Written by: Olivia Forgette

You’ve outgrown the space you once loved and are ready to move on to a fresh new chapter in a new home. The catch, before you sell your house, there is often some sprucing that needs to take place. Good news! Adding a simple fresh coat of paint can pack a serious punch in the real estate game.

We hope you enjoy learning about foolproof paint colors for 2021 to help sell your home faster and for a higher profit. The internet has been scoured, and we are here to share with you everything you need to know about painting for resale, as well as provide you with some color suggestions to take the guesswork out of the equation.


According to Consumer Reports, painting your home interior can boost the home sale price by 1-to-3 percent, while exterior paint can add 2-to-5 percent! Additional research shows that painting a home interior results in a 107 percent return on investment. Plus, a recent HomeLight survey showed a 51 percent return on investment when painting a home exterior before selling.


General Tips

Before diving into specific paint colors that are excellent choices, it’s important to remember some basic, general tips surrounding painting your home for resale purposes.

A lime green living room, or hot pink child’s room can leave buyers feeling like there are chores at the property before they even sign the papers. (Not exactly what you’re looking for when you want to get maximum equity from your home!)

When in doubt, go neutral

99 percent of the time, selecting a neutral shade is the best choice. Neutral colors appeal to the largest range of buyers. According to a survey conducted by HomeLight, 98% of top agents surveyed agreed that neutral color choices are the most popular with buyers.

Two whites don’t make a right

Do not decide to paint every inch of your home white. This is an old method of freshening up a space that buyers agree is too sterile. Often, white walls show wear-and-tear more quickly than their splashed-with-color counterparts. Also, with buyers spending more time than ever at home, (many of us are working from home post pandemic!) a warmer, more inviting tone is preferred.

Decide on an undertone and commit

Selecting a cohesive colorway for your home is essential to making the space feel fresh, updated, and thoughtful. In past recent years, the trend has sat on a cooler tone palette, however for 2021 it seems the trend is adjusting to a warmer tone preference.

It’s important when deciding a tone for your house to consider other details, such as flooring colors and trim. For example, if you have very warm, cherry-tone flooring in your house, it’s best to mimic that warmth with your wall color. Some warm neutrals to consider are Sherwin Williams Devine White, or  Shiitake. (More color suggestions later!)

HomeLight states it is best to select a paint color that is at least two shades lighter, or darker than your flooring for adequate contrast.

Map out a plan

According to HomeAdvisor, neutral and earth tones are the best for home resale. Think warm beige, light gray, and warmer whites accompanied by earthy sage greens and soft blue tones. Research also shows for the kitchen to select a light blue or gray paint color. Homes with kitchens in this colorway sold for $2,000 more than homes with white-walled kitchens.

It’s also important before painting your entire home to plan what finish you want to use. A paint finish is how shiny or matte a paint appears once dry. Flat paint is best for low-traffic spots in the house, while a shiny counterpart often is more durable. You can learn more about paint finishes here, and here!


Let’s talk colors

Now that you know some general tips to selecting paint colors, it’s time to make your selection! (This is the fun part!)

Best cool neutral paint colors

  • Light French Gray – Minimalist, refined, cool-toned gray
  • Pavestone – Saturated, cool-toned shade for a timeless look
  • On The Rocks – Cool-toned gray shade with mid-level saturation for a sophisticated aesthetic

Best warm neutral paint colors

  • Devine White – Dreamy, warm-toned neutral shade
  • Stone Lion – Essential warm-toned beige
  • Balboa Mist – Warm-toned, off-white shade for versatility and sophistication

Best white paint colors

Color of the year

According to Sherwin Williams, the color of the year for 2021 is Urbane Bronze. This bold, saturated shade remains neutral and is rooted in nature and sophistication.

Best bathroom colors

Bathrooms are the one space in the house many agree can be a fun, more bold shade. Keep it fresh with earth tones and remember to keep your buyer in mind.

  • Cascades – Deep rich green shade to make a bold statement in your bathroom
  • Window Pane – Airy light green shade for a clean feeling
  • Tranquility – Green hue for harmony and a seamless aesthetic

Best kitchen cabinet colors

2021 is proving that kitchen cabinets are the place to go bold when painting your space. Adding a deep, rich tone to your lower cabinets, while keeping it airy and bright on the walls and upper cabinets is a design trend buyers adore.

  • Naval – Rich and deep blue tone delivers a bold pop
  • Dard Hunter Green – Historic, saturated green hue
  • Char Brown – Saturated warm hue to bring your kitchen cabinets to life


Shades to avoid

On the flip side of these amazing color choices, there are some general rules of thumb on what not to choose. For example, you should avoid red interior paint colors, and keep yellow away from your exterior. Other shades to avoid include purple in bedrooms (a survey found purple shades are the least conducive for quality rest!), and avoid pink splashed on every wall of the room.

Zillow analyzed 135,000 homes and found some interesting data regarding paint colors to avoid:

  • Kitchens with a yellow paint color sold for $820 less on average
  • White bathrooms proved to sell the home for $4,035 less!
  • Bedrooms painted pink sold for $208 less on average
  • Blue living rooms sold for $820 less on average (add blue with fun accents rather than wall color)


We hope that your spruced-up space delivers a great return on your home investment, and that these design trends offered confidence when selecting the perfect paint color for beautiful aesthetics and increased resale value.

If you or someone you know are looking to buy or sell property, contact Maureen Forgette with CENTURY 21 Roberts Andrews. She can provide the highest level of service or can refer you to a top-rated and trusted agent in your local area!