If you have wood trim and baseboards, then chances are you’ve considered painting them white for an updated look. You might be wondering, what are the best white paint colors for trim and doors? Below are my 6 favorites that are tried and true:
White Dove Benjamin Moore
Simply White Benjamin Moore
Decorator’s White Benjamin Moore
Pure White Sherwin Williams
Alabaster Sherwin Williams
Deciding which white is best for you depends on a couple factors:
Lighting in your home
Existing wall color
We will get to that a little later.
There are literally hundreds of white paints in the marketplace. You can swatch 10 colors on the wall and they will all look just about the same. So how does one ever choose?
Today I will share the trim paint colors I use as a designer and how to decide which white paint is the best color for you, along with the best paint brush and tools too.
White paint colors are the trickiest color because it’s highly reflective and it picks up colors from its surroundings. You have to consider your wall color, floor color, ceiling color or it could take on bizarre undertones that we did not expect and that we cannot control.
I’ve seen it time and time again, white painted trim suddenly looks blue in some lights. Or a creamy white that looked nice and warm in the can turns gross beige.
We have sunny days and sometimes we have cloudy days. Not to mention sunlight hits different in a single room every hour of the day. You would spend hours and hours trying to swatch allllll white paint colors, looking at them every single hour to check for ugly undertones and nobody’s got time for that.
Rather than sifting through all the paint decks looking for the perfect white, only to feel more confused as ever, I have narrowed it down to 6 tried and true white paints that are the best color for your trim and baseboards, generally speaking.
No matter what room or style or project I’m working on, one of these 6 white paints will likely be the winner.
With that said, always always always test your paint color first before committing!
Here are a few more general paint rules I like to follow:
Paint Color Tips:
Paint your ceilings the same color as your wall color but in a flat finish. Your ceiling is on a different plane than the wall it will pick up a totally different look.
If you’re doing white kitchen cabinets, paint your baseboards and casing the same color.
If you have lots of millwork, it’s beautiful to paint the moulding, walls, and trim all the same color.
Again, this isn’t a must but rather general guidelines.
6 Best White Paint Colors for Trim & Doors
White Dove Benjamin Moore – A truly universal color. It’s a white with a touch of cream and a hint of gray so its ever so lightly warm. Here you can see it in Julie Blanner’s bathroom.
2. Simply White Benjamin Moore – It’s not a true white, but in a home with lots of natural light it looks bright and crisp. It’s a great option for those who want an almost true white look who have an abundance of natural light. Below is an example of kitchen cabinets and trim painted Simply White by Studio McGee.
3. Decorator’s White Benjamin Moore – A slightly cool-toned white that works great in homes without a lot of natural light throughout the house consistently (most homes). It’s a beautiful bright white without being too bright and lightens up rooms that are lacking in natural light. Kitchen cabinets and trim are painted Decorator’s White by Z Design at Home.
4. Pure White Sherwin Williams – A nice clean white without harsh undertones that isn’t too stark. It’s very similar to Benjamin Moore’s Decorator’s white in that they both have a hint of gray. This is the color we have in my current home on all the trim and I love it because it looks white and bright without being too cold. The kitchen cabinets are painted Pure White from Kylie M Interiors.
5. Alabaster Sherwin Williams – A creamier, warmer white but without going beige or peachy. This is a great option if you don’t want a white and want a softer look with a neutral undertone. The walls are painted Alabaster in the picture below from The Harper House.
6. Extra White Sherwin Williams – The whitest white of them all, this is a bright crisp white. It doesn’t read blue, but it will certainly feel bright and may feel a tad cold for North facing rooms. The walls are painted extra white in this kitchen from Home Bunch.
What type of paint sheen is best?
The more sheen, the more durable the paint, so typically semi-gloss is most commonly used for trim. However, in my personal home, I opted for satin because I don’t like the shiny look and I don’t have a problem cleaning it and it has held up well. A satin finish hides imperfections much better than a semi-gloss as well, and for our trim that was for an older home that needed nail holes filled, it hides so much better.
My # favorite color is Pure White of course because that’s what I used in my own home but it truly depends on your preference and the other colors in your home!
Sherwin Williams sells quarts of paint and I always buy a quart and test the color before I buy the full gallon. You can even order 8.5×11” sheets of paint samples that peel and stick to your wall. How easy is that?!
Must-Have Painting Tools:
We have painted every single wall and all window and base trim in two houses that we’ve owned, so over the years I’ve figured out the best paint tools that not only give a more professional finish, but will save you HOURS. And when you’re doing the painting, it’s all about saving time! Having the right tools makes all the difference, seriously.
Paint Brushes – My #1 must-have and the best paint brush on the market. They hold plenty of paint, get you best edge when trimming, and will save you so much frustration because they are just easier to work with. Do not go cheap on paint brushes! I won’t paint with any other brush. Worth the $19 on Amazon.
Painter’s Tape – Taping off gives you a much cleaner line and saves you major headache.
Drop Cloths – Obviously important so you aren’t making a mess of your floors. Having plenty is easier so you aren’t constantly moving tarps.
Wire Brush for Cleaning – This wire brush is ESSENTIAL to clean your brush after each use. You know how bristles get dried paint stuck on and it’s impossible to get it off? This brush will do just that! When you’re spending a little more on a paint brush, this wire brush will make your brushes last for years.
Sanding Block – Great for roughing up your baseboard or trim before painting so your paint adheres better. I like the blocks better than sand paper because they are easier to use and hang on to.