Best Interior Paint Colours for Selling Your Home

Apr 20, 2020

We were discussing how best to help our clients who’d just started thinking about selling before this health crisis sidelined those plans. We realized this is the ideal time to get your home ready to sell in terms of freshening up the space to appeal to the broadest audience. And what’s the number one most impactful thing you can do that’s minimal effort and cost? That’s right, painting! So we asked our lovely friend and expert designer, Meme Brooks, if she would be able to assist. And assist she did! Without further ado, check out Meme’s post on how to choose the right white for your space.

Should you repaint before selling?

Are you thinking about selling your home? The first step to prepare your home is to declutter and then refresh your walls by painting your walls with a lighter, more neutral paint colour. 

Painting the interior walls is one of the easiest and fastest ways to make your home look great before putting it on the market. First impressions matter and a fresh coat of paint can go a long way. Especially since 96% of buyers use the Internet to search for homes, how your property looks online can make a major difference to how many people come to actually see it and on how much it ultimately sells for. Fresh paint will make for much nicer photos.

Should I paint my walls white before selling my house?

Why Painting “White” is Bad Resale

I see homeowners freeze at the thought of what colour to choose, then decide to paint the walls white. This is not the best colour to paint your walls and I am going to tell you why. In addition, I’ll tell you the colours I HIGHLY recommend when painting your walls for resale! 

My design career started as a colour consultant for Benjamin Moore. I couldn’t be more grateful for the colour knowledge I received. This, combined with working as a tradesperson and my 13 years of staging and design experience, I can honestly say painting white is the biggest mistake I see homeowners make! 

Grabbing a can of “off the shelf white paint” (we call Ultra-White) is an even bigger mistake. This Ultra-White colour has blue/cold undertones that rarely look good in anyone’s home. Let alone, one you want to attract potential buyers with! Potential buyers want to feel warm and welcome as soon as they walk through the front door. The colour on your walls will be the first thing that sets that tone. Here are my favourite picks and why.

Best Interior Paint Colours for Selling a House

Painting Over a Dark Colour

The goal here is to have less coats of paint to achieve a bright and fresh room. Using “Ultra White” has bad coverage over dark colours, because it contains very little pigment and pigment is what helps with coverage. We love Benjamin Moore OC-14 Natural Cream, since it’s bright enough to create an expansive feeling, with enough pigment to cover over dark colours in less coats! This colour is also a perfect wall hue if you have a creamy trim colour or are looking to paint a large traditional home that could really use some warming up. 


painting over dark colours

After OC-14 Natural Cream 

after OC-14 natural cream paint

You Don’t Want to Paint The Ceilings

I wouldn’t say painting ceilings is the most favourable activity, therefore leading homeowners to avoid ceilings for (sometimes) decades! This is another reason why painting your walls “Ultra White” is a mistake. The moment you apply bright white paint next to old dingy ceilings, cupboards, countertops, floors or window coverings (to name a few), the Ultra White paint makes everything else around look, well… old and dingy. My solution is Benjamin Moore CC-80 Gray Mist for walls and CC-70 Dune White for trim and baseboard, because this combination camouflages the old to feel like new! 


painting the ceilings

After CC-80 Dune White

after CC-80 dune white paint

What Colour to Paint a Modern Home

Your modern home made to look FRESH can be achieved without the starkness of white on white. I have been using Benjamin Moore OC-23 Classic Gray for years on walls, and the same colour on the trim, but with a little higher sheen for the trim. This soft gray on gray gives the illusion of an all-white modern home without making your “not so new” pieces look awkward. 


painting a modern home

After OC-23 Classic Gray 

after painting walls gray

Million Dollar Fireplace Tip

I’ve been pushing the concept to paint fireplace surrounds black on my clients for years. As a result, the fireplace becomes the feature it is intended to be. Painting the surrounding walls a neutral colour will enhance the fireplace and create a beautiful focal point for your room. In this case, I used CC-80 Gray Mist for the surrounding walls and 2134-30 Iron Mountain for the fireplace surround. 


should you paint your fireplace

After CC-80 Gray Mist and Fireplace Surround 2134-30 Iron Mountain 

painting fireplace black

In conclusion, I’ve given the basics of great colours to use. As you can see from the before and after photos there is more to do than just paint. So if you want a professional to help with the sale of your home, we are here to serve in the form of a staging consultation. After talking to your realtor, we are the second most important call to make for the successful sale of your home! 

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