1. White paint is not exactly white
White paint contains traces of other colours that give it personality – these are known as undertones. Broadly speaking, cool whites have blue undertones while warm whites have yellow or brown undertones. To figure out the undertone, hold a swatch or paint chip next to a sheet of white paper.
(Photo: Elements of Style Blog via Pinterest)
2. Consider the room’s function
What’s the space for? For a bedroom, look at more relaxing, calming tones of whites. This usually leans towards slightly creamier or natural hues. A pure, bright white is great for the kitchen, which can be too vivid and contrasting for a bedroom.
3. Shortlist swatches
Go to a paint store and pick up small sample swatches, moving around to see them under different lights. Put them side by side and you’ll notice that one of them suddenly appears quite green or blue. Then, shortlist two or three that you think works best.
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4. Test paint directly on your wall
To get the best comparison, paint small circles (around 8 cm wide) of the different whites next to each other on at least two walls of the same room, with one near the window. Check how they look in the morning and afternoon, as well as when the lights are on and off. Don’t forget to label the circles so you don’t unknowingly mix them up!
5. Consider other elements in the room
Place a few items like furniture, artwork or curtains against them to help you narrow down your options. If you have a feature wall, consider how the white would complement it rather than dulling it down or becoming too bright when placed next to it.
For more home tips and ideas, read Read This Before You Paint Your Walls, 5 Ways To Decorate A Boring Wall In Your Home and Decor Trend: How To Brighten Up Your Home With Pastels
Text: Sylvia Ong / Additional Reporting: Elizabeth Liew