Amazing Paint Colors for Rental Properties

Written on August 16, 2012 by , updated on November 12, 2015

Choosing interior paint colors can be tricky. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is ensure your rental property will appeal to the largest population of potential tenants.  Just like Goldilocks’ porridge was first too hot, then too cold, the bears ended up choosing the one that was “just right”.

While having “accent” walls is perfectly acceptable, you generally want to stick with neutral colors. Meaning,  nothing too bold while still being gender and culturally neutral. Vivacious Pink doesn’t  go over well with the guys, similarly as camouflage does not bode well with the ladies. Stay away from color combinations that resemble national flags because you don’t want to invoke preset stereotypes.

Oppositely, if you paint everything white (I mean everything), your property will seem dull and sterile – lacking a sense of “life”.  Painting everything white may look clean, but it will scare away some potential tenants who lack vision to make it their own.  After all, they need to be able to envision themselves making a home in your property.

The goal is to get the property rented, not to make statement or even to use “your” favorite color.  It doesn’t really matter what your color preference is, as long as the color you choose makes a potential tenant want to sign a lease.

Great colors for rental properties:

If I were only picking two colors, I would pick Manchester Tan for the walls,and Decorator’s White Moulding and Trim.  Decorator’s White is less stark than brilliant white, and blends with almost every color since it has a little bit of gray in it.

You can go to many professional paint stores, and have them match the color of a more expensive paint.  For example, since Farrow and Ball is about $90 a gallon, I will take a Farrow and Ball paint swatch to a Sherwin-Williams Paint store, where the wizards behind the counter use a high-end scanner that will match the color perfectly – for less than half the price!

The Psychology of Color

Courtesy of NowSourcing, Inc
Psychology of Color [Infographic]

Other Good Reads:

photo credit: Brett Jordan | cc

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9 CommentsLeave a Comment

  • easton corbin

    Indeed a very nice post. Check out Paint Colors, the website for the specific paint details and information. Thank you again for writing such a good post.

  • Coastal

    What Exterior Color should we paint the exterior to improve the appraised value of a property
    I have a client who is rehabing a low income 15 unit apartment to flip. The property has five separate buildings and the Windows, doors, and A/C units have black metal cages. We want to paint the exterior of the cinder block building a color that will improve value and rents. We either need a color that will blend with the black metal or A color change for both. Any help is greatly appreciated.

  • Karen Hughes

    I just started working on my rental house and I have two shades of blue in the living room, dinning room and hallway. I also have bright green in the kitchen. I don’t want to spend a lot of money on fixing it. The walls are not marked up or dirty. should I stay with what is on the wall or is it better to spend the extra and go to a white. Will the blues and green make it harder to rent.

    • Lucas Hall

      Hi Karen,

      There’s no way to know for sure. You might find a tenant who LOVES green kitchens.

      I tend to think that the more neutral you can make the color, the more people it will appeal to. If this unit were mine, I’d leave the lighter colors, and paint over anything that was a bold color.

  • Olga Bolden-Tiller

    Good exterior colors?

  • Jaxon

    Surplisingry well-written and informative for a free online article.

  • NicolaK88

    I rented out my first home and my first tenant has just moved out after three years and has left it a complete mess so the whole house needs repainting. The walls are painted magnolia but I am not sure whether to modernise it by painting them a pale grey or just freshen up the magnolia. Painting it grey will mean a bit more work that I am willing to put in but everyone is telling me to keep it magnolia. In the long term, I think it will be more appealing to tenants if it is modernised a bit. Also, as it requires new carpets, I would rather a darker grey carpet that a biscuit brown. I am torn what to do!

  • Z

    I’m a renter–have been for decades–and no renter I’ve ever met has looked at a potential rental and said “Awesome. It has beige walls just like my last six rentals.” It’s dark, drab, and doesn’t go with anyone’s decorating style or colors. Skip the Manchester Tan, the trendy taupe, etc. Paint it all white. Trim, walls, ceiling. Renters will thank you for giving them a *truly* neutral backdrop for their own personal style. If someone lacks “vision” painting something beige isn’t going to help.

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