How to find the Right White

Almost daily, I am asked ‘How to choose the right white paint'.  In terms of paint selection it is definitely the current question of the moment and I know is one that you will be struggling with.

Serene, calm and crisp are just some of the many adjectives that you can use to describe the colour white so it is no wonder that it is a perennial favourite amongst home decorators.  White paint works equally well in a clean cut contemporary interior or in a country style setting.

The question is – How to find the Right White.

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How to choose the right white paint

Do not be fooled into thinking that this is an easy option as it is one of the hardest colours to get right. 

Finding the right white can be tricky as white for interiors is never just that.  There is a minefield of underlying hues waiting for you out there and it can be a challenge to choose exactly the right one for your environment.

How to find the right White

How to choose the right white paint – look for the underlying colour

The main point to remember when trying to find the right white is that all white paints have an underlying colour.

This can be most successfully recognised when the sample is on its own against a pure white background, for example a piece of paper.  This is probably one of the most important steps to take when selecting your colour palette.

Once you establish what this underlying colour is, then you need to follow general colour rules which I have listed below.

How to find the right White
Photographer – Annie Spratt

How to select a cool white

A cool white paint will have either a blue or green undertone.

Those which have a blue base can be particularly difficult to work with as they are quite unforgiving and can bring an almost clinical feel to some rooms, particularly if they do not receive much natural sunlight.  However for a room that is flooded with natural sunlight it can work really well as a foil to the heat.  The image below is a room with Dulux Lexicon Quarter which is a classic cool crisp blue white.

How to find the right white
Image: Dulux Australia

Crisp cool whites are also great to use for kitchen and bathroom joinery – just ensure you select a quarter strength so that you take out as much of the underlying blue as possible.

How to find the right white
Image: Dulux Australia

The room above is painted in Dulux White on White which is an even cooler blue white.  This can be a good white for kitchen joinery and is great for contemporary interiors but should be used in a room with lots of natural daylight so that it doesn't make the room too cold.

Green based white paints are relatively easy to work with as they complement so many other colours and are fairly neutral.

These tend to be my go to whites.

As these whites get darker, they become the beautiful stone colours that are brilliant for exteriors.  Clients often describe them as a nothing colour – this is a true neutral.  Working with these neutrals in either their darkest of lightest form, creates a very classic and timeless look for your home.

How to select a warm white

Yellow based whites are obviously warm. These can sometimes lean towards being too creamy which is not always so successful for a contemporary palette.

Often the whites that work well in decorating are the ‘dirty’ whites that can appear a bit grey and grubby when viewing a sample but on the wall create a successful modern look.  So if you think your home needs a warmer white then consider one with a creamy base but one that also has a touch of grey.

How to find the right white
Image: Dulux Australia

The image above is with Dulux Whisper White on the walls.  I love this white because it is a touch creamy but also has a touch of grey.  A very approachable white that seems to work well for many homes.

Before you write off the creamy whites completely though I want you to consider the style of your home.

Creamy whites can look fantastic in a country style setting so don't be put off by their creaminess.  Although these are not necessarily the current trend, they can look perfect in certain homes and really are a great saviour in a cold and gloomy space where they will not look warm, just welcoming and right for that space.

Pink based whites are very soft and can work well with the addition of some grey. These whites are great to use when you are using a lot of pink, for example in a child's bedroom.

A pink based white can also work really well with brown tones and is a good option where you require a warm white but want to avoid any yellow tones.  You can be put off by the thought of pink, however these can be very effective for a cold and dark area of your home where you won't necessarily see the underlying colour just the warmth that it brings to the scheme.

How to find the right white
Photographer: Hutomo Abrianto

Just remember not to mix the whites – so don't use a creamy yellow on the wall and then a cool blue tinged white for the trim – keep it simple!

How to find the right white

White on White colour palettes

You can see when you test your chosen white against a pure white background what an effect this has on the colour and the same occurs when you partner other whites with your choice.  So in addition to considering the type of white you would like to use for your wall colour, you also need to think about which one you will use for architraves, internal doors, skirting boards and ceilings.

Sometimes, a grey white will look a little grubby but when you place a lovely fresh white next to it, its appearance is greatly enhanced.  So rather than take the easy route and just paint everything in one type of white, consider using a lighter trim to give everything a lift.

How to find the right white
Image – Dulux White Exchange Half

My Fail Safe Formula for selecting the right white paint

Many paint companies now market their whites and neutrals in varying degrees of strength.  A great rule to follow is a full strength of your chosen white on the wall, half strength on the trim and internal doors and quarter strength on the ceiling and cornice.

Sometimes you can knock out the middle man or if you feel your choice is too dark in full strength then just use half strength with quarter on the trim, internal doors and ceiling. Kitchen cabinetry can also be treated the same way as internal trim and doors.

Whilst talking about ceilings, don't be tempted to use a paint company's ceiling white.  These often completely throw a wonderful white palette and all your planning goes out of the window!

Colours appear twice as dark when they are horizontal so ceilings also need to be treated carefully.  Definitely opt for a quarter strength here or even an eighth strength if you are using a quarter on the walls.  Your cornice, if you have one, should also be painted the same as the ceiling.

How to find the right white
Photographer: Hutomo Abrianto

Another great way to use a white in varying strengths is throughout different areas in your home.

If you have a room that faces north or west with lots of doors and windows then you can confidently use a full strength white but if your room is darker and faces south then you may benefit from just a half strength of the same white.

This way, you achieve a wonderful flow throughout the house, particularly if you ensure the trim and ceiling is the same throughout.

How to find the right white
Image – Dulux Natural White

I have a more in depth post about how you should paint your trim here:

Related: What do I paint my skirting boards and architraves

The right white paint is the perfect backdrop

Let’s face it, white is often the fall back colour for people who really don’t know what to put on their walls and then they add interest and colour with books, soft furnishings, artworks and rugs.

I hear this a lot and there is certainly nothing wrong with this at all.  It provides a lovely crisp, clean blank canvas for all the other wonderful items that you have at home.

But what if you are really a true lover of white and you want to use it throughout the space including furnishings and accessories?  If this is you then to make the room successful you will need to consider some other design elements for the room.

How to find the right white

The colours shown in this palette are below and I have given examples for Australia, New Zealand, the UK and the US:

  1. Vivid White—Dulux Australia, White—Resene, White Handkerchief—Dulux UK, Picket Fence White—Ralph Lauren
  2. Stowe White—Dulux Australia, Spring Wood—Resene, Labrador Sands—Dulux UK, Resort White—Ralph Lauren
  3. White Valance—Dulux Australia, Quarter Biscotti—Resene, Natural Hessian—Dulux UK, Cameo Pink—Ralph Lauren
  4. Pristine Sand—Dulux Australia, Doe Skin—Resene, Labrador Sands—Dulux UK, Tea and Sweets—Ralph Lauren
  5. Abbot—Dulux Australia, Clinker—Resene, Rich Praline—Dulux UK, Rust—Ralph Lauren
How to find the right white
Photographer: Hutomo Abrianto

The most important design element to remember if you are using a white theme is to employ varying textures so that you create a layering effect.

How to find the right white paint

Mix up accessories in different finishes, for example cool, slightly rough linen with fresh crisp cotton and heavy knit throws.

How to find the right white
Image: Miss Amara

Remember too that if you use any colour at all in this kind of environment then your eye will be drawn straight towards that object and it becomes a main feature in the room, so unless this is the point, you need to ensure that your accessories and furnishings are all white or a soft natural timber or stone.  This creates a gentle flow and increases the feeling of serenity.

How to find the right white

My go-to white paints

I have to say that this changes regularly and is definitely affected by many different factors including client preference, room orientation and current trends.  You need to ensure that rather than selecting something that I have discussed, a friend has used or another publication has talked about, that the choice is right for your space.

At the moment many of my clients really love Dulux White Cloak as it is a lovely warm choice.  This is one of those ‘dirty' whites that is warm but without any obvious creamy, yellow undertones.  It looks terrific with Dulux Vivid White which I absolutely love for trims and ceilings.

Another favourite is Dulux Snowy Mountains which is a cooler crisper white and I find the quarter strength of this is really great for joinery and internal doors.  Don't forget to consider how much of a tonal variation that you would like to see as this will impact the difference that you leave between the tones.

Resene are well known for their whites and neutrals and they are very obliging in providing these in varying strengths.  Resene Blanc is a fabulous pink white that works really well for a soft country look or Resene Sisal in half, quarter and eighth strengths are one of those great green based neutrals that just seems to work everywhere!

Don't forget if you are confused about strengths of your chosen colour to go back to my fail safe formula – then you can't go wrong.

Let me know about your dilemmas with choosing the right white for your house and follow me on Pinterest for lots of inspiration.  Good luck with your decorating plans and I hope to hear from you.  If you are currently undertaking a building or renovation project or are simply giving the interior of your house a re-fresh then you should get access to my Free Resource Library.  It has checklists and e-books that are free to download.  I add to this monthly so there is always something new and invaluable to help you with your project.  You can get access to it here.

If you are still stuck and need help with your project I offer an e-consultation service.  You can send me photos and/or plans with your questions and I will review and talk it all through with you.  I have packages from just one question through to a full colour scheme service – click here for more details.

How to find the right White

Do you also need to find the right white for your exterior project? If so you must read this article too:

How to find the right white for your exterior

Finding the right grey can be just as fraught as finding the right white.  If you are looking for a neutral grey, you might like to read this article too:

How to find the right neutral grey

Like to read even more about this subject?  Then you may enjoy my colour feature article in Country Home Ideas magazine:

Country Home Ideas – Elegant White

Want to find out the 5 mistakes to avoid when selecting white?  Then you should also read this:

5 mistakes to avoid when selecting white

How to find the right white


612 thoughts on “How to find the Right White

  1. Julie says:

    This is a great article thank you. I made a mistake by selecting antique white USA as a single colour in a light filled house with black butt floor boards. I am so disappointed as it picks up far too much yellow and looks cream. I know it is had but can you suggest a different Duluth white that has the warmth but not the yellow?

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Julie great to hear from you and glad that you found the article useful. I suspect that the blackbutt floor is throwing up yellow onto the Antique White which has a touch of creaminess to it in the first place. Dulux White Cloak Half is very close to Dulux Antique White but has a touch more grey making it duller but still a nice warm colour. You could give this a try or if you really want to knock out the yellow altogether then try something like Dulux White Exchange Half which is much greyer again. Always try a sample on a large piece of card and try not to look at it against your current wall colour as it is better to see it in isolation with your flooring. Good Luck! Sam

      • Julie says:

        Hi Sam, just a bit of feedback. We went with quarter strength white cloak and vivid white (satin poly for joinery and satin enamel for trim) and we are super happy with the results. Thanks for your help.

      • Toni says:

        Hi Sam,
        I am looking at Dulux natural white & also just came across Haymes organic 1. I want a soft, organic and calming feel. The problem I’m having is that I have surfmist windows.. I feel my love for creamy whites may not complement the grey in the surfmist….
        Thanks for your time

        • Samantha Bacon says:

          Hi Toni you need to consider whether you are looking at these whites for the walls or the trim. You could use a fresher white as the trim which may work better next to Surfmist. Don’t get too hung up with the window frame – it is minor in the scheme of things and can also be slightly camouflaged with curtains/sheers/blinds etc. The most important thing is to get the feel of the room right. A warm white which you love will give you a good feeling but if you opt for a grey white for the sake of matching the window frame, you will get another feel altogether that you won’t be happy with. Hope this helps Samantha

          • Toni says:

            I just realised we don’t have architraves, we will have skirts though. What are your thoughts on either of the two whites? I have heard if people using the same white on walls and ceilings? Do you think this works better than alternatively having a traditional ceiling white on the ceiling? Thanks

      • Hayley says:

        Hi Samantha.
        Really enjoyed reading this post and thread! Who knew choosing a white could be so stressful! My partner and I are building a new home in Australia and are trying to select our paint colours. A lot of our first storey won’t get too much natural light so I wanted something slightly warm. I have been looking at Casper white quarter which seems quite popular for the walls (I will do as your recommend and take painted cardboard out to the build). I do like a seamless look and so am unsure about painting the trims a very bright white colour. I’m thinking of painting the trims the same as the walls. The ceiling will be builders ceiling white. Any thoughts or tips? Much appreciated 🙂

        • Samantha Bacon says:

          Hi Hayley There is a house in the October edition of Home Beautiful that has an exterior painted in Dulux Casper White Quarter which may be useful for you to see if you can grab a copy. This gives you a very light white house and is slightly warm so it sounds as though it may work for you. I don’t think you need the contrast on the trims – the walls will already be very white so I would paint the trims the same. Hope you love your new home Samantha

    • Toni says:

      I just realised we don’t have architraves, we will have skirts though. What are your thoughts on either of the two whites? I have heard if people using the same white on walls and ceilings? Do you think this works better than alternatively having a traditional ceiling white on the ceiling? Thanks

  2. Alex says:

    Hi i was wondering what i can use in terms of whites or neutrals fir my internal paint.My floors are spotted gum all over.I like a light grey look however not sure if i should choose neutrals.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Alex I love Spotted Gum floors and you can use a wide range with them – it really depends on the mood you want to create. If you want a more contemporary look then you should go for a white that has some grey in it but consider how much light the room receives. Dulux Caspar White Half is a good grey/white. However if you want more of a classic look with a deeper neutral then you might like to try something like Dulux Ghosting half strength or even full strength and this will give you a nice grey neutral with more depth. When used with a crisp white, like Dulux Vivid White, you get a very classic look so before you think about colours, consider the style and mood you want to create. And do paint a sample board before you commit as colours vary so much in different locations so these musings are really just a guide! Hope this helps Sam

      • Nat Tsali says:

        Hi Sam,

        Happy New Year!

        Not sure if I’m a bit too late on the conversation, but I have a smallish apartment with newly laid spotted gum floors.

        There is great sunlight in the living /TV area, but does drop off by half at least as we head to the kitchen dining area – all of which is open plan.

        Aiming to have a feeling of space and freshness to counteract an older style floor board, as the space is much darker now since we replaced the white tiles.

        What would be your suggestions?

        Many thanks!

        • Samantha Bacon says:

          Hi Nat Happy 2018 to you too – you are certainly not too late to join the conversation! If you are planning a white for the walls you need to double check the colour of your kitchen cabinets and take your lead from here. If they are a white you need to use a white that will tie in with these cupboards or the whole scheme could be thrown. Great whites at the moment are Dulux Snowy Mountains Quarter or Dulux Vivid White – both will work with Spotted Gum – in fact I find Spotted Gum a very user friendly timber floor to work with as it goes with so many things. The Snowy Mountains Quarter has a touch of grey so will stand up well to your living area sunlight while Vivid White is a touch warmer but it really will depend on your kitchen colours so try a couple of sample pots in that area in particular and view them during the day and evening to check you like the effect. Remember too that if your apartment seems darker you could get some white or neutral rugs to give it a lift. See my post on how to choose a rug for some ideas. Good luck! Samantha

          • Eva says:

            Hi Samantha,
            I find your posts really helpful. Great job! Thank you!
            Are you able to advise a good white with green and with grey undertones. I have just used Vivid White for the ceiling and the trims. The room is very bright and is furnished with greys and linens.

          • Samantha Bacon says:

            Hi Eva Dulux Livingstone half or quarter will give you a green/grey/linen look – however if you wanted something more grey you should look at Dulux Lyttleton Half or quarter. It really depends how much green you want to see or if you just prefer a neutral grey white – Hope this gives you a starting point Samantha

  3. Rebecca says:

    Great article. We are currently relocating from the US to a home in France. The main floor is white and gray veined marble, the floor trim along the wall is matching marble. The floor flows in an open design through the foyer, dining room and living room area.

    Currently, the wall color is a light gray/white, which I find to be too cool. I like a Nordic Palette with soft whites, our furniture is dark wood and grays, with splashes of accent color throughout. All windows have french doors throughout the home that are currently beige, which I would like to paint white as well.

    What would be the best Dulux white colors for the walls, windows and the trim?
    We also have to have the rooms to be painted sight unseen, so I am unable to paint swatches and put up against the wall to test lighting effects.


    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Rebecca This is a really interesting one! The Dulux colours vary throughout the world and have different names and formulas in different countries so I am unable to give you a definite Dulux France colour name. However, I have looked at the Dulux Australia colours and I believe that Dulux Snowy Mountains Half will be a good choice as it is a cool white but without having blue or grey in it. The creamier tones are lovely but I am worried they will not go with the marble floor. It might not be what I would use if we could see the apartment but sight unseen it should be relatively safe to give you a light, fresh, clean Scandinavian feel. Hex codes are the universal way to specify colour around the world so if I give you the Hex code for this colour your painters in France should be able to match this. You could also use this to get a sample of the colour from a store local to you which may help you to see if you like it or not. The Hex code is EDEDE5. As this is a light white I would recommend that you use it for the walls and trim which really again gives you that simple Scandinavian look and will be a lovely backdrop for the timber furniture. I hope that this works out for you and that you enjoy your new life in France. Sam

      • Olivia says:

        Hello , I got white dilemmas. Recently i need to choose a white neutral colour for my house which has Carrara Marble floor throughout and we use cafe oak polytec joinery . My dilemma is should I go with natural white half or Snowy Mountains half or Snowy Mountains quarter. Could you please help me any suggestion? Thanks Olivia.

        • Samantha Bacon says:

          Hi Olivia I think a white with a touch of grey would probably suit your marble floor the best but you need to decide how white you want the walls to be – quarter strength of Snowy Mountains is a lovely fresh white while the half strength shows more grey so you will also need to check a large sample against your joinery too. Hope this helps Samantha

          • Anna Fisch says:

            Hi Samantha, Great article and comments. I am renovating a federation semi, and am leaving the front traditional (which does not get much natural light) with a modern addition (lots of natural light). My preference is to carry the same white scheme throught out, using varying strengths, dependent on the light. The kitchen will be the driver for my decision, it’s north facing, with high ceilings, blackbutt timber floor, and large black aluminium framed sliding doors and windows. It will have new white kitchen cabinetry (2 pac matte) and carrerra marble benchtop and splashback.

            I prefer cool whites, but dont want it to be too stark, and ideally have a more natural finish, which also ties into my Scandinavian heritage. What are your thoughts on Summer cloud, and snowy mountain? Do any other whites come to mind? Anna

          • Samantha Bacon says:

            Hi Anna Dulux Summer Cloud is a lovely lavender white which will work well for a Federation home. There are other warm lavender whites like Dulux White Calm and White Touch and of course Summer Cloud comes in half and quarter strength if you want less colour. Dulux Snowy Mountains is a grey white with not much underlying colour at all so you need to get large samples and really look at the colours side by side and see which you prefer as they are quite different. The Dulux Casper White range is a warm grey white and could be a compromise between the two? Good luck Samantha

  4. Deb says:

    Hi, we’re about to renovate a house and put down oak floorboards, going for a kind of ‘hamptons’ feel. The majority of rooms face east (morning sun) so it’s not an overly sun filled /light space. I’ve looked at dulux natural white but it appears quite creamy, as we want a soft but quite crisp white. I’m now looking at dulux snowy mountains half but concerned about comments that it’s a cool white… I understand warm whites look best in rooms that aren’t flooded with natural white. I’m nervous as well also be getting all our cabinets in the same colour (2 pac gloss). Do you have any other suggestions of whites?

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Deb I think you are on the right track with Dulux Snowy Mountains Half. I have had clients who have used this throughout their house, including kitchen cabinetry, and they have been very happy with it. Why don’t you paint a large board with two coats and put it in your house and look at it throughout the day? Either use this for your trim too and quarter strength for the ceiling as the problems come when you put different whites together. It really is a lovely crisp white and although in the cool range, it doesn’t have an obvious blue base like Lexicon or White on White. I like it but I would double check first – good luck with the reno! Sam

  5. Dianne says:

    Hi Samantha
    Great article! We’re buying a house that’s about 7 years old. And I want to repaint it white.

    The current scheme is cream with a light chocolate carpet and reddish toned timber floor boards. The kitchen cabinets and aluminium window frames are cream too.

    After reading your article I’m leaning towards a green based white, would this be your recommendation? We were thinking white with a dash of black originally.

    I’m in Australia and would love to hear your colour name suggestions and strengths.

    Cheers, Dianne.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Dianne Lovely to hear from you! Yes, I think a neutral leaning towards a green rather than a very yellow base will work well if you want to move away from the cream. The problem will be however how it reads with your kitchen cabinets. I suspect your windows are White Birch if the house is 7 years old?? Therefore you don’t want to go too green. You might like to try Dulux Grand Piano quarter strength as a trim and then go either full or half strength on the walls depending upon the mood you want to create and the amount of light in the room. Try it with a small sample against your cabinets – it will work with the timber and carpet – it’s just the cabinets that may throw it all. I hope this is helpful Cheers Samantha

    • Summah says:

      Hi Rebecca,

      We are currently building our home and I was hoping you could help us with some white paint choices.

      Our home faces East and has 3.1m ceilings, big windows so hoping it will be very light we also have raked ceiling and exposed beams in the living area. Spotted gum flooring in living areas but will have a grey carpet in bedrooms(this hasn’t been picked yet). We have picked Vivid white for the kitchen hoping that I have choose. right as it looks like a nice white. I’m really not sure what white to paint the walls and trims. Really hoping you can help?

      Also exterior will be Dulux white duck and we are thinking Dulux white on white. Do you think the white on white is fine? We love the white duck.

      Many Thanks

      • Samantha Bacon says:

        Hi Summah your new house sounds lovely. Dulux Vivid White is a great kitchen cabinet colour choice and you can use this then as your trim and ceiling throughout the house. A lot of whites will go with this – my clients love Dulux Snowy Mountains half with this but it really depends on whether you want something that has a touch of warmth in which case you might try Whisper White. You need to consider the depth that you want too. Outside whites sound good – Dulux Lexicon Quarter would give you an even crisper trim which you might need against White Duck as it will come out quite light in the sunlight and White on White has a touch of blue. Hope this helps – remember try sample pots first!!

        • hannah montgomery says:

          Hi Samantha, Thank you for your post, it’s so helpful! I was wondering if you could suggest a white to complement jarrah floorboards. Currently, we have a light cream but the Jarrah seems to reflect a dirty yellow hue. Any suggestions would be much appreciated!

          • Samantha Bacon says:

            Hi Hannah With a beautiful rich Jarrah floor you need a white that is more neutral. You could try a sample of Dulux White Verdict Quarter. Paint a large board with two coats first though and move it around the rooms as it will depend on how much natural light you receive and also what else you need it to work with. This is a fairly crisp white which I would certainly try with Jarrah but you must double check! Good luck Samantha

        • Sue Chalk says:

          Hi Samantha
          I also have a vivid white kitchen and then surfmist colourbond windows and sliding doors in the matt finish. I’m looking for a white to paint the walls with?
          Also have Quickstep dessert oak natural laminate floors, bit of a yellow beach colour..
          Any ideas would be so helpful, many many sample pots in my garage…….

          • Samantha Bacon says:

            Hi Sue I wouldn’t match your white to the Surfmist doors and windows as you will end up with quite a grey on the walls which won’t work with your oak floors. Dulux White Verdict is much lighter than Surfmist but it should work with it and will provide quite a contrast to your Vivid White kitchen. Perhaps try a sample of this to see how it works. It will really depend on how much light your room receives – you may even need a half strength of it. Good luck Samantha

  6. squizzoo says:

    Hi Samantha

    Great article, l could really do with your help. I am renovating a 100 yr old federation home in rural country town in Oz. I have high Ceilings with ornate cornice and roses in each bedroom. I started painting the new ceilings and cornice with Australian Dulux Lexicon Half which has been quite a workout and to be honest not fun 🙂 It seems okay, not throwing blue, more like a chalky light grey. I want to achieve an elegant Parisienne chic feel, white that doesnt show yellow or reds but not stark either. Sooooo what are ur thoughts on Walls , go with Lexicon half on walls too and add a true white to trims and french doors. My concerns are what colour white goes with lexicon half. I didnt realise it was a cool white and am grateful its not blueish. I just hope the ceilings dont need to be changed cause l dont think l could manage it. Look forward to your advice on what to do with walls.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Great to hear from you – I hate painting ceilings too! I think the key is to steer clear of any of the warm whites and then it really depends on how white you want the walls to be. Anything darker in the blue range really does start to read blue but if you go with a white that has a touch of grey it will give you a lovely elegant feel. Something from the Dulux Caspar White range – quarter through to full depending on how dark you want to go – might work. It really does depend on so many other factors so you will need to paint a sample board and see how it reads in the light of the room. Don’t worry though, Lexicon Half is a nice crisp white and you will be able to find something that works so you won’t have to re-paint the ceilings! If you want a really crisp white trim you could try Lexicon quarter and then stick with Lexicon half on the walls – it really depends on how light and bright you want the walls to be or whether you like the idea of having a touch of grey. Hope this helps! Samantha

  7. Caren says:

    My builder on the East Coast of Delaware in the US will use Benjamin Moore paints. I cannot find Dulux in the area anyway. What whites and perhaps light grays would you use for a coastal feel? The home will be beach front, I like the Natural Scandinavian feel, maybe a touch of boathouse and cottage. Thanks

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Caren lovely to hear from you. I really like Benjamin Moore Simply White as it is soft and warm but not too creamy. I think you need to be careful about using whites that are too cool as they sometimes read too blue and also can be quite cold. Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray is a nice grey to accompany this. has some great inspiration for Benjamin Moore Paint colours and lots of visuals for you to see. I would also recommend that you buy sample pots and paint large boards before you commit to any colour to ensure that you like it. All whites, greys and other neutrals have a different base so if you find one that you like it can work well to use varying strengths and that way you do not put a white that has a blue base with another darker one that may have a green base. I hope this is helpful and that you are happy in your new home. Samantha

  8. Lynda says:

    Thank-you this was really helpful! I’m a little stuck on my colours, we’re building a beach house with American oak smoked limed floorboards and Caesar stone raw concrete bench top with stark white matte cabinets (as I thought this suited the grey better)and light grey blinds. I was originally going to go with natural white on walls but it looked a little creamy against the grey. Do you have any suggestions?

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Lynda Great to hear from you. Yes, I agree, Dulux Natural White would be too creamy for you. It really depends how grey you want to go on the walls as this will also change the overall mood and feel of the house. Dulux White Cloak Half or Quarter still gives you warmth but contains a touch of grey – a modern version of Natural White really. Or you could go for a fresher cooler white like the Dulux Snowy Mountains range. Dulux Caspar White is greyer again and is a great white to use but your room will start to look a lot greyer and it will really depend on how much sunlight that you receive in the space. I think I would start by looking at White Cloak Half and then if still too warm, Snowy Mountains Half – remember to look at it against your floor in particular as this will really make a big impact. I hope this helps and that you enjoy your lovely new beach house. Samantha

    • Sally says:

      Hi Samantha.. I am renovating a double story home and had thought Lexicon 1/4 as it is quite dark inside in hallway… someone has just suggested Snowy Mountains 1/4 .. she said Lexicon too clinical.. floors quick step merbau.. wanted spotted gum but none available.. now I am confused.. went to buy a sample of Snowy Mountain and only available in litre tin..

      • Samantha Bacon says:

        Hi Sally Lexicon Quarter is quite stark as it has a blue base. It does give you a nice crisp white finish though. Snowy Mountains Quarter is a warmer white and does come up well with the red/brown tones of your flooring. I would invest in a large sample area of it though to ensure you like it. Samantha

  9. Caren says:

    Thank you so much for your generous advice. I have been on the HomeBunch website and like the Benjamin Moore Simply White and Stonington Gray. I also saw, on the site, a pretty kitchen with a Seafoam Tile backsplash and white marble on the counters, however I love the blue island base I saw on your website, as well as the white kitchen you have pictured above, with the wood and white barstools. Which of these three looks would go best together with the white and gray? I have made the mistake before of mixing too many styles by simply picking paints tiles, furniture and lighting that I liked, but did not fit one theme or style.
    I want to mention also that the idea of mixing the strength of a paint is intriguing as I had never read this concept before. That way all the shades go together- brilliant!

    Thankss again,


    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Caren I speak to so many people who make the same mistake of choosing things they really love but then realising they do not necessarily work together and I was guilty of this before I trained as a designer. Personally, I love the dark blue cabinetry for a kitchen with a white and grey house theme. However to help you decide for yourself you really need to consider all the other elements for your decorating plan. Get together the fabrics that you love, furniture and accessories you already own and plan to keep, artworks and any other inspiration you have. Put it all together and then make a decision to go in one direction. The trouble now is that there is so much to choose from and so many things around – you may need a local designer to help you. I often work with people who have a very good idea about what they want but just need a coach almost to keep them on track! Good luck Samantha

  10. Caren says:

    Thanks so much for getting me started with your generous advice. I wish you were here in the US as I love your style. I have not yet found a local ” coach” designer as you advise but will keep looking!

  11. Stacey Lee says:

    Hi we are putting in a new kitchen in Australia and have choose lexicon quarter cabinets, caesarstone pure white benches and are now having trouble picking a wall colour. We have natural white currently and its too creamy & not white and bright enough & we think lexicon half looks too blue. Our trims are lexicon quarter and flooring is blonde oak. We want something modern and bright that wont throw too much colour against the kitchen. Leaning towards snowy mountains quarter but are worried it will be too light in the adjoining living area. Also then worried that the half strength might throw colour against the kitchen. Was hoping you might have some feedback and advice?

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Stacey Your scheme sounds great but what you really need to decide is whether you like the idea of an adjustment in the wall colour because unless you go with Lexicon Quarter you will obviously see some difference. I agree that Natural White with this scheme is wrong and you need to steer clear of all of the warm whites. You are on the right track with Snowy Mountains – the half strength will appear darker against the kitchen but the change is negligible and it won’t throw colour onto the kitchen, you will just notice a slight difference in the wall colour. Is there a natural break between the kitchen and living where you could switch strengths? This would be ideal and I would recommend Quarter for the kitchen walls and half for the living. If not I would recommend you paint a large sample board with half and prop it up next to the kitchen to see whether you like the effect. I think it will work but you need to love it too. Good luck Samantha

  12. Vicki says:

    Hi there!
    My I ask a similar question.
    We have pretty well decided on Dulux Grand Piano right through our large east/west apartment on the sixth level. The walls are full glass at each end so its quite bright especially towards each end, as the light comes in from both directions with living rooms at each end and the kitchen inbetween. Would love an opinion on strength? I don’t think full would be too dark but hubby’s concerned. So I though maybe half strength but now reading it can be yellowish, which I don’t want.
    Our colours are earthy/African, and we have wildlife photos, warm timber furniture etc.
    Definitely want green base, had this before and it worked really well, just worried about the half GP losing the greenish tint.
    Also thinking maybe a combo of both?
    We have virtually no trims, square cut ceiling, no architraves/door frames.

    Thanks so much in advance, so confused right now!

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Vicki My feeling is to go full strength with the Grand Piano. If you don’t have trims in a lighter colour then this will appear quite light. I also think you need a little depth on your walls to complement the earthy African palette. I tend to feel that unless you want a really crisp white then you should go for a white with more depth – I’m not a fan of the in between as it can just look washed out and is neither one look or another. I hope this helps and leaves you less confused! Samantha

      • Vicki says:

        Wow thank you so much Samantha

        Just what I needed to hear as full strength has been my gut feeling all along and being as light and bright as any normal house it should not be a problem. I really do want a bit of depth and color on the walls, far from whitish, and what a fabulous tip about the trims!

        Will stick to my original plan
        Thanks again, Vicki

  13. Anne says:

    I have an 1880 villa. I am beach front. Not a lot of natural light. Lots of natural timber features. I would like to repainted the kitchen and hallway walks first. I like the scandanavian look but have no idea what colour to choose for walls, I have been researching for a long time and feel more confused.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Anne There are a few points you need to consider to start the process. If you like the idea of a Scandinavian look you may want to paint just some of the timber but clearly you need to be careful as once painted it is hard to undo and being a beautiful old house you may not want to do this. You need to consider the colour of your floor – is it timber or are there tiles or carpet. I always advise to work from the floor upwards when putting together a colour scheme and then carefully consider what needs to be painted. You should also consider the other elements – the kitchen cabinet colours and furniture that you have. The kitchen is particularly important. If you have white cabinetry it is very important to tie in the white for the walls with this element. Perhaps look at something like a warm white – Taubmans Secret White is a lovely creamy white that is light and will work with timber but you absolutely must check any sample that you try with your kitchen cupboards and your timber and remember to consider the colour of your floor. I hope that this gets you started. Samantha

  14. elka says:

    Thank you so much for this amazing article! We’ve just bought our first home, a duplex in Montreal. Sadly, it is attached and receives close to no light at all, we don’t have many windows and there are a lot of small rooms. I adore the more modern/nordic/scandinavian home styles and I am getting lost about the “half strenght” etc. (possibly because I am French speaking) amd I wanted to clarify with you if possible? What would be the best option to make the rooms look bigger, brighter, more crisp and airy? Is a matt finish still okay and painting around windows and trims with same color too? Everything is wood and sooo dark and dingy haha… The 50s right?! Thank you so very much!!

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Great to hear that you have your first home! Some paint companies offer their whites in varying strengths from full to quarter. Basically it sounds as though you need a very light crisp white but as you don’t receive a lot of natural sunlight you should definitely opt for a nice warm white. You must be careful not to select anything that has a blue undertone and you can usually see this when you place the sample next to a white sheet of paper as this really helps you to see the underlying colour in the white. You will find that just by painting the interior timber you will lighten the place enormously and start to get your Scandinavian feel. Remember that this is why Scandinavian people paint their houses in white as they need to reflect as much light as possible through the long winter months – much the same as Montreal! You might like to get a sample of Benjamin Moore’s Simply White as this is a white that will give you a fresh feel without being too cold – it is creamy without being yellow – if that makes sense! Do get sample pots first though and just bear in mind that you should paint the majority of the timber and steer clear of the really cool blue based whites as you want a fresh feel rather than a cold sterile one. Also consider that some timber accents can really work well with a look like this so you might like to consider how much of the timber you paint over as it is almost impossible to get it back once painted! Good luck Samantha

  15. Mark says:

    Great site Samantha! Thanks!
    We’re painting a well aspected three bedroom north-facing to the back garden upside down L shaped house that has sliding floor to near the ceiling glass-doors across the livingroom, kitchen/dining room and master bedroom. The other bedrooms face east and the bathrooms, toilet and laundry face west. The tiles in the kitchen/dining room are grey/pink/warm white whilst they’re a cooler grey with marbly/pinkish trim in the bathrooms. Kitchen cupboards are warm white/ivory and window and sliding door trim are are colourbond primrose. The living room also has windows on the south side. Presently walls are like a dulux seed pearl colour with pinkish hued carpet. It has clean lines despite being a brick veneered house and we wanted to modernise the feel but a plaster board painted in lexicon quarter seems too stark, although it may work fine in the bathrooms with the harsher afternoon sun. We’re not sure what hue of carpet to choose and any ideas for the walls (we’ll keep the trim the same colour as the walls). Snowy mountain quarter? Or something warmer like dulux natural white? (although we felt a cooler white might lift it). Rooms interconnect as it’s a clever floorplan so there’s flow/connection between rooms.
    Stuck on white,

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Mark great to hear from you. As you have pink coloured tiles I think it is safest to stick with a warm taupe colour for your carpet. Warm brown taupe tones work well with pinkish hues but if you bring samples home from the showroom you will get a better idea. In terms of the white, if you are keeping walls and trim the same and want a nice contemporary feel then I think you should look at something like Dulux White Cloak Quarter. This is a warm off white that has a touch of grey but I think you need to be warm due to the Primrose windows. It certainly isn’t a yellow colour – I think it is a modern version of Dulux Antique White USA. I agree that Lexicon quarter will be too harsh and I think with the warm tones in the tiles you need to stay away from the blue based whites. If you paint a large board with your chosen white and then put it next to the large carpet samples you will get an idea of how it will all come together. I hope this points you in the right direction. Cheers Samantha

  16. Virginia says:

    I am tossing up between natural white Dulux or wattyl chalk dust for kitchen cabinetry.
    I like warm colours and have tallow wood floors and white birch windows and paperbark covered area. What warm colour works best for cabinetry?? Thanks

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Virginia I think Wattyl Chalkdust may work better as it is slightly fresher and you are certainly on the right track to complement White Birch and Paperbark. Dulux Natural White will work too as they are really very similar so you should probably consider what you are going to use for the walls and also the paint company that your kitchen supplier likes to work with. Good luck with your project! Samantha

  17. Faye says:

    Hi Samantha – this stream is so helpful!
    We are currently building and I’m struggling to match the right white for walls. Our house has Taubman’s Abstract render with basalt roof, is north facing with large windows and lots of light into the living areas/kitchen.
    We have quite a simple kitchen – classic white cupboards and caesarstone frosty carina benches, plus a char blue (very navy/grey appearing kickboard on one side of the central bench. Our floors are marri though, which is very warm. I wanted a 1/2 or 1/4 strength grey based white but from above maybe green based would be better?
    Would you have any suggestions?

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Faye Thanks for your note. For your white I would take the lead from your classic white cupboards – do you mean they are a ‘classic white’ or Polytec Classic White? If the latter then this is a warmer white and so you must avoid anything blue based. As to half or quarter strength you also need to consider the cupboards – do you want the walls to just tie in with the cupboard doors or be slightly darker. Dulux Snowy Mountains half is a great white that doesn’t have an obvious base and looks great with Caesarstone Frosty Carina as it makes the warm grey vein stand out. However, you really do need to consider the wall white in relation to the kitchen cupboards so ideally hold up larger samples next to that. You can afford to have a little more depth in the lovely north facing sunny position. I hope this helps Samantha

  18. Nicky Kruger says:

    Hi Samantha
    This thread has come as a saving grace for me at the moment. Thanks so much for your excellent advice.
    I have to decide on both external and internal colours for a new north-facing home in lovely Gold Coast.
    I chose a Hamptons beach style throughout in terms of furnishings and would love a bright, cheerful environment.
    Our proposed external colour scheme is Shale Grey roof and walls, vivid white gutters and fascias and bondi blue (interpon matched) pillars for the portico, front door and flower pots.
    Internal colours are Lexicon full strength for walls and Vivid white for skirtings, doors and architraves. I have polar white matt kitchen cabinets, a mosaic tiled splashback in mother of pearl Dulux Sea Note colour, and splashes of the same blue and sea green on white leather couches. I also have two feature walls, one in Sea Note and one Swift.
    Do you think the whites will work together or did I get this totally wrong – which is absolutely possible since I cannot imagine how all these whites will come together :(. The floor is oak floorboards and there are many earthy furnishings, baskets and light wood to complement the white.
    Your advice would be much appreciated!

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Nicky Great to hear from you! I think this all sounds like you are on the right track. I just have a couple of points: Are you painting your gutters and fascias? Usually for a new home these are in a colorbond finish and people usually opt for Surfmist. However if you are painting then this is fine but do remember that Vivid White will get dirty quickly. Vivid White does give you a lovely tonal difference to your Shale Grey walls though so is definitely a good idea for shutters etc if you want that crisp finish. For the interior, Vivid White is a lovely trim but you might consider Lexicon Quarter strength to go with your full strength Lexicon walls? You are on the right track with Polar white kitchen as this is the cool white and Lexicon with its blue base is also very cool. Vivid White is not wrong – it will soften the look as it is warmer but I just wanted to check that you had also considered Lexicon Quarter? Oak floorboards are gorgeous and natural accessories sound great to finish this look so I am sure this will give you the lovely cheerful environment that you are seeking. Good luck! Samantha

  19. Nicole O'Connor says:

    Hi Samantha! We’re in the southern highlands of nsw and are currently in the process of building a weatherboard shed and house. Galvanised iron roof, surfmist colourbond garage doors. We have great natural light. We’re thinking of keeping it simple with dulux natural white on the walls (interior and exterior) with dulux vivid white all trim. Do these two whites work together or are they too similar?

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Nicole Lovely to get your message. Certainly Dulux Vivid White and Natural White go well together for your interior. They both have a warm base and there will be enough difference. However you may want to re-consider the outside as the colours will be too similar there, particularly in good natural light. As you have Surfmist on the garage doors you could probably use this on the weatherboards and then introduce the Dulux Vivid White as a trim around windows, garage doors, etc to provide the difference that you will need for the exterior. Do try out large samples in situ first though before committing. Good luck! Samantha

  20. Tina Wood says:

    Hi Samantha
    HELP needed. My house is 20 years old and have white birch aluminium trim and full cream brick inside – the only plaster is on the ceiling. I am planning to paint the whole house in the first instance to remove the full effect of full on brick and want a white that a)goes with white birch and b) provides a lot of brightness and looks clean. I was leaning toward natural white but feel after reading your column that this may be too creamy as I want to open up the space. My aspect is Western Sun but most living is Eastward. I live in beautiful Brisbane. No floor colour picked yet, but the colour in your blog is where i am leaning. The whole house is getting a face lift but the walls will cost too much to fully plaster so am going the easier option (for now anyway), thanks in advance Tina

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Tina I have white birch windows too! However I don’t have full cream bricks inside!! I do actually like some walls just painted for brick as you get a lovely textural look so when you do come to re-plaster you should consider leaving some as they are – painted of course. In terms of a colour I think that you are probably on the right track with Dulux Natural White. It is a touch creamy and this is an issue for people with very white windows – Pearl White or Surfmist – but you should work with what you have rather than try to fight against it and you will see that it will just appear as an off white that will be clean and bright without being sterile and exacerbating your window colour. A blackbutt or light oak floor would look great with this and you will need a touch of warmth as the living areas are facing East. Enjoy beautiful Brisbane Samantha

  21. Neil says:

    Hi Samantha, I just wanted to say that out of the dozen or so “how to choose a white” posts I’ve read in recent days, yours is by far the best – largely because of your clear grasp of the Dulux whites and the thoughtfulness you have put into all your comment responses. I hope your readers appreciate the effort that goes into giving away so much professional advice for free!

    I’m having a really hard time looking for a warm grey-brown white, with a natural earthy clay / Mediterranean feel. The way you’ve described it I think White Cloak Half might hit the mark (China White is a bit too green, Stowe a bit too creamy, Whisper not quite grey enough).

    If you know of any other whites I should try out, I’d love to hear it! The house is rustic and hand rendered, but lacks direct natural light due to small windows and large verandahs.

    Thanks again for a great post!

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Neil Thank you for your kind words – it’s good to hear that you have found the information useful! White Cloak Half is a great off white that is warm yet grey and I am finding people love this at the moment so this would certainly be worth a try. You certainly seem to have Dulux worked out so if you have time you might also look at Haymes paints for an alternative. Their Whitewash range is a warm grey white which is similar and could be what you are looking for. The benefit to this is that they have the system whereby they have varying strengths so you can go from Whitewash 1 all they way to Whitewash 7 which is a dark grey. This can be really useful if you do want to introduce any darker colour anywhere in the house and it ensures that all your whites and greys naturally work together. Or their Minimalist range is a touch warmer. I hope this is helpful – your house sounds very interesting Samantha

  22. Alexandra says:

    Hi Samantha,
    I am building a modern, Hamptons inspired house in Brisbane and have chosen Casper White Half for all the internal walls. We have decorative cornices, skirts and architraves which I’d like to accentuate. I’m currently thinking of using Dulux Vivid White for all of these trims as well as the ceiling. Our two pack kitchen will also be in this colour.
    Will Vivid white on the ceiling work? Will dirt be more obvious on Vivid white skirting boards?
    Unfortunately I have chosen windows which are in Dulux Architectural White (already installed) which is quite different to Vivid white. Do you think this is an issue if the architraves are a different white to the aluminum white windows?
    Thank you

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Alexandra Dulux Vivid White is an excellent choice as it will match your kitchen so you are not introducing another white and it will provide a great contrast to the Casper White Half. It is a great ceiling colour too. This white though will accentuate the grey in the Casper White Half which I think will suit your Hamptons look but you need to be sure you will be happy with this. If you are worried about this and the dust you may want to consider Casper White Quarter!! Good luck Samantha

  23. Ana says:

    Hi Samantha,

    We are currently extending / renovating and I am trying to work through the dulux whites. I was quite naive to the process till I read this informative article and comments!

    We are installing solid spotted gum floors throughout and our windows are cedar. Our living area is quite long and narrow and consists of kitchen (off white), dining, living and rumpus (2700 high). This area is east facing and does not get much natural light.

    In the existing part of the house, we have used Antique White USA (this will be repainted) and I find it too creamy. Our painter has recommended Natural White for walls and trims but I would prefer the trims to pop.

    I was thinking White Exchange Half for the walls (or Snowy Mountains Half) and White on White for the trims but am concerned that this will be too dark in the living area due to the lack of natural light. I would prefer a grey tinge opposed to a cream base but still crisp enough to create a bright feel.

    I would really appreciate your help!


    • Samantha Bacon says:

      HI Ana Lovely to hear from you. Dulux White Exchange Half is a nice fresh white – in some lights it has a touch of green. Be careful with Dulux White on White as it has a definite cool blue undertone. If you like a contemporary white with just a touch of grey, Dulux Snowy Mountains may be the most suitable. Any white that you select should be tried next to your kitchen as although you say it is off white it may have an undertone of colour and you need to ensure that whichever one you choose, goes with your cabinetry. If you want a trim colour that will make the walls pop, Dulux Lexicon Quarter is a fresher, less blue alternative to Dulux White on White. If you paint large samples and place them next to each other and your kitchen cabinets, you will gain a better idea. Good luck! Samantha

      • Ana Lisica says:

        Thank you Samantha! Snowy Mountain ordered after sample review yesterday. Much excitement now to see it painted. Thanks again 🙂

  24. Sofi says:

    Hi there.. I read a comment and was confident in my choice but as I kept reading I’m more confused..
    We have blackbutt floors and antique white walls but during winter I find the antique white too dark and dirty creamy looking. I’d like similar tone but lighter and was thinking white cloak quarter. Am I on the right track. Will this go with ceiling white ceiling and straight up aquaenamel semi gloss white. Cabinetary is more a natural white or maybe a lighter antique white (they aren’t white but Remt a cream either) help please.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Sofi – great to hear from you, Dulux Nautural White may work as it will be similar to your cabinetry however you may like Dulux White Cloak Quarter as it is an updated version of Antique White but in quarter strength should be light enough. A lot of my clients love this colour with crisp ceiling white. If you do want something fresher then you should definitely look at Snowy Mountains Quarter but you need to ensure it will look OK with the cabinetry. Make sure you paint a large sample board and carry it around the room, including next to the cabinetry and ceiling to ensure you like it before committing!

  25. Eleanor says:

    Hi Samantha,

    What a fantastic site!

    We are repainting our house after re sheeting our ceilings and replacing cornicing with square set. We live on the Gold Coast, and are looking to modernise a 1970s property. The front half of the house receives lots of sun, the back is darker, even with large picture windows, due to a covered veranda. We have two different tiles, one that is quite rustic looking, mottled, that throws orangey tan in one light and pink at other times! The tiles in the bedrooms are closer to taupe.

    We have chosen Dulux casper white quarter, as we wanted a clean white, and are now trying to decide on trim. In hindsight, I am not sure the the paint is a great combination with the floor tiles , so I was considering Dulux vivid white as a good ‘dividing’ colour between floor and wall? That said, we have a corridor with five flat pane doors leading off it, and I am concerned that so much white may lead to a broken effect. Would it be better to go for Casper quarter on the trim, or am I worrying too much!

    Thanks Eleanor

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Eleanor The effect you will achieve with Dulux Vivid White and Casper White Quarter will look good but will accentuate the grey in the Casper White Quarter. This isn’t too strong though so you should be OK. It probably is just a case of trial and error. I would use a small pot of each paint and paint the trim and walls in both options. Sorry not to be more definite but both will work – it just depends which effect you prefer. Good luck Samantha

  26. Paula says:

    Hi Samantha,

    I have read your comments from varying people and your insight has really enlightened me, as I am new to picking whites and was a little overwhelmed with the selection available.

    We have built a new home (in Austraila) with large windows facing north, the kitchen cupboards are a cool white with Caesartone (Nordic Loft) bench top and antique oak floors. I originally chose Dulux White Exchange quarter for the walls and Lexicon half for the trim and ceiling. This was painted in the garage and straight away I noticed a blue tinge and was concerned, as I like a slight grey or warm tone but not a blue colour. After reading your comments I was thinking of White Cloak or Snowy Mountain half and either a Lexicon half or Vivid White for the ceiling and trim. The fail safe formula also came to mind. The windows are colourbond black and I have not chosen the blind colour as yet. Also, we sold our furnishing with our last house so have virtually a clean slate to work on.

    Would really appreciate your advice.


    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Paula your new house sounds great – it’s a nice position to be in with a clean slate! If you don’t like a blue tinge then you should avoid Lexicon Half strength. It doesn’t really come through however in the quarter strength and this is a nice fresh white. Dulux Vivid White has a slightly warmer, creamier base. Do you know which white your kitchen cupboards are? If so, this can be a good starting point for your trim white. You also can’t go wrong with using Snowy Mountains Half and the quarter in the same colour for the trim but do check it all against the kitchen cabinetry. Hope this makes things clearer for you! Good luck Samantha

  27. Marcia says:

    Hi! We just bought a home in the North Carolina mountains and I’m looking for a white to paint the inside. It actually rains a lot so I would like to keep it as light as possible. I have a cream sofa, blue/cream chairs, and navy, gold, and rose rug. The living room, dining room open into the kitchen. I want to paint the kitchen cabinets white and after reading your article on navy blue kitchen cabinets, I would like to paint the island navy blue. It’s in a rural area and sherwin williams is the only paint available.
    What are your suggestions for wall, trim, upper cabinets and island paint colors?
    Thanks in advance for all your help!

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Marcia Lovely to hear from you and my apologies for not getting to your note sooner – I have been in the UK with my family for Christmas and have just arrived home, rather jetlagged and tired! I have looked at the Sherwin Williams range and as you have creamy colours in the house, I would opt for something like Pure White which is light but soft warm white for your kitchen cupboards and I would also use this for the trim so that you are not introducing another off white into the scheme. Sherwin Williams Dress Blues is a lovely dark navy which has a touch of grey and then for the walls you could use something like Origami White which is a bit darker but not so dark that it will be gloomy. The key is to get samples of everything and to look at them with your sofa, chairs and rug – it might even help to take a cushion along to your local paint store to view the various whites. To really get an appreciation of the colours together it is also a good idea to get paint samples and paint two coats on a board and place them in situ at nighttime and during the day to be sure you will like the end result. Would love to here how it all goes. Good luck Samantha

  28. Megan says:

    Hi Sam,
    We have all warm colours in our house such as brushbox timber flooring and sisal carpet called Paritea by Cavalier Bremworth (clay bank).Our walls are all Dulux Hogs bristle with white walls in bathrooms. The ceilings and trims and skirtings are currently Taubmans Sienna frost but we are considering ordering white shutters for our bathrooms/laundry and eventually the front of the house.We would like the fresh whitecontrast now against the Hogs Bristle rather than an off white. We are wondering if Lexicon 1/4 is suitable with the Hogs bristle and white shutters or do you have other suggestions?
    Thanks M

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Megan I love the sound of the warm colours in your home and a crisp white trim will certainly give this palette a lovely lift. Rather than Dulux Lexicon Quarter, I think you should look at Dulux Vivid White. This is very similar but just a touch creamier – this is almost impossible to see but I just feel that it knocks out the cool blue of the Lexicon and will go better with your warm palette – grab a sample to see what you think and also ensure that your shutters can be made in this – I assume you are having them painted? If not, check the range of whites that they come in and use the paint trim that best matches. Hope it goes well!

  29. Jenny says:

    Hi, very grateful to find this feed as currently agonizing over wall colours for a rental property. It gets lots of natural light, has wood stained trim. Putting down a floor with greys and beige coloring. Carpet in bedrooms light grey, lounge area will be dark grey. I liked white exchange half but told it would be too dark and I’m worried going lighter in that may look dirty. Snowy Mountain (half or quarter?) is now what I’m thinking as I would mind it throwing grey but just don’t want tvit to look dirty. Would love any advise anyone might have.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Jenny If your property gets a lot of natural white you can afford to go with Dulux White Exchange Half and this may complement the timber trim nicely. Snowy Mountains Half is much fresher and lighter but will be very white. Either will work but you need to consider the look and mood that you want. Do you want a softer white that is more of a pale neutral? If so then White Exchange Half should work. However if you want a crisper, more contemporary feel, then you would be safer going with the Dulux Snowy Mountains Half. I feel that the quarter strength of this will be really too white and dazzling in a house with lots of natural light. Whichever way you go, you should double check larger samples, if possible, with the carpet and tiles. Good luck!

  30. Dee says:

    Hi Samantha,
    Your site is so helpful!

    We’re trying to freshen up and modernise our home and are repainting. The living/dining areas don’t get a lot of natural light and so parts can be quite dark at times. To give a lighter appearance we’ve been thinking about choosing colours from the Dulux whites and neutrals. Due to the low level of natural light, we assume that we should be looking at colours that are more neutral or warm. However, we want to avoid anything too yellow or creamy. We don’t mind colours with some greyish or beige but also don’t want the naturally darker areas to look too dark. We don’t have natural breaks between the living and dining areas so using different colour strengths probably won’t work. Our floors are fairly light tiles with marbled neutrals. Can you give us any tips or advise which colours might be a good starting point to try?

    Also, do you know of any sites that give a quick and simple run down of which dulux colours in the white and neutrals are are cool/warm and what their base tones are, to aid in selecting sample pots? Thanks again for the great information on the site!


    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Dee I am so glad that you find my blog helpful. The best way to put a colour scheme together is to work from the ground up so you really need to look closely at the marbled neutrals in your tiles and take your cue from there. Off the top of my head, a colour like Dulux White Cloak Half or quarter might work well as it is warm and light but has a touch of grey to prevent it from being too creamy or yellow however you will need to consider the low level of natural light. Dulux has a great colour card called Whites & Neutrals Collection which is readily available at all their stockists – Dulux paint stores, Bunnings etc. One side has their warm whites and the other side has the cool ones so you can see the difference between them at a glance. I would suggest you grab one of these and then place it next to the tiled floor to see which ones tie in the best. Hope this has set you on the right course – cheers Samantha

  31. Erin says:

    Hi Samantha,
    We are in the process of renovating a californian bungalow in Geelong. We have painted the interior vivid white skirts etc and white exchange half on the walls. Really happy with it. I’m finding choosing exterior colors a little harder!! Was originally thinking natural white trims with grand piano weatherboards but am now leaning towards a ‘whiter’ look, maybe vivid white/ white cloak half. Not sure if i will get contrast without it looking mismatched?? Wanting it to have warmth. What do you think would be the best to give me the look im after.
    Many thanks

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Erin You really need to be careful with exterior whites as they look so different outside. Most people find that Colorbond Surfmist is light enough and that appears quite grey inside. However people do use Dulux Vivid White for trims and it gives a very fresh, clean look. However you will need to be careful with the weatherboards if you want to see a difference and the effect that is achieved will depend upon the amount of light that the house receives – for example is it North facing, surrounded by trees and south facing or on top of a hill and facing the harsh westerly sun? All of these will make a huge difference to the outcome. I suggest that you paint a large sample board in Dulux Vivid White and look at White Cloak full strength to see the difference and then go from there. Don’t forget the practicalities too of painting your house a fresh white!! Good luck! Samantha

  32. Claire says:

    Hi Samantha,
    I would really appreciate some help!! I have just bought my first home and it’s in desperate need of a complete interior paint. I’ve been reading article after article on choosing the right white but can’t really find one that speaks to my interior design style. I don’t have any furniture yet so can’t really trial whites to complement my style.
    My home is a small 3×1 with big windows in the lounge and kitchen so it does get quite a lot of sun but isn’t particularly bright. It has had little work done to it since being built in the 60’s and is a sand coloured brick. I have dark jarrah floorboards and white window frames. My home is in the hills so I would love to have an earthy feel but also want a crisp freshness. I like the fresh bright feeling of white walls that create a clean, calm atmosphere. I love bright colours (pink, teal, yellow, green, orange and purples) and the boho theme so hope to collect distinctive upcycled bright coloured pieces of timber furniture, rugs, artwork and morrocan type chandelier lighting. I hope this is all making sense!!
    I have trialled the dulux natural white (best so far), white starlight quarter (too yellow) & the antique white (too pink). Just wondering if you have any other suggestions? Will warm or cool whites complement the brighter colours better?
    Thanks so much in advance for any advice you can offer!!
    Claire 🙂

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Claire I am so sorry that I have not got back to you before now – your question was missed by me and I feel I am probably too late. My feeling is to go with a cooler white to knock out the creamy tones and something like Dulux Snowy Mountains Half would give you a lovely fresh, crisp backdrop for all the lovely bright colours and will also help to make the house a bit brighter. I hope I’m not too late!!! Samantha

  33. Patricia says:

    Hi Samantha,
    Your article is SO helpful. I was confused about all the different kinds of white, but you explained it so well, thank you!
    We are renovating a 1970s house we have just bough – our first home, yay! – and we stripped the yucky old yellowish wallpaper and are now ready to paint. I would like everything white (I didn’t know about all the different whites one can chose from!), but my husband wants a splash of tone. So we have chosen Dulux White Exchange Half after reading your article. However, I now think that the warm tone of the paint might not match the blue carpet. We will change the carpet in a couple of years for a dark grey colour (but it’s not a priority as of yet). Should I try to exchange the paint for a cooler white or should I go ahead and paint the walls anyway with the White Exchange Half colour?
    If we keep the paint, could you think of a modern white / greyish palette to go with the White Exchange Half? Or would grey not go with it at all? I wanted to paint the kitchen and hallway a different tone of a very light neutral colour but I am stuck out of ideas…
    Thanks so much and I love reading your blog!!!!

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Patricia Thanks so much for your kind words – I’m glad you are enjoying my blog! You should be OK with Dulux White Exchange Half as it is a cool white. It doesn’t contain blue like some but is definitely not a creamy, warm white. You really need to paint a large piece of card with a couple of coats and place it next to your carpet – cool neutrals will go with blue and you don’t have to have everything matching – ie, all with a blue undertone as it could get a bit cold. I can’t say for sure but I think it will be fine but I would recommend a trial first as it is time and money saved. Once you change to a dark grey carpet, it should still work as it is pretty neutral and you can then add other greys for your kitchen – as with whites, greys also have an undertone so think about finding a neutral grey rather than one with a definite undertone of colour – ie Charcoal Blue etc. Dulux Stepney is a nice warm, fairly neutral grey as a place to start. I am also just about to post a new article on neutral greys that you might also find helpful. Good Luck! Samantha

  34. Kylie says:

    Hi! We are trying to decide on a white for our joinery in our kitchen!
    It is a east facing but we will be putting a couple velux windows in to increase the light!
    We are using vivid white with one drop of black for trims and dieskau for the walls. Caesarstone is frosty carrina and floors are a rustic
    Oak board.
    There will be some black butt feature floating shelves and the back of the island will also be in blackbutt.
    What do you recommend?!
    Ps the joinery has no handles, just finger pulls and will be in a satin finish.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Kylie When I specify a white for kitchen cabinetry, I try to use the same white that has been specified for internal doors and trim as this way you are not introducing another white. If you are having painted cabinetry, I would recommend you follow this process, otherwise if you are using a melamine or laminate product, I would find the one that matches your trim the best – I suspect it will be a cool white if you are using Vivid White with a touch of black. Good luck Samantha PS: I love Dulux Dieskau – I am sure it will all look great.

  35. Serena says:

    Hi Samantha,

    Thank you for your article! I’ve started to get a handle on whites and want to throw in some darker walls to make it interesting.

    I’ve got a cottage in Australia, which has a external mixture of brown bricks offset with cream/traditional red exterior gutters/eaves/window frames. Inside there’s terracotta floor tiles throughout with a medium grey grout and the bathroom tiles are really hard to describe – light tones of brown/taupe (in the era where people put in features tiles with dark brown patterns).

    I’ve installed a white kitchen with taupe tiled splashback, medium grey laminate benchtop and grey timber floating floor. The house gets good light in the front lounge, bedrooms and side dining room.

    I’ve already committed to hog bristle half for the walls. I was thinking of lexicon half for the trim but your previous comments make me think vivid white might be better. I was thinking of dulux barnfloor full strength to feature in the light filled lounge room.

    Does this sound ok?

    Happy regards,

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Serena Glad your coming to terms with all the whites! For your trim colour, I would grab a sample of Dulux Lexicon Quarter and a sample of Dulux Vivid White and see which one matches the white of your kitchen the best. It’s a good idea not to introduce too many different whites so it makes sense to match this. Off the top of my head, I would say Vivid White as it is a little softer and will go well with the warmth of Dulux Hog Bristle Half but it would be great if it also matched your kitchen cabinetry. Dulux Barnfloor is a lovely neutral which I think should work well with the terracotta – a large sample of this would confirm it but as it is just a feature you can probably play around with it. Hope it works well. Samantha

  36. Sonia K says:

    Thank you so much for your kindness with writing this blog!! And all your replies. You’re so helpful and I’d really appreciate your advice.
    We’re building a house in Queensland, Australia. It’s a big rectangle which has the front facing North and all the bedrooms down the West side. The main kitchen, dining and living area faces East and has big sliding doors on the East facing wall and at the end of the house, facing the South. There should be quite a lot of light in this main room, but it’s only from the East and South.
    We have kitchen cabinets which are polar white, very light grey tiles and a grey stone bench top (cloudy bay). A lot of our furniture is Oak and we have a bit of Navy and grey colour scattered around in terms of pillows and rugs.
    We’re finding it hard, as is everyone, to choose a white! We’d like a cool colour rather than a warm white, but definitely don’t want it to be too flat, clinical or blue.
    So far from reading this blog, I’m thinking of a ceiling white and either a lexicon half, White exchange half, Snowy Mountain half or Natural White. I have no idea of the trim! Any advice would be wonderful!! And do you think the halfs of quarters??
    Thank you SO much!
    Best wishes

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Sonia The house sounds great – I love soft greys, whites and navy. For your trim, you could take the lead from your Polar White Kitchen cabinets and match this – paint companies will actually colour match to laminate colours if you bring it to the paint store. I would then stick with the cool whites – Dulux Snowy Mountains Half is the most neutral – White Exchange Half is cool but with a touch of green in some lights and Dulux Lexicon Half has a definite blue undertone – they will all work – it just depends which is your favourite. Perhaps get samples of all three and hold them up in different lights and different parts of the house with the Polar White to see which one you like the best! Good luck with the building process! Samantha

      • Sonia K says:

        Hi Samantha!
        Thank you for your reply!! Dulux told me that vivd white would go well with polar white cabinets, so that’s one decision made!
        I’ve got big samples of all the colours on a board (Great idea btw!) and I’m a bit worried that if the Exchange half looks a bit green in some lights, it will clash with the grey bench top and navy. Does the green come out that much? And I think the Lexicon may be a bit too blue in the afternoons but the snowy Mountains half will look a bit ‘flat’ and boring. Do you think an East and South facing house could take the Snowy Mountains full, or will it look a bit dirty? Should I stick to the half?
        I’m English too and was also back there for Christmas… how different is Christmas there??
        Thanks again!

        • Samantha Bacon says:

          Hi Sonia I think you will be safe with the Dulux Exchange Half – it is a great neutral and sounds like it is a good compromise between your other two choices. It is not really green in the traditional sense but just a great neutral and I find that these whites are the best to work with. It also looks great with Vivid White. It is actually tonally similar to Snowy Mountains full strength but is a bit softer. Christmas is so different in England – the London lights were beautiful and I love the way they decorate the shops with natural greenery – so much prettier than the artificial but it would probably last 10 minutes in the Queensland sun! Loved it but prefer Summer there so all my Christmases now will probably be Aussie ones, by the beach with a cocktail in hand! Hope you had a great holiday and that you love your new home x

          • Sonia K says:

            Thanks so much Samantha! You’re so kind! And your blog is just fantastic!
            Enjoy the Ozzie winters and English Summers, best of both worlds 🙂
            All the best.

  37. Shona says:

    Hi, I have Dulux Stowe White on my walls and am wanting a lighter trim and frames. What white do you suggest to match the Stowe White? Timber floors with a reddish jarrah look.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Shona I think that something like Dulux Natural White might work for you. This is nice and fresh but with the same creamy undertone as Dulux Stowe White – grab a sample of it and test it first though to ensure you like the tonal difference between the two – good luck Samantha

  38. Saskia says:

    Hi Samantha,

    I am about to renovate my unit that has hardly any natural light and ceilings are only 2.4m high. I have brushed timber oak floors (light but more yellow than white) Was thinking of Dulux Snowy Mountain Half for walls and vivid white for ceiling and trims. However, after reading your blog was wondering if I should do trims and ceilings in Snowy Mountain quarter?

    I would really appreciate you thoughts on how to make my apartment look more spacious.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Saskia You can go either way with your trim colour, it really depends on how much of a difference you want to see between the ceiling/trim and walls. Dulux Vivid White would be good on the ceilings as it may make them appear higher or if you use Dulux Snowy Mountains Quarter, it will look like you have continued the wall colour onto the ceilings. So it really does just depend on whether you want to see a transition between the two – both are very light whites – it’s really splitting hairs! Perhaps be guided by the white of your kitchen cabinets? Good luck with the reno Samantha

  39. ROBIN WELLS says:

    Hi Samantha
    Wonderful & generous blog – thank you so much.
    I chose Surfmist aluminium window frames for our soft grey exterior but now find it difficult to choose an interior white as the frames appear grey inside.
    I would usually choose a warm white to complement country style furniture,rugs & blackbutt floor.
    I would love to hear if you could suggest a solution to this warm cool conundrum.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Robin This is often a problem as whites for exteriors need the grey but then you really see that undertone coming through inside. I find that Dulux Whisper White works quite well with Surfmist – it is a warm white but without being creamy and it also has just a touch of grey – it doesn’t match Surfmist, by any means, but it sits quite happily with it. I also find that Surfmist has a touch of green so a more neutral white like Dulux White Duck Quarter could also work. Whichever way you go, you will still see the frames but in time you will forget about it – remember that a common frame colour is silver and of course you never match the architrave to this but it just works. If you are concerned you could think about dressing the windows with roller blinds that will cut out a lot of the frame and perhaps some simple sheers to disguise them even more. I hope this helps you with your conundrum! Samantha

  40. ROBIN WELLSt says:

    Thank you Samantha, Your description of the suggested paints explains a solution that I can easily understand. So I will hunt for a white duck but quietly!

  41. Sophie B says:

    Hi Samantha,

    Like many previous people have commented, I have found your article and thoughtful comments so helpful! By far yours has been the best and most insightful blog I have come across with your thoughtful responses to readers questions 🙂

    My husband and I have entered the ‘white haze’! We live in an 80’s west facing home with lots of natural light 🙂 We have a light carpet in a neutral tone which we will replace after the painting & white tiles in the kitchen/dining area. We also have plastered cathedral ceilings.

    My dear husband has begun to paint our ceilings with Dulux Ceiling White (an easy choice) but the wall choice has been quite confusing. So far we have tried:
    Natural White, White Beach-Too Yellow/Creamy
    White Duck 1/4, Whisper White, White Exchange Half-Looked ‘dirty’
    Snowy Mountain 1/2 & 1/4-Seem to be ok but I’m not sure if I see a yellow?
    We will paint our trims in Vivid White.

    We live in a green, leafy part of Melbourne town and and without using yellows and creams (with all our natural light is just screams cream) I do want a warm, happy home. I like a crisp clean bright white but my husband detests his parents home which is painted in Lexicon and (he feels) looks sterile, cold and blue! (Personally, I quite like it!!). I do not want a color that throws blues or looks a bit ‘dirty’ (grey?). He would like a contrast between the ceiling white and trims.

    We are just so confused, but after reading all your careful considerations feel like I am on a possibly correct track with Snowy Mountain?

    Any suggestions as a compromise would be ever so greatly appreciated!
    Thanking you so very much in advance,
    Sophie B

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Sophie Great to hear from you and I’m so glad that you have found my blog helpful. It sounds to me that with all your deductions you are on the right track. Lexicon is definitely quite sterile and blue but Dulux Snowy Mountain Half is a lovely cool white – I don’t see any creaminess in it – which doesn’t have the grey in it like White Exchange does so will not look dirty and doesn’t have the blue in it like Lexicon. To see a variation between the walls and trim you really need to go half strength with Vivid White as Quarter strength of Snowy Mountains is a bit too close. Remember that your flooring will throw some colour too so consider this in the overall scheme too and ensure you try large samples on a board in situ before committing to a costly painting exercise! Good Luck Samantha

      • Sophie B says:

        Thank you so much Samantha!
        How sweet you are to respond. My husband is quite proud of himself as he feels he ‘chose’ Snowy Mountain half! I had already painted some large plasterboard (on your recommendation) and we are currently ‘living with it’ in different parts of our home. I’ll be sure to place these at ground level to see the impact of the flooring. We both love a relaxed earthy, coastal vignette and I think more and more that the Snowy Mountain colors lend themselves to this beautifully.
        Lovely to of received your advice! It is greatly appreciated.
        Kind regards,
        Sophie B

  42. James B says:

    Hi there.
    Thanks so much for writing this blog, it’s so helpful.
    Our builder has told my partner and I that we need to have chosen two white colours in two days time!
    For our walls, we’re going to choose the dulux White Exchange Half. However, we’re not sure what to choose for the ceilings. We’ve seen above that white exchange half seems to work well with vivid white for the trims, but can you use vivid white for the ceiling also? Is that a ceiling white? And does it come in a half that we should also consider?
    Lastly, What’s the difference between that and Dulux Ceiling white?
    Thanks for your help!

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi James Great to hear that the blog has been useful and yes you are right in thinking that Vivid White will go well as a trim. I recommend it as a ceiling colour too. Sometimes painters don’t like to use it as they prefer a ceiling white that has a touch of black which makes coverage better and this is why ceiling white is often very bright and a touch grey. No big deal breaker but you might just want to check with your builder about what he would like to use as I think Vivid White is better but he may charge extra for it. Hope this helps and that you love your new home! Samantha

      • James B says:

        Hi Samantha,
        Thanks for that. Much appreciated. Can I ask what you think of White Exchange Quarter on the walls? Is it too light? We really like the idea of a wall being a bit grey, but worried it’s a bit dark and others on this blog think it’s a bit ‘grubby’. Am I being paranoid? Should we stick to the half?
        Thanks again – you’re a star.

        • Samantha Bacon says:

          Hi James how dark or grey the white appears on your wall really depends on so many factors and the only way to get a handle on it is to try it out. Perhaps a sample pot on a large board. The Vivid White will also have an impact and prevent it from looking grubby. You need to consider the amount of natural light and the other furnishings you are using too. Quarter strength will be light on the wall so if you have a lot of natural light you might want to consider half but the only way to get piece of mind before you commit is to try them out – so it’s off to the paint store in the morning! Good luck

  43. Sheridan says:

    Hi Samantha
    We are just about to sign the dotted line for our first build eeeek!
    I’ve loved both articles about whites for exterior and interior and you have helped me narrow it down
    I’m looking at using Dulux White Duck 1/4 for interior walls. What would be a good White to use on trims doors and ceiling?
    We want to go all White on exterior, Scillion Surfmist Roof and it’s been suggested to go Surfmist 200% (double strength) on cladding (Stria) and render

    Your thoughts please 🙂

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Sheridan How exciting to be taking on your first build, although I know that it is very daunting too as there are so many selections to make and so many different choices! I like Dulux Snowy Mountains Quarter with White Duck Quarter as it is nice and fresh but cool and doesn’t have the slightly creamier undertone that Dulux Vivid White has. I think it complements the slight cool neutral green of the White Duck. The exterior scheme sounds good – just get a sample pot of Surfmist 200% and paint a large board to make sure you like it – the house will be very white! Not a problem but it is a look that you have to love. Good luck with everything! Samantha

  44. Tina says:

    Hi Samantha
    Thank you for the blog. It is so helpful. We have just painted our internal walls in lexicon & all the trims in half lexicon & white ceilings. We have natural American oak floorboards. We are disappointed with the lexicon as it looks very blue. Trying to work out what to do. Do you think it would work if we repainted the walls in half lexicon & kept the trims etc in half lexicon. We have colonial timber windows which have been painted in lexicon half as well. I look forward to hearing from you.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Tina yes, Lexicon is indeed quite blue which can look great but it is a definite cool colour which I don’t think is working with your lovely American oak floorboards. Lexicon half strength certainly knocks out quite a bit of the blue and as you have this for your trim, I would recommend you give this a try first on one wall to see how it looks. I think you will find this will be OK. Hope it works out well for you Samantha

      • Tina says:

        Many thanks for replying so promptly I really appreciate it.
        Do you think if everything is done in half lexicon it will work with the American oak floorboards?

        • Samantha Bacon says:

          Hi Tina Dulux Half Lexicon will definitely knock out a lot of the blue undertone but it just a case of trying a small wall with the floorboards to test I’m afraid – I think it will work but it all depends on natural light etc. hope it works out well for you Samantha

  45. Janine kop says:

    Hi Samantha
    Love your article!
    We are adding a small rumpus room to our home and the natural light won’t be great. I Wondered if you have a dulux white that is your “go to” for a dark area, and one that will suit a fairly well lit area also?
    Our house is painted in dulux white swan on the ceilings, walls and trims, and although it is a pleasant colour it is a very creamy white.

    Thanks any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Janine You do need to consider when you add a new area that it links with your original house so you will need to use a white that is at least similar to Dulux White Swan or you will get a big jump between rooms and this impacts on things like internal doors etc. but of course it does depend on how the new rumpus room will link with the rest of the house. Something like Dulux Stowe White will keep the warm theme going but is less creamy yellow and lighter and brighter than White Swan. Perhaps grab a sample pot of this and see how you like it next to your existing colour – good luck! Samantha

      • Janine kop says:

        Thanks so much for replying,! I shall purchase a sample pot and may also consider repainting the rest of the house also. ? Thanks again

  46. Alana says:

    Such a great article thanks. I am looking for a coastal feel to my home which has dark wooden floors in the living area, beige carpets in the bedroom and white kitchen cabinets. I have been recommended Snowy Mountain Half and it does look good on a board. Just wanted to check if you think this is the only white option to go with the flooring or we maybe able to get a more grey white? The rooms do not have that much natural light. If we did go with that for the walls what would you recommend for the doors and ceiling?

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Alana You can go lots of different ways with your white sample but the beauty with Dulux Snowy Mountain Half is that it is a lovely neutral – cool but not too blue and it should work with the dark floor and beige carpets. If you go towards grey too much this will not work with the beige. For a trim, it really depends on how much of a difference you want to see – you may find that just a quarter strength of this is sufficient but you may like to follow through with the white from your kitchen cupboards which may be a fresher white. Hope this helps! Samantha

  47. Velda Sturt says:

    Hi Janine,
    Fantastic blog. I wonder if you could assist me in recommending some appropriate colours please. We are starting to build a new house in Sydney and our builder is using Taubman paints. I am about to choose my kitchen colours and am thinking of using either Polytec Polar white or Polytec Classic white in in low sheen/half gloss. I have not decided on the quartz stone bench tops yet (any suggestions welcome). Can you please recommend a colour for the wall of our kitchen/family room (quite a large space) that is warm and reflects light. We will be installing either Brush Box wood floors or Sydney Blue Gum. The sofa’s are brown leather with white dining table, chairs and side tables (gloss not matt). In the past I have used yellow colour schemes as I like warm and bright homes but my daughter insists that I update my colour scheme and I think she is right. I am also not a fan of greys. Any advise would be much appreciated. Thank you

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Velda have you checked with your builder which range of Taubmans paints? Many builders ask you to select from a custom colour chart that Taubmans have as they guarantee coverage in a couple of coats and this does restrict your options. Classic White is a warm white so you need to bear this in mind with your wall choice but it sounds as though a nice warm neutral that isn’t too yellow will work with the dark timber and brown leather. Perhaps check the range you can select from and I will give you a couple of pointers thanks Samantha PS: don’t worry about calling me Janine – I have been called a lot worse in my time and it’s good to see that other people have bad days – thought it was just me!!

      • Velda Sturt says:

        Hi Samantha,
        Thank you for your advise. We have been advised that we can select from the Taubmans Endure range, with no restrictions. Any suggestions would be really helpful for the walls and ceiling. Many thanks again.

        • Samantha Bacon says:

          Hi Velda I really like Taubmans China Doll, and Abstract in full, half and quarter strengths – these are nice neutrals – China Doll is an off white – which are warm but contemporary so they have knocked out the yellow – it really depends on how dark you want to go but I would highly recommend you look at samples and perhaps get sample pots before committing! Hope it works out well Samantha

  48. Chloe McGlashen says:

    Hi Samantha, thank you for this great article! It really helpful in narrowing down the vast selection of white neutrals out there. We are renovating our kitchen/living area. We will have a stainless bench top with Rimu flooring and accents and white tiles as splash back but I’m a little lost with what sort of white for the walls. I want to pick out the warmth of the wood but am also conscious of the grey from the stainless and then there are the white tiles! The room has windows to the north, east and south so it is bright and mostly sunny. I would like it to feel warm. Would you be able to offer a few suggestions? We’re in Nelson, NZ and I tend to use Resene colours. Many Thanks

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Chloe Great to hear from you in New Zealand! To find the right white I think you need to work from your floor up and take your cues from this and the lovely sunny and light aspect that your kitchen and living area has. Stainless steel tends to go with everything so you wouldn’t want to base your whole colour scheme around this and it will sit quite happily with a warmer white. With regard to exactly which white you opt for it will depend on how much depth of colour you want in your walls and whether you want to see some variation with your trim. Perhaps if you match your kitchen cabinetry as a starting point? I like the Resene Spanish White range – eighth strength in this colour is a lovely warm white or for a fresher look Resene Villa White in full, half and quarter. Make sure you try samples first though of anything you select – I think these will work with your floor but you also need to consider the depth you want, your kitchen cabinetry and any other furniture in the room. I hope this helps! Samantha

      • Antonia says:

        Hi Samantha,

        I am bamboozled with my whites also, even after reading your very thoughtful advice to all other sin the same predicament! Could you bear to make some more suggestions on this perplexing topic please?

        Our house runs east west. It has quite wide verandahs on both the north and the south sides. Surprisingly the south side gets more light – We’re almost at the top of a hill, in the country, and there is a lot of ‘bounce’ from the south side paddocks and hills, I think.
        We’re renovating a 70s house which has a pine timber ceiling which has turned quite orange and is very heavy feeling, so we’d like to paint it white.
        Because we’ve been living with this heavy ceiling we have a hankering for white walls as well, but my husband is worried it will be too white. I have tried grand piano which turned out really dark and grey on all walls, although the half strength is much lighter and more creamy brown on walls where there is good natural light (but still pretty cold and grey on the south walls). I have tried natural white which tome looks quite flat and dirty on most walls, and Stowe White which I thought was nice (quite similar to Grand Piano quarter on walls with good light) but someone said it will be too creamy. I’ve also tried White Starlight Quarter and thought this was looking good , but now I’m worried that it will be too yellow – but at least it seemed fresh and light yet warm. Should I be worried about too much cream ? Antique white was too pink and Chalk USA too yellow. Lexicon was too blue but I realise now that the quarter strength won’t have this problem. Tried Seed Pearl but it looks too old fashioned brown/beige on some walls but nice on others. Tried pale tendril but this too green. Tried light rice – too pink.
        We will have a blackbutt floor in the main living area, and carpet in the bedrooms which I haven’t yet chosen. The living, kitchen and dining area are all connected. There is a rendered fireplace in the centre of the lounge/dining area, and I’m not sure if we should paint that a feature colour or make it the same as the walls. If a feature I can’t imagine what colour it should be. Any advice would be very greatly appreciated.

        • Samantha Bacon says:

          Hi Antonia Wow – it seems as though you have tried almost the full range! It sounds like Dulux Stowe White was the best option for you and I would agree with this. It is a creamy white but there’s nothing wrong with this and it sounds as though it would suit your aspect. I recently put a room on my facebook page which was painted in a warm white – ceiling and walls – and it received an enormous amount of likes. It doesn’t seem trendy at the moment to like warm whites but in fact they are very appealing. If you paint the ceiling and walls the same white you won’t notice the difference and underlying colour so much. I like the idea of the rendered fire place being different – perhaps a very dark grey or off black? You could however keep it in the same white and bring your colour and texture in with furnishings. The room will be transformed once you paint the ceiling – I think you will love it! Samantha

  49. Di Sinclair says:

    Hi Samantha,
    Love reading your article and advice.
    We are building on Central Coast, NSW. Near the beach.
    Our house is beach style with Scyon Linea weather boards. The roof gutters etc are Surfmist colour bond.
    I am thinking Antique white USA for exterior walls. We have white windows and would like to have the arcitraves a bright gloss white?
    We also have timber decking on big front verandah and back verandah, with timber posts.
    The southern walls have vertical cladding, thinking Monument as colour. Also one wall on front verandah in verticle cladding same colour Monument?
    Please help, will this work. If so which white for window trims?
    Thank you so much,

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Di – glad you are enjoying the articles. This all sounds great – love the idea of the vertical boards in Monument. When you say your windows are white – are they Pearl White rather than Surfmist? I presume this is the case. You can ask the paint company to colour match to the Pearl White or you could go with something like Dulux Lexicon Quarter strength which is a very cool crisp white that works with Pearl White. You will need something like this to see the difference between the Antique White walls but the trouble is that it can also make the Antique White look a bit pink. There is a good photo of a house with Antique White boards and Vivid White trim in the Dulux Whites and Neutrals brochure – have you seen that? You might be better with something like full strength White Cloak which will still look white but provide a little bit more constrast with slightly less warmth. Let me know Samantha

      • Di Sinclair says:

        Hi Sam,
        Thank you so much for the advice, however I was too late to change and they started painting Antique White USA on exterior. I do like it though. Also the Monument walls look marvellous.
        Next problem is the ceiling white on the back and front verandah. The
        Eaves are also Antique White. What would be a suitable white to highlight the ceiling, please.
        Thanks again,
        Di ?

        • Samantha Bacon says:

          Hi Di I always treat outdoor ceilings the same as the eaves as at some point they usually run into each other – remember that eaves are actually just your outdoor ceiling so you will probably need to stick with Antique White USA to have a seamless look. Cheers Samantha

          • Di Sinclair says:

            Hi Samantha,
            Thanks again for your help
            I really love this series of articles, and the pictures.

  50. Amy. R. says:

    Hi Samantha,
    Great article! We loved reading it. Thanks for the advice. We’re an older British couple building in Australia. After reading the comments here and trying out the colours on a large piece of card, we’ll be having Dulux White Exchange Half on the walls (we also loved the photo at the top of your article) and Vivid White for the ceiling.
    Our problem, however, is with the trims and the internal doors. We don’t know what to do with these at all. Are they usually in a different type of paint? And what colours will go with them? We have skirtings, covings and internal doors to paint. We would appreciate any comments or advice.
    Many thanks

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Amy There are a couple of ways to approach the trims and internal doors. You can either paint them the same as the wall colour but in a different more durable paint finish – for example a semi-gloss or a low sheen enamel if you want less of a shine. Or if you want to see a colour difference you could either look at Dulux White Exchange Quarter strength which will just be a touch lighter than your walls or you can opt for Dulux Vivid White which you already are going to use in the scheme. This will give you more of a difference to your wall colour and make this stand out more and make it appear darker. For your coving, I assume this is your ceiling cornice? I’m a Brit and always called this coving too! This is considered part of the ceiling so should definitely be painted Dulux Vivid White. Hope you are happy with your new home. Samantha

  51. Amelia Lee says:

    Hi Samantha,

    Thank you for a very informative article on selecting the right white colour. I am very glad that I came across your article as I am in the process of renovating my investment property. It is a small 2BR semi-detached Victorian Terrace in Richmond, Victoria. The house has an east west orientation. So the main living areas face the east. The main entrance is on the west of the house.

    I am thinking of painting the internal walls Dulux Antique White USA, with the ceilings a Dulux Ceiling White and the trims/doors/windows/skirting board Dulux Vivid White. The floorboards in most of the house is Tasmanian Oak with a natural varnish, except in the bedrooms which have Godfrey Hirst 730 Urban Gray carpets.

    For the external walls of the property, I am thinking of Dulux Snow Season with the windows, doors, frames, trims, in a Dulux Colourbond Monument.

    I would appreciate it if you can please give me some feedback on whether the above is a suitable combination of colours, thank you!



    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Amelia I certainly think that Dulux Antique White USA will work well for an East facing Melbourne terrace and Vivid White will be a lovely trim colour and Dulux Snow Season has enough grey in it to withstand the sunlight and so is a good exterior white. It is a very cool white as it contains blue so just ensure that this is the effect that you want to create. I hope it works well for you – I love Richmond – lovely properties there so I’m sure it will look great! Samantha

  52. Zrinka says:

    Dear Samantha

    Thank you so much for this amazing website – you really are doing us all a massive kindness by taking such care in sharing your knowledge and insights.

    We have recently renovated our north facing Sydney apartment which gets a fair bit of natural light. However the master bedroom is east facing and is quite a bit darker. Our kitchen cabinetry is in vivid white with caesarstone calacutta nuovo bench and splashback.

    I asked our builder to please paint the walls vivid white to match the cabinets but he refused, saying that without an added tint, it gives very translucent coverage and is difficult to work with. He suggested something with a drop of black to provide a nice contrast. We selected lexicon quarter as this seemed to be the closest colour to vivid white.

    The resulting effect is quite blue. I have asked the painter if he accidentally used lexicon half as the rooms look quite cool and dull. The bedroom especially. He can’t quite answer definitively and didn’t leave behind a paint tin to confirm.

    I am struggling to accept this colour – it is quite jarring with our warm wooden floorboards and generally warmer relaxed palette. I love love love the vivid white cabinetry and keep wishing I had just stood my ground and insisted on that colour as it seems to me the perfect bright friendly white. I am nervous to repainted now in case I get it wrong.

    Do you think it would be excessive to have all walls painted the same colour? Do you think snowy mountains quarter would be a better choice? What do you suggest for internal doors and trims?

    We recently knocked ou some walls and I was hoping for ablovely cheerful sunny and bright white feeling to capture all the additional sunshine (previously our flat was dark and very dingy).

    Apologies for the long winded question. I’d be very grateful to hear your thoughts.

    Kind regards

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Zrinka I am so sorry that you are unhappy with your newly decorated apartment – I feel for you as I believe it would have all been better in Vivid White. Painters often don’t like using this colour due to the coverage issue as it would probably require a third coat but I am sure you would have been happy to pay for this to get the effect you wanted. It is certainly not excessive to have all walls painted the same and this gives a very contemporary look which sounds just right for your Sydney apartment. Contrast is good too but you have to ensure that the whites complement each other or the effect is jarring. If you are opting for such a bright white for your walls then I would continue this on the doors and trims but just in a different more durable finish – perhaps a semi gloss. Perhaps you should ask another painter his advice about re-painting in Vivid White or look at something like Snowy Mountains Quarter but make sure you paint a large sample board first and hold it up to your kitchen cupboards to see whether you like the effect. I hope this helps! Samantha

  53. lee says:

    Hi .
    I have vivid white ceiling.
    I.m looking at white exchange half on the walls, not sure of the tint color in that , and lexicon half on the skirting boards .
    I.m unsure if i use lexicon half on the doors to … i have a japan brown wood feature wall in my lounge room and have jumbuck furniture. Should i change the ceiling ? Amd unsure of what color wood floors to get ?

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      If you have a Vivid White ceiling you might like to consider using this for your trim as it goes better with White Exchange Half than Lexicon half which has a definite blue tinge. It sounds to me as though you need slightly warmer whites with the timber floor and furniture so perhaps rather than change the ceiling see if you like the partnership of Dulux Vivid White with Dulux White Exchange half – I think it will be preferable but try it out on large pieces of card to ensure you like it. For your timber floors, take your lead from your furniture and other timber features Good luck!

  54. Zrinka says:

    Thank you so much Samantha for your help. I agree – I would have much rather paid for a third coat than a brand new paint job.

    I have spent a lot of time looking at the dulux color samples and am a bit bamboozled by the options. Like a number of other posters on this forum, I am keen for a bright white scandi effect – do you think that vivid white or snowy mountains half/quarter would be better to achieve this?

    Given the warmth of my timber floorboards, do I just think either colour will be too cool when painted directly on the walls? I love the vivid white on my cabinetry but have been informed that 2pac doors will yellow a bit and aren’t a true reflection of the colour – so the walls may not be the exact same shade even if I go for vivid white walls.

    I get a lot of light in the main living area but the master bedroom is quite dark by comparison. Given this, do you think that snowy mountains would be better in half or quarter strength? Do you think that vivid white works better in rooms with different levels of natural sunlight?

    I have also been looking at casper white quarter/half. I have seen some doors painted darker than the walls and like the idea of using full strength (or double strength) casper white to make them stand out as a feature. However, I am concerned that maybe the grey undertone would not complement the warm wooden floorboards or would replicate the problem I currently have with lexicon: making the walls too cool. Do you have any thoughts on this? Also, do you think that I would be better off going for quarter or full strength?

    Thank you again for your time and for sharing your knowledge. As I said before, I am overthinking this because I was talked out of my original preference. I have now lost some confidence in my judgment and I really want to avoid being disappointed a second time.

    Kind regards

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Zrinka I think you need to paint some large sample boards with your options and place them in the room next to the kitchen cabinetry and then look at having a contrast for the doors. I love Dulux Casper White and specify this as an exterior option but it does contain quite a bit of grey and I’m not sure will give you the look you are after. A Scandi look would really have just one white throughout with layers of textures in your furnishings and accessories. I would look at your choices, paint some boards and live with it for a week or so and this will help you to come to the right decision for your apartment and if you are really struggling then maybe a local colour consultant could help? Good luck Samantha

  55. Jane says:

    HI Samantha,
    Love your blog and appreciate the time you give to answering queries.
    We are about to paint the rendered exterior of our 18 year old home. Would love to paint a different white -currently Dulux Regency White which was selected to go with White Birch windows and gutters/facias.
    We have a slate grey tiled roof and deep charcoal/navy front door.
    Is there another exterior white to work with the existing white birch trims?
    I would prefer a colour that is not too white with more of a stone undertone as we live in a very dusty environment in country NSW.
    The style of the house is best described as a modern provincial -ie quite plain.
    Kind regards

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Jane You might like to look at Dulux Russian Toffee – this will go really well with your White Birch windows and Charcoal Blue door. Once on the exterior this will appear off white but does have some depth and will show more of this on a south facing side so experiment with a sample pot on a large board to make sure it isn’t too dark for you and/or it has the tonal contrast that you want to windows/gutters etc. and also hide the dusty elements. I hope this helps Samantha

  56. Zrinka says:

    Hi Samantha – many thanks for your helpful response. I will do as you suggest and see how I go.

    Best wishes

  57. Katherine says:

    Hi Samantha
    Thank you so much for this excellent post!
    Our house has smaller rooms, with not a lot of natural light, except one room with the morning sun.
    I had chosen Snowy mountains quarter for our walls, and vivid white for trims. Our painter feels the snowy mountains looks too “dirty” and is encouraging us to use white polar quarter to brighten up the house. Do you have any thoughts on white polar? I want to avoid anything that can throw yellow, especially With Blackbutt flooring going in soon.
    Any help would be so appreciated!
    Thanks, Katherine

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Katherine White Polar quarter is a warm white but your painter may be right if you don’t have much natural light and your rooms are small then you may benefit from this touch of warmth – I don’t think at this strength that it will read creamy yellow. I have clients who have been very happy with Snowy Mountains quarter but it does have a touch of grey and is one of the cooler and fresher whites. Perhaps ask your painter to just do one room for you so you can get an idea? Good luck Samantha

  58. Vanessa says:

    Hi Samantha! Thanks for a great article- I find white difficult to choose! I’d love your advice. I am painting my kitchen cupboards ‘white’- the big question- which white?!
    I have Antique White USA on the walls, the bench and floor tiles are cream, the room doesn’t get much natural light. I want something crisp but not clinical. I’m considering Natural white, or Lexicon half (but concerned this could be too cool against the colour scheme). Any suggestions?

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Vanessa It looks to me as though Dulux Natural White will be a better white than Lexicon Half with your Antique White walls – Lexicon Half has a blue undertone which will definitely clash with the Antique White USA but do paint a board first to double check! Good luck Samantha

  59. Jo S says:

    HI Samantha!
    Thanks for an excellent article. My husband and I have really benefitted from it throughout our build, thank you!
    We really wanted our ceilings to be a vivid white, but the painter ignored us and, disappointingly, painted a ceiling white. He’s now refusing the change it.
    We decided to paint the walls White Exchange half and the trims a White Exchange quarter. The walls do look a bit ‘dirty’ unfortunately, but i’m hoping that it’ll all brighten up once we put all our furniture in. Do you think we’d be better off asking the painter to paint all the trims a brighter white? Perhaps the vivid white? Will this brighten up the walls?
    Secondly, my other questions is a rather strange one, relating to your advice on pallets above. We’re going to make our furniture from pallets and other reclaimed wood. We’ve stripped all the wood back and want to paint it, or ‘shabby chic’ it – we’re not sure yet. We’re wondering what colours would you recommend that we paint our coffee tables, side tables etc. We don’t want it to clash with the wall colour.
    Any help at all would be helpful!
    Thanks in advance.
    All the best, Jo.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Jo glad you enjoyed the article and have benefitted from the advice – that’s what my blog is all about! The Vivid White on the ceiling story is a common one – some painters are happy to do it while others will only use ceiling white. Your walls will certainly appear fresher with a Vivid White trim rather than the quarter strength of your wall colour so this may be worth a try. I find that clients often don’t like a grey but once you put fresh white next to it, the look is quite different. Your furniture idea is an excellent one – you could use a chalk paint and then experiment with rubbing it back – there are lots of tutorials online and you may find that browsing a website like Annie Sloan’s one from the UK, will give you lots of advice and ideas for colours. With the shabby style you can use two colours which softens the look. Alternatively, you can use one colour and the chalk paint gives you a lovely soft matt finish which will keep the laid back look. In terms of colour, I think you need to see some inspiration and it will depend on your rugs, sofas etc too but just in terms of White Exchange Half an off black would look great or a smart charcoal? Would love to see some photos when you’re finished – good luck! Samantha

  60. Maria says:

    Hi Samantha, love your article and have learnt so much from your advice. I’m building a new house and have decided on nsw spotted gum flooring. The house is modern and the palette I’m going for is greys and crisp whites with pops of matt black (fixtures). I want a crisp white for the walls and I want the trims (skirting and alcatraves) to pop. Kitchen, living and dining are all north facing. Kitchen joinery will be matt black with concrete look benchtop. I was thinking of using dulux lexicon quarter for walls and vivid white for trims? Not sure which white I’m supposed to put on the doors and ceiling . I’m just not sure how these whites will work with the warmth of the timber. I also am keen to use a pale grey but am unsure which grey will work with the spotted gum – I was considering grey pail or do you think I need a warmer grey? The house is not built, so I can’t test the samples which makes it tricky. Thanks!

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Maria I’m not sure that you will like Lexicon quarter and vivid white together as tonally they are the same – Vivid White is a warm fresh white – in fact it hardly has anything in it all and Lexicon Quarter is a crisp blue white. If you want your trim to pop then you really need a different tonal level for the walls. To find the right white you need to think about the grey that you want to introduce. Dulux Grey Pail is very cool and blue. Consider the overall look – your furniture, sofas, chairs etc. So to re-cap, either Dulux Vivid white or Dulux Lexicon Quarter will work as the trim but you will need to go with a white that has a touch more depth for the walls to ensure you get the tonal difference and the pop that you want. Generally I would say to use the same white for your doors and ceiling as you would for your architraves and skirting boards. Then when considering the grey to introduce, look at what you already have – I suspect with a Spotted Gum floor you will need a warmer grey or even a neutral one like Tranquil Retreat. A mood board with samples of all your colours, viewed in different lights, may help you to pull it all together? Good luck with your new home. Samantha

  61. Kayleigh says:

    Hi there.
    We have a kitchen that has polar white base cupboards, black overheards, timber look flooring and a sleek concrete bench top. I am absolutely petrified of making the wrong colour choice with our paint!! As we have cool lighting, I have been leaning towards a lexicon half on the walls with lexicon quarter on the ceiling and trimmings, however now I have been told that its going to look quite blue. I’m trying to avoid whites with pink or creamy bases as they don’t seem to work too well with the polar white. Do you think we would be better off with a lexicon quarter colour on our walls? If so, what is a complimentary colour for the ceiling and trimmings (something that would be a tiny shade lighter and work well with it!!).

    Thank yooouuuu!

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Kayleigh thanks for getting in touch! There really isn’t anything lighter than Dulux Lexicon Quarter so if you have this on the walls you will also need to carry it through with trim and ceiling etc. This does work as your timber will be in a different finish – probably a semi-gloss so it will appear a little different. Half strength Lexicon looks great – really contemporary and cool however you will start to see a touch of blue but not a big problem. I think you will just need to test the colour – paint a large board with two coats and look at it at different times of the day and particularly at night. If you want to knock out any blue at all, you could look at Snowy Mountains Quarter and Snowy Mountains Half as an alternative. Hope this helps! Samantha

  62. Fiona says:

    Hi Samantha
    This is an extremely helpful thread. You must be very busy replying to everyone so diligently.
    We are renovating a 1920s double brick home in central west NSW.
    The space gets good natural light being north facing.
    We need to pick a kitchen cabinet colour and wall colour.
    Our bench top is caesarstone Snow. Splash back tile is a white gloss subway tile.

    Floors are spotted gum matte finish.

    Going for a fresh, warm but bright, modern feel but keeping the integrity of the older style with decorative cornice and ceiling roses etc. ceilings are 3.1m.
    We were thinking antique white USA half strength on the walls and quarter strength on the cabinets. Will that be too creamy?
    Contemplating natural white as a better option for both the walls and cabinets… don’t want it to look too cream and dated.
    I would really appreciate your thoughts.
    Thank you

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Fiona Glad you have found this useful! It takes a while but one of the reasons that I decided to write a blog was because I wanted to reach out to people so I do enjoy it! I don’t think either Dulux Antique White USA in half strength or Natural White will look dated. What you have to remember is that you need to consider the mood that you want to create for a 1920s home. Both of these whites will be very light and with a north facing aspect you will have plenty of natural daylight. Natural White I think will suit the house well and as you are in a very cool climate for a reasonable part of the year you don’t want to have a white that is too stark or blue. With ceilings that are 3.1m Dulux Natural White will really just appear very fresh and white but if you have time and energy, possibly paint a large board to double check? Good luck Samantha

  63. Clare says:

    Hi Samantha. Your article and responses are so detailed and extermely useful – thank you so much! Certainly helps with what seems to be the trickiest colour of all!
    I’ve read your comments and would be grateful for your thoughts – we are about to do a large scale renovation in Queensland. Raising the small house up and building under/out with the new lower level living and dining area having 4.5mceilings, a large 7m living room void and a north easterly aspect. We have decided on spotted gum flooring throughout, dark grey carpets to the bedrooms upstairs, charcoal kitchen cabinetry (with glass window splashback), frosty carrina caesarstone, and are throwing in a VJ feature wall in the void living area (which we’ll do in a grey like Dulux Disekau, tranquil retreat etc). So I guess it’s a blend of scandinavian style and some traditional features. Upstairs is all the bedrooms and bathrooms which wont have as much natural light.
    Just trying to decide whether to opt for a cool grey like Lexicon Half/Quarter for all the internal walls or to opt for a more neutral white like Snowy Mountains Half/Quarter that seems to be very popular amongst readers? I’m just worried that the Lexicon will look too clinical but am conscious that there will be a lot of natural light too.
    Really appreciate your thoughts! Cheers, Clare

    • Clare says:

      Sorry Samantha, thought I would also mentioned that in addition to the Dulux range I thought one of the Haymes series may also do the job? Greyology, Whitewash or Pale Mushroom. ARghh, not sure which one! The thing I like about the Haymes is the different strength spectrum for each of their colours which will assist with changing up the ceilings, skirts, and bedrooms vs living areas.


    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Clare I think you are on the right track with opting for the Haymes paints – as in your second note to me. All three of the ranges you mention are lovely and will work really well for the various whites and greys that you want throughout the house. Haymes Greyology range is a beautiful set of whites and greys that suit a Scandi look perfectly and I love the fact that they are made here in Australia by a family owned business. This range will look lovely with Caesarstone Frosty Carina. Your project sounds really interesting – hope you love the end result Samantha

  64. Lucy says:

    What wonderful advice- I just wish I’d read your article and advice before we locked in the colours for our house (project home currently being built ). We selected Dulux Antique White USA for the walls and the ceiling is being painted in ceiling white which I was told is the same as quarter strength of the wall colour? Floors will be NSW spotted gum.

    We were thinking of kitchen cabinets also being done in the same as the wall colour. Is this the best option? I’m unsure what to put on the kitchen bench tops. I’ve seen a natural quartzite that mimics a blue grey Carrara that I like but am unsure if this may conflict with warm tones of Antique White USA – if so is there any way to make it work with current colour palette or should I be looking at a warmer toned stone or engineered stone top? Would love your advice. Thanks

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Lucy Glad you are enjoying the blog. Dulux Antique White USA is a great wall colour and goes very well with Spotted Gum which is a gorgeous warm floor – I have it in my own house and although trends come and go, it always seems to look good. You are right thought in thinking that the blue grey benchtop may clash. I think you need to stick with warmer greys, off whites or brown tones. There are natural and engineered stones that have warmer grey veins rather than the blue, grey of Carrara. Some Carrara is OK if it is a pale grey version but you need to lean away from the blues. Blue will be fine in upholstery etc. But I think you really need to tie in your wall colour with your bench top. I hope you love and are happy in your new home Samantha

  65. Belinda says:

    Hi Samantha, I love reading all of your recommendations. We have a granny flat that will have white gloss cupboards and the flooring is Grey Driftwood vinyl timber planking but it throughs both browns and greys. We don’t want the walls to be grey but more probably leading towards the browns. We were thinking White Beach Quarter but I have seen you recommend White Cloak Quarter in your posts. We were also thinking Beige Royal quarter, sandy day in a quarter strength or grand piano quarter. There seems to be a lot of natural light as we are facing north. The place is not that big though as it is a granny flat. We are going to use Vivid White for the ceilings and trims. Your feedback is appreciated as to the best colour.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Belinda The whites you are looking at are similar and are all lovely but you will need to decide on the feel that you want for the granny flat and it may also depend on the furnishings that you have – for example sofas/rugs etc. White Beach Quarter has creamier warm tones, White Cloak Quarter is warm but with a touch of grey, Beige Royal Quarter is similar but with a little more depth, Grand Piano Quarter is lighter and slightly more yellow than Beige Royal quarter and Sandy Day quarter has a pinkish hue. I think that as you have a grey driftwood floor and lots of natural light you may be best with White cloak Quarter however it does depend on the look that you want and any furniture so you really should paint a large board with two coats and move it around the room – in particular view it next to the Vivid White. I hope this helps! Samantha

  66. Grace says:

    Hi there, have been undecided on paints for so long. This thread has been great. House built by Clarendon in 2001, has cream tiles throughout. My biggest concern is choosing the wrong white on the walls and it will make the cream tiles look a dirty cream. Currently all walls, trim and ceiling are in a creamy ivory so the floor tiles seem to blend. Kitchen has brown cupboards with cream stone benchtop. I did some sample pots with antique white and natural white but they look so stark against the floor tiles and I think they make them look dirty. Not sure if Dulux China white or Stowe white may work with my foor tiles or against. Any feedback would be gratefully received.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Grace Sometimes people really want to use fresh white paint on their walls but just can’t because of their floor tiles. A scheme should always be put together from the flooring up and it clearly worked before as you had creamy tones that went with the tiles rather than fought it. Drastic options are to cover tiles with carpet and/or a vinyl, or use lots of large area rugs to cut down on the amount of cream. Otherwise you have to adjust your wall colour – particularly with the cream and brown kitchen. Rather than use an off white, perhaps consider a modern neutral like Dulux Feather Soft – one of their brand new colours. This is a bit darker but may work better with your kitchen. My feedback really is to think outside the square and perhaps move away from the whites unless you want a really creamy, yellow one and go with your scheme rather than fight it! Hope this makes sense Samantha

  67. Marion Orvad says:

    Hi Samantha. Like most people iam totally confused with whites. Painting whole 25 yr old house. kitchen has parchment 2 PAC cupboards, latte ceaserstone bench tops, light beige coloured tiles. Walls currently seed pearl and soft brown carpets in bedrooms, lounge. Have tried, Stowe white,natural white, antique white USA, white beach, whisper white and dune and all seem to throw the wrong colours. Presently contemplating Hogs bristle 1/4Or antique white. House if north facing and has lots of natural light. Would appreciate your advise about this colour and also what colour to do ceiling and trims. Was wanting to lighten and modernise the house.

    Thank you for your help. Marion

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Marion The beige colours in your benchtop and floor will be impacting upon the white you choose for the walls. If you want a really modern look then you could try just a Dulux Vivid White which if anything is slightly cream but really doesn’t have much of anything in it at all. Everything you have tried so far is very warm and Hog Bristle quarter is too and quite yellow. Another thought is Dulux White Cloak Quarter – this goes well with Parchment and I find that as it has a touch of grey it is a modern version of Antique White. Hopefully one of these will work??? good luck Samantha

      • Marion Orvad says:

        Thanks Samantha will try white cloak quarter did think about that one before although thought it might throw to much grey.

  68. hayley says:

    Hi Samantha, I have loved reading all of your recommendations, so informative & helpful. My husband & I are building a home & would love some advice. We are having a stained oak timber floor(a light color called macadamia) which will be in our entry, kitchen, living & dining area. The bedrooms & family room will have a medium grey color carpet & wet areas a light grey/concrete look tile. The cabinetry throughout the house is polytec classic white matte. Kitchen benchtop is caesarstone raw concrete & splashback is a white matt subway tile. Our open living area faces west & will get the afternoon sun. We are after a white that will give the house a light feel but not clinical. Any advice would be great.
    Thankyou kindly

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Hayley lovely to hear from you – your house sounds lovely and I feel that you need a coolish white with the colours you have selected so far. Raw Concrete is a lovely warm grey though so you don’t want to make it too clinical and you should certainly avoid the whites that contain blue. My clients recently have been choosing Snowy Mountains Half or Quarter for their walls with this kind of scheme – it is a cool white but without blue. You will need to get a large board and paint two coats of it to see if you like it with all your other samples – get them all together – carpet, timber, benchtop etc to see how it goes. I hope you love living in your new home. Samantha

      • hayley says:

        Thankyou very much for your advice Samantha. We will give this color a try. Have also got a query in regard to exterior colors. We are after a light color scheme, have chosen a lighter grey brick called industrial steel & surfmist windows, front door, garage door, facia & linea board feature. Do you think a shale grey gutter & roof would work with this?

  69. Dominie says:

    Hi Samantha

    Such a great article and recommendations!

    We are renovating a block home (not rendered on the inside or the outside). It is only a standard height ceiling 2400mm which is fine for the bedrooms but the larger living areas it feels like the roof is very low. I also feel there is not enough natural light coming in. We have a limed oak vinyl plank flooring. We are going for a modern country feel.

    I want to make the space feel big, warm and inviting and feel “natural” but I find a lot of warm whites too warm. I am trying to choose a white for wall, trims, doors, ceiling and also trying to pick a white in a good satin finish for kitchen cabinetry (I find warm whites too dated for cabinetry and then maybe vivid white too bright).

    A bit lost, help eek


    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Dominie Glad you enjoyed the article! Limed oak is usually a little pinkish so you have your warmth there and possibly some pink tones. I think a white like Dulux White Cloak Quarter could work for you. This is warm but with a touch of grey and works well in a 2 pack poly finish for kitchens and then just extend it through the walls and trim in your house. The key is to look at it with your flooring in a large sample. When you put different whites together you see the underlying colour more but if you use one that you like for everything, including your ceiling, you just see it as a pure white so the key is if you like this with your flooring or find another one that you like, just use it for everything. Then you can introduce colours in furnishings, artworks, cushions etc to give you the warm cosy feel. And of course you can inject lovely colour like Dulux Dewpoint half for your daughter’s room. Hope this helps Samantha

  70. Cathy Hoyt says:

    Hi. Hoping you can help me out. I’m from Canada and trying to match up some paint colours from the UK that I saw on a decorating website. Would you have any suggestions for matches for the following UK Colors:

    Caspar White
    Salt Spray

    Any help would be so appreciated!!

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Cathy All colours will have a HEX code and you can usually find this out from the company’s website. You can then take this HEX code to your local paint store – a good traditional paint mixer is better than a really large hardware store – and they should be able to mix the colour for you from this code. I hope this works for you! Samantha

  71. Ali says:

    Oh my, I am in a confusing haze of whites and am so grateful I have stumbled across your blog! I hope you can help!
    We have to make cabinetry colour selections for our kitchen and it is literally doing my head in! ?
    So…. we live in the foothills in south Australia. A fair bit of natural light and surrounded by trees (so the light definitely throws different hues).
    Our walls and ceilings and trims are antique white USA through the entire house. I’m happy enough with it (perhaps don’t have the energy to change it all??
    I am after a light, inviting, classic yet simple kitchen.
    We have Tasmanian oak floors , and I am looking at white gloss subway tile and silestone lagoon (ceaserstone frosty carrina is another option ) for the bench tops. So with my white subways and grey in my bench I don’t want anything too creamy, but not too stark either. So the million dollar question is “what colour do I have my cabinets painted? ” ..
    From looking online I have found natural white, vivid white, white on white, lexicon quarter, or antique USA quarter are possible options but would love your expertise! THANKS!!! Ali

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Ali I think you will find that Dulux Natural White will be the best partner with Antique White or you can go with Vivid White if you want a really crisp white – avoid White on White or Lexicon Quarter as they have a blue base. Good luck Samantha

  72. Elizabeth Webb says:

    Hi Samantha, thanks so much for such a great article about whites!
    I’m currently doing a new build in a coastal weatherboard style with Shale Grey roof. After seeing a gorgeous house down the street I thought I’d mimic their colours, Vivid White for the weatherboard and Lexicon quarter for the eaves. The other house is East facing and we’re West facing, do you think these colours will work on our house? And which of these colours should I use for the trim?
    Internally I thought I’d go for Caspar White Quarter for the walls with Vivid White for ceilings and trim (joinery is Vivid White). Do you think this will marry well with the exterior? Should I be considering the Caspar White Quarter for the exterior weatherboard too?
    Thank you!

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      HI Elizabeth Your west facing aspect will be quite different to your neighbour’s east aspect and I suspect that you could do with the Caspar White Quarter for the weatherboards as it has a touch of grey – I would even go a touch more with half strength but you should try it out on a large board. Vivid White really doesn’t have anything in it and therefore coverage can be an issue too. Good luck Samantha

  73. Kate Bolton says:

    Hi Samantha,
    Thank you for your great article on whites.
    We are renovating our semi rural house in an french country style as it is an older style house with big beautiful french windows and doors throughout. I like warm,cosy and natural colouring and don’t like stark white or modern. The Kitchen & living area is open plan and we are having a Shitake Caeserstone bench top with spotted gum floors. The kitchen Designer recommended Dulux Snowy Mountains for the 2 pac kitchen cabinets but I changed it to Half strength as i thought it would be too grey. Now I have made up sample boards I regret changing Snowy mountains to half strength as the full strength looks warmer and deeper. The half strength is very white! I have to have the cupboards in half strength but if it would look ok would like to paint all the walls including the kitchen in full strength??
    I am also confused about ceiling and trim. I was planning to do the ceiling trim and windows in vivid white but reading through your blog I wasn’t sure if you were advising only using quarter strength for these when using snowy mountains?
    I do like a strong contrast between the walls and the trim on the windows so want to use a gloss finish for the windows trim as well. Really appreciate your expert advice. Kind regards and thank you Kate.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Kate I think if you stick with the full strength of Snowy Mountains on walls, half strength on architraves and skirting boards and quarter strength on ceilings and cornice, you will be happy. This is a standard formula and will give you the contrast and also work with everything else. Hope this helps! Samantha

      • Kate Bolton says:

        Hi Samantha,
        Thank you so much for your reply. That makes perfect sense to use Snowy mountains Half on the architraves and Skirting boards to tie in with the kitchen cabinets! I will also follow the formula and use 1/4 strength for the ceiling and cornice.
        I am afraid the Snowy mountains colour will come across too cold and light in my walls still. I was wondering if i could use a slightly warmer and darker colour on the walls instead that would still work with the snowy mountains half? I was looking at something like white beach quarter? ( or anything you can recommend)
        There is a lot of confusion about snowy mountains being warm or cool possibly because it has both in it. I have spent countless hours agonising over this and really appreciate your help!!! The Snowy mountains does match with the Shitake bench and the Vinyl spotted gum floor but i don’t want to end up with a cold looking home.
        Kind regards

  74. Amy says:

    Hi Samantha, we are wanting to paint our house. At the moment the walls are Stowe white with much darker gloss trims (not sure of the colour paint used) which is how it was when we bought it. Our issue is the primrose window and door frames. How light a white can we go? I would like lighter than what we have now if possible. I was thinking Natural white but would it be too light and make the frames stand out too much? I would like to do 1/2 strength on the trims and 1/4 on the roof of whichever colour we use. Do you have any other recommendations? Thank you 🙂

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Amy Natural White sounds as though it will work – you may also find though that if you paint the trims a half strength of Stowe White that you would actually like the Stowe White on the walls again. The darker trim will definitely have an impact on what it currently looks like. You are on the right track as with your window frames you need to stick with a warmer white. Consider what you can do with your primrose windows to disguise them in terms of window dressings – some simple ready made light sheers from somewhere like Pottery Barn or Freedom would work to hide the frames or roller/roman blinds to at least hide the top third of the window. Plantation shutters of course completely hide the frame which can work well for dominate windows – you don’t have to put them on every window as this gets very expensive but the odd one can help to cut down the amount of Primrose you see in the room. Hope this helps! Samantha

  75. Abby May says:

    Hi Samantha,
    What an amazing site. Thank you for generously sharing your knowledge. I’m currently renovating our little weatherboard farm cottage and want to paint the external and pergola white. I’m wary of the colour being at all warm or buttery (it gets lots of natural sun), but I’m also scared of blue undertones 🙂 I want a traditional, minimal, chalky farmhouse feel with a hint of mediterranean vibe. I’ve been looking at Dulux Casper White Quarter, Dulux Natural White and Snowy Mountains Half. What would you choose? Would you go with Vivid White for the trims (all older style timber windows etc)? And also, do I paint the pergola in a semi-gloss or just low sheen like the walls?
    Thank you in advance xx Abby

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Abby All of the whites you mention will look very similar out in the bright sunlight and the one you select will really depend upon any other colours on the house. If you want to paint the walls and the trim white but see a difference then possibly look at the Casper White range – quarter for the trims and full strength for the walls – you will won’t see an enormous difference in tone though once you are outside so I would recommend painting sample boards of both and looking at them on a sunny day. I generally like my trim to be painted in a low sheen as I am not fond on glossy surfaces but sometimes you do need an extra bit of toughness – particularly for painted windows. The pergola though I would definitely do in a low sheen finish to match the walls of the house. good luck Samantha

  76. Kate Bolton says:

    Hi Samantha,
    I can probably live with the snowy mountains in the living area /kitchen if it seems to match every thing else there.
    I would still love a matching but warmer alternative for the bedroom which has burgundy curtains and red-ish wood architraves and looks so wrong with SM.
    thanks again

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Kate yes I think the Snowy Mountains in one are will work well particularly if you add a couple of statement artworks to detract from the very white wall. There is a new Dulux white called Modern White that I think will tie in with Snowy Mountains and will be slightly softer for your bedroom – make sure you try a sample pot though! You could also think of something richer all together for the bedroom rather than another white? Hope this works Samantha

  77. Diane Fishwick says:

    Hi Samantha
    I admire your patience n dealing with all these questions. I am renovating and have kitchen cabinets polytec classic white, which white paint would match for trims. Using Quatum Quartz Dolce for benches. Want to repainting house light neutral/ white that ties n with kitchen . Any ideas? Did try Haymes minimalist to but looked pink/ then bluey. Do have grey wooden laminate in kitchen Aksum. Plan to recarpet in taupe tones. Thankyou for you time .

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Diane A good paint supplier will be able to mix a paint to match Polytec Classic White if you want an exact match. Haymes Minimalist can read a little pink but I love using their Whitewas range which goes to a lovely grey as it gets darker or their Organic range of colours which goes to a nice taupe when it is darker so should work with your taupe carpet idea. Get all your samples together – bench top, carpet etc and then paint some samples onto some A4 boards to get a good idea of how it will all work together. Good luck Samantha

  78. Nadine says:

    Hi Samantha,

    Love your Blog! It’s very helpful – thank you. We are currently building and would love your opinion on our selections. We have chosen Caesarstone Frosty Carrina for Kitchen benchtops and Organic White for WIP, Laundry and Vanity benchtops. I really like Dulux Snowy Mountains Half so I’m leaning towards this for all cabinetry and walls. I have very small samples of the Caesarstone so it’s hard to tell whether these will look ok. Do you think this colour would go with both Frosty Carrina and Organic White? We have selected a light oak flooring.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Nadine I have specified Dulux Snowy Mountains half with these stones and it looks great but if you want to double check, paint an A4 board with the colour and then go to your local kitchen store who will have large samples of the stone – this way you can really get an idea of whether or not you will like it. Samantha

  79. lauren says:

    Hi Samantha, We’re going to have jarrah floorboards installed, and already have grey carpets in the bedrooms . I’m trying to find the right white for the walls throughout and the kitchen cupboards. Can you recommend which white to use on both?

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Lauren the white will really depend on the feel that you want for the house. Do you want a crisp contemporary look or a softer, warmer feel? Your Jarrah boards will throw some warmth too. Perhaps look at something neutral like the Snowy Mountains range – in full strength it has a touch of grey which would work with your carpets. Remember the rule – quarter for ceiling, half for trim (kitchen) and either half or full for walls. Bear in mind too your benchtop colours and other colour from sofas etc. and always try large, minimum size A4 samples in situ before making a decision and think about the feel that you want for your home. Hope this helps Samantha

      • lauren says:

        Thanks Samantha – probably more cool and crisp. We have beige royal half and quarter and oak-like floors as part of the colour palette now. But we need to change it all as the flooring scratches all the time. As luck would have it we havent started the cabinetry yet so thinking white cupboards and counter is the best option, we thought the jarrah would be quite dominant. Originally we were going to use concrete-y colour. But dont think that will work with the jarrah?

        • Samantha Bacon says:

          I think you are right in thinking that the Jarrah will be dominant – it is such a beautiful timber that you need it to be the focal point. I think that if you stick to the crisp white and use artworks etc that this will complement the floor well. I agree that the concrete is not the right choice with the richness of the Jarrah. Good luck! Samantha

  80. Belinda says:

    Hi Samantha. We have extended out late 1800’s victorian home.. We have added on an open plan kitchen, living dining room with 3 metre ceilings.
    . Windows are double hung, timber and French doors, we have also put in Victorian cornice which is a decent size profile! I have to choose a paint colour for walls, ceiling, skirts etc but also for kitchen cabinetry (2pac). Floors will be spotted gum hardwood but are not down yet.
    I have no idea where to start with whites. ! I don’t want it to feel too cold in there, so maybe slightly off white. Would love to hear your thoughts!

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Belinda I agree that with a house like this a warmer white will be nice. A neutral like Dulux Beige Royal in various strengths from quarter to full with a Dulux Vivid White trim could work – a warm base but not too creamy and with a touch of grey to make it modern. Perhaps use this as a starting point to see what you think – it really depends how white you want the walls to be – bearing in mind the height of the ceiling I think you can get away with a little more depth – and you also need to consider benchtops, carpets etc. Good luck! Samantha

  81. christine scott says:

    Hi Samantha.
    I am wanting to paint my walls with Dulux Hakataramea but am unsure what white to use for ceilings and doors . I dont want a creamy white. I have looked at Haunui half and Aoraki Quarter but still not sure. Do you have any suggestions please
    Thanks Christine

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Christine These NZ colours – Hakataramea and Haunui Half are the same as the Australian Dulux White on White and Lexicon Quarter – these will work together for wall and ceiling. The White on White (Hakataramea) does throw a fair bit of blue/grey and is very cool so you definitely won’t have a creamy white but you may find it too cold – just make sure your house is facing north and gets lots of sun or it may be a bit stark. I hope this helps Samantha

  82. Rach says:

    Hi Samantha,

    Thank you for the great blog.

    We have jarrah floor boards, and a creamy limestone feature wall in the lounge room. Do you think natural white would work for the walls and ceiling white for the ceiling? Also would vivid white work for the trims?

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Rach – the key here is your limestone feature – place a large sample board painted with Natural White next to it to get the best idea – it sounds like it will work and will look good with Vivid White but take the time to paint the sample just to be sure! Glad you are enjoying the blog Samantha

  83. Klara Hahne says:

    Hi Samantha,
    Thank you for so generously sharing your wealth of knowledge on you fantastic Blog. I have enjoyed working my way through all your articles -and all the comments and learnt a lot, but would really appreciate your advice so that I don’t make a mistake.

    We are building a new 5 bedroom family home northwest of Melbourne. We have designed the house with a courtyard to access North light into the living areas. I am having trouble choosing the right white to go with the surfmist aluminium windows – as surfmist can look dirty and dull next to some whites. We will have polytec classic white matt cabintry (casino profile) . Essastone Crystalite bench tops, marble look subway tiles layed in a herringbone pattern for kitchen splashback and spotted gum floors in living areas. Bathrooms will have a carrara marble look wall tile and a medium grey floor tile, classic white cabinetry again with Nataio walnut polytec tops. Carpet for bedrooms has not been chosen – maybe a greyish brown? I would like a bright, relaxed feel to the house – I admire hamptons style houses.

    Our builder will use any colour dulux paint, and the paint shop that mixes his paints is happy to mix other brands colours in a dulux paint. Lexicon I feel is too clinical and I am concerned natural white is too yellow in some lights and I don’t want a paint that looks dirty – although with young children that will only be a matter of time! I read you suggested whisper white to go with surfmist in another comment which I am considering. I was also wondering if snowy mountain would be ok on the walls or if in full strength it appears too dark? Then half on trims and quarter on ceiling like your formula suggests? I also read that you recommend doing trims in the colour of cabinetry – would colour matching to classic white work work as a trim, what would I do the ceiling then? I was also wondering if you have ever seen a 1/2, 1/4 or 1/8 strength surfmist on interior walls. Any other suggestions are very welcome.

    Thank you so much for your help -very much appreciated as scared of making a mistake and repainting wont be an option.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Klara thanks for your note and I am so glad that you are enjoying the blog and finding it useful. Rather than get too hung up on matching your trim paint to the Surfmist windows, you really need to consider the overall look and feel that you want for the house. Getting too fixated on working with the window colour could mean that you get a match for that but then don’t like the overall look of the house. Saying that, with Surfmist you do need to avoid some of the warmer whites but you might find that a white like White Exchange half or quarter that has just a touch of grey could work. I also really like Dulux Snowy Mountains quarter for a crisp clean white without blue and the half strength for a touch more depth. You certainly can ask for the trims to match Classic White and then I would also use this on the ceilings and cornice but you have to remember that it is the trim (architrave) that will be right next to the window frame so you may prefer to use the same paint colour that you use on the walls so that you don’t draw attention to the trim and thus the surfmist frame. If you do opt for a half strength white then you can either have quarter strength of it on the ceiling or go back to matching the classic white – this can work well if your kitchen cabinets reach right to the ceiling so that you don’t see a different white. I hope all of this makes sense – I can’t give you an absolute conclusive answer as it is a case of trialing some of these too – paint large samples and move them around the house to see which works with your aspect. Good luck! Samantha

  84. Meagan Steele says:

    Hi Samantha

    I have just found your blog and have done a lot of reading 🙂

    We are building in South Australia, in the middle of a paddock with big north facing windows. The house will be built out of colorbond monument corrugated iron and inside will have grey/aggregate polished concrete floors. The kitchen will be white with blackbutt feature cabinets and frosty carina waterfall island and off white splashback subway tile with dark grout (I think :-)). In the kitchen, living, dining will be square set cornicing with a skillion roof line.

    So, after reading your suggestions to others and your blog does this sound alright?
    Walls – 1/2 Snowy Mountain
    Ceiling, skirts, internal doors and kitchen cupboards – 1/4 Snowy Mountain

    Will this be too white for such a big light filled space? Will the tone of Snowy Mountain go with concrete/frosty carina/blackbutt for the kitchen?

    We will be painting the 3 bedrooms in tranquil retreat with grey carpet and the bathroom/ensuite/laundry will be all grey/white based.

    I would appreciate any help you can give. We have used natural white in the past and loved it but feel its wrong for this house.


    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Meagan Dulux Snowy Mountains in any strength is a lovely white to work with but it is very white and what you need to consider is subway tile – you say this is an off white and you really need to use this as a guide for your other whites as you may find the splashback could throw the entire scheme. I think it all sounds great – it will be crisp but I get the idea from your description that it will suit the house really well. The key to making it work will be the finishing touches – rugs, sofas, accent chairs and cushions, artworks etc. Until you have these in place it may seem cold but with these it will just be a lovely contemporary background. The house sounds great – I hope you are happy with it Samantha

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Meagan the timber would soften the whole look and make it more of a country style look so it really depends on the overall outcome you want and the type of furniture etc. that you have. Samantha

  85. Rhiannon says:

    Hi Samantha, I have enjoyed your blog , I am thinking of getting my house painted in grand piano half , some of the rooms are dark and some are quite light , the kitchen is an olive green that I don’t want to clash with
    My concerns are is grand piano greyish yellow in half strength and I was also getting all joinery painted in a gloss including doors and wanted to know which shade of white would go with grand piano half we have black aluminium windows so will need to go with these as well

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Rhiannon Dulux Grand Piano Half does have a yellow base but it is a great neutral. I would paint a large piece of board with two coats and place it next to your kitchen cabinets and view in all lights, including the evening, to ensure you like the effect. This is also a good way to experiment with the colour in different rooms without painting it all over the walls. You may prefer something like Dulux White Duck Half which is a touch greyer but also is in a grouping that is leaning towards the olive hues. I like Dulux Whisper White with these neutrals as it is a warmish white without being too creamy and it has a touch of grey. On its own it looks like pure white. Good luck! Samantha

  86. Sonya says:

    Hi Samanatha
    We are renovating a queenslander with timber floorboards that we will sand and polish (pine & hardwood)
    I was thinking either snowy mountains half, casper white half or white exchange quarter for the walls and vivid white for ceiling, trims, doors etc?
    With vivid white 2 pac satin shaker style doors and calacatta Nuvo stone bench top for kitchen and vanity. Bathroom a light grey or charcoal tile and subway tiles in both?
    I would appreciate any advice you can give me 🙂

    • Sonya says:

      Oh and the outside will be painted surfmist colourbond roof, shale grey weather boards and vivid white trims (I think)
      Thank you 🙂

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Sonya As you are using Dulux Vivid White for your kitchen then you should definitely use this for trim and ceilings and really any of the three whites you are looking at will work – it just depends on the light that your house receives so you will need to try out some samples in a large format and put them next to the white in situ – remembering that parts of the house will receive more light, particularly as you have a Queenslander which I suspect has a beautiful deep verandah. Bathrooms and exterior scheme also sound great – a very simple colour scheme that you can then introduce any colour to. Lucky you having a Queenslander – it is a dream of mine! Good luck Samantha

  87. Kristy says:

    Hi, I was told at Bunnings that the Snowy Mountain shades are a “stone” white. Is this right?
    And could you tell me is the new shade “Modern white” you spoke about earlier a warm or cool shade and how it differs to Snowy Mountain?
    Thanks , I couldn’t find much about this colour online.
    I have grey polished concrete and pure white caesarstone kitchen and a west facing living room with the other large windows all facing south in my townhouse so no sun until the afternoon. Found whisper white too dark and throwing too much green. And don’t want anything throwing blue , brown or pink.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Kristy yes Snowy Mountain could be described as a stone white – these are the ones that are neither really warm or cool so not too much yellow or blue. They sit in the middle which makes them really neutral and easy to use so I think this range could work in your house but although nice and neutral they won’t offer much warmth and with grey concrete and not much sun in some parts of the house you may struggle with the feel of the space. Whisper White can throw a little yellow so if it is throwing green in your house then this is a message. I would try a sample board of Snowy Mountains – probably the half strength and move it around the house at different times of the day to see what you think – remember that Caesarstone Pure White is a clean crisp blue white so test out your whites against this. Samantha

  88. Tracey Edgell says:

    Hi Samantha,

    I was wondering if I could please have you expert opinion of your thought of my colour scheme. We are up to painting the internal walls of our house. I have to choose the colours before the kitchen goes in due to the extremely high void we have and the scaffolding needs to go back asap. This means the painters need to paint our void. ASAP.

    My kitchen cupboards are polar white silk with Iced snow bench tops. The side cupboard and the breakfast bar (stool side) moose laminex silk finish. All other cupboards over heads and draws are in the polar white. Finger pull draws. Flooring is spotted gum and concrete looking tiles in the wet areas.

    The paint I think will suit is full strength white exchange with WA white door trims, doors and skirting boards. Also a feature paint will be used around the stairs that is diplomatic grey??. It seems to link into the moose colour too. (I think)

    The theatre room will have one wall behind the TV charcoal fusion. This colour will also be used in the entry behind the recessed wall that have white framed beach pictures. The main wall will be the full strength white exchange with the WA white trims. All ceilings vivid white.

    I want a fairly neutral house. My concern is that the full strength white exchange may darken the house too much. What are your thoughts with these colours? I know it is hard to comment due to you not seeing our house. Any help is appreciated.

    Kind regards,


    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Tracey I think it all sounds as though you are on the right track. Full Strength White Exchange is a lovely grey white which will be easy to work with. I like to use different tones of a white or grey throughout a house so if there are areas that you feel will be darker you could switch to half strength White Exchange but it will be a case of painting a couple of large sample boards and walking them around the house! Samantha

  89. lynne says:

    Hi Samantha ,
    Your blog is so informative and helpful thank you . I am hoping you can spare some time and advice for me . I am currently renovating a Queenslander . The walls inside are all antique white USA with stowe white trim and to be honest it looks dirty yellow. The floors are a light pine throughout .
    I am installing a kitchen currently which is 2 pac love note (British Paints ) with a quantum quartz michaelangelo benchtop (a grey and white marble look ) . My kitchen faces the western sun but the interior of the open living space is a little darker with these walls not getting much direct sunlight. It is a fairly big open space.

    I have tried a whole heap of samples and cant seem to get it right . Initially I had looked at diamond white which I think is british paint but it seems too blue on my walls . I wanted a white with a hint of grey that wasn’t too cool overall . For the outside I wanted a light white grey which was still warm with contrasting dark and white trims and again have painted so many samples the neighbours are putting in bets as to which I will pick !I am close to giving up – as you say it is not an easy decision at all .I would be so grateful for your thoughts .
    many thanks

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Lynne Sometimes the more samples you paint, the less obvious it all seems, particularly if you paint them close to each other. It might just be worth getting in a colour consultant who can just spend an hour with you to sort through the options. My advice is to avoid anything with too much blue or yellow. I’m not familiar with British Paints Love Note but this really is a good starting point to help you select a white as whatever you choose has to go with this this. My recommendation for a white that is contemporary, not too blue or yellow and with just a hint of grey to stand up to the sunlight is Dulux Snowy Mountains Quarter or half strength. However it must go with your kitchen. Dulux Tranquil Retreat is a lovely grey exterior colour that is soft and light but really I do think that some professional help would be a good idea – Queenslanders are probably amongst the most expensive to paint with all their weatherboards and a colour consultant will be a drop in the ocean! Good luck Samantha

  90. Amanda says:

    Hi Samantha! I’ve recently discovered your blog and my head is almost foggy with new knowledge!
    We are renovating a weatherboard home and it’s quite traditional. I’ve been using Dulux Whisper White as a sample for interior walls, however I’m feeling like it’s a bit too cold against our grey ironbark timber floorboards. If I wanted to go with a slightly warmer white, but not too creamy/yellow, would white cloak half or quarter be better in your opinion?
    We have grey tiles (mix of cement and marble looks) and polar white 2pac cabinetry in the bathrooms. Vanity bench tops are silky oak and ironbark.
    Further, we are considering painting our ceilings and walls in semi-gloss and the trims in gloss, purely because we live on a cattle property that is quite dusty for most of the year and (unfortunately) ceiling cleaning is an annual necessity. The ceilings are all new so shouldn’t show up too many imperfections. Would it be safe to use, for example, white cloak quarter semi-gloss on ceilings and walls, and vivid white gloss on arc and skirting? Would you do the doors in vivid white too, or in a darker grey, such as colorbond shale grey or Dulux grey pail?
    Thanks so much for your help.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Amanda it certainly sounds like you live in a challenging area as far as choosing whites is concerned! Dulux White Cloak Quarter is certainly a very nice white to use inside as it is slightly warm but with a touch of grey and although a little grey it is warmer than Whisper White. Dulux Vivid White works very well with it and in fact I have had a couple of clients recently who have used this and have been very happy with the combination. When colours are horizontal they appear darker so I usually say to do the ceiling in a lighter version of the wall and would recommend Dulux Vivid White for the architraves, skirting boards, internal doors and ceilings however as you are in a very dusty area you may want to look at using White Cloak Quarter but just be aware that it will look slightly darker. I do love introducing dark doors and this may be an option for you that will also be very practical but just ensure that this will fit into your overall decorating plan. People do use semi-gloss for walls and ceilings but you might be able to get away with low sheen wash and wear – I recommend that you speak to the paint supplier to get some good technical advice to see whether the low sheen washable paints will stand up to your environment. I hope this helps! Samantha

  91. Anne says:

    Hi Samantha,

    Your blog is so informative and helpful. We are currently looking for an interior white for our new house. The open plan area has 3 to 3.5m high ceilings and a good amount of natural light. We have concrete floors, a darker charcoal colour similar to basalt honed. There are mid-brown oak rafters, concrete waterfall benchtop, back wall cupboards – a white row on bottom and wood row on top with Bowral blue bricks and window splashback in between, brown leather couch. We will have white skirtings throughout. The house has concrete floors throughout. We can match white cupboards to walls or ceiling/trim.

    I am trying to find a white to tie it all together, without looking too clinical. At this point was considering vivid white or lexicon quarter. I like whites that feel softer, as I want a lived-in, textured feel, but have leaned towards the above two, because of the concrete and not wanting a cream.

    Could you suggest any others? Also if we went vivid white on the walls, would lexicon quarter work for the ceiling? Or vice versa?

    Thank you,

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Anne Thanks for your kind words re my blog – I’m glad it is useful! I love the sound of your new house – Bowral blue bricks are my favourite. I also like the way you have mixed in some brown tones which will make the room more comfortable and cosy. I would explore using Dulux Snowy Mountains Quarter or half – half for the walls, quarter for kitchen, trim and ceiling. This is a lovely crisp white without being too clinical (ie blue) and it doesn’t have any creaminess. It is also not too grey which is important too to ensure that you have a contemporary but comfortable home. Just try out large samples in the space with the other elements to see what you think and remember that some layers – rugs, throws, etc. will really work well in this environment. I hope you are happy with the end result and love your new home. Samantha

      • Anne says:

        Thank you so much Samantha for your advice. We picked up a sample pot and think it will be great. Would there ever be an instance where you would chose the same strength as the wall for kitchen cupboards and/or trim. Or is it generally advisable to go slightly lighter? We don’t have ceiling cornices – square set and shadowline instead.

  92. Kirsty says:

    Hi. My husband and I have to choose our internal wall colours and we are stuck. We are having ivory/white floor tiles and the kitchen cabinetry is Polytec Tasmanian Oak (front of island bench and top kitchen cabinets and Classic White (inside of the kitchen). The bench top is Urban Caesarstone. We want to choose a lighter wall colour for the open kitchen/living areas and then a darker colour for the media room and bedrooms. We are leaning towards cool white/grey tones. Perhaps a lighter colour or the main living areas and then a darker grey for the bedrooms/media room. We don’t want anything that will throw too much blue/purple. We are to use Dulux paints and looking at Terrace White, Snow Season, ½ Tranquil Retreat, Casper White , Snowy Mountains… Any suggestions would be welcome.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Kirsty Terrace White and Snow Season both throw blue so I would discount these. Classic White is a warmish white too and would look wrong against these blue based whites. Your safest bet amongst the whites you are looking at is Snowy Mountains in varying strengths and Tranquil Retreat is a lovely neutral grey that has a touch of warmth. However depending upon the light you have you may also like the effect of Caspar White here. Remember that your kitchen cabinets must go with the white you select for the walls. Hope this helps you to narrow your choices Samantha

  93. Kirsty says:

    Hi Samantha. Thanks for getting back to me so quickly with such helpful advice. My husband said, “just pick a white/grey – easy”. I was trying to point out it just wasn’t that simple. Your advice has certainly helped us narrow our choice. This is our forever home and wanting it just right. Thanks again, Kirsty.

  94. Mary says:

    Hi Samantha,

    I am renovating my home at the moment. My newly installed kitchen has Casper White Quarter cabinets in 60% gloss. The island cabinets are Malay Grey 60% also.

    My plan was for all the internal walls to be Casper White Quarter, but I am unsure what colour white to have for the skirting, cornice, architraves, doors & ceiling. My new floors are Spotted Gum.

    I would really appreciate your help as I am at a loss here.

    Many Thanks,


    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Mary Love the idea of Dulux Malay Grey for the island – I love introducing a secondary colour/tone here. The trim you use really depends upon the effect that you want. Many of my clients will just continue with Casper White Quarter but in a different finish – so semi-gloss/low sheen for the timberwork and matt for the ceiling. However if you want a contrast, which will define the grey tones more in the Casper White Quarter, you could try Dulux Lexicon Quarter for a crisp cool white or for a touch more warmth, Dulux Vivid White. Try out all the options first to see which effect you like the best good luck Samantha

  95. Mel says:

    Hi Samantha, so pleased I came across your site!! We’re wanting to repaint our small 1990’s brick house. The wall colour is currently China White and we have Paperbark windows. We were thinking of going lighter, are you able to recommend a colour that would compliment the frames.
    Thanks, Mel

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Mel glad you’re enjoying the blog. Dulux Whisper White is a lighter white that has a touch of grey but is still a little creamy. This will give you a more contemporary, lighter feel but still retains some warmth to work with the Paperbark windows. Try out a sample first though to make sure you like it and that it works with the other elements in your room. Hope you like it Samantha

  96. Anne-Maree Hawkings says:

    Hi Samantha, I am looking for some advice for skirtings and trims. Our home has currently been painted throughout with Casper White Quarter. Just about to start the trims and we have purchased White on White. I am concerned now it might be a little ‘blue’… I pondered just getting the Vivid White but wanted to bring out more of the grey I guess from the Casper White Quarter. Haven’t started yet so just wondered your thoughts on the combination. The floors are cypress pine with a slight limewash and satin finish. I appreciate your feeback.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Anne-Maree As you have purchased the White on White is seems a shame not to use it – perhaps try out one room and see what you think as it will all depend on the amount of light that the space receives. White on White certainly does have a very cool base and as a crisp trim to Casper White Quarter I would usually recommend Dulux Lexicon Quarter as although it is a touch blue in its quarter strength it just reads as a very crisp cool white. You will also need to consider it against your limewash floors too as often limewashing reads a little pink. My advice would be to try it out because in the scheme of things you probably won’t even notice it but if it doesn’t work speak to the paint supplier – a good mixer might be able to do something about this for you. Good luck! Samantha

  97. janine mcpherson says:

    Hi Samantha,

    My house is a country home. It was built 8 years ago and has paperbark aluminium windows surrounded by painted wooden trim the same colour. I had a colour specialist come as I love white and want to lighten the colour.

    She recommended Dulux Natural White for the timber trim frame inside and out and on the skirting and doors. The walls seem to be a mutch lighter version of paperbark or stone beige so I need a white that will work with this.

    What are your thoughts?

    Thanks so much. It’s a tricky one!


    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Janine The consultant has given you good advice as Natural White is a great warm off white and so will work with the Paperbark but bring in a contemporary touch and lighten the overall look. This white will work inside and outside although clearly outside it will appear a lot brighter in the sunshine. Re your interior wall colour – do you mean Dulux Pebbles? This is still reasonably dark – She may have meant Grey Pebble? This is a lovely neutral that is more grey but would look great with fresh white trim. You will need to consider your flooring, kitchen joinery, bench top and splashback etc as well as your current furniture when looking at a new wall colour and you should always paint a large sample board first to ensure you like it. Good luck! Samantha

  98. janine mcpherson says:

    P.S. The skirts and doors are currently full paperbark (or stone beige) like the window frames.
    I would’t mind lightening up the wall colour too or choosing something else that is not as beige, creamy (as a much lighter paperbark/stone beige) the consultant suggested Pebble??

    Thanks so much Janine

  99. Stefanie Koesterke says:

    Hello Samantha,

    I’ve used Dulux Whisper White on the walls throughout my house. The ceilings are painted in white Dulux ceiling paint – no special tint.
    Because I got a bit overwhelmed with the choice of whites I bought Dulux Aquanamel/semi gloss in Whisper White for the doors and trims as well. However, the tiles in the bathroom are leaning to a greyish white, bathtub and basin are white. I’m now unsure whether that combination would clash.
    Could I use half strength Whisper White on the doors and trims or what would you suggest?

    Looking forward to your feedback.

    Thanks so much, Stef

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Stef Lots of people use the same white on walls and doors/trims etc as the different sheen level gives a different appearance and a nice even look to the scheme so it’s actually a very useful way to approach whites. However I often find that it is difficult when it comes to bathrooms as with wall tiles, you are often introducing a completely different white. People buy white bathroom tiles but are disappointed when they arrive as some white wall tiles are creamy while others are a definite grey and this can throw your whole scheme. It’s difficult to dilute Whisper White anymore than it is so you might be better off looking at Dulux Vivid White or something like Casper White Quarter that has a touch of grey – I would grab a Dulux White colour card with all the samples on and hold it up next to the tile to see which one is the closest or at least complements it better than the Whisper White will. I hope this makes sense! Samantha

  100. Belinda Rodriguez says:

    Hi Samantha, this is Belinda Rodriguez. You helped me with the colour selections for our exterior cladding and trim on our extension a year ago. It is very close to being completed so I hope to send you a pic of the finished product soon.

    I was hoping you could help me with another colour choice. I am painting our upstairs bedrooms all that have very high raked ceilings that are lined in a pine panelling. The rooms tend to be a little on the dark side so I chose Dulux Natural White but after painting one wall I notice that colour is looking a little too cream , probably from all the timber on the ceiling being reflected. Could you advice me on another colour that would not bring out the cream colour and without the room feeling too cool.

    Many thanks

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Belinda Lovely to hear from you! Dulux Natural White is certainly one of the creamy whites and in some situations this shows up more than others and you are right in thinking that the timber could be reflecting a touch but it definitely is a creamy warm white. I like to use Dulux Whisper White as it still has some warmth but is a touch lighter and greyer but without being grey if that makes sense. I have used it in my house and I find it is a really user friendly white to use. Perhaps just try a sample of that – on a board might be more useful so that you can move it around rather than directly onto the pine. Good luck! Samantha

      • Belinda Rodriguez says:

        Thanks Samantha. what is the difference between Whisper White and Snowy Mountains Half? I have a sample pot of SMH and painted that on some cardboard and put that up in the room today. I could still see some cream coming out of that too. There seems to be so much yellow being reflected from the ceiling, I am wondering if I should look at a cool white instead? I appreciate your thoughts.

  101. Cathy says:

    Hi Samantha, we are nearing the end of our new hampton style house build. I am really struggling with paint choices and would love your help please. The ground floor is completely open plan with hallway leading into kitchen, dining and living and also alfresco area. This floor will have wainscoting panels (picture frame style) throughout. The colour I am after is a pale grey for the upper walls and the bottom panel section to be white. I have narrowed the grey down to Dulux White Exchange Half or Snowy Mountains Half on the upper walls and am not sure about the white. Maybe Vivid White? I am after a distinct contrast between the two. Also, would I use the same white for the trims and ceiling? So confused. Please help. Thank you, Cathy

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Cathy You might find that there isn’t enough of a contrast between Vivid White and the two that you mention – both will work, it just depends on which suits your house the best. You might find that going full strength gives you more of a contrast. Definitely use the same white (Vivid White?) for trims and ceiling – just play around with that main grey to ensure you get the right depth. By painting a large piece of board in two coats (timely but worth it) you can move it around and see what you think as it will depend on the amount of natural daylight. I love the Hamptons style and wainscoting is beautiful – I hope you love it! Samantha

      • Cathy says:

        Thank you Samantha. I had already chosen Snowy Mountains Half for the wall colour and Vivid White for everything else. The painters are there and the cut off is tomorrow morning believe it or not! I am now thinking that there will not be enough of a contrast and should have gone full strength Snowy Mountains. Anyway, I don’t think I can change now. I will hope for the best. Thanks for your time. Cathy

  102. deirdre says:

    Hi Samantha, we are renovating lounge/dining room from 1990s. we live in Australia. we currently have stained timber skirtings and sills. We are laying spotted gum timber laminate in dining and a taupey grey carpet in lounge.. We also have a mantel and built-in bookcase in mahogoney which I really want to paint. My question is shade of white/neutral? we have primrose windows so probably need a warm white. after reading all your fabulous answers, I am on board with quarter for sills and deeper for walls.. I guess my most important question is the bookcase and mantel.. should I stay with the same tone as walls or can I/should I change it up completely? I really would like to choose a colour that doesn’t date too quickly. I am keen to update to a little more modern look.
    thanks so much for your advice…

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Deirdre By painting the bookcase and mantel white you will bring a new lease of life to your house. As you have primrose windows you don need a white with some warmth. I have found that Hog Bristle Quarter is a lovely warm white but when away from any other crisper whites just looks white. Half strength on the walls will work well with spotted gum flooring but you will just need to paint a sample card and place it next to your taupe carpet to make sure this works. These colours are not the most modern but will work beautifully with what you have and will provide a far more updated and contemporary feel to your house – do try samples first though! Good luck Samantha

  103. Jo says:

    Hi Samantha ! What a great article and I have learnt a lot from your answers to readers’ questions too.

    I am just repainting our whole house interior and am using Snowy Mountains full strength – I absolutely love it ! Previously we had Antique White USA which was looking a little dated.

    I plan to use Vivid White on all the trim – do you think this will look OK ? Is there any advantage to using Snowy Mountain 1/4 instead and will the slight tint in it help reduce yellowing, if I use oil- based paint ?

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Jo Glad you have found the article useful! You can use either white for your trim – it just depends which you prefer as the Vivid White will give slightly more definition. What you need to consider are the other whites in the room – joinery etc – otherwise you can go with either and I find now with the modern oil based paints that they don’t yellow like they used to so this shouldn’t affect your decision. Good luck! Samantha

  104. Jenna says:

    Hi Sam,
    I was wondering if you could please help me out?! I wanted Natural White for the walls but I just found out that the builder’s used Natural White for doors and trim. My fault entirely, I should’ve double checked! What white would you use for the walls?! I’ve looked at so many charts and swatches and now I’m just confused!
    The flooring I’m getting is a laminate white washed woody look.
    Many thanks!!

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Jenna I fear that I have missed your deadline if the builder is on site. You can use the same white on the walls as it will look different with the different finish. Alternatively something like Dulux White Cloak Half could work to give you just a touch of variation. Sorry it is late…..Samantha

  105. Kath says:

    Hi Samantha, thanks for your great article. I didn’t know green was an undertone but you described it perfectly. I have Duluth beige royal quarter walls (I think) and want to update the skirting boards. We have caramel/honey colours bamboo floorboards. Can you advise on a white? Vivid white looks a bit stark. I am considering Casper white quarter or lexicon quarter (which I’m worried might be too grey??). I would like something fresh. Semi gloss or satin?? Or should I get beige royal 1/8th to keep it simple!!
    Thank you so much

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Kath Dulux Vivid White will freshen up your Beige Royal Quarter walls if this is what you want but failing that you could try Dulux Snowy Mountains Quarter as this just slightly knocks the brightness out. A semi-gloss finish will also inject some life into the scheme too. Good Luck Samantha

  106. Helen says:

    Hi Samantha

    Trying to find a colour for walls/doors and trims. kitchen Cabinetry is very white which I’m still not 100% on but alternative colour kept giving me blue/grey tones which I didn’t want. Tiling neutral. Have white gloss tiles at back of essastone bench in calcite (limited builders choice). Have swatches for white cloak quarter, natural white and snowy mountain half but am getting more confused than ever over what looks right.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Helen it sounds as though you need a touch of warmth to offset the bright white tones in the kitchen – my pick of the three that you have is White cloak Quarter – this is very popular with my clients and I haven’t had one yet that doesn’t like it – test it on a large piece of card to ensure you like the look of it next to your cabinets. Hope it helps to soften the look for you Samantha

  107. Chloe says:

    Hello Samantha,

    I love your blog, it’s been so helpful to me as we are about to begin an entire home renovation! I just wanted to ask for your opinion about some warm white paint options. I have been looking at Pale Mushroom 1 from the Haymes Natural Series colour range. The reason I like this is because it seems to work with a lot of other colours and appears quite bright without being too cool.

    The look I am trying to achieve is a welcoming relaxed feel that is still bright. I grew up in the UK and the country cottage style still has a special place in my heart. I don’t discount wallpaper making an appearance somewhere in my home as well 🙂

    I live in a single story brick home. We are having slate coloured tiles in our bathroom and laundry and Oak flooring everywhere else.

    Thank you in advance for any ideas, Chloe.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Chloe I am so glad you love the blog and that it has been useful for you. I really like the Pale Mushroom group of colours from Haymes – I have used number 1 in a house scheme and it was lovely. It will look great with the oak flooring and is a lovely warm white but it also goes with grey as you can see when Pale Mushroom gets darker. The country cottage has a place in my heart too – I grew up in the UK in a small house dating from the early 18th century that used to belong to the Bailiff on a country estate – a far cry from my house north of Sydney but I can’t help but want to decorate in that style too! I hope you enjoy and survive the renovation! Samantha

  108. Heather Webb says:

    Hi Sam

    We have an old settlers block house in country South Australia. It is currently white with a very old tin roof (just tin roof colour). We are about to have it Rendered and need to pick a colour and be re-roofed. When we renovated the kitchen the windows came in with White Birch… grr. not quite what I’d hoped for.
    What would be the best colour to match the exterior, surrounds and roof. I’d like to make the it blend with the window colour or at least tone it down instead of making them stand out.
    What would be the best way to go.


    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Heather you really need a warm neutral to go with White Birch – something like Dulux Gnu Tan or for a touch greyer Prairie Dust. These are nice neutrals that are not too dark or too light and that have a warm yellow base. Even greyer would be Dulux Mud Pack – look at samples of these to see what you think – particularly in your light as I am not sure how dark or light you had envisaged the house being. White Birch is a tricky one but I am sure these colours will disguise it!

  109. Lainie says:

    I have just stumbled onto this site….very informative! I am in the process of painting a very large open plan area. There is lots of filtered natural light coming in through windows and some areas with less light. Our kitchen has vivid white cabinets with frosty carrina caesarstone bench top. Our floors are a grey concrete tile. We have tried to bring in some metal and wood features to give a modern industrial feel. I am struggling to choose a wall paint now, despite paying a fortune to a colour consultant. She chose Grey Pebble quarter for the walls, which is nice but seems to throw pink. It also doesnt seem modern and fresh enough for our style. I like that it is warm as it is a massive open planned area and has the potential to look clinical if I choose a paint that is too cool.

    I was wondering what you thought of Snowy Mountains full strength or Casper White 1/2 to go with what I have described. Im thinking they would both work well with the grey vein in the Frosty Carrina but I have so much wall away from the kitchen area I need to factor in how that would look as well. Which would be the warmer of the two and do you think I am on the right track? Otherwise welcome to any suggestion you have.

    Regarding ceiling, doors and trims, would you use vivid white? Thanks for your time and Im looking forward to hearing from you.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Lainie You really need to consider the look and feel you want for the room and if you are after a modern industrial feel it is probably best to go with a white for the walls – either Snowy Mountains or Casper White half will work but you will need to try out samples to see how it looks with your flooring. These colours are cool though so you need to consider that but you could warm them up with feature artworks to suit your industrial feel. You can certainly use Vivid White as your trim colour and ceiling etc as this is the white you have chosen for the kitchen. Good luck Samantha

      • Lainie says:

        Thanks Samantha, We have sampled Snowy Mountains, Casper White 1/2 and Grey Pebble Quarter. I really love Snowy Mountains and Casper but they are very cool as you said. Given the large size of our downstairs area and the fact one section has very high pitched ceiling I’m thinking we will be best to stick with the warmer Grey Pebble Quarter. Even with artwork on the walls and furniture there would be lots of space which could feel cold. As much as I want a modern industrial feel, I want the house to be inviting and homely. So I think I’ll bring in some modern industrial elements with the grey pebble 1/4…….fingers crossed I don’t regret it ?

        • Samantha Bacon says:

          Hi Lainie It is a definitely a process and one that has taken you back to the original selection. Your colour consultant would know her stuff so hopefully this if the right one for you Samantha

  110. Julieanne says:

    Hi Samantha, I am building a Hampton style home in New Zealand. The main living areas/kitchen will have high cathedral ceiling & lots of natural light and sun. Not sure what whites to use but want it to be warm & inviting. I would love your recommendations on which whites you would think best to use for the kitchen cabinets, walls, trims, ceilings and panelling. I haven’t selected my counter top yet but thinking of white marble affect engineered stone. Many thanks, Julieanne

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Julieanne You can’t go past Resene whites and they are so easy to use as they come in varying strengths. My recommendation would be to use one strength for the kitchen cabinets, architraves, skirting boards and panelling – a lighter strength for ceiling and a darker strength for walls. The Resene Parchment range is a beautiful white, neutral range which is warm and will suit the classic Hamptons look. Eighth for ceiling, quarter for trims etc. and then full for walls. I really am a big fan of Resene paints and as you are in New Zealand they should definitely be your choice. Have a look at their ranges – Parchment is just one idea. Good luck Samantha

  111. Sarndra Street says:

    Hi Samantha

    I was hoping for some advice. I live in a light filled north facing beachside unit that I am renovating (Queensland). It is nine years old and a little ‘tired’. The previous wall colour was similar to Antique White USA so after nine years of sun it is looking rather yellowish. I am very keen for a fresh white look so I had it painted in Lexicon Half on the recommendation of my painter.

    Big mistake! I am so disappointed. The colour looks blue most of the time and my kitchen and bathroom tiles which used to look white now look a dirty off white. I have not painted the trims as I was so disappointed with the colour. My plan is to repaint (can’t afford the painter again so will do it myself) and was wondering if something like Snowy Mountains Half might have been a better choice? I am having a white washed timber-look vinyl plank laid in the kitchen and living areas and a light sand coloured carpet in the two bedrooms and I hope to leave the white/off white gloss tiles in the wet areas.

    Looking at the paint chart the SMH looks a softer white without the yellow tinge. I guess I need a white that will blend all the whites together without being too stark or too creamy. Such a tricky task. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Kind regards

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Sarndra I don’t know why painters are obsessed with using Lexicon Half – many recommend it and in some instances it looks great but it definitely has a blue undertone which makes it a very cold colour. Great for some situations and ultra contemporary homes with lots of light but I hear this comment about it so often. Yes, you definitely would be better off with Snowy Mountains Half – it still has a touch of grey which makes it contemporary but without the blue. Check a sample of it against your tiles and kitchen cupboards etc. as you really see how it will look when it is placed next to another white. Poor you having to repaint yourself – hope this has helped Samantha

      • Sarndra Street says:

        Thanks for your prompt reply Samantha I really appreciate your advice. I am certainly very frustrated at the large amount of money I have wasted and the time I will now need to invest in fixing the problem!

        If I go with the Snowy Mountains Half would you suggest the same colour on the trims in an enamel or should I go to another colour?


  112. Sarndra Street says:

    Thanks for your prompt reply Samantha I really appreciate your advice. I am certainly very frustrated at the large amount of money I have wasted and the time I will now need to invest in fixing the problem!

    If I go with the Snowy Mountains Half would you suggest the same colour on the trims in an enamel or do you think I should I go to another colour?


    • Samantha Bacon says:

      It depends whether you want to see a contrast – quarter strength could work but equally you can do them the same, just in a different finish, probably a semi-gloss which will still provide a slight contrast due to the different finish. Good luck!

  113. Rita says:

    Hi Samantha,

    I love your blog and have read every comment on this excellent post to help me choose a white. I was originally going to use Antique White USA but your advice led me to White Cloak Quarter and I absolutely love it. My painter wants to use it in his house now too!

    He has concerns with coverage using Vivid White for the trims (it is a massive paint job). We’ve tested Wattyl Builder’s White that has a touch of brown rather than black in it, but there isn’t much contrast. Do you think Builder’s White with black in it would be a cold colour that would clash with White Cloak Quarter? I think it is similar to Lexicon Quarter but with fractionally less tint in it. Can you suggest any other trim colours?

    Many thanks for your wonderful advice.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Rita I am so glad you love White Cloak Quarter – it is a great off white but I think it does need that contrast to come alive. I know what your painter means with Vivid White – it can be a little tricky on coverage. Dulux Lexicon Quarter would be fine – any darker and it shows too much blue. You need to go as white as you can with just a touch of grey/black to keep your painter happy! Samantha

  114. Taryn says:

    Hi Samantha,

    Thanks so much for this fantastic information. It is so great that someone is helping us all through the mine field of choosing paint.
    We have just painted a room with white duck quarter Australian dulux and I am wondering what colour to do the doors? We are very happy with the with the white duck quarter and would go a lighter shade of it if we could. I am wondering if the base on the snowy mountains is similar? We don’t want anything too yellow or too blue, but want it to be lighter. Our tiles are a stone colour.
    Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Taryn

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Taryn glad to hear you are finding the information useful. I love White Duck Quarter – I’m looking at using this range on the outside of my house – it’s timeless. You could certainly look at using Snowy Mountains quarter for your trim. This should work but you need to consider things like your kitchen cabinetry – is this white? Often this is a good starting point for your trim white. Try a sample of Snowy Mountains quarter – I think it should work. Good luck Samantha

  115. Desiree Correnti says:

    Hi Samantha,

    I’m currently in the process of selecting internal colours for my new home and would like your opinion. We have chosen a hamptons style theme and are looking to decorate with cool/ neutral whites and greys. We are considering using Dulux Vivid White for the ceiling, cornices, trims and architraves along with our kitchen and bathroom cabinetry and Dulux Highgate for the walls. Do you think these colours would work well together and if so, what strengths would you suggest. I appreciate your time and I’m keen to hear your advice.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Desiree Dulux Vivid White is a great choice for the Hamptons style. Dulux Highgate is a lovely grey but it is a warm grey so in some lights you will see a slight lavender hue, in others more blue – you need to bear this in mind and check how it works with carpet, sofas, bedding etc. I would recommend that you paint a very large board with 2 coats and try it out in different rooms around the house. Good luck samantha

  116. Simone says:

    Hi Samantha,

    I love your column and the fabulous advice you impart on us all. Wondered if you could assist me in choosing paint colours. I am completing a new home build and have chosen Polytec Classic White (Oberon profile) for the kitchen cabinetry. We have chosen medium-light oak floors and I am struggling with the choice of wall and trim colours. I like the look of modern coastal homes but I just dont know which white would suit best.

    Any help would be very much appreciated.



    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Simone Polytec Classic White is a warm white but I have found that it is a very user friendly white and most seem to work with it. Have a look at the Minimalist range from Haymes – as it gets darker it goes to a modern grey but the whitest is a lovely modern white which will work with classic white. It really depends on the contrast you want to see but you can ask to have the trim colour mixed to match Polytec’s Classic White and then use a slightly deeper white on the walls or you can use one white and keep it simple and then use the darker ones in the range for feature walls/areas/rooms. Minimalist 1 is a lovely white or you can go to numbers 2 or even 3 depending upon how much light the rooms receive. This is just one idea from the Haymes range – you will need to check it out and see how the samples look against your flooring. Good luck! Samantha

  117. Jacqui says:

    Hi Samantha, Love reading your blogs! We are building a two storey house and I am after a white that maybe has a touch of grey in it? Each side of the lower level is charcoal brick, james hardie stria board is whole top storey and runs down middle section of the house including the middle of the lower level in between brick sections. Didn’t want stark white as will be too much contrast against the charcoal bricks. Our windows are monument and I was leaning towards shale grey or surf mist roof. We have a timber decking entry with a rendered feature over the entrance which I want to paint in Domino or Klavier etc. Just don’t want too many greys!! The James hardie makes up at least half of the front exterior so want to get it right to go with the bricks.
    Would surf mist be ok or lexicon might break up the greys?

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Jacqui Yes something like Surfmist will stand up to the grey and will appear white but have enough grey in it to be practical. You might like to consider the white you select once you choose the roof, gutters and fascia. Lexicon has a blue base and is very contemporary – much lighter than Surfmist though. Dulux Terrace White is a pale grey but in the bright sun it will appear white and may take the edge of the contrast. Perhaps settle on your roof and trim colour and this may help with your selection. Good luck! Samantha

  118. Louisa says:

    Hi Samantha,

    Really enjoying reading your blog and all the comments herein. I’m having second thoughts over the white I chose for our property and painting starts tomorrow! I’m going for “Hamptons meets Aussie beach house” style as it’s on the water in Western Australia. There is a smooth light to medium oak floor and lots of natural light throughout the property as it’s north and east facing. I had chosen Natural White for walls because of all the natural light and vivid white for trim. I’m deliberating though, over whether I should be putting a more crisp white on the walls. It’s even more difficult because I am currently based in New South Wales so I’m having to arrange it all remotely and can’t be there with colour swatches to look at it! I would love to hear your thoughts please. Many thanks.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Louisa It’s awful when you have second thoughts but it is so difficult to say as it depends on so many aspects. Natural White is a warm white with just a touch of creaminess and sometimes not considered so modern but it is a very user friendly white in that it goes with so many other things and as you have lots of light in a sunny aspect it will get washed out. You also need to consider everything else that you have to go with it in terms of rugs, sofas etc. Often when the white is on the wall it will look completely different to the smaller swatch and the overall effect is very pleasing. Perhaps get your painter to send you a photo or skype him when he has completed a room? So ask him not to commit to all the paint until you have had a chance to take a look? Good luck Samantha

      • Louisa says:

        Thanks for your prompt reply Samantha. Would you mind elaborating a little please on this comment?:
        “as you have lots of light in a sunny aspect it will get washed out”
        I’m not sure what you mean there. Thanks again!

  119. Peter says:

    Hi Samantha,
    We are having trouble deciding on a colour for a glass kitchen splashback and holding up progress.
    So far we have bought 10 sample pots but are not completely happy with any.

    The kitchen cabinetry is Lexicon Quarter and the Caesar stone bench is Alpine Mist which is close to the dulux tranquil retreat colour with white “marble like” streaks. The floor is terracotta.
    The kitchen is north facing with all day bright light.
    Some of the colours rejected are Timeless Grey, Snow Season and Teahouse.

    I have been reading about Snowy Mountains and would like your opinion on whether it may be a good choice before I purchase yet another sample pot.
    Thanks in advance!

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Peter Remember that the glass on the splashback will change the colour a little – it will bring it more to life. You need to consider the look that you want too – are you endeavouring to tie it in with the bench top? Alpine Mist is a lovely stone which has lots of variation so if you are pulling out a colour to match because it is solid, it won’t go with it absolutely so I think you need to look at the colour that seems to match in your setting and then just go about two tones lighter. Dulux Snowy Mountains may appear more like a dirty white, particularly next to your crisp Lexicon Quarter. This is a tricky one and very difficult to advise on – remember that a glass splashback is a big investment – perhaps get a local colour consultant to help? Samantha

      • Peter says:

        Thanks Samantha,
        I did enquire into booking a colour consultant, however, the waiting period didn’t work in well with the installer.
        I purchased a sample pot of “Snowy Mountains” and as you said it wouldn’t quite work, although I think it’s a great colour and would like to use it elsewhere, .
        We then revisited the initially rejected “Snow Season” colour and after painting the whole area where the splashback will be with it, we’ve now decided to use it.
        Cheers, Peter

  120. Chathu Perera says:

    Hi Samantha
    love the article and thank you for shearing with us. we jut bought a house (30 years old) and we are trying to get a modern country look to go with the surrounded trees and green. our floor is porcelain tiles mix of dark and light green cloud style pattern. we got french province style furniture. ceiling, trims, doors all we have painted dulux vivid white. can you pls give me some suggestions that i can go for the wall paint colors in white to get the country look. thank you.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Chathu I would probably opt for a soft neutral but anything you use is going to need to work with your tiled floor so you will need to test samples. You also need to consider your furniture – sofas, chairs and rugs etc and ensure that a wall colour works with these. Dulux White Duck in either quarter, half or full could work – these read slightly green but are definitely nice off white neutrals that seem to work with lots of interiors and will suit a French Provincial style. Grab a sample of this – the strength will depend on how much depth you want in the walls and you will need to consider how much light the house receives. Even with the quarter strength you will see a nice contrast next to the Vivid White. I hope this points you in the right direction Samantha

  121. Julie says:

    Hi Samantha, l have found your blog amazing. I am needing help with a beach house renovation we are doing on the Surfcoast in Victoria. The kitchen living room is flooded with light, we have ocean and tree views. Our aluminium doors/ Windows are pearl white, floors Australian wormy chestnut and planning on classic white polytec kitchen joinery, still deciding on Ceaserston bench top, maybe Calcutta Nuvo. We have a terracotta brick fire place with grey/beige grout in the living room. I am needing help with white paint colours for the walls, skirting boards, ceiling etc. that will work in this space and the rest of the house. We have not ordered the joinery for the kitchen yet, so could change if need be. Thank you Julie

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Julie You really need to take your lead from your Caesarstone bench top as this is a good starting point and you need to consider whether you want or need a cool or warm white. The cool whites are more contemporary but with a south facing room you may want something with a little more warmth. You also need to think about the window frames and whether you want to see a contrast between the frame and the architrave or whether you want it to match. Dulux Snowy Mountains is popular in varying strengths – quarter for ceiling and trim and half for walls but you may need something warmer. You really need to finalise the benchtop that you like and get everything together and look at in during the day and the evening. Often the white for the walls isn’t about what is popular but what works in your home. Sorry I can’t be more definitive! Samantha

  122. Max says:

    Hi Samantha,

    I found your website most interesting and am hoping you are able to help with my wall colour selection/headache. We are having trouble deciding on colours for our walls and skirts. I had spent quite a fair bit purchasing sample pots and come to realization that none of them are suitable and would like your opinion before I purchase yet another sample pot:

    Here are my findings:
    Lexicon quarter: looks silver blue
    White on white: looks very blue
    Casper white: has a tinge of yellow
    Whisper white: looks yellow
    Terrace white: too dark for my 2.4m floor to ceiling space

    Current state:
    – 2.4m floor to ceiling space.
    – Blackbutt timber floor in hallway, lounge, dining and kitchen. One open space connecting lounge (window facing west), dining (sliding door facing east) and kitchen (window facing east).
    – 3 Bedrooms (one facing north, one facing east and one facing south) will be carpeted with
    – Kitchen in white high gloss laminate cabinetry with black handles, Ceasarstone Intense White kitchen bench and kitchen splashback is Quantum Quartz Porcelain sheet in polished Statuario marble look (,59)
    – All ceiling painted in basic Dulux Ceiling White

    We are definitely aiming for contemporary/scandi look and feel. Something fresh and modern.

    Bedroom paint: we are thinking of painting the East bedroom and South bedroom walls in Vivid White. Skirts and arch in Vivid White too. Simply because those rooms can get quite dark. What are your thoughts? Are there better ways to brighten/freshen the rooms with other paint colour?

    Lounge, Kitchen, Dining: since the bedrooms are in Vivid White, we are thinking of extending the skirts and arch in Vivid White for the entire house. Since the kitchen is so white and grey, we need the walls in a grey tone to complement. From reading your comments, Snowy Mountain seems like the wall colour we are looking for, not yellow and not blue. Since the space is facing east and west, should we go with Snowy Mountain in 1/2 strength or quarter strength? If not Snowy Mountain, are there other alternatives you would recommend?

    Thanks in advance!


  123. Vanessa says:

    Hi Samantha

    We’ve almost finished our exterior in Dulux Powered Rock with Quarter Snowy Mnt trims and Black Caviar door. We’re really pleased and I’d like some continuity inside.
    Interiors I was thinking Resene Eighth Truffle with Vivid White trims. I’d love to know if you’ve come across this white before and if it’s a good Neutral to work with. We currently have Antique White USA but it’s peachy with our strong brushbox floors.
    Thank you for any advice.

    • vanessa caldwell says:

      Hi Sam,

      Just to add that since I posted above we’ve tried a whole wall in the Eighth Truffle and it’s lovely but looking a little pinky/purple with sunlight. I guess mushroomy. Agh! In shadowed light I like it. I’m considering trying Resene Merino as I have a small sample of it on the wall and I like that it has a green undertone coming through and that it’s not a cool neutral for our older style semi. It would also work in the darker hallway area as it has a yellow base rather than grey base. I’ve tried SeaFog but it looked rather dank and dull in darker areas of the house. Dulux White Duck is a little too on the Beige side when I look at it coming out of our soft grey/green bathroom tiles. I have Snowy Mountains up on the wall too and like it (looks really fresh with Vivid white) but keen to know if you’ve used any of the two Resene Paints I mentioned and would recommend.
      I should mention that we have two south facing bedrooms that I’ve painted half a wall with 1/8 Resene Foggy Grey and I love it for some depth in those rooms. It has that touch of green in a warm grey which I love but it’s too dark to take throughout the house.

      Thanks so much in advance. Hopefully the New Year will bring a great new colour scheme to our home. 🙂


      • Samantha Bacon says:

        Hi Vanessa It sounds to me as though you like the whites and neutrals with a green base and I think it is going to be a case of trying them out in your environment. Dulux Snowy Mountains is a great neutral white if all else fails. It sounds too as if you will need to adapt the paint colour and use different ones for different rooms. I do this in my own home as there is rarely one option that suits all spaces. I have used Resene Merino before – it worked really well and is quite neutral but you will have to play with it in samples to double check! Thanks Samantha

  124. Andrew says:

    Hi Samantha,

    First off, awesome site! I’m so glad I found this. I was hoping you could answer a few questions. We are currently renovating a 100+ year old sand stone villa. The home is going through a major renovation/extension with 2 added bedrooms, a new bathroom and an open plan living + kitchen. So the renovation is quite modern. The house does retain its features like cornices and ceiling roses, skirting…etc in the front part of the house. In the new part of the house we still intend to use cornices and skirting to have a traditional look.

    For the internal wall paint we are thinking of using lexicon quarter, which we believe is a crisp white with a slight blue undertone. Do you think we can use this same colour for the walls, skirting, cornices and ceiling? Or should the wall, trims and ceiling be a different colour?

    We are using blackbutt timber flooring throughout the home. So we would like a white to match that. We like crisp whites but really don’t like yellow/cream to come through. We’d prefer a cooler white if we had to choose between a warm (yellow) or a cool (blue). Vivid white is another option, but I think there is a touch of yellow? Would vivid white be okay to use for all the walls, trims and ceiling?

    For the exterior of the house, the front, do you have any suggestions that would match a sand stone front? For the roof and gutter we’re thinking Shale Grey (Colorbond). For the Fascia, external walls and downpipes we’re thinking a white, maybe lexicon (full)? Or do you think that would look too blue? For the window trim and front door we’re thinking a dark navy blue. So the colour combination with be mostly white with dark navy blue features.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!


    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Andrew Glad you are enjoying the blog. Your house sounds amazing. Firstly I think you are on the right track with Lexicon quarter if you want something crisp with just a touch of blue. I wouldn’t use Dulux Vivid White as a trim – just stick to the Lexicon quarter and you will see a slight difference because the sheen levels will vary – I like a washable low sheen for walls, matt for ceiling and then a semi-gloss for trim and doors to withstand wear and tear. Outside the Dulux Lexicon full strength will just look very white. You will see the blue inside but not outside – love the idea of a dark navy door as this is the opposite (complementary) colour to the sandstone walls. Sounds as though you are right on track but do double check colours with samples – conditions, particularly natural light – do play a big role. I hope you are very happy with the end result Samantha

      • Andrew says:

        Thanks for the reply Samantha! Much appreciated 🙂

        Just a few more questions if you don’t mind. Do you think Lexicon Quarter all round will be too stark inside? My sister recently did a large open plan living house and I believe they used Lexicon Half. It doesn’t look too stark or blue, perhaps because there’s plenty of natural sunlight? I’m tossing up between Lexicon Half or Quarter for the interior.

        Do you have another suggestion for a white for the exterior? If not Lexicon full strength? Maybe a white that’s not so stark but will still suit the sandstone colour.

        Thanks again! Keep up the great work.


  125. Marion says:

    Love your website! I’m looking for a white to paint inside that’s not too creamy, but still on the warmer side. We have quite a lot of natural timber finishes and timber furniture as well as ocean blue couches and very light grey curtains. We get a bit of light in, but not heaps. I’m wondering if either whisper white, snowy mountains 1/2 or white duck 1/4 would work best? Thanks for any suggestions.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Marion Whisper White although has a touch of modern grey is quite creamy – I have used it in my own house and love it and a lot of people like it as it is softer than some of the crisper whites but you would need to be happy with the creaminess – you may not even notice this until you put another white next to it and this would certainly work with the ocean blue couches and natural timber. Snowy Mountains half is the most neutral – very crisp and cool with a touch of grey and I think White Duck Quarter may read too green – it is a great neutral but you need to understand that the green may show through. Hope this helps – choose one and paint a large sample board with two coats and view during the daylight and evening – good luck! Samantha

  126. Danielle says:

    Hi Sam,

    I came across your fantastic article searching for help on choosing interior whites. We are building a Hamptons style home and after testing several sample pots we’ve finally chosen Dulux Dieskau in half strength for the walls. This is a light warm grey that goes nicely with our French grey oak floors.

    What whites would you recommend for the internal doors, architraves and skirtings to go with this? Also, you mentioned to avoid using the builders white that they use for ceilings and cornices. What would you recommend instead? Thanks so much!

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Danielle I’m glad you have enjoyed the article. The white you use will really depend on how much contrast you want to see. Dulux Vivid White will go with this as it is a slightly warm white but still very bright – this will give a lovely contrast but you might find it too much. More subtle would be Snowy Mountains Quarter as it has a touch of grey. I have used Whisper White recently with a warm taupe grey and this worked really well but it can be a touch creamy which you notice when it is next to other whites – by itself it just looks white of course. And this is where the ceiling white can throw everything which is why you should use the same white on your ceilings and cornice – if you opt for a white that is half strength then go quarter on the ceilings – otherwise, Vivid White, Whisper White etc. will work. I think it will be a case of seeing how much contrast you want to see and also consider things like kitchen cabinets etc. If these are white you need to also take that into account. Good luck! Samantha

  127. Kate says:

    Im hoping you can help us! We have vivid white kitchen cabinetry and opted for snowy mountain half. The painter didn’t even ask us about ceilings and just did ceiling white. We wanted a nice fresh even look (previously had hogs bristle and wanted a change). However the walls against the cabinetry and ceiling/cornices look creamy which we didn’t expect?! What can we do to change this? Do we change the ceilings or the walls? How do we create a more even flow, don’t want ceilings to stand out so much.

    Our house has a mix of older style features like cornices and square edge in the kitchen and lounge. We will darker timber floors but they haven’t been stained yet. It’s a west facing house so not a hugely light house.

    Thanks! Hope to hear from you soon! It’s very disappointing. Painter has only done one coat and hasn’t start trims yet so we have a small window to change things before it gets crazy expensive.


    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Kate Snowy Mountains Half should look a touch grey next to the cabinets – certainly not creamy so I think maybe the ceiling white is throwing it all as this often has quite a bit of grey and sometimes blue. Try using Dulux Vivid white for the ceilings – painters sometimes don’t like this as it doesn’t have the grey in it which helps with coverage. If he is not happy with this then try Snowy Mountains Quarter – using just those two whites together in my experience works but make sure there isn’t another element in the room that could be throwing it all. Good luck! Samantha

  128. Deborah says:

    Hi , we are building a new house and we are having charcoal grey tile floor, grey kitchen cabinets with timber bench tops, white splash back. It is all one big open plan dinning, kitchen, lounge lots of north facing light. I have blue as my color to bring in with accessories. I want warmth, but I didn’t know what paint color for walls, I was thinking a white or very light grey. If you could please help with this it would be much appreciated. Thanks

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Deborah if you are using grey kitchen cabinets and want to use grey on the walls then you need to take your lead from the kitchen as this will all need to tie in together so look at the grey for the kitchen and find a much lighter tone of it for the walls. This may be a cool grey though and if this is the case and you feel it is all getting too cold then you should opt for a white. This will all depend so much though on the kitchen colour that it is hard for me to say. Remember though that with these grey tones you can add splashes of warmth with artworks and upholstery, cushions etc. Beautiful rust tones are back in fashion and these partner really well with charcoal grey as a feature. Hope this helps Samantha

  129. Angela Johnston says:

    Hi Samantha, you gave me advice to use Woodland Grey as an accent colour on an exterior wall when I was hesitant and it turned out brilliantly , so thankyou so much.

    This is a new build and my next problem is that I had asked the painter to use Vivid White on ceilings and trims as I thought it was a neutral white ….. he convinced my husband to use Lexicon Quarter as it had a better cover and so changed the scheme to a bluish undertone! I now have built in shelving in the large entrance hallway all in Lexicon Quarter.

    We won’t be painting the main body of the house for a little while but needed to get the built in shelving installed.

    We have spotted gum floors, extensive use of classic travertine and I had also thought of using something along the lines of Dulux Beige Calm to contrast with the white trims in the living areas – so I had hoped to have a warmer colour scheme.

    I have wallpapers to go in three bedrooms which have very lightish ivory background. As it seems logical that you would use the same trim colours throughout is there any wall colour I could use in the bedrooms that won’t look wrong with the Lexicon Quarter.

    Or should I forget that the built in shelving is Lexicon Quarter and chose another white for the doors, skirtings and architraves …. I am so confused now!

    Many thanks in advance

    • Angela Johnston says:

      PS Sorry just a little addition – the ceilings haven’t been painted yet either and the kitchen will have a granite benchtop in Universe Black which is a magnificent black with browns, gold and white quartz feature in it, doors etc will be Tesrol white.

      Thanks Angela

      • Angela Johnston says:

        PPS I had wanted to use oil based enamel on doors, skirtings and architraves but have been advised to use Dulux Aquanamel instead – this looks a bit plasticy to me – what would your advice be?

        Many thanks

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Angela some painters really don’t like Vivid White as they have to use more coats. Unfortunately Lexicon Quarter although a great white is a blue white and this can throw everything. I think cut your losses and just have the Lexicon Quarter for the shelving – your house palette with travertine and ivory wallpapers is really crying out for a warmer softer white. Either White Polar Quarter or for less warmth but no blue Dulux Snowy Mountains Quarter for internal doors, trim and ceiling. Both of these should keep your painter happy. Try samples of both to see what works best in your house. Glad the Woodland Grey worked outside! Samantha

  130. Angela Johnston says:

    PPS I had wanted to use oil based enamel on doors, skirtings and architraves but have been advised to use Dulux Aquanamel instead – this looks a bit plasticy to me – what would your advice be?

    Many thanks

  131. Stephanie says:

    Hi Sam,

    I need some help in choosing the right white for the whole of my house. Currently the walls are lexicon 1/4 and I can’t stand the colour. It is too white. Too cold in the winter and too glarey in the summer.
    My trims and internal doors are whisper white. I do not want to repaint these so I need a wall colour to match the whisper white.
    I have a feature wall in rainmaker ( a dark blue colour)

    We have tried so many sample pots and we just can’t seem to get the colour right.
    Our floors are spotted gum and we live in the tropics.

    I would really appreciate your help.
    May thanks.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Stephanie I know exactly where you are coming from with the Lexicon Quarter – Whisper White is a lovely trim colour so there is no need to change that – perhaps look at it with another warm white like Dulux White Cloak Half or White Verdict? These are softer and may work for you? Samantha

  132. carolyn scollo says:

    Hi sam loving all of your ideas,i am currently doing my kitchen cabinets in 2 pac and i am not sure what white will go with my ceaserstone snow benchtop and ceaserstone calcutta nuvo splash back i would like a satin finish, my kitchen gets morning sunlight as its east facing,i dont want anything too yellow or creamy,my walls are painted in white seersucker, looking forward to hearing your ideas. Carolyn

  133. Kitty says:

    Hi Sam,

    As others have said thank you for your incredible generosity in providing your advice to those of us who have fallen down the white rabbit hole!

    I haven’t seen a question about polished concrete, so thought I would ask. We are renovating an 1880’s terrace and have used a light grey polished concrete in the modern extension that houses the kitchen. The benchtops are caesarstone pure white and the splash back a statuario marble porcelain tile (by Maximum Australia). The room is east facing. I was thinking lexicon quarter for the poly wall cabinets, trims and ceiling, and then something like whitsunday island or snowy mountain quarter for the walls. The kitchen island base will be black. May I ask what you think of that scheme, and if you can recommend a good true black for the island? (I know domino is popular).

    Thank you so much in advance Sam xo

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Kitty thanks for your kind words! Dulux Lexicon Quarter is an excellent white for kitchen cabinetry as it is very bright and clean looking and will go with Caesarstone Pure White which tends to be a very crisp white too. Some more depth for the walls would be good but I think I would lean towards Snowy Mountain Quarter or half – Whitsunday Island is a lovely grey but I am worried that against the crisp white in a room without much natural light it may look grubby. Domino is popular but it has a touch of blue – although you really only see this outside – try a sample of Black Caviar which is a soft black which knocks out the blue – hope this helps! Samantha

  134. Olivia says:

    Hi Samantha,
    You are wonderfully generous with your knowledge and advice, and I enjoy reading your blog.
    Wondering if you can help me?
    We are about to paint the outside of a rendered house that is around 20 years old. Roof is dark grey tile, windows are white birch, existing render colour – not sure, but maybe Regency White or similar – render, gutters and rendered fencing are the all same colour ( with dark charcoal/black ironwork inserts in fencing between pillars)
    Problem- New house next door – a lovely Hamptons style home, painted Natural White. Our home used to look soft white. Now it looks yellow, tired and grubby.
    Can you suggest a modern white- and/ or other colour for the exterior that will not scream at , and hopefully match the white birch windows. Something that would look more modern, and not make us look like our house is dirty next to the beautiful Natural White house next door.
    Was wondering about Grand Piano 1/4. I understand we will need to keep to a warmer white and that exterior paint looks much lighter than the colour chart.
    My feeling is the windows are aluminium, not timber, so not amazing to be made a feature of with a big contrast, and I like a white house. However, I am open to suggestions to colour.

    The style of the home is modern, classic, slightly provincial, but plain with no embellishments typical of elaborate french provincial homes built by developers. We have a wide frontage, so the contrast between the two house is striking and has made our house look very dated.
    Hoping you can help

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Olivia I feel your pain as I have White Birch windows too!! Looked great when they went in but I can’t have all the lovely fresh whites and greys either. Grand Piano Quarter is very light and still a little yellow – and is so light that the White Birch windows will stand out. You really need something more tonally similar – Dulux White Duck half, White Duck and Apparition are very neutral stone off whites – you won’t be competing with next door but will have a very classic stone neutral look which will not scream at the windows. Do try large samples though of them all as it depends on how white you want your house – it’s better to have a little more depth and work with what you have. Hope this works for you Samantha

  135. Rhianna says:

    Hi Samantha,

    My partner and I have just bought our first home and are looking to repaint. The house is east facing so main bedroom and lounge don’t get a lot of sun, while the kitchen, dining and study get the afternoon sun. We are redoing the floors as Tasmanian oak floorboards with a clear coat. We are wanting a white that doesn’t have a noticeable yellow or blue tinge but don’t want a clinical feel either. Following some sample on two different walls on the house and online research we are leaning towards snowy mountain half and it’s variations (1/4 and 1/8). I’m wondering if a) this would be an appropriate colour choice given the lack of natural light in the rooms, b) what colour strength would you recommend for the walls, trim and ceilings and c) would you recommend painting SMH on the rooms that get more sun and then dropping to SMQ for the rooms with less natural light?

    Thanks for your help!

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Rhianna a lot of people are leaning towards Snowy Mountains at the moment – it is a nice neutral white with no strong undertone and you are absolutely right in thinking that you can adjust the strengths according to the light the rooms receive. The best way to get an idea about it is to paint a large board with two coats – laborious but worth it – and then place them in the rooms – particularly those ones that don’t get enough natural light. Snowy Mountains is neutral but is also a touch grey which you may notice in a dark room. Dulux White Verdict half and quarter has some warmth if this doesn’t work. Good luck Samantha

  136. Candice says:

    Hi Samantha,
    Great article! Choosing the right white is a lot harder than what I thought and your article has been helping a lot.
    We are currently renovating our kitchen and have chosen the Caesarstone Statuario Maximus for island and bentchtop (creamy but grey veins), shaker style cabinet in satin Lexicon quarter to go with our splash back which will be white gloss subway tiles with white grout. Know for the dilemma of choosing our wall colour… because of the grey veins in our Caesarstone and the cool white used for our cabinetry, we are thinking about using a cool white with a grey tint in it. We were thinking about using lexicon half but worried about the blue tint it can throw as our open plan doesn’t have a lot of natural light. I would love to hear your thoughts about what other cool white colour could work. Currently on our list are Casper White Quarter, White Exchange Quarter and Summer Cloud Quarter…
    Our floors are American Oak if that helps.
    Thank you ?

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Candice Summer Cloud Quarter has a lavender look so I think it should be between the other two and my money would be on Dulux White Exchange quarter as it is a touch softer – Using Dulux Lexicon Quarter as a trim colour would give the walls nice definition and link in your kitchen cabinet colour. Hope this helps Samantha

  137. Alexandra says:

    Thanks Sam for sharing your wealth of knowledge! I’m soooo glad I found your blog. I’m a bit clearer after reading your blog and everyone’s questions and your replies. I know we need a warm white.

    We have a large 2 storey house in Tasmania, weatherboard, built in 1920, with a number of additions/modifications over time. We’re renovating now and will be re-painting throughout. Dulux painter recommended half snowy mountains with lexicon trims (1/4 maybe?). He has started with painting the stairwell (retaining wooden skirtings and banister) and front foyer (one length of house is very large double hung windows). I feel the snowy mountains is too stark and cold so I know we need to change before he goes any further!

    We are also painting a new small sunroom which is bathed in natural light and surrounded by large magnolias and other trees outside the windows. This adjoins a large ‘pool room’ (snooker/eightball) which has a magnificent large open unused fireplace, library wall with dark timber, high ceilings and picture rails throughout. This is a dark room and, interestingly, is painted a dark green (not sure what it’s called, but it’s a deep federation green) on every surface, including ceilings and fireplace. We are hoping to strip the fireplace back to natural bricks and want to lighten up this room but retain the warm, billiard room feel to it.

    Because the foyer, billiard room and sunroom link to each other I’d prefer to use the same pallet. I’ve looked at Dulux Stowe White, Handmade Linen Quarter, Hogbristle Quarter, and Fair Bianca. Reading your blog and responses above I’m thinking maybe I should get sample pots of White Coat and Beige Royal. We would vary strengths dependent on amount of light and height if ceilings?

    Any help would be very gratefully received as I’m so confused! Thank you so much!

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Alex yes it sounds like you need a warm white if Dulux Snowy Mountains half was too stark. If you still want a white then you may find Dulux Stowe White is the best as it has some lovely warmth – it would be good though to find something that comes in various strengths so that you can adapt this through the house and Dulux Beige Royal may work well as it is a lovely neutral and looks good in quarter, half or full strength. Hope this helps! Samantha

      • Alexandra says:

        Thanks Samantha – very much appreciate your time and expertise. We went with quarter strength White Coat on the walls in the sunroom, with vivid white trims and love it – it is just perfect! We’ll take White Coat half through the larger spaces in the house I think. I mentioned the ‘pool room’ in my original post above – we have definitely decided to change the green, strip back French doors to wood, strip the paint from the fireplace which will expose old red bricks with white pointed grouting. I want to retain the billiard room/library ambiance so want to have a warm colour. I appreciate it’s not necessarily a ‘white paint’ question, but if you have any suggestions of a deeper colour that could go in this room that will work with white cloak, I’d be grateful. It has 10 foot ceiling, with picture rails around the room. I was wondering whether to do vivid white ceiling and trims, with white cloak full strength to picture rails then some deeper colour below…..or is this outdated and too disjointed? Thank you again 🙂

  138. Brenda says:

    Hi Samantha, I’ve really enjoyed your blog, and am struggling to select a pale grey for our home interior. It is very spacious and open plan with terracotta coloured tiles. I want something light, airy and welcoming. I prefer the cool whites.
    We used lexicon in our previous home, a post war home, which was beautiful , fresh and crisp against lovely floorboards, but we had now have less natural light than in old house. Will do vivid white skirtings and ceilings. Would love your advice.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Brenda Perhaps something like Dulux White Exchange Quarter could work – still cool but without too much grey or blue which you will need in a place with less natural light. Remember that your terracotta tiles will reflect onto the wall so ensure that you take this into account and paint a sample board. Good luck Samantha

      • Brenda says:

        Thanks for your advice Samantha, we have ended up with Snow Season Quarter, after I spent more time reading through your blog and trying a few sample colours. It’s looking great so far! One room almost finished!
        All the best,

  139. Kate says:

    Hi there 🙂
    Thank you so much for help s blog, it has been very informative!
    I have a traditional home with timber fretwork. There is cream carpets in the formal areas and spotted gum in the kitchen/ family rooms. We have verandahs all around so the kitchen doesn’t get a lot of natural light. Our windows are white birch to 🙂 We are completely redoing the kitchen and have quantum quartz michaelangelo stone benches which are white with black/ grey veining. My dilemma is what colour white to paint the cabinet doors? I had decided in dulux natural white but am now scared that it will be too cream/ pink especially with the satin white backsplash tiles I have chosen. I don’t want the kitchen to look sterile and cold and I really don’t like the lexicon ranges but I also don’t want it to look too cream against the benchtop. I’m going for a relaxed and comfortable look. I am now thinking snowy mountains half but it sounds like that is cool as well… I am stressed now as our doors are ready to be painted and I’m still stuck trying to figure out a white!!! any suggestions as to what might work would be awesome. Thanks 🙂

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Kate have you considered Dulux Vivid White – this is a crisp white but doesn’t have the grey or blue of some and I think is just a touch creamy. I use it a lot as a trim and kitchen colour but it will all come down to your white splashback. Perhaps if you have a good paint store close by you could take in one of your satin white tiles and ask them to colour match it for you as at the end of the day, this is going to need to be your guide. Hope this helps Samantha

  140. Jo-Anne says:

    Hi Samantha,
    Thank you for your help with deciding on the external colours of our new house – not finished yet but coming up nicely so far!

    Time for inside – The main living area is large and open plan with a lot of glass. The kitchen cupboards are charcoal with Caeserstone Oyster benchtops and mirror splashback.

    We came across a display house with the walls done in Dulux White Exchange which we liked a lot. There seems to be lot of feedback here about White Exchange Half but not the full strength version – will it look “dirty” in some lights? Will it be OK with a lighter grey tile? Is it too cold as we don’t want to end up looking too clinical?
    Which ceiling white would you recommend with it? (Paint shop recommended Illusive White but I am having some trouble tracking it down).

    Thanks in advance


    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Jo I had to laugh at you not being able to track down Illusive White!! I’ve never heard of it but my advice would be to use a quarter strength of what you use on the walls. This would work well with White Exchange half on the walls but you should check out the full strength – it is greyer but with a trim in quarter strength you might get away with it. I like a little depth on the walls and it would balance the grey cabinets nicely. Glad to hear the outside is looking good Samantha

      • Jo-Anne says:

        Hi Samantha,
        Thanks for the reassurance with using White Exchange Full. I did want to blend in the trims and doors a bit. Maybe full on the walls, half on the doors and trims and quarter on the ceiling?? Or do we really need the definition of quarter on the trim too as you suggested?
        Never thought that chasing the right white could be so damned illusive!!
        Cheers Jo

  141. Tricia says:

    Hi there,

    I am also having an awful time trying to pick white Dulux paint for renovation! Looking to keep things fairly simple, neutral and something that will suit the whole house. The new lighting being installed throughout is at 4000 (neutral) temperature. I’d like it to look modern but homey – definitely don’t want Lexicon or something that throws blue or makes it hospital-like! But don’t want it to throw yellow or pink either!

    We are putting spotted gum flooring throughout and will be getting kitchen cabinets re-painted a satin white with a new white fleck stone benchtop. I am getting to choose the colour they are being painted though….should they be the same as the walls (they do not go up to ceiling height) or would it look better if they were slightly different?

    Also architrave/skirting is very plain D/bullnose, is it worth ‘featuring’ this in a different colour like Vivid White? Or better to blend it in? Will be doing the lighter/ceiling white on ceilings.

    Would appreciate any advice/ideas! Thanks.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Tricia The white you choose for your skirtings will also be on your architraves and internal doors so you need to consider this. You certainly don’t need to have a contrast white – the sheen will probably be a little different so will look slightly different anyway. A good rule of thumb is the kitchen cabinets the same as your trim/internal door colour and then slightly more depth on the broad wall space. Dulux Vivid White is nice and bright but has a touch of warmth and is nice with something like Dulux White Verdict Quarter for a touch of warmth but you need to look at it with your new benchtop, the amount of natural light and other furnishings and of course your own preference so ensure you try out large samples. Good luck Samantha

  142. Lexie says:

    Hi Samantha,
    We are owner builders and getting close to painting! I have just made kitchen selections and have gone with laminex Polar White Matt kitchen cabinets and laminex pewter also with a white stone bench top with subtle veiny look. I was just wondering if you have any suggestions as to what white would work on the walls/ceiling etc. I was thinking lexicon or or snowy mountain. Could I do the same colour for walls, ceiling, skirting and door architraves and cornice? We have lots of natural light with 3metre bifold glass doors front and back. Thanks, lexie

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Lexie Either of those whites will work but bear in mind Dulux Lexicon has quite a blue undertone so you might be better off with Dulux Snowy Mountains which is a lot more neutral. Full or half strengths on walls with Quarter strength on trim, internal doors and ceiling is a good formula to remember for whites. Good luck Samantha

  143. Lani says:

    Hi Samantha,
    I am renovating an old Fremantle cottage and the open plan living/kitchen does not receive much natural light, the house has Jarrah floorboards and the interior walls have pine paneling as well as the kitchen cabinets which I also want to paint. I was thinking painting interior walls, panelling and kitchen cabinets in Dulux natural white variating in full to half strengths. Do you think this will work or all look too matchy and creamy? I want the house to look more fresh with natural light furnishing, but the current white looks too grey. Also not sure whether to match walls, pine panel and kitchen cabinets? Thank you in advance for your help.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Lani I really like whites to flow and think that from your description that Dulux Natural White could work as it has some warmth – the pine panelling will certainly be transformed by this look. My feeling with the beautiful feature floorboards is to keep it simple and just work with the one white but you could play around with strengths too – just try samples boards first. Remember that panelling gives you a natural shadowline so whites will appear different on this to a flat surface and that may be all the variation you need. Good luck – the Fremantle cottage sounds interesting Samantha

  144. Rebecca says:

    Oh gosh do i need your help! We bought out house last year in november, a 1997 built house. The house is still very original 90’s. It has cream aluminum window frames, the tiles cream (yellow cream) running through the kitchen, hallways and living & meals area. We also have some floor boards which seem to be newish in the lounge and formal dining area. Which are a bit american oak looking. The kitchen is also classic cream. Originally the house was painted cream also but the previous owners had painting (not very well) in a light grey with white skirtings and doors (only half painted in the house). Now our plan is to update the house in the future – Floors and kitchen eventuality but currently we want to build a bunch of new storage in the laundry and we need to paint that room along with the rest of the house. I am wanting to upgrade more with the kitchen, floors etc in the future but we dont have the $$$ to do that yet. So what paint colours can we pick that will currently work with what we have but also work if we want to do more elements of grey and white with the future upgrades? So far i have played with a few samples for walls with white exchange half and quater, natural white, lexicon etc but i just dont know what to do. Help!!

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Rebecca my feeling with the samples you have looked at so far is go with Natural White as it will work the best with your creamy tones – it’s difficult when you are working with colours you may change in the future but at the moment I think this could work for you. Good luck Samantha

  145. Lou Bell says:

    Samantha, great article!

    I am driving myself insane at present trying to work out paint colours. Slight problem is I am slightly colourblind and my husband is colourblind too…. so choosing white paint with correct undertones is hard.

    We are extending/renovating a Single Fronted Victorian in Melbourne.

    We will have a large open plan kitchen/living/dining. Windows are 6m floor to ceiling at the East (going to garden) with some high (above kitchen cupboards) windows on the north side. Kitchen will be a white with Caeserstone Organic White benchtop and the kitchen island will be a Navy ( Dulux Anchorman). Flooring is a yellowish European Oak.

    Bedrooms (North facing windows- but narrow space to next house of only 1.5m so shadowing) will have a mid grey carpet.

    Hallway is long on the southern side so dark.

    What white do you suggest? I plan on using Vivid white for Skirting. I wanted something with a slight grey base so the yellow of the flooring is not really picked up, but also don’t want something that will clash.

    Many thanks Lou

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Lou you could look at Dulux White Exchange Quarter – this is a nice grey that doesn’t have blue and quite a few of my clients have liked it recently with Vivid White trim. You might want to get a friend involved though to look at it with your flooring if you are colour blind or you could engage a local Dulux consultant to give you a hand. Hope this helps Samantha

      • Lou Bell says:

        Many thanks for your input Samantha.

        I painted out an A3 board and really like the White Exchange Quarter and Half. We will definitely be using one of these inside the house.

        A quick question as the the exterior. Front is Single Fronted Weatherboard Victorian cottage. Rear is modern block (with downstairs being Colourbond Windspray and Upstairs Colourbond Surf Mist. Upstairs will also have a small accent which is Colourbond Monument, windows at the rear to be Colourbond Basalt).

        We had been thinking Antique White USA and Vivid White for the cottage section (next door have use these colours and it looks good) but then comparing this to the colours (which I can’t change) for the rear of the house it looks a bit clashing to us.

        What do you think about using the White Exchange Quarter (or even Eighth) for the exterior too (when considering the colours for the back half of the house)?

        In the bright sunight would this be more white with a slight hint of grey or what colour would you suggest when trying to get a White on White for the front cottage (Using Vivid White as the accent colour for architraves and ironwork lace)?

        The cottage has a corrugated iron bullnose, but the roof (unfortunately) is terracotta tiles which we have to keep (heritage). We may put a front triangle of corrugated iron on the front of the tiles at the front later (neighbours did this when selling) but will need to wait until after council have done inspections approving the final build.



        • Samantha Bacon says:

          Hi Lou I’ve reviewed your project – sounds really interesting – and I think that it is the Surfmist which is throwing the look of the soft whites. On its own, Surfmist looks white but once you start putting other whites with it, particularly nice soft whites like Antique White USA, you start to see the grey in Surfmist and the warmth in your white. You therefore need to stick with some cooler greyer whites to keep to the Surfmist/Windspray base. Dulux White Exchange could be the answer but I wouldn’t go even as light as quarter as in the sunlight this will be very bright and again, may jar against the Surfmist. Perhaps look at the half strength outside with some Vivid White trim. I hope this makes sense? Samantha

          • Lou Bell says:

            Just popping in to say a very big THANK YOU. We have loved your advice. They have just done the first two undercoats in White Exchange Half with Half Lexicon trim inside and it looks perfect…. enough of a colour on the walls, but not too much and no bad colours being thrown off.

          • Samantha Bacon says:

            Thanks so much for letting me know Lou – hope you love the end result Samantha

  146. Rochelle says:

    Hi Samantha

    What a great read! We have moved into a new home and we are looking to paint our home white throughout. We have dark grey floor tiles and hoping to paint the interior of the house using a white that will soften it a bit. I have recently painted over a chocolate brown wall feature wall in the loungeroom with lexicon half but it looks blue! We painted our last house Natural White and was happy with it but that was with timber floors. I would love your opinion. Thanks in advance 🙂

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Rochelle yes Lexicon Half has a definite blue undertone which you can see when you hold it against other whites. Great for contemporary spaces but difficult to live with. Don’t feel that just because you have a dark grey floor you have to go with a cool white. Depending on the aspect of your house and how much natural light it receives you may find that something like Dulux Natural white that you have used before will work well. Also consider any other whites in the house – your kitchen for example and ensure that your chosen white works with this. Perhaps try a sample of Natural White against the flooring to see what you think. Remember that the flooring will reflect up onto the wall so possibly a warmer white may counteract that coolness? Good luck Samantha

  147. tony says:

    HI i am after your advice regarding interior paint colour i have carrara tiles all throughout the house and i have always wanted white walls but not sure if i should go white with a grey etc. What are your thoughts and do you have any colours you could recommend

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Tony It depends how white you want the walls to be – you can opt for a nice crisp white like Dulux Vivid White and this will give a nice crisp contrast to the floor or you could look at the white/grey that is the base of the Carrara and go for a shade lighter. You need to be careful not to make it all too grey – sometimes some contrast can be good to make the beautiful tiles stand out rather than find something that completely blends. But you will also need to consider the amount of natural light and other furnishings etc so make sure you test samples! Samantha

  148. Katie says:

    Hi Rochelle,
    I’m hoping that you will be able to help…. the more research I do the more confused I get!!
    I have a 30 year old home in Australia which has lots of large windows. It has cathedral ceilings with wood panelling which our painted painted half strength builders white – that’s the only details I got our of him???
    There are some plastered walls though the house but most of the walls are timber panelling. I want to paint the walls a very light inconspicuous grey colour. I was thinking the Dulux lexicon half but unsure if that is going to look too white or maybe even blue?? We tried the Dulux lexicon but that seems too blue)
    Any help would be great – I think I’m driving me poor husband insane

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Katie With your white for the walls you need to consider whether you want a warm feel or a cool crisp feel. Dulux Lexicon half will give you a very crisp ultra contemporary look or something like Dulux Casper White half will give you a grey/white without the blue. Don’t dismiss some of the warmer whites though if you want a slightly cosier feel – the ceiling may throw a lot of whites though so you will need to double check samples in relation to that – I suspect a builder’s white will have a good touch of grey as they like this for the extra coverage. Good luck Samantha

  149. Alice says:

    Hi Rochelle,
    You dont realise how hard colours can be until you go to paint a house!!! After reading all your suggestion, it seems like you really know your colours!!! What would be nice white with inconspicuous grey undertones (a lot of colours seem to have purple or blue undertones)
    (I’m from Melbourne, Australia)
    Many thanks ?

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Alice I like Dulux White Exchange Quarter strength as it has a touch of grey, and no blue/purple undertones. It looks good when contrasted with a Vivid White but less grey if used by itself. Make sure you try out large samples first as the overall effect will depend on the aspect of your room and the amount of natural light it receives. Good luck Samantha

  150. Carly says:

    Hi Sam
    Thank you for such an interesting read. I’d love some advice. We just ripped out our kitchen and we need it painted before the new one goes in. We have chosen polytec polar white sheen for the cabinetry and polytec Buller stone Matt (white with grey speckles). We have spotted gum floors throughout the apartment and the rest of the apartment will need to be painted too. It’s not a big space but it does get some nice light. What whites would you advise on? Thanks!

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Carly As your apartment gets lots of nice light you could look at something cooler like Snowy Mountains Quarter. This is a lovely fresh but slightly grey white which will work with your kitchen choices and then you still have the lovely rich Spotted Gum floor for warmth – test out a large sample first though to check that you like the effect. Good luck Samantha

  151. Tellie says:


    I have only just recently come across your article – which has been really easy to conceptualise.

    We have a 70’s brick 4 bedder in Toowoomba, QLD, Australia. We have installed:
    – Country Oak Blonde Vinyl Planks
    – White and Grey bathroom (will add colour through accessories) and
    – Already existing was a Black Granite benchtop & Pearl white 2pac Kitchen.

    Overall we’re going for a Grey, White, Different Raw (medium to light) wood furnishings and Black and Midnight blue accents.

    The house is a rectangle so 3 bedrooms, media room and master are all at the front getting the morning sun. The kitchen, Dining and 4th bedroom get little to none 🙁 and our rumpus at the back has 4 x 1.8m bay windows and gets the afternoon light.

    I’m wanting something contemporary but not cold. I did like Lexion but am worried about markings on the walls – I heard go a grey undertone to help hide marks. So I’m digging Tranquil Retreat, or Snowy Mountain (1/4 or 1/8 strength) for the walls – thoughts?

    Many thanks for your help with this one. Appreciate it.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Tellie I think that with the aspect of your house you may need a white with a little more warmth than Dulux Lexicon which with its blue base might not work well in those areas that don’t get much light – the rumpus at the back could get away with it but the rooms that only get morning sun might need something with less blue/grey. The Snowy Mountains or White Exchange range of whites from Dulux are still cool and will work with all your other colours but they knock out the blue. Taubmans Cradle White is a lovely fresh white that also isn’t too cool. Try samples in all the different rooms to check. With regard to hiding marks, I believe the best thing is to buy a good quality washable paint. I like Dulux wash n wear low sheen as it is a durable paint that you can wipe down. Taubmans Endure is also very good for resisting marks and their low sheen finish has just a 5-10% gloss level so you get the washability but still have a relatively matt finish. They are also introducing a matt finish but it isn’t available yet. I would consider using one of these as I don’t think just the grey undertone will make a different. Good luck! Samantha

  152. Beth says:

    Hi, im another person trying to pick a white for our new build house and finding it so hard! North facing but with most windows east and west but close to the fences on a small block.
    We are going with a weathered oak mid grey with some beiges wood floor for most of the house. The front door and window frames are paperbark. White natural finish laminate cupboards. Pure mineralstone laminate white benchtops which has some grey/beige tones. White subway tiles in bathrms and kitchen splashback. With beige havana grout in the kitchen and white in the bathrms. Ceiling white ceilings. Floor tiles in the wet areas are beige. We also have alot of mochas, browns and different wood furniture.
    I like a bright house so im thinking a cool colour. I dont want a yellow cream. would like a colour that contrasts the white subway tiles but doesnt clash with everything! At the moment the ones that im liking are White Duck Quarter, white exchange half/quarter, whisper white, or white cloak quarter. I dont want a green or blue to show but a grey or beige is ok. Do u have a idea which one would suit?

  153. Jan says:

    Hi Samantha, I would really appreciate your advice in picking a Dulux White for a low set, 80’s brick veneer home. The ceilings are standard height but it feels low, cramped, and cold, perhaps due to the limited sunlight it gets. I will lay new vinyl planks on the floors in the Karndean Korlok Canadian Urban Oak shade.

    As the property will be tenanted up until renovations, I won’t get the chance to paint sample swatches so I was wondering which warm white you would recommend? I was originally going to use Vivid White on ceiling and trims, with Natural White on walls, however I read that in order to create the illusion of higher ceilings, the walls and ceiling should appear to be the same colour. Is this correct? And if so, would Natural White in full strength for walls, and quarter strength for the ceilings and trims be suitable? I am cautious not to go too yellow as I want to achieve a fresh yet cosy feel. Thank you!

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Jan a change in ceiling colour – even between two whites – does define the ceiling so if you are feeling that it is too cramped and low you may not want to draw too much attention to the top of the wall where it meets the cornice and ceiling. Dulux Natural White is a good standby to create a warm and cosy effect with a soft white that isn’t too dark and you could do a quarter strength of this on the ceiling and it will work with your floor choice. If you did want to have some definition to the space you could still use your Dulux Vivid White for the internal doors, architraves and skirting boards if you want to. Hope this helps Samantha

      • Jan says:

        Thanks Samantha! I just need to decide on cornice colour. Can you please also advise whether in my situation it’s better to paint the cornice same as walls (Natural White Full) or same as ceiling (Natural White Quarter)?
        And would Natural White Half be even better for the ceiling to avoid that line as you mentioned above? Many, many thanks!

        • Samantha Bacon says:

          Hi Jan I always paint cornice the same as ceiling – you will see a slight difference with either quarter or half but you could start with half to see what it looks like and go lighter if necessary. Good luck Samantha

          • Jan says:

            Thank you Samantha! Your advice and article has been immensely helpful to me during a really stressful time – cannot thank you enough!

  154. Rebekah says:

    Hi Samantha,
    Like many others, reading your blog and the comments has been a huge help but is also making us more confused with the number of choices!
    We are building a new house – the main kitchen/family room is quite large 10mx6m with 3.2m high ceilings. Floorboards will be Blackbutt timber. The kitchen island will Dulux Oolong 2pac with the remainder of the cabinets matched to the ceiling in Vivid White.

    Would Casper White Half (walls), Casper White Quarter (trim) and vivid white (ceiling) be too cold considering the size of the room?

    Hopefully this paints a picture of our plans and thank you in advance for your help!

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Bek If your kitchen is Dulux Vivid White you might like to consider trims in this white too – I find this a good rule of thumb so that your kitchen cabinetry is the same white as window architraves, skirting boards etc and any other internal doors that are close by. The Dulux Casper White range is a lovely off white grey which will go nicely with the other colours you have selected and it doesn’t have the underlying blue that some whites have which tends to make the room cold and as you have such high ceilings you can get away with a little depth on the walls. My advice would be to paint a very large sample board and view it during the day and night to see what you think – you need to consider the aspect of the room – if it faces north or west and gets a lot of lovely natural light then the Casper White will definitely be OK but you might want to double check and adjust it if the aspect is south or east and doesn’t get so much sunlight. As you are building you may need to find a room that has the same aspect and try out the sample there. Hope you love your new home Samantha

  155. Brent says:

    Hi Samantha, we are putting a new kitchen and would really appreciate your help in picking Dulux White for walls, ceilings and trims. We have chosen White Satin cabinets (2 pac shaker style cabinets), Calacatta Euro benchtop and blackbutt timber floor. The kitchen is open to the dining area and medium level of natural light.

    Currently the wall is Dulux Antique White USA but it looks too creamy (yellow) for us. After reading your article I am thinking of Snowy Mountains Half (or quarter) on the walls and Dulux Vivid White ceiling and trims. Do these two whites work together or are they too white for the white satin kitchen? We want something modern and bright. Would love to hear your suggestions and many thanks for your advise. Brent

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Brent Dulux Snowy Mountains half with Vivid White works well together – another grey white is Dulux White Exchange half or quarter which also looks good with Vivid White. You need to look at large samples of the chosen wall white next to your kitchen white as this may also have a slight undertone so bear this in mind too when making your final choice. Good luck Samantha