Choosing The Perfect Benjamin Moore White Paint

Today I want to share my story about how I chose the perfect shade of Benjamin Moore White paint for my home. The color I ended up choosing is Benjamin Moore’s White Dove and Simply White. Here is my story.

Choosing The Perfect Benjamin Moore White Paint

Choosing The Perfect Benjamin Moore White Paint

Benjamin Moore White Paint popular colors

We are currently in the process of renovating our new home which needs a lot of work. I love its layout and location but it needs a lot of work so I’ll be documenting the progress of my first big home improvement project- my findings, experiences, bloopers, and tips. So, stick around for a little dose of interior design.

My Favorite White Paint For Walls

Before I begin, some of my white wall inspirations…

white wall inspiration by John Kramer and Sons via Houzz
John Kramer and Sons via Houzz
The French Mix Design via Houzz
The French Mix Design via Houzz
Burdge and Associates white wall
Source: Burdge and Associates

I’ve had beige walls, taupe walls, and recently, gray walls but I think I’m finally ready to experiment with various shades of white. Every home inspiration I’m pinning these days has white walls so despite my trepidation of possibly making the wrong choice, I’m going to be courageous and go for it. I’ll be using white throughout the entire home including bathrooms and the kitchen cabinets. I just know it’s going to make all the other colors in the room(s) pop.

Paint samples from Benjamin Moore
Paint samples from Home Depot & Benjamin Moore

After hours of research, I narrowed down my choices to four colors – my favorite whites. All are from Benjamin Moore because research tells me that it’s worthwhile to use better quality paint than Behr or Valspar (from Home Depot and Lowe’s respectively.)

I used both brands for my sampling process and I found that Benjamin Moore’s colors went on easier with better coverage. The Behr one felt “watered down” compared to Benjamin Moore. I’m no professional but even I was able to tell the difference.

I used both Behr (Home Depot) and Valspar (Lowe’s) for the purpose of my sampling process and found that Benjamin Moore’s colors went on more smoothly with better coverage. The Behr paint felt “watered down” compared to Benjamin Moore.

1. Benjamin Moore Simply White- OC 117

2. Benjamin Moore White Dove- OC-17

3. Benjamin Moore Decorator’s White- PM-3

4. Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace- OC-65

testing white paint colors on wall

Testing colors on an ugly taupe wall

Like many DIY blogs will tell you, whites all “look” like white out of the can but when you actually put them on the wall, they look vastly different with various undertones.

Plus, there are so many variations and undertones in white paint. Just to name a few, you have neutral white, bright white, soft white, warm and cool white, diamond white, true white, pure white, cloud white, and the list goes on and on of these tiny variations. And don’t even get me started on the different types of finish – the glossy, semi-gloss, matte, and so on.

To complicate matters even more, the paint colors all take on various tones in different lighting situations, times of day, and colors of light (i.e. warm light, artificial light, fluorescent light) used in the room.

How To Choose The Perfect White Paint

1) Do try out the colors first using stick paint samples

2) Paint different parts of the house and look at them at different times of the day.

3) Consider the rest of your furniture

4) Consider the overall “feel” and “warmth” of the home

1) Do try out the colors first using samples

2) Paint different parts of the house and look at them during different time of the day.

3) Consider the rest of your furniture

4) Consider the overall “feel” and “warmth” of the home

This is my third time choosing an all-over color for my home (The first time I used light taupe, the second time I used light gray) and I’m learning that the colors that other bloggers and decorators recommend are usually NOT what I end up going with. Instead, I end up using #2 or #3 of my list.

I think this is because every home has its own overall feel and warmth and this should ultimately be the determining factor.

For example, when choosing the right gray, I was certain I wanted Revere Pewter and found that it was too dark for my home. I ended up using Edgecomb Gray which I absolutely love. It turns out that the home I was living in had plenty of warm natural light, which made Pewter Gray look too dark, cold, and dramatic. Read more about it here.

This time, I thought I wanted Decorator’s White but I’m going to choose White Dove instead. I thought I’d like a cooler stark white color better than a warmer creamy white but my eyes keep going back to White Dove on the walls throughout the house. It’s a little more creamy than I originally wanted but it feels just right in this home.

So here is my recap after two days of sampling paint colors and hours of painting, looking, and painting some more.

How To Choose The Perfect White Paint

1. Benjamin Moore Simply White: Warmer true white

Simply White has a similar undertone as White Dove but a tad lighter, meaning truer white. It’s a very pretty white.

2. Benjamin Moore White Dove: Warmer White

White Dove has an elegant warmth to it that I love. It looks totally white out of the can but once it’s on the wall, it takes on a rich creamy feel. In brighter rooms, it looks more true white. In darker rooms, it takes on a light gray or greige undertone. Not as white as Simply White.

3. Benjamin Moore Decorator’s White: Cooler white

I usually prefer cooler colors to warmer colors so I was excited to try this color but it looked almost gray on my walls. It’s muddy and not as complex. To me, it looks more flat than Simply White or White Dove.

4. Benjamin Moore Chantilly White: Cooler True White

Chantilly White is a stark white-based color with little depth in my opinion. Compared to Simply White, it has cooler undertones. I think this is a great color for trim, windows, doors, ceilings as well as modern, minimalist spaces.

I’m actually thinking about using this color for the ceiling, walls, and trim throughout the home for some contrast.

Benjamin Moore’s White Dove

I’m still debating but leaning towards White Dove because it feels warmer and just looks prettier in person. After some experience in choosing paint colors, I find that going with my intuition usually yields the best results. So when in doubt, go with your gut feeling!

When in doubt, go with your intuition!

My only reservation is that it has slightly yellow undertones in some parts of the house (like in the kitchen) but looks really pretty throughout the rest of the house. I don’t want to use various shades of white, but want to find that ONE perfect white that works in different rooms.

More DIY posts to come soon, I hope you find them useful!

Read Part 1 of the home remodeling series

Update 5/2016

I decided on White Dove throughout the home, including the living room, and love the results. It’s a soft warm white paint that reads gray or ivory under different lighting conditions. At times I wish I went a tad lighter (I painted one room in Simply White ) but 99% of the time I’m glad I chose White Dove because white paint is difficult to maintain with children.

(*I don’t know how those Pinterest and Instagram-celebrity moms maintain such crisp, clean white walls with growing children. I find it hard to maintain and I spend more time than most moms cleaning.)

See how White Dove looks today in our dining room.

White Dove paint on our dining room

Are you thinking about greige (Gray + beige) walls? Check out my post about my favorite Benjamin Moore’s Greige colors here.

Join the Conversation

13 thoughts on “Choosing The Perfect Benjamin Moore White Paint

  1. You said your dining room is Dove white. What color is your trim and ceiling? I want to paint my whole basement dove white. Just not sure what to do with my ceiling and trim. Thanks in advance. ?

    1. I used a regular white trim paint (the generic kind without a specific paint color name) and generic ceiling paint. Both colors don’t have a name, the kind you buy in larger cans at any Home Depot or Lowe’s. It makes Dove White pop against the white, dove white looks more off white next to it. I hope it helps! 😉

  2. We are doing our basement in various places with Edgecomb Gray…if there is no natural light, just can LED lighting, do you think it will be darker? In our game room there are two huge windows with barn wood on walls, thinking White Dove in that location and then connected kitchenette (Simply White cabinets with sueded black granite counters) will have more Edgecomb Gray. Our floors are wood and stained provincial (on the dark side), am having trouble picking a carpet color for living/bedroom areas….what are your thoughts on this? Any thoughts would be vastly appreciated.

  3. Great post! Thanks for all you insights on the subtle color differences . We just bought a place that’s dark taupe and lilac, planning a white out!!

  4. I really like white dove but it goes a little grey almost dirty
    I’m thinking g of painting my entire house chantilly lace at least all the doors and trim but tempted to do the entire house
    Do you see any blue in this color

  5. Hi there! planning to repaint our master bathroom white. . There is white marble flooring and a white stand alone tub , and black double sink countertops (no windows) I love warm whites but heard simply white too much of yellow undertones. I guess I lean more towards warm cause more inviting but then a friend said Chantilly Lace on walls may look better. Thoughts?? Which white to choose ?! Thanks!!!!

  6. Thanks for the article. I think you meant Chantilly Lace instead of the Chantilly White you posted. Under bullet point number 4. Thanks for your help with white. I have purchased Simply White and White Dove. I’ll try Chantilly Lace for a brighter white. Good blog.

    4. Chantilly White: Cooler True White
    Chantilly White is stark white with little depth in my opinion. Compared to Simply White, it has cooler undertones. I think this is a great color for trim, windows, doors, ceilings as well as modern, minimalist spaces.

    I’m actually thinking about using this color for trim and ceiling throughout the home for some contrast.

  7. Great Article. We are building a new home and used Dove White throughout. I went back and forth but the decorator used White Dove and really felt it to be a better choice than Simply White. There are lots of whites to choose from.

  8. This was such a great article! We are painting a long narrow hallway which doesn’t get much light. Previously, had a bad combo of Swiss coffee trim and a light gray which basically looks blue. We are thinking of doing one solid color to help the hallway doors blend in. Leaning towards chantilly given it may not have undertones, probably good for a dark hallway? Thoughts?

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