A House of a Different Color: Painting Tips for Your Home

By Lee Cameron Published 09/19/2008 | Real Estate

One of the most efficient ways to add value and appeal to your home is by giving it a fresh new coat of paint. When you're looking for a way to boost the appearance of your home for a potential buyer, repainting is a relatively affordable and easy alternative to expensive remodeling. Follow some of these tips to make sure that you get the desired effect.

-Choose Wisely - Choosing the color will be the most important decision you make when you decide to paint a room. Do some research on what colors are currently popular, but be careful not to use anything that's too "trendy" or your home will look outdated before you know it. Stay away from dark colors - they will make the room look smaller and may make buyers feel uncomfortable. It's especially important to use light colors in rooms that need to look clean and bright, such as bathrooms and the kitchen. Once you've got your idea for a color, paint a few patches on the bare wall and see how the color looks with your lighting and your furnishings. This will help you figure out exactly what shade of color you want before you paint the entire room. If you get your final shade of paint mixed at a hardware store in multiple cans, dump them all into one drum and mix them thoroughly. This will remove any small differences between each can of paint.

-Don't Skimp - You may have chosen to paint as a more affordable way to update your home, but don't go cheap when it comes to buying your materials. When it comes to painting supplies, you get what you pay for. Make sure that you buy quality paint and quality brushes. It will end up being a better value in the long run because higher-quality paint will take less time and fewer coats to cover an area, and will last longer and look better for years to come. 

-Prepare - Make sure that the wall is properly prepared by cleaning, scarping and sanding. When you think you're finished, hold a light bulb near the surface and move it around. Any blemishes and rough spots that you may have missed will cast a shadow. When the wall is clean and smooth, apply a coat of primer. That way you will need less of your expensive paint to get a nice even coat and the job will last longer and look better.

-Flat or Gloss - Pay attention to the surfaces that you are painting. Rougher surfaces are best covered by a flat paint, while smooth, clean surfaces look best with a high-gloss finish. Glossy paints resist dirt, moisture and mildew, so try to use them in the bathrooms and kitchens.

-Bring it All Together - When you're all finished, mix some of your wall color with white for a trim that goes beautiful with the rest of the room. Test out the percentage of color to white ratio that you need to get a pleasing color and make sure that you keep the color consistent throughout the room.

Color and fresh, new paint is one of the most important elements for making your house look more appealing to a prospective buyer. But you need more than just the paint, you need to make sure that it's done right to get the most bang for your buck. Follow these tips and you should be well on your way.