Hire a Painter!

I often only get a few days to Stage a house from start to finish so there isn’t always time to paint.  Over the last 12 years as a Home Stager, I have learned that you definitely get 100% of your money return on fresh paint.  Having said that, a bad paint job can actually decrease your value.  I’ve been in some homes where the paint job was so bad and patchy that they would have been better not to have painted at all.  It can be hard to paint over walls that have not been prepped, sanded and cleaned properly.

These homeowners did it right by hiring a professional!  They painted almost the entire house in a nice neutral colour.  One of my new favourite neutral colours is Edgecomb Gray by Benjamin Moore.  I call it ‘graige’ since it’s a mixture of gray and beige 🙂  This house was SOLD ON THE FIRST DAY, and I know that the Staging and professional painting job helped with the success.

I am very grateful how accommodating, trusting and open the homeowners were.  I can’t do my job fully unless the homeowners are on board with the Staging process.

Buyers are looking for ready-to-move-into houses.  When they walk into bold painted walls they often can’t get beyond the colours.


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You can see I used all the same furniture and area rug but the room looks completely different with a neutral paint colour. I always enhance the fireplace since it’s the focal point.  Painting it a few shades darker that the walls give the room interest but still keep it neutral for buyers. You actually notice the fireplace more now that it is a different colour from the walls.  I like hanging huge round clocks over square fireplaces for balance. The wood French patio doors are also a dominant feature now.


Red walls are scary for buyers since they can often take several coats of paint so if you take the fear away from them it helps with the sell of your house.  Now that the walls are neutral we had to inject some colour through accessories to keep it interesting and memorable for the MLS photos.  I reversed the red walls with red accent cushions and artwork.  All the colours were pulled from the large area rug.


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This large room at the front of the house is typically the ‘formal living room’, but these homeowners had a large addition on the back of the home so they already had another living room and family room. It made more sense to keep it as their executive home office/piano room.  Painting it in the neutral colour kept options open for buyers to make it whatever they wanted. We cleared out half the furniture so people could see how large and versatile the space is.  Adding new ivory drapes on the bay window softened the look and made it more of a focal point.  Removing the oversized Persian area rug allowed the floors to be a selling feature.  I still brought in an area rug for one end of the room to help define the spaces and add textures since everything else was wood. Adding colourful artwork that is appropriate for an office or a living room helped keep the options open.  You really need to show buyers what they can do with the space!


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Some paint colours just look more intense in photos.  Purple is one of them. Because we were painting the room I also made sure the shelves above and beside the bed was removed first.  Shelves like this are great for storage but they also make you feel like the room is more closed in and ‘falling’ in on you. Buyers also worry about filling in all the holes once the shelves are removed. The private backyard with lovely trees was a big selling feature so I removed the blinds and hung fresh white airy drapes.  No one is living in this room so they didn’t need any privacy. The bed linens look completely different with the wall colour and the yellow accents.

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AFTER – all the little details of the antique lamp, antique night table, white checked drapes, yellow accent pillows/flowers,and antique headboard all complement their daisy patterned linens.



This was one of the largest of 4 bedrooms.  Since the kids have moved out, they were using this room as another office and ‘catch-all’ space.  When I first walked in, it was hard to know just how big the room was with everything in it and the dark wall colours.  Fortunately I’ve Staged this floor plan a few times so I knew the full potential.  Again, painting the walls made a huge difference. I like to show all the bedrooms with beds in them, especially when there is a home office somewhere else.  We brought in a bed and used one of their dressers from another room.

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Brining in young fresh colourful linens was the inspiration for the drapes, linens and accessories. The floral artwork is actually two of the same pictures.  I just turned them in different directions so they look like one large flower opening up.  I could have put them over the bed since they didn’t have a headboard but I wanted to disperse the colour around the room.


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This was the only room in the house that wasn’t painted ad a different colour.  I kept the blue walls in the dining room since it flowed off the kitchen which had blue cabinets.  If buyers liked the blue cabinets, then they would like the blue dining room.  I didn’t want to take the ‘soul’ out of the house.  The wall colour make the floors look amazing. I always like dining rooms a bit darker anyway since they are for formal and evening entertaining.

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AFTER – The blue cabinets were our colour inspiration.  This kitchen is the heart of the home so I wanted to keep the integrity of it through the other rooms in the house for a cohesive look.


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We hung the same ceiling to floor drapes in this room as we did in the office since they are the front windows of the house which is important for symmetry.


Brining in artwork and table settings with other colours as well as the blue showed buyers it’s not just a ‘blue’ room.  it is a very neutral and versatile colour.

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