So Many Shades of White

When it comes to painting interiors or exteriors white or let’s just say as most paint colors are “a shade of off-white”.   Understanding that most shades of off-white all have undertones, and there are many whites to choose from, hopefully the information below will help you better decide which off-whites will work the best for you.

Understanding Undertones

As most all paint colors have undertones which are the result of the blending of colors to achieve as specific color.  The undertones will range from red, blue, yellow as well green.  They can also be showing “warm (orange, yellow or red) undertones or cool (green, blue and lavender) undertones”.
With that being said, there are always a bit  of undertones in the off-white paint colors.


LRV:  Light Reflective Value

When it comes to these shades of off-whites, the LRV or better known as “Light Reflective Value” is something to take note of.  The higher the LRV, the more light gets reflected off of this particular color  or shade.  Noting both Chantilly Lace and Simply White both have the highest LRV at 90 and Cloud Nine and Baby’s Breath have a lower LRV at 80 and 81, meaning they will not have quite same brightness.
Anytime you are looking at paint colors and considering the space of the interior as well as the exterior, the LRV is something that is good to consider.

Benjamin Moore’s 12 Best Off-Whites

These selections listed below are many of the most popular off-whites from Benjamin Moore.  I have placed them side by side, so you can better see the subtle between the off-white shades.  I have also shown exactly which undertones they have as well as have them placed on a pure white background.



Starting with the first 4 selections below, Chantilly Lace (OC-65), is by far one of the most popular choices for an off-white.  With a fresh feeling, this shade is soft, yet one of the brighter off-whites, followed by Simply White (OC-117)which has a slight warmth to it.
Cloud White (OC-130) and White Dove (OC-17) are both beautiful shades of a soft white with warmer undertones as well, garnering and elegant look for both interiors and exteriors.


For the following 4 selections, we move into cooler undertones, beginning Atrium White (OC-145), which has a slight pink undertone to Decorator’s White (CC-20) and Snow White (OC-66) which both have cool undertones and appear as a darker off-white by comparison, but are still bright.  Last is Snowfall White (2144-70) comes win a slightly different shade from Chantilly Lace, but also one of the brighter off-whites.



These last 4 selections all have cooler undertones, beginning with Winter Snow (OC-63) and Baby’s Breath  (OC-62) and then moving straight into Cloud Nine (OC-119) with a slight light green undertone and lastly with Oxford White (CC-30) which is a cool, but bright white.


As these presented above, you can see the subtle differences between them.  Each of these off-whites will appear differently depending on the lighting.  When it comes to off-whites as well as their popularity, it is actually presenting a softer white in comparison with a very stark and almost many times the brightness of pure white.  You can also combine some of these if you are just wanting off-white interiors.  To create some kind of contrast, you could choose something like White Dove or Winter Snow for the walls in a matte finish and compliment this shade with the trim color being Chantilly Lace in an eggshell or satin finish.  The appearance will be soft, clean and bright.  There will also be a contrast so the space does not look sterile, just bright, fresh and clean.
All of these choices shown above are all very elegant off-whites that will look beautiful in both interior spaces as well on the exteriors of homes.