The Quick and Simple of Paint to Sell

As is mentioned in the seller handbook, it rarely pays to give your house a thorough renovation before selling. In terms of the paint work of the fairly well maintained home, it is over capitalising to completely strip and recoat the whole house. Often it is just as ‘sell effective’, and a whole lot cheaper, to selectively touch up things like the front door.

From the buyer’s perspective this also makes sense. Colour is a very individual and strongly felt quality. What colours catch someone’s eye are maybe not those that they would like to live with permanently. We all, whether we know it or not, have our favourite colour schemes. So you may put a lot of time and capital into a painting project, only to have your buyer redo the house a short while later, because it is not to their taste.
The mood of colours however, is universal. Whether owning or selling, you can use the mood effects of colour, to cheaply and effectively enhance your home. So first you must understand how colour mood works, and in this feature we show you ways to use such colour touches to sell your home.

WHITE. White is the one essential of any colour scheme. Because it is the sparkling highlight of nature, it will enhance the effect of any colour that you place with it. One of the predominate moods of white is CLEAN, and whether owning or selling this is clearly a beneficial feeling.
BLACK. Though severely dramatic, black is not a colour. So it needs something (white?) to go with it.
RED. Including pink, red gives a stimulating emotion, to the point of being over-stimulating if overused.
ORANGE. Dramatic to over-dramatic depending on how monochrome it is (totally orange 70s kitchens are unliveable). Orange does not have the angry overtones of red, so it can be a friendly, warm colour. It compliments blue well.
YELLOW. The colour of sunlight, so it is a great Aussie colour to liven up our living rooms and bring the outdoor in.

Armed with a basic knowledge of colour moods, you can use paint to generate ideas in the mind of someone who visits your home. Not only with paint, but you could say, plant a single “ORANGE honey” rose welcoming at the front gate to lead in to a calming restful row of “BLUE butterfly bush” along the garden path.
Remember the front door
As mentioned in the Seller Handbook, your front door is an important feature to spruce up, as this is where newcomers wait and consider your home. Red is a tried and true welcoming colour for the front door, and works particularly well toned down to a maroon, where the colour is less agitating. Bold green squares in the panel work might also be considered. Red and green, being complimentary, harmonize.
This is exactly what you want people to think that they are entering a grand spacious dwelling (rather than purple decore, which is too obviously regal). Set the whole effect off with a golden touch, say a brass house number and letter box.Remember the front door
This of course is only one particular colour scheme. The main thing is to be consistent and to harmonize. Whichever colour scheme that you choose, look carefully to see how it harmonizes with the rest of the house. If the rest of the house has no maroon, you will need maroon touches elsewhere, in say an entrance flowerpot or the maroon door won’t ‘sit’ well with the rest of the house.
You should carry this important point of colours fitting together to the total environment. This can turn liabilities into assets. If your neighbours is a drab red brick, maroon touches on you house will help to harmonize the whole streetscape. Ultimately with the ‘position position position’ maxim it is the streetscape that sells the house.
If it is your house that is drab red brick, a small amount of cheap white paint will work wonders. Use the highlighting ability of white on the window pains, on the fascia board and around the door and your brick work will now look clean and smart.

In fact apart from black, white is about the only thing that will sit well with red brick. Because red is such a strong colour, its complementary green tends to disappear into that big red canvas if just painted on in small amounts.
The other major way spot colour can be used to cheaply enhance the look of your home is by its absence. The neutral mood of natural browns and particularly grey can be used to hide ugly feature. Unsightly pipe work on the outside of houses could be painted a background grey, rather than the common but disastrous matching colour of the house trimmings. The bright paint that this trim colour often is, makes the messy pipework stand out even from afar. Conversely the painting the general house colour on pipe work often shows up dirt.
The unsightly other doors
Other entrances can be a focal point for vision, but in many cases this attribute is negative. Other entrances are, more often than not, visually unbalanced with the rest of the house. A house should feel like it has one main entrance.
You can use neutral colours (light brown or grey) to hide these features, but this is not advisable. These are not very friendly colours to be entering into and out of each day. A better option is to look at matching them with the overall house colour.
The basic fact is that it is impossible to completely hide something, such as pipe work or doors, even using the exact overall house colour. The metal or timber texture of these surfaces will reflect light differently from the house’s main cladding surface, be it brick, fibro or weatherboard.
However using a matching SHADE on your side door or pipe work can hide them very effectively. A shade is a darker version of the colour that you are trying to match. Similarly if you were trying to highlight something, then use a TINT which is a lighter version of that colour.
Large unsightly objects such as garage doors can be broken up into visually more interesting objects, by using colour. If a garage door has a square pattern paint the squares a tint of the overall house colour. Remember though that such painting patterns should have a structural logic. It is okay to paint upstairs and downstairs levels a different outside colour. It is rarely okay to paint the sidewalls of a particular level different colours.

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