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The best warm white colors for exteriors

Did you know that the classic off-white paint colors we know and love for interiors are not recommend as colors to use on your exterior if you’re going for a creamy white look?

The reason for this is because paint colors lighten up significantly outside, so if you want that creamy exterior, you need to actually go much darker so that the color you choose doesn’t get washed out or end up looking like a blinding white.

Now that you know I won’t be naming typical off-whites, here are my favorite creamy “white” colors for exteriors.

Oyster White

Sherwin Williams Oyster White is a pale griege with a green undertone and is the perfect soft creamy white when used on exteriors.

White Duck

Via: Plank and Pillow

Sherwin Williams White Duck is a color you don’t hear too much about, but this creamy greige color is the perfect soft white for exteriors. White Duck is a green undertone, which you’ll need to keep in mind when pairing this color with your home’s fixed elements.

Balboa Mist

Via: Sherry H. Designs

Balboa Mist by Benjamin Moore is another favorite soft exterior paint color. This color is technically a pale greige with a faint purple undertone, but as you can see in the photo below, this light greige looks absolutely stunning on exteriors.

China White

Via: Rebecca and Genevieve

If you really want a true white that’s bright but isn’t blinding, Benjamin Moore China White is the perfect solution. While still darker than typical off-whites or true whites this is my favorite suggestion to give when someone wants that crisp white on their exterior.

If you try out China White and feel like it’s still to creamy for you, or perhaps your home gets a large amount of shade, you can try Sherwin Williams Alabaster or Benjamin Moore White Dove, but that’s as bright as I would suggest, as all other whites are simply too bright, as far as exterior body colors go.

Shoji White

Via: Peppeard Design

A pretty neutral beige with a green undertone, Sherwin Williams Shoji White is the perfect creamy/pale tan color for your exterior.

Ballet White

Via: Brandon Craft Homes

Benjamin Moore Ballet White reads like a pretty cream on the exterior. Technically a beige with a soft green undertone, this creamy tone is definitely one to sample if you’re on the hunt for a warm white color for your exterior.

What trim color should I pair with these paint colors?

Trim colors always stump my readers and I understand why…they can be confusing. There are a few options and some things to consider when considering a trim color for these soft white exteriors.

One of the easiest (and no-fail) things to do is to simply carry the body color onto your trim, soffit and fascia. Now, you wouldn’t do this with any other color other than these types of very pale creams, greiges or beige colors, but the look of a soft white monochromatic exterior is a classic choice.

Oyster White | Image via: Willow Homes

If your home has earthy elements you will find that using the softer white on the fascia/soffit and trim works much better than a true white.

Keep in mind, even if you do the same color for trim as the body, you will notice a slight difference as you will change the paint sheen. The higher the paint sheen, the more light it reflects.

Now, if your home does not have an earthy colored stone or roof, you can go with a true white color on your trim, perhaps something like Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace.

What shutter/front door colors look good with soft white/cream exteriors?

You have many options here! One of my favorite ways to design exteriors is to choose a much darker neutral in the same color family as the off white and use that on the shutters/front door. You’ll need to go considerably darker than the body color to get a good contrast when you go this route.

Blues and greens also look stunning with these softer whites. As far as specific color recommendations go, I’m pretty partial to:

  • Benjamin Moore Salisbury Green
  • Sherwin Williams Rosemary
  • Benjamin Moore Boothbay Gray (looks the best with China White!)
  • Benjamin Moore Van Courtland Blue

I hope this list of “soft white” colors helps you choose the exterior paint color of your dreams. If you’re still stumped, check out my virtual paint color services below!

Thanks for reading!

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