Read all about Benjamin Moore Paper White, plus see 25 real homes that use it!
I know I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: gray paint colors are HARD to choose! Not only do you have to pay attention to whether the colors you like read as warm or cool, but you have to also factor in undertones. And in gray paints, undertones can be a challenge!
They’re a lot like white paint in that way. Nuances matter, and you need to pay close attention to them.
But I just mayyyy have found the holy grail of paint: a perfect light-dove gray tone that reads as perfectly neutral both in temperature and undertones.
Contrary to its name, Benjamin Moore Paper White is not a true white. It’s actually an off-white that can be classified as a light gray. And with this shade, nuances (or the lack thereof) matter in all the best ways. 🙂
Let’s see…adjectives that come to mind when I think of this shade include versatile, chic, stunning, elegant, and timeless. With adjectives like that, how could you not love this color?
If only it were that easy. While there are many wonderful qualities about Paper White, it is important to take a look at the ways it behaves because, in a few situations, it can appear dingy. And no one wants that.
My hope is that this paint color series gives you ample information to make informed choices about paint colors. If I can help you narrow down your paint selections so that the decision of choosing a final color is easier, then I will have done my job and can rest easier at night!
Let’s take a closer look at BM Paper White so that we can determine whether this shade is ideal for your home.
FAQs about Paper White
What undertones are in Benjamin Moore Paper White?
This off-white color has very subtle blue-gray undertones. In fact, the undertones are just enough to make it look ever so slightly smokey gray but not enough that you really notice the blue.
This shade is one of the most popular off-white paint colors that Benjamin Moore offers, and that fact doesn’t surprise me in the slightest because you just can’t go wrong when using Paper White.
That said, I’m a huge advocate of using paint swatches to help you see how various paint colors will truly look in your home before you commit to one. One simple tool allows you to examine the nuances of each color to see if it will unexpectedly let its pink undertones shine (which you hate). Trust me; it’s totally worth the time to use paint swatches to avoid that situation.
Is Benjamin Moore Paper White cool or warm?
This color impressively manages to walk that very fine line of being creamy without leaning warm or cool. It’s a very neutral color that somehow feels warm without actually LOOKING warm.
In north-facing rooms which tend to get less direct sunlight, Paper White may look more cool, if not cold, while in sunnier south-facing rooms, the shade warms up and looks softer and more inviting.
What about in west facing rooms or east facing spaces? The sunlight in rooms oriented either of those two directions shifts dramatically throughout the day. So it’s important to look at a sample of Paper White in those rooms several times over the course of the day to see how it looks and changes.
Where can you use Paper White?
This is one color that I can say with absolute certainty that you can use anywhere. It looks stunning in kitchens, bedrooms, living rooms, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and even on the exterior. If there’s a place you want to use this color, chances are you can without any trouble.
If undertones make your head hurt, you’re not alone! Grab your free copy of 5 Biggest Paint Choice Mistakes Click here or enter your email below. I’ll send the tips right away!⤵️
Great Coordinating Colors for Paper White
This paint color looks incredible with nearly every other color. Pair it with black, white, darker neutrals, and even bold colors. Thanks to its neutral nature, it can often pair well with warm and cool colors alike.
If you’re searching for coordinating colors, check out some ideas from this list:
LRV of Benjamin Moore Paper White (1590 or OC-55)
Let’s take a quick look at Paper White paint’s numbers. Visually looking at paint colors will yield very subjective results. That’s why I recommend adding objective information through numbers to get a clear overall picture of a color and its qualities.
Light Reflectance Value (LRV) is a number ranging between 0 and 100. Each color has an assigned LRV number to indicate how much light a color reflects. Zero represents pure black because it doesn’t reflect ANY light, while 100 represents pure white because it reflects ALL the light.
The LRV of BM Paper White = 75.89
This value puts BM Paper White solidly in the light off-white range. While I really like this color, it can wash out in bright light and also look slightly grungy in low light. You’ll definitely want to check this color around your space before committing to it!
LRV…what? Don’t worry, I’ve got you! Grab a FREE copy of my new guide to avoid the paint color picking mistakes people make! Click here or enter your email below. I’ll send the tips right away!⤵️
Paper White Compared to Other Colors
In addition to looking at LRV values, another way to get a solid feel about paint colors is to compare them side-by-side with similar colors. It’s also the best way to see a color’s undertones.
Here’s how Benjamin Moore Paper White stacks up against three different and equally popular paint colors.
Benjamin Moore Paper White vs. Classic Gray
When you put these two colors side by side, you can see that Paper White reads as a bit grayer while BM Classic Gray reads as a little more beige. Although these two colors have similar brightness, with an LRV of 74.78, Classic Gray is slightly darker.
Benjamin Moore Paper White vs. Silver Satin
Silver Satin from Benjamin Moore has an LRV of 76.35. That means it’s just a smidge lighter than Paper White. They both have gray undertones, but Silver Satin also has some light purple undertones that can show up in warm lighting situations. When placed side by side, Silver Satin looks just a bit warmer and lighter than Paper White does.
Benjamin Moore Paper White vs. Calm
Benjamin Moore Calm is essentially the beige equivalent of Paper White. Light, sophisticated, and endlessly versatile. But be aware of Calm’s purple undertones, which can show up when you least want them to. With an LRV of 77.7, it reads lighter and warmer than Paper White does.
More Colors to Consider
Not ready to commit to Paper White just yet? Check out these other colors to see if they catch your eye!
- Chantilly Lace (Benjamin Moore) – a crisp white that brightens any space
- Light French Gray (Sherwin Williams) – a mid-toned neutral gray
- Super White (Benjamin Moore) – a bright, neutral shade of white
- Simply White (Benjamin Moore) – a creamy white with yellow undertones
- Silver Drop (Behr) – a pale gray with a hint of beige
- Pure White (Benjamin Moore) – warm white that can lean slightly greige
- Snowbound (Benjamin Moore) – a slightly cool, yet very livable, white
- Silver Satin (Benjamin Moore) – a gray-tinted off-white
- Dover White (Benjamin Moore) – a warm, creamy off-white
- Decorator’s White (Benjamin Moore) – almost pure white with a slight cool, blue undertone
Feeling lost? I gotcha, boo! Grab a FREE copy of my new guide to avoid the paint color picking mistakes people make! Click here or enter your email below. I’ll send the tips right away!⤵️
25 Real Life Homes Using Paper White Paint
Alright, time to dig into the good part: all that eye candy! But first, a warning. Do NOT fall in love with one of these rooms, run out and buy 4 cans and start painting your space! Remember the cardinal rule of painting: sample before you swipe that paintbrush!!!
As far as sampling goes, I highly recommend these mess-free, re-usable, re-positionable peel and stick paint samples ⤵
BM Paper White Living Rooms
A quick note here: don’t forget to consider picking the right paint finish…it’s not only about getting the color right! We have an in-depth explanation of choosing sheens here.
1. Works well with wood
Paper White shines around wood because the wood tones help to draw out the creamy sophistication of this color. Even though this room is in a basement, this paint works well with bright artificial light!
2. BM Paper White Elegant Living Room
When you want to create a timeless look, reach for Paper White. It pairs well with crisp whites (like the sofas and the window frames in this space from Decor Pad), darker grays, and blacks and never goes out of style. Notice how washed out the color gets in the light while the shadows help draw out its gray tendencies.
3. Living Space Painted Paper White
Versatility is its middle name! Here in this space from VT Interiors you can see how the endlessly versatile and neutral Benjamin Moore Paper White is the obvious choice to bring both gray and beige decor together seamlessly.
4. Neutral Know-How
BM Paper White provides a lovely neutral backdrop that both fits right in with the decor and blends into the background in this example.
Kitchens in Paper White
For kitchens, eggshell or satin are popular finish choices for walls. For cabinets consider semi-gloss or high gloss for the most durable finish (and a gorgeous glow).
5. Kitchen Walls in BM Paper White
“A tale as old as time…” I don’t think this kitchen from Beth Lindsey could ever go out of style (or that I’d ever get tired of looking at it!). Paper White delivers a soft, stunning ambiance that keeps this kitchen bright and contrasts just enough against the white cabinets and darker gray island.
6. Going Gray in Low-Light
The low natural light in this kitchen and eat-in area allows Paper White to show off its cool white / gray side just enough that it contrasts well with the white trim and cabinets.
7. Benjamin Moore Paper White Cabinets
This kitchen shared on Home Bunch has a lot of cool natural light that washes out Paper White’s gray qualities and instead delivers a lovely off-white that’s creamy enough to make this large kitchen feel spacious and chic yet homey.
8. Paper White in Artificial Light
Have you been wondering how Paper White would look with yellow artificial light? Well, here’s your chance! Make sure you scroll through the pictures to see the difference between the close-up image and the one taken further away. The yellow artificial lighting makes Paper White read as a creamy off-white.
Paper White Painted Dining Rooms
9. BM Paper White Dining Nook
I love seeing the gray undertones come through with this color! This neutral dining nook from Beth Lindsey is simple yet lovely and very chic.
10. Creamy White under Lamp Light
Here’s another example of Paper White reading as off-white. The low natural light and yellow artificial light draw out the neutral quality of this color while also washing out the gray undertones. I love the creamy quality this color projects!
11. Open Dining Space Painted Paper White
As with all off-whites, Paper White is a bit of a chameleon. Here in this space shared by Benjamin Moore you can see it reads as off-white in the light. But once you move into the shade, it looks solidly light gray.
Benjamin Moore Paper White Bedrooms
In general for bedrooms, and low-traffic areas, flat paint is fine. If you like something with a bit of shine (and more ease of cleaning) opt for eggshell or satin.
12. Bedroom in BM Paper White
I’m ready to pack my bags and move into this dreamy space from Architectural Digest (see the pool?). Paper White is the (understated) star of the show with this decor. It’s perfectly off-white with just the merest hint of gray to keep it from being too bright. Stunning in every sense of the word!
13. Calming Gray Bedroom Hue
Benjamin Moore Paper White reads as a mid-tone gray in this room, thanks to the lack of light. It’s beautifully neutral, so it works well with both the white and wood-toned decor without showing any undertones.
14. Benjamin Moore Paper White Walls
Lovely! Paper White works well in this bedroom from Jenna Kate at Home. The bright natural light washes out the color a little, but its gray undertones keep this shade from looking too white or bright. Instead, it looks soft and inviting.
Kid’s Bedroom Using Paper White Paint
15. Bright Idea in a Kids’ Space
Anyone who didn’t know as much about this paint as you do now would simply think that this room is white and the grayish areas were caused by shadows. The room is bright and chic without feeling stark or cold, thanks to Paper White.
16. Black and Paper White Kids Bedroom
I love this! White and black are a classic combination, but they are most definitely opposite sides of the same coin, which can lead to a harsher contrast than you may want. Paper White is a brilliant choice here because it FEELS like a soft white even though it actually reads as a soft silvery gray.
All the contrast without the stark difference between white and black.
17. Girl’s Bedroom in BM Paper White
I love how this shade reads as a soft silvery light gray in this sophisticated kid’s room from Nicole Lee Interiors. It’s perfectly neutral and chic while still adding some light contrast with the trim moldings and decor.
18. Perfect Backdrop
Paper White is an ideal choice in this awesomely funky space. It provides an easy-going silvery gray backdrop that’s easy on the eyes and lets all the colorful decor enjoy the limelight.
BM Paper White Bathrooms
Don’t forget the finish! For bathrooms the perfect sheen is either an eggshell or satin. Why? We’ll tell you in this post about paint sheen.
19. Benjamin Moore Paper White Walls
You might at first think the walls are white, but they actually painted in Paper White. The gray undertones are very subtle, but they’re there. And they perfectly complement the rest of the decor of this space shared by Square Footage Inc., like those brass lighting fixtures.
20. Paper White Bathroom Vanity
Paper White not only looks incredible on walls, but it’s an ideal choice on vanities and cabinets too! Bonus: the slight gray undertones help hide fingerprints in heavily used areas.
21. Bathroom Painted Paper White
Large amounts of natural light will wash out the color, but you can see just enough gray undertones to appreciate the comfortable, inviting feel that the color offers in a bright room, like this one from Design Loves Detail.
22. BM Paper White Bathroom
If you have a basement bathroom that needs updating, consider painting it in Paper White. It will keep the room feeling bright and spacious, like seen in this example from Lindsay Stephenson.
23. Light Gray Bathroom Wall Paint
Some off-whites will look too creamy or yellow next to wood tones. Paper White is perfectly neutral and doesn’t show even a faint hint of that. Beautiful example from Jenna Kate at Home!
Offices Painted Paper White
24. Sophisticated Work-From-Home Space in Paper White
In this low light, the color reads as a light to mid-toned dove gray. It’s just enough to add lovely contrast against the white curtains.
25. Perfect Partner for Playful Colors
If you love showing off playful decor, consider a light color such as Paper White for your walls. It will fade into the background and let your decor take center stage rather than drawing the eye away from your decor.
Have I sold you on trying BM Paper White yet? If not, here’s one more thing. Benjamin Moore Paper White is one of the few off-white colors that I feel confident recommending in almost every space. It’s a versatile white that can add that perfect creamy sophisticated look to a room, but you do have to do your homework to make sure that you don’t have one of the few spaces where it can tend to look drab or dingy!
Do yourself a favor, and grab a re-usable, re-positionable, peel and stick paint sample first!
Pin this paint color for later! And if you use this paint shade, leave a comment on the pin! That helps others decide if they want to try this color, too!
Ready to show those boring, beige walls who’s the boss at home? Grab my free guide to help you sidestep the mistakes that almost everyone makes when it comes to picking paint! You’ll be on your way to perfect paint promptly…pinky swear.