If you are considering a home painting project to freshen up the interior of your Northern Virginia home, you want to avoid using colors that will detract from your space rather than complement it. You may love the color when you see a sample in the store, but then discover it looks entirely different when you apply it to your space.

All American Painting Plus, Reston’s leading interior painting contractors, ran across an interesting report regarding home interior colors you may want to avoid. Zillow, the giant online real estate site, has a subsidiary called Zillow Digs that captures and analyzes data on all the houses and condos listed on the real estate site. One of the subjects the company pursued was how the color of the interior walls affected the sales price of the property.

Zillow Dig took the interior colors from photos of 50,000 listings and compared those colors to the difference between the actual sales price and Zillow’s estimated value. With a 50,000 home sample, the results can’t be dismissed as anecdotal. It appears that some colors routinely lower the price of a home.

Here’s what they found.

5 Interior Painting Mistakes that Can Cost You Money

Most of these findings appear to be counterintuitive until you dig a little deeper:

  1. Off-white and eggshell. What could be more neutral than white? Doesn’t this eliminate the house buyer’s fear that their furnishings will not match the color of the room? Apparently not. In fact kitchens, that were painted in one of the two colors sold for $87 less than the Zillow estimate. It turns out that small spaces like a tiny kitchen look flat or dead when painted off-white or eggshell.
  2. Pantone 448 C, also known as “opaque couche.” This green-brown, sewage-looking color has been officially named the most disgusting color in the world by the Australian government. They passed a law requiring that all cigarettes be packaged in this color to discourage smoking. Why someone would put it on the walls of their home is a mystery, but some do. And when they do, they drive the sales price down $236 from the Zillow estimate.
  3. Terracotta. Surprisingly, buyers are not thrilled with shades of terracotta. Benjamin Moore considers its Baked Terra Cotta to be a timeless, elegant color. Buyers, however, paid $793 less than the estimate on homes with shades of terracotta on the living room walls.
  4. Gray. This one depends on the shade of gray used. Homes with dark gray (slate gray) dining rooms sold for $1,112 less, while those with light gray hues (dove gray) in the living room sold for $1,104 more than the Zillow estimate.
  5. Actual lighting conditions. This isn’t a color obviously, but a technique. Experienced residential painting contractors like All American Painting Plus will agree that the number one reason a paint selected from a swatch in the store doesn’t look the same when it’s applied to a home interior is lighting. Halogen lights, LED lights, natural light, and incandescent light will be absorbed and reflected differently by the paint than the fluorescent lighting in a store.

Make your home painting project a success by using a large enough sample in the space where it’s to be used before making a final decision.If you have questions on paint selection, the cost to paint a house, how long a project would take, or anything else regarding residential painting, don’t hesitate to contact All American Painting Plus today for answers.

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