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How do you tint white paint to cream?

How do you tint white paint to cream?

Tinting white paint to a creamy off-white color is a great way to warm up and soften an interior space. While bright white paint works well in some settings, it can also feel stark, cold, and sterile. A creamy paint color adds subtle depth and visual interest while still maintaining a light and airy look. With just a few simple steps, you can easily tint any white paint to a warm and welcoming cream shade.

Benefits of Cream Paint

Here are some of the benefits of choosing a cream paint color over bright white:

  • Warmer and more inviting – Cream is warmer and more welcoming than stark white.
  • Softens hard surfaces – Cream helps soften the look of hard surfaces like tile, stone, and concrete.
  • Improves lighting – Creamy walls reflect light better than white, making rooms feel brighter.
  • Hides imperfections – The subtle color helps hide small dents, marks, or imperfections in walls.
  • Versatile – Cream works with any style from traditional to modern.

A cream paint color can transform any living space into a warmer and more inviting area. The soft tone makes an immediate impact on the look and feel of a room.

Choosing a Cream Paint Color

There are endless options when it comes to cream paint colors. Here are some popular shades to consider:

Paint Color Name Paint Brand
Whipped Cream Benjamin Moore
Clotted Cream Farrow & Ball
Navajo White Sherwin-Williams
Atrium White Behr
Dover White Valspar

Visit your local paint store to check out color swatch samples. Bring home a few different shades to test out. View the swatches at various times of day to see how the lighting affects the color. Choose a warm cream that has hints of beige or brown rather than stark white.

How Much Tint to Add

When tinting from white to cream, you will only need to add a small amount of colorant. For a gallon of paint, you’ll generally need 1-3 ounces of tint. Any more than that and the color will start to appear more yellow than cream.

The exact amount needed depends on:

  • Base paint color – More is needed if starting with bright rather than soft white.
  • Desired shade – Add more for a deeper cream color.
  • Finish type – More tint is required for flat rather than glossy.
  • Tint intensity – Some tints are more potent than others.

Ask your paint store expert for advice on the specific tints and ratios recommended for the brand and type of paint you are using. A paint colorant system allows them to add precise measurements to get your perfect cream color.

Choosing a Tint Color

You will add small amounts of brown, yellow, red, or other tints to shift the white paint to a warmer cream shade. Here are some color options:

  • Yellow – Adds a creamy eggshell look.
  • Brown – Creates a soft fawn or tan.
  • Beige – Produces a warm neutral cream.
  • Red – Brings in a hint of pink or peach.

The color you choose will depend on the specific look you are going for. Keep in mind that a little bit of tint goes a long way. For most DIY jobs, a single ounce or less is plenty to start. You can always add more if needed.

Tinting the Paint

Tinting paint is a fast and easy process when you purchase the materials at a reputable paint store. Here is the step-by-step process:

  1. Choose your base paint color. Most often you will use a bright white or soft white. Make sure to buy enough to complete your project.
  2. Select a tint color and decide how much you want to add. Start with a small amount and increase as needed.
  3. At the paint counter, ask an associate to add the measured tint into your can of base white paint. They will expertly measure and integrate the colorant.
  4. Shake or stir the paint thoroughly to fully blend in the added tint.
  5. Bring home a sample board or paper cup filled with the tinted paint to test out the color.
  6. Adjust and add more tint as needed until you get the perfect cream color.
  7. Professionally tinted paint ensures the cream color will be consistent across all the paint cans. Store sample boards allow you to bring home multiple shades to view before deciding on your favorite.

    Tinting Tips

    Follow these tips when tinting white paint to cream:

  • Premix the white base paint before adding tint to ensure uniform consistency.
  • Shake or stir well after adding tint to fully incorporate the colorant.
  • Tint all cans needed for the job to prevent color discrepancies.
  • Save and label leftover tinted paint for future touch-ups.
  • Apply a primer if painting over a darker color for truest cream results.
  • Test on a sample board or wall before committing to the full project.

Taking these simple precautions helps ensure you will achieve the perfect cream paint color.

Tinting Lamp Black into White Paint

While colored tints shift white paint to cream, adding pure black (Lamp Black) creates unique grayish off-whites. Lamp Black has a strong pigment, so only a tiny amount is needed. Here is the method:

  1. Choose white base paint – brighter whites create more contrast.
  2. Add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon Lamp Black tint per gallon of paint.
  3. Mix thoroughly before painting.
  4. Adjust in 1/4 teaspoon increments to reach desired shade.

Too much black will result in a dark gray. Target a light to medium gray with subtle black undertones.

Paint Brands To Use

You can tint any brand of white latex interior paint to cream, but here are a few top-rated options:

Paint Brand Known For
Behr Affordable, excellent hide
Benjamin Moore Durable, premium finishes
Sherwin-Williams Wide selection, color accuracy
Valspar Anti-yellowing, smooth application

Be sure to choose latex paint which offers easier cleanup and fewer fumes than oil-based options. Ask your local paint retailer to recommend a top-quality white base specific to your project needs.

Applying the Paint

When painting with your tinted cream color, follow these application tips:

  • Use high-quality brushes and rollers for best coverage.
  • Apply two coats allowing proper drying time between.
  • Maintain a wet edge to prevent lap marks as you paint.
  • Work in sections starting closest to the light source.
  • Use a mini roller for large areas, trim brush for edges and lines.
  • Finish with the same sheen level throughout for visual consistency.

Proper technique ensures the tinted cream paint will have an even finish throughout the space.

Cleaning Your Cream Painted Walls

Cream paint needs to be cleaned a bit differently than white walls. Follow these tips to keep your painted space looking fresh:

  • Dust frequently using a microfiber cloth to prevent dirt buildup.
  • Vacuum gently using a soft brush attachment.
  • Spot clean marks and smudges using a mild soap and damp sponge.
  • Blot gently instead of rubbing to prevent damaging the finish.
  • Avoid abrasive cleaners which can scrub away the paint.
  • Touch up any problem areas with the leftover tinted paint.

With proper care and maintenance, your tinted cream walls will maintain their pristine look for years to come.


Tinting white paint is an easy and affordable way to liven up tired walls and ceilings with a cream color. The subtle change adds warmth and visual interest to any room. With just a small amount of professional colorant added to off-the-shelf white paint, you can achieve a customized creamy shade. Carefully test samples before committing to the full project space. Apply using proper painting techniques. Maintain your cream walls by cleaning gently. In no time you can transform dull white spaces into welcoming oases with this simple and low-cost paint upgrade.