Thursday, February 16, 2012

White Hallways

So we are now getting things organized to finally paint our hallway. And by getting things organized, I mean, thinking about it and trying to pick a paint colour.

And that, my friends, is difficult.

I know people talk about it all the time - how there are a million versions of white and to the untrained eye, they are all white. Of course, we think we know better :-) Every white seems to have a different undertone, a different feel.

But what one is right?

Here are some whites I've read about and/or used in my house already:

Benjamin Moore "Cloud White" (top half) and Benjamin Moore "Chantilly Lace" (bottom half)

Benjamin Moore "Decorator's White"

Benjamin Moore "Chantilly Lace" (the after pic)

Behr "Ultra Pure White"

Para Paints "Whitewash White" (bottom half)

Toto Aquia II

They all kind of look similar to me (I know - the horror!). Here is what I'd love for my hallway to look like:

Source (Photography by Michael Alberstat)

So there you have it. Lots of whites that look similar. Any suggestions on what to pick? Should we take this time to also do the stairs? That might be too much, but should we go ahead and paint the spindles and the side trim (right side, going up the stairs)?

If there is any value in knowing this, the whites we currently have in our house are as follows:

BM Cloud White: Trim in hallway and dining room/living room. It is going to be repainted because I made a rookie mistake and painted the trim in matte. 

BM Chantilly Lace: Trim in the basement and basement bath. I prefer this to Cloud White for trim as it is 'whiter'

Para "Whitewash White": Upstairs bathroom moulding and trim (as you can see from the pic above). This seems similar to Chantilly Lace in that it is really white. I like that.

Should we just pick a white we already use? Should we have a different white on the walls vs on the trim?

Here is a pic of the hallway a long time ago for your reference:

SOS! Please help! :-)


15 comments: said...

Different white on wall vs trim. We use BM Ultra White on trim in satin and BM cloud white on walls in flat. You could use your existing Chantilly white on trim and cloud white on walls?
Are you painting the ceiling? Have you thought of using a slightly blue tinted ceiling paint? It would make a really great statement with those high ceilings and period features. And yes, on the stairs if you can will make a huge difference, especially if you are going for Dimma's look.
Good luck!

EJ @ Not A House, But A Home said...

I love Chantilly Lace by Benjamin Moore. You're right that it's whiter!
It has no yellow in it so it's a lot "crisper" in my opinion. I've used
it to paint some furniture and I love how it turned out. 

Sharon said...

I can eliminate one for you ... don't use Cloud White .
I used it for my trim, it's my favourite, and looks beautiful with the new Natural Linen walls. ..but  I think it is too creamy for the look you are going for.   
One down ... 100 more to go :)

Low Amanda said...

I used BM's "Wedding veil" for all the trim and stair railings in my house and I was trying to go for the whitest white so if you're looking for a "white white", try the wedding veil!

Cheryl said...

If it were me - I'd do all the trim the same throughout the house. Since you like the color in the recently done bathroom it's an easy decision - use that one. You'll have continuity throughout the house & fewer paint colors to keep track of.

Since you want to repaint the hallway/living room/dining room trim anyway - repaint the hall trim using Whitewash White in the same gloss as the bathroom trim. Then paint the hallway walls & ceiling the same color but in flat - it won't look quite the same because the gloss level is different but you won't have two different whites that might fight with each other.

Later you can paint the living room/dining room trim to match - fixing the gloss error. And as you work on additional rooms just use the same trim paint - one less decision!

m @ random musings said...

I (like Cheryl) would stick to the same trim in the whole house for consistency's sake. Now since you have to repaint the bits that are currently Cloud White and indicate you're not the biggest fan, I recommend eliminating CW as a choice. boo, CW!

That leaves Chantilly lace and Whitewash white. Is there any chance that trim you're painting now will butt up against one of these areas? Will you extend the paint choices from existing areas to what you're painting now? If so, pick the paint color that will reduce the number of transitions, you know for continuity's sake. At least that's what I would do.

Look forward to seeing your choices!

Michelle @ AM Dolce Vita said...

I am going to vote for the Chantilly Lace. Do you prefer a brighter (perhaps cooler tone) white? If you are not getting much natural light in your hallway, the brigter shade is better. I would also paint the spindles and risings at the same time. But if your staircase is carpeted as pictured, it  might make more sense to bring in a professional to replace the steps/rising first.

Emma at The Marion House Book said...

I'd also use one of the whites you've already used. I think Chantilly Lace is the way to go as your hallway doesn't look like it gets a lot of natural light. I'd tackle your stairs when you're ready to do the whole thing. And call a professional! Stairs have to be the worst things in the world to paint. Worth the money to hire someone!

Sheila said...

We use Cloud White in our house for all of our trim and I love it.  Your inspiration pic looks like a much brighter white though, so I'd lean towards using Chantilly Lace instead.
Oh, and in case you haven't tried any of the water-based BM paints, I LOVE Natura (more than Aura even) and it is almost completely smell free.  I tried their Eco-Spec line in our Master Bathroom last month as Natura didn't have the right finish for a bathroom  (a lower end version of Natura).  I was equally pleased with the Eco-Spec - coverage wasn't as good as Natura, but I *think* it has even less VOCs than the Natura.  I'll probably use Eco-Spec for our bedroom as I'll need 2 gallons regardless and it's about $15 a gallon cheaper. 

Lwiens Mba2006 said...

We have b
bm snowflake white and love it.....slightly crisper than cloud white.

Ashley Izsak said...

that's suzzane dimma's house right?  I have been wanting that flooring FOREVER and I got the source from someone at instyle but alas they no longer carried it.  Love that front entranceway.  As for whites... we use cloud white for trim but haven't painted anything else white but I love the white in the bathroom!

Julie said...

Be careful of Chantilly Lace - depending on the direction of the light source it can look blue-ish.  We painted out north facing stairway CL and I hate it for this reason.  

Life Begins at Thirty, Right? said...

Good to know. Our hallway is pretty much dark. I'll have to check out how the CL looks.

CollegeHillRenovation said...

I just painted out living room in Bone White byBenjamin Moore and I love it. It's a rich creamy color.

Life Begins at Thirty, Right? said...

Thanks for the suggestion!