These five paint colours reduce a home's resale value

By: Lisa Coxon on July 11, 2019

Painting is one of the most exciting parts of moving into a new home or — if you’ve got lenient landlords — even a new apartment.

But according to a 2018 paint colour analysis from American online real estate company Zillow, there are five colours you should think twice about before slapping on the walls. Why? Because they can actually decrease your home’s resale value.

When it conducts these analyses, Zillow looks at more than 135,000 photos from sold homes to figure out how particular colours affected sale price, on average, when compared to similar homes with white walls. 

Here, a look at the value-reducing colours and where in the home you should avoid using them (note that Zillow's analysis uses U.S. prices, but the values below have been converted into Canadian currency):

1. Brown

Fine for the living room but not-so-fine in something like a kitchen, brown can actually decrease a home price by an average of $2,260. While the colour has the potential to be warm and inviting, it tends to be “constricting and overbearing” in rooms meant for socializing, eating and cooking, according to an article in the Toronto Star by HomeAdvisor. Brown kitchens, in particular, can lower the resale value of a home by as much as 3%.

If you’re set on brown, HomeAdvisor says you should incorporate it closer to the ground. Brown furniture or flooring works well.

2. Blue

Even though it’s the colour of the sky, light blue can be a “sombre” colour in the home, according to the Star article. It’s a big no-no in high-traffic areas like kitchens and living rooms but works better in bathrooms, “where we relax and rejuvenate.”

In fact, blues in bathrooms can actually increase the resale value of a home by an average of $3,860. In the bedroom, opt for a deep blue, which can help improve sleep quality. 

3. Taupe

Neutral colours might seem harmless but taupe dining rooms or kitchens can lower a home’s value by as much as 10%. It’s best to use this colour on the exterior of the home or in a living room, where it can increase a home’s value by, on average, $3,750. 

4. Brick or barn red

While red is a colour known for its appetite-stimulating qualities (something many fast-food companies take advantage of with their branding colours), it can also “overwhelm people and drain the enjoyment out of cooking and eating,” according to the Star article.

Brick or barn red kitchens can cause a home’s resale value to drop by $3,050, on average.

5. Yellow

Don’t even think about painting the outside of your house yellow. It could cost you an average of $4,575 when you go to sell, according to the Star article.

It’s “too energizing” and “hard on the eyes" when applied to such a large surface area.

If you’re a yellow fanatic, keep it inside the home instead, like in the kitchen or the bathroom.