Picking a white exterior paint color proved to be quite the task. I knew what I wanted it to look like in my head, but finding the perfect color was tricky.
My last house was bright white, which I didn't mind, but there wasn't quite as much of it... and I will say it was BRIGHT WHITE! (post here on how we painted our last house by ourselves)
I didn't want to go bright white again so I did some research on what colors people were using on their homes and then I ordered samples. I first got 6 colors, which I know sounds like a lot, but undertones can vary when they are up on display.
Much to my dismay, I didn't like the undertone or color of any of them. I realized putting a white-white paint was much too white for my house, as there is going to be A LOT of it due to size. I also didn't like colors with yellow undertones when the sun hit the house.
White Exterior Paint Samples
- Pure White by Sherwin Williams - very white
- Snowbound by Sherwin Williams- very white with a pink undertone
- Eider White by Sherwin Williams- purple undertone
- Alabaster by Sherwin Williams- yellow undertone
- Greek Villa by Sherwin Williams- yellow undertone
- White Dove by Benjamin Moore- yellow undertone
Since I didn't like the first 6 colors I decided to get 4 more. The key was getting more cream tones to create the warm look I was going for.
Next batch -
- Duck White by Sherwin Williams - pulled a little pink
- Pearly White by Sherwin Williams- my second choice
- Ivory Lace by Sherwin Williams- a little creamier than I wanted
- Oyster White by Sherwin Williams- the color I picked
Test in different lighting
After I narrowed it down to my 2 favorites I put paint swatches on a few places on my house. I checked them at different times of the day. Different lighting throughout the day can make paint pull different colors. The last thing I wanted was a white that pulled pink house at night.
I found a few houses with these paint colors as well, check them out below.
Duck White - Plank and Pillow
Oyster White - Jenna Sue (the color I picked)
Oyster White - TX Sized Home
Alabaster - Source
Key Points for Picking an Exterior Paint Color
- Minimal Selection - I recommend minimizing your selection down to only a few white exterior paint colors if possible.
- Paint Swatches All Around - Paint a small section (at least 2 coats or however many will be painted) on numerous sides of your house to see the coloring at every angle.
- Look at Lighting - Again, look at the coloring from every angle and especially at different times of day for lighting purposes. Lighting can drastically change your paint undertones with the bright sun versus a setting sun.
- Go Neutral - I've said it before and I'll say it again. A neutral color tone in natural shades of brown, white, gray or sometimes even blue, are the way to go if you are going to be happy with your exterior long term. Neutral coloring is much easier to work around with decorating and accents.
- Samples - These are your best ally to avoid spending thousands of dollars on a paint job gone wrong or for a color you hate. Do it right the first time with no regrets!
How my Oyster White Exterior Paint by Sherwin Williams turned out
I couldn't be happier with the white paint I picked. It isn't a stark white so it helps to hide the dirty. But it isn't too creamy either. I haven't found that if pulls a funny color either. I would paint my house this color again!
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