Paint to Sell Your Home
Bernie Duggan - Bradford, PA

Hardwarian Bernie Duggan

Horns True Value Hardware

Bradford, PA

Paint to Sell Your Home

Level: Experienced

So you've decided to sell your home. Interior painting is an excellent way to stage your home and make a great first impression to potential buyers. By giving your rooms an eye-catching look you're sure to increase your chances of selling your home at a fair price.

Share this project
Project Steps
Project Shopping List
    • Step 1: Choose Which Rooms to Paint

      Choose which rooms are priorities and paint them first. Rooms where the walls are damaged or out-of-date are good places to start. Also consider repainting high-traffic rooms, such as kitchens, bathrooms and living rooms. Pay special attention to your foyer since it is ground zero for a prospective homeowner’s first impression of your home. For great tips on how to enhance your entryway, see the projects Make Over Your Foyer and Update Your Entryway.

    • Step 2: Choose Your Paint Colors
      True Value EasyCare® ultra premium latex paint and primer in-one

      When painting to sell your home, you should consider your market. Who will be looking at your house? A family with young children will love washable walls, while a retiree may appreciate uniformity and sensible colors. Keep in mind that you’re not painting to satisfy your personal tastes and aesthetics but to make your home universally desirable. Your goal here is to ‘'depersonalize” your home in order to make it seem like anyone could live there.

      When painting interior rooms your goal should be to give buyers an idea of the room's potential. Rooms painted in bold or daring colors, though enjoyable, may detract from the room itself. Real estate experts advise using a pallet of light, warm colors such as beige and taupe to create an inviting indoor atmosphere.

      When choosing colors, consider the size and dimensions of the room. A darker color can give an intimate feel to a wider room, while a lighter color can make a small room feel larger. Avoid using stark white, which can make rooms feel sterile and does not highlight features, like large windows and fireplaces. If you're painting to match other surfaces in your home, take advantage of True Value's color-matching service to find the perfect shade.

      Choose True Value EasyCare® Ultra Premium Interior Paint for the project. It comes in a wide array of colors and finishes, including flat, flat enamel, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss and high-gloss. Your local True Value hardware store's Certified Color Experts® can answer questions you have about paint and paint color. While you’re there, you can pick up a Custom Mixed Color Sample to try a few colors on your walls at home. Color samples allow you to paint a small space and live with different options for a while before making your decision. You can also pick up Paint Idea Cards, which have predetermined palettes ready for you.

      You can also experiment online with True Value’s interactive Mood Gallery to preview how colors will look before you paint by changing paint colors and furniture to reflect six different moods. Our Color Selection Tool features a color wheel with every color in the True Value paint palette.

      Once you’ve decided what colors you are going to use, you’ll need to know how much to buy. When estimating, a good rule of thumb is to multiply the length of each surface by its height and add another 30 percent for good measure. Typically, one gallon of paint will cover 350 to 400 square feet. Buy more than you think you will need, you can always use the extra for touch-ups.

      Helpful Tip

      Use the True Value paint calculator to estimate how much paint you need.

    • Step 3: Prepare Rooms

      Remove furniture from the room in which you’re working or place it in the center of the room and cover it with drop cloths. Place drop cloths or tarps on the floor and remove fixtures, window coverings, switch plates and outlet covers. Use painter’s tape to protect windowsills, baseboards, door hinges, the ceiling perimeter and anything else that you don’t want to get paint on.

      Properly cleaning and repairing surfaces is important when painting since paint doesn’t adhere to dirt or damaged areas. Use a sponge or cloth to wipe down your interior walls with mild detergent and water and allow it to dry. If walls have cracks, holes or have areas that are damaged, apply spackling compound with a putty knife. Once it dries, sand it with fine grit sandpaper. For extensive drywall damage, see the project, Patch Drywall Holes to learn how to make larger repairs.

      Helpful Tip

      If you need to make repairs, add an extra day to your plans to give the compound time to dry.

      Safety Alert!

      If your home was built before 1978, test the exterior layer of paint with a lead paint testing kit to determine whether it contains any lead-based paint. Lead poses a serious health hazard, especially to children and pregnant women. To protect yourself and your family, avoid scraping or sanding lead-based paint.

    • Step 4: Prime and Paint
      priming walls with roller

      You don't have to apply a coat of primer before you paint, but doing so will make the paint adhere and wear better. Additionally, priming is advisable if your walls are stained or you wish to use light-colored paint over dark walls. With a brush or roller, apply True Value EasyCare® Ultra Premium Interior Primer/Sealer widthwise in 6-ft. square sections, using a zigzag pattern of overlapping ''W'' strokes. Move from right to left, then left to right, spreading evenly with horizontal strokes. Once the primer has dried, pour EasyCare® Ultra Premium Interior Paint into the paint tray and apply using the same technique as priming. If necessary, apply a second coat of paint using the same technique as the first. You don't have to let the paint completely dry between coats, but your results will be better the longer you wait.

      Safety Alert!

      Open the windows to make sure you’ll be priming and painting in a well-ventilated area.

    • Step 5: Clean Up

      Now that your home is painted to sell, pick up your drop cloths or tarps and close up your paint cans. Dispose of used paint or sealant cans appropriately. Cleaning paintbrushes and other tools can be made easy with warm, soapy water. Thoroughly rinse your roller covers and brushes in water until the water runs clear, then place them in a brush/roller spinner (if you have one) to remove excess liquid. Store in their protective sleeves or hang them on nails or hooks. Pick up drop cloths carefully, making sure you don’t spread around any paint that may have gotten on them. Next, remove painter’s tape at a 45-degree angle to avoid removing any fresh paint. Remember that the longer it stays on, the harder it is to remove.

      Well done! You've taken an important step toward preparing your home for the open market.

  • Here’s what you’ll need to complete this project successfully.

    Before you begin, use the shopping list below to uncheck the tools you already have to complete this project.

    Then, print or save your updated list and bring it to your local True Value hardware store, where an expert Hardwarian will give you the remaining tools and expert advice you need to complete this project.

    You can also shop online for these project items at and receive FREE shipping to a participating store.

    60 character limit.
  • Humidify Your Home

    Humidify Your Home

    Counteract the dryness in the air.

    Learn More

  • Childproof Your Home

    childproof home

    A few simple alterations will make your home safe for children. Learn How.

  • Kitchen Painting Ideas

    kitchen painting ideas

    Easy and inexpensive way to change the look of your kitchen.

    Learn how

  • Prep Your House & Yard for Spring

    Prep Your House & Yard for Spring

    It's not too early to think about spring. Learn More

  • Pinterest

    Follow Us On Pinterest

    ​Visit our Pinterest page for great do-it-yourself project advice and home inspiration.

    Learn more