One of the questions I most frequently get asked is which white paint color is best for trim, baseboards and interior doors. While there’s many great whites, I’m sharing my tried and tested favorites that are winners every time.
Choosing a White Paint For Trim, Baseboards and Interior Doors
White paint is notoriously tricky. Who knew there’s a million different shades of white? To be more precise, both Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore EACH have over 150 different shades of white! Bonkers!
Because white is the most reflective color, it can reflect back color from your room (think red area rug) or even the greenery outside. This is why it can be so darn tricky.
Even though side by side you’ll easily see the different shades of undertones of the different whites, once the color is up on the wall you will more than likely not notice them. My point is – do your research, but don’t overthink it too much!
To help you narrow down your choices, I’m sharing ten of my favorite white paint colors that are perfect for trim, doors, and baseboard moldings in your home. These are all great options, it just depends on your particular space as to which will be best.
Before you start on your trim work, give these points some consideration to avoid picking the wrong shade of white.
1. Sherwin Williams Pure White – SW 7005
Pure White is an incredibly popular color for trim since it works well alongside all paint colors. It’s a neutral white that doesn’t feel stark or cold, ranking as an 84 on the LRV scale.
If you’re looking for a flexible white that will work with both warm and cool color schemes, then SW Pure White is a safe bet. It has a slight drop of gray as well as a drop of yellow so that’s why it balances out both cool and warm colors so nicely.
2. Sherwin Williams Extra White – SW 7006
Any time a color is called “extra” white, there’s usually a blue undertone that will give it that super super white effect. Extra White can read a little cold in a north facing room but will be really bright and clean in rooms with warmer light.
I’ve never seen it lean into the blue – thankfully – and I’m pretty confident in saying you won’t either. However, if you don’t want a stark white, this may not be the choice for you.
Much of my home had this bright shade of white when Decorator’s White was no longer cutting it (but we since remodeled and updated everything to SW Pure White).
It’s definitely one of the brighter whites with an LRV of 86, and works better with a cool-toned color scheme.
3. Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace – OC 65
With a LRV of 90.04, this is a bright, neutral white. Chantilly Lace is a pure white color without any prominent undertones of gray, beige, or yellow. Because of this, it’s an easy choice for almost any area of your home!
Since it doesn’t really have cool or warm undertones because they are so minimal, the way it appears will really just depend on it’s environment.
If you have cool north-facing light, it may cast some of the slight gray/blue light back into the room. On the flip side, if you have warm south-facing light, the subtle warmth will soften it up just a bit, while still maintaining that crisp white look.
It goes great on kitchen cabinets, trim, and walls. Personally, I find it really beautiful with gold accents and hardware.
4. Benjamin Moore Simply White – OC 117
Now, if you’re on the hunt for warmer whites, Simply White by Benjamin Moore might just do the trick. Leading in popularity for cabinet door colors, this is decidedly warmer with a slight yellow undertone that makes it warmer (creamier) than your basic white.
If you have darker rooms, this may be too creamy. You can see on the walls in the photo below, that it’s quite creamy. With warm incandescent light added at dark, it’s extremely creamy. You’ve been warned!
The warmer undertone is more apparent when painted on walls in a matte finish and much less likely to appear when using a satin or semi-gloss sheen on trim and doors.
If you have a lot of northern exposure or want to counteract a lot of cool colors, this may be a good choice for you.
5. Benjamin Moore Decorator’s White – OC 149
Benjamin Moore’s Decorator’s White is a very popular, clean white. It’s not overly bright, thanks to its slight gray undertone. Paired with an extremely bright white like SW Extra White, it will look dirty, but on its own it’s a white trim color that you can’t go wrong with.
In fact, in person, Decorator’s White doesn’t have an onbvious undertone, as the gray just softens it up. Howver, it’s not the most versatile shade of white, as it looks best alongside cool-toned colors.
6. Benjamin Moore Super White – OC 152
This guy is white. Very white. It’s pretty neutral with no real undertone. If you want a bright white that doesn’t lean towards either cool or gray, this is a very safe choice!
If you’re trying to match existing trim paint that’s probably just an off-the-shelf white, this is probably a safe bet, too! Super White has an LRV of 87.4.
7. Sherwin Williams High Reflective White – SW 7757
High Reflective White is Sherwin Williams’ whitest white. With an LRV of 94, it’s very close to being pure white. It has just the tiniest drop of warmth, so even though it’s crazy white, it doesn’t feel as stark as Extra White, despite being considerably brighter!
High Reflective White is, for some reason, not available at all Sherwin Williams stores. So make sure you call ahead and verify before setting your heart on it!
8. Benjamin Moore White Dove – OC 17
White Dove is a soft, off-white color. This is a warm shade with a creamy feel courtesy of the lightly green undertone. It does not look like a pure clean white as some white paint colors do, but instead has a warm softness to it.
White Dove has an LRV of 85, which means it is fairly bright but not the boldest on the market.
As a very versatile color, it can look great in spaces with lots of organic light or even darker rooms with artificial light. It would look stunning on your living room and bathroom walls, on kitchen cabinets, or even ceilings.
9. Benjamin Moore Cloud White – OC 130
Cloud White is a beautiful shade as a warm color with an LRV of 87.4. It reflects a bit of a taupe undertone. It really shines through with darker woods or black trim. Use this color in rooms with lots of natural light pouring in. This paired with the darker accents is a dream for Cloud White!
Darker overall rooms could potentially look a little dingy so steer clear of rooms without any sunlight for this paint color.
10. Sherwin Williams Alabaster – SW 7008
SW Alabaster is a great warm toned white that is a popular choice for trim. This is not a super bright white however, so keep that in mind if you are hoping for a very crisp, clean white. On the lower end, the LRV is 82 for this Sherwin Williams white shade.
Ideal if you have north-facing light, this shade balances the sun coming in your windows nicely. If you have south-facing or western-facing light, the warmth undertones of Alabaster will be more obvious.
Be aware that white appliances or other brighter white paints may yellow Alabaster’s appearance. But, it is a great way to add brightness to a room with grey or black accents.
What is the Best Paint to Use on Trim and Baseboards?
Now that you know my favorite white paint colors for baseboard and trim, you may be wondering what type of paint to use. You actually have a few options. You can pick standard off-the-shelf paint like you would use on your walls or choose a hardier enamel finish.
I personally like to use Sherwin Williams ProClassic in either a satin or semi-gloss finish. I also love Sherwin Williams Urethane Trim. Both dry to a rock hard finish.
For Benjamin Moore, Regal Select is a great all-round paint. If you’re planning on painting cabinets or vanities, go with Benjamin Moore Advance.
What is The Best Sheen For Trim?
On a final note, let me briefly mention paint sheen. In the past, trim was always painted semi-gloss. Let me introduce you to a different sheen. Personally? I think that a satin sheen is the best for trim, baseboards and doors. I used satin when we repainted our home and it has made such a difference.
Why? Well, it looks more modern for one. But the most important reason is that in an older home, where the trim needs to be spackled and fixed up a bit before it’s painted, a satin finish hides imperfections MUCH better than semi-gloss. So in the end you get a much more uniform looking finish, which is of course what we all want.
How To Pick Complementary White Paint For Walls and Trim
If you are planning on painting both your walls and trim white, I highly recommend picking one shade of white for both. If you don’t, you are going to end up with white walls that look dirty because the gray undertone is suddenly apparent. Or, trim that looks yellow because against the whiter walls, the yellow undertones are brought out.
Pick one shade of paint (I personally recommend Sherwin Williams Pure White) and use two different sheens – matte or eggshell for the walls, and satin or semi-gloss for the trim. The difference in sheen will mean the trim is more reflective, and it will look brighter than the walls. But because they are the same color, you won’t have to deal with unwanted undertones.
A Note on Color Matching
I’m a big proponent of color matching. If you only have a Benjamin Moore Store nearby but want a Sherwin Williams color, they will color match it for you. And vice versa.
However, I do not recommend color matching white paint. The base formula, the “white” that the paint formula starts with varies greatly between the two brands. Sherwin Williams’ whites are much whiter, so mixing and matching between the two will not get you an accurate result. Other paint colors come out just fine (I’ve done it with tons of grays and blues with great success), but don’t color match the whites!
Don’t Forget To Always Use Real Paint Samples!
Don’t forget – no matter what you’ve read or photos you’ve seen online, it’s really important to sample paint colors in your home before committing!
Samplize provides real paint samples that are easy to move around your home, and cheaper than buying a gazillion paint pots! It’s the only way I buy paint samples.
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Amongst these ten top choices of white paint for trim, you can be sure to find one perfect for your home. Select your paint type and sheen to get started on your painting adventure.
Are you now ready to pick the perfect white paint color for your trim? I can’t way to see how beautiful your room looks, so be sure to tag me on Instagram!