Making the decision to paint your walls white is easy enough: you really can’t go wrong with the timeless neutral. But actually selecting the color is another story. With so many shades to choose from, all with unique undertones, tints, and finishes, the choice can be overwhelming. From a crisp true white, like Fresh Kicks, to a creamy off-white, like Timeless, the world of white paint is more nuanced than what meets the eye.
Just ask interior designers who have spent hours sampling, swatching, and comparing the best white paint colors in search of that perfect classic off-white or the flawless, cool white fit for a light-filled penthouse.
For their shortlist of favorites, we tapped nine interior designers for the best white paint colors. Ahead, find the warm, cool, and clean white hues that design pros have actually used in their own projects.
The Best Warm White: Whipped
With a wonderfully warm, delicate feel, it’s not hard to see why Whipped is our best-selling white. For designer and Clare Collective ambassador Hema Persad of Sagrada Studios, it’s a go-to for nearly every surface in the home. “I think Whipped is the perfect white to freshen up. Doors, trim, walls—everything looks better with a new coat of fresh white paint,” she says.
Lauren Ashley, who runs the Texas-based LA Weddings & Interiors, turned to Whipped to create a clean slate in an entryway next to stairs painted in our deep green Current Mood color. “The walls were originally a yellow-ish [color], and I wanted to brighten up them up,” she says of refreshing with Whipped. “It really makes the space look better.”
For Clare Collective ambassadors the Brownstone Boys, Whipped also proved to be the perfect complementary grounding color, this time to our Goodnight Moon in their bedroom. Its subtle warm undertones strike just the right contrasting note next to the cool deep blue, creating a space that feels perfectly in balance.
The Best Cool White: Snow Day
On the cooler side of the white paint color spectrum, Snow Day has proven to be a go-to for many interior designers. Alicia Hassen, founder behind the firm Brooklinteriors, used it to refresh the walls of a Park Slope, Brooklyn condo for a young family with two kids.
“Snow Day single-handedly transformed this drab living-slash-dining room into a bright and airy grand room,” Alicia says. “The cool tones paired perfectly with the design's playful blue color palette, while the touch of warmth added depth and helped create an inviting, comfortable space.”
Our CEO Nicole agrees with Alicia on Snow Day’s welcoming vibes and the fact that it’s a perfect companion to so many other colors. “If you love tone-on-tone textures or colorful furniture and home accessories, this is the perfect white paint to provide a clean backdrop that’s full of opportunity,” she says. “This cool-toned white is crisp and bright, but also inviting and oh-so versatile.”
Celebrity designer Tali Roth has used Clare whites in multiple projects, and turned to Snow Day to refresh a children’s bathroom inside a Chelsea, NYC project. The cool color creates a clean, chic backdrop to the light shades, modern finishes and rich textures in the space.
The Best Off-White: Timeless
When it comes to our creamy off-white, designer, author and Clare Collective ambassador Orlando Soria said it best: “I love Timeless, which is a little more subtle but feels soft like cashmere. It's just a really comforting color.”
He played up this sense of comfort in his Los Angeles guest room, using Timeless on the walls and bringing color in with our pale pink Wing It on the ceiling. It’s an unconventional (and totally stylish!) approach that feels perfectly balanced, in part because of Timeless’s approachable, grounding appeal.
For Fariha Nasir, the DIY expert and designer behind Pennies for a Fortune, Timeless is a go-to white paint color for adding warmth to modern, neutral spaces. “I chose Timeless for this bedroom for its creamy undertones,” she says. “Using a warm white is a great way to make a minimalist room feel cozy. When decorating with white, I like to mix in different tones for a layered look. For example, mixing
The Best Gray-White: Penthouse
"Penthouse is a lovely neutral, soft greige that can serve as the perfect backdrop for any design. I used Penthouse in my bathroom to beautifully complement the brass fixtures and darker shower tile. It added the perfect touch of color to my walls that I was looking for without being too overpowering." —Sachi Lord, founder of Sachi Lord Design
The Best Beige-White: Classic
“Classic is truly one of my favorite white paint colors. It’s bright enough to lighten up a space, but warm enough to add depth. It’s timeless and works well with cooler and warmer palettes and accents. I’ve actually used Classic in two more rooms in our new house after painting the walls and trim in this guest bedroom!” —Emily Starr Alfano, founder of MStarr Design
The Best True White: Fresh Kicks
When it comes to a true white with no undertones, Fresh Kicks is as good as it gets. According to Tricia Hassenfeld of Hell Yes Interiors, who used the modern shade to brighten up the walls and trim of a 1949 bungalow, “Fresh Kicks was a no-brainer,” she says. “It's incredible how this true white freshened up the architectural details, baseboards and walls. Especially in an older, smaller space, this paint is like taking a really deep breath.”
Fresh Kicks further provided a blank canvas for the living area she used it in, which is filled with bright colors and patterns and opens up into multiple other spaces within the home. “Our goal was to wake everything up and let the decor do the talking. I've learned as a designer that even if you love and crave a colorful environment, sometimes you need white walls,” Tricia says. “It helps bridge the way between textures and patterns and gives the eye a place to rest. That's why I love using Fresh Kicks. It works so well with all the colors involved and lets them shine.”
Clare founder and CEO Nicole Gibbons, who too is an interior designer, also counts the shade as one of her go-to white paint colors. “If your style is a little bit country or a little bit modern, this megawatt white will brighten and open up even the smallest room,” she says.