The Perfect White Paint ((Benjamin Moore Cloud White) and One To Absolutely Avoid

Sunday, October 26, 2014

I'm so sorry to those of you who received an incomplete draft of this post at 3:00 EST today - I published by accident and hadn't even proofread. So embarrassing. Here it is updated and complete.

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One of the questions that I am most frequently asked is what color white paint should I use? And it is a good question because there are hundreds and hundreds of them out there. I have tried so many of them and have really only fallen in love with one of them – Benjamin Moore's Cloud White. And I really only absolutely hate one of them too – Benjamin Moore's Decorators White.  Our builder used decorators white on all of the trim and cabinets in our house. It is so stark and so gray and so cold that I actually took the time to paint all of it plowed white when we moved in. I'm so glad I did – it makes such a difference even though you might not think so.

So, my general answer to the question of which paint to use is almost always going to be cloud white. It is a clean white – not tan or gray or yellow – but feels very warm, especially at night with the lights on.  The rooms below all purport to be cloud white, and they seem like they are to me, although it really can never be guaranteed unless it is your own home. I included some pictures from my own home at the end.



















Ad here are a few that I know for sure are Cloud White because they are from my home:





I really do think that Benjamin Moore's Cloud White is the perfect white, and would definitely suggest that you consider it if you are looking to paint a nice warm white color.  It is the only white I have recommended for the last year or so and everyone who has used it has loved it.

Thanks for reading!

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Merlin said...

Your home looks so beautiful...course, I knew I would love it. Can you tell me about the "striped rug" in your dining area?? I was just ready to go to IKEA to get theirs..."Stockholm." franki

Stacy Curran said...

Franki - I can't remember where I put your email, but of course I wasn't organized enough to out it in my contacts! So I hope you see this. If you can use the Stockholm, grab it. It's awesome and affordable. It was sold out in my store, and only goes up to 8x10. If you need bigger, there are tons of simple striped ones like the one I have - it is from Crate & Barrel. It i's a different pattern of course, and really I like Stockholm better. Here is another Stockholm type that comes up to 9x12: http://www.wayfair.com/Jaipur-Rugs-Scandinavia-Nordic-Ivory-Black-Geometric-Rug-JCJ2312.html ,. Here are a ton of simple striped ones: https://www.google.com/search?q=ikea+stockholm&espvd=2&biw=1097&bih=640&tbm=shop&source=lnms&sa=X&ei=sFdNVMr4IoqyyQTuq4CYDQ&ved=0CAkQ_AUoAg&dpr=1.25#tbm=shop&q=black+white+striped+rug+flat+weave&spd=4352757436999230380 . I hope this helps - let me know of you see it :)
Stacy

Merlin said...

WhooHoo!!Thanks Stacy..I do believe our Potomac Mills (the ONLY IKEA IN VA!) has it...so...I'm off to reserve it. THANX for the quick follow up!! fmp

Katherine said...

I painted pretty much our entire house in Benjamin Moore Oxford white. I worked at a decor shop and they used it on everything. I soon discovered that Oxford white doesn't cast a grey shadow or a yellow tone. It looks great when the sun is shining in or if dusk is setting.

DL Peters said...

What a coincidence - I was just painting the trim and ceiling in our guest room in Cloud White today and it IS perfect. I am now planning on using it on all of the trim and ceilings in our house

Karen said...

Hi Staci
I also love white dove from Ben Moore beautiful clean fresh white I love it for trim , cabinetry and wainscoting . No gray or yellow just a beautiful white that looks great in the day or evening

Taylor Greenwalt said...

Hi Stacy...I've been looking for a warm crisp white..I have tried several different whites but everything leans ivory. Ill try this one!

Anonymous said...

Ha! The funny thing is I scrolled through the pictures before reading all the text and the last ones were my favorites cause I thought, "wow, these rooms are SO well done!" :) what a fabulous job you did in that eatiing area. Thanks for a timely post as I am trying to pick a Ben Moore white for a commercial property I am working on and doing some mock up boards of several of their whites so will include cloud white. Pamela

Segreto Finishes said...

Finding the perfect white is much easier said than done, for sure! There are so many to choose from!! Cloud white is gorgeous!!
xo. Leslie
Segreto Finishes

Shirley@Housepitality Designs said...

Made a note of that beautiful white!...

Anonymous said...

What is that cream color in the hallway & the kitchen photos, do you think? Do you have any cream colored Benj. Moore paint that you would recommend for open kitchen/livingrooms? P.S. Love your Pinterest page.

Anonymous said...

I'm painting my kitchen cupboards and walls and replacing the countertop and planned on doing it all whites - do I use the same paint color (just different formula/finish) for the cupboards/trim as I do the wall? or is it better to do two different whites? if so where would you recommend the cloud white: walls/trim? and what white to go with....?

(can you tell I'm a little lost)

Stacy Curran said...

^^Anon - I used Cloud White on my cabinets and trim, and I love it. There isn't really a need to do two different whites there because the light hits cabinets and trim differently. I did them both in semi gloss and really like it. Also, using the same color on the trim makes the cabinets and therefore ceiling above them appear taller. Hope this helps!
Stacy

Anonymous said...

Stacy, these rooms are so beautiful! I have a question along the same line as Anonymous from April, above: would you paint the cabinets and walls in the kitchen the same white, but with a different sheen? Is it too monochromatic or does it work? Thank you!

Stacy Curran said...

I like to use the SAME white with the same sheen - gloss - for all trim and cabinets. I feel like the way the light hits cabinets vs trim makes them look different enough. For walls, I do often use the same white, but in a flat finish.
Stacy

Anonymous said...

I'm moving and have pretty much decided on using one white color but different sheens too. (semi-gloss on cabinets/trim/doors, eggshell or satin on walls)

Can't wait till I get to the new house for the last walk-through to pick just the right white. I've got it narrowed down and Cloud White is definitely one of the choices.

When working with existing things (in my case the flooring) the final decision cannot truly be made until paint samples are viewed in the room, in the lighting conditions.

Oooh picking white paint: Difficult and exciting. Glad I found your blog post :-)

Meg said...

I too love hearing what colours people like. However, too many people take that particular colour and run with it. The other problem is that most people don't have a sweet clue about undertones. And with white if you don't understand undertones mistakes will be made. I personally have an issue with any designer saying...my go to white is (insert fav white). And in my opinion Cloud White is asked for and used way too many times. A white, any white should be chosen to go with a particular colour, not because it is a fav or because some high end designer says its there "go to". And for me for far too long that "go to" was Cloud White. Personally and in my humble opinion it is way too creamy to go with many colours. That being said I would never put Decorator's White with Warm colours either. I do think that it looks great with itself- Cloud White walls with Cloud White Trim. I think we have to take people's fav's with a grain of salt and use it as a starting place, but always remember the most important thing to consider is the Undertone of that white and the lighting in that particular room.

Connie said...

Thanks for a great post with wonderful photos!
I'm painting my walls bm linen white and I'm debating between cloud white and simply white for doors and trim. I get lots of natural light. What would be your advice?
Thanks,
Connie

kelly said...

I love the kitchen and would like to know the counter you choose? I am putting in a cloud white shaker cab kitchen and can't decide on the counter bc I don't want the whites to clash knowing the cloud white isn't a stark white.

Stacy Curran said...

Kelly - I used Absolute Black granite in a honed finish. You could find it at pretty much any granite yard. Good luck!
Stacy

Stacy Curran said...

Although that was in my own kitchen, pictured in my home tour. The kitchens shown here are not mine!
Stacy