The Final Word On White Walls, A Lesson Learned & My Favorite White Paint
I’ve always said you’re either a white wall person or you’re not. And in general, there isn’t much overlap between the two. At my last house, I met a neighbor once who started telling me about how much work he had to do to his house when he moved in, like painting all the walls because Can you believe every wall was white?! He hadn’t been in my house yet so he didn’t know that I had all the walls painted white when we bought it. It never occurred to him that some people actually prefer white walls and I know that a lot of people feel the same way- that white is ho-hum, blah, plain, boring, etc. On the other hand, white wall people like me can’t live with anything else. The more I try to branch out and put color on walls, the more certain I become that I’m a white wall person.
Before moving in, I had all the walls in our current house painted white too. The only exceptions were the master bedroom and half of the dining room. I chose a pale blue gray for those two rooms and I only did that because I felt pressured to put at least a little color somewhere. It’s a really pretty shade so I’m absolutely fine with it but there have been more than a few moments when I wished I had just painted them white too.
This doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate color on walls. I do. Some of my all time favorite rooms in the design world have walls ranging the whole spectrum of colors. But for me to live in, it has to be white.
So this brings me to the lesson learned.
As you know, I made the decision to lacquer the wall in the master bedroom entry blue. I researched the easiest and simplest way that would yield the best results and concluded that the Hollandlac line from Fine Paints of Europe was the answer. I sent away for some information, decided on the color Summer Sky and placed an order. Even though I had my painter scheduled to come for the other projects on my list, when the paint arrived, I thought I’d tackle this project myself since it was just one wall. (Painting is not my forte but neither is waiting.) Well, it turned out pretty much how I expected. The shine on it was super glossy and the color was really pretty and yet….
I knew almost instantly it was not for me. I decided to give it a chance for at least a little while and when I got back from my spring break I looked at it again with fresh eyes. That basically cemented what I knew all along: I’m a white wall person and there’s just no getting around it.
Now I’ve always treated my house like a lab to test out ideas, knowing that not all of them will work out. There are going to be failures along the way – like this one. When that happens, the best you can do is fix what you can, learn from it and move on. It’s no different than in life, really.
So, when the painter came to do the kitchen last week I asked him to undo what I had done. Thankfully, paint is just paint. A couple of coats of white and bam, it’s as if the whole crazy episode never even happened. (Can you just picture the husband shaking his head in the background?)
Finally, not a week goes by without someone asking me for white paint suggestions or which white I used in my houses. My answer is always the same: Benjamin Moore White 01 which is also sometimes called Number One or Pure White. More recently, they’ve started calling it just White (PM-2). This has always been and always will be my favorite white. The reason is it’s the purest white I’ve come across that is not too warm or too cold and with no discernible undertones.
So that’s it. The final word. Now, let’s take an informal poll. Are you a white wall person? I’d love to know!
(Photos: 1.Elle Decor 2,3.Skona Hem 4.FROM THE RIGHT BANK 5.Benjamin Moore)