White for house intrior

Hello All,

I have just purchased a house and have been informed by my beloved that I will be repainting it. It is in fairly good condition but is all oil based paint so I will have to use a primer first, then painting the same white throughout the house (was looking at Zinsser 1-2-3 as the primer. Apparently can be painted straight on without sanding back gloss of semi gloss oil paint, according to their brochure anyway.)

I realise this is a bit of a shortcut but I am pressed for time, experience and money. I was intending to buy a ceiling white and have it matched to the white for the walls and trim, which I would paint in low gloss. I figure with using the same white I will not have to be so careful about cutting in and the like, just splash it on so to speak. The house has cypress pine floorboards that we will be polishing after I finish the painting and rip up the carpet (Will be using old carpet as replacement for drop sheet while I paint).

Sooo... my question is, which type of white would I be best off painting the entire house interior in, keeping in mind I intend to use only the one colour throughout. I was thinking Vivid White as the house is quite dark and does not get a lot of natural sunlight. Would this be advisiable or would I be better off painting it all in White on White, or perhaps Antique USA white or something else? Prefer closer to real white as the girl does not like the look of yellowy whites. Intended to get and have priced Dulux Wash n Wear 101.

Any comments appreciated. Am I kidding myself or could this work?

Sooo... my question is, which type of white would I be best off painting the entire house interior in, keeping in mind I intend to use only the one colour throughout. I was thinking Vivid White as the house is quite dark and does not get a lot of natural sunlight.

Try Antique White USA. It's three times brighter than Antique White and should brighten up the house nicely. :)
I've just been through this process myself. I find Vivid White too cold, personally. I bought 6 cheap canvases, about $8 each for about 80 x 50cm or something like that, then tried out different whites on those, moving them around between rooms and seeing what looked good in each light.

They really can be very different, and what looks good in one room, may look "not as good" in another room, due to different lighting. I wasn't fussy enough to choose different whites for each room, so I chose the one which didn't look bad anywhere. (Which in my case was a 1/4 dilution of Taubman's Arizona White.)

My suggestion, for if I were doing this again:

1) Pick the tone that you want from a much darker colour, ie look at the graded strips, and you can tell whether the "white" (palest one) is actually a pale yellow, orange, pink, blue, grey, green, or purple, etc.

2) Pick out 2 or 3 whites that have the right undertones, in my case a very pale brown and a very pale pink and a very pale orange. (I didn't want anything blue or yellow).

3) Buy 2 or 3 sample pots of these whites that are candidates, plus an untinted sample pot.

4) Start testing on canvases. eg try shade 1, shade 2, and shade 3, then try 50/50 mixes of shade 1/2, shade 2/3, and shade 1/3. Then narrow down to the 2 or 3 of these 6 that you like, and try 50% and 25% dilutions of all of these 6 shades, etc, until you narrow in on the shade that's just right for you.

It may sound like a lot of mucking around, but I hated the "white" that we previously had on our walls, from the day it went on. (Was selected and applied without my involvement due to hospitalisation.) I lived with it for 7 years. Now that I have a "new" white, I'm absolutely rapt, and enjoy it every time I walk into the house. :) It's worth the effort to get a tone you're happy with, IMHO.
be sure to prep the surface with a pole sander first, it takes 15 mins per room , it would be disasterous if the 1-2-3 becomes 3-2-1, , antique white looked more like a soft yellow to me , my home white , straight off the shelf and on the walls white, and satin doors and trim, we like it ? well , sometimes;)
I can't remember what brand it was, but I was really happy with "White Secret" when I used it throughout a unit a few years ago. Not a particularly sunny unit either.
Don't use Solver Antique White. I used it on my old house a few months ago, it came out as quite a dark cream. Which is, in fact, the look I was going for (I was painting over dark cream with a very greeeeen tint to it) but don't kid yourself that it's white.

It also happens to be exactly the same colour as 50 year old white paint. Which isn't white either.
Thanks for the replies,

Ozperp, wow, thanks for the quite detailed post, however I will be buying the paint tomorrow and will not have that much time to do as suggested. I like the idea of picking out the white that does not clash with any rooms though. I have some sample pots so may quickly paint a bit on the walls and see how they look in each room.

RumpledElf, thanks for the heads up but will be going Dulux I am pretty sure.

MJA, Antique white is a bit yellowish for my girlfriend so probably not.

craigb, the instructions on the zinsser say you do not have to sand as it sticks to anything? Am trying to cut down time as much as possible, have you heard otherwise with this product, or have any bad experiences with it?

I agree that antique white looks a bit yellow, which is why the girlfriend does not go for it.

You say you chose white straight off the shelf. That is what Vivid white is in Dulux, white without any tints added. The bit about liking it, sometimes, wink, does that mean you are or are not happy with it. Would you go the same way again given the choice. I am leaning towards vivid white (or white off the shelf) throughout as this would seem to be the easiest path. Some describe it as being to stark though. What is your experience?
Zinsser is an excellent product. We have used it as an undercoat on dark stained timber & it worked a treat.
With regard to your white issue, if you want a true white white, as in neutral white with no tint, i think Dulux White On White is your best bet.
The number of shades of white is frightening - there's more white than beiges!

I'm a bit anti-white myself, the only white here is just ... white. On the trim and ceilings. It is very, very white, and I can't imagine a whole house done in it, it would be like living in an igloo or something. And think of the grotty fingermarks everywhere!

This house is all shades of beige and my old house has a lot of oranges and reds - only white there is the ceilings and those are so high you'd never know they're there ;)

BTW grotty fingermarks is the reason you do the trim in a high gloss enamel, usually. They don't mark so badly. Over a few years you'd be amazed at the filth that can collect around light switches - there's a few doorframes here that were done in regular wall paint and they were a million times more disgusting than the doorframes done in gloss.
i have found the dulux "whisper white" to be very good - in a half tint. it's a "nothing" white - not yellow or blue or green - with a warmish undertone.
We use Dulux Stowe White low sheen acrylic for all the internal walls and
Dulux Sandy Day acrylic gloss for the trims.
May take a little longer to paint trims but well worth the extra effort.
It comes up very nice.
Best bet however, try a few sample pots on the wall to get an idea.
All the best.

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I will be buying the paint tomorrow and will not have that much time to do as suggested.
How about just buying enough paint for the first coat, and while that's drying, do the canvases to decide on the colour for the second coat. If you think that's too time-consuming, compare it to the amount of time it takes to re-paint because you're not happy with the colour. :eek: Or, the pain of going to all the effort of re-painting, only to have your lady "less than thrilled" with the result. ;)

Whatever you do, good luck, and hope you do like the white you choose.
I have tried some sample pots on a wall and think vivid white (ie white with no tint straight out of the can in Dulux) will be the go.

I have started one room and put down a coat of Zinsser 123 and it is very white and it looked OK in that room.

I will try one coat of white and see how it looks though. If it is terrible I will go back and get it tinted for the next coat or use it throughout house for first coat and whatever colour I go with for the second.

After about 12 hours work so far though I think now I am going to be less than stuffed about what colour it is, I just want it done. Haven't worked so hard in my life, or at least it seems it. I am not one to enjoy painting, but lie back and think of the savings I guess.

As for my significant other making me repaint, not likely. Actually she is not very demanding or fussy so I think i am safe.

Famous last words?

Thanks for all the suggestions.
i am considering painting the walls and ceilings in my new place 'vivid white' and then staining the cypress boards a dark chocolate to contrast and disguise the knots any thoughts or recommendations thanks???
sportsfan, doing that colour scheme is a pretty big move- it really needs to suit the style of the house/apartment that you're working with. Dark floors make things look darker and smaller so keep that in mind. When done nicely it's great, but I've only ever seen it look really good in a copy of Inside Out magazine!

I hated the cypress floors in our house too- they were stained a horrendous orange colour (I think they call it oregon) in gloss. Other neighbours have the same boards with a hint of walnut-type stain added which is better, but I just don't like the look of cypress with stain added to it. I thought cypress was hideously ugly.

But... I sanded our boards back and re-finished them in water-based satin. No tint. And I have to admit that I have a newfound appreciation of cypress pine- it is a really lovely timber. Having light floors has really brightened the rooms up. The colour scheme is walls in Dulux Limed White 1/4 and all trims and ceilings in Lexicon 1/4. Lovely, soft and easy to live in and no orange :)