Best Paint Colors for Selling Your House – The Ultimate Guide

We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.

Selling your house is a hectic exercise. Your house may be on the market for days, months, or sometimes even years. This is an anxiety-filled period which you can avoid if you make your house look newly-built and attractive.

Why do I need to paint my house before selling it?

I know what you must be thinking, “Why should I spend so much on painting a house I won’t live in?” Well, simply because you’ll get better profits.

If you make the buyer feel they are buying a new house, you boost your chances of getting a good price. Thus, painting your house before selling it is a good way of ensuring a high price.

Another reason to paint your house is that photos are the best way to attract potential buyers. With the help of interior photos, your house can sell, on average, for $3,000 – $11,000 more. Your chances of selling your house increases by 32% with good quality photography.

Hence, you need a well-painted and well-maintained house for making a good sale.

What type of paint shades to choose when putting house for sale?

Neutral paint shades should be your go-to choice when painting a house that has to be sold. Apart from the fact that light colors make a small room feel spacious and airy, neutrals are considered best for painting a house before the sale because of the following reasons.

  • Buyers can easily imagine themselves living in a house that has been painted in a neutral shade. Neutrals are versatile and can be paired with almost any decor or furniture.
  • Buyers can imagine their decor better in a neutral-painted house.
  • Floating shelves, crown molding, and common wooden furniture go well with neutral colors.
  • Moreover, you save money by buying in bulk if you paint the whole interior in the same neutral shade.
  • Wall fixtures like iron sconces and brass lamps pair well with neutrals like beige or gray.

Warm, inviting colors like beige, tan, gold, and greige are best for painting houses before selling them. You have to ensure that the previous color can’t be seen underneath. The lighting in your house makes a big difference in how the paint will look finally. So, you should always buy a sample can first and try it on a swatch of the wall.

Colors you must avoid at any cost

I know you love your pink, but the buyer might not. So, there are a few colors that you must avoid at any cost because they may end up doing more harm than good.

1. Terracotta or Dark Brown

Both Terracotta and dark brown score very low with buyers. According to a Zillow Dig study, dark brown painted bedrooms sold for $236 less than expected and the results were worse for the bathroom. In the same study, Terracotta painted living rooms sold for $793 less than the estimated price.

Dark colors can make a room feel smaller. Moreover, most buyers wouldn’t want to incur the extra expense of painting over these dark walls.

2. Off-white or eggshell

I know neutrals are the best for painting a house before it is sold but there are exceptions everywhere. Many people find off-white or eggshell to stark for their tastes. It lacks charm and personality according to many. Hence, it is best to avoid using them.

3. Orange

Orange also fares badly when it comes to painting a house before selling it. You should steer clear of this one.

4. Slate gray

I know this again one of those colors I said would look good on the walls. But, slate gray is an exception as slate gray painted dining rooms can lead to a loss of $1,112. Light or dove gray performed very well as they increased the selling price by $1,104.

5. Decor specific color

Some colors might complement your decor very well but you should avoid using them when painting for your buyers. The charcoal black walls may look royal with your gold-paneled mirrors but it will seem overbearing without it. Thus, you should avoid using colors that YOU like instead think from the buyer’s perspective and paint what they might like best.

Paint colors to avoid when painting the exterior

Tea green, dark colors like blacks or browns, or an overpowering purple should be avoided at all costs on the exterior walls of a house that you are planning to sell.

You should also consider the neighborhood trends while painting your house because the paint color has to resonate with your buyer pool. If you have a historical neighborhood, then buyers shopping there would prefer traditional color schemes.

Which Paint Brand to Choose? Which are the best Paint Brands?

With so many options available, it is difficult to know which brands are the best for painting your house. From Behr to Clare, you have multiple paint options available.

But, none of them can beat Benjamin Moore or Sherwin Williams in quality and variety. Benjamin Moore also has a paint calculator to calculate the amount of paint you may need.

Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams are budget-friendly options that provide good coverage, durability, and cleanability. It is easy to brush and roll with these paints. They also give a clean finish and the overall finished product is impressive.

Sherwin Williams makes it easier to get an even coat and the paint is not drippy as well. The competitive pricing of paints from Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams and their thick consistency make them one of the best choices for painting your house before selling it.

Don’t waste your money on other brands, and go for these two as they assure good quality.

Best shades of paint for staging and selling a home (interior colors)

You might be tempted to paint your house in a trendy color but if you want to sell your home, they can be a poor choice for staging and selling a house. So, here are the best neutral colors for staging and selling a home to sell it faster at a higher price.

I. Gray & Grieges

1. Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist

Benjamin Moore Balboa mist has a soft undertone and makes the room feel fresh. Rich mahogany flooring and white trims complement it well. Since it is a mid-tone greige, it adds a bit of color to the room without making it appear overbearing.

It is advised to not use the Balboa mist if you have products with a green undertone in them. But, this won’t pose a problem if you are painting a house before selling it as the room wouldn’t have much furniture in it.

2. Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter

This light gray shade has a warm undertone which is perfect for painting a house before selling it as warm undertones are welcoming and inviting. It is a soothing color that would do well in small rooms or bedrooms. A buyer can easily picture their decor in a room painted with Revere Pewter. Moreover, a buyer can easily paint over it as opposed to a darker shade.

3. Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray

This is a soft, warm gray paint color that will look great with trim walls. Being a neutral shade, it will complement most decors. This greige is warm and inviting. It is Sherwin Williams’s number one selling color because everyone loves this soft, versatile shade. It can be paired with extra white, coral rose, or incredible white paint colors from Sherwin Williams.

4. Sherwin Williams Passive Gray

Sherwin Williams Passive gray suits a living room. It is a soft-blue gray with some greenish undertone to it. You should test this color on a small swatch before finalizing because when it comes to passive gray, a lot depends on the lighting. Given the right lighting, it can turn any bland room into a pretty haven. Passive Gray coordinates well with shell white, Green Onyx, and Nebulous White.

5. Benjamin Moore Silver Chain

Benjamin Moore Silver Chain is a timeless hue that looks elegant in a living room. It pairs well with Equestrian Gray, Sundried Tomato, or night shade from the same brand.

However, it is important to remember that this color may shift in the context of stronger colors and under different light sources. It can seem ‘just gray’ in certain lighting conditions while in others you can see overtones of green-yellow. Sometimes, it can even look bluish or greenish-blue. So, a sample test is advised first.

6. Benjamin Moore Metropolitan

Benjamin Moore Metropolitan oozes sophistication and class. It has cool undertones that look great in a modern, 21st-century house. It coordinates well with paint colors Sparrow and Stone from the same brand. It was their color of the year for 2019. The color is understated, comforting, and is a perfect canvas for blue or green accents.

7. Benjamin Moore Cheating Heart

This is a dark grey, almost black color that looks beautiful when used on trims. In case you have a small room, you should avoid it because the room can seem overbearing with a dark color. You can paint an accent wall with this shade as it will look stunning. It pairs well with Aganthus Green and Marble White from the same brand.

II. Beige

1. Sherwin Williams Accessible Beige

Sherwin Williams Accessible Beige has a taupe undertone and sometimes you can even see a slight greenish undertone. This warm shade can be used almost everywhere from bathrooms to kid’s rooms to living rooms. It offers a better and more colorful alternative to stark white paint. The color can look much browner in low lighting conditions. Therefore, Accessible Beige is more suited for homes with a lot of natural light.

2. Benjamin Moore Natural Linen

Benjamin Moore Natural Linen looks stunning when used in hallways, basements, or bedrooms. Natural linen is a soft, neutral tan that has a slight gray undertone. After painting the wall, this beige shade does not turn pink or peach. It is a light beige shade that is perfect for staging in small houses or houses with wooden windows or decor.

3. Whites

1. Benjamin Moore White Dove

Benjamin Moore White Dove is soft, white paint color. It doesn’t look stark white and complements most colors because it has a calming greige base. It is a go-to shade for trims, cabinets, and built-ins. White Dove balances the right amount of warmth without making it too creamy or yellow.

It looks beautiful in a south-facing room as it oozes more warmth than in a north-facing room since gray light from the window takes away some of the warmth from the paint.

2. Sherwin Williams Alabaster

Sherwin Williams Alabaster is a creamy white color that coordinates well with Townhall Tan and Dakota Wheat from the same brand. If stark white is not your thing, then Alabaster suits you perfectly. The color has a lot of warmth in it that makes it ideal for painting a house before selling it. It was their Color of the year in 2016 as it is versatile and understated.

Horizontal stripes with it can make the walls of any small room appear wider while vertical stripes can make a wall appear taller.

3. Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace

Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace is among the purest shades of white. It is a clean white color that needs good lighting to complement it well. Chantilly Lace is perfect for trims, ceilings and also pairs well with Carrara marble counters.

You should not use this color with dark earthy colors. One downside of this color is that it can be too sterile or too stark for some. This color needs proper maintenance as well.

Best Paint Finish for Selling a Home

Flat is considered to be the best paint finish for selling a home. It is a non-reflective paint that has more pigment than other finishes. A flat finish has no sheen and absorbs all light aimed at it.

A flat finish is perfect for houses that are about to be sold. Firstly, it is cheaper and easier to apply. Secondly, it is good at hiding imperfections like bumps and cracks which are inevitable in a lived-in house.

Though flat is the best paint finish, wipeable paint like Benjamin Moore’s Regal can be too expensive. Then you should try out a gloss finish. A glossy finish suits areas where you travel the most like the kitchen. This is because it is easy to wipe it than other finishes. Kitchens and bathrooms should have a high-gloss finish.

An eggshell finish is good for interior hallways while satin finishes are good for windows and door trims.

How many coats of paint do I need? 1 Coat vs 2 Coats of Paint

If you want your house to look attractive, 2 coats of paint are a must. If your current color is the same as the previous one, then 1 coat of paint might suffice. But, there are good reasons why the two coats of paint are ideal.

  • Firstly, if you have a dark-colored wall, one coat of paint won’t suffice as the previous color will show through.
  • Secondly, an attractive house needs a good paint job. Two coats of paint look more professional.
  • They also last longer and protect the walls.
  • Two coats of paint make the surface more durable since it is easier to clean a wall that has been coated twice.
  • You will have a wider variety of paint choices with two coats since you won’t have to limit yourself to shades that are similar to the previous paint color.
  • There are fewer chances of missing any spots with two coats of paint.
  • If you are doing any repair work then you need two coats.

You may need a primer with two coats of paint in case of wood paneling or very bright or dark colors.

Don’t believe claims that say you will need just one coat of paint or brands that say it is primer plus paint in one. Also, since your goal is to attract the buyer, it is best to go for two coats for a good finish and consequently, a better sale price.

Should my entire house be painted in one color? One Color vs Multiple colors

It is best to have a single color scheme running throughout the house to get a cohesive look. A single paint color helps in avoiding the hassle and expense of selecting many colors. A single color will allow the eye to focus on the home and not be distracted. It helps in maintaining continuity.

However, paint colors, even the neutrals ones, look different in different rooms due to lighting conditions. A color that looks good in the dining room may not look the same in the bedroom. Thus, it is sometimes preferable to use different colors in kitchens or bathrooms. Too many colors might be distracting, hence two or three colors that complement each other form the best option.

You should have a color scheme in place and paint according to that. It is important to ensure that the shades pair well with the tiles and built-in cabinets.

Should you use an accent wall color to sell your house?

Most people overdo the accent walls. This is why many designers are against using accent walls. But, if you want to use one without making it look overbearing then blue is your best friend here. Blue is among the most popular accent wall colors and it looks stunning in bedrooms and living rooms.

You can also use shades like ruby, emerald, or sapphire for your accent wall.

Should I Paint Exterior of my House?

Hell, yes! Why would a buyer consider buying your house if he sees chipped, ugly walls first before entering? Even if you have the most beautiful interiors, unless people like the house from the outside, they won’t buy it.

Painting costs for the exterior are around $1,406 on average while it boosts the value by $2,176. Since the first impression is the last one, you need to paint the exterior of your house before selling it. As the statistics tell you, it is a profitable venture.

Best Exterior Paint Colors

1. Taupe

Taupe will look great on the exteriors. If you have a beautiful lawn, the green foliage will complement the color. Taupe exudes warmth and looks stunning on the exterior walls.

2. Blue

Blue is a subdued shade that looks majestic on the exterior walls. It will complement your house’s trim or a roof with its soothing hue. If you have a lot of wall space on the exterior, then blue is the color for you.

3. Yellow

Yellow symbolizes positivity and warmth. Hence, yellow on the exterior is welcoming and pretty. It looks great with white trims and adds a cheerful vibe to any house.

4. Blue-gray

Blue-gray is another relaxing and understated shade that looks great on exterior walls. They complement white trim and exude calmness. The color pairs well with Nightfall and White wisp from Benjamin Moore.

5. Gray

Not just the interior, gray looks good on the exterior walls as well. It helps in highlighting a house’s clean lines and accents. Green foliage goes well with gray exteriors. Thus, gray is versatile as it can be used both on the interiors as well as the exteriors. 

A fresh coat of paint will make your house look majestic provided you choose the right colors. Now that you have gone through the best colors to use before selling a house, you should definitely try it out before you sell your home.

Neutrals, greiges, and whites are crowd favorites and will help you get a higher price for your house. A beautiful house will empower you to set your terms and sell the house for the price you desire. Always remember to conduct a sample test before buying a gallon. A house that looks new and inviting is sure to be sold out in less time.