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. Wendy says:

    Is your couch the modular version or regular ? And I’m so confused on how to order the exact sofa on the west elm site? I’m lost. Help please I need same configuration you have

  2. Lorie says:

    I have the exact same couch. I was wondering where you got all the throw pillows? Are the back ones 26 x26?

  3. Danielle says:

    Hi! Your coffee table is exactly what I’ve been looking for! I see it’s sold out but have you found a similar one anywhere?

  4. What color/fabric is that West Elm Shelter sofa?

  5. Rachel says:

    I love the style of your living room! Does the rug from Lulu and Georgia shed? Do you think it would do well in a household with children? Thanks!

  6. Sara says:

    Hi Chrissy! Do you typically prefer to paint the walls a slightly different color than the trim/ceiling? How do you approach the process of choosing paint for the walls vs. trim/ceiling? Love Simply White and wondering if it makes sense to do for walls, trim, and ceiling or if the slightly different colors adds depth. Thanks for your advice!

    • Hi Sara! It really depends on the space and the look you are going for. If you go with the same color for everything you still want to have varying finishes for contrast. I always do Eggshell on the Walls, Flat on the ceiling and Semi Gloss on all trim work which would still provide subtle dimension. I had Simply White on the walls and Super White on the ceiling and trim work to add a little more contrast and because I wanted a crisper white on the trim. I hope this helps!!

  7. Naomi says:

    Love everything about your home!
    We are about to paint our entire house and Really want to use the combo you did. We do have a curved main staircase, and wondering if you would paint that in the super white? We also added shiplap to our bathroom so wondering if it’s safe to say all woodwork should be super white and all walls simply white.

    • Thank you so much Naomi! It depends on the home and the lighting you get, but I love super white for trim because it is really light reflecting and shows off details beautifully. I wouldn’t say all wood work has to be super white, simply white can look great on shiplap, cabinets and ceilings too. Hope this helps!

  8. Dawn Simpson says:

    Your bay window curtain rods are perfect. Where did you find the matching rods for the other window?

  9. Flora says:

    Hi there!

    I am in love with your living room.
    Can you tell me where your carpet is from?

    Kind regards,

  10. Katie says:

    Hi! Where is the rug from?

  11. Jeankarla says:

    Love all this! Where is the couch from?

  12. Courtney says:

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

  13. Jen says:

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

  14. Heather says:

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

  15. Anais says:

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

  16. Pamela says:

    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.

  17. Rachael says:

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

  18. Leigh says:

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

  19. Genevieve Pujalet says:

    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!

  20. Anna says:

    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.

    • 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 : )

  21. Missy Steinberg says:

    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 🙁

    • 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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