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Primed Property: Do I really have to repaint the walls?

‘I really like colour,” says Stacy Butler, a 32-year-old marketing assistant who lives on Queen Street West. Her condo is laced with several eye-popping hues: One wall is bright green, another is red; her bathrooms are yellow and grey and her bedroom is blue. “I love my place, but my concern is about what will happen when I go to sell my unit.”
Like many, Butler has heard from realtors that staging a home for sale is key, this includes painting walls. “I get that, but painting every room is going to be a lot of work. I wonder if it’s actually necessary.” If it is, she asks, what colour of paint should she reach for?
To answer her question, Primed Property reached out to two industry experts.
Martin Tustin-Fuchs, brand manager of Dulux Paints, says his rule of thumb is to use a base shade in about two-thirds of a room and then to introduce other hues in smaller quantities.
“To achieve an elegant, relaxing feel try a monochromatic colour scheme with one main colour supported by others from the same family. For a harmonious effect, combine colours located beside each other on the colour wheel. To create a dynamic look, choose complementary colours found directly across from one another on the wheel.”
He also advises someone like Butler think about a room’s function when choosing a hue.
“Will [a buyer] be playing, sleeping, eating or relaxing in the space? Make sure you choose your colour accordingly. Yellow, red and orange as well as soft grey, violet, blue and green are known to be more conducive to appetite-building, entertaining and conversation. Bright red will energize and stimulate kids in a playroom, while cooler blues have a calming, serene effect. Golden yellows and warm apricots tend to flatter any skin tone in a bathroom.”
For Alison Goldman, a brand manager for CIL paint, the main thing to consider is what the buyer will think. “Don’t think of it as your house anymore. You’re selling a product now.”
Her suggestion is to paint with neutrals, but then to add interest using a bright colour in each room. “Painting a focal wall in a warm colour adds personality and may draw increased interest from prospects,” she says. “This technique is especially effective in key rooms like the master bedroom and dining area, where a splash of colour can add charm to a space without overwhelming it.”
Goldman adds people in a position similar to Butler should use paint to highlight their home’s best qualities or to detract from less desirable elements. This should make it more sellable.
White crown moulding can be used to make walls seem taller, and smaller spaces can be widened by painting them in a neutral hue. Dark spaces can be brightened with sunny shades.
“First impressions are everything when selling your home, and paint is the easiest and least expensive way to create an appealing atmosphere for potential buyers,” she says. “For a minimum investment, paint can help yield maximum return.”

Sarah Kelsey, Special to National Post