Choosing the best white trim paint color can be challenging, considering there are so many choices available. This decision is very important because the trim frames the room, which is a large part of how we perceive a space. Over the years, we’ve painted a lot of rooms and tried many different whites for trim. So in this article, we’re going to share what we’ve learned and our favorite white trim paint colors.
Keep in mind, when choosing a white trim paint color, white colors can be tricky. Lighting can play a big part in how they look. So what you see in the paint store will look totally different in your own home. Hopefully, the descriptions I’ve included with each color will help you better understand the undertones and brightness of each.
Sherwin Williams Pure White
One of our absolute favorite trim paints is Pure White by Sherwin Williams. This is not a stark white but more of a slight off-white. We love it so much we have used this white paint color on our current home and our latest flip house. It has an LRV of 84, which means it will reflect quite a bit of light that hits it. Although it is a brighter color, it is actually not a bright white but more of a soft white. The undertones are also very neutral with Pure White.
Sherwin Williams Extra White
Sherwin Williams Extra White is very close in color to Sherwin Williams Pure White. It is also not a stark white but more of a brighter off-white. The LRV is 86, which is also very similar and close to Pure White. Extra White is considered a cool white with a tiny hint of blue undertone but is very versatile, and I would actually consider it somewhat softer even though it is a cool color.
Benjamin Moore White Dove
White Dove by Benjamin Moore is among a favorite for moldings and trim. It’s actually one of the top-selling, most popular white paint colors. It has an LRR of 85, keeping it close to Pure White and Extra White. White Dove is really not considered either a warm or cool white nor a stark white. It does pull a little yellow, but only in some lighting. It’s a perfect choice for trim due to its neutral balance of warm and cool tones.
Benjamin Moore Simply White
Benjamin Moore Simply White is more of a brighter white. The LRV is 91 and pulls a lot of yellows. The undertone visibility depends on the room and natural light. Simply White is great for trim in darker rooms because it can brighten up a room. This color is great paired with a clean white, such as Chantilly Lace, on the walls.
Benjamin Moore Cloud White
Benjamin Moore Cloud White is an airy, sophisticated white. Cloud white is neither cool nor warm and has an LRV of 85, making it the perfect color for trim paint. It doesn’t pull many undertones, only a light yellow that is only noticeable in certain light areas. Cloud White gives off a cozy feel and pairs well with wood tones.
Benjamin Moore Decorator’s White
Decorator’s White by Benjamin Moore is considered a cool but more neutral white paint color. The LRV is 82, and this paint color has a few sneaky undertones of blue and purple. If the room has lots of natural light, the color can also pull some green from the plants and greenery outside. It is a beautiful white paint color that isn’t too stark and would be great for trim.
Benjamin Moore Super White
Benjamin Moore Super White is a white paint color with a touch of softness. It is known to be the whitest of the Benjamin Moore paint colors and is a crisp white without blue or yellow undertones. It is paired well with a little bit of a darker white wall color for the perfect pop.
Sherwin Williams Alabaster
Sherwin Williams Alabaster is a soft, warmer white. It has an LRV of around 82 with only a few yellow undertones. It is a little warmer than Benjamin Moore’s White Dove but not as yellow as Benjamin Moore’s Simply White. Alabaster is a neutral white that would look amazing on the trim.
What is the Best Sheen for Trim?
When it comes to paint sheen for trim, I think the best are satin or semi-gloss. These finishes are ideal for wood or MDF surfaces like trim since they provide a good balance of shine and durability which resists moisture and wear better than other sheens. Semi-gloss paints also allow for easier cleaning, while satin has less of a shiny finish if you want more of a subtle look. Personally, we normally use semi-gloss paint for our trim. We prefer this finish because we do not like the excessive shine of high-gloss paint, and feel it has the right amount of sheen to create some contrast between the trim and walls.
Should My Walls and Trim Be the Same Sheen?
It’s best to use a different sheen on your trim than on your walls. The difference in sheen from the walls to the trim will create a little contrast within the room. We tend to lean towards flat paint for the walls and ceiling. And on the trim, we use semi-gloss, which gives a little shine but not too much. The sheen you use will depend on the overall look, feel, and everyday use of your home. But mixing sheen from walls to trim is definitely a good thing.