Perhaps surprisingly, white can be a tricky paint color to pick for your home’s exterior. The undertones vary significantly and can be hard to see on a swatch. Plus, different elements in your exterior like a brick driveway, lots of shade, or stone can alter how the white is perceived. Instead of spending a lot of money on the wrong color, let our brick&batten designers show you their top warm white paint colors for 2021.
If you’re intimidated by choosing the right warm white paint color for your home’s exterior, our incredible designers at brick&batten can help you find the best option for your home based on its features, location, and style. Learn more about our exterior design services.
General Rules for Warm White Paint Colors
When choosing a warm white, at brick&batten we look for colors with an LRV of less than 85. Anything higher than 85 will appear bright and can be too harsh on some exterior applications, especially those that get plenty of direct sunlight. Different house textures will also affect how the white is perceived. For example, stucco or cedar shake will create more shadows and a darker look. Accents like a black driveway or copper gutters will also pull out different undertones.
These best warm white paint colors will work in most environments, but we also offer some tips about undertones and light reflectiveness to help you make the best choice.
#1 // Swiss Coffee by Benjamin Moore
This sophisticated warm white has an LRV of 83.93, making it fairly bright for having beige undertones. Swiss Coffee lives up to its name by giving off a creamy and warm vibe — like your favorite latte. It has warm undertones, making it perfect for natural elements like terra cotta pots, chocolatey wood accents, or a clay tile roof.
Swiss Coffee does have a bit of a yellow undertone to it, making it golden hour every hour, but it’s something to consider if you prefer something a bit more crisp. If you have more true, bright white accents that you will not be changing (like gutters), it could make this warm white appear dingy. In that case, it would be best to look at some of the other options below.
#2 // Shoji White by Sherwin Williams
Shoji White by Sherwin Williams is a beautiful warm white that runs a little yellow and beige, depending on the lighting. With an LRV of 74, it’s a great shade for a house that sits in bright sunlight most of the day, as it won’t be too blinding. It’s one of the few warm white colors that pair well with pure white, so if you have white gutters or accents in your home that you don’t plan on changing, this is the color for you. It also works well with deep hunter greens, grays, and neutral stone. Plus, Shoji White is becoming a pretty popular color with our designers.
#3 // White Dove by Benjamin Moore
White Dove by Benjamin Moore is the quintessential white — it’s peaceful and calming, as its name implies. It’s light and luminous at an 85.83 LRV (the highest on the list!), making it a great choice for window and door frames. As such, you don’t have to worry as much about what colors it pairs best with or what style of home showcases White Dove best. Pretty much anything goes — from Mediterranean to farmhouse to midcentury modern. You really can’t go wrong with this warm white paint color.
#4 // Alabaster by Sherwin Williams
There’s no wonder Alabaster by Sherwin Williams is one of the top choices for exterior design. It’s been featured on many top lists over the years, including a few of our own. It’s a timeless warm white paint color suitable for your modern farmhouse or traditional-style home. It comes off as slightly creamy, but not yellow, with an LRV of 82. If you’re looking for more contrast, Alabaster pairs well with black and dark gray accents as well as copper. For a monochromatic look, try mixing textures like white stone or lightly stained wood.
#5 // Dover White by Sherwin Williams
Dover White by Sherwin Williams is a great option for a whole house or accents, depending on the style and look you’re going for. At an LRV of 83, it gives off a calming, relaxing vibe. This is why interior designers often use it for nurseries and kids’ bedrooms. It’s also one of the few warm whites that actually pairs well with cool blues and blue-grays for an interesting contrast. We love using Dover White on brick and other exterior textures.
We always recommend sampling and testing paint colors before committing. Factors such as natural lighting, undertones, and your property’s fixed elements will have a significant impact on how a color will appear on your exterior. Our friends at Samplize offer extra-large 9 x 14.75 inch peel-and-stick paint samples of the colors we love for exteriors. Order your ‘Real Paint, No Mess’ samples from Samplize here.
#6 // Seapearl by Benjamin Moore
There’s a reason Seapearl by Benjamin Moore was named our paint color of the year for 2021. Our designers turn to this paint color time and time again for a wide variety of styles and applications. With an LRV of just under 78, it looks best on homes with little to no shade. We love using Seapearl on painted brick homes with light green and gray accents, but it works well in other applications, too, such as on modern mountain or colonial-style homes.
The Bottom Line on Warm White Paint Colors
There are so many warm white paint colors that making a choice can be difficult. That’s why we compiled this list of our favorite warm whites that we reach for over and over again. These recommended paints work well on almost any exterior application. Whether you’re refreshing your trim or painting your whole house, we recommend starting with these 6 warm whites.
Don’t forget to paint a large sample swatch on your home before you commit. Shade and sunlight at different times of day can really change how the paint looks on your individual home, so try it out first!
Still not sure which warm white to choose? Our designers at brick&batten can help you by creating a digital rendering of your home’s exterior complete with a clickable shopping list. Learn more about our virtual exterior design services, and get started on making your exterior dreams a reality!
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