ISSUE 63  |  Do-It-Yourself

10 Easy Pieces: Architect’s White Paint Picks

March 13, 2013 9:30 AM

BY Janet Hall

Not all white paint shades are created equal. A number of factors come into play when deciding on the perfect white: the region (Northwest? East Coast? Los Angeles?), the quality of the natural light, the window placement, the size of the room and the height of the ceiling. We consulted a selection of architects from the Remodelista Architect/Designer Directory for their go-to white paint picks.

Above: The top choice for an all-purpose white is Benjamin Moore's White Dove (OC-17). San Francisco-based Cary Bernstein calls low-VOC White Dove a "foolproof, livable shade of white." According to John DeForest of DeForest Architects in Seattle, "White Dove is clean and calm, a great backdrop for art." Celeste Robbins of Robbins Architecture in Winnetka, Illinois, is another proponent of Benjamin Moore's White Dove.

Above: The go-to white paint for Brooklyn-based architect Clay Miller of Bergen Street Studio is Farrow & Ball's White Tie (No. 2002)—a warm. neutral white ("the white of old, pre-brightened, starched cotton," as the company says). Sample pots are available for $7.50 at Farrow & Ball.

Above: Jim Poteet of Poteet Architects in San Antonio, Texas, says, "Our favorite is Pittsburgh 520-1 Gypsum. It has a tiny amount of gray and a warmth to it that moves it away from pure white. We primarily use eggshell finish on walls and prefer that they be sprayed for a smooth, hard finish."

Above: Malibu-based architect Bruce Bolander uses Dunn Edwards White (DEW 380). "It hits the gallery white pretty well, not too warm or too cool," he says (the white paint is available in Dunn Edwards' low-VOC paint line, Enso). Photo via Eco Building Pulse.

Above: Brooklyn-based Delson or Sherman Architects favor Benjamin Moore's low- and no-VOC paints in either Super White (L, photo via House Beautiful) or Decorators White (R). "Because color is so dependent on context, we always select colors based on the material palette and lighting in each room; the relative amount of gray or yellow is critical. We avoid pink-tinted whites."

Above: For woodwork, molding, and cabinetry, Dana likes Farrow & Ball's All White (in an enamel oil-base high gloss). Sample pots are available for $7.50 at Farrow & Ball.

Above: Hope Dana of Platt Dana Architects in New York favors a mix of half Benjamin Moore Linen White (R) and half Benjamin Moore Decorators White (L) for walls, which creates a "warm and consistent color whether it is in shade or sun."

Above: Bay Area architect Ken Linsteadt's "patented favorite" is Benjamin Moore's White Chocolate (2149-70).

Above: A favorite white for Michielli+Wyetzner Architects in New York is Benjamin Moore Atrium White. "We like it because it has a warm, almost reddish tone, as opposed to most whites, which we find either too blue, too icy, or too yellow," Michael Wyetzner says.

Above: Pulltab A+D prefers Fine Paints of Europe in Pantone Bright White (Fine Paints of Europe can specify any Pantone shade); the firm also likes Benjamin Moore's Snowfall White.

For more white paint ideas and inspiration, see "5 Quick Fixes: White Paint Solutions."

N.B.: This post is an update, the original story ran on April 20, 2011.