Get Your House Ready to Sell 30 Day Challenge

Choosing Paint Colors to Sell Your House

Updated: August 6, 2020

The number one question I get asked during a staging consult is: “What color should I paint my house?”

The number two question I get asked when I tell someone they need to paint their house is: “Why do I need to paint my house?  I really like the colors of my home.”

The purpose of staging/getting your house ready to sell is that you’re appealing to the majority of the buyers.  You’re appealing to 80 to 90% of the population.  That means you need to make your house neutral, trendy and appealing to the masses so that they can picture themselves living in your home.  If potential buyers feel the need to paint your house, they will either move on to another house that doesn’t need alot of work, OR they will just take the amount of money off in the offer that they feel will cost them in time, labor & materials.

Popular staging colors change from year to year.  Many years ago, the go to staging paint color to sell your home was Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter, a warm darkish beige.  This trend had a long stretch but was replaced by more cooler grays like Benjamin Moore’s Gray Owl, OC-52 where you would see EVERYWHERE regardless if it worked in a room or not.

TAKE NOTE:   The TRENDING color in new builds and renovations by contractors is soft whites & soft creams.

Soft creams & whites are now becoming the trend in staging paint colors. It can be trickier Staging-Paint-Color-is-not-a-one-size-fits-all-Add-Value-to-Your-Home-Debi-Collinsonto stage with these colors because you need to rely on your accessories and other features in your home to make a room look stunning. If not done effectively, rooms can look stark, cold, and uninviting.  I have recently been asked to re-stage two houses because their realtors recommended a stark white for the walls throughout the main floor and asked the clients to remove all their pictures off the walls.  The result in both cases?  The houses looked stark, cold, and uninviting.  And in both cases, I have been brought into transform their spaces to become warm & inviting.

Cool grays are lighter now, and the warmer grays (greige as they have become known as) are lighter too.

Grays are more popular in some areas, whereas white and cream is more popular in other areas.  You need to know the trend in your neighborhood before you paint.  Are you in an older suburb? Trendy condo or townhouse? Or a relatively new build?  That’s why it’s important to go to open houses in your neighborhood so you will know the trends. Read  Treat Your House Like a Business

It’s important to pick the right color!Debi-Collinson-Interiors

In one house I staged, the owner had complained about the furniture that I put into the home.  It was the first complaint that I ever had about the furniture.  The challenge wasn’t the furniture.  The challenge was, the PAINTER had chosen the wrong color and it was difficult to make the house look warm & inviting.  He picked a darkish cooler gray because it was the trending gray at the time.  The kitchen cabinets were a warm honey oak while the floors, were a warm but darker reddish oak.  The color he choose was a trendy but cool gray and clashed with the natural woods in the room.  The wrong color choice was very evident in the bedrooms where the cool gray clashed with the warm beige carpet.  The correct color would have been a warm gray or a “greige” as we call warm grays, a tan or a cream.

One house I staged had dated beige carpets that were in good condition, and oak kitchen cabinets.  The painter used a cool medium gray on the walls because cool gray was the popular staging color at the time.  The clash of a dated warm beige carpet was no match for a medium cool gray.  The room felt “off” no matter how great the furniture looked in the room.


This medium gray is too much of a stark contrast for the warm reddish flooring and the warm oak kitchen cabinets.  A warm gray, tan or cream would have been a better choice.


What is greige?  “Greige” is a color that is a warm gray.  A cross between beige and gray thus the name “greige”.  It’s a great neutral that will work with most types of furnishings and spaces.  It’s a safe color to choose for staging your home.  Especially if you have a mix of “cool” and “warm” colored furniture, textiles &  fixtures. In our example above, a warm gray would have been a better choice given the warm fixtures of the room.


Benjamin Moore OC-41 French Canvas

French Canvas is in Benjamin Moore’s off-white collection and is the perfect blend of gray & beige.


Benjamin Moore Pale Oak OC-20

Pale Oak is becoming a favorite color among sellers and home owners alike. It has enough warmth in the gray family to keep it from looking too cold and sterile.  Pale Oak however, can look like a different color in various rooms & areas in your house.  It can look warm in one room and a cool gray in another area depending upon the time of day, the amount of sun a room has or lack thereof.  Its best to test this color out to make sure that it coordinates with your furniture, flooring, and cabinetry in your home.



Benjamin Moore OC-17 White Dove

Benjamin Moore’s White Dove is in the white collection.  It is a soft warm white with creamy undertones and a slight hint of greige.   It’s a great color if you’re using it for your walls.  White is a popular staging color especially among new construction.  This white won’t come across stark like Simply White or Chantilly Lace could on walls.

The house  looks clean and fresh when white is used, but its so important that the staging of the home is done properly.  Otherwise the home could potentially come across as cold.

Benjamin Moore OC-11 Simply White


Benjamin Moore’s Simply White was the Color of the Year 2016.  It’s popular because its both a bright and warm white at the same time making it very versatile.  Its often used for doors & trim, but due to its warm yellow undertones, it looks great on walls as well and creates that perfect canvas to decorate & stage your home.



Benjamin Moore OC-131 White Down

Still considered in the white family, its a warm soft beige color.  Would go well with fixtures that are in the warm tones like honey oak or reddish oak floors, beige carpets, and warm colored countertops.


CC-40 Simply White

Benjamin Moore’s Simply White was the Color of the Year 2016.  It’s popular because its both a bright and warm white at the same time making it very versatile.  Its often used for doors & trim, but due to its warm yellow undertones, it looks great on walls as well and creates that perfect canvas to decorate & stage your home.

Why I Love Benjamin Moore's Simply White Paint Color ...



Benjamin Moore HC-81 Manchester Tan

This classic color looks like linen.  It is a soft warm beige best suited for interiors where there is cream furniture, cream fixtures like bathroom cabinets, warm oak flooring or beige cabinets, warm kitchen cabinets where white or gray would look to stark like my staging example at the beginning. It’s light in color and does not scream “beige” like the 80’s and 90’s.



Benjamin Moore HC-171 Wickham Gray

For those that have cool colored floors, fixed cool elements like stainless steel appliances and fixtures,  or gray furniture, Benjamin Moore’s Wickham Gray is a “cool” gray that is light and neutral.  It will create the perfect backdrop for artwork and accessories. It is the darkest I would go in a gray to stage your home.



OC-65 Chantilly Lace

Chantilly Lace is quickly becoming a fan favorite among designers & home owners. Chantilly Lace is a “pure white” because it has no tint added to it.  It’s perfect for doors & trim but its too stark for walls or cabinetry.  There are better white options for walls & cabinetry.


CC-40 Simply White

Benjamin Moore’s Simply White was the Color of the Year 2016.  It’s popular because its both a bright and warm white at the same time making it very versatile.  Its often used for doors & trim, but due to its warm yellow undertones, it looks great on walls as well and creates that perfect canvas to decorate & stage your home.

You may think its premature to start picking paint colors when you’re still decluttering and getting rooms ready.  BUT it takes time to decide what color you want, pick a painter, and book the painter in the time frame you need!!!  Good painters at reasonable rates are booked weeks in advance! The sooner you get your paint color chosen and the painter booked, the better!

If you don’t have time or money to paint both floors, then paint the main floor for.  The main floor is that first impression that sets the tone of the house.  Every room should be the same color for consistency and flow. Powder rooms can be the exception.  They can pop with a trending color.

The Best Way to Try Out Paint Colors

The old method of buying samples pots of paint and painting various walls is an inefficient way of testing the best paint color for your home.  Many paint companies now have large cardboard paint samples that you can purchase to put up on various walls, at different times of the day to access whats the best color for your home.

Another option is to buy some poster paper from a dollar store and paint the posters in the two colors that you have narrowed your choice down to.  Stick these posters on various walls at different times of the day and in different rooms.  Colors will look differently depending on the exposure of the room, i.e. south facing, east facing, west facing or north facing.  North facing exposures are the most challenging rooms to pick colors for because the room always looks darker and cloudier than the other rooms.  That’s why enough lighting is so important for this exposure.


I can help you with that. As one of the first stagers ever in the industry, I have helped hundreds of clients make their homes stunning, and help them make money beyond their wildest expectations.  I’ve staged many houses that sat on the market unstaged to turn the clients’ situation around, stage the home where the home sold within 1 – 2 weeks.  As a real estate investor, I know what renovations work to sell a house for a healthy profit and which ones are not worth the investment.  Let me help you choose the right color for the home.

Main Floor Staging Paint ColorMain Floor Paint Color e-Staging - Add Value to Your Home with Debi Collinson

The wrong wall color can make your house look dated, unattractive or clash with your current flooring, kitchen cabinets etc. which can turn potential buyers off.  Make sure you have the right color for your furniture, accessories AND most importantly, the selling features of your home!

Click here for my expertise & help!

E-Staging One Room Paint Color1 Room Paint Color e-Staging - Add Value to Your Home with Debi Collinson

You’re getting your house ready to sell but you have a room or room(s) in your house that have a dated paint color or the walls need a refresh coat of paint to show the house well to potential buyers.  But you need help in picking a paint color that suits the current furniture & fixtures in the room but is a current trendy staging color.   Click here for my expertise & help!


I’m Debi Collinson. Designer. Stager. Real Estate Investor. In 2006, at the request of a realtor, I staged my very first home. Staging houses was just starting to become popular. I was very nervous staging my first house, but the sellers liked their newly redesigned home so much that they turned down an offer for full asking price. I went back to design school and have never looked back. Since 2006, I have been staging & styling spaces to make them look like they belong in a magazine page, and buying “fixer uppers” to fix up & either sell for a healthy profit or to rent them out. I’m currently living in my 8th “fixer upper.” Sign up to receive my e-mails of how to make your home stunning, how to sell your house for top dollar AND how to become financially independent one fixer upper at a time!

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