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What are the best paint colors for selling your house?

The top paint shades when you are preparing to sell your home in Westchester County

Giving your home a fresh coat of paint is one of the most effective, easiest and most efficient ways to update your home.  It returns a positive ROI (Return on Investment) and generally helps houses sell faster and at higher values.

Best paint colors for selling a house

Choosing a light fresh shade of paint can make your space look larger, more cohesive and neutral enough to help buyers envision themselves living the

re. In addition, according to an article from Business Insider, choosing the right shade of paint can make an impact on how much your home sells for.


Best paint colors for selling your houseOver the years, I’ve worked with a lot of new home buyers, sellers, realtors and stagers, so I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t.  When it comes to selling your house, you want to choose colors that appealing to buyers – the ones that are neutral, light, inviting and show your space well.  Ironically, these colors are fairly consistent with the most popular shades of paint that most home owners choose for themselves when they are planning to stay in their homes.


I’ve been in the home improvement business for over 10 years doing both flooring and painting, so I want to share my insights with you.  Also, if you are painting yourself, I’ve recommended some helpful tools to make the job go smoother (at the end of the article).

Please note that this article may contain affiliate links.  You can see my full disclosure at the bottom of the page.

Related articles:


✅ Note: If you’re planning on painting yourself, here are some  helpful tools to make the job faster and easier.


✅  And, if you’re planning to sell your home soon, these printables will save you time and sell your home for top dollar.


What types of paint shades should you choose when you are putting your house on the market?

best painting tools on Amazon to make the job easierAs a general rule, when you’re preparing your house for sale, you want colors that are neutral, light and inviting.  You want to appeal to the majority of home buyers, and you want to avoid colors that are dark or taste specific.


Now, many people interpret “neutral” to mean white, and that is generally a color I would avoid if you’re selling.  Most stagers and realtors will recommend avoiding white.  And, they are RIGHT.  Why?  Because white is sterile, stark and uninviting.  It’s also boring.  Instead, you want a shade that is neutral and light, but also has a bit of personality and invites the buyer into your house.  You want a color that makes it feel like a home.



best paint colors for selling a houseSo, does neutral mean beige?  Usually beige is not the best choice.  It’s usually a bit better than white, but beige can also be a bit boring as well as dated.


Beige is a warm color, and now the preference is to go with cool shades.  In fact, 80% of the customers in the Westchester and NYC Metro area prefer cool tones over warm tones (and it’s been that way over the last 5-7 and the preference has been growing).  You want a color that will maximize the appeal of your real estate.


Believe it or not, the most popular color choice is now GRAY!  Yes, gray!  And, it’s even more popular than white (which is astounding when you consider that most rentals use white).  Here’s a great article on the most popular shades of gray.  This is a nationwide statistic based on actual paint sales, not just stated preferences.


best paint colors for selling your houseWhile gray may be the most popular, gray doesn’t work in all spaces…and there are many variations of gray (with blue undertones, taupe or green undertones, beige undertones, etc), so you do need to find the right gray (see below for some specific suggestions).  But, if gray doesn’t work, a wonderful alternative is Greige.  Greige is a mixture of gray and beige and it works in most homes.


paint colors for rooms with only one window



Aside from grays and greiges, certain light or pale blues work well, especially in bedrooms, some kitchens and bathrooms.  Blue is another cool color, and all 3 of these color families work especially well with dark hardwood floors (which are currently the most popular – see 2020 Hardwood flooring trends), white cabinets and white base molding.


best paint colors for selling a house in WestchesterAnd, while I advised you to avoid white, there are some exceptions.  White can work very well in very modern home, especially where the decor is a combo of black, white and gray. But, you’ll want to get the right white, and avoid other whites (see below for more specifics).


Please note that the preferred shades can vary based on your geography, as well as the style of your home, color of your floors as well as furniture.  Since I live here in Westchester County NY, I’m going to focus on what works best for the NYC Metro area, and it generally applies to the Northeast and Mid Atlantic states.


best shade of paint for selling a houseBut, as I mentioned, the exact right shade may vary based on your floor color, kitchen and bathroom cabinets as well as style of the home, and I’d encourage you to see what works best and actually get testers from the store and look at them on your walls and in your own lighting.  Also, feel free to contact a local stager.


Below I’m going to go into more detail.  I’ll share the exact shades of paint I recommend.  I’m also going to recommend the brands of paint to use, and the finishes, as well as colors you should avoid.



Buy me a coffeeDid you find my tips helpful? If so, feel free to buy me a coffee and support my blog.


Colors you want to AVOID when staging and selling a home

  • Dark colors (e.g. black, navy, dark brown, dark blues/purples/greens – they make your space look smaller and more closed in
  • Taste specific colors or colors that evoke specific reactions (e.g. reds, burgundy’s
  • Bright and saturated colors (e.g. orange, bright yellow, bright green, etc.)
  • Gender specific colors (e.g. pinks, lavenders).
  • Warm colors, especially yellows and colors with orange undertones.
  • Linen white, or similar “off white” colors that have yellow undertones (yellows/warm colors are so dated…and linen white is used in rental apartments so it looks cheap).
  • Many different colors (this makes house look smaller and creates more clutter)

If you have these colors in any of your rooms, you should consider painting them.  These colors will reduce the value of your home (and yes there are studies to confirm this).


Best Brands of Paint

best shades of paint when staging and selling a homeSherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore are 2 of the best and most well known brands of paint, and you won’t go wrong with either of these.  I would avoid buying paint from the Big Box stores, especially Home Depot’s Behr.  This paint is simply inferior.  It’s thinner, so you will actually need more coats of paint.


Just to put this in perspective, the best of the best at Home Depot is inferior to the lowest grade paints at the Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore.  Don’t fall for their marketing claims or gimmicks that you will only need 1 coat of paint (rather than 2) or paint and primer in one.  I can tell you from experience that they don’t compare to basic mid grade paints.  Generally, they do NOT save you money (and I understand that many are trying to save money, especially if they are selling their home).  I can tell you from experience that these paints will usually require an additional coat of paint, so you’ll be paying for MORE paint + MORE labor.  So, don’t waste your time and money.  You do get what you pay for.


Do you need any paint shade fan decks?

Amazon can help with that. It’s so much easier when you have the full color wheels and can see all of these in your own home (vs. going back and forth to the store MULTIPLE times).

Sherwin Williams           Benjamin Moore
sherwin williiams paint swatches benjamin moore paint colors

I’ve been working with painters for years,
and most of them will refuse to use Behr
products, unless the homeowner doubles
the amount of paint estimated and are
willing to go back and get even more if a
3rd coat is needed (and willing to pay them
for the extra money). These products are
designed for cheap and gullible customers,
so don’t be one of them. Regardless of
whether you are painting yourself (to save
money ) or hiring a professional, at least
start with the right product.
Recommended tools



picking the best shades of paint when you're selling a homeNow, when you’re selling your home, you do not need to buy the most expensive paint.  You just want a basic mid grade paint.  For Sherwin Williams, we generally use Promar 200 or Benjamin Moore UltraSpec. These are good paints that won’t break the bank and they will show well for when you’re selling your home.  There are certainly higher grade lines you could use (e.g. Sherwin Williams Duration or Emerald, or Benjamin Moore Regal or Aura).  But when you’re selling your home, these are great value products so that you’re doing a quality job without spending a ton of money.


Best shades of paint for staging and selling a home

Here are some great neutral paint colors if you’re looking to sell your home.  (Note: these colors also work if you’re moving into a new house).  I’ve provided options for both Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams.


Grays and Greiges

Benjamin Moore Abalone 2108-60

Best shade of paint for selling your house in westchester countyThis is a light shade of gray and works with virtually every color palette.  It works with dark floors and light floors and almost every color in between.


This color is rather versatile and works well for both large and small spaces.


Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter HC-172

best paint colors for staging and selling a home in Westchester NYThis is a true greige color – a mixture of gray and beige.  It’s one of the hottest grays and most popular when it comes to staging homes.  I believe it’s one of Benjamin Moore’s best sellers.  Revere Pewter is a warm gray so it’s inviting and complements most decor styles.  It seems to work with both warm and cool accents.  It looks especially striking with dark espresso floors.  The trim in this picture is Benjamin Moore White Dove.


You can see a sample or Revere Pewter here.


Sherwin Williams Silverpointe 7653

Silverpointe SW7653 most popular shades of gray and great for selling your houseThis is probably our most popular paint choice here in Westchester County. It’s such a wonderful gray as it’s light and has some taupy undertones. This brings in some warmth and it just seems to go with almost any colors.  Similar to Revere Pewter (Benjamin Moore), it goes with virtually any color scheme and any floor color.  It works with both cool and warm color accents (e.g. pillows, area rugs, etc.)


Would you like to see this color in your own room? If so, you can get a sample here.
Benjamin Moore Sterling 1591


Top shades of paint for when you're putting house on the market - SterlingThis is a cool and light gray tone.  This color is cool and steely.  It often works best when there are some dark browns in the room to add a bit of warmth.



Sherwin Williams Passive Gray SW7064

best shades of paint if you're selling a house in westchster countyThis is a very cool and light gray tone from Sherwin Williams.  It works incredibly well with dark floors and white or cream furniture.


This color works in both large and small rooms.

Would you like to see Passive in your own room? If so, you can get a sample here.

Sherwin Williams Gray screen SW7071

Gray screen SW7071 best shades of grayThis is probably our 2nd most popular color here in Westchester. It is a light and cool gray with blue undertones.  So, Silverpointe is a bit warmer and gray scale is a bit cooler. They both work for most color schemes.  Gray Screen is currently Sherwin William’s #1 color.  It’s even more popular than white.  It’s often good to test both, to see which one works best.

Would you like to see this color in your own room? If so, you can get a sample here.
Benjamin Moore Metropolitan AF-690

paint colors for bathroom with marble - westchester county nyThis is a medium gray paint with cool blue undertones.  It tends to work really well in bathrooms with marble or white tiles.


Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal HC 166 best staging paint colors to sell a homeThis is a great color if you want to create some drama.  It should be used sparingly (e.g in 1 room such as a dining room or an accent wall).  I would only do this for well lit rooms, ideally where the floors are light or mid toned and with wainscoting at the bottom (so the color is less intense) or for just an accent wall).


Here are some other great gray and greige choices, but please note that some of them are a bit darker (more like a mid gray) and these may be too dark for many homes.  You want to err on the lighter side unless you have a huge amount of light.  Benjamin Moore:  Stonington Gray HC170, Coventry Gray HC-169 (mid gray), Chelsea Gray HC 168 (darker dramatic gray – may work as an accent wall).  Sherwin Williams:  Repose Gray SW 7015, Modern Gray SW 7632, Light French Gray SW 0055, Colonnade Gray SW 7641.


Debbie GartnerWAIT! Are you selling your house soon?  Feeling overwhelmed? This printable planner makes it easy! GET YOUR PREP YOUR HOME FOR SALE PLANNER HERE!


Before I cover the rest of the color recommendations for selling your home, I wanted to share a VERY helpful video from Sherwin Williams, with some quick and super useful DIY painting tips. It’s just 2 minutes and covers types of brushes and painting techniques. Also, towards the end of this article, I share the painting tools and accessories that we use (with links to buy them on Amazon).

Sherwin Williams and Pottery Barn Painting tips for DIY homeowners


Beige paint choices

Sherwin Williams Accessible Beige SW 7036

Accessible beige for selling your houseWhile beige would not be my first choice when prepping a home for the market, if you need to do a beige, Accessible Beige from Sherwin Williams is a great choice.


You can order a sample of Accessible Beige here.




best whites when selling a home in Westchester NYWhile white would not be my first choice (as it’s often a bit stark and sterile), in some circumstances, it just works well.  It tends to work well in extremely modern homes, it can also work when a room is rather dark and doesn’t have many windows (and you need some brightness).  It can also work if you have a lot of color in the room (from furniture, area rugs, etc) and you just want an extremely neutral canvas.


Now, bear in mind that there are MANY whites…in fact hundreds of them.  (In fact, many get overwhelmed when looking at all of the shades of white.  By all means, you want to avoid linen white or anything similar with yellow undertones.  These colors are very dated and look very cheap (because linen white is a standard contractor color that has been used in rentals for years.  I can’t even tell you how many of my customers HATE this color and literally want to avoid it like the plague.


Instead, if you’re going to go with white, choose a cool white.  It’s more neutral and it’s more peaceful.  For Sherwin Williams, most choose Alabaster.  In fact, it’s their second most popular color.  Or, if you want white white, go for Pure White


Benjamin Moore White Dove paintIf you’re using Benjamin Moore, try White Dove (OC-17) or Simply White OC-117 (if you want a white white).



Light blue

Sometimes a very light muted blue can work.  This works especially well with dark hardwood floors and bathrooms, especially those with marble or white tile.  Sometimes, you need a cool tone, but you just can’t find the right gray.  This sometimes happens when you have a room with different shades of gray, so the gray paint may work with some of the grays in the room but class with others.  The light blue gives a new perspective and tends to unify those colors.


Sherwin Williams Mild Blue SW6533 or Benjamin Moore Misty Blue 820

Mild blue SW 6533Benjamin Moore Misty Blue 820Blue is peaceful and soothing.  But, if you choose blue, be very careful.  The biggest mistake people make is choosing a blue that is too saturated and then it looks cheap (and can become polarizing).  For Sherwin Williams, Mild Blue SW 6533 works well or for Benjamin Moore try Misty Blue 820.


IMPORTANT NOTE:  It’s often best to try testers to validate the colors.  They certainly look different on the computer screen than real life, but also the color swatches from the stores can look different n your walls based on your lighting and floor colors.  In fact, you will see that the same color appears different on different walls (due to lighting and shadows).


Paint Samples

Now, let’s talk about samples…

It’s always best to test the paint colors in you own home and own lighting. The colors do look different pending your lighting and can even look different room to room.


You can definitely go to your local painting store to buy some samples (and a brush…be sure to paint with 2 coats), but I have a MUCH EASIER way for you. Check out SAMPLIZE.


paint sample from sampize


Samplize offers 12” x 12” peel and stick paint samples that are EASIER, AFFORDABLE and more ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY.


Here are a few reasons why I recommend Samplize to my clients:

  • Samples come right to YOUR DOORSTEP in 1-3 business days, pending on location
  • At $5.95, they’re more affordable than the samples/brushes/foam boards than traditional samples…and of course easier and way less messy
  • If you keep the samples on the white paper, you can move them from wall to wall and room to room


They are amazingly accurate as they are made with 2 coats of real paint, so they are color correct.


Visit the SAMPLIZE website HERE.

Best paint finish for selling a home selling a home

Most popular shades of gray paints in Westchester County NYBy far, the most popular and stylish paint finish is Flat.  Flat has no sheen.  It looks fresh and new and it camouflages imperfections in the wall better.  The shinier you go, the more it shows imperfections in the walls (as well as sloppy paint jobs).


Note:  Flat is flatter than matte, eggshell is a bit shinier than matte, satin is a bit shinier and semi and high gloss are even glossier.  The flatter you go, the more stylish and the LESS it shows imperfections in the walls.  Egg shell and shinier are rather dated (although you may want to use these in moist areas such as bathrooms and kitchen, unless you can afford a more expensive paint such as Sherwin Williams’ Duration or Emerald or Benjamin Moore’s Regal or Aura as these lines are more wipeable and resilient to minor moisture.


So, when it comes time to sell, choose a flat finish!


best paint colors for staging a home1 coat of paint vs 2 coats of paint

As a general rule, if the current paint and walls are in good condition, you will want 2 coats of paint if you are changing the color, or 1 coat of paint if you are keeping the same color.  If you need to do repair work (e.g. sand down some areas, spackle or add putty), then you’ll want to do 2 coats (otherwise the repair will shine through).


best shades of paint if you're selling your homeIf you have wood paneling (or wood doors/trim) or if you have a very dark color (e.g. black, navy or dark blues or dark greens, burgundy, etc.) or very bright color (e.g. orange, red, mustard gold), then you would want to do 3 coats (usually a primer + 2 coats of paint).


And, as mentioned above, don’t believe the gimmicks that you’ll find in many big box stores that claim you only need 1 coat of paint…or their paint is primer + paint in one.  Believe me, you will need a 2nd coat as the previous color will shine though.  So you’ll find yourself going back to the store and buying more paint.  This will mean you’ll either need to pay your painter extra for the additional coat, or you’ll be spending more time on it.  Believe me, you are better off getting quality paint…it will look better, last longer and reduce the labor costs and time.


One color vs multiple colors

which shades of paint are best for selling homesAs a general rule, I’d recommend using one or just a small number of colors.  The more consistent you are with color, the larger and more cohesive your home will look. It will also save you a bit of money on the paint.


Avoid too many colors…this can create color clutter and distract your eye.  The same goes for floors and furniture.  Too many colors looks choppy.


best shades of paint for staging a home to sellThis will also help the buyer focus on the home, rather than be distracted by the paint colors (not to mention thinking about how much they’ll need to spend to repaint areas.  This is especially important for open concept floor plans.


While I love accent walls in some spaces, I would not recommend them when selling your home.  They can just become a distraction (and many people overdo them).




selling a house in westchester - best paint colors to useWhile one color is usually ideal, I also think it’s perfectly fine (and occasionally preferable) to switch colors in the bathrooms, and if needed in the kitchen, as long as the colors are in the same color scheme and work together.  It’s important that these shades go with the built in cabinets, tiles, etc and having some sort of neutral color in these rooms (one that goes with the tile and counter tops) gives these rooms a more finished look.  Bathrooms are usually closed off anyway.

Buy me a coffeeDid you find my tips helpful? If so, feel free to buy me a coffee and support my blog.


best paints to get your house sold at the highest valueI have also seen it work where there is one main color in all the common areas (i.e. living room, dining room, kitchen, family room, hallways, stair cases, etc.) and then a 2nd color for all the bedrooms.  (And, there could be 3rd color for the bathrooms). This especially works if all colors are cool toned and on the lighter side.  For example, you could do light gray for main areas, light blue in all bedrooms, white in bathrooms.


But, try to avoid doing different colors in each of the bedrooms. This just makes the place look choppy.  It’s different if you are moving into a new home and your kids each want different colors.  But, when you’re selling, go for light, neutral and inviting.  And, remember you don’t know who will be buying your home and the gender of their kids, nor their or their kids’ color preferences (and yes, some girls like blues, some pinks, some greens, as an example).


✅  And, if you’re planning to sell your home soon, these printables will save you time and sell your home for top dollar.


Helpful tools if you are going to paint yourself

masking tapeHere are some painting tools that may come in handy if you’re going to do the painting yourself.  Also, be sure to check out my article on the Top 10 DIY Painting mistakes and how to avoid themThe products below can be found on Amazon and delivered straight to your door.

  • Painting brush – this one costs a bit more, but it’s totally worth it.  It will help you paint faster and more accurately.  If you’re going to paint yourself, don’t skimp here.  Incidentally, this is Amazon’s Choice as well.
  • Painter’s tape – a must have.  Use for all the trim as well as ceiling area
  • Paint roller kit – this includes a tray.  Use the brush for the edges and the roller for main areas of the wall (and ceiling).
  • Drop cloths – Yes, you’ll need them for sure.  Some people have some on hand, but often not enough if you are doing many rooms.


Do you need any paint shade fan decks?

Amazon can help with that. It’s so much easier when you have the full color wheels and can see all of these in your own home (vs. going back and forth to the store MULTIPLE times).

Sherwin Williams           Benjamin Moore
paint colors to sell your house faster - Sherwin Williams paint shades for selling your home - Benjamin Moore

best paint colors for selling a homeConclusion:

Painting your house before you put it on the market can make a big difference.  It can help you sell your house faster and for more money as it makes your house look clean and fresh as well as more up to date with the current color trends.  And, often, painting will make your house look larger.


The general principles to follow are to go lighter, neutral (ideally gray or greige/cool tones) and be as consistent with color throughout the house as possible.  3 or fewer colors is better (one for main areas, potentially a 2nd for bedrooms, potentially a 3rd for bathrooms.





Related articles for painting and selling a house:



Buy me a coffeeDid you find my tips helpful? If so, feel free to buy me a coffee and support my blog.


What are the best paint colors for selling your house?


Silverpointe SW7653 most popular shades of gray and great for selling your house

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76 thoughts on “What are the best paint colors for selling your house?”

    1. I believe the paint color may be Kendall from Benjamin Moore. This picture was taken by a friend of mine in New Jersey. I don’t know the color of floor, but it looks like it’s around dark walnut. But, it could be a blend. The stains come out different on everyone’s floors.

      Always test your colors with samples.

      I hope that helps.

      1. Hi! I’m completely gutting my home(yikes!) it’s a small single level. When you walk n it’s ALL open to family room and kitchen.Being Italian,EVERYBODY LOVES TO BE IN BOTH PLACES! I absolutely love grays with a soothing undertone but was wondering if I should keep the flow of color into the kitchen as well..?? Or could I change the color from the sliding glass on. ( it goes into a small screened porch ) help!! have THE best article so far that I’ve read! Thank you !!

        1. Gina – First, thank you for your kind words. I really appreciate it. Regarding the kitchen, if the areas flow into each other, I would do the same color for sure. It will make the space look larger and more cohesive. But, if you really want to go different there and color of the cabinets/floors, warrant it, it’s up to you. I might do the screened in porch white if you want to make a change, as the screened in porch would look larger and go with the gray next to it. Or, you could consider the same gray but have them cut the strength by half with white. I hope that helps.

    1. Wendy – Most people use semi gloss for trim. The contrast in sheen vs the walls looks best, and it makes the molding a bit easier to clean (since these areas get dirty most often. Occasionally people do satin for the trim. It still gives you a contrast vs flat walls, but personally I and most people prefer semi for the trim.

  1. What about ceilings? Do you paint them white or the same as the walls?
    Thank you for all your information, it’s so helpful and makes selection of paint easier for me.

    1. I would strongly recommend white. White looks best (and normal) and will make your room look bigger and brighter. Once in a while I see a dramatic ceiling…if walls are very light, but as a rule of thumb, I would do white.

  2. We need to update our 90s kitchen with oak cabinets. What would you recommend for a paint color to go with the oak cabinets and trim? Do we need to paint the cabinets.?

    1. First, you are better off painting the cabinets. The kitchen will look much nicer and more updated and virtually any paint (and flooring) color will work. If you leave them, you’ll need to go lighter on walls. For sure one of the whites I mention in the post will work. Potentially Revere Pewter would work as it’s a greige and tends to blend in well. But, it may be too dark and it depends on color/tone for the oak. Oak is a species, not a color…so I don’t know if you have light or mid or dark, but most likely there is some sort of yellows and/or orange tones, and that’s what makes it look dated (in addition to grain) and challenging to find a paint color for. It’s also hard to find wood color options as well as you want to contrast color. So, I think you’re better off painting them first (I have an article on here for that. (just go to search bar on right and search for “paint cabinets” or something similar.

  3. I appreciate your thoughts on colors for selling a home, but my husband and I found it interesting what your comments were against Behr paint vs Sherwin Williams. Our conclusions were practically the opposite. We used to be faithful Sherwin Williams paint users. Then in this most recent house a friend recommended Behr paint and we bought a gallon to try because the price was soooo much better than Sherwin Williams. We are comparing to mid grade Sherwin Williams with mid grade Behr . With Behr we used a medium grade paint and fell in LOVE! It’s thick! It covers great! And , unlike Sherwin Williams, Behr doesn’t splatter all over everything and everyone!!!!
    We live in the Midwest, so maybe they make different paint qualities for the east coast. But here in the Midwest, Behr is our new favorite!
    By the way, my husband works in the industry, selling industrial paint application equipment to people who use Paint and finishes daily, and he has 24 yrs professional experience with many different paints and finishes-and has nothing against Sherwin Williams, but your statements on application are inaccurate. We are able to do the same with Behr as you recommend- 1 coat to freshen same color and 2 coats for a new color. If the difference in color is extreme, then a tinted primer before your 2 coats new color. Probably people can go with your principles and try a gallon of two different brands to see what they like.
    This article seems more like an advertisement for Sherwin Williams than instructions for preparing a house for sale.

    1. Gardengal – Interesting perspective. No, my experience has been the opposite and every painter I talk to here has has the same experience, and so have many of my customers. And, no this is not an advertisement for Sherwin Williams. I don’t get any benefit from them. And, I love Benjamin Moore, too. Again, not an advertisement. But, I will say you get what you pay for and my experience with almost of all of Home Depot’s products has been that their products are inferior – of thinner (when it comes to wood and other flooring products), less durable, not cut as well and in the case of paint, thinner and less durable.

      I’m just stating my opinion and experience and what I have learned from experts. But, if Behr works for you, use it. I would just never recommend it to my customers.

    2. I also recommend behr paint! We painted our home five years ago. Our bedrooms,living room ,kitchen,dining and master bath was painted with behr paint and has held up great. We painted our baseboards and kids bathroom with Sherwin Williams paint and it looks horrible. There are yellow spots in tbe paint like its oil We will never use Sherwin williams again.

      1. This sounds like you purchased oil based paint by accident. This is a common mistake among DIYers. We paint hundreds of homes each year and have NEVER had an issue with Sherwin Williams. I do however, hear consistent issues with the consistency of Behr paint. I will acknowledge that some of their colors are truly beautiful, but the quality of their paint is another matter.

    1. Cheryl – Actually, I generally recommend semi gloss for all trim, including doors. Satin can work as well, but most people prefer and are used to semi gloss. Whichever you use, use the same in all areas.

    1. Cheryl – Actually, I generally recommend semi gloss for all trim, including doors. Satin can work as well, but most people prefer and are used to semi gloss. Whichever you use, use the same in all areas. (Just answered again so that hopefully you will see the response). Also, I’m going to have to review the post to make sure I didn’t make a typo/mistake on the trim. So flat on walls and semi gloss on trim.

      1. Cheryl – It doesn’t look like I discussed trim in this article. But, I will try to add it in soon (it’s on my “to do” list). But, I would go semi gloss for all all trim. For the floors, I recommend a satin finish, so maybe that’s where that came from.

  4. I don’t read many articles all the way through, but your’s was extremely informative from top to bottom. I do have to mention there were two advertisements covering the article making it impossible to complete. Worth looking in to for your readers. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

    1. Michelle – Thx so much for the heads up. I will need to speak to may ad agency about this. Sometimes, additional ads sneak in under the radar screen. I think google will be screening more of these out later this month. I’m so sorry about the inconvenience.

  5. Please help, our home faces north, we get know direct light in our family room only indirect light from outside. Also, the bright it gets outside the darker it gets in the room.

    I get so tired of having to have two to three lamps on all day.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Thank you,

    1. Jean – Honestly, I think you need to hire a local stager and get that person’s perspective. If your house doesn’t get enough light, you need to fix that, regardless of paint color. Most likely install some overhead lighting or something. I’ve never heard of it getting darker in a room when it’s brighter outside. That is a bit strange. But maybe there is something odd with your windows.

      If it’s so dark, my gut tells me to go as light as possible on the walls – probably one of the whites. It may not be the ideal color in terms of creating a welcome atmosphere, but it will look lighter (obviously). But, really, you need to get to the route of the problem.

      I can’t see your place, so you should bring in someone local to help you.

  6. Virginia Kazlouskas

    As a REALTOR for over a decade, I also agree neutral tones on the wall are best for selling your home. It gives a brighter and cleaner appearance to the rooms. I always suggest flat beige or the new trend of greige with glossy white trim and repainting dated cabinets glossy white as well.

    1. Virginia – I’m so glad you agree. And, yes, excellent point on the cabinets. That can make a big difference. I wrote an article on how to do that, so I need to make sure I link to it from this post.

  7. I just read this article on homelight, that says “Hey, no grey.” I was disappointed, because I love it. Greige is a great answer to the problem of needing to go neutral. Fortunately, there are a lot of beiges out there!

    1. Sienna – I would have to disagree with that article. Gray is most popular with home buyers, as well as homeowners and it goes well with most decor. But, yes, greige can be a great solution and that’s an excellent point. The key is finding the right shade to go with the rest of the decor.

  8. In your article you recommend painting trim with a semi-gloss paint. What do you recommend for a tongue and groove ceiling that is painted white? Do you treat this like trim or doors?

    1. Ray – Good question. I would be more inclined to make that a flat finish…with regular ceiling paint. Generally, you don’t want your eye to focus on the ceiling. Also, wood has imperfections, so the flat will look better with that vs semi gloss will highlight the imperfections. You generally don’t want shiny or any sheen on ceiling.

      Note: If this is the first time painting that area, be sure to use a primer.

  9. What would you recommend for homes that already have grey flooring? We are thinking about putting down grey wood-plank tile or should we go with a warmer color? I love grey but don’t want to over do it.

    1. Nancy – Be sure to contrast the grays. If it’s too similar, your house will look to monochromatic. You may try a darker gray…or maybe some dark gray accent walls and then white or very light gray on other walls. Or a combo of white on some walls, dark gray accent wall and light gray. It may look really stylish. Also, blues work really well with grays. Even navy for some accent walls. I hope that helps.

  10. My living room the ceiling has stain wood flooring and the flooring too has stain wood flooring. Should I paint the celing flat white and the rest of ceiling of all rooms white too? I painted the walls in the leaving room with magnetic gray from sherwin Williams and im going to paint the chair rail, cases and that wall section white. what colors in the kitchen, if I have black tile 12″x12″ countertop, black and light gray back splash. and how about dinning room.
    Thank you for your information is great.

    1. Hi Jobe. Yes, you should paint the ceiling white. If you have wood, be sure to prime first. You can read more about painting paneling here:

      Yes, to white on chair rail/other trim and some form of gray is ideal. For the kitchen, I would either do the same gray or a white. If the gray doesn’t work with the backsplash in kitchen, then do white. For all the rest of the areas, I would do some form of gray – whichever of those you prefer. I hope that helps.

  11. Hi Debbie, We are trying to change the paint color in a home we have recently purchased on the water in Florida. For years we lived in the midwest and I had my “go to colors”. I am a Benjamin M. paint person. Are ceilings are 22 ft and we have plenty of natural light. Flooring is a medium brown and cabinets are dark -Inbetween dark cherry wtih espresso tones. Wood furniture are darker woods with silver accents. We are thinking about using the Reveve Pewter with Dove white trim. My question is the ceiling. Would it work to use the 1/4 strength os the Reveve Pewter on the ceilings. I would appreciate your professional opinion. Thank you!

    1. Janelle – I think revere pewter can work for the walls.

      Personally, I prefer white on ceilings as it looks more upscale and makes room look larger. You can definitely try (or test) 1/4″ revere pewter with white for ceiling. It tends to make ceiling look a bit closer, and if it’s 22 ft high, you are probably fine. This is really a judgment call. You’ll have to see if you like it and/or if it makes your ceiling look dirty. If it’s a vaulted ceiling, it might work better.

  12. Loved the info on the gray paint colors..very helpful! Just have a flooring color question for you- Were about to do some flooring updates in our home and our existing dining room/Kitchen is a hand scraped somewhat cherry wood type of finish which I know is not currently the most popular of hardwood colors..The rooms were replacing will butt up directly to this floor in 2-3 small entryways..what flooring color tone do you think would compliment the best ? I know the husband won’t let me get rid of the other existing hardwood area. I love the washed grays and the weathered wood looks but have no clue what would work with the cherrywood floor! Help!
    Thanks so much!
    Wendy in Utah

    1. Wendy – Oh gosh, cherries are so hard to work with – either to match or complement. Hopefully you have solid hardwood and test the colors to see what works best. I’d be more inclined to go with a dark brown as it’s more popular and more neutral, but definitely test. Maybe try dark walnut or antique brown.

      I don’t think any sort of grays will complement that, and the grays can be more polarizing on the floors, and they are more expensive to refinish.

      1. Thanks so much for the advice! I had a feeling you would say exactly what I was thinking, that the cherries are hard to work with…I agree!

  13. Hi, I am looking for fresh more updated colours for exterior of my house. I like the BM revere pewter and wandering if the BM simply white would work along with it for trims, gather garage door. I have no idea for the front doors, can you suggest what would work with the two other colours ?
    Thanks a lot

    1. Elizabeth – You can use Dove white for the trim with that. For the doors, it really depends on what you like. You could try a navy or dark brown…or virtually any color you like. Go take a trip around town and see what you like/what works with your neighborhood.

  14. Thanks for your expert opinions re gray tones in paint. I am installing new cabinets and want them a soft gray( Metropolitan?) with shiny nickel hardware, or maybe dark hardware? Also, should walls be very lite gray color, (say silverpoint? ) or will this contrast w cabinets and make cabinets look all the darker? I have an island too, and since the kitchen is cabinets/walls/ neutral, I found a very dark navy for the bar. Bar chairs MIGHT be wood and leather. What do you think? Finally what about a dark refinish for my warm yellow oak floors? The new kitchen opens into living area w brick fireplace, (not a great red/orange color). Do you do consultations in Potomac MD? Haha unlikely. Thanks so much for opinions and experience! I love youalready.????

    1. Grace – Yes, I would do the floors dark and get rid of the dated yellow on the floors. I would probably do cabinets either white (most popular and most contrast with floors) or a light gray. If you do white cabinets, do light gray on walls (silverpointe is fine). If you do gray cabinets, you’ll want to find a coordinating gray for walls (generally lighter). Navy is nice for an island, but it all depends on how large the space is and if floors are dark, it may be too much. Or, and I do offer phone consultations (it’s fine if it’s just a 15 minute call). And, then people just “buy me a coffee” in whatever multiple they feel comfortable with. Each coffee is $3 and it just goes through paypal and you can use a CC if you want. Good luck with your project.

  15. Thank you for the article. It was very helpful and your perspective and suggestions are great. I am in the process of looking to repaint the Living Room and Dining room and obsessed with the “gray” family. All the rooms in the house are neutral calm palette (except DR and Kitchen) and looking to do the same for the 2 rooms. Can’t decide which colors to choose. Too many! My entire house is Sherwin Williams. That’s the only paint I use. Easy to paint with and good application.

    1. Angie – I love Sherwin Williams, too and they seem to have the most and best options for gray. You just have to find the one you prefer. I would start with Silverpointe as it’s light, neutral and tends to go with almost all colors. It’s the most popular color among my customers.

  16. Hello Angie,
    We are building a house and have three choices of paint colors, white,accessible being or agreeable gray. The builder only gives those three options and they paint the ceilings the same color. I picked white cabinets and can’t decide on wall color. Floors will be the porcelain 4×6 planks. I am sick of dark wood floors and would like something lighter. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
    We live in North Texas area
    Thank you, sherrie

    1. Sherrie – Wow, sounds like a very unflexible contractor. I would definitely push back and/or be willing to pay a bit extra to get what I wanted.

      On the walls, hands down among those 3 choices, go for agreeable gray – most stylish and most neutral. BUT, that is crazy to put that or the same color on the ceiling. That is not normal. It looks cheap and tacky and will make your space look smaller. As an FYI, ceiling paint is less expensive than wall paint so from a material standpoint, there’s a savings. Sounds like the person is just trying to save time and money on labor and/or has very low quality painters. But, usually, even low quality painters can make the ceiling white, so I would push back on the ceilings.

      On the floor, do what you like, but porcelain 4 x 6 inches sound very dated and will make space look smaller and you’ll have more grout lines. Usually, the smallest you would do on a floor would be 12 x 12. A 12 x 24 or wood look planks would look better. If you are doing tile, see what you like with wood look tiles…as you may be able to get some nice whitewashed ones that look great with the gray walls. (or a different shade of gray).

      I hope that helps.

  17. I love your web site! I just happened to find it and am bookmarking it to make sure I don’t loose it.
    We live in FL and have an open floor plan. There is one area that is like a bump out – nook, it’s not large but very inviting with 3 tall, narrow windows that create a half hexagon. I’d like to paint this area one shade darker or lighter than the open floor area. I will have the entire open area painted so I don’t need to match an existing color. When highlighting an area with a color that is one shade darker or lighter what would you suggest? Should I go darker or lighter. This area faces north however we have a lot of natural light in our home. The furniture in this area is dark.
    Sherwin Williams paint is my favorite.
    Thank you so very much.

    1. Louise – Generally you would go a bit darker in this area as it will push out further and make the space look a bit larger. Sherwin Williams makes it easy as their paint strips have coordinating colors. Usually, though, you would go 2 shades darker, not one, for a nice effect. If you go one shade, it may not give you enough contrast and it may look like a mistake.

      this article on gray paints may help (I share some coordinating accent walls).

  18. I have used Sherwin Williams and Behr paint and like them both. Just FYI, Behr ranks as the top choice by Consumer Reports, and they tested more than a dozen paints, including Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams.

  19. I agree with all of your color suggestions. I have a bedroom that has blue and white bedding and accessaries. I don’t like white walls but I don’t feel I have a choice.

  20. WOAH, I was really impressed until you started hating on the big box stores. I’ve sued many paints and Gladden is one of my favorite paints.

    I wonder how much you were paid to hawk SW and BM paints.

    Won’t be be back here any time soon.

    1. Hi Joshua. Thank you for your distrust. In answer to how much they paid me, that would be $0. No, this is not a sponsored post. I wrote this article myself based on my and and my painters’ experience. And, by the way, I never mentioned Gladden paint.

  21. I am painting my open floor plan living room, foyer and kitchen. I have vaulted ceilings and not a ton of light. My walls are currently painted a dark taupe/brown SW color. I am wanting to go lighter. My floors are a rustic medium tone with browns and gray hints. Most of my furniture is brown tones and baige. My cabinets are white and my countertops are a mix of taupe and gray. I was thinking of using BM Edgecomb gray. I hope it’s not too light. I considered Revere Pewter but I was afraid it may look to green in the evening. It will be a big change going from dark to so light. Any advice is appreciated.

  22. Thanks so much for this article, very informative. I am preparing to sell my house and will surely stick to less than three colors. I wanted to paint my front door yellow, what is your advice on this? The external is gray. Thanks!

    1. Definitely don’t use yellow for your front door as it’s very polarizing. It’s very difficult to advise you on which colors are best as it depends on the color of your home, where you live, what’s used in your neighborhood. Often red and navy are 2 great colors and good for resale, but it depends. My best advice to you is to drive around your neighborhood and see what’s popular and looks good, esp with homes that are a similar color to yours.

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