Design Decisions

The Best White Paint Colors for Exteriors

Design by: David Anderson

So how do you choose the right white paint color for the exterior of your house? There are so many whites to choose from, the decision can be overwhelming.

In my opinion, you don’t want to use a white that is too bright, especially on the exterior of your house. If you do, your house will be blinding to look at in full sunlight.

Going with an off white or a white that has some creaminess to it, is the way to go. It won’t be glaring to the eye, and it will give your house a softer more pleasing appearance.

As you might know, we’re in the process of building, and right now we’re trying to decide on an overall color scheme for the exterior. It’s such a difficult decision, but it’s one that we have to get right. Since the majority of the house will be white painted brick, everything will hinge on the shade of white that we choose!

After poring over tons of pictures, here are my five favorite white exterior paint colors:

Pure White

Despite its name, Sherwin Williams Pure White isn’t really pure. It does have just a touch of warmth to it, but not so much that it looks creamy. It’s probably the brightest white paint I would use on the exterior of a house.

Builder: Barrow Building Group

Oyster White

Oyster White from Sherwin Williams is a very warm white. You could almost call it a very light greige. If you plan on having wood accents on your exterior, it would compliment that nicely.

Builder: Willow Homes

Simply White

Like Pure White, don’t let the name fool you. Benjamin Moore Simply White is a warm white. It has a slight yellow undertone, and on a side note, it was Benjamin Moore’s color of the year in 2016.

Builder: Longo Custom Builders

White Dove

Benjamin Moore White Dove is a very soft white with a hint of warm gray. It has just the right amount of “off-whiteness” if you do not want too much creaminess on the exterior of your house. White Dove is extremely popular and seems to be a goto paint color for a lot designers.

Builder: Kroiss Development

Snow Bound

If you’re looking for a paint color that is not overly warm or creamy, Sherwin Williams Snow bound is a good one. It has just a hint of neutral gray. It’s probably a little warmer than Pure White, but no where near the warmth of Oyster White or Alabaster.

We actually used Snow bound on the exterior trim of a house we flipped a couple of years ago. I remember loving how soft it looked.

Design by: David Anderson

China White

Benjamin Moore China White is another white that a touch or warm gray. I’ve heard of some people saying it looks dingy, but I think for the most part they are talking about when it is used for interior spaces. However, on the exterior where you don’t want a bright white, I think it looks amazing.

Designer: Studio McGee
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23 Comments

  • Reply Keith

    Great Blog on choosing the right White! We are getting close to narrowing it down to “the 1” for our new construction. Which white will you guys go with for your new build?

    March 28, 2019 at 2:53 pm
    • Reply Brooke

      Thanks! Its definitely a tough choice. We still haven’t decided yet, but we still have time. 🙂

      May 2, 2019 at 3:02 am
  • Reply Amy

    Great post! It really helps to see the different whites on homes, side by side. Looking forward to seeing what you choose!

    May 5, 2019 at 4:50 pm
    • Reply Brooke

      Thanks Amy! It really does help, doesn’t it. We’ll make sure and update everybody, when we finally decide, but we still haven’t made up our mind. 🙂

      May 6, 2019 at 1:39 am
  • Reply Christy

    Do you paint the trim the same color as the house when choosing white? Or do you choose a different shade of white?

    May 14, 2019 at 2:36 am
    • Reply Henry

      Hi Christy. I’m a big fan of using the same paint on the trim as well. That’s what we did on our current house, and will be doing the same on the new one we are building.

      May 29, 2019 at 6:15 pm
      • Reply Elizabeth Barat

        I was going to ask the exact same question! What about on the underside of the eaves (under roof) and/or garage doors? I am spinning on this exact decision.

        July 23, 2019 at 4:09 pm
        • Reply Brooke

          I would use the same color there as well.

          July 25, 2019 at 1:37 am
  • Reply Renee

    What is the blue paint color on the door in the last picture?

    May 14, 2019 at 5:07 pm
    • Reply Henry

      I’m not sure about that. That’s something you would need to ask Studio McGee. That info might also be on their website. There’s a link below the image.

      May 29, 2019 at 6:16 pm
  • Reply Tracy

    Did you decide on exterior white color? We are thinking of snowbound. Would love to hear once you decide!

    May 23, 2019 at 3:13 am
    • Reply Henry

      Hi Tracy. I’m afraid we haven’t decided yet, but Snowbound is one of the ones we have narrowed it down to. We’ll report back when we make a final decision.

      May 29, 2019 at 6:17 pm
  • Reply Catherine

    Great article! What is the color combo (walls and trim) in the first picture, with the ferns on either side of the door? We have an old stone farmhouse, so the main color is the stone, but I’m looking for an off white to go with the stone for the stucco addition, detached garage, and a trim color. I love the white/green colors in that first picture. We have a new roof that is Owens Corning “Teak”, which is in the brown family like the stone.
    Thanks so much!

    June 19, 2019 at 3:06 am
    • Reply Brooke

      Hello Catherine! Thank you so much for the kind words! The first home is beautiful, but it isn’t one of our homes. It was designed by David Anderson. It is very beautiful though!

      June 19, 2019 at 3:46 pm
  • Reply Thomas

    Hi! I’m taking the plunge and having my exterior painted white next week and wanted your take on paint sheen. I’m leaning towards flat since I don’t like reflective homes but I’m told I should pick something with a lustre for maintenance.

    ps/ I’m going with Sherwin-Williams Pure White (thanks to you!)

    June 19, 2019 at 6:23 am
    • Reply Brooke

      Hello Thomas! This is so excited that you are going with Pure White, I think you will love it! We recommend using flat finish. We really just didn’t want it to have a plastic looking finish with too much shine…hope that makes sense.

      June 19, 2019 at 3:49 pm
  • Reply joe

    we have a small ranch cedar clapboards that are barn red with white trim.. looking for a change and wanting a monochromatic look we have two very different choices go very dark or white.. we have a black slate roof .. your thiughts?
    Joe & Mary T.

    look forward to some help in deciding 🙂

    July 14, 2019 at 1:10 am
    • Reply Brooke

      Hi Joe. I would be very tempted to go dark. What color are your windows?

      July 25, 2019 at 1:36 am
  • Reply Marian

    We chose Oyster inside and out on a brick with a lot of texture for old world look

    July 17, 2019 at 5:18 am
    • Reply Brooke

      I’m sure it looks wonderful. It’s a beautiful white for sure!

      July 25, 2019 at 1:35 am
  • Reply Sonja Daum

    This was so helpful. We live in Anchorage, Alaska and may dare to be different and paint our house white. All the houses in neighborhood are earth tones. We would do a fun pop of color on the front door but would have big decisions to make for the garage doors (3 singles) and gutters.

    July 24, 2019 at 9:31 pm
  • Reply Suzan

    Thank you for this blog post! We are taking the plunge and painting our white with black trim this week!! I have it narrowed down between pure white and snowbound thanks to you. Excited to see the final results

    July 29, 2019 at 11:28 pm
  • Reply L L P

    Hello! Love this post. Our new home gets a lot of shade so I’m looking for more warm whites.l to paint exterior brick. We have almond color windows and a grayish tint roof. I was thinking of painting entire entire (brick/trim/etc) in BM China White with a dark brown wooden door. Do you think this color (with shade) will give warm white I am looking for? I’m worried of blinding my neighbors. 🙂
    Thanks!

    July 30, 2019 at 8:51 pm
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