2020 Best 5 Paint Colors To Sell Your Home
Updated March 1, 2020
The number one question I get asked during a staging consult is:
The number two question I get asked when I tell someone they need to paint their house is:
“Why do I need to paint my house? I really like the colors of my home.”
Trends in paint colors for getting your house ready to sell come and go just like any other design trend. Sellers have been covering up their beige walls with gray for several years now. The popular colors were dark cooler grays and dark taupes. The colder darker colors are definitely out. People got tired of dark gray walls. Especially on cold dark nights where the shadows from the lack of sun light made dark cold walls seem even darker if that’s possible.
When you’re selling your house, the walls should be neutral. Neutral walls is the canvas like an artist’s canvas to create a masterpiece. Its the backdrop to add the décor and accessories which will add pizzazz to the home. The purpose of staging/getting your house ready to sell is that you’re appealing to the majority of the buyers. You’re appealing to 80 to 90% of the population. That means you need to make your house neutral, trendy and appealing to the masses so that they can picture themselves living in your home. If potential buyers feel the need to paint your house, they will either move on to another house that doesn’t need alot of work, OR they will just take the amount of money off in the offer that they feel will cost them in time, labor & materials.
Popular staging colors change from year to year. Many years ago, the go to staging paint color to sell your home was Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter, a warm darkish beige. This trend had a long stretch but was replaced by more cooler grays like Benjamin Moore’s Gray Owl, OC-52 where you would see EVERYWHERE regardless if it worked in a room or not.
Cool grays are lighter now, and the warmer grays (greige as they have become known as) are lighter too. White & soft creams are also becoming a fan favorite, especially in new builds and commercial spaces. Grays are more popular in some areas, whereas white is more popular in other areas. You need to know the trend in your neighborhood before you paint. Are you in an older suburb? Trendy condo or townhouse? Or a relatively new build? That’s why it’s important to go to open houses in your neighborhood so you will know the trends. Read Treat Your House Like a Business
It’s important to pick the right color!
In one house I staged, the owner had complained about the furniture that I put into the home. It was the first complaint that I ever had about the furniture. The challenge wasn’t the furniture. The challenge was, the PAINTER had chosen the wrong color (picture at left) and it was difficult to make the house look warm & inviting. He picked a medium cooler gray because it was the trending gray at the time. The kitchen cabinets were a warm honey oak while the floors, were a warm but darker reddish oak. The color he choose was a trendy but cool gray and clashed with the natural woods in the room. The wrong color choice was very evident in the bedrooms where the cool gray clashed with the warm beige carpet. The room felt “off” o matter how great the furniture looked in the room. The correct color would have been a warm gray or a “greige” as we call warm grays, a tan or a cream.
2020 Top 5 Paint Color Choices:
BEST GRAY OR “GREIGE”
Benjamin Moore Pale Oak OC-20
Pale Oak is becoming a favorite color among sellers and home owners alike. It has enough warmth in the gray family to keep it from looking too cold and sterile. Pale Oak however, can look like a different color in various rooms & areas in your house. It can look greige in one room and a cool gray in another area depending upon the time of day, the amount of sun a room has or lack thereof. Its best to test this color out to make sure that it coordinates with your furniture, flooring, and cabinetry in your home.
Benjamin Moore OC-41 French Canvas
A cross between beige and gray thus the name “greige”. It’s a great neutral that will work with most types of furnishings and spaces. It’s a safe color to choose for staging your home. Especially if you have a mix of “cool” and “warm” colored furniture, textiles & fixtures. French Canvas is in Benjamin Moore’s off-white collection and is the perfect blend of gray & beige.
Whites are becoming are trending right now especially among new builds, and condos. They’re clean, fresh and the white gives you a clean slate to style it the way you want.
Benjamin Moore OC-17 White Dove
Benjamin Moore’s White Dove is in the white collection. It is a soft warm white with creamy undertones and a slight hint of greige. It’s a great color if you’re using it for your walls. White is a popular staging color especially among new construction. This white won’t come across stark like Simply White could on walls.
The house looks clean and fresh when white is used, but its so important that the staging of the home is done properly. Otherwise the home could potentially come across as cold.
Benjamin Moore HC-81 Manchester Tan
This classic color looks like linen. It is a soft warm beige best suited for interiors where there is cream furniture, cream fixtures like bathroom cabinets, warm oak flooring or beige cabinets, warm kitchen cabinets where white or gray would look to stark like my staging example at the beginning. It’s light in color and does not scream “beige” like the 80’s and 90’s.
Benjamin Moore HC-171 Wickham Gray
For those that have cool colored floors, fixed cool elements like stainless steel appliances and fixtures, or gray furniture, Benjamin Moore’s Wickham Gray is a “cool” gray that is light and neutral. It will create the perfect backdrop for artwork and accessories. It is the darkest I would go in a gray to stage your home.
BEST CEILING, TRIM & CABINETRY COLORS
OC-65 Chantilly Lace
Chantilly Lace is quickly becoming a fan favorite among designers & home owners alike. Chantilly Lace is a “pure white” because it has no tint added to it. It’s perfect for doors & trim but many would find it too stark for walls or cabinetry. There are better white options for walls & cabinetry.
CC-40 Cloud White
Cloud White is one of those whites that have been around forever. It stands the test of time. Its cloudy, thus the name, cloud white. The slightly stronger yellow undertone makes this warm white suitable for trim, walls, ceiling and cabinetry.
OC-117 Simply White
Benjamin Moore’s Simply White was the Color of the Year 2016. It’s popular because its both a bright and warm white at the same time making it very versatile. Its often used for doors & trim, but due to its warm yellow undertones, it looks great on walls as well and creates that perfect canvas to decorate & stage your home.
If you don’t have time or money to paint both floors, paint the main floor for sure. The main floor is that first impression that sets the tone of the house. Every room should be the same color for consistency and flow. Powder rooms can be the exception. They can pop with a trending color.
The Best Way to Try Out Paint Colors
The old method of buying samples pots of paint and painting various walls is an inefficient way of testing the best paint color for your home. Many paint companies now have large cardboard paint samples that you can purchase to put up on various walls, at different times of the day to access whats the best color for your home.
Another option is to buy some poster paper from a dollar store and paint the posters in the two colors that you have narrowed your choice down to. Stick these posters on various walls at different times of the day and in different rooms. Colors will look differently depending on the exposure of the room, i.e. south facing, east facing, west facing or north facing. North facing exposures are the most challenging rooms to pick colors for because the room always looks darker and cloudier than the other rooms. That’s why enough lighting is so important for this exposure.
Alot of readers have asked about Sherwin Williams colors as they are not near a Benjamin Moore store. Most Sherwin William dealers can mix the equivalent into a SW color.
I can help you with that. As one of the first stagers ever in the industry, I have helped hundreds of clients make their homes stunning, and help them make money beyond their wildest expectations. I’ve staged many houses that sat on the market unstaged to turn the clients’ situation around, stage the home where the home sold within 1 – 2 weeks. As a real estate investor, I know what renovations work to sell a house for a healthy profit and which ones are not worth the investment. Let me help you choose the right color for the home.
The wrong wall color can make your house look dated, unattractive or clash with your current flooring, kitchen cabinets etc. which can turn potential buyers off. Make sure you have the right color for your furniture, accessories AND most importantly, the selling features of your home!
You’re getting your house ready to sell but you have a room or room(s) in your house that have a dated paint color or the walls need a refresh coat of paint to show the house well to potential buyers. But you need help in picking a paint color that suits the current furniture & fixtures in the room but is a current trendy staging color. Click here for my expertise & help!
I’m Debi Collinson, a Designer. Stager. Real Estate Investor. In 2006, at the request of a realtor, I staged my first home. The sellers liked their newly redesigned home so much that they turned down an offer for full asking price. I never looked back. Since then, I have been helping clients make their homes look like they came out of a magazine. I have helped clients earn money for their home beyond their expectations.
As a real estate investor, I buy “fixer uppers” and either flip them for a healthy profit, or turn them into profitable rental properties. I’m currently living in my 8th “fixer upper.” Come join me as I share my tips & secrets along the way.