Choosing a Paint Color to Sell Your Home? It’s Not White!
For decades, when you got ready to sell your house, the conventional wisdom was to paint all the walls back to white. But that is SO yesterday! White …. the color of snow & ice … does absolutely nothing to warm up a house. It doesn’t highlight architectural features and it doesn’t enhance the colors of your wood, granite or other finishes. To sell your property today, it’s best to use soft warm decorator colors that are current. That way they not only look beautiful in the home, but will go with the existing furnishings of your prospective buyers and remind them of the beautiful new furnishings and colors they have been eyeing at the stores in anticipation of their new home.
A professional paint color consultation will help you paint out the colors that turn buyers off and select ones that appeal to them.
Accent Walls: Which walls should be accented? Where should the accent color start and stop? An accent wall can create or enhance a focal point or it can highlight architectural interest. It might be the wall with the fireplace, built in shelving, or the wall that soars up two stories. Selecting the wrong wall for your accent can pull focus away from important features of your house or even make a room feel unbalanced, which most people sense as a vague feeling of discomfort in the room, even if they can’t put their finger on why it feels that way.
Red Walls: I’m afraid that the news here is you need to paint those out! Although many people like to paint dining rooms red, and I see them all the time, red walls stop most buyers in their tracks. Any broker will tell you that they get negative feedback when showing properties that have bold red walls of any shade. Red is a tough sell. Why leave something in your home that has the potential to turn off so many people? When I stage a home, I can mitigate some of that impact through the use of art and accessories … but doing both the painting and the staging will give you the most attractive results.
The same goes for any bright, bold or “too deep” colors. If the color names “sunny yellow” “hunter green” “peach” “federal blue” “maroon” or “burgundy” can be used to describe any of your rooms, then a paint color consultation is in your future.
Even though guests in your home over the years have always said they love your colors, don’t fool yourself into thinking that means the colors can stay. The problem here is that when guests come over they aren’t thinking of living in your house! I, too, would have to paint out my own beloved accent walls if I put my house on the market. So, don’t take it personally, it has nothing to do with having good or bad taste. It’s all about wide appeal.
The “Right” Colors: If I could tell you here the exact colors to use, I would do it … but it isn’t that simple. When I choose paint colors for a property going on the market, I look at the wood tones in floors, cabinetry, doors & moldings, and also consider any finishes such as granite colors, fireplace stones, carpeting, tiles, amount of light and exterior house colors as well. The colors of the house should flow from the outside to the inside and the colors in all rooms should work well enough together (not change radically) so that as you walk through the property, you always feel you are in the same house.
Colors that are soft and a little “smoky” or “creamy” work better than very pure colors. Think of colors like toast – caramel – taupe – sage & muted water colors.
Finishes: The right finish – satin – eggshell – flat – will make a difference too. In general flat, or matte finishes are very forgiving if your walls are not in perfect condition. They also look the most “true” to color because they don’t reflect a lot of light. Satin or eggshell finish paints have a little bit of a sheen to them. They show imperfections in the walls so you need to prep your walls more carefully. They are very good for kitchen & baths where the walls may need to be cleaned often. Use semi-gloss for moldings. High Gloss paint is generally best for painting cabinetry.
Sustainable: Remember to select paints that are “Green” – no I don’t mean the color! There’s just no good reason not to use paints with zero or low VOC’s. They are readily available and only run about $5 more per gallon than the ones with the nasty chemicals. Your prospective buyers will be happy that they don’t smell your new paint, and most of them will consider it a positive point about your property. Devine Color and Yolo Colorhouse are two locally produced, eco-friendly paint lines and I recommend them both! The paint color samples at the top of this post are from Devine Color. Both brands are sold at Powell Paint Center in Portland.
If you are in the Portland area and are getting ready to sell, please call me for your professional paint color consultation. Or, if you just want to freshen up your home, then a paint color consultation can help you select the right colors for your personal taste and style. Call today at 503.816.4394
Pangaea Interior Design is a full service firm specializing in residential projects and also offering home staging.