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How to pick out the best white exterior color!

Hi friend! Today I will be sharing with you how to pick out the best white exterior color! We are purchasing a new build home and somehow I got lucky enough to decide on the paint colors. This was seriously a dream come true for me because we have always talk about having a beautiful white house and now I finally got to make it happen! However, I had no idea how hard it would be to decide on 1 color. Seriously. My eyes grew tired after the first night of looking at samples.

After reading various opinions online about the best white, I still wasn’t sure what direction I wanted to go. As you know there are SO many different whites and to some people they might all be the same but to us they are all so different. You have cool whites, warm whites, bright whites and so much more. I think I read somewhere that there are over 150,000 shades of white. WHAT?!

How to pick out the best white exterior color!

How to pick out the BEST white exterior paint color!

Whites can be tricky but know these key facts and you will have the upper hand with the most difficult color!


First things first: decide what undertone you are looking for. Think of the color wheel. Every single color has an undertone from the color wheel. You can have blue, red, pink, yellow, or green undertones, and they will all look different in different lighting. This is part of what makes white paint so much more complex than most other colors!

LRV value

Every paint color you can imagine has an LRV (light reflectance value) number. The higher the number is, the brighter and more reflective the color will be. The LRV scale is from 1-100.

An ideal LRV for exterior white paint is somewhere between 72-85. Once you get a higher LRV than 85 it would be blinding to look at your home, and once you go lower than 72 it would not look white.


Do you want a warm, inviting, creamy white that feels natural? Or are you looking for a more cool-toned bright white?

If you want a white that is creamy you will probably pick a white with a yellow undertone. Likewise if you want a bright white you may pick something with a blue undertone.

Finding the perfect balance is probably the hardest part!! However, I promise with time you will find the perfect white for your home!

Consider other elements

Another thing to think about when choosing your paint color is to keep in mind your roof and trim colors. Granted, you could always repaint the trim but unless you are planning to replace your roof, you will definitely want something that complements it.

Is your home shaded by trees or in full sun? The natural light around your home will also play into part in how your paint color looks.

Don’t make a decision in store

The lighting in paint stores is completely different from what you will find outside. If you can I would recommend getting some samples of your favorites and trying those out on your home’s exterior or a piece of scrap wood that you can move around your home to see what you like the most.

If you aren’t able to use paint samples, get a few color chips of your selections and tape them around your home to compare.

My paint samples

how to pick the best white exterior color

I only shopped for paint colors through Sherwin Williams because our builder has a contract with them. I had a few ideas of colors I would like just from looking at examples online however, you never know what you will decide until you have the colors in hand.

Going into Sherwin Williams I was thinking I would like the color Natural Choice, however, I was completely wrong. I went ahead and grabbed all the samples I could and then headed home to try some combinations out.

We knew we wanted to have black shutters and some tone of green for the front door, I needed something to complement those colors.

After playing around for what felt like hours I felt like I had finally come to a decision. Shoji White. It is a creamy white but also with some greige undertones that keep it from leaning too warm. I paired it with Pure White for my trim and I thought it was a beautiful combination.

how to pick the best white exterior color

I can’t wait to share what it looks like once the house is painted! Ah! So exciting!!

I hope you have a wonderful week!

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