5 Paint Mistakes Your Realtor Wishes You Knew

5 Paint Mistakes Your Realtor Wishes You Knew

When it comes to selling your house, there’s no denying the importance of making a good first impression. That starts with your home’s interior and exterior paint, from the colors to the quality to the finishes. We asked top realtors and home stagers across the country for their best advice on how to maximize home value with paint.

1. Sticking with one single shade for exteriors.

A home’s exterior is typically the first thing potential buyers see. Realtors tend to agree that this initial encounter is a top driver for sales, and multiple colors up the curb appeal. While a single shade can easily carry an indoor space, the large, varied surfaces of a home exterior require a more layered palette to create visual interest.

2. Picking a shade that makes a room look smaller.

Paint can’t actually make a room bigger. But interior designers and painters consulted by Trulia say that certain colors can reliably give the illusion that a room is bigger than it actually is. The tried-and-true favorites? Airy neutrals such as Cloud White by Benjamin Moore, Swirling Smoke by PPG Paints, and Skylight by Farrow & Ball.

Make a space feel bigger by painting the walls and trim the same color.

Laurey W. Glenn

3. Using bold red in the wrong places.

Red may evoke all-American favorites such as cherry pies and one-room-schoolhouses, but when it comes to interiors, it does not score high with potential home buyers. “Dominant colors are more likely to alienate,” explains Pam Hopgood of Perfect Match Homes, a home staging firm in Florida. “With red being especially fiery and assertive, it’s the most difficult for buyers to look past.” The one spot where red is favorable? Front doors, where it is a classic choice with nearly universal appeal.

4. Neglecting the ceiling.

The oft-overlooked surface can have a serious impact on a buyer’s overall impression of a space. “A freshly painted, bright white ceiling can make a room feel lighter and the ceilings higher,” explains Santa Barbara-based agent Nick Svensson of Compass. With buyers constantly on the hunt for airy spaces and ample light, this is a serious plus.

5. Going overboard in the kitchen.

You really can’t beat a white kitchen. Pick up any home decor magazine, and you’ll see that white kitchens reign. Realtors agree that the fresh look, which makes it easy for homeowners to incorporate their own accent colors, is tops when it comes to resale.