A fresh, light neutral is always the best choice when painting to maximize your home sale price. To attract today’s buyers, keep the current trends in mind. In the 1990’s, neutrals tended to have a pink hue, in the early 2000’s they moved into the green range, and more recently they have moved into the grey spectrum.  My personal favorite all around neutral right now is ICI Gilded “Pillar”, a modern grey-beige that works well with almost any flooring, and highlights dark woods.

I have also noticed a growing all white trend, which I personally love and have done in my own home. With our bedrooms in a low slung half story, blurring the boundaries between walls and ceiling was the only logical solution. My choice was a classic white: BEHR “Decorator White”, which partners well with other whites without appearing dingy against crisp linens or cold against woods.

Wall colours are greatly affected by the amount and type of available light, so it is important to take home several paint chips and view them in your own home at different times of the day as light conditions change. Natural sunlight or lack thereof is the most important light source to consider. In a room with limited natural sunlight, like a basement or small north facing condo, consider going  a shade lighter than your paint chip; alternatively, in a very sunny south facing high rise with huge floor to ceiling windows, consider going a shade darker.

Paint chip cards generally come in a series with several hues of a colour per card. The best indication of the underlying colour is the darkest shade on the chip. Ever wonder why that little chip looked like the perfect pewter, but once spread over an entire wall turned out to be purple? It’s the underlying colour coming through! Always look at the darkest shade on the chip, then work your way back through the lighter ones.

Whether you are hiring a professional or DIYing, always go the extra step of painting a big test swatch on your wall. Most stores offer small custom mixed sample sized paints, which will cost you a few dollars up front, but is well worth it to see exactly how the shades work on your walls before committing. When you are purchasing sample paints make sure they are in the same sheen as the paint you intend to apply.  Paint sheen will affect the look of the colour — for example, a matte sheen tends to look darker than the same colour in a semi-gloss.

For most interior surfaces, eggshell or semi-gloss is generally recommended.  Matte finishes are very trendy but they do show scuff marks more prominently. Remember, there is nothing that changes the mood in the room more quickly than a new coat of paint, so put your home viewers in the buying mood with a simple muted palette where they can easily envision their own personal colour scheme.

Think of repainting to sell your home like creating a blank canvas, or perhaps a base coat for the new owner to fill with their own personal touch once they move in!