Home Improvement

‘First Impressions Matter’: An On-Trend Paint Job Can Add Value to Your Home

The right paint job could add thousands of dollars to the worth of your home, research indicates

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A fresh coat of paint can go a long way in giving your home a quick and inexpensive facelift. Yet with so many options, it can be hard to choose the color that’s right.

That's where a new study from real estate database company Zillow comes in.

Zillow measured how different paint colors in various rooms can impact the sale price of a home compared to its "Zestimate." Their team looked at more than 130,000 pictures of homes from across the country over an 8-year period to find which homes sold for more or less than those with white walls.

“I think this research really speaks to the fact that first impressions matter,” says Amanda Pendleton, who works for Zillow.

The Front Door

The ever-important pop of color on your front door is your first chance to make that good impression.

This choice may be bold, but the research indicates the bold color comes with big bucks.

Homes that have black front doors can sell for about $6,000 more than expected, Pendleton says.

The research shows Sherwin William’s Black Magic is a classic color and a popular option. “You can’t go wrong,” says Pendelton.

The Living Room

When it comes to the living room, cool colors are out and warm neutrals are in.

If you paint your living room a light taupe color, your home could sell for up to $2,800 more than any other color, says Pendleton.

She says Benjamin Moore’s Shaker Beige is on-trend. If you’re looking for something with a more gray and beige undertone, consider Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter paint color.

Bathrooms

The bathroom is often a retreat for families seeking a brief escape from busy lives.

Zillow says homebuyers want their bathroom to feel like a spa, so coloring the walls light blue can put more dollars in your pocket when you put your home on the market.

According to Zillow, bathrooms painted light blue contributed to homes selling about $2,300 more than similar homes.

Pendleton’s favorites include Farrow and Ball’s Borrowed Light paint color.

“It’s light and airy. It feels like you’re up in the clouds.”

The Kitchen

The kitchen is the heart of the home — and that’s really where you can make a lot of money.

Pendleton says the latest trends point to tuxedo or two-tone kitchens.

"Tuxedo kitchens have become increasingly popular. We’ve seen homes with tuxedo kitchens selling for $1,500 more than expected,” she says.

A popular color option for the kitchen cabinets or island is Benjamin Moore’s Hale Navy, a classic navy.

“It’s that really nice dark tone and you’re going to start seeing that contrast if you pair a navy with like a white upper kitchen cabinet,” says Pendelton.

Colors to Avoid

When it comes to colors to avoid, Zillow has research on that, too.

Neutral appeals to the masses and that typically generates a higher sales price in the end.

The company found that yellow homes sell for $3,400 less than other homes painted a different color. Zillow also found similar results for homes that had red kitchens and brown dining rooms.

In terms of exterior home colors to avoid, Zillow says homes painted black are not as desirable. Save the dramatic colors for just the front door.

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