When you go to buy paint, you think it’s going to be easy. It’s white…how many white’s can there actually be? Well…a lot as it turns out. Today I’m going to explain some of the differences in the ones that I use.

Weber Permalba Original White  Is my personal favorite opaque white for oil paint. It has a smooth creamy feel that is great to work with. It is a zinc/titanium mix. Not quite as opaque as titanium but to be honest I have never needed my whites to be more opaque than I can get with this one.

Titanium White is an opaque white. I prefer the Weber Permalba  myself for my opaque white. The titanium white is more opaque than the permalba. For my acrylics I generally use the Liquitex basics for this one.

Flake White (oil paint)  This is a stiffer white than titanium. It is a warmer white and a lot of artists prefer this to the titanium. This is not quite as opaque as titanium white.

Zinc White (oil), Transparent mixing white (acrylic)  is my next favorite white paint.  For oils I use one by Winsor & Newton.  For acrylics I use the liquitex heavy bodied transparent mixing white. This is a transparent white (as indicated by the acrylic name). It is a cool (blueish)  white, so keep that in mind. This white can be mixed with other colors to lighten them up without making them opaque like the titanium white would do. This is the only white that I glaze with because the opaque whites when glazing create a foggy look. This one doesn’t!

Winsor & Newton also makes a white called transparent mixing white that is not as transparent as zinc white.


Unbleached titanium white was not one of my must haves for years. That is sort of funny because I go through this stuff like crazy now. It’s a more cream color. I used to just mix my own when I wanted this color. The thing is, its a shade that is used SO often in painting that it’s really worth buying a full tube of this color.


For more information on my preferences, and warnings about some of these paints, check out my video 😀