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Top 10 Paint Touchups That Can Help Sell a Home

Top 10 Paint Touchups That Can Help Sell a Home

If you’re planning to sell your home this spring, it can pay to touch up the painting. The higher perceived value of a well-maintained property is well documented, and there’s no simpler (or more economical) way to give that impression than to freshen the paint.

Where should you start? Here’s a “Top 10” list for your touchups:

1. To get prospective buyers knocking on your door, make sure it’s well painted. That helps make a great first impression.

2. Next, size up the entrance hall, where would-be buyers get their initial glimpse of your home interior. Clean every surface and touch up walls where the paint shows marks or nicks. Even better: Apply a fresh coat of neutral-colored paint throughout.

3. Kitchens and baths receive special scrutiny, so give added attention to these rooms. Touch up as needed and put extra effort into the powder room, which more than a few will visit while touring your home.

4. Size matters when it comes to the kitchen. To make yours look bigger, paint the kitchen in a very light color, preferably off-white. At a minimum, remove food stains from the walls and remedy water spots by applying some primer and a coat of touch-up paint.

5. Check your windowsills, especially if the view is special. Prospects may stop to gaze out, and you don’t want to spoil the moment. Sand, prime, and paint any sill where people may delay their tour.

6. Look over your woodwork. You can quickly touch up marred or chipped paint on floor molding and chair rails.

7. Scrutinize areas that come in frequent contact with soiled hands – especially doorframes and door edges, window frames, and the walls around your light switches. If the areas are smudged or dirty, you may be able to clean them if you used a glossier paint; if that doesn’t work, then do touchups.

8. Take the same approach with cabinet doors: Scrub them clean of fingerprints, if possible, or touch up those that are painted. Pay special attention to your kitchen, where everything should be spotless.

9. Ceilings marked with water stains are a red flag for prospective buyers. If you have one or more of these potential deal-breakers, make sure that your roof is sound, then take time to carefully prime and re-paint.

10. Finish your touchups by scrutinizing every remaining section of wall and woodwork, looking for stray flecks of paint as well as other marks and stains. Conceal them all with some touchup paint.

By following this Top 10 list of paint touch-ups, your home will be good to go… and “show”!

Blog By Debbie Zimmer: Debbie Zimmer is editor-in-chief of the Paint Quality Institute blog. She's a widely cited authority on color, use of paints in interior and exterior design, and decorative painting techniques. She can be found on Twitter as @PaintQualityIns.