Paint Is Money In A Can


Forget growing money on trees: the real money is in the paint can. When it comes to preparing your property for the market, fresh paint is your best return on investment.

But I get it: paint can be overwhelming. What color do you choose when there’s 67 different versions of “white”?! Which color works best in which room? What about exterior?

Let your paint woes go with this guide to choosing the right paint colors for selling your property.


When it comes to your property’s interior walls, stay away from bright, LOOK-AT-ME paint colors and instead go with neutral colors. It’s proven that buyers have an easier time picturing themselves at home in a neutral space. Neutral colors also go with any color of furniture, so you won’t have to worry about matching your walls to your sitting rooms teal designer couch. Your wall paint color should not be the star of the room.


Staging Before // The mustard yellow is loud and distracting.


Staging After // Buyer’s can better picture themselves in a neutral space!



True story: I once had a consultation where each of the property’s interior walls were painted a different color. And I don’t mean a different color in each room… I mean a different color on each wall. While a technicolor dream home may match your colorful tastes, when it comes to staging your property to sell, consistency is key.

When choosing paint colors, stick with either warm tones or cool colors; avoid the mix-and-match, as least on the same floor, though preferably throughout the entire home. Warm tones are your autumn colors, while cool tones give off beachy vibes.


Warm or cool: which should you choose? Warm tones work best for your traditional and farmhouse style homes, while cool paint tones work best with your modern and contemporary home designs.

How do you know which works best for your property? First, look at your fixed assets—anything that will remain in the home when it is sold, like floors, countertops, cabinetry, and banisters. These fixed assets will have their own color tone, and this will help dictate whether the property has warm or cool tones.


And by that, we mean paint colors.

Once you know whether your property has warm or cool tones, you can choose paint colors. Important note: grey is here to stay for a while still. Years ago, tans and browns had their time in the spotlight, but now we’ve left these tans and browns in the dust (pun very much intended) and moved into the grey age. Enter stage left: a tan and grey combination, thoughtfully dubbed “greige.”

When it comes to smaller rooms, go light—this will help the room appear larger. The exception to this is your powder room. Choose a bolder, darker color (but in the same warm or cool tone as the rest of your property’s interiors) to make it stand out.

If you’re looking for paint color ideas, the following are some of the most popular greys at Sherwin Williams:


Popular Grey

Agreeable Grey

Repose Grey

Accessible Beige

Colonnade Grey


Uncertain Grey



Evening Shadow


(“I have an idea,” I can imagine someone at a long table in a Sherwin William conference room saying, as though struck by the lightning of creative inspiration. “How about…” He pauses as everyone leans in with expectation, “We call this color... ‘Uncertain grey’!!!” Really, who picks these color names?! “Agreeable grey”? “Passive”?)


First impressions are key, and not just when you’re meeting someone for a first date. Just like with online dating, once you hook someone in with attractive photos, you want your property to match the buyers’ expectations as soon as they pull into the drive for a tour. So don’t neglect your property’s exterior when it comes to color.

With exterior, go for a maximum of 3 different colors. Look at your property’s exterior as a 60-30-10 color division:

  • 60% is your larger exterior piece (like siding, stucco, etc.)

  • 30% is your trim and shutters

  • 10% is your front door and additional pops of color, like flowers

Make your front door scream “Come on in, y’all!” with a happy, bright color. (But not too bright, we don’t want to go neon-nuts here.) You want your potential buyer to feel invited inside, and a bright door does just that.

Personally, I prefer a different color for the front door and shutters, because this makes the door stand out more. My favorite front door colors are teals, brighter blues, or the classic black.



Overwhelmed by the fact that even WHITE has a million different shades to choose from? Don’t worry, I can help you out! Placement is important.

If your current stream of consciousness is silently screaming “help me” after imagining yourself trying to pick out colors for your property all by yourself, good news: I’m here to help you out! As a certified color expert and experienced staging consultant, I offer occupied staging consultations, where I come into your home and give you detailed recommendations to help you ready your property for sale.

Kim Pearse