In case you wanted to know, there are a million and one shades of white. White? Really?!?!! Yes.
I’ve always been more of a color-saturated sort of person I guess you could say. In middle school my bedroom ceiling was painted a light, dreamy shade of mint green. If I didn’t work in a professional environment, I just might have a neon pink streak in my hair right now. Oh, and did I mention my car is bright yellow?
Considering my colorful history, I had naively assumed that white was simply something one could resort to when they didn’t have time or effort to decide what color to choose. Oh boy! What a rookie move . . .
You see, you can’t just paint your walls “white” to match your “white” tile. That would be wayyyyy too simple. And while we’re talking about it, I might as well mention that if you want white tile, you’ll need to decide which shade of white tile you’d like.
I didn’t realize just how many different white paint chips Home Depot had until after the tile was installed in the bathroom and it was time to get the paint for the ceiling, walls and trim. After spending half of our retirement fund on paint samples in an attempt to find the right shade of blue to paint the exterior of our home (and still second guessing the decision), I knew better than to grab a gallon without getting a paint sample first.
So I tried Painter’s White and Falling Snow by Behr in the bathroom to see what would work best. Falling Snow made the tile look yellow and almost dirty, while Painter’s White seemed to almost blend in and go with the tile quite well. I thought maybe the color’s name- Painter’s White- was some kind of a secret code from Behr to me- as if they were saying- “Hey! This is the one that matches all of the white tiles in the world and that’s why we call it Painter’s White! This is literally THE white that is in all of the rooms in all of the houses.”
Boy was I wrong. It seemed great in the corner where I tested it out, but after purchasing a gallon and painting the entire room . . . it looked . . . pink.
Our black and white bathroom looked like Pepto-Bismol, cotton candy, super subtle, whisper pink.
I kept trying to tell myself it was fine. That it matched the tile perfectly and was the only shade that could work in there. That the fact it’s called “Painter’s White” surely had to mean it was the standard traditional white paint selection of the American people who live in brick homes with attached garages and tiny yards. And if it was good enough for my fellow countrymen, then it was good enough for me! (Not sure if it’s the Olympic season or what, but I guess I’m feeling a little patriotic today . . . .)
Fortunately, I finally realized it would be easier to change my mind sooner than later, considering there was no toilet or sink at this stage of the game- so I kept searching for a more appropriate shade of white for the bathroom. Well, the hard work paid off, because I discovered that Frost by Behr is the perfect shade in my bathroom and even worked great in our kitchen, guest bedroom and both hallways. It is a nice cool white that doesn’t feel too stark, harsh, or clinical. This shade of white also has enough color so there’s a nice contrast between the Behr Ultra Pure White trim and the walls.
Speaking of having enough of a “tint,” when the time came to tile the kitchen backsplash I was concerned about the tile not looking quite right since the gray cabinets turned out lighter than I anticipated. I decided to ask my contractor if a more pure white tile was available for the backsplash, rather than using the same subway tile from the bathroom as originally planned.
Turns out, there was another option that worked great and helped to create more of a contrast between the cabinets and backsplash since the cabinet color is so soft and subtle. The subway tile in the kitchen has a more clean and modern look, while the bathroom subway tile has a more vintage feel, so both are excellent in their appropriate locations.
All I can say is I’m glad to be done picking out white paint colors for a long time! Who would have guessed that such a basic, neutral shade could prove to be such a decorating dilemma?