Snap App and SnapDry by Sherwin-Williams

Painting Products

Selling a home? Just bought a home? Paint is the easiest and least expensive decorating tool to help homeowners transform a house when moving out – and often before moving in. Fortunately to avoid spending dollars on hiring a painting contractor, many homeowners can paint themselves. However, choosing the right paint color can be intimidating. No worries – there are several ways to find help, from apps and visualizers to specific color charts.

On the inside

Selecting a color with universal appeal can be tricky. Many real-estate salespeople recommend going neutral (white or beige). We asked paint and color expert Sue Wadden, Director of Color Marketing at Sherwin-Williams, based in Cleveland, which paint color works best on walls, ceilings, and trim for resale, as well as which type of finish to use.

"You can definitely go white for a blank-canvas look, but I prefer going with a neutral for a somewhat stronger look," she says. And here’s why. "Too many will find the white too institutional looking and antiseptic and will think they’ll have to hire a painter to make their home feel like a home," she says.

But don’t think you have to use just one neutral color. Consider a series of grays that are trending now or some taupes that will help personalize the home and rooms. And to curtail the cost, you don’t have to paint every single room. Focus instead on the main living spaces plus the master bedroom, which are the rooms most buyers care about when they view homes.

Which neutrals are most likely to appeal? Wadden likes her company’s Accessible Beige, #7036, which falls in between being warm and cool, has a bit of gray, and looks well with all styles of furnishings. If you don’t want all the rooms in the same hue, she suggests going "up" or a bit darker on a color strip to Tony Taupe, #7037, for an adjoining room such as a dining room or family room. It offers a similar feeling but is a bit darker and richer. For yet another room – maybe, a kitchen or the master bedroom, consider going a bit lighter with Aesthetic White, #7035. Using paint on the kitchen cabinets can refresh the room without investing in a renovation when you don’t plan to stay. If sellers want to be hip, they might consider the company’s recently named 2017 Color of the Year, which is Poised Taupe, #6039, and a bit darker and more modern.

When it comes to trim and ceilings, a good idea is to be consistent throughout. Even if buyers don’t like the color of your walls, they may find they like the trim and ceiling choices. This means they won’t feel compelled to repaint, which can be time consuming and costly. One classic color that works for both is the company’s Pure White, #7005.

What about the finish? Part of the decision should hinge on the condition of the surfaces. If your house is older and may have some bumpy areas, consider a flat finish that tends to mask imperfections. It also works well on ceilings to make them fade away and not reflect sunlight. For trim, consider semi-gloss, which adds a bit of sheen and is also very durable if baseboards get dinged or scuffed. If you’re concerned about scrubability – in a hallway or busy trafficked area, consider going with a satin or eggshell finish, which are easier to wipe down, Wadden says.

On the outside

Curb appeal – or what buyers see right away – does ring true. The front door and any shutters should look clean and fresh. If homeowners want to go classic, a dark color such as a black, red, or deep green is a safe choice, particularly in the Northeast, Wadden says. In warmer areas such as the Southwest, they might go a bit bolder with a coral or turquoise, depending on the rest of the house, including its facade frame, which usually should be in a neutral that appeals to a wide market.

Use a Snap app

For either the interior or exterior, sellers can take real-world colors and turn them into paint-color swatches on their smartphone or ipad® with the company’s "ColorSnap® Visualizer."

Fast-drying paint

Finally, if time is of the essence, and home owners need to make a quick fix, they should use the company’s new SnapDry™ line of semi-gloss door and trim paint, which dries and cures within an hour. The door can be closed without sticking.

The goal of any paint color is to visually tell a story about your home and make it feel lived in and loved.