The Power of Paint Colours

When it comes time to sell your home, one of the most influential things you can do to impress buyers is freshen up the paint in your home. Colour plays a powerful role in affecting how buyers feel about rooms in your home and choosing the wrong colours can make them feel anxious, stressed, claustrophobic and/or alienate them completely. Why? Because colour can be very personal and choosing a colour palette which will appeal only to you or to a select number of buyers is one of the key ways sellers lose a large part of their buyer pool.


According to HomeGain, painting your home in light, neutral colours has over a 300% return on investment (ROI). Why? Because buyers these days are trending towards purchasing homes which have an overall neutral colour palette. They want a home which is turn key and which has a color scheme which goes with their current furnishings so they don’t have to spend time and money repainting and redecorating right away. In fact, over 62% of buyers these days will spend more money on a home which is neutral and ready to move into than opt for a home which needs some painting and fix ups. We have labelled this as model home mentality and its a very prevalent real estate trend.

Apollo LR 1
Pops of color add the visual interest against a neutral, bright backdrop.

So, when we refer to personal colours, we mean hues like:

Pink: Is the colour of universal love however its also the colour the majority of us connect to pre-teen girls, barbies, pepto-bismol and dated 80’s decorating styles. This is not the colour you want to showcase in your home – not in your walls or flooring. Purple also falls into this same category – these are highly personal colors that only a select few like and want for themselves.

Pink is pretty but it’s not a great hue for staging unless as a soft accent in a bedroom.

Dark Blue or Green: These colours, because of their dark tones, can make a room feel really dark and claustrophobic. They overpower a space and unless balanced with light hued furnishings, they make rooms feel much smaller than what they actually are.



Red or Orange: Passionate, strong, dynamic colours which add drama and warmth to any space. They are fantastic for decorating a home to live in. They are not great choices for staging to sell because once again, they are very taste-specific. These colours take a lot of paint to cover over – sometimes several coats of both primer and paint – so they tell buyers who don’t like strong colours that alot of work and expense is needed to change the paint in the room.

Bold and expressive hues like orange or red look good as pops of color against a neutral backdrop.

Black: Yes, we have seen rooms painted out all black in fact we went through a model home which had a bedroom that had been painted black. Black isn’t a color which we recommend painting a whole room in when it comes to selling your home because it is equally as hard as red to paint over and because it closes a room so that it feels small and dark. Buyers are looking for big, airy, bright spaces so black walls are only going to tell them to ‘run for the hills’ instead of ‘ohohoh I need to make an offer right now!’ Which message would you rather send to your buyers?

Black is a dramatic choice for trim & doors – not so great for a wall color though!

White or Lack of Color: So the 2016 color of the year is white and it’s a vital color for both staging and decorating purposes. We love using white for kitchen or bathroom cabinets, trim, doors, spindles and stairs. It’s a difficult hue to use for walls because there are so many different shades of white available. For staging purposes, we recommend painting wall in shades of gray and keeping mouldings and doors in crisp white. For decorating, well experimenting with shades of white can create both incredibly modern spaces and soft, dreamy relaxing rooms.

We have talked in other posts about the differences between decorating to live and staging to sell and we use color differently in both cases. When we are staging a home, we always opt for colors which will open up a space making it feel large, bright and airy. We infuse pops of color through accessories, artwork, pillows and throws because these things by their very nature, are easily changed. What this means for buyers is that they can easily see how their own furnishings will fit right in with the decor without them having to lift a finger to change it. This adds tangible value to a home if they can literally move right in without any additional costs or projects to take on.



For the purpose of staging, our favourite colors tend to be gray, brown or soft yellow neutrals. We know this sounds blah but honestly, there are a LOT of different neutrals out there which have these basic undertones and they have depth, richness and character when contrasted with crisp white baseboards and crown moulding. These neutrals have a wonderful transitional appeal which means that they can be used in both very modern spaces and also inherently traditional rooms.

When it comes to getting your home prepared for sale, don’t discount the power of color and don’t wrongly assume that buyers will be simply be able to ‘look past’ your personal color palette. Too many personal colors = too much work for most buyers and this could cost you a sale. Instead, opt to consult with a professional home stager and have them make color recommendations for your home so that when your house goes up for sale, buyers can’t help but fall in love with it.

RIB RESA Collage A
Kitchener-Waterloo’s Premier Home Staging Provider


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