It sounds like it should be relatively easy to paint your apartment white. It's just white for goodness sake. But it's not. It's freaking hard. Why? Do you know how many shades of white paint exists? Like 346,512. Serioulsly. Well, not really. I don't know how many shades there are but there are a lot. And picking the right one is tough because, for the most part, they all have different undertones...some look like pastels...there are warm whites, cool whites, and stark whites. For example, these are all white:
So what's a girl to do when she decides she wants to paint her apartment white? Well, if you're this girl you start narrowing down potential colours months in advance of actually finding an apartment, signing the lease, and moving in. Yes, I know how the paint, especially white paint, will look in the room will depend on lots of different factors (does the room get a lot of natural light or none at all? what direction does the window face? what other colours will be in the room?) but like I said, there's about 346,512 shades of white and a girls gotta start somewhere. Especially this girl who is easily overwhelmed when there's more than, let's say, five options of any one thing (seriously, you don't want to see me at a new restaurant with an extensive dinner menu). So I start to pay attention to the rooms I'm drawn to and read every word of the accompanying text praying that the homeowner/renter mentions what shade of white was used. And if they don't list it and I'm really interested I tweet them and ask. Hey, I'm nothing if not determined. And I look to my favourite bloggers, who coincidentally have white walls, and make note of what colour they've used. Doing this allowed me to determine that I wanted something that (a) reads as white but (b) is a warm white and (c) isn't too white - so there is contrast between it (the walls) and the molding/trim - which I plan on painting a brighter/starker white. Soon enough, I'd narrowed it down from 346,512 to 4. Not bad right?
The four I narrowed it down to? Benjamin Moore's Moonlight White, Cloud White, or White Dove and Behr's Ultra Pure White. I rather quickly decided I'd use Behr's UPW for the molding/trim since it was the brightest and whitest and not the kind of white I wanted on the wall throughout most of my living space - that left me with the three options by Benjamin Moore. I then proceeded to do something I've never done before...I bought samples of each and actually tested it out on not one, not two, but four different walls in the apartment. And, of course, I liked different ones on different walls. Sigh. I proceed to stare at and analyze them. At different angles. At different times of the day. I got a few opinions "which looks the whitest? does it look too white though? does it look too creamy to you? from this angle does it look beige? how does it look with this fabric held up a few feet away - does it still look white? how does it look with this teak bowl held up beside it...."
|+Left to Right: Cloud White, Moonlight White, White Dove|
|+Benjamin Moore Cloud White|
|+Molding painted Behr's UPW - so bright and fresh but +Ugh, the balcony door is so ugly and the walls need a fresh coat of paint and those blinds need to go and that little bit of molding on the bottom left of the door needs to be painted....|
But what you really want to see are some before and after pictures right? Right. So here you go. Let's start with an after:
Obviously it's not decorated, nothing is "styled", and things are still kinda all over the place but what a difference, huh? And can we stop for a moment to ogle that black door:
Benjamin Moore's Onyx which, as Daniel says, is the perfect shade of black. I'm in the process of painting all of the doors in the entire apartment, closet doors included, Onyx and I love them all. Pretty strong feelings about doors, huh? We'll talk more about the black doors in another post but, long story short, if you're contemplating painting your door black - do it.
|+Top: Before / Bottom: After|
What a difference paint can make huh? White paint might seem like the "safe" choice but I'm loving my decision to go with it. White paint on the walls for the win.
So what about you? Paint any rooms lately?
▲ Thank you to Benjamin Moore Canada for generously providing the paint used to help transform my little apartment.