dining room with white walls and north facing windows

7 Best White Paints for North Facing Rooms

Looking for the perfect paint color for a room with Northern exposure? Wondering if you’ll ever find the right white? 

(Hint: Yes, you will!)

Finding the best white paints for North facing rooms can certainly feel like an impossible endeavor, but that’s why I’m here. Today, I’m sharing a list of whites that will brighten up any space with cool, Northern light.

Because, by now, you’re very likely aware that the wrong white paint could give your space a cold, drab feeling. Not exactly the feel you’re going for, I bet!

So without delay, let’s move on to seven whites that will warm up your North facing room.

living room with white walls; text that reads: best white paint colors for north facing rooms

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Best White Paints for North Facing Rooms

Here are the seven white paint color nominees for a North facing room. (And if you want all the deets on these fabulous contenders, keep on scrolling downward!)

  1. Sherwin Williams Oyster White (order a sample)
  2. Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee (order a sample)
  3. Sherwin Williams Pure White (order a sample)
  4. Sherwin Williams Alabaster (order a sample)
  5. Benjamin Moore Cloud White (order a sample)
  6. Benjamin Moore White Dove (order a sample)
  7. Sherwin Williams Cheviot (order a sample)

Stay posted, and we’ll go over each of these whites in a little more detail. But first, let’s take a deep-dive into Northern exposure and how it reeeally affects your wall color.

Can I Use White Paint in Northern Exposure?

Yes, yes, yes! You can absolutely use white paint in a room with Northern exposure. BUT… As you might have already discovered, choosing the right white is crucial in this type of lighting.

(I’m crossing my fingers that you aren’t here because you recently learned that the hard way.)

Seriously, though – if you’re set on painting your North-facing space white, fear not! At least one of the whites listed in this article should work beautifully in your home. 

If you’re short on time, you can simply try out samples of all my white recommendations to see which is your favorite. Or you can continue reading to learn more about choosing the perfect white paint color for your North facing room.

Use code FIRSTFIVE for a discount on your first Samplize order!

What Paint Finish For a North Facing Room?

Because glare isn’t as big an issue with North-facing walls, you could get away with a higher shine in this space if that’s what you desire. But more importantly, before choosing a sheen, you should consider the state of the walls and the amount of durability and washability required in this particular space.

The most common options include:

  • Flat/Matte: no shine, not washable, little durability
  • Eggshell: little shine, little washability and durability
  • Satin: medium shine, average washability and durability
  • Semi-Gloss: shiny, washable, and durable
  • Gloss: very shiny, washable, and durable

I typically buy paint in the lowest sheen I can get away with for any particular room. 

In kitchens and bathrooms, as in high traffic areas, you’ll naturally need a higher amount of washability, durability, and moisture resistance. Satin is usually sufficient in these rooms.

On the other hand, in a space where that’s not really an issue, or perhaps the walls have lots of imperfections, the lower the sheen, the better.

Semi-gloss and gloss are common choices for trim and millwork.

Understanding North-facing Rooms

I think we can all agree that a North-facing room is any space with windows on the Northern side of the building. But what’s the big deal about that? Why would a window’s direction even matter in Interior Design, you wonder?

Lighting is everything, my friend. 

Sure, artificial lighting is part of the equation, so don’t discount the importance of good lighting design. But during daylight hours, natural light can make or break your space.

A few things you should know:

  • Unless you also have natural light coming from another direction, North facing rooms don’t receive any direct sunlight during the day.
  • Unless you have LOTS of windows, rooms with Northern exposure can feel extremely dark and dreary.
  • Northern light is cool, and can give off a blue or gray cast – which will only enhance any cool tones in your paint color (and not in a good way!).

So, when you’re painting your space white, it’s always a great idea to understand your lighting situation. You’ll also want to understand undertones – at least, the very basics.

Because ALL whites have undertones.

Some have more cool (blue, green, purple) undertones, while others are a little warmer (yellow, red, orange). And when it comes to rooms with North-facing windows, you’ll definitely want to look at the warmer end of the spectrum.

However, keep in mind that extremely warm colors could end up looking a little garish in Northern lighting, which is why I always recommend trying out samples in your space before committing. (More on that later, though!)

Don’t worry; I don’t expect you to suddenly understand everything there is to know about lighting and undertones after reading a blog post about it – after all, you’re just here for my recommendations, right?!

1. Sherwin Williams Oyster White

oyster white

Oyster White is a soft, creamy white with a green-beige undertone. Compared to some of the others on this list, it’s a little on the cooler side, but it still has enough warmth to work beautifully in a room with Northern exposure. 

And while it’s fairly light, Oyster White sits just on the border between white and off-white – you’ll notice that it has a nice contrast when paired with a bright white.

2. Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee

swiss coffee

A popular paint color, Swiss Coffee is a warm white that has a yellow-gray undertone. As long as it plays well with the other undertones in your space, Swiss Coffee could be a delectable choice for your North facing room. 

3. Sherwin Williams Pure White

pure white

If you’ve read any of my other blog posts, you’ll already know that Pure White comes highly recommended for nearly any space. It’s a soft, passively warm white. 

It’s definitely not ideal for Warm White Lovers, though, since it’ll cool off significantly in Northern exposure. That said, it won’t look terribly icy cold, either – you’ll get a nice, crisp-and-clean effect.

4. Sherwin Williams Alabaster


Alabaster is a true WARM white with yellow undertones. If you’re looking to warm up your space significantly and you’re particularly going for a warmer effect on your walls, Alabaster could be a great choice. But if you want a clean white-white, then you perhaps steer clear of this one.

5. Benjamin Moore Cloud White

cloud white

A subtle, creamy off-white, Benjamin Moore’s Cloud White has warm yellow undertones. But despite the yellow that often shows up in warmer lighting types, Cloud White should look like a neutral white in your cool, Northern lighting.

6. Benjamin Moore White Dove

white dove

Like the previously-mentioned Sherwin Williams Pure White, Benjamin Moore’s White Dove is a softer white. It has just enough creamy warmth to counteract the coolness in a North facing room, but not so much that it’ll look visibly yellow.

7. Sherwin Williams Cheviot


Cheviot is a brighter white with a warm undertone – the perfect choice if you want a clean, crisp look in your room with Northern exposure.


When it comes to choosing the best white paints for North facing rooms, you’ll want to look for something on the warmer side (without getting too warm). The whites in this post are all great choices with varying undertones. 

However, keep your personal preference for warm or cool whites in mind; if you like cooler tones, then look for a slightly warm white, but go a lot warmer if you prefer warm whites.

Of course, depending on the other colors and materials in your space, some may work better than others. Want to test all seven of these colors in your home? You can grab the entire bundle of peel-and-stick samples right here

Read More: 

The Best Farmhouse White Paint Colors for the Modern Home

10 of the Best Benjamin Moore White Paint Colors for Your Interior

4 Best Sherwin Williams White Paint Colors for Interior Trim

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