Our Review of Simply White by Benjamin Moore

Pinterest Hidden Image

Few home exterior paint colors are as transformative and as versatile as a crisp, fresh white. It’s part of the reason Benjamin Moore’s Simply White paint was named color of the year in 2016 — and has remained one of the brand’s top sellers ever since. Whether it’s coating your whole house or used sparingly to make details pop, this popular hue can make a statement. Read on for our review of Benjamin Moore’s Simply White to decide if it’s the right color for your home.

Bright white, off-white, warm or cool undertones — there isn’t one “right” white hue. When deciding the perfect color to transform your home’s exterior, turn to our virtual designers at brick&batten. We use our exterior design expertise to generate a customized color palette for your refreshed home exterior design, no confusing paint chips involved.

White Paints: Not So Simple

White seems like a simple color, but white paints are surprisingly complex. White is the most reflective color. That means white surfaces will pick up whatever colors or shades are around them. Imagine how a white room with lots of trees or plants outside takes on a greenish glow. The walls are reflecting the green-filtered light from outside. The same happens with exterior paints. White-painted walls and trim pick up reflections from surrounding paint and landscaping.

The way paints are mixed also affects the final color. The base pigments making up each tint can be warm, cool, or neutral. Whites with warm undertones have a tinge of yellow or red to them, whereas whites with cool undertones create a crisp blue or green look.

Simply White has a very slight yellow undertone, but it is subdued enough to avoid appearing creamy or dingy. That subtle warmth keeps this color from being too stark and cold, especially when paired with brownish grays or natural wood tones. It has a high LRV of 91.7, meaning it is close to bright white and is highly reflective. (Learn why LRV matters when painting your house white.)

Simply White lives up to its name. It gives a distinctly white appearance from far away but has enough warmth to make it distinct. Benjamin Moore describes it as a “clean, crisp, multi-purpose white which is a perennial favorite for trim, ceilings and walls.”

Looking for more popular exterior paint colors? Check out our picks for the best exterior paint colors for your home in 2021.

Simply White Paint Pairings

Simply White’s understated warmth makes it a versatile color that fits almost any design style. It can shine as the main paint color in coastal or farmhouse styles, or it can serve as a sharp accent to darker or more natural shades in craftsmen- or contemporary-style homes. Even when paired with other white paints, Simply White is crisp enough to make exterior details like trim and siding pop. This versatile hue also works well against other whites with more pronounced undertones.

We’ve outlined a few of the best paint colors to pair with Simply White below.

A traditional modern farm house painted in Seapearl with Seahaze shutters and Simply White trim
Before and after of a transitional home painted in Seapearl with Simply White trim and Sea Haze shutters

Seapearl: A Great Gray Alternative

Seapearl by Benjamin Moore, our exterior paint color of the year for 2021, tiptoes the line between white and gray. Its almost green undertones play off of nearby foliage and landscaping. It has just enough color to appear distinctly natural. Use this as a base color with accents of Simply White to make your home’s details stand out.

Before and after of a modern farmhouse painted in Simply White with Sea Haze shutters

Sea Haze: A Favorite Pairing for Shutters

We love using Benjamin Moore’s Sea Haze on shutters when paired with Simply White siding and/or trim. In the example above, our designers went with a monochromatic palette of Simply White for the brick, siding, and trim. This makes the addition of new shutters in Sea Haze truly stand out. In fact, we used Sea Haze on the shutters for the two homes with Seapearl as the base color, above, too!

Before and after of a traditional home given a farmhouse feel, painted in Simply White with Pearl shutters

Pearl: More Saturated Shutters

The traditional home above was given more of a farmhouse feel with Simply White siding and trim and new shutters in Benjamin Moore’s Pearl. This accent color is in the same family as Sea Haze, but is more saturated and leans a bit greener.

Virtual exterior design of a traditional two story home painted Simply White with Winterwood accents

Winterwood: An Elegant Accent

A coat of Simply White paint on the brick of traditional home modernized its feel. However, the elegance of Benjamin Moore’s Winterwood as an accent on the stucco and siding kept the color palette classic.

Before and after of a traditional two story home painted in Simply White with Winterwood accents and Onyx trim

Onyx: A High-Contrast Pairing

The full before-and-after virtual design of the home above shows the home’s high-contrast trim — painted in Onyx by Benjamin Moore — carried through to the dark Clopay garage doors. Onyx accents create an appealing and dramatic high-contrast pairing against a Simply White base paint.

Virtual exterior design of a cedar shake home with trim painted in Simply White

Cedar Shake with Simply White Trim

Painting the trim, columns, and gutters on this traditional home in Simply White provides a nice bright pop against the beautiful cedar shake siding.

Virtual exterior design of a traditional home painted in Swiss Coffee with Simply White trim

Swiss Coffee: A Warm Sip of White

Brew up a warm and inviting look for your home with Swiss Coffee. This creamy white also has a yellow undertone. Its shared base means it plays well with Simply White, but its more intense coloration provides distinct contrast.

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.

Simply White Alternatives

Chantilly Lace: Even Whiter

If Simply White isn’t white enough for you, try Chantilly Lace. This Benjamin Moore paint color is one of the brand’s truest whites. It has a neutral base that is virtually without tints or undertones. That means it is as pure and bright as colors come. Although it might be a little too reflective and bright for an entire home, it can be an eye-catching choice for exterior details.

Virtual exterior design of a rustic modern home painted in Sherwin Williams Alabaster

Alabaster: More Muted & Neutral

Loving the look of Simply White but afraid it will feel too bright on your home? Alabaster by Sherwin Williams may be the choice for you. With an LRV of 82, it’s much less reflective for homes that get a lot of sun. And, while it’s a warm white, its undertones are more creamy and beige than Simply White’s stronger yellow undertones.

Virtual exterior design of a ranch home with a large porch, painted in Simply White

The Bottom Line on Simply White Paint by Benjamin Moore

At brick&batten, Simply White is one of our go-to colors for accents. Simply White by Benjamin Moore always brings a crisp, airy, and clean feel to a home exterior, whether it’s used on an entire exterior wall or if it’s brightening up trim and window details. This color has been a favorite for years, and we don’t anticipate its popularity waning anytime soon.

If you’re ready to tackle your home’s exterior color palette, talk to the virtual design experts at brick&batten. Who knows? Perhaps a splash of Simply White paint will give you the transformation you’ve been looking for. Get started.