In this article, you will learn about Signal White and Traffic White colors including a side-by-side comparison. If you are considering either of these colors, the following information will help you make the right decision.

signal white and traffic white wall art

Signal White vs Traffic White

Both Signal White and Traffic White are strong, bold white colors that are formulated to stand out against other colors.

While neither of these colors is as clean and bold as a bright white, they will work against intense colors such as Stop Sign Red or Road Sign Green to provide important information to travelers.

signal white and traffic white wall art above a sofa

Signal White

Signal White is a fairly well-balanced white color slightly towards the warm end of the spectrum. Many signals and sign paints are formulated with reflective products to make them more visible.

signal white wall art

These colors are often paired with “pure” shades or colors that are very close to 255 on the RGB scale.

These whites are often used as contrasting shades. Study a sports jersey. It may feature black numbers on a bold shade, but the numbers are outlined in white to make them pop.

That white border is often Signal White or a similar color. The matched, consistent combination of red and green takes the edge off the white and the blue adds a tiny touch of gray so the white border steps back a bit against the primary color of the jersey and the black center of the number or logo.

Can you use Signal White or something similar in your home? Yes, but it’s important that you don’t think of this as a simple color application.

signal white infographic

Every shade, including white, will be impacted by the color of light it’s exposed to. Additionally, your choice to cover any dark colors will require you to use at least one coat of primer.

Finally, white walls will show every scratch, ding, and scar. If your walls have been beaten up in the past by wallpaper removal or similar damage, you may be very unhappy with Signal White as a decorating choice.

Curiously, this color may read gray in the right light. If your space gets a lot of natural light, you may want to use a brighter shade of white that includes more blue to actually get a pure white tone in a bright room.

Over time and in a space with a lot of windows, Signal White may start to take on the look of dirty snow.

That being said, you can use this graying tendency to good effect. For example, you can use charcoal gray for an accent wall.

While there really is no such thing as a “plain” white wall, white does tend to make a space feel a bit colder.

If you have a black leather or suede furniture set, look for ways to add warmth to your color scheme with a teal throw, brick red cushions, or smoky plum drapes.

RGB: 236, 236, 232
Hex Code: #ECECE8

Traffic White

Traffic white is slightly warmer than Signal White. In a room that gets a lot of sunlight, this color will tend to read cream or ivory.

traffic white wall art

If you prefer a light wall color in your space but tend to decorate with warm shades, this color can work both as a wall paint and a trim paint.

If you really wanted ivory, pair Traffic White with cool shades to bump up the yellow as a contrast. Got a tan sofa? Add navy cushions or a ruby throw and see if it brings out the slight warmth of this paint.

Rich green plants can also provide contrast. If the space reads ivory or cream during the daytime, use warm light bulbs or add shades to increase the yellow reflection off the walls.

When putting up white paint, do pay special attention to sheen. Flat and eggshell paint is the most forgiving, particularly if your walls are uneven or in need of eventual repair.

Kitchen and Bath paint is formulated to reject moisture and will have a bit of gloss to it. Trim paint has even more gloss.

traffic white color infographic

The more gloss a paint has, the less room there is for pigment. If you’re putting white paint on a wall that used to be navy blue or hunter green, prime it first with a stain-blocking primer and a high-quality roller.

Cheap rollers tend to stripe where paint squeezes out at the edge, and because priming paint has a sticky quality anyway, a cheap roller job with primer will never disappear with your top coat.

It should be said that paint prep is not fun. In fact, taking everything off the walls, washing and rinsing them, patching, sanding and priming can feel especially labor intensive if all you want to do is put on that new color!

However, poor paint prep will be with you for a long time. You’ll be much happier if you take the time to do it right.

RGB: 240, 239, 233
Hex Code: #F0EFE9

traffic white wall art over a desk

White Paint = Playtime!

One of the nice things about a plain white paint is that this color can often be found for less money. If you have an interest in trying to mix your own colors, check out your local Habitat ReStore or a paint recycling center.

Invest in large buckets so you can eventually mix all your whites together; each new gallon paint can may have a new tint.

In addition to all this white paint, visit your local hardware store and pick up interesting paint colors from the mismatch shelves. To start playing with your own blends, find a white cardboard box and cut it up so you have several flat panels where you can blend wet paint.

(If you don’t have paint clothes yet, you will. Just wear something you don’t care about.)

Drip a little white paint on your first chunk of cardboard and start adding a drop or two of your scratch and dent color.

Don’t be surprised if you get more than just a pastel version of your scratch and dent color; white paint can be quite complicated.

Let the samples dry completely and see if you come up with something you like. Use the full “oops” paint as an accent wall and use the less intense shade on the other walls in your space.

As long as you mix latex to latex and oil to oil, you’ll be fine.

Do invest in a paddle blender that you can use in a drill to mix up large batches of white paint, such as a 5-gallon bucket. If you have a source for great volumes of latex, do try to get them shaken up before you leave the store.

Even with a paddle blender, a sludgy can of paint will take a long time to blend.

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