"Old Reliable" by Sherwin Williams
May 7, 2013 8:10 AM   Subscribe

Can someone recommend a specific pleasant white-ish or neutral shade of paint that I can use on my walls repeatedly for like, forever?

I'm looking for a basic white/neutral shade that I can paint various rooms and hallways that are not otherwise an actual color. We have only painted a few rooms selected colors, and for the rest, I think I'd like to go with "white".

I'm hoping I can find something like 'Sherman Williams - Linen' (I made that up; also it doesn't actually have to be Sherman Williams) that will be around for years to come so that five years from now, I can decide to paint a room the exact same white (it doesn't have to be 100% the same -- 90% the same is good enough.)

I'd like a white that's a little on the warmer side, maybe a bit more cream-colored. Parts of the house are extremely bright and if it's too white-white it'll be like having a near-death experience in an Apple store.
posted by A Terrible Llama to Home & Garden (19 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
This is what Kelly-Moore's Swiss Coffee was made for. Or, if you're feeling crazy, their Antique White. (I have also used the Martha Stewart for Home Depot color Glass of Milk for this purpose.)
posted by purpleclover at 8:13 AM on May 7, 2013 [2 favorites]

(To be clear, I'm not sure if the name is an oblique commentary? insult? about Swiss people and their coffee-drinking habits, but Swiss Coffee is a neutral white-cream color. Swiss people use a lot of cream in their coffee? I'm not sure.)
posted by purpleclover at 8:24 AM on May 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

I swear by Benjamin Moore Linen White for walls, with China White for trim and ceilings. Makes the room pop without sacrificing warmth.
posted by Mchelly at 8:28 AM on May 7, 2013

Ask your local paint company what color the big apartment management companies use. I use a color called Embassy White from Miller Paint (not a nationwide company so Maybe not available for you.)
posted by vespabelle at 8:29 AM on May 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

I find that most companies have an "antique white" that matches other companies' "antique white" more than any other white out there.
posted by xingcat at 8:29 AM on May 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: /me puts on paint smock, name tag

I worked in a Sherwin-Williams store for a number of years and it sounds like you're describing Dover White. It is a white-cream color that can be used in just about any room. Due to its popularity, I doubt that they would change the formula or get rid of it any time soon. It looks a little dark on the paint strip but is actually white when you put it on the walls.

As always, I encourage you to get a couple of samples and actually put some on the wall to see what it looks like at different times of day in different light.
posted by Tevin at 8:29 AM on May 7, 2013 [8 favorites]

So far as 'Antique White' and 'Swiss Coffee' are concerned, those are good colors and will likely be around for a while but, IIRC, tend to skew toward khaki rather than cream.

I actually kind of like Antique White because it seems to hide scuffs and dirt a little better than other neutral whites.
posted by Tevin at 8:33 AM on May 7, 2013

Porter Paints - water chestnut, it's a neutral off white shade. The neutral part of that is important since you are using it on transitioning walls. Pro tip- negotiate the price! They have lots of leeway and can beat the BigOrangeBox on both per gallon and five gallon prices.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 8:49 AM on May 7, 2013

Best answer: I worked in a Sherwin-Williams store for a number of years and it sounds like you're describing Dover White.

I was just doing a thread drive by with nothing to add here until I saw this comment--the walls of the house I grew up in are Sherwin-Williams Dover White. (If you had asked me offhand what it was called I'd have no friggin idea, but seeing it there, yeah.)

The color has been around for all of the 26 years since my parents built the house and to my knowledge is still just the same (a couple years ago my dad had my brother and me pick up a gallon so he could do some repainting--"just go grab a can of Dover White"). It's white but not a blinding Apple Store white. Just...white. Sounds like it's exactly what you're looking for.
posted by phunniemee at 8:54 AM on May 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

For years, it's been Navajo White in every rental ever. I don't think it really matters what brand name, although I have Sherwin Williams in Creamy in my basement and it's a lovely, creamy color and the paint is very, very good.

Ask them to show you the paint chip for Navajo White.

I requested Antique White, and it looked pretty creamy on the paint chip, but when the whole house got painted it came out YELLOW! I worked with it, but hoo-boy, don't make the mistake of not doing a nice test on the wall.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:21 AM on May 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

Decorator's White is amazing, it is a bright, clean white. May not be as yellow as you want, but it is so beautiful I had to mention it.
posted by nanook at 10:31 AM on May 7, 2013

By Benjamin Moore.
posted by nanook at 10:32 AM on May 7, 2013

Silky White by Behr, but I do not recommend that brand paint-I take the chip elsewhere. Just had the whole newly remodeled basement done in this color (trim and walls), right now using it in son's room trim and also used it for exterior house trim recently as well. Good natural white. But again, never had a good experience with Behr, but if you are at a home depot check it out!
posted by 58 at 10:39 AM on May 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

I used SW's "Creamy" for all my wood work. It is a warmer white and in fact "creamy."
posted by LeanGreen at 11:15 AM on May 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

Benjamin Moore - Muslin.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 12:00 PM on May 7, 2013

I like Benjamin Moore's Cloud White. I also had their Muslin on my walls but found that it is more beige than white, although it is a nice versatile colour.
posted by meringue at 12:08 PM on May 7, 2013

I happen to like eggshell. It holds up, and is able to take a scrubbing when I get around to it, so all those marks and scrapes just slide right off.
posted by QueerAngel28 at 1:28 PM on May 7, 2013

Benjamin Moore's Cloud White is what you want. It will be around as long as there is a Benjamin Moore. Its a soft warm white
If you want a bright white go with Oxford White.
posted by saradarlin at 2:33 PM on May 7, 2013

FYI, I just spotted a great piece of advice about white paint on a blog: For whatever tint you choose, try painting it on a board before you try it on the wall. Then you can see how it covers, as well as move the board around to see how the light looks on it in various spaces.
posted by limeonaire at 5:00 PM on May 7, 2013

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