Are you thinking of painting a room? Bored and ready to freshen things up a bit? Or maybe you have already painted a room and you didn’t consider how it would effect the trim color? (cough! cough! that’s me, whoops) Let’s chat about the best white paint for trim to start diagnosing the problem.
First, you may be trying to consider whether to paint the trim white or paint the trim the same color as the walls. If you do decide on a white paint color for the trim, let’s talk about my favorite white paint colors for trim.
This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure statement here.
When I decided to paint my office Snowbound by SW it clashed with my trim. I didn’t think about how it would clash with my trim color, Creamy by SW.
Snowbound is a off white with pink undertones while Creamy is a warmer white with yellow undertones. These white colors don’t compliment each other, so I needed to find a new trim color.
The Best White Paint for Trim
I’ve gathered a list of white paint colors that work well with other whites and other colors. These are my favorites from Sherwin Williams, Benjamin Moore, and Behr.
- Extra White SW
- Pure White SW
- Snowbound SW
- Alabaster SW
- High Reflective White SW
- Chantilly Lace BM
- White Dove BM
- Decorator’s White BM
- Super White BM
- Simply White BM
- Ultra Pure White Behr
- White 52 Behr
Sherwin Williams White Paint Colors
The best type of paint when painting trim white from Sherwin Williams is the Emerald Urethane & Enamel or Super Paint. I recommend Semi Gloss finish for trim.
Extra White by Sherwin Williams is a great choice for trim paint. It is considered a cool white with blue undertones. LRV is 86. Because it is so cool, it can match well with cool and warm white paint colors.
This is a paint color I like to call a palate cleanser: clean and crisp, it helps “cleanse the palate” from room to room. Any color can pair well with Extra White.
Pure White by Sherwin Williams is another great choice for trim white paint. It is a softer choice compared to Extra White, but not quite off white like Alabaster or Creamy. LRV is 84, so not as bright as Extra White either. It can be used throughout the whole house for trim, doors, and baseboards.
High Reflective White
High Reflective White by Sherwin Williams is a true white. The LRV is 93 so it’s as close to true white as you are going to get. This color is a funny one, it is so neutral and purely white that there are no weird hues or undertones. It is actually a base color that is used to make other white colors.
It would be a great choice to a supremely neutral, stark white if that’s what you desire for your trim, baseboards, and doors. I wouldn’t use it on the walls personally, but lots of people do.
Snowbound and Alabaster by Sherwin Williams are not the most conventional choices for white painted trim, but hear me out. These are popular choices for wall colors and in a white room I recommend painting the walls and trim the same color, but with different sheens.
Off-white whites with lots of undertones don’t typically work well with lots of other whites or colors. However, if it is your wall color is a warm white, make the trim match. Eggshell is the best choice for walls. Snowbound LRV is 83, and Alabaster LRV is 82.
This can also extend as good choices for trim on the exterior of your home.
Benjamin Moore White Paint Colors
The best type of paint for trim from Benjamin Moore is the Advance line or Regal Select. I recommend Semi Gloss finish.
Chantilly Lace is one of Benjamin Moore’s most popular whites. Its VERY white with an LRV of 92. While it is a pretty true white, but has a bit more versatility than the High Reflective White.
This paint color can lean warm in different directional lighting, but still doesn’t have any pesky weird undertones to contend with. I find this color to be gorgeous anywhere and goes with just about every color.
White Dove from Benjamin Moore is a soft, warm white. LRV is 83 (used to be 85) so it is on the barely there edge of being “white.” I wouldn’t call White Dove an off white, but still leans much warmer than a true white.
This is one of those chameleon colors that can show it’s more yellow underbelly, when paired with a cooler white surface. BUT it is a really nice soft, neutral white when paired with darker or softer colors.
Decorator’s White by Benjamin Moore is another soft white paint color. Unlike White Dove, it is considerably cooler with tiny undertones of gray that can turn pink/violet/blue. LRV is 85, so it’s not a true white. This paint color is best paired with other cool-toned paint colors.
Simply White by Benjamin Moore is one of the most popular warm white paint colors. It’s popular because it is a beautiful neutral white paint color that is bright, but warm.
The thing to note about using this color is the undertones that can pop up unexpectedly in different lighting or paired with cooler toned whites. LRV is 91 which makes it a bright, clean choice for trim.
Super White from Benjamin Moore sounds like a superhero, this white paint color to the rescue! Being a really, bright and true white, it’s a great choice for trim, baseboards, and doors. LRV is 89. Despite the stark whiteness of this color, it can appear both cool and warm in different lighting.
Behr White Paint Colors
The best type of paint to use from Behr that you can also get at Home Depot is Behr Cabinet and Trim Enamel in a Semi Gloss Finish. Samples can be ordered from Homedepot.com.
Ultra Pure White
Ultra Pure White from Behr is really similar to High Reflective White by Sherwin Williams. This white paint color is a fabulous choice for trim. It is a crisp and clean white, the whitest one we are looking at in this group. With an LRV of 94, it is super bright white.
White (confusing and original name huh) from Behr isn’t a super true white. It has an LRV of 83, making it more of a soft off white choice.
This is another example of a great overall color to use on both the walls and the trim. When paired with a cooler, real white (between 84-94 LRV) it shows unwanted undertones.
What is the Best Type of White Paint for Trim?
As stated above, the best paint choices for each one are listed under the different paint brands. You can just use wall paint in a semi gloss or high gloss finish. But you get what you pay for. The more high quality paint is going to perform better and last longer.
Sherwin Williams best paints are SW Emerald Urethane & Enamel and Sherwin Williams Super Paint. The Super Paint should be in a Semi Gloss finish. It is the lower cost of these two with the Emerald Urethane & Enamel being higher cost. The Emerald is worth the cost for the performance alone.
Benjamin Moore best paints are The Regal Select Line and the Advance Line. Benjamin Moore Regal Select is a good choice in the Semi Gloss finish. It is the lower cost of the two. Benjamin Moore Advance is the higher cost, but gives a very professional finish.
Behr Cabinet and Trim Enamel in a Semi Gloss finish is a great choice for trim paint available at Home Depot. It has a super smooth finish and is very easy to use.
It is recommended to use Semi Gloss finish for doors, trim, baseboards, and any molding such as a picture molding or crown molding. High gloss is another option. These are the more popular options because it provides a nice contrast against the wall and ceiling sheens. It also is easy to clean.
Any time you add molding, finishing trim, and decorative doors, there are ledges that collect dust. The glossy finish will make it easier to wipe down. If you have questions about any other paint finish for another surface, refer to the guide above.
What is the Best Way to Sample the White Paint Choices?
Whenever I am trying to choose between two or more colors, I use a service called Samplize. Haven’t heard of Samplize? Here’s a few reasons to try it out:
- Real paint swatches
- peel and stick non damaging samples
- speedy delivery
- no mess
So a quick recap on the important details: cool toned whites look great with other cool toned whites. If you mix warm and cool toned whites, they will start to show their yellow, green, pink, and other unwanted undertones.
Paint everything the same color when using white. If you are using a white paint for a wall then use white paint for trim, baseboards, doors, etc. Separate the two by the sheen used. Paint baseboards and trim in a semi gloss or high gloss finish, while walls should be eggshell or satin.
White is a popular and tricky choice for trim, so choose wisely for YOUR home. Think about the colors already in your home from wall color, to furnishings and decor. I think you can’t go wrong with a neutral white that has no undertones except a crisp clean white.
It’s also totally ok to decide that white paint for your trim isn’t for you. I have mostly colored trim in my home, and I love it currently.
Let me know what you think about these color choices vs color on your trim.