How to choose the right white paint

Jan 3, 2020 | Building Industry

You’re in the process of building your dream home and it’s time to choose your external and internal paint colours. Not a problem. You have your heart set on white. You’ve seen many beautiful homes use white to great effect. Then you see the colour chart – and there are so many shades of white it makes your head spin. How do you choose the right white paint for your project?

I had a chat to Denis Gabrielli of Mr Colour Painting and Decorating to try and solve the “which white is right?” puzzle. Denis explained that light plays a major part in how whites are seen. They are often asked by clients if they have painted a room a different colour than requested because the white looks different to what the client envisioned. The same colour paint can look different in different areas of the home, depending on the light that is reflecting off it.

Cool Whites v Warm Whites

White paints fall into two categories – cool whites and warm whites. Each has a different base colour. Cool whites have a blue base and tend to look crisp, sharp and fresh. They can neutralise a room with bright light.

Warm whites on the other hand have a yellow/brown undertone that creates a cosier atmosphere. They can soften up a room that doesn’t have a lot of natural light.

Effect of Natural Light in a Room

How much natural light a room gets and at what time of the day the light hits makes a difference to the visual effect of white paint.

Rooms that are bathed in all day natural light are by far the easiest to work with and choose paint for. This is because the tone remains the same for most of the day.

Rooms that get early morning sun tend to reflect a pinkish tone and turn bluer as the sun moves through the morning.

In contrast, rooms with late afternoon sun generally have a cooler tone and warm up later in the day. Therefore, Mr Colour Painiting and Decorating would recommend avoiding white paints that have a blue undertone for rooms like these.

The colour produced by natural light can also be affected by the season, the weather and which direction a room is facing.

It’s important to remember that paint colours are affected by many variables. All you can do is choose a colour that you’re happy with most of the time.

Effect of Non-Natural Light in a Room

Of course, getting the white right for daytime living, doesn’t mean it will look the same at night time when you may be using non-natural light.

With artificial lighting, it is important to remember that the colour temperature of the light source is the factor that will affect the colour of the paint. White lights will reflect differently off white paint than warm lights. Therefore, your choice of globe or light fitting could play a major part in the look and feel of a room.

Yellow lights have an orange undertone and can add a warm glow to white paints.

Fluorescent lights have a blue undertone and add a cooler glow to white paints.

Therefore it’s important to consider both natural and non-natural light sources when choosing your white paint.

So How Do You Choose the Best White for Your Room?

Denis from Mr Colour Painting and Decorating recommends obtaining a large off-cut of gyprock (your builder should be able to help with this) and painting it in your colour of choice. You can also paint alternative pieces in other colours or even try half or quarter strength in the same colour.

Then move this sample piece around your house, seeing what it looks like in different rooms and at different times of the day. It is the best way to see the true colour of white you are sampling. Never choose straight from a brochure as you could be left disappointed with the result.

Hot Tip from Mr Colour Painting and Decorating

Denis Gabrielli has been in the painting game for a long time and can offer this tip about your choice of white paint: You may find that different rooms and walls within the home are better painted in different shades of white.

Who says that you have to choose one white for the whole house? Paint your rooms to suit the light they get so you end up with an overall project that you’re happier with.

Most Popular Whites

Mr Colour Painting and Decorating primarily use Dulux paints in their projects and they have kindly put together a list of popular whites (in no particular order). This list might give you a starting point to make the choice of white paint less overwhelming.

Most Popular Dulux Whites for Interiors:

Antique White USA®
Vivid White™
Lexicon® Quarter
White on White™
Hog Bristle® Quarter

Most Popular Dulux Whites for Exteriors:

Vivid White™
Natural White™
Snowy Mountains Half
Snowy Mountains Quarter

Hopefully, this information has made your white paint choice a little easier. If you have any other paint questions or need some amazing painters to complete your project, Denis and his team at Mr Colour Painting and Decorating (based on the Northern Beaches of Sydney) are ready to help.

Do you have any other tips to help people choose paint colours? What worked or didn’t work for you?


Get your Instagram on

After Kate’s earlier mentioned money talk, the conference closed with the effervescent Jade Warner from Small Business Growth Club talking all things Instagram. Jade’s presentation was a great reminder that transformation and story telling is still a social media honeypot. People love to see how other people, products, places and just about anything have changed. I particularly loved Jade’s advice about the more Instagram surfaces (feeds, stories, reels, lives, DMs) we appear on, the further our reach.

Let’s get physical

Kate Toon provided a conference experience unlike many others. Coffee cart, morning and afternoon tea, lunch, after conference finger food and drinks, beanbags and massages. But even with all of that, she realised her speakers were giving us a lot of information and that our brains had a lot to process. So in the afternoon she surprised us a with a special guest – Lizzie Williamson from Two Minute Moves. Lizzie told us her story and demonstrated that even for those of us who hate exercise (not mentioning any names), two minutes of movement a day can be a game changer for our mental health. She had us up moving and dancing to Olivia Newton John’s Let’s Get Physical and it definitely helped our mindset. We were refreshed and able to concentrate for the last of the afternoon sessions.

Gifts and prizes

Attendees were also spoiled with a whole range of gifts donated by businesses in DMC. I was lucky enough to win two gorgeous prizes – a mini hamper from Bundles of Luxe thanks to Natasha Sutton from First Impressions Media, and a linen table runner and soap from Sue McGary of French Affair.

I also went home with gifts from Nick’s Digital and event sponsor True Green. And if that wasn’t enough, Kate also gave us Masterminders a box of Digital Marketing Collective goodies.

Award winners

It’s amazing to think that Kate Toon also organised awards around this conference. They’re a lot of work and many generous people gave up their time to read and judge entries. Thank you to head judge Erin Huckle and everyone else who participated.

I was a finalist in the Service Based Business of the Year Award (how cool is that?) but I couldn’t be disappointed in missing out when I saw the calibre of the other finalists. Well done to all finalists. A big congratulations to Beck Confrancesco from Marketing Goodness for being runner up and Nerissa Bentley from The Melbourne Health Writer for winning. Woo hoo! So well deserved. Both these women have always been extremely generous, sharing their knowledge and helping me be better in business. So I was thrilled to see both these first time award entrants get rewarded for their hard work and success.

Congratulations to all the finalists and winners in the E-commerce Business of the Year awards as well. Was thrilled to see Nikki Filia from BeBangles, whose beautiful bracelets I was wearing, awarded runner up. And congratulations to Sue McGary from French Affair for taking out the win. What gorgeous products.


Digital Marketing Collective

This blog post is merely a recap of two very value-packed days at the Digital Marketing Collective Conference 2023. The overwhelming feeling at the end was not only that we got so much useful and practical information to help our businesses grow, but that we had met so many amazing humans.

Kate Toon has an uncanny ability to gather together the best of people. The Digital Marketing Collective is made up of a diverse range of service based and e-commerce business owners. Imagine having a safe space to learn, grow, make mistakes and be supported. Come join us. Full disclosure – the link below is an affiliate link but I would never recommend a group that I wasn’t myself paying to be a part of.

Join Digital Marketing Collective

P.S. If you want to see more photos and videos from the Mastermind and Conference, head over to my Instagram highlights after you join DMC.

Welcome to The Copywriting Chonicles

I love the building industry as much as I love writing. You can learn more about me here.

If you have a question about anything building related that you would like me to blog about, please drop me a quick note.

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