Mastering White Walls

April 5, 2022

Mastering White Walls

White walls with white baseboard heater cover.

Who doesn’t love white walls? They are a blank canvas, a minimalist’s dream, attractor of light, and the foundation of just about every enviable room scene you’ve ever seen on Pinterest. Some homes have white walls for decades and they never go out of style.

On the other hand, white can be tricky. Very few homes use pure white on the walls (or anywhere else for that matter). It can look dirty or dull even when it’s spotless. Mastering white can even be difficult for interior designers.

Here are a few ideas to help you understand white better so you can use it liberally with confidence.

Which White?

There are nearly endless versions of white available in paint, textiles, and other finishes. There are warm whites that have varying amounts of yellow, brown, or red added to them. There are cool whites that have blue, green, or gray added to them. Finishes also affect the way you’ll perceive white. Glossy finishes make for brighter whites and matte finishes for more muted whites.

With so many whites, how do you choose the right one? The white that will work in your space is mostly dependent on the light in the room and the other colors in the room.

If the space gets lots of sunlight, that means it will often be flooded with yellowish hues. Choose a white that is cooler with blue influences to balance the sunny room. If you have a space that doesn’t get direct sunlight, you might want to choose a warmer white.

An array of white paint and accessories including white baseboard covers.

 

Wall & Trim Same Color?

Should your wall color match your trim color? That depends on your design aesthetic. There are three ways to go: match, contrast, or neutral.

One school of thought around wall and trim colors says that baseboards, window frames, etc. should all be the same color. This has the effect of making the space feel more cohesive and larger. It’s a great idea for smaller spaces or open floor plans where you need to use the color to visually tie it all together. If you have baseboard heaters, and want to match colors, turn to Baseboarders™ for a white that blends with most white paint colors.

Another school of thought is all about bold contrasts. If you have features you want to call out against the white walls, go with a contrasting color. This works well in spaces that are large or have color palettes and design aesthetics that embrace opposite colors. For instance, baseboard heaters come in some beautiful colors that will let them stand out boldly against the white. Cast Iron Black, and Oil Rubbed Bronze are great choices for contrasting trims.

Finally, you may take the middle road and stick to neutrals instead. This has the effect of allowing the trims to stand out or blend in depending on how you style the rest of the space. It makes for dynamic design that gives structure to the space. If you have baseboard heaters, opt for Cool Gray as the perfect neutral to achieve this look.

White & Lighting

The brightness of white is often more about lighting than the color. Be sure to light your space sufficiently that you can get the full impact and benefit from white walls. Add plenty of overhead and lamp lighting and make the most of natural lighting.

Be aware that what’s outside your windows will reflect in. A pool outside will bring a lot more light in but it may also be tinted blue. Any light bouncing off buildings around you might also be tinted so account for that kind of lighting as well.

Transitioning from Other Colors

If you have dark walls, you may have heard that it will be difficult to go white. As with most remodel projects, with enough time and resources, you can transform your walls to white.

If you currently have walls of a different color and want to switch to white, it’s important to prime really well so the old color doesn’t show through your new white walls. Get the best primer you can afford and apply several coats before starting with your white paint. This will help you have a purer white that doesn’t have that shadow of color from your before your remodel.

When White Doesn’t Look White

One of the issues you might encounter with white walls is feeling that they don’t look their best. Especially over time, they might start to look less white. This might not have anything to do with how clean the walls are. It might be related to light or reflection from other objects.

What’s outside your windows will reflect into the room and bring color with it. If the vista is green trees, your white walls might have a greenish hue. Same goes for light reflecting off buildings. Check to see if your windows have any tinting. That can also skew the color on your white walls.

If your white walls are empty, it can be easy to see every speck. Add some art and decor to the walls that draws your eyes and attention. Those walls were meant to be a blank canvas so splash something interesting on them.


White walls are an excellent addition to your space. They’ll add a bright, clean look that allows you to do just about anything. Don’t forget to add white baseboard heaters to continue that fresh look.

Learn more about how to style baseboard covers in your space.

 

Modern Baseboard Heater Style

Quick Ship

Quick Ship items leave our warehouse in 3 business days on orders placed before 10:30am ET. For orders placed afterwards, the following day will be considered the order date. Our Quick Ship program includes all product styles in White only. Custom Cuts and Special Colors require an additional 2 weeks lead time.