I’m a huge fan of pure ultra white paint and have used it in several rooms of our home and on furniture. In today’s post, I want to talk a bit more about why I chose this clean unaltered white instead of picking a tinted white paint and how my thought process might help you figure out how to choose white paint.
Every paint company has its own pure white paint that they use as a base for all the other tinted paint colors. It’s in the container of white paint on the shelf that gets grabbed to customize after you order your color.
Using a pure ultra-white paint color in your home’s interior
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When you hear how many of our walls and furniture are painted with ultra white paint, you may picture a stark white home without character but that is definitely not the case. Let me explain a bit more.
What is pure ultra white paint?
Pure ultra-white paint is a type of paint that is known for its extreme brightness and high reflectivity. It is a pure white color that has no added pigments or colorants. Pure ultra-white paint is also known for its ability to reflect light, which can help to make a room feel brighter and more spacious.
Recently, Xiulin Ruan, a Purdue University professor of mechanical engineering, has developed a new paint that holds the record for being the whitest ultra-white paint. This new whitest paint formulation reflects up to 98.1% of sunlight which makes it a revolutionary paint that can help cool a surface. The paint’s whiteness also means that it is the coolest on record. The paint can keep surfaces 19 degrees Fahrenheit cooler at night. During noon, it can also cool surfaces 8 degrees Fahrenheit below their surroundings under strong sunlight which sure would help with air conditioning costs to cool buildings.
Read more about this amazing ultra-white paint and the Perdue team on the Purdue website.
I used the typical ultra-white commercial paint as the interior paint of our home which only reflects 80%-90% of sunlight.
What is the difference between white and ultra-white paint?
There are many different commercial white paints by different paint brands. You can get white paint colors with different tints depending on what you are looking for. There are warm tints and cooler tints. An ultra white paint has no tint whatsoever and is a clean base coat that can be tinted.
Is it okay to paint with pure ultra white?
Absolutely! I have done so in several rooms in our home and also used it for furniture makeovers. I love that there is no guessing game with ultra white. This clean white paint can easily be paired with a variety of other colors to create a range of different looks and styles. More to that below…
3 reasons I love using ultra-white paint
- I find it easier to match other colors to pure ultra-white paint.
- There is usually no odd color surprise with different lighting.
- You can just go to the store and grab it off the shelf without checking out swatches and having to wait for custom tinting.
Rooms in our home painted with ultra white paint
I’ve used Valspar ultra white 7006-24 (eggshell for walls and flat for ceilings) throughout our home. When I look at the swatch on their website, I have to say that I think it’s completely off and doesn’t match the paint in real life at all. You can maybe see what I mean in my image examples.
Our bedroom walls painted ultra white
Did you ever buy white furniture and when you brought it home, the rest of your white paint just looked off and dirty? Well of course only if you have white paint in your home. This can also apply to just white painted trim. My Ikea dressers as nightstands are good examples. The ultra white walls are a perfect match for the white Ikea dressers. This is definitely a reason why I love using ultra white paint so much.
The ultra white walls and trim don’t look cold at all in our bedroom. Here is a view into our bathroom. I used the same ultra white on my fluted dresser makeover.
The ceiling in the bathroom is also ultra white and goes great with the white toilet, white in the floor, and the white Ikea vanity.
Our kitchen walls and cabinets painted ultra white
Our kitchen walls are also Valspar Ultra White however, I painted the trim and cabinets with Sherwin Williams Emerald Urethane Trim Enamel and Behr Urethane Alkyd Enamel. I wanted to try those paints for trim and cabinets and love them. They are slightly different but not really visibly different as you can see. All are in their pure form right off the shelf without being tinted.
You can also see that it goes well with my quartz countertops, marble backsplash, and white refridgerator.
We live in a twin home community and a lot of the homes are the same. When my neighbors enter our home they are always surprised at how much bigger and brighter our home looks even though it’s the same size as theirs. I attribute that to the ultra-white you see when you enter. I mentioned earlier ultra white has the ability to reflect light, which can help to make a room feel brighter and more spacious which applies to our home. It still doesn’t feel stark white and our home still has a cozy feel thanks to the other colors and wood tones I added.
Our dining room walls painted ultra white
Our daughter’s bedroom painted ultra white
Our daughter used to have a dark blue girls room until she changed her mind and wanted her bedroom to be the same white as the rest of the rooms. She’s very happy with the ultra white.
The white dresser from Target looks great against the ultra-white walls and the white album frames are also a match.
Our son’s color-blocked bedroom walls with ultra white
The walls in his bedroom are color-blocked and only the upper half of his room is ultra-white while the rest of the room is a deep shade of dark green paint color.
Our powder room walls painted with ultra white
The base coat for my stenciled walls in our downstairs powder room is also ultra white.
Warm tinted white example compared to ultra white paint
I also want to show you the difference to a tinted warmer white in our home. I made an exception in our living room.
Our living room
The powder room is off to the left side where the door is. You can see the hallways view from the ultra white paint leading to the living room which is actually a tinted white called Valspar Quail Egg 7002-12.
You might wonder why I changed it up a bit in our living room and used a warm white. The reason for that is that I have a lot of home decor accessories in our living room that are off-white. An ultra-white would make those off-white, ivory, and cream accessories look dirty. Let me show you some examples…
You can also see that the swatches from Valspar are definitely off for both colors. Their swatch looks tan-ish and it’s not like that at all.
The only item painted in ultra white in the below photo of our living room decorated for Christmas is the white pedestal end table. The curtains, sofa, throw pillows, furs, and pouf are all in a warm creamy white. It just would look off if the walls were ultra white with those furnishings and accessories.
On the contrary, I wouldn’t like this tinted warm white on the rest of our walls in the house with colored furnishings and accessories that we have.
The same view below is not decorated for Christmas and with a bit of different lighting since the warm glow from the Christmas trees and candles is missing. It just flows really well.
Here is another great example of the other side of the living room with the curtains, sofa, and throw pillows. Again the ceiling is a flat ultra white and the walls are Quail Egg.
The stair treads and molding are ultra white and the walls are Quail Egg again.
Our living room fireplace area
You can see the difference in the two white paint colors when you look at the ceiling in the below photo which is the flat ultra-white by Valspar. The fireplace is also painted in the ultra white but semi-gloss. The walls are Quail Egg.
The bookshelf is painted in ultra white but the walls are Quail Egg.
Our basement family room
We also used Quail Egg in our basement family room.
Commercial ultra white paint examples from different brands
- Behr Ultra Pure White No. 1050
- Sherwin Williams Extra White (flat), and Sherwin Williams High Reflective White (semi gloss)
- Valspar Ultra White 7006-24
- Benjamin Moore Super White PM-1
It’s always best to check with the paint brand or store to confirm if the paint on the shelf is pre-tinted or not.
How to choose white paint without overthinking it
The moral of this post is simply that if in doubt when choosing white paint for your home to just go for the can of ultra white paint right off the shelf at your home improvement store. I think I clearly demonstrated how versatile it is in all my rooms and I have zero regrets.
If you have a lot of off-white and ivory home decor accessories then bring home a variety of ivory and off-white paint swatches. In your room’s lighting, you can then see which one of the swatches represents/matches your accessories the best. Quail Egg was a great match for us as you can see.
More of my decorating tips
- How to decorate your living room with plants
- My favorite shades of terracotta paint colors
- The best stylish shades of dark green paint colors
- How to decorate your home on a tight budget
- How to decorate your teenager’s bedroom on a budget
- How to mix and match patio furniture
- My comprehensive cat-friendly decorating tips
- Decorating with family heirlooms and antiques
- My 10 favorite Ikea decorating ideas and tips