10 foolproof tips for painting a room in white 

Here are some tips to keep in mind when painting with with this popular hue

by Orna O'Reilly Weber
Words Orna O’Reilly Weber

There are few better ways to brighten up a room than painting it white. It provides a beautiful backdrop to show furniture and fabrics at their best. It lends itself to many different styles, brings light to dark spaces, makes the room feel more spacious and creates a fresh and airy atmosphere.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when painting a room with this popular hue:

  • Don’t think of white as a non-colour. You will find that it has many variations, from warm to cool and in between. All good paint companies have a vast range of shades of white with different undertones.
  • Is the room warm or cool? Does it flood with light or is it a rather gloomy space? Remember that warmer whites will provide a cosier feel, so if the room needs warming up, pick a white with a touch of yellow pigment. If you want the room to be cool and calm, go for one with a greyish tinge. White with a touch of grey can sometimes look a little cold but if used correctly, it will give a crisp and clean appearance to show off accessories and artwork.
Wooden chair and table in a cosy corner of a room painted in white
  • The most successful colour schemes have contrast; otherwise a room can look bland and boring. Whether the contrast is created with paintings, interesting furniture or strong colours on soft furnishings is up to the individual.
  • If choosing to keep the colour scheme monochromatic, it will be important to add texture to provide contrast. This can be in the form of interestingly textured fabrics in neutral colours and, perhaps, some reflective surfaces like glass or chrome.
  • If deciding to include a colourful fabric, check paint swatches carefully against it to see which shade of white shows it to its best advantage. For example, if your dream fabric that you intend to use for your curtains or upholstery is green: just pick out a white with a slight green tinge, which will show the fabric at its best. Just make absolutely sure that it is the same tone of green as the fabric. No guessing is allowed!

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  • ‘10 foolproof tips for painting a room in white’ is published in Anthology Volume 13. Read more features from this volume or buy it now.
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