But homeowners can also make a lot of mistakes with this common DIY job. Realtor.com® recently spoke with staging and color experts to find out some of the most obvious mistakes that they see most often.
1. Choosing the wrong finish.
Homeowners need to select a paint finish that correlates with the room’s purpose. “Many homeowners are nervous about using shiny semigloss, but it’s more durable than flat or matte and more moisture-resistant, which makes it perfect for bathrooms and the kitchen,” Kristen Chuber, marketing director at Paintzen, told realtor.com®. However, flat and matte finishes may make better choices for high-traffic areas like hallways or kids’ rooms, since they usually allow for easier touch-ups.
2. Not paying attention to the room’s undertones.
Pay close attention to the other elements of the room that can influence how the color looks on the walls. “Your color will look off if you pair a pink undertone with a yellow one, so look at the counters, the stone fireplace, and cabinets when choosing paint,” Karen Gray-Plaisted, a home staging expert with Design Solutions KGP, told realtor.com®. The flooring can influence the color perception too. For example, a warm mahogany hardwood might look strange when paired with a cool gray paint, Gray-Plaisted says. Also, be sure to “test your color swatches in different lighting, or you’ll end up with a shade that’s all wrong,” Chuber notes.
3. Selecting the wrong color of white.
White paint comes in many shades. “Some whites are cool, others warm, still more are neutral, so the one you pick will depend on the room’s finishes and undertones,” Gray-Plaisted says. Liat Tzoubari, CEO of home decor boutique Sevensmith, told realtor.com® she sees homeowners overuse white paint in a home. “Instead, choose a white with a slight pink or yellow tint, such as cream,” she suggests.
4. Forgetting about what’s overhead.
Ignoring the ceiling when repainting can make the room appear dull and dirty, says Chuber. “Whether you pick white or a bright color, painting it properly will give you those sharp edges along the top and can make wall color pop,” Chuber says.
5. Adding an accent wall in an odd place.
Adding a pop of color to an accent wall is a popular move, but homeowners should make sure the effect isn’t jarring. “Accent walls are supposed to draw attention to a beautiful area, like the dining room—but not the bathroom or toilet area,” Kaitlin Willhoit, a real estate pro with The Boutique Real Estate Group, told realtor.com®. Also, the paint chosen for the accent wall needs to still work with the overall color scheme of the room or the house, says Bee Heinemann, interior designer with Vant Wall Panels. Too bright or too bold a color may be a turnoff to buyers.