How to Choose White Paint for The Living Room

Oftentimes, a lot of homeowners find themselves confused when asked what color of white they should pick for their paint. Choosing the right kind of white paint can be a little bit overwhelming, especially if it is going to be used for a very important space like the living room. We’ve delved into white paint options to find you the best guidelines on selecting white paint.

There are a few easy ways to choose the perfect white paint for your living room. In order to do this, it is best to consider certain factors like recognizing the undertones of the white paint and assessing if it will work well with your lighting. You will also have to consider how well this white paint will work with your lifestyle and space, and how it flows with the design of your home.

The task might be a little daunting, but we have done the research for you. Keep reading to see a few tips on how you can pick the perfect white for your living room space.

A modern living room including a creative wooden table with ornaments items on it, How to Choose White Paint for The Living Room

Tips on Picking the Right White Color

1. Understand and Recognize Undertones in White Paints

What a lot of people don’t quite realize is that white paints also have an undertone. All paint colors are made by using two or more colors, giving your paint that secret color presence that makes itself known by different means.

We often see this when the addition of other colors and hues is layered in one room because the undertones of the base paint can definitely make or break the look of the entire space.

One piece of advice that professionals always offer is to recognize the undertones of the white paint you are looking at. It may be a little overwhelming to see a huge array of white paints.

One of the best ways to do this is to try and get samples and paint them on your room’s wall to see how they would look in the space.

Another way would be to hold up a paint swatch against a sheet of plain white paper. This can help you choose the right white color for your home.

Here are a few white undertones you may want to consider when choosing your paint:

Bright White

Modern bright interior of a living room

Bright white acts as the name implies—it brightens! It can become a mirror of sorts that reflects the light it receives. It has a slightly yellow undertone, but because of the color’s brightness, it is less noticeable on a large scale.

Soft White

Soft white is a little similar to bright white, but it has more of a tint to it. It may appear a little duller and grayed-out, making the shade a little softer and muted than our first example.

Warm White

Trendy modern interior design of a large studio in white and beige colors with large floor-to-ceiling windows

Warm white has undertones of yellows, oranges, or reds (pink). This white works well for spaces that reflect cool light, or for darker rooms to make them a little brighter.

Cool White

Cool white, on the other hand, has undertones of blues, greens, or purples. This works perfectly with similar paint colors or finishes in your room.

True White

Known to be the most popular white tone, true white can be classified as the most authentic of all white shades. This particular white doesn’t have an undertone and is also quite bright amongst most whites.

2. Assess Lighting

Modern apartment interior of bedroom with oak wood furniture, single, double king size bed, soft grey textile headboard

The color white connotes the presence of light. In this case, it would be best for you to assess where all the light in your room comes in, and see what temperature of light flows the majority of the time.

For example, rooms facing north don’t get direct sunlight, therefore the natural light coming in would have a bluish hue to it. Southern facing rooms, on the other hand, get the most light and will often have a natural warm hue from direct light.

Eastern and Western facing rooms will have varying hues with the light coming in, depending on the time of the day.

This is also a good way to know if your lamps lighting fixtures will work well with the white paints you have picked for your room. Make sure to pick your light fixtures before picking your paints, or you can do it the other way around by adjusting your light once you have painted your room. This will definitely give a well-planned look and feel to your living room.

3. Relate White to your Space

Pick a white paint that looks well with the design of your home. Most of the time, some homeowners do not consider the colors of the other spaces inside their homes, but it is important for you to choose white paints that will complement it.

Modern homes may do well with true whites, as they lean more towards a minimalistic color palette. However, other styles like Mediterranean or Tuscan-style homes may need a different white shade—otherwise, it just looks like your painter left out some unpainted primer.

Check how your chosen white shades will go with the colors of your adjoining rooms as they can also affect the hue of the light coming into your living room.

4. Choose a Good Finish

This is very important to note as each and every family has a different lifestyle for their homes. Paints in general have different sheens. Make sure that you select the finish of your walls for the kind of lifestyle that you are living, as this will definitely affect your day-to-day lives.

Flat sheens like mattes or eggshells are harder to clean, while semi-gloss or gloss finishes are perfect for easy clean-ups and high-traffic spaces. If you have kids or pets at home, do consider that they often need cleaning up most of the time so it would be best to choose a paint finish that can withstand all that wiping.

Your bachelor neighbor’s eggshell white wall might look pristine and perfect, but he doesn’t have to do wipe-downs every single day. Choose a paint finish that works with your family’s lifestyle.

5. Put the Shades to a Test

There is no better way to choose the perfect white paint for your living room other than to put these paints to the test. While you’ve considered and listed down all the information you need for picking the right white paint, it would still be best if you see it for yourself.

Put your favorite shades to the test by painting a healthy size of paint swatches on your walls. Paint it big and in several places, just to see how your paints will react to the natural light.

If this isn’t a possibility, you can also use a movable swatch to do the same. These methods will help you pick the perfect white shade that will go well with your living room.

What is the Best White Paint for Dark Rooms?

Scandinavian style bedroom with dark wooden walls and a master bed with bedside tables

Most of the time, people think that in order to brighten up a space, one should paint the room in lots of white. Ideally, this would sound correct but as discussed earlier, there are other factors that can affect how your white paint will look on your walls.

If you have a dark room and you paint it with bright white, it will appear muddy and dingy due to the white being shaded in the corner. This is hardly the look you are going for.

If you have a dark room, a good suggestion would be to paint your space with a darker warm white or a light greige. It’s strange if you think about it, but the darker undertones pull out the brighter hues from your natural light. It will view as white when light flows in, as opposed to the look on the paint can.

How Do You Make a Small Living Room Look Bigger?

Modern interior of living room

This is a challenge that a lot of people face, especially since it’s hard to find ways to trick the eyes into making small living spaces look bigger. Living rooms should appear bigger as people often congregate there, and some paint can definitely work like magic to do this.

If you have a small living room space and you’d like it to look a little wider and taller, a good suggestion from professionals is to paint your walls and ceilings with the same shade of paint. This will draw your eyes up and give you the illusion that the space extends farther from where it originally is.

A bonus tip would be to add some trim and crown molding to the edges and paint it the same shade. It will give your room the look of being higher than it actually is.

In Conclusion

Choosing the perfect white paint for your living room can definitely make or break your room’s design. Pick white paints that will coordinate well with your living space in relation to your lighting, your lifestyle, and design of your home. In no time, a white color scheme can give your living room a richly elegant look in an inviting space.