Feb 20, 2013

the RIGHT white.

of all the paint choices to make, the most critical one is the exterior paint color. commiting to a color, means dozens of gallons of paint and thousands of dollars of labor. translation? you get it wrong, and it it going to be very, very expensive to fix. 

like i mentioned in this post, i will be painting the exterior of my house white. while that certainly narrows down my search a bit, it in no way makes it an easy one. 

i want a warm white that is slightly creamy.
but not too creamy.
a white that is soft and a little crisp at the same time. 
but not too crisp.
a white that will look great with the grey tones of the stone on the bottom of the house, and also isn't too stark to blend in with the surrounding houses.

after looking on houzz, doing a little googling, and staring at my paint deck, 
i started the sampling with 5 colors:

**i always, always tell my clients to test the colors that they are considering for the outside of their house OUTSIDE. the direct, unfiltered light can dramatically change the way colors look! a color that looks soft and neutral inside may look washed out and green outside. it is absolutely essential that you paint a swatch of the color(s) you are considering and leave them up for a few days. you NEED to see the colors in different times as well....midday, morning, evening....the colors will shift and you may "see" that the white you thought might be perfect inside the house starts to look PINK at midday. (see below)

my thoughts so far:

cedar key wasn't one of the samples i went to the store to get. the paint 
guy accidentally mixed it up, and so i decided to try it out. it is a pretty color, but much darker than what i want.


i LOVE the ballet white. it is a true "neutral" white. while if may look really dingy next to the snow, i am pretty confident that it will look crisp yet soft. it is my favorite so far, and once the siding is up, i am going to test it out (along with one more color) on a much larger swatch. 

#3. maritime white.
i painted the samples inside the house, and originally liked maritime white the best. but as soon as i took the samples outside, i noticed it has some slight pink undertones. i think the undertones will be even more noticeable next to the very grey tones of the stone base.

baby fawn is another really nice color. it is almost the same color as the dry wall that i applied the samples on, so it gets a little "lost"...but i think it is a nice option. i think it might look great with the stone.

creamy white is just that. creamy and warm and really beautiful. however, in this hunt for the right white, the cream white is just a little too warm for what i am dreaming of.

here are the samples at different time of the day....

i asked my stone mason his opinion, and he was stumped. i think they all looked the same to him.
what are your thoughts?

once i get the siding on, i will select two colors and get a large sample up, and then i will be asking for some more opinions!


  1. I second ballet. We do have a "cream" house a town over from where I live. It has black shutters. It's GORGEOUS!

  2. agreed so far! the ballet white is the front runner.

  3. I thought Ballet until I put it on the samples on all the sides of my southwest facing house and Whoa it was way too WHITE if there ever is such a thing... I ultimately painted the house Maritime White and couldn't be happier!! I used Simply White- oc-117 for the trim and it's a great contrast.
    Here's the link to the my painting process, befores and afters.

  4. I like either Ballet White or Baby Fawn!

  5. The Ballet White looked a little peachy in the first pics on my screen, but in the subsequent photos it definiteIy looks like a creamy nice white. I actually like the Baby Fawn. It looks like it has a bit of gray, which might look really nice next to the stone you chose & it would still look really white with the mountain behind it!

  6. Toss up between Ballet White or Baby Fawn.

    Color blindness aside, studies have shown women do see colors differently than men. To your mason, there might not be enough difference for him to see. Ask a woman.

  7. I'm liking the Baby Fawn - it has a grey quality to it that feels good to me. Second favorite if the ballet white. The cedar and maritime both have a pinky vibe going. Do love that you are looking at these at all times of the day. That is ultra important and a great tip to remember! M.

  8. I second the vote for Baby Fawn, and then Ballet White as a second choice. I'm feeling Ballet White is a little too stark.
    I'm struggling with choosing our interior white and I'm deciding between BM White Dove and BM Cloud White (boring, I know!). I'm in Ontario, Canada and we've been completely covered with snow so I find myself wishing it would melt so I can see what they will look like with the greens and browns from outside reflecting on the walls. It can change the look so much! From what I understand, colours will also look different depending on how north or south you are so your colours in Utah would look so much different in Ontario. All that to say, it's SO site specific! Looking forward to seeing the larger samples and to seeing your final choice.

  9. The exterior of our home is white. I love it - except when it snows - it looks SO yuck. Thank goodness snow doesn't come around much or stick around long where we live or I think I'd strongly consider repainting.