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The best white trim paint for doors, windows, and baseboards

With so many shades of white, it can be challenging choosing which is the best white color for trim paint.

In this post I will be answering some frequently asked trim paint questions. For instance, “should my trim paint be lighter or darker than my walls” and “should my doors and baseboards match my trim paint”. I’ll also be sharing my favorite white paint colors.

What is the best white paint for trim?

There are so many white paints out there! It can be hard to figure out which trim paint colors to choose. Each one has a different undertone that will either give a cohesive look or clash with your walls and home decor.

For instance, Swiss Coffee from Benjamin Moore has yellow undertones and wont pair well in a room with colors on the cooler side. We actually painted our house this color.

Some white paints have green or blue undertones. It’s important to take note so you can pull those colors into your decor. Two of my favorite brands are Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams. They’re both quality paints and either would be a good choice.

I hyperlinked the list so each name leads to the sample of each color. It ranges from warmer toned to cooler-toned, to being super reflective! 

Is there a standard white trim paint?

No, there really isn’t a simple answer to what white paint to use, unfortunately. They all are slightly different, and it’s important to find the right warm or cool-toned color that compliments the other colors of your home!

My personal favorite white trim paint is Benjamin Moore’s Simply White. It’s a slightly warmer color that I really like in my home. It has slight yellow undertone that warms up any space. But careful not to pair it with any cool colors as it will contrast.

Photo credit Ace Hardware

Another favorite of mine is Benjamin Moore chantilly lace. We used it on our kitchen cabinet trim after we updated our white cabinets. But opted for BM decorator’s white for around our window frames. We get a lot of natural light in our kitchen and wanted a bright white paint to help reflect that.

Kitchen with white trim paint around white cabinets.

What is the best paint for trim and doors?

There is rarely is paint labeled specifically for trim, as it is usually labeled under interior paint. There is not specific trim paint, but there are qualities of paint to keep in mind! The best kinds of paint for trim and doors have gloss.

A glossier paint like satin, semi-gloss, or high gloss has higher durability. Trim is prone to collecting more dust, dirt, and scuff marks. Gloss paint makes it easier to wipe clean. The paint needs to withstand the inevitable dirtiness, and the deep cleaning we have to do every once in a while.

Should white trim be satin or semi gloss?

Knowing what sheen to choose is important when taking on a paint project in your home. Each area will work best with a different sheen.

A satin finish for instance will work best for interior walls, and a semi-gloss finish is best for trim. Semi-gloss paint is also a good choice for kitchen cabinets because of it’s high sheen. There are exceptions though.

In my home, I painted my staircase in a matte black because the stairs were in terrible shape. A gloss paint would highlight every imperfection. So there are times for matte paint, but keep in mind matte paint can be really hard to clean.

What is the best Sherwin Williams white for trim?

If you are one to prefer Sherwin Williams for your trim paint, you were probably disappointed that there were only two Sherwin Williams paints on the list above!

Sherwin Williams does have some very good white paints available. My favorite is sherwin Williams alabaster. Its a warm white that if paired with other warm tones will add the perfect neutral color palette to your home. Here are some of Sherwin Williams most popular white paint colors…

I’ve added hyperlinks to all of the color samples again. It can be hard to really have an idea of what each paint looks like on a computer screen, but it will at least give you an idea! Hopefully, it will help you narrow down what you’re looking for. That way when you’re a the paint store picking up samples you won’t feel completely overwhelmed! 

What kind of paint do you use on white baseboards?

Treat your baseboards the same way you would your trim! Generally, you want your trim and baseboard paint to match. Your best choice would be choosing a strong paint like an acrylic latex or alkdy paint in a high gloss sheen.

Should you paint walls and trim the same white?

This one is really up your personal preference! There is really a lot of freedom when it comes to painting your trim white!

If you want your trim to stand out, you can add some contrast by making it a different color from your white walls.

Or If you want the trim to blend in, make it all the same color! If you choose to make it the same color, it could help give the illusion of height to your walls! It also helps bring cohesiveness throughout the room if that is what you are looking for. 

Photo credit Ace Hardware

Do doors and trim have to match?

Your doors and trim can match, but they don’t have to! If you choose to make your door a different color from the trim, it creates a nice subtle contrast and gives a modern look.

Though, if you’d rather have a more traditional look, making the trim and doors the same color will make everything blend and make it look more cohesive. 

Can you mix white and wood trim?

Just as doors and trim don’t have to be the same color, neither does the trim throughout the entire house.

A wood and white trim mix can be a really nice look in your home! The biggest thing to keep in mind is to be methodical about it. Like if you have an open concept home where you can see into more than one room, then you should keep those the same color.

Plan beforehand which trim to keep stained wood, and which ones to paint. You should also stay consistent within each room.

If you paint the trim white in one room, you don’t have to paint it in a separate room, though if you paint the windows of the room, each window trim should be painted.

 Or paint all the crown molding white and keep the window trim wood… or vise vera! 

Something else to keep in mind is if you are going to have different colors walls then you’re trim and baseboard, then you probably shouldn’t also have your doors be a different color.

The general rule is that you shouldn’t have three finishes to try and coordinate. It can be done, but can get complicated if you don’t tie in each of the accent colors at least twice. If not done right, it will leave your home feeling very busy.

living room with white shiplap walls and trim and Woden beams on ceiling.

Should all the trim in a house match?

The trim in your house does not have to be the same throughout the whole house. Each room has its own design, and you can adapt the color of the trim depending on what looks best! 

But if you do match the white trim colors throughout your home, it will give a nice cohesive look. This is especially true if each room leads into the next and the next rooms trim is in sight from other rooms.

Want to ship this look?! Simply click on an image below! *These links are affiliate links and I do make a small commission if you buy something.

This one is also up to you! Your baseboards can match your door trim color, or you can switch it up! If you make them the same color, it would bring a more traditional look to you home.

A lot of older homes do this and I think it’s quite beautiful. But there really are no hard and fast rules. Making them different colors will add some contrast and bring a modern look to your home!

Is white trim going out of style?

I think white trim is here to stay! It gives a clean look to any home and brightens up the room. It gained a lot of popularity because of it and naturally, people have started to put their own spin on things.

There has been growing popularity towards beige trim as well, but it’s not taking away any attention to white trim!

boys bedroom with beige window trim and white walls.

What paint sheen should trim paint be?

The best paint sheen would be semi-gloss or any other type of higher gloss paint for white trim.

It has high durability and is easy to clean! Unfortunately, the higher gloss paints usually reflect more imperfections on the surface. 

Any cracks or uneven patches may show up more with semi-gloss paint, but it is still the best route to take for painting your white trim and adding a new look to your home! the only time you want to use a matte finish is if your walls or trim are in terrible shape and you don’t want to draw attention to it.

Also, if the area you are painting isn’t a high traffic area. A flat sheen can be harder to keep clean.

Choosing the right paint formula for trim, doors, and baseboards

Finding the best white paint colors can be challenging, but what about choosing the right paint formula? Each line has many different formulas that are best used for different projects.

For example, water based latex, acrylic latex, oil-based, enamel, alkyd, etc. So how do you know which to choose for your project?

The general rule of thumb is to use high gloss or enamel paint on cabinets. Acrylic latex paint can be a great choice for interior trim as it will cure hard.

Oil-based paints are the most durable paints. It will last a very long time. It’s ideal for project where you wont be re painting in the near future.

There are downsides to using oil-based paints. The odor is quite strong and it takes a really long time to dry. Although, because it is an enamel, it’s extremely strong and will be resistant to scratches, fingerprints, etc.

Your best bet for trim work is to go with a formula that uses either a water-based acrylic or an Alkyd hybrid paint in a semi-gloss finish.

Benjamin Moore Advance Vs. Sherwin Williams Emerald interior Paint

Both Benjamin Moore Advance and Sherwin Williams Emerald are wonderful formulas. Bother made very differently.

Benjamin Moore advance is a waterbourne alkyd paint. While Sherwin Williams Emerald interior is a water-based Acrylic Latex Paint. Both are high quality paints and pro-DIYers each will argue their favorite.

But if we’re splitting hairs, I would have to say Benjamin Moore Advance is better for trim and Sherwin Williams Emerald interior is best for walls.

What is waterbourne alkyd paint?

Waterbourne alkyd paint that is 100% water dispersible. Benjamin Moore uses this formula in their Advance line.

The benefit to this compared to traditional alkyd paint is that it isn’t oil-based. Oil-based paints are toxic and tough to clean up.

Benjamin Moore advance is like oil-based paint (strong and long lasting), but with the added benefit of an easy cleanup. It is wonderful for trim, cabinets, and furniture.

What is acrylic latex paint?

Acrylic latex paint is a water-based paint, but with a plastic resin. This makes it more durable than traditional latex paint.

Sherwin Williams Emerald interior is an acrylic latex wall paint. It is a paint and primer in one. It has wonderful coverage. Generally if a traditional latex paint requires two coats, emerald would require one.

Because it’s a water-based paint and not an oil-based paint, it’s non-toxic and better for the environment. Clean up is much easier too.

Be sure to pin for later!

Rounding up

I hope after my post today you feel like you have a better sense for how to choose a trim paint, what sheen and formula to use.

I also hope you felt inspired by the white color recommendations and found some inspiration for your own trim project.

Want to read more about updating your home on a budget? Check out my post below!

How to choose the right white ceiling paint and 22 things you should know before painting

Painting your ceiling can be an easy task when you have the right tools, paints, tips, and tricks! It can be difficult to know where to begin or knowing what color white to paint your celiling. I’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions on painting a ceiling, so this blog can be your one-stop shop for what to know before you get started! First…

Thanks so much for reading along.

Chat soon,


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