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The Best Colors to Paint Your House for Resale Value

A for sale signs is posted in front of a home.

Getting ready to sell your house? Choosing the right paint colors can make a big difference, and it’s surprisingly intuitive to find the right hues.

No matter what kind of market you’re in, having the right paint colors will always give your home a boost. Painting your house for resale not only gives it a fresh, clean look, but also can help prospective buyers feel “at home.” Let’s explore some of the best color options, both interior and exterior, that can boost your for-sale property from “meh” to “marvelous.”

The Best Interior Paint Colors for Selling Your Home

A living room is painted a neutral color and decorated with matching furnitures.

When in doubt, go with neutrals. That’s the best advice when it comes to painting the interior of your home for resale purposes. It’s based on one simple idea: when potential buyers tour the house while it’s up for sale, they should be able to imagine themselves living there.

In order to achieve that, you’ll want to give them as much of a blank slate as possible so that they can imagine it as their home, not your home.

These colors rise above the rest when it comes to painting to sell:

  • White: The ultimate neutral, white is the go-to for creating an open canvas for prospective homebuyers. Try to avoid whites that are too stark, however, as they can wind up feeling very sterile and uninviting. Instead, try a few swatches to see which shade works best with the lighting in your home, and choose a crisp, clean, and classic tone.
  • Beige/Taupe: For a slightly warmer feel that still keeps things in neutral, a soft taupe or beige shade can work wonders. These tones are especially good for the “homey” rooms, like bedrooms, where you want to add a little bit more warmth without going overboard.
  • Gray: Gray can be a great way to keep the neutral palette while adding a little more punch overall, but take your time picking out the right shade. Grays are notoriously tricky to pin down, and they tend to be very sensitive to the lighting conditions in your home. Test out a few different shades to see if a warm gray or a cool gray looks better in your space–and remember, you can always ask the folks at the paint counter to dilute the shade if you like the tones but find it a little too saturated.

If you absolutely must have non-neutral colors in your home, steer towards shades that are nearly neutral and that blend in smoothly with the rest of the home’s style. These colors typically work better in bedrooms, laundry rooms, entryways, and bathrooms than in “main” parts of the house like the kitchen or living room.

Options for a pop of color include:

  • Light blue: A pale blue can give a calming, refreshed feel to a space. The trick is choosing a tone that doesn’t feel like a nursery or the outside of an Easter egg. Instead, look for a cool, crisp hue with a slight gray undertone.
  • Blush: This warm, faint, beige-adjacent pink has slowly evolved into a shade that sits right on the line between color and neutral. Pick a shade that has just a hint of pink for a warm, inviting look without a saccharine pastel feel.

Bates Paint Roller Kit

Get started on interior painting with this DIY kit.

Wooster Deluxe Metal Paint Tray

A sturdy tray for interior paint projects.

The Best Exterior Paint Colors for Selling Your Home

A craftsman style home features a wrap around porch.

Never underestimate the power of curb appeal. The first thing potential buyers will see when they arrive at your home for a showing is the exterior, so make sure that it makes a great first impression.

Before deciding what color to use to spruce up your home’s exterior, start by taking a look around the neighborhood. Ensure that your color choice fits in appropriately with your neighbors (and that it doesn’t run afoul of any neighborhood regulations or bylaws). Keep your house’s architectural style in mind, too; not every color “goes with” every style of house.

Then, try one of these colors for an eye-catching exterior with broad appeal:

  • White: Just like with interiors, shades of white give the freshest, cleanest, and most neutral possible appearance for your home. Choose a shade of white that blends in nicely with your neighborhood. Keep an eye on the undertones (warm or cool tones) to help create cohesion.
  • Gray: Another versatile neutral, a nice gray can give a welcoming, classic appearance to your home’s exterior. As with interiors, be sure to check out the undertones of the grays you’re considering, and take the time to see what looks best on your house with the light conditions, neighboring homes, and more.
  • Taupe: The one-step-off from white, taupe can provide a neutral palette for your exterior without going with plain old white. Be cautious, however. Brown tones, like taupe and beige, can easily shift from looking crisp to looking dingy and dirty, so be sure that the shade you choose looks good with the light and accents on your house.
  • Green: Green-tinged exteriors have been popular for the past few years and continue to be on-trend. The trick is choosing a green that has a neutral feel to it. Rather than a deep, forest green or a vivid, leafy shade, look for a soft green that has a beige or gray tone to it.

Don’t forget the accent colors, either! In general, the paint color for your trim, doors, and other accents should contrast with the main color while retaining an overall sense of cohesion. White or beige trim can give a soft, bright look to homes painted in a slightly darker shade, while shades of gray and even navy blue can give a sharp finish to pale-colored exteriors.

If you’re DIY-ing your exteriors, remember that it’s a little different from painting your interiors. Be sure you have all the necessary supplies, including a pressure washer to pre-clean your walls and a paint sprayer for even coverage.

Sun Joe SPX3000 Electric High Pressure Washer

Powerful, affordable, and easy to use.

HomeRight C800971.A Paint Sprayer

Get even coverage with a reliable paint sprayer.

Selling a home can be a stressful process, but a few simple fixes, like choosing the right paint colors, can help increase your odds of a successful sale. Give your home a fresh coat of paint is just one of several things you can do to help your home sell faster and for a better price. Don’t write off these simple fixes—they can make all the difference.

Amanda Prahl Amanda Prahl
Amanda Prahl is a freelance contributor to LifeSavvy. She has an MFA in dramatic writing, a BA in literature, and is a former faculty associate focusing on writing craft and history. Her articles have appeared on HowlRound, Slate, Bustle, BroadwayWorld, and ThoughtCo, among others. Read Full Bio »
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