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Preparing your house for sale

From the Resene decorating blog

A new paint job goes a long way to presenting your home in the best possible light when it comes to preparing to market your home. It’s well worth the effort and will be rewarded with dividends.

When it comes to selling your house, you need to put your own views and choices aside and think about how to present your home in a way that will appeal. Since you don’t know the preferences of those viewing, it’s often a good idea to present a simple scheme that can be seen as a blank canvas. You have two goals, the first is that the viewer can imagine setting up home in your house and the second is that they can see themselves moving in and getting on with their lives without any immediate pressure to fix things. When a buyer walks through a freshly painted, well presented home it gives them the opportunity to really see the space rather than being distracted.

Highlighting skirting and framing adds character to your home

Highlighting the skirting and framing is a nice way to add some character, especially if you have some lovely native wood.

These trims are painted in Resene Tablelands to contrast against white walls. Door painted in Resene Ethereal with Resene Just Dance edges, plywood flooring finished in Resene Aquaclear, lampshade painted in Resene Quarter Bokara Grey and Resene Hive, large vase in Resene Hive, other vases in Resene Twisted Sister and Resene Smitten and DIY artwork in Resene Tablelands, Resene Smitten, Resene Ethereal, Resene Twisted Sister, Resene Hive and Resene Just Dance. Chair, console and shade from Freedom, runner from the Ivy House, throw from Madder & Rouge. Project by Kate Alexander, image by Bryce Carleton.

A neutral interior scheme is good for resale

A neutral scheme is good for resale, and a white theme expands the illusion of space.

Back wall painted in Resene Snow Drift, left wall in Resene Half Cougar, ombre floor created using Resene FX Paint Effects Medium mixed with Resene Eighth Truffle, Resene Quarter Truffle, Resene Half Truffle, Resene Truffle, Resene Double Truffle and Resene Triple Truffle, plywood artwork in Resene Travertine (square) and Resene Eighth Black White (curve – in Resene Enamacryl gloss), plywood circle lampshade in Resene Blackjack (in Resene Enamacryl gloss) and vase with rose and hand ornament in Resene Travertine. Dark candlestick in Resene Blackjack with dots in Resene Eighth Black White and light candlestick in Resene Eighth Black White. Chair from David Shaw, vase by Formantics, step shelf from Urban Outfitters, black candleholder from H&M Home. Project by Kate Alexander, image by Bryce Carleton.

The power of a freshly painted interior cannot be understated. Whether you have one or two walls that need a fresh coat of paint or you decide to paint the whole interior comes down to whether rooms feel fresh and clean and the colours of your existing walls.

A simple scheme

A good choice is a neutral off-white colour on the walls, semi-gloss bright white on woodwork such as door frames and skirting and flat white on the ceiling. Think beyond white for your walls as a hint of colour will ensure that woodwork in a semi-gloss bright white will pop. Don’t forget the ceilings, giving them a refresh in Resene Ceiling Paint will bring the scheme together and ensure the whole room looks fresh. If you paint the walls and leave the ceiling, they are bound to look dull in comparison.

For walls, stick with light, neutral tones – think off-white, cream, beige and grey – to keep the space feeling open and airy. Some good examples are Resene Half Joanna, a clean, fresh, slightly acidic neutral and Resene Half Thorndon Cream, a serene green tipped neutral. For a warm cream consider Resene Half Solitaire or Resene Double Bianca or if you prefer a hint of grey try Resene Barely There, a grey white with a hint of fogginess.

It’s a great idea to use the same colour theme throughout the house, it keeps things easy and creates a seamless look for that blank canvas that prospective buyers are looking for.

Downplay the creativity

You will no doubt have made your mark on your home with feature wall colours and perhaps bold wallpaper. You may wish to paint over selected feature walls, either colour or wallpaper, that are looking dated. Wallpaper in particular is a personal choice. Check with your agent as they may advise painting over any especially bright or bold patterns in the lounge.

Not all colour is bad. Some judicial use of colour can lift certain spaces, particularly in the bathroom or kitchen. If you have coloured cabinets in the kitchen or a coloured wall in the bathroom, ask your agent for advice as to whether it makes a good feature or could be off putting. Remember you do want your home to be memorable – and touches of colour will be more memorable than an all-white finish.

As with any paint job, preparation is key, fill any holes in the wall to ensure a smooth surface prior to painting and sand wooden areas. In the bathroom use Resene Moss & Mould Killer to treat moss and mould. Outside, wash down decks, walls and other painted areas using Resene Paint Prep and Housewash. Even concrete pavers can be rejuvenated with Resene Concrete Stain.

A black floor contrasts with white walls

This floor has been painted black using Resene Nero to contrast with walls painted in Resene Black White.

Painted floors give a cleaner feeling than carpet that is past its prime. Trellis feature in Resene Nero, peg stools in Resene Half Gravel and Resene Delta, ladder in Resene Double Merino, drawer frame in Resene Nero and drawer fronts and plant pots in Resene Double Merino, Resene Atmosphere and Resene Quarter Gravel. Chair from Contempa. Project by Megan Harrison-Turner, image by Melanie Jenkins.

A white and aqua bathroom

While it’s a good idea to keep main living areas neutral, judicious use of colour can bring a bathroom update alive.

This back wall is painted in Resene Elderflower, tongue-and-groove panelling and shelf in Resene Yes Please, flooring in Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash, tall glass vase in Resene Mystery, short glass vase in Resene Kandinsky, round basket in Resene Resene Remember Me. Bat, vanity and filler from Plumbing World. Toto Freestanding Project by Megan Harrison-Turner, image by Bryce Carleton.


If your carpet has seen a family of mishaps and is looking very worn or it is a strong colour, you might be best to lift it and paint the floorboards for a fresher look at a fraction of the price of replacement carpet. Or if you want the grain of the timber to show through but not necessarily the natural colour of the timber, use a stain from the Resene Colorwood interior wood stain range before overcoating in Resene Qristal ClearFloor or whitewash with Resene Colorwood Whitewash.

Presenting your garden

As well as pruning shrubs, weeding and mowing the lawns, think about small paint jobs that could make a big impact, such as painting the letterbox, fencing and the front door and garage door. This will give your kerb appeal a big lift, meaning that when prospective buyers do a drive buy of your house they get a great first impression.

For your front door, use a colour that makes a statement but isn’t overwhelming. Stick with popular classic choices. Resene Pohutukawa is a popular red that will contrast well with pale weatherboards. Or try a dark green such as Resene Bush. If your garage door is close to your front door, painting both in the same colour gives a nice effect.

Top tips:

Resene Elderflower

Resene Ethereal

Resene Mystery

Resene Resene Remember Me

Resene Yes Please

Resene Just Dance

Resene Colorwood Mid Greywash

Resene Tablelands

Resene Twisted Sister

May 23, 2022

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