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White Paint Guide

It’s finally here! I am so excited to share the after photos of painting my living room. I shared the process on my Instagram stories, but I got so many questions about the colors we chose, the previous color we had and questions about choosing white paints in general. White paint is one of the most asked about across the board because there are so many options and it can look very different when applied in certain settings. Here I am breaking down some of my favorite warmer whites and cooler based whites that will transform any room into a fresh space!

As I mentioned in my Instagram stories we have a very annoying issue in our apartment. The building is almost eighty years old and has no real ventilation. We do not have central air and there is no hood over our stove top so anytime we light a candle or cook that soot kind of lingers in the air. This can be problematic in an all white apartment so we have found ourselves re painting rooms much more frequently than we would normally have to.

Our previous color was Droplets by Dunne Edwards which I loved, but the consistency of the paint wasn’t right for this space. It showed soot and dirt much more than Benjamin Moore paints, but most people don’t have a problem with that so it should work great! You can see in the process photos that by the time we painted it looked like a dark grey instead of the brighter grey white it used to look like.


For the fresh coat we chose Simply White by Benjamin Moore on the walls and Super White for the ceiling, trim and built ins. Simply White is one of my favorite colors because of its creamy undertones. It doesn’t make a room feel stark or cold and although it is still a bright white it gives off such a warmth. We always paint our walls Eggshell, the ceilings Flat and all the trim Semi – Gloss. This gives a really nice dimension to the room.

We were originally going to paint the room All White by Farrow & Ball, but at $110 per gallon it was a little out of our price range for a rental. Most companies can color match any Farrow & Ball color, but I am always a little weary with their whites because it will never look 100% the same. We went with the Benjamin Moore Ben line which is there mid range paint at about $42 per gallon. It took two coats on the walls, ceiling and trim to cover everything and get a really nice consistency.


Photography by Torrey Fox

  1. Missy Steinberg

    February 11th, 2019 at 10:13 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing! I find selecting paint colors to be the most daunting of tasks when it comes to decorating.

    Do you have any recommendations for painting a bathroom? I want to do a white shade but am not sure what sort of finish would look best.

    PS. I have the same old apt issues with the candle soot! My lease even states you cannot burn candles because of how quickly the walls will get dirty 🙁

  2. Chrissy McDonald

    February 12th, 2019 at 3:43 am

    Hi Missy!

    Painting can be so daunting. I love White Dove by Benjamin Moore for a bathroom because it is so soft unlike a very crisp white. I highly recommend doing the Benjamin Moore Aura Bath & Spa paint which is designed for high humidity areas. Hope this helps!


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  4. Anna

    March 4th, 2019 at 6:09 pm

    I’ve never had this problem so I don’t really know but couldn’t you just wash your walls, instead of regularly repainting? It seems like a more economical & green way to handle the issue.

  5. Chrissy McDonald

    March 6th, 2019 at 12:19 am

    Hi Anna,

    You definitely can wash your walls, but because of the amount of natural light we get in this room it always looked very streaked and dull. We don’t intend to fully repaint again anytime soon and use air purifiers to try and combat the issue : )

  6. Genevieve Pujalet

    March 5th, 2019 at 4:00 am

    Hi, This room looks absolutely beautiful. You’ve made whites and neutrals look so incredibly warm and inviting. Also, where is that wonderful rug from? Love it. Thanks!

  7. Chrissy McDonald

    March 6th, 2019 at 12:17 am

    Thank you so much Genevieve! Here is the link to the rug : )


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  9. Leigh

    March 6th, 2019 at 4:21 am

    Love the coffee table! Do you know where to find it?

  10. Chrissy McDonald

    March 7th, 2019 at 1:52 am

    Hi Leigh,

    It is by Dovetail, here is the link!

  11. Rachael

    March 6th, 2019 at 4:56 am

    Where did you get that darling photo of the black mask?

  12. Chrissy McDonald

    March 7th, 2019 at 1:49 am

    Hi Rachael,

    It is by Jennifer Ament!

  13. Pamela

    March 6th, 2019 at 12:43 pm

    I’ve heard for years about the harmful health effects of burning candles but thought it was a bit far-fetched. But after reading that it dirtied your walls, I am convinced it’s not okay for the lungs.
    On another note, your room looks light and inviting and thank you for your advice on paints as well as the accidental tip about candles.

  14. Chrissy McDonald

    March 7th, 2019 at 1:54 am

    Thank you Pamela! I have wondered that too, but unfortunately I don’t think I can ever quit burning them at this point!

  15. Anais

    March 8th, 2019 at 9:39 am

    Where did you find the ceiling fan? Been on the hunt for a nice new modern white one.

  16. Chrissy McDonald

    March 8th, 2019 at 3:52 pm

    Hi Anais,

    Here is the link to the ceiling fan!


  17. Heather

    March 8th, 2019 at 9:50 am

    Beautiful room! Can you tell me what the big plant growing in the corner is?

  18. Chrissy McDonald

    March 8th, 2019 at 3:50 pm

    Hi Heather,

    Thank you! It is a Ficus Audrey plant.


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  21. Jen

    March 22nd, 2019 at 4:35 pm

    Hi Im in love with your room. Can you tell me the size of the frame you use for the cat eye art?

  22. Chrissy McDonald

    March 26th, 2019 at 12:45 am

    Hi Jen,

    Thank you so much! The size of the mat is 11 x 14.

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  26. Courtney

    January 25th, 2020 at 11:39 am

    Stunning! What brand is your couch as well?! I love it!

  27. Chrissy McDonald

    January 26th, 2020 at 8:29 am

    Thank you Courtney! It is from West Elm – linked on “My Apartment” shop page under living room.

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