What Color White To Paint Ceiling?

White is a popular paint color for ceilings. With many shades of white, which one is the best? Are there any benefits of painting your ceiling white? We have researched the answers to these and have information to share.

With several options of white ceiling colors to choose from, we have identified the following that you can try on your ceiling:

  • Sherwin Williams Pure White
  • Benjamin Moore White Dove
  • Benjamin Moore Cloud White
  • Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace
  • Sherwin Williams High Reflective White

Keep reading as we discuss in detail the above-mentioned white shades and the benefits of painting your ceiling white. In addition, we walk you through the different sheens of white finish and factors to consider to help you choose the correct white color. 

Interior of an ultra modern house color themed in white, What Color White To Paint Ceiling?

The Best White Color For Your Ceiling

Interior designers prefer the color white for ceilings because of the immense benefits it offers. A significant change a white ceiling brings to a room is to shift focus from the ceiling. Instead, attention is diverted to the walls or your furniture in the room. 

We picked five types of whites and discuss each below to help you make an informed choice:

Sherwin Williams Pure White

With an LRV (Light Reflective Value) of 84, pure white can look great in any room. The LRV is the amount of light reflected from a painted surface. 

Pure white has a slight grey undertone to prevent it from being too white. It also has a slight hint of the color yellow to lift the cooler grey undertone.  

It's a more passive, less creamy, and subtle white compared to other whites. These characteristics tone down the brightness brought about by sunlight. This is a benefit if you are not a fan of too much light on sunny days.  

Sherwin Williams store

Below is a video that explains more about Sherwin William's pure white color:

Benjamin Moore White Dove

If neutral colors are your preference, you will love Benjamin Moore's white dove. A neutral color has been dulled, appearing not to have any color, but it has an underlying hue that changes with different lighting. 

The white dove is more of an off-white color that is warm. It has a yellow undertone with a hint of gray. It is a versatile color that you can use in many ways. You can partner it with creamy and clean white to produce variances that are not too harsh.

How about painting a white dove color on your ceiling and kitchen cabinets to match a quartz countertop? The possibilities are endless. A Benjamin Moore professional can guide you on how to combine this color with others.

Wondering what colors to pair with a white dove color? Check out the video below to learn about five color options that are a perfect match for white dove:

Benjamin Moore White Cloud

Can you tell the difference between Cloud White and White Dove? It can be a challenge to differentiate between the two as they appear similar. What distinguishes one from the other? 

Cloud White has less gray than White Dove, making it appear to have a slightly higher touch of yellow. That’s why Cloud White looks brighter with an LRV of 87.35, higher than White Dove with an LRV of 85.38.

The yellow undertone adds warmth and creaminess to the Cloud White color. There are various ways to match it with other colors. If you would like the yellow undertone to stand out, you can pair it with white paint that has a cooler undertone. The yellow also stands out in rooms receiving plenty of sunshine, making it look bright. 

Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace

A Benjamin Moore factory building

This is Benjamin Moore’s brightest white with an LRV of 92. If you prefer a clean, crisp white look, the Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace will be perfect for any of your rooms. 

It has minimal blue or gray undertones. Sometimes, both blue and gray are combined. If any of the rooms in your home have north-facing light, the painted surface may cast a blue or gray light.

In contrast, rooms that receive south-facing light will warm up slightly. It will not be creamy but will maintain the clean white crispy look. Due to its high LRV, it is more susceptible to reflecting the surroundings back at you. 

It looks great on the ceiling, walls, or kitchen cabinets. Since the undertones are minimal, Chantilly Lace goes well with many colors such as blue, green, orange, brown, or deep red. 

Check out the video below to see what a surface painted with Chantilly Lace looks like:

Sherwin Williams High Reflective White

This is Sherwin Williams's brightest white with an LRV of 93. It does not have any undertone and will reflect whatever color you have in the room. 

Sherwin William paint buckets on the garage shelf

Even though it does not have an undertone, it can reflect either a warm or cool color. It can shift towards a warm undertone like faint yellow but usually shifts to the cooler undertones. That is why it pairs so well with the greens, blues, or purples.

Find out more about this color from the video below:

Benefits Of Painting Your Ceiling White

Some of the benefits of painting the ceiling of a room white include:

Brightens A Room

As discussed earlier, white has an LRV close to 100. This means it reflects a lot of light, making a room brighter. Natural light entering a room makes it brighter. If the natural light is minimal, the white ceiling reflects the surrounding colors.

Makes Your Ceiling Appear Higher

Check out Benjamin Moore off white color deck on Amazon.

White colors are great at making a low ceiling look higher than it really is. Also, if a room is small, white makes it look bigger.

Complements Surrounding Colors

Check out Sherwin Williams color deck on Amazon.

White ceilings complement the surrounding colors well. You can use almost any color on the surroundings like your walls, kitchen cabinets, or countertops.

For example, you can match your white ceiling with blue, pink, brown, and green, and you can pick a color using a Sherwin Williams color deck as shown above.

Read more on the wall paint colors you can match with a white ceiling: What Color Walls Go With White Ceiling?

Factors To Consider When Choosing A White Ceiling Color

Sherwin Williams paint products on the shelf of the garage

When you want to paint your ceiling white, don’t just go for any white. There are many tiny variations, making it difficult to settle on one.

You wouldn’t want to pick a white paint expecting a gray undertone, only for it to be a faint blue. We'll walk you through some factors you need to consider when picking a white color for your ceiling.

Your Preference For Cool Or Warm White

What do you prefer, cool or warm white? Cool whites make a room brighter, while warm whites make a room feel cozier. So your choice depends on the feel you would like to experience.

Lighting In The Room

You need to consider the lighting in the room you will be painting. If it's exposed to the northern light, it will not receive direct sunlight. This means that the natural light reflecting off the painted surface will have a blue hue on it. Thus blue, purple, or gray undertones will be enhanced.

If your room has a southern exposure, the sunlight will be more intense, having a natural warm hue. If a room has a western or eastern exposure, it will have either warm or cool light depending on the time of day.

Paint Sheen

Matte or flat sheens are usually the best for ceilings, especially if it has imperfections. This type of sheen does not reflect much light, hiding the imperfections extremely well. It reduces the glare from the overhead lights and reflects the natural light around your room, making it bright.

If you prefer to use a semi-gloss or gloss sheen, ensure the ceiling does not have any imperfections. Gloss paint will expose any cracks, bumps, or damage.

Eggshell has a low-luster sheen, looking more like eggshells. Satin has more sheen than eggshell paint but has less sheen than semi-gloss white paint.

Test Your White Color

Test the white colors you have chosen to narrow them down to one. Get samples from your paint dealer and paint small patches on the ceiling.

Check out how they look in the natural lighting at different times of the day. Similarly, check out how they look at night when the indoor lights are on. You may want to check out different sheens and how cool or warm the white will be. 

Read about how many coats of white paint you may need: How Many Coats Of White Paint Do You Need?

In Closing

Interior of an ultra modern house color themed in white

White is a common color for the ceiling and has many variations. Choosing the right one can be difficult. We have identified five whites and discussed each to help you make an informed choice.

We also covered the benefits of painting your ceiling white and the factors to consider when choosing a white color.


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