Color can set the tone and mood in different parts of your home, evoking emotions and memories—and it can also increase a home’s value. If you’re considering putting your home on the market, upgrading the paint in your home can boost its overall value and attract potential buyers—if you choose the right colors. “A fresh coat of paint delivers 100 percent ROI and can stand to increase the value of your home by 5 percent,” says Liz Walton, CEO of luxury interior design firm, Liz Walton Home in Pennsylvania.
Yes, painting your home takes time and money, but you could get significant returns based on the colors you choose. As a rule of thumb, light, neutral colors are the way to go, because color choice is highly subjective.
“Everyone’s ideas of what they want and like—in colors, moods, and energy—are very different,” explains David Bluhm, co-founder of Plunk, an app that helps homeowners increase their home equity through improvements. “So the more bold color choices you make, the more you invite risk that you’ll only appeal to a smaller audience of potential buyers.”
The color you choose for the outside of your home is important too, and also plays a part in increasing its value. “From an exterior perspective, the color of your home can drastically boost your curb appeal,” says Eamon Lynch, director of warranty service at Power Home Remodeling. Lynch suggests white, gray, and tan for your home’s exterior because they are “the most universal and timeless across…styles and regions.”
If you want to add a pop of color to your home, the outside is the place to do it. Lynch suggests a statement door, window flower boxes, and shutters, in the same color to make your home stand out. In fact, painting your door black or charcoal gray could boost home value by $6,000.
Here are the top neutral paint colors to choose that will elevate your home and increase its value.
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Great for: Kitchens, living rooms, bedrooms, bathrooms, exteriors
If you’re looking for a color that will brighten up your home, make spaces look and feel bigger and more inviting, you can’t go wrong with white. “There is truly only one color that increases—or, better said, does not decrease the value of your home, and that is white,” says Anthony Carrino, VP of design at online home building platform Welcome Homes.
White is an especially good color for kitchens. “White kitchens are the ultimate crowd-pleasers in my experience,” says Wendy McCleery, senior interior designer at Lars Remodeling and Design.
Sticking to a neutral color like a warm white can allow potential buyers to see themselves in a space—something that a bold color might get in the way of. “Painting your house a soft white or neutral will make your home more marketable to the masses, helping it appear larger and like a clean canvas,” says Walton. She recommends Benjamin Moore’s Chantilly Lace, for a soft white color that can be used on walls, ceilings, cabinets, and other spaces for a clean, crisp look.
Great for: Kitchens, living rooms, bedrooms
A warmer shade of white, cream is another neutral that can freshen up a space. “When we flip a property, we like to use light cream colors on the interior walls,” says Marina Vaamonde, a commercial real estate investor and founder of PropertyCashin. Vaamonde says cream gives a room an inviting feel and can boost a home’s perceived value by a few thousand dollars.
Great for: Bathrooms, bedrooms
A 2021 survey on Zillow found that light blue was the most popular color to paint a bathroom—and on average, could increase the value of a home by $5,000. “Bathrooms are areas where homeowners want to feel relaxed; any color that helps foster that feeling instantly provides increased value,” says Lynch.
McLeery says light blue can make a bathroom look “inviting, comfortable and cozy, but also more spacious.”
Once again, light blue is considered a neutral color, which is more likely to appeal to a wide range of styles and tastes. “It is said to be an easy-to-live-with color that conveys feelings of peace and serenity,” says Kate Diaz, co-owner of home decor and interior design site, Swanky Den.
Great for: Living rooms, bedrooms, exteriors
Both gray and beige are excellent neutrals to paint interiors, but if you can’t decide between the two, greige offers a combination. “Greige can be an alternative to white and gray and brings a feeling of elegance and sophistication,” says Warner Quiroga, real estate investor and owner of Prestige Home Buyers.
Not only will greige give your home a warm, elevated look; it will increase its value, too. “Repainting your living room a neutral color like gray, beige or light brown can add up to $2,000 in your home’s value, which can be modernized with accents of white,” says Bailey Carson, home care expert at Angi.
Walton recommends Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray as the perfect greige, and says the warm color will make the inside of your home “feel like a cashmere blanket.”
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