07 November, 2012

The Right White - Top Paint Picks

Here's my top favourite white paints.

Picking the right white to paint your beach house can be a daunting task. Selecting a white sounds simple enough but when you pop into the paint shop for your can of white paint - you are confronted with hundreds of options - so which one do you choose? After years of experience and playing around with paints these are are my top 5 favourite picks.

#1 Dulux - Natural White

A crisp, clean modern white that will give you a fresh, gallery like feel. Anything whiter than this can look a bit clinical. This is my pick for a contemporary, modern beach house or a Scandinavian feel seaside cottage. 


#2 Dulux - Antique White USA

This is probably Dulux's best selling colour. It is a warmer, more classic colour with a soft, subtle creamy overtone. It suits period homes or houses where a warm, welcoming feeling is sort after. If it feels a little too creamy? Try reducing the strength to a three quarter or half strength. Anything creamier than this is getting a bit too old fashioned. 


#3 Dulux - Hog Bristle

Odd name but a great colour! This is not really a white but it is a great alternative to stark, white walls. It has depth and warmth and adds a lot of character to a house. I usually paint a house in one colour only but sometimes it's nice to throw in a bit of 'Hog Bristle' to add interest - it's warm beigey feel compliments the sandy tones of a beach house.

#4 Dulux - China White

An unusual colour - 'China White' has very subtle undertones of green and cream which give it warmth and interest. Despite the name it is not even really a white but it is a great paint colour for a beach house where a bit of depth is required on the walls. This colour also helps bring the outside elements in by blurring the lines between indoors and outdoors.  It works well with earthy tones and lots of textures.

#5 Dulux - Vivid White 

Also know as Dulux's ceiling white - this is the perfect white for painting ceilings, white glass splashbacks (don't forget to use low iron glass) and it's my favourite white for joinery. I feel it's too stark for walls but it's the perfect answers for crisp white 2 pack kitchen and bathroom cabinets!

# Test Out The Colour First

Paint will look different in every house and every room depending on the light, aspect and the decor so be sure to buy a decent sized tin of sample paint and test it out before you commit to a whole house. Better to be safe than sorry!

Melissah xox

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Something Gorgeous said...

Choosing the right white can be a nightmare. Thanks for the tips, I save this post for future reference. Have a nice day. xT

Vicky said...

I love all your beautiful whites. I love the welcoming look it brings to the home1
xx Vicky

Carla Tomas said...

Great post, love crisp white interiors!
xo Carla


Katrina from The Block said...

I love a good white, but yes I never know which one to pick! Thanks.

villa-rosengarten & cockerlove said...

Nice - and to say, that white is not a color - you proof the contrary! Thank you for the inspirations! Hug, bArbara

concrete contractors Cook County said...

Among the selections, my favoured tint is #5 Dulux – Vivid White. Since whites have been known all over the world to appropriately combine with any other color, I find my preferred shade a statement. Perfect for accent walls and other applications, I think it is the best. I love how the green apples give added life to the kitchen. Thanks for sharing these selections.

Exterior house painting said...

Wow.What a paint colour this is.It is looking nice.

Megan Powell said...

Hi thanks for your awesome blog and great advice. We have horizontal timber panelling, over half way up the wall, throughout most of our living spaces. We'd like to paint it white but not sure which white! What would you suggest? Also would you paint the panels and the walls the same colour or have a slight contrast. Thanks

Melissah said...

Hi Megan, I would paint the timber panels & dado rail Dulux Antique White USA Semi Gloss & the walls Antique White USA Low Sheen Acrylic. I just did something similar in my house using Natural White & it's a tad too stark I would warm it up a bit. Hope this helps. Regards

Vanessa Roberts said...

Hi there! This post has helped me to pick AWUSA for my walls, which I believe (from the samples I've done) to be perfect!! YAY! I have very mottled travertine tiles everywhere ranging from yellow to beige, caramel and dark brown tones in them. I am looking at trim colours that will compliment the AW as well as not clash with all the colours in the tiles. Do you have any recommendations on where to start? I wouldn't mind a browny-taupe but nothing too dark. Something that would work with gold as I have some shiny gold furniture accents around the place. Nothing with any hint of green in it.

Appreciate your advice!

Melissah from Coastal Style said...

Sorry Vanessa I don't think I can help you out - in order to pick colours I need to see all the samples, your furniture and the space - if I just picked a random colour without any visuals I'm likely not to give the right advice.

Anonymous said...

Hi, great blog. I wish I had read it afew days earlier! We are in the process of painting our new house, the painter painted half of the house(bedrooms) in dulux lexicon quarter and while it is exactly the colour I was imagining, after seeing it am now wondering if it is too stark as you suggested. I'm thinking of now doing the open plan living kitchen area in natural white. I thought I needed a cool white to go with the grey floor but as this area doesn't get as much light as the bedrooms so I'm worried that the lexicon could look to stark and maybe abit blue. Have u used the natural white in half strength just so im don't get too much warmth? Any help would be much appreciated.

Melissah said...

Hi there, I use Natural White Half strength on the ceilings only. I would try Natural White full strength in a test patch to see what you think. If it is too warm try dropping it back to a 75% strength to sharpen it up a bit.

Anonymous said...

What trims would you do with natural white?

Anonymous said...

Great blog, we have just chosen natural white for our walls, hoping to have white plantation blinds so wondering what colour to paint trims and doors, think maybe quarter strength natural white or completely different and make it lexicon quarter. Thanks in advance!

Melissah from Coastal Style said...

Hi there,
In answer to the last couple of queries reqarding trim - this is the formula I used on my house & I'm very happy with the results
Dulux Natural White - Full Strength on walls - Low Sheen Acrylic
Dulux Natural White - Full Strength on trim (skirts, arcs, doors) - Semi Gloss Aquanamel (hard wearing but washes up n water) - You could also go half strength if you like a bit of contrast but I'm happy for it to all blend in.
Dulux Natural White - Half Strength - Ceilings - Low Sheen Acrylic
I hope this helps
Happy painting!

Moo said...

Another great white is white duck 1/4. It's a grey brown white. With 1/2 lexicon it looks great!

Anonymous said...

Hi Melissa, What Dulux white colour could you suggest use with gloss two pack cabinets that are having Caesarstone Frosty Carina bench tops? Thought Dulux Designer White or Vivid White or White on White? Not keen on creamy beige bluey green undertones but prefer greyer cooler undertones. Understand the stone is warmish though. The walls will be same colour and medium colour wooden flooring. Prob more industrial.You have a great site.Thanks.

total12 said...

After years of experience and playing around with paints these are are my top 5 favourite picks.painters adelaide

robby said...

Hi Melissah, I would appreciate your opinion on the best white to paint an old queenslander. I am tossing up between Dulux Natural White and Whisper White. I lean towards Whisper white but can't seem to find any examples of its use as an exterior colour. Or do you think another white is better? Thanks

Melissah from Coastal Style said...

Robby, I used Dulux Natural White 125% strength on my white weatherboard beach house - I'm sorry I don't have photos since I painted it but that extra shot of 25% give it a little extra warmth - it's never to stark or glarey even on a sunny day day & I'm just thrilled with the results, but don't stress either would look good.
Cheers Melissah

Valerie Casady said...

Oh my! These are great white paint round-ups. I've been a sucker for white so this is really heaven. Thanks for the share!

Anonymous said...

Hi Melissah
I've just recently painted my ceilings in natural white and wondering if using the same colour (with a bit more sheen) on the walls would look ok and then same again for trim but in high gloss? It's a 60's sprawling timber home with wide verandahs, dark timber floors and lots of natural light. The ceilings are 2.6m high. If not natural white, what would you recommend? Thanks heaps for your advice!

Melissah from Coastal Style said...

That will all work perfectly except the trend is to go for semi gloss trim rather than gloss. I only use full gloss on period homes. Try Dulux Aquanamel paint for the trim it is hard, wearing washes up in water & has a lovely smooth finish.
regards Melissah

Anonymous said...

Melissa this is a fantastic blog - thankyou.
We are just painting our living room and hall way (the bedrooms off the hall have already been painted - and their woodwork and doors are Argos Cream). we are painting the living room a dark Blue/Grey (colour matched Stiffkey Blue) - we have loads of white plantation shutters and 2 sets of french doors and we want to have a white trim as a contrast to the dark walls. The hallway we are intending on doing 1 feature wall at the end (to lengthen the hall) in the same blue/greg as the living room and the walls remaining walls in a soft stone colour. I have 2 questions and would really appreciate your advice - our cyprus pine floorboards are getting sanded back and having a Porter Paints White wash on them.
1) would you paint the woodwork and doors in the hall an antique white so it blends in with the bedrooms, or would you paint it vivid white to match the living room
2) or would you paint the woodwork in the hall antique white and the woodwork in the living room a 1/4 strength antique white so it blends in and still has the contrast with the navy/grey walls? we have french doors between the living and the hall which are normally open back on themselves - so they would have to be the same colour either side
thankyou in advance

Melissah said...

Sorry too tricky to answer accurately without seeing the space, the light etc I would be just guessing. regards Melissah

Anonymous said...

I am in the process of renovating a beach house kind of beachy Balinese style.
We have dark timber furniture with light honey (Baltic coloured) floorboards.
Would you suggest a warm white rather than a cool white to tone with this.
Also wondering what the up to date painting style is now - joinery the same colour as the walls or has it gone back to white despite the wall colour?

Melissah from Coastal Style said...

Antique White USA is my go to warm white which contrast nicely with the dark timber - as to the joinery that depends on the decorating style, personal taste & the architecture - just do what looks best - there's no real trend you need to follow.

Anonymous said...

Hi Melissa,
We are looking at repainting our home in seed pearl 1/2 strength. What should we paint the skirtings, architraves and ceiling? A few people suggested vivid white but we think its too white. Perhaps 1/4 strength of seed pearl or any other white you would suggest. We like colours to blend. Would love to get your advice.

Melissah from Coastal Style said...

I would go quarter strength seed pearl for a soft blended look with a bit of contrast to lift it. regards Melissah

Anonymous said...

Hi Melissa, I'd appreciate your opinion. My kitchen cabinets are "White on White" gloss and the benchtops are Silestone Blanco Matrix (white with grey fleck, also some small brown specks). Solid Ironbark timber flooring (quite a rich brown/red). The cabinets are obviously cool and the floor warm! Looking for a neutral wall colour to tie it together.. any suggestions? Also as the kitchen cabinets meet the cornice, I'm considering the ceiling and cornices in White on White, as well as trims. Will this be too stark? Should I go 1/4 or 1/2 strength on these? Your thoughts please ... Thanks, Sara (sorry, I have anonymous, but couldn't work it out!)

Anonymous said...

Hi Melissah, sorry I just posted about the White on White, but I should add that cabinets in bathrooms and laundry are mostly chocolate. So, I'm thinking nothing too grey or too creamy.. Whisper, Stowe, China? So many choices! Sara

Melissah from Coastal Style said...

Sorry Sara, but I really need see your space & the light the spaces get in order to pick the right white. I would simply be guessing without seeing the rooms & I would hate to not give the perfect solution.

Anonymous said...

Hi Melissa, we are about to paint our interior walls Antique White USA. What white do you suggest using for the skirtings, door & window frames, dado and dado rail, etc? Would you use a different white, half strength Antique White USA or the same full strength but just in a gloss? I think I would like some definition between the walls and dado, rail and window frames as they are nice features in the house. We are in an old settlers cottages with double sash windows and a nice high stud. Would love your opinion. Thanks Michelle

Melissah from Coastal Style said...

Hi Michelle - I'd go half strength in the gloss - full gloss if you are looking for a traditional look. Semi gloss for a more low key feel. I only just full gloss in period or very formal homes. I hope this helps.

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