In 2021, Zillow commissioned a study involving “1,300 recent or prospective U.S. home buyers” and found that certain paint colors can actually increase the selling price of a home by as much as $5,000. The study’s findings were based on the typical U.S. home value of $290,000. For their research, the experts at Zillow used 15 paint colors in the bathroom, kitchen, living room and primary bedroom to see how the shades impacted home values.
Lindsey Machado, a Certified Color Expert and owner of Designed With Grace & Joy, says, “I always tell my clients that paint is one of the biggest bang-for-your-buck improvements you can make in your home, and that especially holds true in regard to return on investment.”
Read on to learn about the study’s results, and which specific paint colors may increase the selling price of your home.
The first of Zillow’s findings probably won’t come as much of a surprise: Potential buyers preferred white kitchens to kitchens painted in any other color. Zillow partnered with Behr Paint Company for recommendations to pair with each of their survey results, and Behr’s pick for kitchens is a shade of white called Polar Bear (75). According to the study, it’s best to avoid bright colors in the kitchen—they might turn buyers off or drive down the price of your home by as much as $1,500.
When it comes to bathrooms, light blue was the top hue of choice among prospective home buyers. Buyers reported that they would be willing to spend $5,000 more on a home with a pale blue bathroom, which amounts to a 1.6 percent increase in price on the average home.
Machado says, “A light, neutral blue in the bathroom evokes a relaxing, serene, and spa-like environment that can also go with virtually any decor or design style.” Consider Behr’s Ethereal Mood (MQ3-52) as a calming option for your master bath or powder room.
According to Zillow’s findings, gray, off-white, and light yellow are also good picks for the bathroom, but homeowners should avoid bright reds, greens, blues, or pinks if they want to find a buyer any time soon.
Those surveyed in the Zillow study established that they’d be willing to pay nearly $1,500 more for a home with a dark blue bedroom. Machado explains that “in a bedroom, a deep sophisticated blue is associated with restful moments, clear thinking and peaceful moods.” She went on to say, “It’s one of the most requested bedroom colors I get, especially because there are so many different gorgeous variations and undertones.” Very Navy (M500-7) and Sojourn Blue (M500-5), both by Behr, are excellent picks for bringing a little drama to your master bedroom.
Zillow found that light blue, white, bright blue, and dark gray were other terrific options for the bedroom.
Machado says, “I’m not surprised at all that blue hues top the list when it comes to increasing home sale prices. It’s the perfect color choice for the calming effects it can have on any room in your home.” Blue is so appealing to potential buyers, she says, because “When you think about it, most blue paint colors are variations on inherently tranquil things found in nature: Think of the sky, certain flowers, and bodies of water.”
When choosing the perfect shade of blue for your bedroom or bathroom, consider this advice from Machado: “Always remember that paint colors can look much more intense when on a full wall, so it’s important to get a sample and test it out on a few walls, since natural and artificial light, window direction, and other factors can have a huge effect on the end result.”