Styled, Staged & Sold

Bringing you the latest home design and staging trends. From REALTOR® Magazine.

How to Choose the Right Paint Color

Photo courtesy: Dunn-Edwards Paints

A fresh coat of paint is one of the easiest and most affordable home improvement projects to tackle prior to a home sale that can make a big difference.

Sara McLean, color expert and blogger for Dunn-Edwards Paints, offers some of the following tips on how to choose interior colors that will appeal to the biggest buyer pool:

Don't go too monotone. McLean cautions on painting everything white or beige. The home might end up looking more like an apartment, rather than an upscale home. An occasional accent wall in a darker or complementary shade may add appeal.

Stick to earth tones and natural-based colors. Warm browns and milky tans – think latte. Light greens and blues are classy, and even some reds and oranges.  Warm grays are popular now, rather than cool grays, she says.

Take into account flooring. Lay the color chips along the flooring to see how well they pair together. Warm tones tend to look better with most hardwood. Whereas tile, terrazzo or carpet may make you want to opt for other colors.

Give a room life without getting personal. "Many people have a visceral reaction to bold colors and buyers' first thought is that they will need to repaint," McLean says.

Brighten up kitchens and bathrooms. Kitchens and baths work well with brighter colors that can help make them look fresh, clean, and inviting. In the kitchen, soft buttery yellows with slight brown undertones are popular and cheerful colors. "Olive and sage greens, make it feel garden-y and fresh," McLean notes. " If you don't have a tile backsplash, create one with an eggshell or semi-gloss paint — either a solid color or with a decorative stencil."

Photo courtesy: Dunn-Edwards Paints

Try brighter color palettes in smaller rooms. Baths, laundry room, and powders may benefit from brighter colors because they're smaller.  Oranges and reds are trending now and through next year, as well as teal and turquoise.

Test it out before you commit. "Once you have chosen a color, pick up a few samples and paint a section of the wall, near permanent structures like fireplaces, flooring and cabinetry," McLean recommends. "Live with the samples at least a full a day to see them in all light sources. What looks light and bright in the morning, may look dungeon-y at night."

Photo courtesy: Dunn-Edwards Paints

Choose the right gloss level.  Flat, velvet or eggshell are­ good for interior walls, while a higher sheen looks pretty on trim and in kitchens and bathrooms. The higher gloss levels are easier to clean so they tend to be more ideal for high traffic areas.  Look for trim paint that is water based but with the upscale look of oil based.


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