I've lost my paint May 4, 2020 12:47 PM   Subscribe

I remember reading a post on either Metafilter/Ask Metafilter in which the comment section got onto the topic of white interior house paint. One person commented that "Such-and-such white paint is the best" with a link. Many people favorited it and I think several agreed with the declaration in subsequent comments. I thought, "What is this great paint that people seem to love?" I clicked through to the paint color and thought, "oh yes, that really is a VERY good white interior paint color." Now I am in need of white interior paint, looking for that comment/link, and I can't find it.
posted by Gray Duck to MetaFilter-Related at 12:47 PM (18 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite

It wasn't that post, or any of the ones that came up in that google search. I'm almost positive it was a comment. I can't guarantee that the comment literally said "is the best", but the sentiment was there.

And it was specifically about white paint - I am looking for an interior white that is a clean, non-tinted white but not a blinding white.
posted by Gray Duck at 1:15 PM on May 4, 2020

Is it in Advice on choosing interior trim colors or How the heck do I pick out paint colors? Both have comments recommending specific shades of white.
posted by Redstart at 1:42 PM on May 4, 2020

I don't know the post, but Studio McGee excels at white-walled interior design. Here is their post about the best white paint colors. (Ours were painted 2 years go but coincidentally are "Swiss Coffee" by Benjamin Moore, the gentlest warm, totally neutral off-white that is gorgeous against crisp bright/pure "Simply White" trim). Swiss Coffee is white enough to continue it right up onto the ceiling.
posted by amaire at 1:58 PM on May 4, 2020

Is it the Benjamin Moore Aura suggested here? Edited to add...just realized that's a BM sub-brand, not a color!
posted by amaire at 2:06 PM on May 4, 2020

Is it in this thread? ("Old Reliable" by Sherwin Williams)

This thread (Help Me Paint My House) doesn't quite seem like it fits the brief but there are some long and informative comments on white paint for old houses (a subject extremely relevant to my current state).

For what it's worth, I researched this question (off metafilter) recently and decided that Benjamin Moore Simply White was the answer.
posted by quaking fajita at 3:45 PM on May 4, 2020 [8 favorites]

YES!!!! Thank you, Quaking Fajita, it was Dover White. In my mind I remembered more enthusiasm than there actually was in that thread. I must have been projecting! That whole question and the other comments are really helpful...now I have more to go on.

Also, upon reading it I remembered the "near-death experience in an Apple store" line. If only I'd remembered that line earlier, this would have been easier to find.

Thank you!!
posted by Gray Duck at 3:52 PM on May 4, 2020 [10 favorites]

Swiss Coffee, it is a very white white. Delightful.
posted by Oyéah at 2:14 PM on May 5, 2020 [1 favorite]

Here's a comparison of tones

Counterpoint: you really do need to swatch. In our northern facing light, in NYC, Benjamin Moore Chantilly lace was the best white... Dover white was too yellow, and BM swiss coffee was too khaki, but I've seen both come off as true white in other light/homes.
posted by larthegreat at 6:22 AM on May 6, 2020 [6 favorites]

...this is timely; I'm considering a low-key paint job on an accent wall in my bathroom, using the fact that I repaired some holes in the wall and need to paint them over as an excuse. If Chantilly Lace comes in something suitable for a bathroom that'd be perfect. (And the "test amount" might even be enough to do the wall I need to do, at that!)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:42 AM on May 6, 2020

I came in here to say Swiss Coffee and I will fight anyone who says otherwise.
posted by BlahLaLa at 8:32 PM on May 6, 2020 [4 favorites]

Fight me, Swiss Coffee is very khaki in many lights.

My interior designer friend has recently turned me on to Behr "Spun Cotton" which I honestly think is the best possible modern replacement for Swiss Coffee.
posted by annathea at 12:19 PM on May 7, 2020

I'm doing this now and ended up with Benjamin Moore Mayonnaise with the help of an interior decorator. I love Swiss Coffee but it was too dark in our rooms. We used Chantilly Lace on the kitchen cabinets, so bright and fresh white.
posted by waving at 6:43 PM on May 7, 2020

Last year we redid our bedroom in tones of white. My wife is an interior designer and has run a successful hospitality (hotel) interiors business for over 20 years. I worked as an art director in advertising for 20 years. Even with our experience, doing a room in shades of white was easily the most challenging paint scheme we ever attempted. We had to redo the woodwork twice and the walls three times (if I remember correctly). Unless you're going for a blinding museum-white look, tones of white can be very challenging to get correct, especially if you have details like woodwork/brick/etc that will "contrast" with other whites. Lighting throughout the day/night changes and drastically impacts the look of whites, too.

Just sayin' it can be tricky. White on white can look too yellow, too pink, too "dirty" etc, etc, etc. Ultimately we are very happy with our shades of white. Good luck!
posted by SoberHighland at 7:59 AM on May 8, 2020

Actually, SoberHighland, you have hit on something that's been making me a bit skittish about my own project...First thing to keep in mind is that I rent.

So my bathroom walls are weird. It's a long skinny room, with surprisingly little wall space; it's a long skinny room, with most of one wall covered up with a huge mirror and most of the other walls covered over with tile. However, there's one wall that has accumulated some dings and holes over the years; there's only been one towel bar in the bathroom, and I and others have tried hanging hooks with limited success, since the drywall is somewhat flimsy. The person before me had a stick-on hook they'd once put on, but the hook part broke off and this...plaque was just sitting there. I finally decided to do something about that plaque and all the holes; I pried off the plaque (which took up some of the cover on the drywall), then patched everything with spackle.

Now I just need to paint. And I planned on painting it white, like the rest of the bathroom. But - I'm uneasy that I may not get the right white to match it, and would rather not repaint the entire bathroom just to match that one bit. Especially since maybe just a quart of paint would be enough for that one bit of the wall, and that would save me money if I did just that.

However - there is also some decorative moulding framing that patch of wall. There's another bit of decorative moulding framing the enormous mirror that takes up the opposite wall. Right now that moulding is white - but I was thinking of getting a smaller can of colored paint, coordinating with the blue in the tile, and painting the moulding if the white paint I get doesn't match the rest of the room. Might that work?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:19 AM on May 8, 2020

It can't HURT to paint it white and see how it looks. The white—if anything—will look clean and cover scratches and scuffs and will look fresh. White paint is cheap, too. And white paint can be easily covered with another color down the line. Just having the room clean, white and fresh for a couple months may inspire you to choose a color down the road.

Whe n we moved in here last year, the former owners had a purple wall in the master bedroom, and slightly different purple (!!!) walls in the attached bathroom. Keep in mind that covering bright or dark colors with white will require a few coats of white. Or use a coat of neutral gray primer first, then cover with white. If we had just gone white over the purple, the walls would have looked faintly lilac... this is ANOTHER issue with doing a white color scheme. The white out of the can will not look exactly the same on the walls depending on numbers of coats, underlying color and day/night lighting. The interior will look very different during the day with sun versus night with electric lighting, fixtures, etc.

White ALSO shows every imperfection, shadow and irregularity—even little imperfections in the drywall. I can't give you exact advice on this. I mean: fresh paint is certainly gonna look clean and fresh no matter what. In the past, we've just covered old walls quickly with a stark "Museum White" simply to "clean up" the look and freshen things before deciding on another color the next year or whatever.

We are also arty-designy-fussbudgets and that's why the white-on-white look was tough for us. Perhaps I'm exaggerating the challenge. Fresh paint always looks good. Just don't choose two purples!
posted by SoberHighland at 11:07 AM on May 8, 2020 [1 favorite]


If you're renting (you are) my advice would be to just pick a clean white and paint the wall and not fuss with it. Landlords might cause problems if you choose a bright color, or may just want to give you crap about it. If you paint it white they won't likely notice, or might even be happy about it. Just get some art and hang it on the walls. Don't sweat matching the other whites in the room too much. It will look much better freshly painted no matter what you do. That's my 2 cents.
posted by SoberHighland at 11:14 AM on May 8, 2020 [1 favorite]

Oh, painting that part of the wall white is the plan. I was worried about how to "Match" the white on that portion of wall to the rest of the white on the other walls, and was thinking that if it didn't match, I could paint the moulding to make it look kind of intentional.

The wall in question is only a half-wall - there is tile three feet up the wall, and then two feet or so of wall (the portion in question) and then a border of moulding and then ANOTHER two feet of wall up to the ceiling. I was just worrying that if the white below the moulding doesn't match the white above it would stand out.

Yeah, my bathroom is weird.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:24 AM on May 8, 2020

Benjamin Moore White Dove. Is an A+ and comes highly recommended across the board by my designer/renovation manager/contractor friends.
posted by thivaia at 6:10 AM on May 11, 2020

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