The California Paints Blog

The Secret to Using White House Paint

Posted on Fri, Sep 21, 2012 @ 02:27 PM


White Dining Room

In regards to color, I've touched on bolds, trends, and neutrals (to name a few) but I have yet
to talk about the most important neutral of all - white! And I'm not talking about white as an accent. Clean and flexible, white is a go to color for both interior and exterior that is often overlooked.  White can be misconstrued as dull and boring. When in fact, if it's done right, white can make statements ranging from daring to classically elegant. 

The Basics of White Hues

Scientifically speaking, white is the color of light when all the colors in the light spectrum are present.  However in regards to paint, whites have the smallest amount of color pigments present. That doesn't mean whites can't come in a variety of tints! Here at California Paints we offer just over 100 different whites between our Perfect Palette whites and our 20th Century Colors of America collection. Just like the rest of the color wheel, these white hues come in both warm and cool tints.  Cool tints are refreshing and crisp while warm tints are inviting and homey.   

White and Bright Ideas for Interior and Exterior Paint

Colors towards the left represent colors with tints of yellow, orange, and red.  Sugar Sugar is a pure white and has no pigment added. Whites like Sugar Sugar often have the same effect as cool colors in interior use.  The cool colors towards the left side are whites tinted with green, blue, and purple. 

From left to right: DEW323 Ivory Charm, DEW347 Luminary, DEW380 Sugar Sugar, DEW387 Cotton Ball, DEW394 Cascading White

White Interiors

Sometimes we overlook white when we're in search for a perfect color.  The reality is white interior walls can do wonders for your house.  I remember when I reluctantly painted my bedroom white a few years back and was pleasantly surprised by the results. On that note let's focus on the pros of using white indoors!

White and Bright Ideas for Interior and Exterior Paint

White walls create optical illusions and make small spaces appear larger.  I can attest to that as I've witnessed it first hand! The difference white made in a small size of the room was night and day.  Another great thing about white is it also keeps dark rooms looking light, bright, and airy. The last optical illusion white provides is its ability to highlight architectural elements and create sharp clean lines.  

When decorating a room white walls can be paired with a variety of accessories to create a style from any decade and from any place around the world. Warm whites are used most often to create more traditional, elegant styles, while cool whites are more commonly seen in use of modern or contemporary designs.  Crisp whites can keep a room neat and simple or allow for bold statement pieces. 

It is important to be aware of how to properly use white in a variety of situations.  The first rule of thumb when using white is never over do it! Too much white will push a room to the point where it's so clean and crisp it is uninviting.  Guests won't want to set foot in it in fear of creating even the tiniest mess! On the other hand, don't be afraid to take risks with white! It still allows for boundaries to be pushed and risks to be taken.  

White Exteriors

White and Bright Ideas for Interior and Exterior PaintAlthough white's ability to create clean crisp lines makes it a popular choice among modern home owners for exterior use, white is more than capable of fitting a wide variety of home styles.  The 20th Century Colors of America collection offers whites that originate throughout different art movements and are representatives of many different styles of architecture! These whites are interesting and dynamic.  Stylied White has a hint of warm gray while Mid-Century White is cooler and cleaner. (Like all of California Paints 20th Century colors, even the whites have great historic bios!) Why not use them to help inspire your next exterior project? TIP: Similar to interiors, use of white exterior paint can also make a smaller house appear larger.

In Review

1. White can be used to make an interior space feel larger and a home exterior appear bigger.

2. In home decor, warm whites create a more traditional feel and are often paired with classic decor.

3. Cool whites are more commonly seen in modern and contemporary rooms and are often statement making. 

4. Using white allows other elements in the room to take presidence rather than the wall color. 

5. Don't over do the white (it can become uninviting) but take risks with it! 

6. With over 100 tints, California Paints has the perfect white for any project!


Check out all of the Perfect Palette Whites here and visit our Pinterest Board for more white inspirations!


Topics: interior paint, exterior paint

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