• Melinda Rowe BA Hons MDIA

White Is Not White !!

Updated: Jun 3

5 Tips For Choosing Your Paint



White is definitely not White which anyone who has casually decided to paint their walls ‘white’, and then turned up at a Paint shop to buy a couple of litres or pick up a sample pot, or attend a design studio appointment to select paint colours, would have realised pretty quickly, white is definitely not white !!

White is white with a blue tinge, a black undertone, a yellowish illumination, a rosy addition, is cold, is warm, is neutral, or potentially bridging, and the list goes on …

Not only that, the white in your home is going to look slightly different from when you viewed it in the retail environment / design office due to the lighting and other reflected colours in both environments … but don’t stress, it really is simply an educated guess at the end of the day, with all the factors taken into consideration.

Are a few of you still panicking ? … Here are a few tips to get you over the line.



How to choose White or White?

1. Gather a handful of the white paint sample cards that you are immediately drawn too.

2. Move away from the other colours and fan out your five (5) or six (6) selections.

3. Clock the warm whites, the cooler whites, the yellower, pinker, and blue/black whites …

4. Look at the samples under various light conditions. Both natural and artificial, full exposure and when in shadow.

5. Remove the whites that you can now clearly see are not what you are after … and choose from the two (2) or so you have left (at this point you cannot really go wrong, believe me), and as you have determined the overall tone/shade of white you feel will suit your space, at this point, the one on the left or right will not make a big difference.

Various shades of white have always been favoured by designers and architects … white adds a desired luminescence in the space, is unimposing, highlights form, provides a neutral backdrop to contrast colours, textures, artwork, etc. Just keep in mind whether it’s a warm/cozy, cool, or neutral feel that would suit the purpose of the space.


Couple of extra Tips –


  • Ask about coverage of the white paint you have selected, there are some popular colours out there that no one tells you take at least four (4) coats before you can’t see the plaster work underneath !! … ie. unnecessary work and cost to achieve a high standard finish.


  • Trust you initial selection – sample pots are really not required, just decent sized paint sample cards, which most big companies will post to you for a nominal fee if the standard 6mm x 10mm is not working for you. At the end of the day the truth is, to everybody else that enters your space white will actually just look like white – it is not worth losing sleep over.

This same process can be applied to all paint colour selections – pick six (6) greys, (6) greens, six (6) blues …

  • Remove your least favourite first (it is just as important to know what you don’t resonate with) …

  • Select from the remaining two (2) or three (3) colours once observed under different lighting conditions (that is probably the No.1 Tip), and if you have furniture, fittings, flooring, for example, colour match to those items as part of the process.


Colours follow Fashion

To Note: Colours follow global trends … Forecasters set the Palette from some little office space on the planet, and like everything else colours selected appear and reappear in a cyclical rhythm. Many factors dictate what will be on point year to year, global powers then circulating the nominated colour forecast which is utilized by clothing designers, furniture designers, homeware designers, paint companies, car companies, and the list goes on all enforcing the directed colour palette of the season. It is important to understand where this information is coming from and make your selections based on your experience, your flavor, your inspiration, and trusting that within you, you always knew the colour you were going to select, we usually just complicate the process …

… so have fun, it’s just paint !!

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© 2018 by Melinda Rowe