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10 Easy Pieces: Architects’ White Paint Picks

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10 Easy Pieces: Architects’ White Paint Picks

December 19, 2018

Not all white paint shades are created equal. And a number of factors come into play when deciding on the perfect white: the region (Northwest? East Coast? Southern California?), the quality of the natural light, window placement, room size, ceiling height, and more.

That said, every architect has a favorite all-purpose, works-anywhere shade of white. We consulted a selection of architects from the Remodelista Architect/Designer Directory for their go-to white paint picks.

Photography by Mel Walbridge for Remodelista.

The top choice for an all-purpose white is Benjamin Moore&#8
Above: The top choice for an all-purpose white is Benjamin Moore’s White Dove. 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 fan of White Dove.
For woodwork, molding, and cabinetry, Hope Dana of Platt Dana Architects in New York likes Farrow & Ball&#8
Above: For woodwork, molding, and cabinetry, Hope Dana of Platt Dana Architects in New York likes Farrow & Ball’s All White (in an enamel oil-base high gloss). Sample pots are available for $8 at Farrow & Ball.
Jim Poteet of Poteet Architects in San Antonio, Texas, says, &#8
Above: Jim Poteet of Poteet Architects in San Antonio, Texas, says, “Our favorite is Pittsburgh Paints 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.”
Brooklyn-based Delson or Sherman Architects favors Benjamin Moore&#8
Above: Brooklyn-based Delson or Sherman Architects favors Benjamin Moore’s low- and no-VOC paints in either Decorator’s White or Super White. “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.”
The go-to white paint for Brooklyn-based architect Clay Miller of Bergen Street Studio is Farrow & Ball&#8
Above: The go-to white paint for Brooklyn-based architect Clay Miller of Bergen Street Studio is Farrow & Ball’s White Tie—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.
Dana of Platt Dana Architects favors a mix of half Benjamin Moore Linen White and half Benjamin Moore Decorator&#8
Above: Dana of Platt Dana Architects favors a mix of half Benjamin Moore Linen White and half Benjamin Moore Decorator’s White for walls, which creates a “warm and consistent color whether it is in shade or sun.”
Bay Area architect Ken Linsteadt&#8
Above: Bay Area architect Ken Linsteadt’s “patented favorite” is Benjamin Moore White Chocolate.
A favorite white for Michielli & Wyetzner Architects in New York is Benjamin Moore Atrium White. &#8
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.
Pulltab prefers Fine Paints of Europe in Pantone Bright White (Fine Paints of Europe can specify any Pantone shade); the firm also likes Benjamin Moore Snowfall White.
Above: Pulltab prefers Fine Paints of Europe in Pantone Bright White (Fine Paints of Europe can specify any Pantone shade); the firm also likes Benjamin Moore Snowfall White.
Lewis Butler of Butler Armsden Architects nominated Benjamin Moore&#8
Above: Lewis Butler of Butler Armsden Architects nominated Benjamin Moore’s Chantilly Lace: “It’s a terrible name, but the best white out there,” he says. The firm used it on the walls of its new San Francisco offices.

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

For more stories on white paint, see:

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