Painting our whole house white. What's the best paint to use (eco-friendly and non-yellowing)?

(27 Posts)
CurrerBell Mon 18-Feb-13 14:54:37

We are renovating a modern (1960s) house with large windows, square rooms and low ceilings. We are going for a minimalist look but plan to add colour using accessories/artwork and mid century furniture. We have anthracite grey aluminium windows and a teak parquet floor.

I just want plain white for the ceilings/walls/woodwork... however friends have said it may look stark and clinical. Should we consider an off-white or just stick with trade / brilliant white?

I also need to find a paint that doesn't yellow over time... all the gloss we've had in the past has done this. We're putting in white flush internal doors and are planning to do the woodwork in satinwood or similar.

As we need to paint the whole house and have young kids, I'm also thinking about using eco-friendly paint. I've come across this paint called NaturePaint that is also sold in B&Q/John Lewis. It seems to get good reviews. Has anyone had any experience with this?

We are currently at the plastering stage and feeling a bit overwhelmed, so any advice gratefully received!

PigletJohn Mon 18-Feb-13 17:20:45

For outdoors, use an oil-paint system, preferably from the same maker and preferably starting with aluminium wood primer. Outside oil paint does not yellow as sunlight keeps it white, this also works on windowsills and porches and inside glass doors (unless you put something like a flowerpot on the windowboard. It will go white again when you move it).

For indoors, a water paint will do. It is not as durable or as glossy. Use water based acrylic primer undercoat, not an oil undercoat, as well as water-based topcoat.

calendula Mon 18-Feb-13 17:37:12

Water based interior gloss paint does not yellow in the same way as solvent based paint does. Another good reason to ditch the solvents.

Just make sure that the temperature is not too high when you are painting, otherwise you will get brush marks as it surface dries faster than you think.

Yorky Mon 18-Feb-13 19:30:24

MIL has straight white in her living room, DH and I assumed it was 'a hint of...' as the colour is affected by her carpet and curtains so isn't as cold as you'd expect - I think you'll find the teak will warm it nicely, and if its broken up by art and furniture it won't be too clinical.
And if it is, then its easy to paint over!

Rhubarbgarden Mon 18-Feb-13 19:40:25

I love plain white. We did our last house in trade white from top to bottom; it looked stark straight after painting but once we'd got furniture, paintings, curtains, rugs etc in there it looked fab and we never got bored of it.

The new house is greige everywhere and it feels so drab. I can't wait to get nice fresh white walls back!

utopian99 Tue 19-Feb-13 08:53:37

earthborn paints make a very good solvent and VOC free paint you can get in brilliant white..

CurrerBell Tue 19-Feb-13 10:08:49

Thanks everyone - I think we'll go with the courage of our convictions and go with plain white. smile We have lots of colourful stuff, e.g. the Eames Hang it All so I think that the white will work best with that kind of look.

We have had a quote from a team of decorators who use trade Dulux. I'm just trying to work out if it's worth asking them to use VOC free paint... I will look into earthborn, and also make sure the gloss/satin we use is water-based so it won't yellow.

tomatoplantproject Tue 19-Feb-13 10:13:20

White will look fab. We've got a similar look going in in our house and it looks anything but stark - you're not limited to a palette that will go with it. We've just got trade dulux so can't advise on type of paint to use.

MinimalistMommi Tue 19-Feb-13 11:17:35

We're planning on painting our entire house plain white too, and I can't wait!

CurrerBell Tue 19-Feb-13 14:06:33

I can't wait either... we've lived for 2.5 years with 1980s(?) polystyrene wallpaper and disintegrating carpets. Finally ripped it all out to move walls, rewire and replaster, and the dust and mess are horrendous - but visualising the finished result is keeping me going!

MinimalistMommi Tue 19-Feb-13 18:09:27

OP, I have about five different types of textured wallpaper in my house right now, I thinking I'm going to start stripping soon, maybe even tomorrow smile

Cakecrumbsinmybra Tue 19-Feb-13 18:12:10

We used ecos paints throughout and have no complaints. It's lovely to paint with as has no paint smell whatsoever. We used White Lily for every wall in the house except the bathrooms. Its a creamy, off white.

CurrerBell Tue 19-Feb-13 23:03:39

MinimalistMommi - textured wallpaper is awful, but so satisfying to get rid of! We had 2-3 layers of wallpaper everywhere, plus in the hallway/landing the bottom layer was coated in bright orange vinyl paint... nightmare! We had to get someone in to do the stripping in the end, and it took about two weeks! But it is finally gone. smile

We have some decorators booked now, as there is no way we could paint the whole house by ourselves. They want to use trade Dulux... I have emailed them the links to the eco paints to see what they say.

MinimalistMommi Wed 20-Feb-13 09:21:45

Let us know Currer
You sound so much further ahead then I am grin

PigletJohn Wed 20-Feb-13 12:44:35

CurrerBell
I expect the decorators will say they have confidence in Dulux Trade, and if you insist in using something else, they cannot be responsible for its performance.

CurrerBell Fri 22-Feb-13 12:17:32

The decorators are amenable to using the eco paint, and I spoke to a helpful guy at the Greenshop who recommended using Auro or Earthborn paints for the walls and woodwork.

However I'm stressing now because the doors we're about to have fitted are pre-finished in white satin paint. If we paint the architraves and skirting in a different kind of paint, will it look odd? The whites will probably be a different shade. Or am I over-thinking this?!

The door manufacturers recommended that we take a shaving from the door to get a colour match specially made up, for touching up the doors... So we could just use this for all the woodwork, but it wouldn't be eco paint.

Argh, one week till the decorators start!

PigletJohn Fri 22-Feb-13 12:58:51

I would just give the doors a coat of the same paint that you are using.

CurrerBell Sat 23-Feb-13 20:57:56

PigletJohn, you make a good point! I have got some paint samples now so can see how they look against the doors. We're going to use either Auro or Earthborn paints. SO excited to be finally at the point of decorating!

CurrerBell Sun 03-Mar-13 10:01:30

Just a quite update - we have the first coat of paint on upstairs and it looks fab! We went for Earthborn Claypaint in the end in white. It is an ultra matt finish which I think softens the white rather than it being too brilliant/dazzling. Even with one coat it is a real transformation (and we've waited 2.5 years to get to this point, so it feels good!).

It doesn't smell really (just a faint earthy smell), it dries quickly and the kids could sleep in their rooms last night, so I think it was worth getting the eco paint despite the extra expense. We've yet to see how hardwearing it is, but hopefully I can touch up any marks in the future.

MinimalistMommi Sun 03-Mar-13 13:17:01

Exciting! Can you put a picture of your profile at all? I would love to see it!
I just live white rooms.
I feel really excited for you! I can't wait to get to that point and I know it will be a long time coming here.

Meglet Sun 03-Mar-13 13:21:57

My whole house is white with laminate floors, all bedrooms, living room, hallway etc. Been here 8 years and I still love it. When we move the new house will be stripped back and painted all white.

If I was rich I'd be getting John Pawson to do my house grin.

MinimalistMommi Sun 03-Mar-13 13:43:38

Meglet your house sounds stunning! I love all white, it feels so calming to me and ordered somehow.

MinimalistMommi Sun 03-Mar-13 13:44:00

Meglet what colour is your furniture?

Meglet Sun 03-Mar-13 13:52:11

I'm not sure calming and ordered is quite how it looks these days <<surveys the dc's clutter strewn everywhere>>. But, yes, it's bright and modern smile. Nothing to really date it either, no feature walls, laura ashley wallpaper etc....

The sofa is cream and getting tatty. White billy bookcases, light wood dining table. TBH it was partly painted all white as the house is tiny and partly open plan, I wanted it blitzed without any fuss.

It needs a coat of paint though, DD has had the odd grafitti session that didn't clean off very well hmm.

MinimalistMommi Sun 03-Mar-13 14:04:42

Our house is tiny too, how many bedrooms is your house Meglet?

Meglet Sun 03-Mar-13 15:08:52

3 tiddly bedrooms. There was a thread on square footage in property recently and mine seemed to be winning the smallest 3 bed house contest. DD's room is just a box room really.

I suspect that coloured walls would make the house seem more disjointed and even smaller.

MinimalistMommi Sun 03-Mar-13 18:14:23

I don't think I saw that thread? We're in a two bed terraced cottage and we are just over 500 sq ft and we are a family of four. We definitely painting all white to make it look bigger.

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