Rehab and Rental Paint Color

My real estate agent has been bugging me to change the color we paint our rehabs. We use a bright white that we just spray on the walls trim and everything else. Then we hang cabinets, lay carpet and call it a day. She wants us to go with more of a taupe then paint the trim white. We dont exactly do high end rehabs mostly in the $50,000-$120,000 range.
On our rentals I was thinking of a little darker shade of something so dirt, smoke and scuff marks dont show as much and we dont have to paint as often. I would rather use just one color so we can spray every thing.
Lowes just discontinued the paint we have been using for the last 5 years, so I figured this might be a good time for a change. What are the rest of you using?
Thanks, Matt

sherwin williams macadamia for most walls. sometimes one shade lighter for a really small, close, or dark room.

nice warm color. every one, and I mean EVERY one who views our rehabs comments on the color.

color sells. white bombs do not.

I forget the brand but I got it at Ace Hardware, it’s called “Summer Tan”. LOVED IT

I agree with your realtor. A different color trim will likely more than pay for itself.

I see a lot of white trim, tannish paint in places these days and it pops. For the very small extra expense it might make it worth it. The just redid the halls where I work like this and it looks a million times better than the plain white that was there before. My aunt also has a nice house that was recently redone this way and it looks sharp.

yeah, crown moulding and base in bright white. always.

even lower income folks want to have a house they can be proud of. the extra cost of good paint has always been worth it for us as it vastly increases interest and, presumably, reduces time on the market.


We use Berkshire White from Walmart, in a satin finish. We paint everything this color, which makes it easy to touch up when the tenants’ children write on the walls with crayon or holes get punched in the walls. We use True Walnut to paint the wood floors. When we put carpet in rentals, we use 55 cent/sq ft Berber carpet from Lowes.

It doesn’t pay to do too much to working class rentals.


I used to live in “white tornado” world. Then I realized that momma buys the house and momma likes color. We have done alot of soft tan walls with white trim. The last one we did we used a soft grey that people LOVED. The one we are working on now we used a very light tan in the kitchen an baths, and a soft warm green in the big living room. Looks awesome. In one house I used different colors for every room! Talk about a huge waste of time and money. The bottom line is to not make things too difficult. Warm nuetral color walls with white trim and doors.

So the consensus seems to be to two tone the rehabs and single tone the rentals.
Thanks for the input, Matt

What sheen should the crown moulding and doors be? Semi gloss?

I like semi gloss for trim.

Stay with white
your realtor is not the boss you are
white goes with everything and makes the rooms look clean and big
easiest to repaint when your tenant moves out .
the carpet can be a beige/brown for color contrast.
Lowes has a inexpensive plush carpet alwas in stock and looks great
I use walmart dutch boy paints and always looks great

Sherwin Williams “Accessible Beige” for walls (you can always mix it in whatever brand you want if you want to spend fewer bucks).

Always semi-gloss white for wood (trim/doors/window frames, etc.).

Nobody commented on kitchen/bath though…

I do Lowe’s “Main Street USA” for bathrooms…It looks like pea soup on the can…Thought I made a bad mistake on the color until I did my first bathroom…Really pops with the lighter wall/floor tile I always use…

Lowes “Quiet Waterfall” for the kitchens…It’s a light green that looks great for a kitchen and always complements wood kitchen cabinets (tannish walls with wood cabinets would be a little “heavy” for a kitchen)…

While I’m not doing anything now (I sold all my properties in 2005 to take a couple years off) here is what I did.

Rentals - everything was one-tone “Apache White” semi-gloss. It is an off-shade white and since I used a bunch of it I could get some discounts and had no problem doing touchup.

Rehabs - Frankly - I was a bargain hunter so on my journeys to paint stoes, Home Depot and elsewhere I’d keep an eye out for overstock and bargains. I’d try to find a very light tan for the walls. If something came up I’d buy 100 gallons and use it until it was gone. For small rooms I’d do white trim - worthwhile getting the better stuff. For large rooms I’d use a complimenting dark trim.

Also I’d be always on the lookout for decent quality remaindered carpet and tile. I’d often pick up a pallet of remaindered tile for $5. A lot of breakage and waste in there, but there would always be enough to do a few rooms. I normally would put a mix of flooring in my houses - wood or tile in common areas and carpet in bedrooms and family rooms.

If done right, it looks like you spent a lot of money. Of course, if you don’t choose well it looks cheap. The main thing is if you don’t have an eye for what looks good, get a spouse, a friend or someone to point out combinations for you. Just don’t let them go overboard.

With your agent bugging you for the different color, if you trust her then I’d do it. She should be there not only to do the selling services but she should also have a very intimate interaction with your local buyers and know their preferences. If she says a little darker color would be better to draw the buyers’ interest then I’d do it. If you can’t trust your agent’s advice on something like this, you need a different agent.

newport beige from Porter Paint and white trim… makes a world of difference.


‘Leather’ from sherwin with white is great too

i spray all the walls and ceilings bone white then go back an [aint doors and trim in semi gloss white

I get painting a rental home white with white trim, but a home your selling needs more than that.

Wow,I started this post back in April. Good to see its a popular topic. Anyhow we did change to a sort of taupe color on the wall with white trim, on our rehabs. Our rentals we are trying the same color, but with a sort of mocha color on the trim. Hoping not to have to paint them as often as we did when everything was white.


Wow, does your realtor pay your bills too? :bobble

ha ha, anyway if your typing about it, then you must be thinking maybe shes right. I think she is. And go figure, if its easy, its not right.

we do several rehabs a year, we always paint the walls a nice tan, and trim white- makes a HUGE diff. You wont recognize the house… seriously its worth the extra work.

I know some of you are wondering, why listen to your realtor, I am just going to do it my way and I dont care what anyone else thinks. Well your real estate agent is one of the biggest assets on your team, they actually get your house sold. Our agent deals with buyers a whole lot more than we do, so she knows what they are saying about places and what they like.
We have been involved with several dozen transactions with her, so there is a level of trust there. If she said it would sell faster and for more money, if we painted it hot pink with purple polka dots, I would seriously consider it.
When we first started in this business I didnt listen to my agent, my attorney or my accountant and everytime it cost me money. Professional advice is worth every penny.