingy with all the whites and off-whites on it. Take it home, cut it up and stick the little squares on the walls. This will help you start to narrow it down. It will also help you learn to see the undertones in the different whites. This will help a lot, but you will still need to buy tester pots of the shortlisted colors!!

Linen White actually has orange and grey in it. Decorator's White has a very very slight pink cast. Super White is quite a cold white. China White is greyish and not my favorite (I once painted a studio apartment China White, found it depressing and repainted a week later.) Navajo is indeed very "dirty." Those are from the "old" Ben Moore color range (bear with me; I'm a little obsessed.)

The newer whites include White Dove, which is quite a clear soft white with a very faint grey undertone, Cloud White, Mayonnaise (which is warmer but not dark; I have used it a lot), and the very useful Sugar Cookie which nobody else has mentioned.

Another thing: try using two or more different whites in one room (walls, trim, ceiling, etc.). It gives real depth and character.

Tia Zoldan said...

I love Farrow and Ball's Strong White, it never fails me! Los Angeles

maria cleo martin said...

im in love with benjamin moore super white: it goes on like a dream. ultra modern but not too blinding. i painted two coats over a red hallway and didnt use primer!

Maureen Sullivan Stemberg, Interiors said...

My fav...BM's Designer's white and RSID white. I would love to know the exact color of this room. It has a lovely shade of rose tint mix i with the white. From all the comments...The WHITE of is a very popular theme. Great post.

Sacheverelle said...

Totally recommend Pratt and Lambert "Silver Lining".
A nice, creamy off white, like an aged white. In a hallway & powder room I used eggshell on the walls and hi-gloss on the molding. Looks so elegant.
And if you can't get P&L paint, a Benjamin Moore store can still mix it for you with their color matching computer.

Sacheverelle said...

The web site has a 'color visualizer' if you want to see how "Silver Lining" looks in a room. I'm telling you, it's the best white ever.
http://www.prattandlambert.com/

Quatorze said...

I agree that you must test the white in the individual room and see it at various times of day and in various lights.

Having said this, I love a true oyster white, ever so slightly grayed yet with a touch of underlying warmth. Always choose a flat finish for that warm, powdery look; save eggshell or gloss for furniture, door frames and baseboards. The color looks great with two of the most popular interior metals, gilt bronze and silver leaf moldings. Cerulean blue silk curtains sing against this white as do most yellows and greens. It reflects the warmth of sunlight beautifully and is sympathetic to old houses, which never had those glaring modern whites when they were first built.

I think oyster white, over any other whites, looks cool and refreshing in harsh southern light and paradoxically warm in cool northern light. I have used it in a New York City apartment, in a home on the water in Gulf coast Florida and have enjoyed it in France, where I first saw it in the gallery of the Grand Trianon at Versailles, where it was first known to the world as "King's White" or "Blanc du Roi", giving great delicacy and depth to the beautiful moldings in that pleasure palace.

Anonymous said...

In Florida we updated our retro-kitsch dark 70s home with paint: front foyer vertical panelling and back porch faux stucco effect (I know, eww) both got Sherwin Williams Dover White - felt very "cottage-y"

Now in upstate New York we have a studio in the top floor of a barn - all new drywall on angled gabled walls - we wanted bright as possible, with light bouncing around everywhere, so we used Sherwin Williams straight "Bright White" (one of their bases) - matte on the ceiling, eggshell on the walls. The whole space just glows - it's clean, pure white - doesn't feel cold, but rather like bright sunshine

Richie Designs said...

I'm liking Gay Hookers color, wonder if it's really real

Donna @ dh designs said...

There are really far too many whites to choose from - because there are so many different occasions for white.

One of my favourites is Benjamin Moores Navajo White OC-95.

Check out my latest post for an award to Decorno! No strings attached - just kudos to thank you for a great blog!

mary said...

I'm not sure, but I think Dennis and Leen Furniture might have table similar to the ones pictured. Hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

Decorno, I live in Seattle and have been on the quest for the right white for years. In my opinion, Ben Moore White (plain old Ben Moore White that doesn't have any pigment added) is best for most rooms in my home. It isn't warm, so if that's what you want, this is not your white. It is bright and crisp and looks amazing with our gray/misty weather in Seattle and looks even more beautiful on sunny day. Now...all that being said, I have one northeast facing room that gets very little light and Ben Moore white is too cold in that particular room.

By the way - I second the comment about Sears white paint. Great paint, cheap price.

Stay away from Ben Moore Atrium white. Hubby accidentally bought this and it is horrid. I've got an extra gallon in my garage if anyone wants it...

stephendrucker said...

I always come back to Benjamin Moore Linen White. It's too yellow for a lot of people. But it has a strange way of solving whatever problem I have. And it's not a custom color, so you can easily patch up scuffs and nail holes.

LINDSEY said...

If you are going for "WHITE white", Benjamin Moore Super White is your pick. It is super crisp and looks beautiful with fresh greens, golds, and any neutral ranging from light beige to dark brown/black.

White Dove and Simply White from Benjamin Moore are great warmer whites.... they have more brown & yellow undertones.

Lastly, Silver Lining from Pratt & Lambert is a perfect grey white. Honestly, this may be my favorite white.

All of these colors look beautiful in Birmingham, AL.

Aprilorama said...

Navajo White...it is fantastic

us said...

Here's something I learned, it really depends what you put it next to. I first settled on a really blue super cool white - but when placed next to dark colors it looked almost dayglo - way too modern. I ended up doing all my house trim in Chantilly Lace (Ben Moore) which is way yellower than anything I was initially drawn to. But it's the only white that looked white when held against both strong blues and strong yellows.
PS: Upstate NY.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm. I'm confused. I thought white walls were a no-no in decorator land??

I guarantee that if I painted all my walls white, my house would look bland and unfinished. What am I missing?

Anonymous said...

Stowe White - CIL paints, Toronto

(a very warm white, great for older homes)

Joslyn said...

i live in Texas and LOVE Benjamin Moore's Decorator White. I slathered it all over the walls of our 1978 house. it was a game changer.

Quatorze said...

White is not a no-no in decorator land, just the wrong white or a poorly applied one. In my mother's day, decorators who used white would sometimes apply as many as ten coats to a room, to achieve a depth of "color" and finish that was superb. They often lined the walls with linen first, ground in very fine plaster and then gesso, with sanding in between coats, and then the coats of paint would be applied to the newly prepped walls.

White was (and is) especially useful for people who had disparate collections of ornaments, furniture and paintings, the "color" tied all the items together while calming the overall effect. While white has been overdone, especially since the 70's, it will always be a favorite, as the many 18th century houses in Europe which use it have shown. In an older interior, it turns moldings into architecture of substance.

Susan said...

We have Benjamin Moore's Navajo White on all the trim in our house It's soft and nice. We are also painting an old iron bed this color.

At our farmhouse, we painted the pine board walls Benjamin Moore's China White. It is a grayed white and is lovely in that setting.

Susan said...

Oh, I forgot to say, our Navajo White is in Dallas, the China White is in deep East Texas, a rural area.

Grant K. Gibson said...

I am a mixer.
I do a blend of 50% decorator white and 50% linen white. Both Benjamin Moore.
It works every time. Have used it in California and New York and Florida.

Anonymous said...

OMG! Another person from Virginia Beach who loves Ben Moore's White Dove. Love it!

Minus75 said...

I have never known any white that works every time for any room.

Andrea V.@ allthetrappings.blogspot.com said...

I will finally add to this discussion.......

I've used quite a few. BM Cameo White, might be my favorite creamy white used on an exterior. It's luminous and easy on the eyes, but definitely falls into the off-white category. We used that on the exterior brick of our previous house and our tenant tells us that people stop by and ask her for the colors ;)

I have just recently used BM Mayonnaise in the interior of my house (could they have picked a worse name??).......it's absolutely beautiful. It has enough white to be crisp and a teensy bit of yellow to make it glow. It takes the edge off by not being a super-white. I used high-gloss on the trim and it looks so nice and wintery. I can't imagine it being too offensive where I would not be able to use a certain color b/c it's so adaptive to enhancing everything that I pair it with. (so far anyway)

I have not had success with bone white, though. It truly comes off as a faint beige.......it's so much more saturated when applied.

Navajo is indeed to "dirty" for me, but it's still a beautiful color when used in the right application.

Grant-good idea on the 50/50. I'd like to try that.

Hope that helped.

Andrea

Oh, I'm in South Louisiana

Anonymous said...

many nyc decorators swear by the 50/50 BM decorator/linen white formula that grant mentioned.

Anonymous said...

Dearest,

You really must go with 'White Gold'. Trust me on this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcAHx5SGWG8

the gardeners cottage said...

I just painted out the entire house in BM Simply White and I LOVE it. I live in So. Calif.

Grant K. Gibson said...

The reason I like the 50/50 combo is that the linen white can be really yellow (like Stephen Drucker mentioned) and the decorator white adds a touch of blue/green that balances things out.
I learned this combo in NY- and it has worked well for me over the years. On another topic- I use flat paint always (not in kitchens/baths) and like to use Super White for trim.

couchseattle.com said...

1) bm superwhite looks is what i've got in my store and it looks preddy darned average. more sterile than crisp. i'm sure there's a reason...

2) why is benjamin moore such a dominant brand in the design industry? seems like 90% of the color mentions in the mags go to BM. are they really better than behr?

Decorno said...

Couch - I was wondering the same thing. But recently, I was in the Benj Moore store in SoDo and I asked one of the employees what quality difference they could claim for BM paint. He immediately started to tell me about all the waste in other paints and how BM only uses pigment, binder, and vehicle, and two of the other employees kind of moaned in ecstasy and yelled out, "The holy trinity!" Either the paint is this good, or the BM guys are brainwashed. But I was kind of a believer in that moment.

Penelope Bianchi said...

WOW!! 65 COMMENTS BEFORE I EVEN GET HERE!!?!

LET'S JUST START WITH no more caps...one of the anony's is offended.

Navajo white; 39 years ago, was explained to me by an expert painter thusly! "Navajo white is about as far from white as one can get. It is full of pigments that absorb light......that deaden any space and landlords love it because it can cover black in one coat. Death!"

That is a direct quote!

The only really good paints available (in my humble opinion)....are Farrow and Ball.....and Fine Paints of Europe. They cost more.....they are worth it. 90% of the cost of painting is the labor. Smart to buy the best paint!

American paint stores claim they can match. No no no. (Donald Kaufman.....yes yes yes)

these european paints do have way more pigments..and last way way longer. (same for Donald Kaufman)

everyone is correct! get sample pot and paint on wall or board and see in all different times of the day!!

I am sure none of you were talking about white walls; right? White trim! None of you sophisticates would want white walls?? right?

Horror of horrors!

YIKES!!!!

ps "arched brows"...I have some suggestions.....as you can imagine! (about greys! You are brilliant!) you must be very careful however.......grey is brilliant and very very tricky!

pps David.....I hope the name of the paint is "pearl necklace......not pearl neckless.....which sounds like a bad look)
1

Penelope Bianchi said...

I just knew I should read all these.......but I couldn't!

the Aesthete wins the race again and again!

"Blackened" is the best color imaginable if we are talking about walls!!

NOT WHITE!!

Blackened is a mysterious divine color that changes all day... and there is a reason it is not called white I would never paint one single wall white in my house or any of my clients....... hundreds over many years...) but "blackened! YES!!! And BRAVO! Just don't call it white!

ps description of it is the best......lampblack added (lamblack being the oil residue of the oil streetlights.....that black stuff left over in the bottom. amazing color . Very Saladino. DIVINE!!!!

Penelope Bianchi said...

sorry me again...I couldn't resist!

an " Anonymous" said...
Hmmm. I'm confused. I thought white walls were a no-no in decorator land??

I guarantee that if I painted all my walls white, my house would look bland and unfinished. What am I missing?"

My answer! YOU ARE MISSING NOTHING AND YOU ARE BRILLIANT! BRAVO!

just had to!

December 16, 2009 10:10 AM

Anonymous said...

So why are things other than pigment, binder, and vehicle bad? How do the other things make the paint perform worse?

Andrea V.@ allthetrappings.blogspot.com said...

Now, here's my little humble opinion:

BM paints go on like silk. They are thick, pigment rich, flat/matte looks like velvet when dry and the Aura/Affinity Low VOC line is, wow........absolutely incredible; a true one coat paint. It's expensive, yes, but as an example I'll say this:

In our 1st house, we were so young and knew nothing about paint (and I had TERRIBLE, and I mean TERRIBLE color sense at 22, yikes) . Most projects happened on Sundays, and so off to Lowe's we went to get Valspar or Olympic or whatever.....whatever brand had the tacky colors that I wanted to paint ;)

When it was time to repaint (which was not too soon after the 1st botched effort) I decided to use BM. What took me almost three gallons in *regular* paint, literally took me a quart+a gallon in BM. Even over a horrid color, I only did one coat+ touch ups (and that was just in the Regal line....they didn't have Aura 10yrs ago)

So yes, I sing the praises of BM products and even when I am SO tempted to run out and get a *regular* paint b/c my local BM store is closed on Sundays, I talk myself down from the ledge b/c I know I will regret it after I start painting.

I have never used F&B (we don't have a dealer here) But I would imagine that the quality is as good (or better?) than BM, but I certainly LOVE their books, and the "Dead Flat Oil" is to die for from what I can tell.

Just my .02. Good luck painting, Decorno! And we expect pictures!!

Quatorze said...

Paint with certain additives is less vibrant, translucent, etc.

Cheap filler in paint does not reflect light back microscopically like well-made paint, which is not just a coating, it interacts with light, minutely refracting and reflecting it to enliven the surface, an elusive detail that the eye senses, as any fine artist who mixes his or her own paints from pigments and oil binders can tell you. An analogous case is ancient stained glass; the way it interacts with light enlivens its surface. When some of those windows in the ancient cathedrals were mistakenly restored in the mid-latter 20th century, the fillers and coatings used to strengthen the glass preserved it, but deadened the interaction with the light, leaving the windows curiously lifeless. Later, restorers had to strip this coating off to restore the vibrant beauty of these windows.

Good paint is like good anything, the God is in the details.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate the earnestness of the explanation, but I honestly can't tell the difference between my walls painted with Benj. Moore and my walls painted with cheaper paint.

CreativeButterflyXOX said...

I would have to agree with Cloud White OC-130 from Benjamin Moore.

Anonymous said...

I don't see it mentioned yet, so I'll add that Behr's Ultra Pure White is now in 2 bedrooms and our hallway as of last week, and we love it.

It's a really lovely clean white (against a navy ceiling in one room), and it mellows very nicely against wood shades and a wood floor in the other.

s. said...

Another vote for BM's Cloud White.

Anonymous said...

Isn't that Lee Radziwill's pad?

slateberry said...

We had to make a quick decision for the kids rooms. It was either going to be Farrow and Ball All White or BM Aura Magnolia. They were both great and it was a tough decision. We ended up using magnolia and it has done so well, the kids never asked us to change their rooms (we had planned to repaint in colors of their choice when we had more time). But all white was excellent, and had a certain luminosity no other whites we tested had.

The Spring Chicken said...

Pratt & Lambert's "Downy Grey" is actually a very classy white that is perfect for my 60+ year old New England trim and woodwork.

Anonymous said...

BM Dover White is perfection... from NYC to Columbus OH to Fort Myers, FL. try it... you'll love it!

Aaron said...

We live in Seattle and have Benjamin Moore "Decorators' White" in the bedroom. However, it is a very cold white and looks almost blue on overcast days and in crappy weather.

All other rooms are Benjamin Moore "Simply White." Wonderful, warm white for gloomy NW days.

Benjamin Moore Aura paint is the best ever!

Anonymous said...

My two cents: I agree, BM dove white is gorgeous but I've only used it for trim. After living in 10 houses and repainting each time in search of a great warm white my vote is BM Lancaster Whitewash. Sherwin Williams dover white is also pretty.

Liane said...

Wow. I know I'm late to this party. But I painted a lot of my 1850 northeast farm house ben moore edgecomb grey. i know it's not white white but on my walls i would definitely classify it as such. i don't get tired of it. and i get tired of a lot of things, decor-wise. i use matte on walls and also same color semi-gloss on woodwork. i like using same color with different finishes. subtle but pretty.

Anonymous said...

I had no idea this would be so entertaining. "Pearl Neckless" is thusly spelled with a (presumably) straight face. Somebody admits in public that their favorite topic is white paint. Of all topics in the world. A gay hooker recommends Pearl Necklace. Good work!

Fixer Mamma said...

maybe it's a Canadian thing but everyone I know uses BM Oxford White, CC-30. I have done 3 houses with it, etiher walls or trim, and it's the go-to white for Canadian design magazines and tv shows.

nflfanatic said...

Ben Moore Navajo White looks best for my stucco exterior with dark brown trim house

Simple and Elegant always works said...

I have Benjamin Moore Atrium White in my Atlanta house and our cottage in South Carolina, both with great success; it is certainly not horrid.

When Do I Retire? said...

I agree, I like Atrium White, too - have used it it two homes. We live in an Francisco where it can be gray, and this white works nicely. People see colors differently, so you have to do a sample.

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