As you can probably tell by the name of this blog – My Modern White Farmhouse – I’m planning on painting my modern farmhouse exterior walls white. That’s right. I’m going with my favorite white exterior paint. Because I like white.
Yes, I (actually, the painters) will be painting my exterior walls white. Not a stark, bright, put-on-your-sunglasses white, but a warm, creamy white. I’ve narrowed my paint choices down to two. I think.
So Many White Paint Colors
Who knew there were so many white paint colors? Not this girl! Until I started researching I had no idea. I have a secret: I love to research and I’ve read so many interior design blogs, looked at photos on Houzz, and have been on Benjamin Moore’s website so much that they probably think I’m a stalker.
Oh, and I’ve ordered so many paint samples. You know, the easy, peel-and-stick kind. And I don’t even have the walls yet to stickum’ up. The paint samples I ordered are from a company called Samplize.
My Favorite White Exterior Paint Samples
These peel-and-stick samples from Samplize have the same effect as paint on a wall surface because they are produced with genuine manufacturer paint. You can order the 12×12 samples with your choice of Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, PPG, or Farrow & Ball paints.
I won’t even tell you how many samples I’ve ordered. The samples are $5.95 each (at the time of this post). Oh, okay, you twisted my arm. I’ve ordered 8 samples and not all at the same time.
White Paint Undertones
You’d think that white would be, well, white. Wrong. Most white paint colors have undertones. And, let me tell you, choosing white paint can be tricky.
White paints with warm undertones will have some type of combination of red, orange, yellow, pink, or brown.
White paints with cool undertones will have combinations of blue, green, purple, or gray.
Pro Tip: Hold paint samples against a white sheet of paper. You’ll notice the different undertones.
Only A Few White Paints Are Pure White
It’s true! Most white paints have an undertone.
LRV – Light Reflectance Value
It’s important to know the LRV of a paint color if you’re painting your exterior white. Remember, you probably don’t want a must-wear-sunnies white color.
LRV is the measure of how light or dark a paint color is on a scale of 0 (being the darkest) to 100 (lightest).
In my opinion, an exterior LRV should be no higher than 85.
Don’t Choose Paint Colors In The Paint Store
Have you ever picked out a paint color in a paint store, got home, and hated your decision? It’s because the lighting in a paint store is horrible. That’s why you need to get some paint swatches (see above) and see them in the light of the room you want to paint.
Oh, and paint can look different throughout the day as the light fades or gets brighter. Once I thought I had the perfect shade of gray. Thank the Lord it was a sample! When I slapped the sample on the wall, the purple undertones came out loud and clear. I didn’t want purple.
Paint colors (even white) will also look different according to ceiling height, window placement, and room size.
My Two Paint Choices For Painting Exterior Walls White
I “think” I have my paint choices narrowed down to two. If I change my mind, you’ll be the first to know.
My first choice:
White Dove OC-17 by Benjamin Moore
White Dove is clean, calm, and has warm, creamy undertones. It has an LRV of 85 – the highest I would go on the exterior of my house.
My second choice is:
Alabaster by Sherwin Williams
Alabaster is a soft, almost off-white color. The natural beige undertones add a creaminess to this warm paint color. Alabaster has an LRV of 82.
Alabaster and White Dove are actually very similar. I just happen to like White Dove a little more than Alabaster.
Snowbound by Sherwin Williams
I’ve also had my eye on Snowbound. It has an LRV of 83. Snowbound is a crisp, cool white with a slight gray undertone.
Conclusion – Favorite White Exterior Paint
At the beginning of my hunt for the perfect exterior white paint color, I was leaning towards Alabaster by Sherwin Williams. It’s a beautiful white. Then I looked at a gazillion houses painted with White Dove and a gazillion more painted Alabaster. I think White Dove wins. For me.
I’ll definitely try samples of both colors on my exterior walls before deciding on a winner.
P.S. – If you’re not a lover of white paint, you may want to stop reading right now before I tell you a secret. I’m painting the entire inside of my house white as well. I’m tired of builder beige (my current great room color). And I’m sick of my red dining room.
The great thing about paint is, if you don’t like it, it’s an easy fix.
White works well when you bring in color with the decor. And, I like wide-open white spaces. Room to make a big mistake. Wink.
And The Winner Is . . .
I’ll update this post with photos and the white paint color I actually go with when our new house painted. We’re not there. The siding is not even on yet. So stay tuned!
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