Favorite shades of paint for shiplap walls and ceilings
Shiplap is all the rage these days along with the modern farmhouse style. So, if you’re looking for the best shades of white paint for shiplapped walls, look no further.
White shades of paint are tricky…because there are hundreds of them and each has its own undertone, so it’s easy to get confused and overwhelmed. Have no fear as I’ve selected my top 4 choices (2 for Sherwin Williams and 2 for Benjamin Moore) – so it’s really just 2 choices once you have your brand selected. (And, both brands are super).
Please note that this article may contain affiliate links, and you can read my full disclosure at the bottom of the page.
Best White shades for painting shiplap
Shiplap is such a nice finishing touch to a modern farmhouse style home. Shiplap adds a rustic and down to earth feel to your room. It adds brightness and informality to your space. The added texture and depth to the wall adding visual intrigue to your space.
Most people prefer to paint their shiplap walls white for an airy and contemporary feel. It also gives you more flexibility in your paint colors, so you can choose to go on the light side or even a mid-toned color and still make the space feel bright.
There are are so many ways to decorate with shiplap (see 8 ways to decorate with Shiplap). You can choose to do the whole room in shiplap or just an accent wall or go up to the chair rail. Check out that article for some inspiration.
The main question you want to ask before you choose a color is whether you want a white white or a softer creamier white. All 4 of these options will read “white,” but the 1st 2 options are a bit softer and the last are really true whites. (I hope that made sense).
The choice here is a personal one, there are no right/wrong answers here. But as a guideline, if you have a very cool color on the walls (e.g. cool gray, navy, white white), then I would go for a white white (options 3 and 4) and if you have a warm color (e.g. warm gray, greige, beige, yellow, etc), I’d go with a creamier white (i.e. the 1st 2 options). But, you should know that for neutral and warm colors, all of them should be fine.
1. Sherwin Williams Alabaster
This is one of Sherwin William’s best selling paint shades and we often use it on base molding and trim for a softer look than a stark white. It’s slightly creamy but it’s subtle so it’s not too warm…just a touch of cream. This also happens to be the paint shade that the Queen of Shiplap, Joanna Gaines, used on her home.
This color works for most colors, especially warmer tones, warm grays and greiges (mixture of gray and beige).
2. Benjamin Moore White Dove
This is one of Benjamin Moore’s top shades of paint and the white that professional decorators recommend most. Like Alabaster, it’s a creamy white with slightly warm undertones. This is the most popular white for both walls and trims. It goes really well with most colors, especially neutral and warmer hues.
If you have a cool color (e.g. cool gray or navy), you are better off with Super White (see below).
3. Sherwin Williams Extra White
This is a clean crisp white..and as close to white as you can get (in the Sherwin Williams line). It’s perfect for cool grays, and other cool colors such as Navy, blues, whites (as well as greens, aquas, purples, etc.). And, because it’s so white, it can really go with any color.
4. Benjamin Moore Super White
This is Benjamin’s Moore true white and if you want a crisp white, this is a super choice. It also works really well for kitchen and bathroom cabinets, as well as base molding and trim work.
What if you want a cooler white for the shiplap
If you want a slightly cooler white, I’d look at Sherwin William’s Cloudy or Benjamin Moore’s Decorator’s white as they have a slightly gray and cool undertone.
Now, let’s talk about samples…
It’s always best to test the paint colors in you own home and own lighting. The colors do look different pending your lighting and can even look different room to room.
You can definitely go to your local painting store to buy some samples (and a brush…be sure to paint with 2 coats), but I have a MUCH EASIER way for you. Check out SAMPLIZE.
Samplize offers 12” x 12” peel and stick paint samples that are EASIER, AFFORDABLE and more ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY.
Here are a few reasons why I recommend Samplize to my clients:
- Samples come right to YOUR DOORSTEP in 1-3 business days, pending on location
- At $5.95, they’re more affordable than the samples/brushes/foam boards than traditional samples…and of course easier and way less messy
- If you keep the samples on the white paper, you can move them from wall to wall and room to room
They are amazingly accurate as they are made with 2 coats of real paint, so they are color correct.
Visit the SAMPLIZE website HERE.
What’s the best finish or sheen level for shiplap?
I would recommend that you paint shiplap with a flat finish. Flat finish is the most popular for walls nowadays and it shows the imperfections less. It also just looks right for this style.
If you have other molding in the room (e.g. base molding, doors/door trim, windows, etc.), then I would do it the same color for consistency. You may however want to do a different sheen for this other trim. Historically, most people use semi gloss for the trim, but now as the trends move away from shiny finishes, satin has become more popular and works really well too. If you go flat on the walls and shiplap, satin will probably look classier (vs. semi gloss).
How to paint shiplap walls
Before you install shiplap, paint the wall behind it white (or whichever color the shiplap will be). Shiplap has slits and you can often see slivers from the wall behind, so make the color consistent.
Follow the same process for painting shiplap that you would for painting wood paneling.
If you have wood, prime it first. If your shiplap is already primed, then paint as usual with 2 coats of paint. See this article on how to paint shiplap and paneled walls. This also has info on the best paint primers to use.
Best paint tools if you’re going to paint your own shiplap
Do you need any paint shade fan decks?
Amazon can help with that. It’s so much easier when you have the full color wheels and can see all of these in your own home (vs. going back and forth to the store MULTIPLE times).
Helpful tools if you are going to paint yourself
Here are some painting tools that may come in handy if you’re going to do the painting yourself. Also, be sure to check out my article on the Top 10 DIY Painting mistakes and how to avoid them. The products below can be found on Amazon and delivered straight to your door.
- Painting brush – this one costs a bit more, but it’s totally worth it. It will help you paint faster and more accurately. If you’re going to paint yourself, don’t skimp here. Incidentally, this is Amazon’s Choice as well.
- Painter’s tape – a must have. Use for all the trim as well as ceiling area
- Paint roller kit – this includes a tray. Use the brush for the edges and the roller for main areas of the wall (and ceiling).
- Drop cloths – Yes, you’ll need them for sure. Some people have some on hand, but often not enough if you are doing many rooms.
Related shiplap and farmhouse style articles:
- Best farmhouse style paint colors
- 8 Ways to decorate with shiplap
- How to paint shiplap and paneled walls
- 9 Amazing warm gray shades of paint
- 11 Awesome cool gray paint shades
- Most popular farmhouse sinks
- 12 Fabulous Farmhouse hardwood floors