With literally hundreds of variations on the colour white it can be a tricky task to choose the right white paint for your home. Sarah Gregory, Colour Consultant at Resene says the best place to start is with a bunch of swatches and some basic understanding of how white works. 

This Resene living room by Trinity Design features Resene Sea Fog, Half Sea Fog and Quarter Sea Fog

Things to consider

All whites either fall into the warm or cool category. The warm whites have hints of red and yellow, and the cool whites can contain blues, greens and blacks.

Is the room in the warm or the cool part of the house? You want to avoid cool whites in rooms that don’t get much sun otherwise they will feel really cold and grey. Colours like Half Pearl Lusta or Resene Rice Cake can add a bit of warmth.

Whites are easily influenced by lighting and other colours so the things you have in the room will all play a part in how the white appears.

Cool whites such as Resene Black White or Resene Merino, work well in really modern houses and compliment glass and chrome.

The paint colour on your wall should be the last thing you choose. You need to have your flooring, furniture and even special artwork sorted before you decide which way white you’re going to go.

Keeping your house consistent is also important – designers call it flow! If your house is painted and decorated in warm tones and you walk into a cool toned room it will feel disjointed and extra cold. 

This Resene kitchen by Trinity Design features Resene Quarter Sea Fog

How to test the colour

Once you’ve got an idea of which way you want to go, grab a test pot and get painting. Take an A2 sized card and paint it with your colour of choice, leaving a white boarder around it. Because colours act like a chameleon when sat next to each other, the boarder stops the colours from changing and will give you a better idea of what it will really look like. To understand how the colour will behave in your room make sure you test it all times of the day and with your artificial lights in the evening. People are often surprised at how dramatically different the colours appear in the corners of the room, so bend your A2 card and see what it looks like bouncing off itself.  

Click here to browse the range of whites and neutrals at Resene, and don't be shy to ask a Colour Consultant for help – they know their whites!