How to Choose Neutral Paint Colors to Prepare a House for Sale

An excellent way to ease the sale of your dwelling is to give it a neutral paint colour. A neutral interior adds some colour in a way that is not inherently offensive and can boost the value of your home.


  1. 1
    Test colours. Neutral colours are generally considered beiges, off-whites and light greys. Go to a home improvement store and buy mini paint jars to test on your home or free paint chips. Paint a 30cm x 30cm (about 1ft x 1ft) swath on a wall in the room(s) you want to repaint in your top 3 or 4 colours. Leave them up for at least 5 days.
  2. 2
    Choose the colours. Now that you have lived with those colors for a few days, it is time to choose. Be sure to avoid giving every room the same colour, or the rooms appear plain and boring. Your decision should be based not off of what you like, but what the average buyer would like. Consider having friends and/or family over for their input.
  3. 3
    Begin painting. Decide who paints the room. If you don`t want to deal with painting, hire a professional. If you want to do the painting yourself and save some money, read on.
  4. 4
    Remote everything from the room that you can. Carefully take off light switch plates, outlet and cable covers, et cetera. Take down blinds and curtains. Remove mold, see Remove Mold from Drywall for help.
    • Use this time to rectify bumps or divots on the wall, smooth or add texture (see Texture Walls) and dust the wall to allow smoother application. Put down a 'drip cloth,' a impermeable cloth that goes on the floor to protect it from paint. Use painter's tape to hold the cloth against the wall. See Prepare a Room for Painting for more help.
  5. 5
    Apply primer. If the current paint colour is lighter than the old and will go over designs (i.e., stripes, dots, et cetera), a different base (oil, acrylic, water) than the old, is a different finish (gloss, semi-gloss, matte), is 'modified' with markers or pens, or if the wall you are painting on is not drywall, you should put down a few coats of primer.
    • Primer covers up old paint, allows different bases and finishes to be applied. Primer will also cover up modifications and allow paint to stick to non-drywall surfaces. Primer is applied just like paint. Do at least three layers or until you can no longer see any trace of the old surface. See Paint a Room for more help.
  6. 6
    Apply paint. Now, the show can start! Make sure that your drip cloth is secure and ready for action.
    • For an even paint job and quick application, get a paint tray and a large roller brush with metre (yard) long handle. Roughly pour a tenth of the paint bucket into the tray, roll the brush in it, push the brush against the tray to remove excess, and apply.
    • The application should be done in a '|\|\|' pattern, going up and down diagonally to cover everything. Then, you can back up and continue this way. For corners, the top and the bottom of the wall, use a small brush to apply paint. As with every job, there are multiple ways to do this, see Paint a Room for tips and advice.
  7. 7
    Let the paint dry. Now that the first layer has been applied, let it dry. This is a good time to take a break, paint a different room or buy something that you forgot earlier and now desperately need.
  8. 8
    Repeat the paint-dry cycle until you cannot see any trace of the previous surface. Be sure to take occasional breaks to get fresh (aka non-paint-fume) air. If weather permitting, open doors or windows to get some fresher air inside.
  9. 9
    Clean the room. You are almost done! After the walls are completely dried, remove the drip cloth and dispose.
    • Paint brushes and trays can be cleaned and reused (see Clean a Paintbrush) or disposed of. Remove all paint from yourself so that you do not get paint on your belongings. Carefully re-affix light switch plates, outlet and cable covers, et cetera. Put blinds and curtains back up, basically return the room back to normal.
  10. 10
    Keep extra paint around. Do this just in case you spill tea on your wall or scuff the paint. But paint must be stored in a certain way lest it spill or release dangerous fumes.
    • The paint cans should be kept outside or in a non-occupied room (i.e., garage, closed, laundry room) and not in a bedroom, restroom, et cetera. The fumes released can make people light headed over time and the cans can be spilled.
      • If you cannot store it safely, do not throw it away! Paint must be disposed of specially. Contact your city (or entitative) government for guidance.


  • Get advice and help from friends and family. The more people there are painting, the faster the process goes.


  • Get fresh air every 30 minutes. If you feel lightheaded while painting, passing out is possible and dangerous, so it is important that you get fresh air.
  • Do not store paint in occupied rooms; the fumes can cause lightheadedness or spill, which is very dangerous.

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