Interior Design

Best White Paint for Trim


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My mission is to help you create a timeless home that you love through interior design, DIY, and organization!
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While there are hundreds of shades of white paint, today I want to tackle the best white paint for trim and baseboards! These recommendations can help you narrow down your options and find the perfect white for your trim.

Best White for Trim & Doors

The decisions needed when picking the perfect white paint for your trim can be mind blowing. You have to take into account sheen, undertones, and LRV. So where do you start? I’m going to share a few tips to make the decision easier, answer some of the most common questions, and then give you some examples of what I think are the best choices for white trim paint.

What Does Trim Include

Trim and molding are general lumped into the same category (often called millwork) and are usually painted the same color white most of the time, there are a few exceptions. This list will vary from house to house but in general, trim consist of the following:

  • Crown Molding
  • Base Molding, shoe molding, & quarter round
  • Doors and door casings (it is becoming more popular for doors to be painted a different color)
  • Wainscoting, chair rails, shiplap, and bead board
  • Mantle (this is sometimes painted a different color for contrast)
  • Stair rails
  • Window casings

If you’re looking for more white colors I also shared some of The Best Shades of White for Interiors.

My Top Recommendations for White Trim Paint

Chantilly Lace Benjamin Moore

Chantilly Lace Trim

Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace – {Source: Kristy Wicks}

Decorator’s White Benjamin Moore

Decorators White Board & Batten

Benjamin Moore Decorators White {Source: Young House Love}

Pure White Sherwin Williams

Pure White Trim

Sherwin Williams Pure White {Source: Curbly}

Alabaster Sherwin Williams

Alabaster Trim Paint

Sherwin Williams Alabaster {Source: Addison’s Wonderland}

Snowbound Sherwin Williams

Snowbound Trim Paint

Sherwin Williams Snowbound {Source: Unknown}

White Dove Benjamin Moore

Room Painted in White Dove

Benjamin Moore White Dove {Source: Home Bunch}

Should You Paint Trim White

I highly recommend painting wood trim white. It will instantly brighten and open up your home. Have you ever walked into an older home and noticed how dark and dreary the rooms looked that had dark wood trim? Even if the paint on the walls was a brighter color, the trim still tends to make the room feel darker.

Not only does painting the trim white make the room look brighter, but it makes it look bigger! You also open up your color palette but choosing white trim since white trim goes with just about any wall color you can choose.

I know some crown molding and trim now are already coming pre-finished white. So do you need to paint the pre-finished trim? My answer is always yes. If you don’t paint over the pre-finished trim you run the risk of seeing the nail holes or other imperfections. Painting it will give it a much cleaner finish.

What Not to Use for Trim Paint

So what should you never use for trim paint? I would personally never choose to paint my trim the same color I choose for my walls. This will quickly date the house. So what if you choose a white or cream color wall paint…still paint the trim white!

Can you ever use any color other than white? Yes, you can. The only time I think this looks good is when you are using a gray or greige color with a white or creamy white wall color. I wouldn’t ever do this throughout the whole home, but I have seen it look great in some bedrooms and offices. In these cases I also recommend painting the door and window casings the same color as well.

What Type of Paint to Use for Trim

You can use any standard paint from your local paint store. The one thing you will have to take into account is the type of sheen. So what is the best paint sheen for trim paint? Trim is usually painted with a semi-gloss paint sheen. That is what I currently have in my home and I do love it. Increasingly popular is the use of a satin sheen for trim (millwork), it is easier to clean and it gives a more transitional look to your home. Either is a great choice!

Tips for Choosing the Perfect Trim Paint

Samples, Samples, Samples! My top tip for choosing any paint is to test it first. First choose swatches in your potential colors, then lay them side by side to check the undertones. This is a quick way to weed out some colors that are too dark or look too yellow. Then after you have picked from a few swatches get a few sample pints at your local paint store. Lastly, test a small section of your trim (I usually test behind a couch, etc) and see what looks best in all lights and times of day.

More Best Home Paint Colors:

If you’re looking for more FREE home decor tips and tricks, the Creating a Timeless Home Guide will help you create a home you love that will never go out of style! Also check out a couple of helpful cheat-sheets to help you out along the way. The Decorator’s Cheat Sheet has all the home decorator’s measurements you need to design a room you love and the Guide to Picking Perfect Paint Colors will ensure you always choose the best paint color for your space!


Best White for Trim

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