Most realtors will agree that a fresh coat of paint is the best investment you can make when you’re getting ready to put your home on the market. We’ve heard it a thousand times: light, bright and neutral walls will sell a home – and it’s true. But let’s kick it up a notch and explore some of the best industry secrets on how to get the biggest bang for your brush with the magic of paint.
Brian McCourt is a contractor, design expert and co-host of HGTV Canada’s Backyard Builds.
Say what?! Yup – there are high-quality paint kits by Rust-Oleum designed to paint tile. It dries into a waterproof, mildew-resistant finish that’s suitable for even washroom tile. Bye-bye pink wall tile and kitchen rooster backsplash. This is a great option for a property hitting the market, or as a temporary solution while you save up for the big reno.
Want more inspo? Here are 10 Unusual Tile and Grout Combos We Love in Kitchens and Bathrooms.
Geometric Feature Wall
The extra few dollars per roll for good-quality painter’s tape is well worth it. With a bit of planning, you can create your own incredible wallpaper-like feature wall. Stripes are always in style, but if you’re feeling adventurous, try a plaid one like this accent wall that my talented co-host, Sarah Keenleyside, created in the Home To Win house last year. Play around with matte and semi-gloss sheens to create something extra luxe.
See here for 12 Ways to Ramp Up Curb Appeal With Nothing But Paint.
When hardwood floors are too thin to refinish, you can extend the life by painting them with high-quality floor paint. This is definitely worth the investment if hardwood replacement isn’t in the budget (here’s more detail on flooring renovation costs) in order to freshen up your listing.
Unify the Space
To make a space appear larger, use the same colour on the trim, walls and ceiling. The lines of the room will blend into each other and create the illusion of more space. This works well with light colours, and when paired with the next tip.
See here for 25 Modern White Kitchens Packed With Personality.
Paint Doors Dark
Interior doors look more substantial when painted a dark hue. Even if they’re inexpensive and hollow, they will instantly feel updated when coated in a deep rich colour. The door pictured is painted in Benjamin Moore’s Black Jack.
A fresh coat of paint on your exterior window frames can disguise the need to replace older windows. The windows might still be flagged in the home inspection, but a new coat of paint alleviates the need for replacement right away. On a contemporary facade, paint the window trim black to create the illusion of new panes.
See here for Common Renovating Costs for Windows, Walls and Doors.
Paint Wood Panelling
The problem with too much wood in a space is that it closes in the walls, making a room feel smaller than it is. Wood lovers will argue, but for the purpose of selling a home, paint the wood! If there are beams or special details, consider leaving them alone – they’ll be accentuated when surrounded by a consistent paint colour.
Perhaps one of the biggest design dilemmas between professionals, bulkheads are in the grey area. Because of their random nature, it’s hard to know how to paint them. The general rule of thumb is that they should be painted the wall colour on both the vertical and horizontal surfaces. When bulkheads are painted white to match the ceiling, it visually lowers the ceiling, and when they’re painted two different shades (ceiling and wall), they stick out like a sore thumb.
Disguise Imperfections with Matte Paint
Matte wall paint is a great choice when you’re selling. The low-lustre sheen will disguise drywall imperfections and make the space look new. The drawback is that it’s not as easy to wash as glossier paints. Maybe skip the dark blue jeans until you sell your home (notorious for blue streaks on walls in high-traffic areas). For everyday use, an eggshell hue is a popular choice because it’s easier to wash and still falls in the matte family.
Stick with White Trim
Virtually everyone prefers white baseboards and mouldings. Stick with the classics, and even if you choose to do a dark coloured door, keep the mouldings white. This isn’t the place to get creative!