Best white paint: 10 of the best colours and stylish ways to use them | Real Homes

Best white paint: 10 best colours and stylish ways to use them

Looking for the best white paint? It can be surprisingly tricky, so we have rounded up a few of our faves...

Best white paint: 10 of the best colours and stylish ways to use them
(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

In theory, choosing the best white paint should be easy. It's white paint. Surely they all pretty much look the same and you can't really go wrong? But you know that's not the case, otherwise you wouldn't be here, seeking advice for how to choose the perfect white. In fact, you know full well that there is no such thing as one shade of white. There are creamy whites, cool whites, off whites, matt whites, chalky whites... need we go on?

So, with dozen of shades and finishes of white paint to choose from, it can be a tad overwhelming. Lucky for you, we have rounded up our favourite – and, in our opinion, the best – white paints, for every room and every style. You can see the best deals happening right now on the size of tin you are after too in our handy widgets, so you know you are always going to get the best deal. 

Farrow & Ball Ammonite

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

1. Farrow & Ball Ammonite

The best white paint for every room in your home

Specifications
Finish : Estate Emulsion, Estate Eggshell, Modern Emulsion, Modern Eggshell, Full Gloss, Exterior Eggshell, Exterior Masonry
Coverage : 35m² per 2.5L tin
Drying time : 2hrs
Reasons to buy
+A white that's going to work in any space+Amazing coverage +Plenty of finishes to choose from for different surfaces  +Quick drying time
Reasons to avoid
-On the pricer side 

If you are looking for the best white paint that will work in any (or every) room in your home, Ammonite is a safe choice. Neither too warm nor too cool, its subtle grey tones look light and airy in sun filled spaces and not overly cool in rooms that lack natural light. Pair with accents of purer whites, like All White to bring out the grey tones, or contrast with darker greys like Railings

Find out everything you need to know if you are painting your space yourself in our guide to how to paint a house.

  • Shop Farrow & Ball Ammonite here

Little Green Shallows in the best cool toned white paint

(Image credit: Little Greene)

2. Little Greene Shallows

The best cool tone white paint for south-facing rooms

Specifications
Finish : Intelligent Matt Emulsion, Intelligent Eggshell, Absolute Matt Emulsion, Intelligent Gloss
Coverage: 14m² per l
Drying time : 2hrs
Reasons to buy
+Perfect greyish white for room with lots of light+Great coverage +Washable so good for high-traffic areas 
Reasons to avoid
-It's grey undertone may be too cool for some rooms

Better suited to light, south-facing rooms Shallows by Little Greene is edging on almost being grey. We love pairing this white paint with a slightly more obvious grey (Grey Teal has been used in the bathroom above) to further highlight those cooler tones. This colour would look gorgeous in a light and airy open-plan kitchen or in a large bathroom. Just be aware it risks looking harsh in a sun deprived room, so maybe avoid using in north-facing rooms or hallways.

  • Shop Little Greene Shallows here

Slipper Satin is the best warm white paint

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

3. Farrow & Ball Slipper Satin

The best warm white paint

Specifications
Finish : Estate Emulsion, Estate Eggshell, Modern Emulsion, Modern Eggshell, Full Gloss, Exterior Eggshell, Exterior Masonry
Coverage : 35m² per 2.5L tin
Drying time : 2hrs
Reasons to buy
+A white that's going to work in any space+Amazing coverage +Plenty of finishes to choose from for different surfaces  +Quick drying time
Reasons to avoid
-On the pricer side 

This popular off white takes its name from the delicate colour of silk used in traditional ballet slippers so it has a very slight blush tone. It has zero cool undertones so would work perfectly in a north-facing room that was in need of some warmth. What we love about this white paint is that it's warm without being at all yellowish; it's just lovely and soft with a chalky quality. Pair with pink to really bring out those blush tones. 

  • Shop Farrow & Ball Satin Slipper here

Neve from fired earth is the best pure white paint

(Image credit: Fired Earth)

4. Fired Earth Névé

The best pure white paint

Specifications
Finish : Eggshell, Matt Emulsion, Exterior Masonry
Coverage : 35m2 per 2.5L tin
Drying time : 1-2hrs
Reasons to buy
+The best true white paint +Works in any room +Slightly soft, chalky finish 
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive for such a simple colour 

You would think picking a clean, crisp, pure white paint would be easy, but there is still so much choice out there! We reckon when it comes to choosing the best pure white paint just go with one that's honest and bares no hidden undertones of blue, yellow or pink. Our fave is Fired Earth Névé, mostly for it's slighty chalky matt finish, which just softens the crisp, bright white. 

  • Shop Fired Earth Névé here

Dulux Bathroom Egyptian Cotton is the best white paint for bathrooms

(Image credit: Dulux)

5. Dulux Bathroom Egyptian Cotton

The best white paint for bathrooms

Specifications
Finish : Soft Sheen Emulsion
Coverage: 13m² per L
Drying time: 24hrs
Reasons to buy
+Great for rooms with high moisture +Washable+Protects against mould 
Reasons to avoid
-Long drying time-Smells quite strong 

Dulux have got bathroom paint down, and this formula made it to the top of our best bathroom paints list, so you know it's good. It's been formulated to be both steam and moisture resistant plus its MouldTec foundation protects the paint against mould for up to five years. Over 24 hours, the paint dries to a mid sheen finish, which repels steam rather than allowing it to soak in.

In terms of colour, we have chose Egyptian Cotton as the best white paint for bathrooms. Managing to look both crisp and cosy (who likes to bathe in a cold-toned room?), this versatile colour will work in bathrooms of any sizes and looks equally lovely in light filled rooms as rooms with less natural light. 

Check our more gorgeous bathroom paint ideas in our dedicated feature. 

  • Shop Dulux Bathroom Egyptian Cotton here

Dulux kitchen in Timeless is the best white paint for kitchens

(Image credit: Dulux)

6. Dulux Kitchen Timeless

The best white paint for kitchens

Specifications
Finish : Matt Emulsion
Coverage: 13m² per L
Drying time : 5hrs
Reasons to buy
+Low VOC levels+Wipeable+Grease proof
Reasons to avoid
-Only a matt finish available 

Looking for the best white paint for kitchens? We love the Dulux Easycare Kitchen formula; it’s engineered to stay pristine, with a greaseproof formula that resists stains and makes any marks that do appear easier to wipe off. You will find that most of Dulux's paint colours come in the Easycare Kitchen formulation but we love the look of Timeless. It's a warm white paint, but as the kitchen above shows, it works just as well when combined with both warm and cool tones. 

For more of the best paint for kitchens check out our guide and have a read through our kitchen paint ideas too. 

  • Shop Dulux Easycare Kitchen Timeless here

Little Greene Portland Stone best white paint for bedrooms

(Image credit: Little Greene)

7. Little Greene Portland Stone

The best white paint for bedrooms

Specifications
Finish : Intelligent Matt Emulsion, Intelligent Eggshell, Absolute Matt Emulsion, Intelligent Gloss
Coverage: 14m² per l
Drying time : 2hrs
Reasons to buy
+Washable +Perfect for all rooms 
Reasons to avoid
-A very warm white that can look quite traditional (only a con if that's not your vibe)

We love the creamy softness of Portland Stone, it's just the perfect white paint for bedrooms – think melted vanilla ice cream (in a very good way). While it looks gorgeous and warming in a light-filled space, it also brings a lovely lived-in feel to darker spaces. It works wonderfully in more traditional style homes, but it's equally at home in a modern space, just pair it with some crisp white woodwork to give it a bit of an edge. 

Check out more inspiring bedroom paint ideas in our dedicated feature. 

  • Shop Little Green Portland Stone here

The best white chalk paint Rust-Oleum Chalky Finish Furniture Paint

(Image credit: Rust-Oleum)

8. Rust-Oleum Chalk White

The best white chalk paint

Specifications
Finish : Chalky
Coverage : 14.5m² per l
Drying time : 1hr
Reasons to buy
+Stylish chalky finish +Can be used on different surfaces+Quick drying time
Reasons to avoid
-Not great for high traffic areas

Is there an easier way to give your interiors a bit of vintage charm than a lick of chalk paint? The farmhouse vibes you get from chalky white walls will never go out of style, and you can use white chalk paint to quickly upcycle old furniture or even give your kitchen cabinets a revamp – just have a read through our guide to painting kitchen cabinets and painting furniture first. 

So what's the best white chalk paint out there? Well we love Rust-Oleum Chalk White Chalky Matt paint. There's no hint of yellow, it adheres to pretty much any surface and is perfect for distressing. Plus it also comes in a spray paint if you think you would find working with that easier. 

Head over to our feature on how to create vintage paint effects for tips on getting that shabby chic look. 

  • Shop Rust-Oleum Chalk White here

Dulux Satinwood White Cotton is the best white paint for wood

(Image credit: Dulux)

9. Dulux Satinwood White Cotton

The best white paint for trim and wood

Specifications
Finish : Mid-sheen
Coverage: 12m² per L
Drying time: 6hrs
Reasons to buy
+No undercoat needed +Wipeable+Perfect for areas that will get scuffed 
Reasons to avoid
-Requires a couple of coats for a solid colour 

Tough, durable and hard wearing, this paint from Dulux is perfect for interior woods, especially where there are high volumes of foot traffic. Requiring just a couple of coats, this paint is easy to apply, with no undercoat necessary, unless you are painting over a colour that is particularly strong. 

Boring (but nevertheless important) bit over, let's focus on the colour. We love the look of clean white woodwork, so we've picked White Cotton as our favourite – but you can get Satinwood in all the Dulux shades. This tough, bright white would work perfectly to bring some light into dark hallways, and if you are dabbling with the idea of painting your floorboards white, this is your colour. 

Follow our guide to how to paint floorboards if you want to create this gorgeous look, and take a look at more of the best paints for wood

  • Shop Dulux Satinwood White Cotton here

Child's bedroom painted white

(Image credit: Ikea)

10. Dulux Easycare and Washable Matt Jasmine White

Best white paint for kids' rooms

Specifications
Finish : Matt
Coverage: 13m² per L
Drying time : 2-4hrs
Reasons to buy
+Stain resistant+Suits all rooms +Washable 
Reasons to avoid
-It gets more creamy as it drys so order a tester pot first if you are unsure 

Painting a kid's room white may sound like a mad idea, but pick the right paint and you needn't worry about rogue finger prints, muddy marks or unidentifiable smudges. 'Washable' and 'tough' are arguably the magic words when it comes to decorating children’s rooms, and Dulux is covering them both with this formulation. This paint is 20 times tougher than the brand’s standard offerings and is designed to repel liquids so you have time to wipe away any spillages before they soak in. 

In terms of colour, we love the fresh feel of Jasmine White: cool without being sterile, it creates an inviting warmth to a room while still looking crisp and clean. Be sure to check out more paint colour schemes for kids' bedrooms and take a look at our roundup of the best paint for kids' rooms too. 

  • Shop Dulux Easycare and Washable Matt Jasmine White here

How to choose the best white paint 

South or west-facing rooms are always going to be a dream to decorate, and most white paints are going to work in sun-filled spaces. Choosing the best white paint for a south-facing room really just depends on your style and how you want the room to look, particularly under lamp light. If you like a clean, crisp look, stick with a cool-toned white paint (with grey or bluish undertones), but if you prefer a more relaxed vibe, choose a softer warm white (with yellowish or blush hues) that will feel cosier at night. 

North- or east-facing rooms obviously get less light, and cooler light. So, warmer whites are always going to be more at home in this type of room. Look for white paints that have a creamy undertone for warmth, both day and night.

Test it day and night

As we mentioned above, it's important to consider how your white paint will look under artificial light as well as daylight. So, make sure when choosing white paint that you consider it under both natural and artificial light, and always test a paint colour in your home so you can see how it changes throughout the day. Order a tester pot, paint on to A3 sheets of paper (or the wall if you are feeling committed) and stick them up on all four walls. That's the best method for seeing what it looks like in real life.

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