Getting Ready For Spring Market? Here’s How To Paint Your Home To Sell

Spring is here (albeit with some lingering piles of snow) and with spring comes “For Sale” signs sprouting on lawns of many area homes, as sellers hope to catch the wave of the spring market.

If you are getting ready to sell, there’s no quicker way to make your home look crisp and updated than a fresh coat of paint, says Deborah Lansing, a Montclair realtor at Keller Williams NJ Metro Group.

“I find I get a house sold faster and for more money when the homeowner spends money to make everything crisp and every piece of trim and stair riser fresh and white.” The bottom line: You want to make every room look bright, light and inviting to appeal to buyers, making them feel as if there is nothing to do but move in.

BM Balboa Mist and white trim and paneling
Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist and white trim and paneling

A fresh coat of paint is important but the color you choose is key. Basically cool, gray, neutral homes appeal to more buyers, says Lansing. Often, when people decorate, if they love a color, such as purple, they plaster an entire wall with that color. A better idea, says Lansing, is to paint a neutral background color that will pop out accents of that favorite color. Gray, which Lansing calls the color of the moment, is the perfect backdrop color to make accent pillows or a bold couch or chair pop.

Master bedroom with Benjamin Moore Lancaster Whitewash. Bathroom: Benjamin Moore Woodlawn Blue, White Dove trim

Lansing has several go-to neutral paint colors she uses when staging a home to make any house “pop.” These neutrals (some favorites include Edgecomb Gray, Revere Pewter, Gray Owl and Balboa Mist) compliment vibrant pinks, oranges and turquoise, or cooler pastel pinks and blues — accent colors Lansing says are experiencing a revival again in furnishings, pillows and other decor pieces. You can choose several different neutral shades to paint one room to the next, but keep trim the same throughout the home.

BM Titanium with BM white dove cabinets and trim
Walls: Benjamin Moore Titanium; cabinets and trim are Benjamin Moore White Dove

And what if you have lots of heavy woodwork? “I know this could make me very unpopular with some, but I often recommend wood moldings get painted to the trim color and even wood beams often look better when white,” says Lansing. “If it makes more sense to maintain the wood, keep the wall color very light and try to keep furnishings simple, white and light with maybe a few colored throw pillows to accent.”

When it comes to paint finish, Lansing likes eggshell for the walls, and satin, or occasionally, semi gloss for trim. “I prefer a less shiny look,” says Lansing, who also favors a satin finish on bathroom walls.

Benjamin Moore Chelsea Gray cabinets with Benjamin Moore White walls

“My other inexpensive recommendation for sellers is to update the dining room light fixture. A modern replacement can transform a room, even with older furnishings,” says Lansing. Her favorites are the IKEA Fillsta, or Knapp or Maskros. All are under $60. “I always try to add some kind of live (or convincing fake!) plant in every room other than kids rooms. Greenery adds warmth and dimension to a space.”

Bathroom BM Woodlawn blue with  white dove trim
Bathroom: Benjamin Moore Woodlawn blue with white dove trim

Lansing’s favorite colors are all from Benjamin Moore. Some favorites and list:

* Edgecomb Gray or Revere Pewter: Both are fabulous in many rooms and look great as a backdrop to bright cushions and lamps. You can pair this color with accent pieces in blues, lime greens, oranges and pinks and yellows.
* Moonshine is terrific for bedrooms and bathrooms.
* Titanium (has a slight green to it): “I love this in kitchens especially, with white Dove Cabinets. Grey Owl is equally lovely but with more of a slight blue.”
* For warmer white paint colors, try Monterey White, Simply White and Lancaster Whitewash.

BM Beach Glass 1564 (bedroom)
BM Woodlawn Blue HC 147 (Bathrooms)

BM Balboa Mist 1549 bedroom (great with oranges and pinks and lime greens)
BM Gray Wisp 1570 Bedroom
BM Moonshine 2140-60 (great in bedrooms or bathrooms)
BM November Rain 2142-60
BM Titanium 2141-60
BM Gray Owl 2137-60

For living areas and hallways
BM Revere Pewter HC 172
Edgecomb Gray HC 173

Warmer colors

Castleton Mist HC-1 great with reds and blues
Camoflage 2143 -40

Kitchen Cabinets
White Dove INT. RM 90
Chelsea Gray HC-168
Gettysburg Gray HC 107

Lancaster Whitewash HC174

Trim colors
Simple white 2124-70
White Dove INT. RM
White INT. RM

Living room: Benjamin Moore Lancaster whitewash with white dove trim
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