Paint makeover for the win! Today I’m sharing all about our home’s exterior paint makeover and the best white exterior paint colors; and I think I’ve been most excited to share this project because now that we’ve lived with our new paint job for a few months, I think I love it even more now than when it was first finished. Which in my world of general paint-color-picking anxiety is a huge win! Huge huge win. Now I realize that we basically went from white to white for our exterior, but picking the perfect white paint color isn’t as easy as it seems, and you’d be surprised how finding the perfect white paint for your particular home paired with a nice fresh paint job can truly make your home look brand spankin’ new. It’s like magic!
To cut right to the chase, after what felt like endless research and color testing, we chose Sherwin Williams Alabaster for our home’s exterior and Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray, darkened by 60% for our new shutters. In case you missed it, you can read all about our DIY shutters in this post. We knew that we were going to some sort of white for our exterior paint makeover and after seeing SW Alabaster used on lots of different homes I loved, I was pretty certain it was the winner before we even started testing. SW Alabaster is such a beautiful, soft, clean white that isn’t overly stark or cool, but doesn’t typically pull yellow either. That’s why I say it’s the perfect “soft” white. There’s something warm about Alabaster’s white tone, without actually being overly warm or creamy. It’s a vibe! Of course like all white paints, Alabaster can look slightly warmer or slightly cooler depending on which direction your home faces and what the shade situation around your home is like, but we tested it on all of our walls around our exterior and loved it in pretty much every light, which is how we knew it was the one!
There are a lot of resources around the interwebs that talk all about the most popular exterior white paint colors, show examples of each color on different homes and even compare the colors side by side on walls, but instead of pulling just one image from around the web to show you what each of the most popular white exterior paint colors look like, I thought I’d turn to good old Instagram and show you several different examples, straight from the ‘Gram, of the different whites on different, real homes just like yours and mine, in different lighting, and on different styles of homes. If there’s one thing Instagram is great for it’s seeing paint colors in a bunch of different real-life settings and all kinds of lighting so you can see how that paint conveys in different situations. Searching for a paint hashtag, like #sherwinwilliamsalabaster or alternatively #swalabaster can also help you land on one photo of said paint color on a home’s exterior, and by way of that photo, lead you to an account that has several different shots of that same house and same paint color at different times of day, in different light, etc. which can really help you get a comprehensive picture of what that color looks and feels like overall. It can be a rabbit hole, but a helpful rabbit hole nevertheless. So if an image below interests you, click on the name of that account and see if there are more images of that house to explore on that account!
So here it is – our fresh white exterior paint makeover! Even the office got a pretty Alabaster makeover. Below you can see what our home’s exterior looked like originally (the previous owners didn’t leave the exterior paint, so we have no idea what the white color was), then you can see a little more detail of how rough the previous paint job looked once we took the shutters off and began prepping the project, and then after it was all done, before we put the new shutters on. Upgrade!
Though this is completely up for debate and slightly a matter of opinion (though these seem to be favorites of a lot of designers and design resources I love and trust), below is a list of (some of) the most beloved white paint colors for exteriors, with descriptions and examples of each from around the ‘Gram!
The Best Exterior White Paint Colors
Soft white, pretty bright white. Slightly warmer than Simply White or Pure White without having any really identifiable undertones. No yellow undertones.
This is what we use on all of the walls and trim inside our house. A bright, clean white that is nice and soft without being too stark or in any way too warm. It’s a delight if you’re looking for a crisp bright white.
Bright white that I see frequently used on modern farmhouse exteriors. Not too cool, not too warm, no colorful undertones. Another clean, bright white.
Another slightly creamy white, but with a grey undertone. Almost a really light greige in some lights, but still reads white/cream in most lights.
Slightly cooler, creamy white that has a hint of grey in it.
Creamy, warm white with slightly beige/pink undertones that in my humble opinion is the perfect creamy white for brick with wood accents. Darker than alabaster, but not too dark.
Slightly creamy, pale greige-white that’s really similar to Alabaster in some lights on the brightness scale, but with more pinky undertones. I have a hard time describing Shoji White properly because it’s kind of a chameleon in different lights, so refer to the pics below for max accuracy!
Creamy, warm white with slightly green/grey undertones. Darker white that can almost read as very pale beige in some lights/settings.
What do you think are the best white exterior paint colors? Let me know in a comment below!