Favorite White Exterior Paint – Modern Farmhouse

Favorite White Exterior Paint – Modern Farmhouse

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.

Favorite White Paint smeared across a paint brush

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.

White Paint on Paint Brush

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.

Warm Undertones

White paints with warm undertones will have some type of combination of red, orange, yellow, pink, or brown.

Cool Undertones

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.

White Paint Choices - Paint Cards Fanned Out

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 Paint Color Samples


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 Paint Sample

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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Alli loves her southern, country lifestyle. Whether she's decorating her new modern farmhouse or cooking up a storm for her family, Alli is all about living her best life now and spoiling her grandkids! She enjoys traveling, reading, Duke basketball, photography, and all things coastal. Alli wants to be a beach bum when she grows up.

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2 thoughts on “Favorite White Exterior Paint – Modern Farmhouse”

  1. Hi Alli, I’ve been following you on Instagram but this is the first time I clicked on your bio link. Catching up on your build articles. Our footers for our build of this houseplan were poured in May in TN. We are hopeful to be in early summer. I agree that picking whites is so hard! Our house was just framed when I had to pick cabinet colors so i pulled cardboard out of our dumpster and painted samples…I ended up choosing Alabaster but hoping they are not more creamy than I want. Outside I painted samples of Snowbound and Alabaster…ended up going with Snowbound…though in the end I am sure either would have been fine! I wasn’t aware of LRV until I started researching whites. I research everything everything since this is our “forever home” and I am trying to make timeless choices. I am at the point of selection burnout and still have countertops, hardwood stain color, and fireplaces stone left to go. Trying to find a Quartzite slab large enough height for our island has proven to be a challenge! Look forward to seeing what stain color you go with. We are going with 3.25″ white oak so at least I can stain a few sample boards in the different areas of our house!

    1. Thanks for stopping by!! Paint colors are so hard! I need to update this post because I actually ended up going with SW Pure White. When I stuck samples of alabaster on my exterior (and interior) walls, it pulled yellow. White Dove didn’t do it for me either. I’m loving pure white (inside and outside). The flooring guys begin sanding my white oak flooring on Monday so I’ll have to pick out a stain soon. Also, I may just do a clear coat because the floors are so pretty. Decisions, decisions 🙂