Staging with Color Confidence

Color stimulates. Color comforts. Color inspires. Selecting the finest paint colors for home staging can create a missing link to an attractive offer. Choosing universally appealing interior paint colors is an important way of showcasing a home and the most inexpensive yet effective thing you can do you prepare a house for sale. According to Home Gain’s 2012 Home Improvement Survey, painting yields the highest return of investment when preparing your home for market.  Painting helps potential buyers develop the emotional connection to a property that has attractive architecture or comfortable interior design.
color inspiration

colorIn addition, low VOC (volatile organic compound) paint is an eco-friendly choice      that is much appreciated by buyers today to reduce the indoor air pollution and can be a “green” selling feature.

Here are some basic tips to follow:

Color Continuity:   Consider the sightlines you have from one room to another, particularly in the open, public areas of the home. Repetition of color will visually link spaces to create a sense of harmony. Once you have established continuity, introduce additional colors to surprise and delight.

Color Temperature:   Cool colors, such as blue or green give off a tranquil atmosphere and recede into space. This visual effect will make a room appear larger and less intimate.

g4Color Accents:   Use color to highlight existing architecture or to add interest to a room without architectural features. For example, you can use a bold, contrasting color to make a recessed display niche the focal point.accent wall red

Color & Light:   Light can dramatically affect color. Direct sunlight provides the truest color, but few interior rooms offer the ideal, natural light source. The best way to judge your color choices is to sample them in your room at various times of day under the lighting conditions you have.  TIP:  Don’t forget your choices of sheen – flat, satin or semi-gloss – may affect color as it interacts with light.

Finish Choices:   Most interior walls look best with a flat paint finish.  In addition, flat finish paint can disguise small wall imperfections.  A flat finish in high quality paint is more washable than in past years making it an acceptable choice even for kid’s rooms and high traffic areas.  Woodwork, on the other hand, looks best with a glossier finish either semi-gloss in more formal areas or high deep-gray-bedroomgloss.

Planning the Color Pallet:   Interesting woodwork such as crown or base molding, built-ins, door and window frames or architectural room details deserve to be highlighted but it doesn’t have to be a high contrast to get those elements noticed.  White remains the “go to” color for woodwork and ceilings because it is classic and crisp.  If the wall color is a muted neutral, however, the ceiling and woodwork could be white toned down with 15% of the primary wall color to give a softer, more cohesive look.  If there is a natural accent wall such as surrounding a fireplace, for example, some drama could be created with a darker version of the primary wall color.  Never paint ceilings, crown or base molding or door and window frames a darker color than the walls when staging a home for sale.

Fail-Proof Colors for Home Staging 

Here are a few popular, neutral paint colors from Benjamin Moore – check out the Pottery Barn Colors and the giant samples available from Benjamin Moore neutraldealers.


The colors potential buyers see when they enter your home should be neutral so that the buyers will not be distracted by someone else’s style. They should see the walls of your home as a blank canvas on which to project their own preferences and style. But “neutral” doesn’t necessarily mean white. Using subtle color can actually enhance the buyer’s experience, so repaint walls that have strong colors with rich neutral hues. Neutral colors to consider:

  199 barley
 1039 stone houseHC-98 providence olive

NOTE:  With neutrals pair up with pops of color like red, teal, orange, yellow or green through pillows, area rugs, art work and accessorizes. accent colors

 Update and Refresh

If your wallpaper has a distracting design or is outdated, remove it and add a fresh coat of paint for a more current, updated look. A low-sheen product will help reduce the imperfections on walls and ceilings. You can also use color to highlight the architectural details and features of your home. Colors to consider for updating and refreshing:

  HC-93 carrington  beige HC-45 shaker beige  HC-111 nantucket gray

Maximize your Space

Light, clean organized spaces appear larger. So clean and de-clutter and give your walls a fresh coat of paint in a light neutral color to bring the room to life and make it seem more expansive. One home staging idea that can help expand your space visually: paint the moldings the same color of the wall, which gives the illusion of higher walls. Color to consider to maximize your space:  HC-81 manchester tan  
 HC-26 monroe bisque   2143-40 camouflage 

Colorful Exterior

doorsThe exterior colors of your home can increase curb appeal and boost value. Coordinate your siding color with other exiting building materials such as a brick foundation, flagstone patio and roofing tiles. Keep in mind dark colors tend to make a house appear smaller, while light colors have the opposite impact. Choose accent colors for shutters, trim and window panes to add character and call attention to architectural features. First impressions are critical, so besides trimming your hedges and grass, be sure your front door, any fencing and mailbox posts are freshly painted. And because buyers love decks, porches and patios, also make sure they are freshly painted or stained as well. Colors to consider for front doors:  AF-300 dinner party  HC-133 yorktowne green 
 HC-112 tate olive  

Another leading paint dealer, Sherwin William’s with some neutral paint colorscheck out the Virtual Color visualizer tool. 

  • Dover White – SW 6385
  • Moderate White – SW 6140
  • Navajo White – SW 6126
  • Ivoire – SW 6127
  • Believable Blush – SW 6120
  • Softer Tan – SW 6141
  • Sagey – SW 6175
  • Liveable Green – SW 6176
  • Jersey Green – SW 6379

Things to Remember: pale green

The paint color will look darker and/or more intense on the wall than the paint sample.

  • Rooms with a bright, southern exposure can handle a deeper tone than a room with a dark, northern exposure
  • Paint the ceiling first, then the walls
  • Buy high quality paint and the right tools for the job