Paint Color Mistakes to Avoid When Staging Your Home

  • 01 of 09

    The Wrong Colors Can Be a Turnoff for Homebuyers

    Couple viewing paint swatches, painting living room
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    Staged homes tend to bring a higher market price and sell much faster than unstaged homes. Home staging makes homes attractive and provides a blank canvas for buyers – one they can envision themselves living in.

    An inexpensive way to give your interior home a new ambiance is with paint. A fresh coat of paint makes a home look new and attractive. Caution, however, must be exercised when painting, as the wrong colors can be a huge turnoff for homebuyers. Exterior paint colors and interior color palettes can leave a bad impression when they aren't consistent. 

    Here are some color mistakes you should avoid when staging your home for sale.

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  • 02 of 09

    Avoid Impractical Colors

    White sitting area with open windows
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    Avoid using paint colors that are not functional for the homebuyers you are targeting. While a color like white can make a room glow, it can be very difficult to maintain, especially if the buyers have young children. Make sure you paint your home with colors that are practical and easy to maintain. A color like cream is a good choice if you want a room to glow without making stains extremely conspicuous.

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  • 03 of 09

    ​Don't Just Choose Colors From Paint Swatches

    Personal perspective friends viewing color swatches, painting living room
    Caiaimage/Paul Bradbury / Getty Images

    Paint swatches cannot truly convey how colors will look on the walls of your home. Lighting, how many windows are in your room, and what type of surface the paint is being applied to can affect the paint color in your home. It is advisable to pick a few options and take them home with you to compare. View the swatches in the rooms you want to paint at different times of day and you’ll be able to make the best choice. This rule also applies to paint colors you’ve seen in other homes. Don’t rush to try them in your home, as colors can look completely dissimilar in different settings.

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  • 04 of 09

    Steer Away From Using Extremely Dark Colors

    Black Interior with Armchair
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    Color has a major effect on the mood of any room. When choosing paint colors, avoid extremely dark tones like black, browns and grays. They absorb natural light and make a room shrink and look like a cave. The last thing you want is buyers thinking that your home is small and unwelcoming. Use warm tones like pastels that open up a room and make it more spacious and inviting. If you do want to use a dark color, reserve it for one accent wall of a well-lit room with plenty of windows and light sources. The other walls in your room should be a light complimentary color to offset the dark accent wall.

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  • 05 of 09

    Don't Overpower the Room's Decor

    Couple with paint swatches starting painting project
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    When choosing a color for your walls, you need to consider the furnishings in the room. It doesn’t make sense to pick a color that overpowers the décor or contrasts with it. Avoid choosing paint colors you haven’t tried and try tiny swatches before painting entire rooms. Focus on creating as much harmony between the paint colors you choose and the furnishings you will have when staging.


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  • 06 of 09

    Avoid Using the Wrong Paint Finishes

    Woman holding paint roller and examining blue paint samples on living room wall
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    The look and feel of a room can be enhanced or detracted from by the paint finish. Your walls may have a good paint color, but an inappropriate finish can decrease their appeal. There is a great variety of finishes ranging from high gloss to matte. Test the finish on a small area to see how it looks before applying it on your walls. Matte finishes don't reflect light well, while high gloss reflects the most light but is usually reserved for trim. Visit your paint store and ask an associate how to choose the best finish for your application.

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  • 07 of 09

    Avoid Only Using Trendy Paint Colors

    violet walls - pink room wtith wooden floor
    hanohiki / Getty Images

    That wonderful shade of lavender may be the trendiest color right now, but it can be unfashionable in months to come. Pick a versatile color that will be functional for every season. Hues like cream, pale yellow, and beige can create an appealing neutral canvas for all potential homeowners coming to view your home.

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  • 08 of 09

    Avoid Choosing Flamboyant Paint Colors

    Bright color bedroom ideas
    Getty Images

    Neon colors like luminous green and orange look attractive and lively, but when staging your home, you may want to steer clear of them. They can effortlessly make your home look gaudy and put off potential homebuyers. Buyers will think of the money they will have to spend to get rid of the paint and fail to make an offer. Make your color choice as neutral and inviting as possible to keep them interested.



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  • 09 of 09


    Our First House
    FatCamera / Getty Images

    If you want to sell your home fast and for a good price, avoid these color mistakes when staging. But don’t be afraid to paint your walls! With these helpful tips to guide you with color selection, you will be happy that you didn't go quite so drastic with your paint colors!