best color to paint?

Hi everyone,
can someone give me an idea of what the best exterior paint color is when sprucing up a house for resale?


I believe I have read that some shade or hue of yellow is the color that is attractive to prospective buyers - I think it was on MSN money website.

All of my rental houses are the same color unless i buy them with vinyl siding.

Body of the House: Benjamin Moore MoorGard (low luster) latex, “Richmond Bisque”

Trim: Benjamin Moore MoorGard (low luster) latex, “Navajo White”

Offset (doors and shutters): depending on the neighborhood, roof color, etc): usually Benjamin Moore MoorGard (low luster) latex, “Georgian Brick”

Great color pallet – we get LOTS of compliments…people stop their cars and compliment out the windows!


I thought a bisque was some kind of fancy French food or maybe I’m thinking of bisque-quick. In basic terms, what color is it?

Very good, Richard! Bisque IS a food…a thick soup actually, like “lobster bisque”…it’s a like off-white but darker. Like a dark, beige/yellowish off-white…great color for houses here, though!


Use color that fits in with the the neighborhood

It’s entertaining to me to hear men discuss color, my guy wouldn’t know the difference between beige, bisque or brown. He mostly says colors like “tan”, which really could mean any of hundreds of shades from off-white to dark brown.

I painted much of our upstairs interior “navajo white” (Behr) which is a very rich off white/vanilla-and a nice “real estate white” if you want to do an interior. You don’t really notice it (which I think is good when selling real estate)-yet it’s warm, fresh and bright … and not white. I liked it so much, I am doing the entire main floor that color now. It contrasts nicely with any white trim or cabinets too-there is enough of a difference.

Women are especially sensitive to color-and I believe it can make or break a deal. I recall not purchasing a house (to live in) because the kitchen had been done in the oddest color of blue-blue tile countertops, blue and white tile flooring, BLUE paint, it was HORRIBLE! It’s like they bought off the discount rack at the tile store-and they made the entire kitchen this color. Then the main bathroom was a very deep purple. It looked like…nothing I can describe. I guess it just made me sick-and I like deep rich colors. I am all for good deals, but these colors were NOT a good deal. They had just finished everything before putting the home on the market too!

Moral of the story: When it comes to selling-while it’s tempting to save some cash and buy that interesting color on the “mistake” or return cart at Home Depot for $5/gallon to sweeten up the place-stick with plain vanilla.

Happy Color Hunting!

<<It’s entertaining to me to hear men discuss color, my guy wouldn’t know the difference between beige, bisque or brown. He mostly says colors like “tan”, which really could mean any of hundreds of shades from off-white to dark brown.>>

To be honest, there are really only 8 colors…they all come in the same package from Crayola…“bisque” is not a color, bisque is a soup with chunks of “lobstah” in it…tangerine, grape, and tomato are not colors, they are fruit! Women make up this stuff to freak us out and keep us guessing! It also keeps people at the paint company employed dreaming up ways to torment us.

I used to work for a really old Polish carpenter…I only ever heard him mention two colors – $h1t brindle and Rastus blue…everything was one or the other!


Yeah, keep it neutral. White, off-white, or the very popular “Builder’s Beige”.

Keep it neutral inside, the exterior depends on the neighborhood…For example, heritage homes ususally have to be painted certain colors. Curb appeal is huge…you want to draw people in…So If you want to stay neutral…jazz up the accent colors such as the door (red, yellow, black, green are commen) shutters, even play with the landscaping…Something that draws the eye…Have fun…Hire an interior designer for a consult…They are great, especially if you have no clue…You pay them $50 per hour and they can give you all sorts of idea’s for materials inside and out, furniture arrangements, and can make all the difference- Hope this helps!
MDS ::slight_smile:

I tried to have a same paint pallet for my houses but it didn’t work, I have found that I need to go with the neighborhood trends. And, I’m always thrilled if the existing color can stay on the house after it’s pressure washed, repaired, etc. As long there wasn’t a sale-on-hot-pink the day the last owner decided to paint, I can usually live with the original color freshened up by a few new coats.

Interiors I keep neutral – however, I cannot stand plain white. It’s filthy before I get my crews out. I tend to go with a very light gray and white trim. With that said, the house I’m working on now has stained oak trim throughout and beige custom tile floors with dark grout. Gray looks horrid in it, so I’ve gone with a Navajo white, which I still am not thrilled with, but it’s up and I have to keep reminding myself I won’t be living there. It looks good, but I can just imagine the how dirty it’s going to look when I need to repaint again. Perhaps I’ve been around renters too long LOL.

Take care all!

You can go to about any paint department and pick up 5-10 color chips in “Nuetrals”. Pick one and use the middle color. Keep your personal opinion out of it (which is harder then it sounds) For every person that loves a yellow house there is another that hates them (like me). You will never know which your prospective buyer will be. If you keep your accent color limited to a front door then your safe. You can always offer to paint it if they hate it.

The thread was exterior but for interior, I use the local paint store’s house brand of:

Walls: Satin scrubable off-white
Woodwork: Semi-gloss white
Bathroom/kitchen: Semi-gloss off-white

I buy it in the 5-gallon size but sometimes my partner (wife) has a little trouble handling the weight of the 5-gal…(40 or so pounds while trying to pour…).

As always, when dealing with vendors, use your business cards – you should be able to negotiate at least 20% discount on paint!


Keith, can you come over and negotiate for me? ;D The best I’ve been able to do is 10%.

Take care!

Is this at home improvement stores that you’re negotiating the price on paint? Or paint stores?

Paint stores…I get 10% on EVERYTHING (except installation/labor) at Lowes (HINT: Lowes gives a 10% military discount - even to retirees - but you have to ask!)…

Make your deals ahead of time. Tell them that you refurb property and will use their paint and you will refer them to other investors. Talk with the manager. Normally, the paint stores and home improvement places will treat you as a ‘contractor’.


Also, remember that some of the stores (large and small) will let you set up a credit account that has a built in discount of 10% or so. That ought to save you some money if you spend a good deal of money there. And if you don’t have to pay it back right away it’s nice to be able to use their money to do your rehab, less that you have to borrow through a HML at an ungodly interest rate.

BTW - Lowes has recently discontinued the 1-0% off to military program…


Lowes also apparently doesn’t take Home Depot coupons anymore… at least not where I live in PA

I was wondering about color myself. I agree that your exterior should depend on your neighborhood and style of your house. Just make sure it POPS! As far as the interior colors I’m not sure. I hear a lot of different things. A lot of people use white or some boring color. Some use more complex colors. As an artist I appreciate color and I know that color has a psycological effect on people. It creates a mood. Of course my taste should not effect my rehab. Not sure if it works in real estae or not. It can’t hurt. If you can make a potential buyer feel good when they’re in your house then they may just buy it. Of course, when they move in they may repaint it but most do anyways, right. Not sure, I haven’t done a rehabb yet. Maybe I’ll try it on my first house and see if it works. Paint color is important and of course the best dollar for dollar investment you can do.