tried and true paint colors: white edition

By far the question I get asked the most on Instagram, on my blog, and by clients, is “what color white did you use on your walls and trim?!”  And not just my home, but my parents home as well.  I thought I’d take a moment and go through the white choices and the finishes for The Little Glass House, the Little White Beach Bungalow, and my parents Vermont farmhouse, which still remains nameless!

In the Little Glass House, the walls are Benjamin Moore White Dove in flat and the trim and wood ceiling is White Dove in semi-gloss. Be sure to use the Regal line of Benjamin Moore paint. More on that later.

Favorite White Paint Colors
A whole lot of Benjamin Moore White Dove on walls, trim, and ceiling

The kitchen cabinets are painted with Fine Paints of Europe Eco Satin paint mixed to match White Dove.  The paint is more expensive but lasts so much longer than anything else I have ever tried.  I used it on my kitchen cabinets in my previous home in CT and they still looked like new ten years later!  Worth every penny!

Favorite White Paint Colors
Love the Fine Paints of Europe line for painting cabinets!

The bedroom was painted Benjamin Moore November Rain several years ago, but when I did the bathroom reno, I had it painted in White Dove and love how bright and fresh it feels!

Favorite White Paint Colors
White is here to stay in the bedroom.

The wood plank walls in the bathroom are also Benjamin Moore White Dove (do you see a pattern here?) but in an eggshell finish.

Favorite White Paint Colors
Walls are in an eggshell finish while the ceiling is semi-gloss. All in Benjamin Moore White Dove

The outside of the house is painted in Benjamin Moore Brilliant White on stucco and trim.

Favorite White Paint Colors
More white paint on the outside!

I mentioned above to be sure to use the Regal line of Benjamin Moore paint and here’s why:  Painters tend to use the EcoSpec line which is what builders often use as well.  It is less expensive but doesn’t cover as well and the finish is very different!  For the Little White Beach Bungalow, our vintage home in Connecticut, the interior was to be painted in Benjamin Moore White Dove (Regal!) in an eggshell finish. Imagine my shock when I arrived from the West Coast to see the entire interior of the house was shiny and the coverage was awful.  The painters used the EcoSpec line which has a completely different finish. This has happened to me twice with two different painters even after I had given detailed instructions to use the Regal.  Moral of this story, be there when the painters start! I ended up leaving the shiny finish on the low ceilings which bounced more light into the room, but had them repaint all the walls.

Favorite White Paint Colors
In this photo you can see the sheen on the ceiling. Imagine all the walls that shiny! It was blinding!
Favorite White Paint Colors
The white feels fresh and clean. Chloe approves!
Favorite White Paint Colors
The exterior is all Benjamin Moore Brilliant White.

I get asked about my parents Vermont farmhouse white colors as often as I do my own homes!  The exterior is Benjamin Moore Brilliant White.

Favorite White Paint Colors
All of our collective homes are Benjamin Moore Brilliant White on the outside.

My mom actually prefers Benjamin Moore Super White in her homes.  The walls are in a flat finish, the trim is semi-gloss, and the ceiling planks are done in eggshell.

Favorite White Paint Colors
The house still feels warm with the abundance of natural light and all the wood tones.
Favorite White Paint Colors
While I love a semi-gloss finish on our wood ceilings, my mom prefers an eggshell finish.

And there you have it!  I have tried other whites but always seem to come back to BM White Dove. I love that it is warm without reading off-white, and doesn’t have that clinical feel that some whites have.  If it ain’t broke… 😉

11 thoughts on “tried and true paint colors: white edition

  1. Hi! So you have totally debunked the theory that walls should be painted with eggshell. I just bought a gallon of paint for my sons room in eggshell. But of course my trim is semi gloss white cloud. I thought the flat paint would look dull. Now the big decision is my living room which has a high ceiling and I guess you’re going to say use flat right? Help Beth


    • So here’s the deal. There really are no rules. These are just my personal preferences. I like flat on the walls with the exception of the kitchen (unless it’s open concept like mine) and bathroom. For trim I always use semi gloss. If your walls aren’t really smooth anything shiny will only magnify the problem.
      As far as ceilings go, my parents did eggshell on their wood ceiling and I did semi-gloss on mine. If your ceilings are in good condition you can do either flat or eggshell. A little sheen will reflect light. I have done both. 🙂 Hope that helped. Call me if you have any other questions!


  2. Wonderful post, Elizabeth! Thank you so much for sharing you favorites. I’ve never used BM White Dove in my own home but now I’m inspired to!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post! I’m about to paint our CT
    kitchen, entry hallway and upstairs hallway in BM White Dove.
    Super helpful tip on the Regal line.
    Still confused though on finish and want to be very specific with my painter – would you use eggshell or flat for the walls? Assuming semi-gloss for trim? And should trim be oil based?
    Lastly – do you feel it looks best when both walls and trim are White Dove (as opposed to let’s say Decorators White on trim)? What color white on ceiling?


    • Hi Jessica
      I use flat on the walls although in kitchen and bathrooms eggshell can be used. I use semi-gloss on the trim in latex. I no longer use oil based paints which tend to yellow over time. I use White Dove on both walls and trim as Decorators White can take on a bluish cast when next to White Dove. I also use it on the ceiling. If the ceilings are low, I use an eggshell finish. The bit of sheen helps to bounce a bit more light into the room!
      Happy painting! Best, Elizabeth


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