See which paint colors offer the biggest boost to your home's sale price (and which to avoid).

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Paint has the power to completely transform a room, and compared to other home remodeling projects, it's a relatively quick and inexpensive update. Depending on the color you choose, the pay-off from a few cans of paint can be huge, and if you're looking to sell your home, it could amount to a few thousand dollars.

New research from real estate marketplace Zillow suggests that certain paint colors can increase the amount a buyer is willing to offer on a home by as much as $5,000. Based on this analysis, which involved nearly 1,300 recent or prospective U.S. homebuyers, paint company Behr teamed up with Zillow to unveil paint color recommendations that could boost your home's value.

bathroom wire storage
Suggested paint color: Ethereal Mood MQ3-52, Behr
| Credit: Lincoln Barbour

Blue Bathroom Paint Colors

Most notably, light-blue bathrooms are a strong favorite that can result in a big return on investment for your home. Survey participants noted they'd be more interested in touring and buying a home with a light blue bathroom—and willing to pay 1.6% more than expected. On a $290,000 home (which is about the typical home value in the U.S.), that's a boost of nearly $5,000. To capitalize on this preference, Behr suggests painting your bathroom a soothing color like Ethereal Mood MQ3-52.

dark blue guest bedroom with moroccan-inspired colorful decor
Suggested paint color: Sojourn Blue M500-5, Behr
| Credit: Kim Cornelison

Blue Bedroom Paint Colors

Blue also proved advantageous in primary bedrooms, but survey respondents gravitated toward deeper, moodier shades that help foster a cozy atmosphere. When used in the bedroom, dark blue paint colors like Sojourn Blue M500-5 were associated with a $1,500-increase in the home's value (based on a $290,000 home).

gray living room with warm wood floors and modern chandelier
Suggested paint color: Silver Mine PPU26-18, Behr
| Credit: Peter Molick

Neutral Living Room Paint Colors

In common spaces like the kitchen and living room, however, it pays to keep things neutral. In the kitchen, crisp white paint colors like Polar Bear 75 could add more than $500 to your home's value, while light-gray living rooms were linked to a $200 boost in the offer price.

"Color can evoke a strong emotional and psychological response to a space," said Erika Woelfel, vice president of color and creative for Behr, in a press release. "Blues, grays, greens, and whites are timeless, calming colors that allow potential buyers to see a home as a fresh, clean slate. They can then picture themselves, and their personal furnishings, filling the space to make memories in years to come."

Paint Colors That Could Decrease Home Value

The Zillow report also includes paint colors that could have a negative effect on a home's perceived value. Across nearly every room, bright, boisterous hues were least attractive to the buyers surveyed. Bright red kitchens, for example, corresponded to a nearly $1,500 decrease in the average price buyers were willing to offer for the home, while buyers were least likely to want to purchase a home with a bright yellow kitchen.

Of course, choosing paint colors is highly personal, and you should feel empowered to select shades you love and that suit your decorating style. But if you're thinking long-term about your home's value, it might be worth opting for colors that will appeal to a wide array of potential buyers.

Comments (5)

Better Homes & Gardens Member
September 3, 2021
I agree! Blue and Gray are so cold. Warm tones are comfortable and soothing.
Better Homes & Gardens Member
September 3, 2021
Pale blue is friendly and cool, with inherent room-brightening qualities. And even though I love earthtones a beautiful red front door turns my head every time.
Better Homes & Gardens Member
September 3, 2021
Pale blue is friendly and cool, with inherent room-brightening qualities. And even though I love earthtones a beautiful red front door turns my head every time.
Better Homes & Gardens Member
September 3, 2021
Blue is the worst.
Better Homes & Gardens Member
August 28, 2021
Yuck 🤮! Blue and gray are cold, depressing colors. I'll stick to my cozy and welcoming warm colors 💛🏡🧡, no matter HOW much it will supposedly decrease my home's value!!