Want to sell your home? Consider neutral paint colors

Want to sell your home? Consider neutral paint colors

Residential painters know how much color can affect perception, including your home’s interior and exterior paint colors. With so many houses selling right now with multiple offers at well above the asking price, should you repaint your home before listing it for sale? If you want to appeal to more buyers and maximize your home’s appeal and selling potential, its interior and exterior colors should be neutral colors. Let’s take a closer look at why this is.


What does an exterior paint color that is outdated, unusual (purple, bright yellow, pink, etc.), or flaking and tired say to a potential buyer as they pull up to your house? It might imply that you haven’t maintained your home well or that it’s old and outdated, which means a buyer will have to invest more than a purchase price. If that is their perception of the exterior, will they bother to go inside?

Before you list your home for sale, consider what its curb appeal says about your home – and how some interior colors might influence a potential buyer. Color psychology has been studied, and we’ve written about how color can affect mood. When you list your home for sale, even in a hot market like we’re experiencing in Virginia and across the country, you’ll want neutral paint colors.

Below are our professional suggestions for exterior and interior neutral colors to help you maximize your home’s potential.

Neutral Colors:

If you’re listing your home for sale, you want to appeal to as many potential buyers as possible. They need to see your home as a possibility for them. They don’t want to be distracted by your personal design style or taste. Neutral paint colors offer the best color palette for that purpose.

Before selecting a color, we recommend you sample several shades on your interior or exterior walls. Both natural and artificial light affect color perception, as does the time of day as light changes throughout the day and evening.

Here are some neutral colors:

White:  No two whites are alike, but almost any white works well as a neutral. It helps brighten a space or exterior and gives a clean feel.Gray: Lighter shades will appear more modern and can be perceived in much the same way as some whites. Darker gray can add mood and sophistication. We’re seeing an increasing number of very dark gray, almost black, exteriors. If you’re going to work with darker grays, proceed with caution. Not everyone will like darker colors.Blue:  Deep blue is a trendy and timeless color for kitchen cabinets, front doors, and window shutters. Benjamin Moore’s Hale Navy or Sherwin Williams’s Naval are good options. However, blue as a whole-house exterior is tricky and potentially a turn-off for many buyers.Greige:  This is a combination of lighter grey and warm beige and remains an excellent neutral choice. Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter is a ubiquitous color that is versatile in most interiors and exteriors.Green:  We urge caution also for using green as an exterior color. It can be tricky, and unless it is a pale green, it’s not usually considered neutral. Recently, we’re seeing it more on kitchen cabinets in colors such as Hillside Green 495 by Benjamin Moore or Green Smoke 47 by Farrow & Ball. Certain shades of green can be a nice color for front doors and shutters. You can read our blog post on this topic.

Colors to Avoid:

As experienced painting contractors, we’d urge you to stay away from certain bold colors, which can deter buyers. If these are currently in your home, you might consider repainting in a more neutral color.

Colors to avoid:

Red or burgundyOrangeRust or terracottaYellowBlackPurple

These are bold colors that tend to be perceived as very specific to particular tastes or styles. For example, burgundy or red was a trendy color considered elegant for a dining room – 15-years ago! Today, it tends to make a home appear outdated.

As you can see, colors can be tricky, particularly if you plan to list your home for sale. We offer our clients a free one-hour color consultation with our color consultant to help them select the most appropriate color for their home.

If you would like a free estimate of your painting project, please contact our office to set up an appointment. We would enjoy working with you to get your Northern Virginia home ready to list. 

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