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How ‘white’ is that white emulsion paint?

Posted by Celtic Sustainables on

It may sound like a trick question but it’s one we get asked quite a lot here at Celtic Sustainables and that’s because the colour of white paint often varies from one brand to another.

Most commercial paints get their colour from the addition of pigments and for white, that’s usually titanium dioxide. This may lead you to think that all white paints should look the same but there are other ingredients in paint that differ from one brand to another, which not only results in different shades of white paint but also different textures, finishes and performance too.

So which white paint is the whitest? 

To try to help answer that question, we created a comparison brush-out board featuring our top 12 white emulsion paints to see how they compare.

Which paint is the Whitest - eco friendly white paint colour comparison

As with all colours viewed online, the colours in our chart above will look different from one device screen to another but hopefully you’ll be able to see that there’s some variation.

Painting onto a mid-grey coloured board, our emulsions were applied in 2 coats with the exception of Keim Innostar which required only 1 coat.

The Results

We were really pleased to see that all our emulsions performed very well, with good coverage and very good whiteness. Earthborn Claypaint was found to be the creamiest white of all which was as we’d expected, since the clay base used in this luxurious paint makes it pretty impossible to tint to a brilliant white. For the rest, there were very small margins between them, but we’ve done our best to place them in order of whiteness.

Starting with the whitest paint for walls and ceilings…

1st AURO524 Premium Emulsion – Our top bright white paint by a very slim margin. This natural, non-toxic, very washable emulsion is great for use in high traffic areas as well as kitchens, bathrooms and commercial projects. It’s Vegan Friendly, Cruelty Free and is highly breathable with almost no odour.

2nd Graphenstone GrafClean – there was very little between this and the No 1 spot. Graphenstone’s revolutionary natural vegetable resin paint uses graphene technology to create an outstanding modern mineral paint that can be used on a wide variety of different surfaces both inside and out. With an ultra matt finish, it’s breathable, washable and flexible which means that it’s highly resistant to cracking.

3rd Eico Alterior Matt – Manufactured from 100% acrylic (made in a carbon-neutral factory), this eco friendly, non-yellowing, water based matt emulsion is really hard wearing, has great covering power and can be used on many different surfaces.

4th Graphenstone Nevada Ultra – An eco friendly and cost effective matt trade emulsion, perfect for ceilings. Highly breathable and with low VOC’s it can be used on most surfaces. Nevada Ultra also makes the perfect ‘mist coat’ for use on new plaster.

5th Earthborn Lifestyle Emulsion – From the same ‘Classic’ range as Claypaint, ‘Lifestyle’ is Earthborn’s washable emulsion which is great for busier areas of the home as well as rooms with higher humidity such as kitchens and bathrooms. (May need an extra coat if applied over a dark colour first.)

6th AURO344 Natural Lime Paint – Is a professional quality high grade lime paint which can be used on both interior and exterior surfaces. Moisture-vapour permeable, it naturally prevents mould growth, has excellent opacity and is also odour free.

7th Keim Innostar – A slightly textured interior matt white sol-silicate paint which is odour free, has very low VOC’s and gives superb coverage. Unlike most other emulsions, it requires only 1 coat of paint (even on new plaster) making it a real time-saver!

8th Nordfärg VAGG – a high quality, hard wearing, water based interior matt paint that requires no primer. Nordfärg’s VAAG emulsion has excellent eco credentials having achieved ‘Nordic Swan’ status which is awarded only when the highest of standards are met from manufacturing right through to the finished product. At the time of writing, it is also the only emulsion paint that has been approved by Allergy UK. Web page coming soon, please contact us further information.

9th AURO321 Natural Emulsion – Auro’s economical natural white emulsion is vegan friendly and virtually VOC free. It has a matt finish and can be used on many different internal surfaces.

10th AURO327 Anti Mould Paint- A naturally mould resistant paint for interior walls and ceilings. It’s virtually VOC free, solvent free, lime based and breathable and is ideal for areas with high levels of condensation like bathrooms and around windows.

11th Earthborn EcoPro Matt Emulsion – An economical water based eco friendly matt white emulsion paint that has good covering power and is low in VOC’s. It’s great for walls, ceilings and especially on new gypsum plaster.

12th Earthborn Claypaint – with a luxurious ultra-matt finish, Earthborn’s Claypaint is a softer creamier off white piant than the rest. It’s highly breathable and virtually VOC free with fantastic covering power. It’s odour free too and static resistant which makes it less likely to attract dust - great for allergy sufferers!

Our Conclusion

With the exception of Earthborn’s creamy white Claypaint, which many people choose because of its softer appearance, the rest of the paints we tested all gave a fresh white colour which we feel would look great whether painted as a single colour in a room or as a contrasting colour as part of a scheme. Because of this you may want to consider some of their other attributes, to help you choose the one that’s most suitable for you. Things to consider could be cost, what you are painting onto, whether previously painted or not, whether breathability is important, what type of finish you want and so on.

If you’re still in any doubt as to which paint to choose – you can always contact our sales team here at Celtic Sustainables who are always happy to help and advise.