Boxwood Avenue

The Perfect White: Bistro White by Valspar

livingChloe | Boxwood Ave.Comment

Today Greg and I made a special trip to Reno (about 2.5 hours away from us) for two reasons. Reason A) I had a nail appointment (imperative), reason B) We needed to go to Home Depot. I know, both very important tasks, and definitely worth the drive. 

Get a list of the internet's best white paint colors at the end of this post!

Both of my best friends scheduled their nail appointments at the same time as me, so it was one big party in the salon. My favorite kind of afternoon. Afterwards, Greg and I drove into Carson City (the beautiful capital of Nevada that no one has ever heard of), to meet my uncle at the Home Depot with two specific shopping list items: paint, and recessed lighting necessities. 

I mentioned we are beginning the remodel this weekend, starting with the pantry. Since we have not removed the metal baseboard heating system, the pantry is the only room we can start on. And since I have zero patience, it seems like the best idea I've had all year. A sane person might consider waiting and starting with one of the bathrooms that is 'out of order' - but no, pantry it is. 

Never try to tell an interior designer all whites are equal. All whites are not equal!

Never try to tell an interior designer all whites are equal. All whites are not equal!

One of the many tasks of living outside of a city, is that you've really gotta be good at preparing. Something that doesn't come natural to me. I am definitely not a grocery list kind of girl. I'm more of go to the grocery store with no plan, then park my cart in the middle of an aisle while browsing Pinterest for a dinner idea. 

Anyways, the trip to Home Depot today required a little bit of pre-planning. We didn't have time for me to sit down in the middle of an aisle on Pinterest searching for the perfect white. And I most certainly did not have the patience to buy samples of white paint to test before pulling the trigger on two five gallon buckets. So I did a bit of research on the drive down. The verdict of my research: buy Valspar's Bistro White. Except I read it as "Bristo White" - maybe I have a little dyslexia, maybe it was the Cheesecake Factory margarita, or maybe it was the fact that my reading comprehension has tanked since college, whatever it was, I read "Bristo White". So when I walked up to the Home Depot paint counter (surrounded by Behr signage), and asked for "Valspar's Bristo White", the paint lady looked at me as if I was the only donkey in a pen full of horses.

"Well, we only sell Behr products."

Right. That would explain the signs.

Boxwood Avenue

"But, I have a code book that I can use to look up other company's colors, and mix it for you."


"Okay, awesome! I will need 2 five gallon buckets of Valspar's Bristo White."

She went back to her little book of secrets and searched for the ONLY white paint color acceptable, while I browsed the irresistible board of paint chips. By the time she came back, I was holding at least 600 samples, and I tried to hide the fact that I was thinking of DIY projects to make with them. 

"I'm sorry, but I can't find Bristo White. We have some other great whites though."

Was she crazy!? A white other than what the internet told me was the only white worthy of gracing my walls? My remodeling dreams were shattered, but in one last attempt to salvage the fact that we had driven 2.5 hours for this paint (made by a company they don't even good at preparation), I decided to google, "Behr alternatives for Valspar's Bristo White." But Google kept auto correcting Bristo to Bistro. Jeeze, even google was failing me...

Wait a second. Bristo and Bistro are super similar. Ding Ding Ding. A little bell went off in my head. I had read the paint color wrong initially, and had made up a brand new white: Bristo.

I had to swallow my pride and let her know, I was not in fact looking for Bristo White. I was in search of something with a much more sensible name: Bistro White. Luckily, she didn't get mad at the fact that she had wasted a good 15 minutes searching for a made up paint color, and laughed. 

She mixed me up two 5-gallon buckets of it, and we went on our way. I hope the statement is true that the internet never lies, because if this paint sucks, we're screwed. 

The kicker to this? Our local Ace carries Valspar. 

Did I ever tell you about the time I did this same thing at the tile store? Well that's a different story for a different day. Here's to the moments that make you laugh at yourself, because if you can't laugh at yourself, then you're in for one hell of a long ride. 

Just like life, perfectionism is in the eye of the beholder (that's how that quote goes right?)... There is no such thing as the "perfect" white, because each shade is going to look slightly different in each room, hence the fact that it was nuts of me to buy paint without testing it first... I simply don't care that much. However, if you're on the hunt for the perfect white, here are some great articles debating every kind of shade imaginable. 

 here, here, and here

Download a list of the internet's 8 favorite shades of white!