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Top twenty colours

The Resene Top 20 colours features a range of popular Resene whites and neutrals, ideal for your projects inside and out accented by stronger and brighter hues to lift the colour scheme.

View popular Resene colours: Reds | Yellows | Oranges | Greens | Blues | Violets | Browns | Greys/blacks | Wood stains

Based on sales, the most popular Resene colours are...

Resene Black White
no. 1
Resene Black White

A calcite grey white, chalky and soft.

Resene Alabaster
no. 2
Resene Alabaster

A near white with a light blackened edge.

Resene Half Black White
no. 3
Resene Half Black White

A cool white with a mysterious shadowy edge to it.

Resene Double Alabaster
no. 4
Resene Sea Fog

A versatile white with a hint of grey, best used with muted rather than bright colours.

Resene Double Alabaster
no. 5
Resene Double Alabaster

A bisque white, delicately shaded towards grey.

Resene Quarter Black White
no. 6
Resene Quarter Black White

A white with a nebulous hint of grey hiding in its depths.

Resene Half Sea Fog
no. 7
Resene Half Sea Fog

A a barely there black edged white.

White Pointer
no. 8
Resene White Pointer

A diffused neutral - stark off-white with a hint of black.

Resene Black
no. 9
Resene Black

An ebonised lamp black.

Resene Rice Cake
no. 10
Resene Rice Cake

A sharp clean yellow white, tasty with strong colours.

Resene Quarter Tea
no. 11
Resene Quarter Tea

A muted softly complex beige.

Resene Merino
no. 12
Resene Merino

A light and versatile off-white with a green oxide undertone.

Resene Half Alabaster
no. 13
Resene Half Alabaster

A hint of blackened white, an understated backdrop.

Resene Half White Pointer
no. 14
Resene Half White Pointer

A shadow of grey, white and taupe, genteel and well mannered.

Resene Eighth Thorndon Cream
no. 15
Resene Double Black White

A shadow of moody greyed white, deliberate and dense.

Resene Half Rice Cake
no. 16
Resene Half Rice Cake

A clean starchy white with the tiniest touch of yellow in it.

Resene Half Tea
no. 17
Resene Half Tea

A lightened complex dirty neutral.

Resene Half Spanish White
no. 18
Resene Double Sea Fog

A classic greyed pavement white that gives off the look of barely wet concrete.

Resene Pitch Black
no. 19
Resene Pitch Black

A tar creosote black.

Resene All Black
no. 20
Resene All Black

A New Zealand iconic black, sporty and staunch.

A whiter shade of pale

If the unique properties of white are used skilfully, it is easy to create warm-soft and cool-crisp colour combinations. Too often it is chosen by default with no regard for its image – 'White is Right'!

Ceiling? White. Window sashes? White. Picket fences? White. Door and skirtings? White.

Some famous interior designers have made their mark in the world of design by the almost exclusive use of white. Syrie Maugham springs to mind in the period between the 1st and 2nd World Wars and latterly Ralph Lauren. He is quoted as saying, 'In my own life and in my home, white is everywhere'.

White need not look stark – subtle off whites are very easy to live with. Paintings, furniture, fabric and plants add their own colour, texture and energy as does timber flooring and architectural detailing. Walls painted white allow other features to have dominance – i.e. furniture will stand out more in a white room as will a beautiful view to the outdoor landscape.

White has many moods. It is associated with light and can make spaces appear brighter, however it is wise to remember it is essentially cool. The south facing room that has bad light will not suddenly be fixed with a coat of white paint. In fact, it may end up looking even darker and chillier. This phenomenon is due to the reflectiveness of white. White is highly reflective, maximising any available light, thus drawing attention to any deficiencies. A more effective way to lighten a room is to paint the ceilings and window frames pure white to direct all natural light into the room.

In living rooms, whites can look arty and comfortable, or cool and elegant. If the look you favour is rustic simplicity, combine textured fabrics with natural materials like stone, wood and brick. If an elegant look is preferred, combine whites with reflective sheens and light filmy drapes. In the bathroom, a timeless crystalline look can be developed with white tiles, velvety walls and wooden or marble floors. It is at once holistic and cleansing, reflecting the watery medium.

For a touch of White Magic use gloss and matt paint in wide stripes on walls and hang crystal prisms in the windows and watch the sunlight make rainbows every morning.

So think white – right? Right!

Decorating with whites and neutrals...

See the Resene Whites & Neutrals colour chart and The Range Whites & Neutrals for a great range of popular Resene whites and neutrals hues.

When choosing neutrals, one quick way to create a colour scheme is to choose strengths of the same colour, such as full strength on the walls, double strength on the doors (helps to hide fingermarks) and eighth or quarter strength on the ceiling.

Vary the sheen level surface to surface to accentuate the colour differences. Try Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen on walls, Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss waterborne enamel on trims and joinery and Resene SpaceCote Flat on ceilings.

Always try out your colours using a Resene testpot in the area you plan to paint before you start your painting project – that’s the best way to confirm the colour looks right before you start painting. You can also can order drawdowns online.

Top 20 colours:   | 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2016 | 2014 | 2011 | 2010 |

View popular Resene colours:  | Reds | Oranges | Yellows | Greens | Blues | Violets | Browns | Greys/blacks | Wood stains

Resene has changed the way it measures and creates electronic colours – read more


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Colours shown on this website are a representation only. Please refer to the actual paint or product sample. Resene colour charts, testpots and samples are available for ordering online.   See measurements/conversions for more details on how electronic colour values are achieved.