Paint question

Posted on Mon, 9 Feb 2009 by KiM

Laura wrote us an email with the following:

“I was inspired by this entry to ask you a question. There is a lot of discussion about the perfect white paint, but I have yet to come across a discussion about the perfect off white/cream/beige paint. I know people use it because I see it every so often in Domino. One of the things that I love about Domino so much, is that they talk about paint colors. White is discussed a lot. But, I’ve noticed that if there is a picture of a space with an off white/cream colored wall, the paint is hardly ever mentioned. If the perfect white is so often hotly debated, why not the perfect off white?

I am really looking for the perfect color for a room in my house that I am working on. Just to prepare you for the picture, we had a terrible water pipe leak and as a result we had to tear down most of the left wall and some of the ceiling. You can see in the picture the new dry wall. Also, our windows are very special. They were made from old telephone pole wood. Every window in the house is some variation of this window. I don’t plan on painting the wood or the baseboards. I’ve already painted one bedroom a robin’s egg blue that looks beautiful. I plan on painting the master a light gray (right now it is a horrible yellow). But this room I wanted to do in a cream color. Hopefully, this will be a child’s room someday and I want a nice neutral background that will be able to take on blue or pink accent colors. As you can see in the picture the color that the previous owner’s of the house used is a beige, but it has a lot of yellow in it, which I don’t particularly like.

Here is the room. I apologize in advance for the chaos, but I am still working on the drywall:”

What a beautiful window – and a whole house of them?!?! I am very jealous. I explained to Laura that I had absolutely no experience with off-white, while I always stick to pure white or light grey when I’m looking for a neutral paint colour. My suggestion for a non-off-white would be a light grey as I think it would be really pretty with blue or pink. But I thought I’d throw this out to you guys if anyone has any paint colour suggestions for Laura. What’s your favourite off-white or beige?

Kris says:

We’ve recently moved to the desert… and all of the colors that looked fantastic back home are not near as pretty as they were, where things were very green. That said, you really need to make up a sample board and hang it up… look at it different times of the day.
Always compare with other off’s to find the true undertone. That is your biggest clue. I prefer undertones of gray here. We played with Ben Moores wedgewood gray and woodlawn blue.
We used revere pewter too, and it looks great in the nearby rooms mentioned above (also important for flow). LOVE them! Can you tell I ran a painting company for 4 years? =)

Anonymous says:

I work on a lot of 5 star resorts and have noticed that Benjamin Moore 914 (also OC-102) Devon Cream shows up quite a bit for the guestrooms… I really like it too and will likely use it next time I repaint… another slightly lighter color is 911 Paradise Beach which is a strong second…

Liesel says:

You have gorgeous windows Laura! You house must look like one straight out of a fairy tale.

Now for the paint I highly recommend Farrow & Ball:

They use traditional colours which feel warm and homely – nothing plain about them, but without the unfortunate touch of magnolia or ocher. Personally 'pointing is my favourite'.

You could also perhaps try Laura Ashley – which I used for my bedroom and I'm very happy with how it turned out. I think I used Cotton White:

Good luck :o)


Ivy Lane says:

Farrow and Ball all the way..and get what you pay for! Good Luck!

Anonymous says:

I think Benjamin Moore Linen White is perfect but I agree with the comment to paint a sample board and see how you like it at different times of day.

Anonymous says:

Hands down, Cloud White from Benjamin Moore (CC-40) is probably the most overused off white for good reason.

Anonymous says:

Hi everyone,
Thank you so much for all of your input! I am going to look at every color suggested. Terri, I checked out the pictures of your house. So beautiful! It is hard to tell if those are the colors that will work well in this bedroom, but I am definitely going to swatch them to see if they work in this space.

I apologize again for the horrible condition of this room, but it will just make the after photo that much better.

Thank you so much everyone. I was really pulling my hair out and didn’t know where to start. And thank you Kim for posting my question!

susie q says:

I love Pointing by Farrow & Ball. It changes colors depending on the light and is a radiant off-white. F&B also has plenty of darker beiges and grays. Their french-gray tones are especially fabulous.

I’ve always really liked Antique White and Dover White from Sherwin Williams. I’ve used them in several different rooms and they always seem to come out beautifully. Good luck!

Anonymous says:

I like BM’s Bavarian Cream, but we live in the PNW where we need to counteract the relentless gray days and north-facing light. It definitely has a yellow undertone — feels warm and fresh to me. It works well with our oak hardwood floors. I’ve tried to avoid “dirty” looking creams and off-whites. An advantage of cream and off-white paint is that if you have white furniture or objects, they don’t look dirty in comparison with the walls.

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