Putting on a fresh coat of paint is one of the simplest and cheapest ways to transform the look of a home. However, with the endless colors and shades to choose from, deciding on a paint color can be the most difficult part.
In 2019, we bid farewell to Ultra Violet and say hello to Living Coral as the Pantone Color of the Year. But don't just go straight to the paint store to buy several cans of this coral hue. Choosing the perfect color for your home can be tricky and formula guides and color swatches won’t be helpful if you don’t take into consideration some factors involved in your home.
So whether you’re looking to sell your home or simply give it a makeover, keep your paint obsession on hold until you read these essential suggestions first:
1. Pay attention to the room's lighting.
The light source in the room you’re painting can greatly affect the way a color appears. A certain color may appear different in a room filled with sunshine, compared to a room that’s lit with fluorescent bulbs. So don’t forget to take lighting into consideration when selecting colors for a specific space.
2. Take note of the color’s undertone and the paint’s finish.
Despite having endless options, remember that all colors have undertones. And according to TheSpruce.com, “undertones are the secret code of every color.” Some undertones are not easily visible unless paired with other colors. The floor, counter surfaces, and even lighting can all bring out surprising undertones from your painted walls, so make sure that the items or the lighting in the room didn’t bring out an undertone that you weren’t intending to.
Likewise, paint colors have varying sheens and finishes, like a matte vs semi-gloss paint. Matte finishes can be cheaper but are less durable, while high-gloss can be easier to clean.
3. Choose paint colors that will complement the fixed furnishings in the room.
Take into consideration the fixed furnishings in a room — the flooring, wood finishes, countertops, wallpaper, tile, or built-in cabinets — and choose colors that will enhance these materials. As much as possible, you’d want your wall color to complement the existing color scheme of the cabinetry and other furnishings, especially in the kitchen and bathroom.
4. Keep in mind the character of your neighborhood.
Putting a fresh coat of paint on your house’s exterior can give it an instant makeover and spruce up curb appeal, which can be a huge selling point for your home. But when choosing a color for your facade, keep in mind the character of the neighborhood, especially when you’re living in an HOA community. Make sure the color of the exterior will blend well with the landscape surrounding your property and the neighborhood you’re in.
5. Never pick a color from a computer screen.
Have you experienced receiving an online order, like a sweatshirt or a dress, that turned out to be a different color than what you saw on the screen when you ordered it? You can blame the computer screen, as colors always show up differently in monitor displays. So if you’re choosing paint colors for your home, better not rely on what you see on the computer. Instead, get color chips from the hardware or paint store to start your search and narrow down your choices.
6. If you’re looking to sell your home, choose paint colors that will give you the best bang for your buck.
According to Zillow’s 2018 Color Report, the colors you choose to decorate your home with can have a powerful impact on the home’s sale price. Their Paint Color Analysis showed that the rules and results vary depending on the room type. Although it may seem like a tedious job to paint your house to get it ready to sell, the effort may be worth it.
Here are some of the best paint colors to help sell your home:
- The Blues
Blue proves to be the color of royalty, especially when your house with its different shades of blue rakes in more cash than you expected.
- A navy blue front door could add as much as $1,514 to the sales price of your home and painting your front door is one of the cheapest projects you can do to upgrade the look of your home.
- A light pale blue to a periwinkle blue paint could do well for bathrooms and increases the average selling price of a home by $2,786.
- Cerulean or cadet blue is a great choice for bedrooms!
- Gray and Beige
“Greige,” or a combination of gray and beige, is a trendy color that is the offspring of light gray and warm beige. It's a neutral color that will work well with most types of furniture, textile, and other furnishings. It helps create a modern-day classic feel in any home and is also a safe color when it comes to staging. Zillow reports that greige-colored homes saw as much as $3,496 more than the expected price of the home, even outselling their brown or tan counterparts.
- Earth Tones and neutral colors
Don’t neglect the neutral colors and don’t even think that they’re boring or won’t help sell your home. In fact, Zillow believes that homes with neutral colors simply have wider appeal for minimalists and maximalists alike, and it could be a signal that a home has other desirable features. Homes with light taupe living rooms, particularly with tan, peach or pink undertones, sell for more than what is expected.
- The Good Ol’ Black
You can accentuate the color black when you use it for your front door, or opt for black kitchen islands with white cabinets.
The colors you want to avoid (as much as possible)
The colors that could be harmful to your home's sale price include:
- Yellow - Specifically for the kitchen. Homes in this color reportedly sell for $3,408 less than expected, according to the Zillow report. Even homes with brown walls with yellow undertones sell less than expected.
- Red - Especially in the dining room and kitchen.
- White - Surprisingly, bathrooms painted in plain white sold for $4,035 less on average.