Quick: what’s the best-selling color for trim?
If your paint obsession is anything like mine, doubtless you know the answer to that question. (If not, this whole post is going to be a crashing bore, so please go read something important, like how cantaloupe can kill people.)
But if you’re still with me — hi! — the answer is White Dove. Benjamin Moore’s White Dove is the big kahuna in the trim department. It’s the Linen White of molding: the can’t-miss, call-it-in color.
Here’s what Doty Horn, then Benjamin Moore’s director of color and design, said about White Dove in 2008:
“The one color that people consistently pick for moldings and windows is White Dove. It has the softness of alabaster, with a little gray and a little yellow. For long-term livability, what helps is that yellow cast. Put it up against other colors and you’ll see how well it works. It’s practically universal.”
In this living room, above, the inner wall molding is painted Spanish White, the outer wall molding is White Dove, the molding and crown trim is White Opulence, and the ceiling is Sand Dollar, all by Benjamin Moore.
You can throw it on the ceiling, too. Designer Philip Gorrivan lacquered the ceiling of his Upper East Side apartment, above, in White Dove.
Below it’s used with Showtime, also by Benjamin Moore.
Or try it on the mantle:
Of course, White Dove isn’t the only game in town. Competing for the trim title (sorry) is Cloud White, another favorite from Benjamin Moore. Macleans (Canada) has a great article on Cloud White, detailing its back story and cultish appeal:
(Designer) Dana Smithers… finds it so handy that she uses it as the accent colour in every house she’s staging. “There’s no discussion,” the North Vancouver designer states. She doesn’t even show other shades of white to new clients.
Below, a bedroom painted a pale sea green, Porter Paints’ Parsley Tint, with Cloud White on the trim:
In this living room, the trim is Cloud White and walls are Golden Straw, also by Benjamin Moore:
This entire kitchen is painted Cloud White:
Below, for your consideration, are 15 designer favorites for trim. (All colors are by Benjamin Moore.)
To choose a color, consider the undertones in your wall paint. A greenish-gray room might not look stellar with a pinkish-white trim like Mayonnaise, for example.
Also decide whether you want high or subtle contrast. If it’s the latter and white trim doesn’t appeal to you, try painting your trim the same color as the walls, in a semi- or high-gloss formula. Doing so can modernize a space and create the illusion of higher ceilings.
In the library below, walls and trim are painted Pine Brook by Benjamin Moore.
You can also create your own trim color: ask the folks at the paint store to mix a quart of your wall color to 25 percent or 50 percent strength. And you can go darker, too: brown, gray and black look great on trim, especially against lighter walls.