Why is Brilliant White Not Brilliant White?

Updated Feb 18, 2024 | Posted Jan 6, 2022 | Professional insight, Product Advice | 1 comment

Well, today was a new one for me, in all my years in the decorating trade

The site manager asked me on this current job what paint I wanted. They’ve got accounts, so it’s easier for them to order online. I told him I wanted Zinsser Allcoat exterior satin in Brilliant white.

The paint turned up and looks a tad bluey. I just assumed that was normal for a sharp white, as some look a bit bluey in certain lights. Besides which, some paints dry a slightly different shade as they are when they’re wet.

I double check the ral colour on tin and it came back with brilliant white, so carried on regardless. After all, I’ve never been lied to by a tin of paint in the past.


When the job was practically done, I kept looking at the work and thinking the colour was off. It was definitely a white, just not pure. A few people on site even commented on the blue tinge in the paint. I double checked again and again. The ral colour was for “brilliant white”! There was definitely something wrong with it though.


Now here’s where it gets nuts:

I ring up the supplier who we ordered the paint from and pointed out the issue. I gave them the ral colour code. They told me “it’s brilliant white”

“But it looks bluey/green, are you sure it’s brilliant white?”

“The code you have is a ral colour called brilliant white.”

“Are you serious, it’s got a bluey/green tinge.”

Guy from the supplier who sold me the paint comes on. “yes I can see on screen what colour it is, but it’s what we sell as brilliant white”.


“So your selling minty white as brilliant stark white? How on earth is any decorator going to know they’re getting this colour when we’ve asked for brilliant white??”

“Well we’ve provided you with brilliant white, the ral colour brilliant white”

“We wanted brill white, never wanted a ral colour”

Am I missing something here?? If I worked in a paint shop and someone ordered some “brilliant White” paint, I think I’d double check with the customer before selling them a blue or a green!!

So, we are now left with white tinged mint windows, but it’s the ral colour brilliant white.

Never heard so much crap in my life.

Why is brilliant white not brilliant white?

Blog by Mark Williams (Professional Decorator)

Updated Feb 18, 2024 | Posted Jan 6, 2022 | 1 comment

1 Comment

  1. Heather

    We have painted all our interior doors and skirting with this paint, it’s definitely white. No tinge at all. Got through about 8 pots of paint. We’ve also painted a wooden unit. Definitely bright pure white, so something is off with your paint


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