Ahearn White: Paint Secrets Revealed (Updated)


Today we are going to tell you a secret. It’s something people ask us all of the time – and we understand why. Choosing the perfect paint color is hard, especially if – like us – you love the look and timeless sophistication of white interiors. But white color choices can be positively daunting. With literally hundreds of white paints and finishes to choose from, what, we are asked, is our signature, “Ahearn White?”

Let’s first consider why white paint can be so tricky. The lighter the paint color, the more affected it is by light. White is highly reflective and can take on endless characteristics based on the time of day. For example, depending on a room’s lighting, a shade of white with no apparent sign of pink or yellow in the paint sample can suddenly take on those color hues during the day. And, with its high reflectivity, some whites can read as stark or institutional, while others can feel too neutral, lacking in depth. So, the question then becomes, what white is just right?

The paint color we use on every house interior, coined “Ahearn White” by our countless clients, is a shade that reads beautifully throughout the home’s changing light. We want our rooms to exude the feeling of antique white during the daytime without appearing overly yellow when transitioning to the evening. And, we long for a white that feels neither too warm nor too cool. So, through endless trial and error, we found a color that meets or even exceeds our client’s expectations for the perfect white.

Are you ready?

Our signature white is a combination of two colors from Benjamin Moore’s off-white color collection: 50% China White and 50% Linen White. Believe it or not, Linen White itself is a compilation of 152 white and off white colors! And, China White, described as having “the soft, subtle patina of fine china,” is decidedly sophisticated on its own. The combination of these two colors results in a gorgeous and highly versatile shade of white we use in all of our homes.

Where can you find Ahearn White? Simply visit your local retailer that carries Benjamin Moore paints and ask for a mix of 50% China White and 50% Linen White. Should there be any confusion about mixing this combination, fear not! Ahearn White was initially created by taking a quart of China White and a quart of Linen White, pouring them together into a five-gallon bucket, and stirring. If your local retailer won’t do it for you, we recommend combining quarts with two separate gallons of paint, each mixed per standard Ben Moore formulation. It really can be that simple.

Thanks to recent progress in paints, we now specify our blend of Ahearn White in Benjamin Moore Advance paint. On the walls, we use Ahearn White in Ben Moore Advance Matte Interior paint. For the trim, we use the same Ahearn White color blend, but we specify Satin Interior finish. The satin finish gives a similar look as oil based paint without the detriment of yellowing over time and with the added benefit of being much more environmentally-friendly. Using the same color on walls and trim but in different finishes, we create a clean canvas upon which to layer furnishings and artwork while highlighting the subtleties and character of our architecture.

If visions of Ahearn White on your walls have you reimagining your home’s interior, contact us to learn how we might approach the project. In the interim, we invite you to find inspiration in our portfolio.

Originally posted February 28th, 2019.
Revised September 30th, 2021.