When your home is for sale, it is now a product that needs to appeal to the greatest number of buyers.  Walls, along with the floors, are the bones of a home and they need to be in good condition and neutral in appearance so that they do appeal to the greatest number of buyers.

  • People are heavily influenced by color, and it is difficult for buyers to look past the dark purple or other strong colors on the walls.
  • Paint is an inexpensive but effective way to re-decorate a room. It can update a kitchen or bathroom, make a small room seem to be larger, and make architectural details like molding or built-ins pop. 
  • Dirty and scratched walls and peeling paint turn off buyers.
  • Potential buyers will be thinking about how they have to take the time and spend the money to repaint; or even worse, thinking ‘I don’t want to buy this place”.
  • Painting does cost money for both labor and materials, but its benefits far exceed its cost.  Even if the buyer is willing to make an offer, you can bet it will be less than asking to compensate for the paint job they will have to do.

Paint Sheens (all Benjamin Moore Regal)

Follow these guidelines for choosing paint finishes:

  • Flat – good for ceilings (use Benjamin Moore Decorator’s White).  Can also be used for walls if the walls have a lot of imperfections as these would be more noticeable when painted with a sheen or gloss.  However, flat paint is more difficult to clean than paint with a sheen or gloss.
  • Eggshell – good for bedrooms and living and dining rooms.  Highly washable, durable and stain resistant.
  • Matte – good for busy areas like hallways and kids’ rooms as it is a flat paint but highly stain resistant and durable.
  • Pearl – good for hallways, bathroom and kitchen walls, and kids’ rooms as it is highly durable and can withstand repeated washings.
  • Semi-Gloss – good for trim and doors, and also kitchen and bathrooms. It is highly durable, scrubbable and washable.  Use a color in the white family to make trim pop.

If you prefer to choose one finish for walls in all rooms, then Eggshell is recommended.

Paint Colors

Before purchasing any paint, test a sample on the wall.  Benjamin Moore now sells small jars of the most popular colors, or invest in purchasing a quart.  If the wall has a dark color on it, hold a white piece of paper next to your sample.  Look at your sample painted swatch at different times of the day to see if it changes color with the lighting.

When painting a home that is for sale, it is best to stick with neutral colors.  And that doesn’t mean white, as it is very stark and cold.  It also doesn’t mean it has to be some variation of off-white or beige, but can be a certain shade of green, blue, brown, gold or earth-toned red.

If you wish to “play it safe”, the following is a list of colors that are in the off-white or beige category.

Recommended Neutral Paint Colors For Walls

Below are color swatches of my recommended netural paint colors, as well as a list of the colors.  Keep in mind that the appearance of the color on the swatch may not reflect it’s true color as it depends upon the monitor settings with which you are viewing them.


  • Natural Wicker (OC-1)
  • Elephant Tusk (OC-8)
  • Muslin (OC-12)
  • Cedar Key (OC-16)
  • Collingwood (OC-28)
  • Tapestry Beige (OC-32)
  • Misty Air (OC-44)
  • Hazy Skies (OC-48)
  • Gentle Cream (OC-96)
  • Pale Celery (OC-116)
  • Celery Salt (OC-136)
  • Shelburne Buff (HC-28)
  • Edgecombe Gray (HC-173)
  • Manchester Tan (HC-81)
  • Rich Cream (2153-60)

Do you have any favorite neutral colors you use or recommend?  I’d love to add them to my list.