May 29, 2020

My Top Five Exterior White Paint Colors

By popular demand, (*Drum roll please!*) I give you my favorite white paint colors for the exterior! Now white paint, especially for your exterior house color, is tricky. I think it might be the trickiest of all colors because it can change the most drastically depending on the lighting.  And, besides the lighting, there are just so many shades, tones, and undertones that can give your white exterior paint color a hint of blue or yellow or even purple! 

I mean,  picking a white paint color can be VERY tricky! So I decided to write a post to help you navigate white exterior paint color options.  And I’ll share my top five choices for the best white exterior paint colors

Tips & Tricks to Picking the Right White Exterior Paint Color

The struggle is real, right? Picking the right white paint color is just hard.  So here are my top tips for selecting the right white paint for house exteriors.

Tip #1

Just try some! I usually never know until I try. I would recommend painting some swatches on different parts of the house and looking at it throughout the day to see what you think. Even better, try two white paint colors next to each other on the same wall. You will really be able to see undertones better that way.  Do this on several sides of your house because the direction of your home can really matter.  (See tip #2!)

Tip #2

Pay attention to which direction your home faces.  If your home faces North, that lighting will magnify cool tones, so I would pick a softer white.  Conversely, if your home faces South, pick a white with blue or green undertones that can downplay the brightness of the sun.  This will  avoid your home looking a creamy yellow white.

Tip #3

Take your time. Really think of what style you are going for. Every white paint color really does tell a different story. Some are soft and give you more of a Martha’s Vineyard kind of vibe, and others have cooler tones that would translate better to a little surf bungalow. I have rushed through the process before and really regretted it.

Now, without further ado, here are my top 5 white exterior paint colors!

Hardie Arctic White

Now, in all honesty, I don’t think this is my favorite, but it is what we use the most on our home builds and renovations. If you are building a house, chances are high you are using Hardie Plank – which is of excellent quality and durability.  And if you are, there are stock colors for you to choose from.  So for budgeting purposes, I would suggest going with Arctic White for your plank exterior.  It’s a very neutral white, and I think it really transcends different styles. It works for homes with a coastal or low country aesthetic, homes with traditional architectural elements and homes with a modern vibe.  You really can’t go wrong with Arctic White.  You can see it here on our Modern Farmhouse Project.  So if you are trying to save cash somewhere, choose Hardie Plank Arctic White and do something really fun like this backyard!

Home with Hardie Plank Arctic White exterior paint color.

Benjamin Moore- Simply White

This is probably my favorite white paint for exteriors.  It is a warm white with a very subtle yellow undertone.  You can see that we  used it inside a home we built here. I do think that I have other favorites for interior white paint, but for an exterior, this paint color is just perfection to me.  It looks great on this exterior by Avenue B – especially with that green blue front door! 

Benjamin Moore- White Dove

This white is the perfect creamy white exterior paint color. It softens a house without making it seem yellow. I would say it has a grey, beige (or greige!) undertone.  We used this on the interior of the Barton Ave. home and LOVED it!  White Dove is a designer go-to for an exterior white paint color.  And, to me, a white dove exterior is just classic.

Benjamin Moore- China White

I think this is the perfect white if you are wanting to use browns and copper or if you have a northerly facing home.  It’s a very creamy and warm white.  It has deeper greige undertones that White Dove.  I would say that, sometimes in the winter, you can see more of a yellow, or brown,  undertone.  I am not a huge fan of that, but if you don’t mind it, China White is a great choice for a warm white exterior paint color.

Sherwin Williams- Pure White

This one is probably my new favorite. It’s so pretty! It is truly a classic, “pure” white and looks great on homes with a coastal vibe.  It is crisp and clean.  I especially love it here in this exterior from Barrow Building Group with the French Blue shutters and warm wood doors.

There are so many white paint colors that picking one for your home exterior can feel a bit overwhelming! But, don’t worry.  And don’t rush it!  You might find that there is one that is not on this list that suits your fancy.  Share with me in the comments the colors you’ve chosen and love! And if you are currently in the process of choosing your exterior paint color, follow my tips–  try swatches on several different walls of your exterior and live with them for a few days.  You will naturally gravitate towards one.  And as the saying goes, you’ll know when you know!

Xx, Amanda

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  1. Megan Freel says:

    I have large two story bluish farm house. We’ve decided to go white. Our house is on hill green pasture in front, facing south…….Florida sunlight. I love White Dove but afraid might be too dull or yellowing full sun? Our other is Pure White by Sherwin Williams. I’m so torn. Sample of White Dove looks too creamy next to white . Any suggestions other suggestions?Thanks so much!

  2. Megan Freel says:

    I have large two story bluish farm house. We’ve decided to go white. Our house is on hill green pasture in front, facing south…….Florida sunlight. I love White Dove but afraid might be too dull or yellowing full sun? Our other is Pure White by Sherwin Williams. I’m so torn. Sample of White Dove looks too creamy next to white . Any suggestions other suggestions?Thanks so much! PS my husband does not like yellow!

  3. Heather says:

    Hey! Which white paint color would you suggest for the siding/body and trim on a southern east facing home that isn’t too yellow? The brick has red in it with white mortar. I believe it is called old fort Jackson. Shutters and front doors as well as the roof are black. Thank you!

  4. Nic Godbold says:

    Most White Houses I am seeing have the same body color on the trim. We are painting the exterior SW Drift of Mist. Am I seeing that correctly that the trim is the same color as the body? Is that what people do? lol! I have one chance to get this right, per the hubby!

  5. Adel Rubio says:

    Hi! For the cute house with the Benjamin Moore White Dove, what is the green color of the door? I love that look and would like to use it on a rental of ours. Thank you!!

  6. Kiara B says:

    Great post! We are using the Arctic White hardie planks on our new build, and we are painting our trim instead of using the hardie trim. We are struggling to find a paint color to match the arctic white for a monochromatic look … do you know what color paint is used in the white trim in the first picture in this post?

  7. Shannon says:

    Do you have any suggestion for a concrete mexican style home faces the south on a main street with lots of activity and restaurants and shops around it. 2 blocks from beach cobblestone streets. Currently an orange color and we are looking to brighten it up as well as provide more lighting in the home.

  8. Sage says:

    I’m struggling to pick a white for our victorian (accents are blue.). Do you have a favorite anique-y white?


  9. Sur says:

    Great post! Can you recommend your favorite white from SW for and east facing exterior? Going for a farmhouse look!

  10. Austin Simon says:

    Love your recommendations! Leaning towards Pure White by SW. Was wondering if you know the color of the shutters on that picture featuring Pure White?


  11. mary says:

    I’d also like to know what white you would suggest for a west-facing house… Thanks!

  12. Thank you so much for showing off these colors and great examples of them being used on houses. The way these colors, especially the simply white example, give off a humble vibe really makes me think that picking them is a great option for my own house since it currently looks muddy and boring with the brown paint it currently has. Once I find an exterior painter in my area, I’ll make sure I show them these examples so we can use paints similar to them.

  13. Julia Lee says:

    Thank you for putting together such a great presentation on whites. We have a home that is on the coast and west facing (back side facing water is east facing). Any recommendations for a true clean white that won’t turn yellow and is neutral toned for west/east facing homes?

    • Amanda Seibert says:

      I love Chantilly Lace! It doesn’t ever seem to have a yellow undertone no matter the lighting in my experience!

  14. Paula says:

    We are looking to paint our exterior brick. Having trouble with the picking a white to go on the brick, also the rest of the home will be white with black trim, black front door, black garage door & black shutters. I would assume we use all the same white on the brick and siding… any thoughts?

  15. Kirsten says:

    This is a great post! Thank you so much! I know you mentioned what white your recommend for a north facing house but what about a south facing? Ours is technically SE so we get morning sun on our front and side.
    Thank you!

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