How to Paint Your Home to Sell: A Personal Journey to Success

Bob Thomas


When it comes to selling your home, first impressions matter. 

A fresh coat of paint can make all the difference in attracting potential buyers and maximizing the resale value.

In this comprehensive guide, I'll share my personal experience in painting my home for a successful sale, as well as expert tips and tricks to help you achieve the same results.

Choosing the Right Colors

My journey began with choosing the right color scheme for my home. Neutral colors like whites, grays, and beiges are generally recommended as they appeal to a wider range of buyers.

As an artist and someone who loves vibrant hues, I was initially hesitant.

However, after some research, I understood that neutral colors provide a clean canvas for potential buyers to envision their own style.

Quality Matters: Selecting the Right Paint

Investing in high-quality paint not only ensures better coverage and durability, but it also demonstrates to potential buyers that you care about your home's upkeep.

I found that using a reputable paint brand made the application process smoother and resulted in a more professional finish.

Prepping the Walls: A Crucial Step

Before I started painting, I took the time to properly prepare my walls.

This included cleaning, patching holes, and sanding down rough spots.

By doing so, I achieved a smooth surface that allowed for even paint application, ultimately contributing to the polished look that I was aiming for.

Cutting In and Rolling: Mastering the Technique

As a first-time DIY painter, I quickly learned the importance of mastering the 'cutting in' technique.

This involves using a brush to paint the edges and corners of the room before rolling the larger surfaces.

I found this approach to be efficient and effective, as it helped to create crisp, clean lines and prevent roller marks.

Taking the Time for Touch-ups

After the main painting was complete, I inspected my work for any imperfections.

I found that taking the time for touch-ups made a significant difference in the overall appearance of my freshly painted walls.

This attention to detail was something that potential buyers noticed and appreciated during the home showings.

Don't Neglect the Exterior

When it came to painting the exterior of my home, I followed a similar process, starting with choosing a neutral color and investing in quality paint.

Additionally, I made sure to properly clean and prep the exterior surfaces before painting.

A fresh, well-maintained exterior was crucial in creating a positive first impression for potential buyers.

Adding Personal Touches

Although the main goal was to appeal to a broad range of buyers, I still wanted my home to feel warm and inviting.

To achieve this balance, I added personal touches through carefully chosen accents and décor.

For example, I added colorful throw pillows, tasteful artwork, and fresh flowers to breathe life into the neutral backdrop.

These small additions made the space feel welcoming without overwhelming potential buyers with too much personality.

The Payoff: A Successful Sale

After completing the painting project and following these expert tips, I was thrilled to see the transformation in my home.

The fresh, neutral palette allowed potential buyers to focus on the property's features and imagine their own personal touches.

As a result, my home received multiple offers and ultimately sold above the asking price.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. Can I use accent colors to make my home more appealing to buyers?

  A: While neutral colors are generally recommended for the majority of your home, adding carefully chosen accent colors can create visual interest and showcase your home's best features.

Stick to subtle, complementary shades and avoid overpowering or bold colors that may deter potential buyers.

Q. How do I determine the right amount of paint to buy?

  A: To calculate the amount of paint needed, measure the square footage of the surfaces you plan to paint (length x height).

Check the paint can's label for the coverage per gallon, and divide the total square footage by the coverage rate.

It's a good idea to purchase a bit more than your calculation to account for touch-ups or errors.

Q. Can I paint over wallpaper?

  A: While it's possible to paint over wallpaper, it's generally not recommended.

Removing the wallpaper and prepping the wall for painting will yield a smoother, more professional result.

However, if removal isn't an option, ensure the wallpaper is clean, undamaged, and securely adhered before applying a primer and paint.

Q. Is there an ideal time of year for painting the exterior of my home?

  A: The best time to paint your home's exterior is typically during mild, dry weather conditions.

This allows for proper drying and adhesion, reducing the risk of paint failure.

Aim for temperatures between 50-85°F (10-29°C) with low humidity, and avoid painting during rainy or excessively windy days.

Q. How long should I wait before hanging pictures or placing furniture against freshly painted walls?

  A: It's essential to let the paint cure fully before placing furniture against or hanging items on the walls.

For latex paint, wait at least two weeks, and for oil-based paint, wait up to a month.

This ensures proper curing and prevents damage to the paint surface.


Painting your home can significantly impact its appeal and resale value.

By choosing the right colors, investing in quality paint, and taking the time to properly prep and execute the painting process, you can maximize your home's potential and make a lasting impression on potential buyers.

My personal journey in painting my home for a successful sale is a testament to the power of a fresh coat of paint and attention to detail.

So, roll up your sleeves, grab a paintbrush, and embark on your own painting adventure to boost your home's value and increase your chances of a successful sale.

Suggested Products:

High-Quality Neutral Interior Paint: Benjamin Moore Regal Select - This premium interior paint is known for its durability and excellent coverage. Choosing a neutral shade from Benjamin Moore's Regal Select line can enhance your home's appeal to potential buyers while ensuring a long-lasting, professional finish.

Quality Exterior Paint: Sherwin-Williams Duration -  This top-rated exterior paint offers outstanding durability, weather resistance, and color retention. A neutral shade from the Sherwin-Williams Duration line can boost your home's curb appeal and create a lasting first impression for prospective buyers.

Premium Primer: Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 - This versatile, water-based primer helps create a smooth, even surface for both interior and exterior painting projects. Using Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 can improve paint adhesion, ensuring a polished appearance that attracts potential buyers.

Effective Wall Cleaner: TSP Heavy-Duty Cleaner -Trisodium phosphate (TSP) is a powerful cleaning agent that effectively removes grease, grime, and stains from walls before painting. Prepping your walls with TSP Heavy-Duty Cleaner can result in a cleaner surface for painting and a more attractive look for potential buyers.

High-Quality Paint Brushes: Purdy XL Series - These professional-grade brushes are designed for optimal paint application, making it easier to achieve crisp, clean lines. Using Purdy XL Series brushes can help you master the 'cutting in' technique, contributing to a more professional and appealing result.

Efficient Paint Roller: Wooster Sherlock Roller Frame and Pro/Doo-Z Roller Covers - This roller frame and cover combination ensures smooth, even paint application on larger surfaces. Using the Wooster Sherlock Roller Frame and Pro/Doo-Z Roller Covers can help you achieve a uniform finish that impresses potential buyers.

Top-Rated Painters Tape: 3M ScotchBlue Original Painter's Tape - This high-performance painter's tape helps create sharp, clean lines and protects surfaces from paint bleed. Using 3M ScotchBlue Original Painter's Tape can enhance the overall appearance of your painted walls, making them more appealing to prospective buyers.

About the author 

Bob Thomas

A fully certified interior decorator and house painter , Bob Thomas brings immense expertise and knowledge amassed from many years of hands-on experience with residential, commercial and specialty painting and decorating projects of all sizes and scopes.

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