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Zillow: Buyers pay more for homes painted in dark colors

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So much for a clean slate. All-white homes are apparently on their way out, according to a Zillow analysis, which showed that darker, broodier paint colors fetched higher home prices in every room of the home in a recent study.

Charcoal gray kitchens sold for an average of $2,512 than similar homes painted in white. A dark gray living room commanded offers $1,755 higher than a lighter counterpart.

"Buyers have been exposed to dark gray spaces through home improvement TV shows and their social media feeds, but they're likely drawn to charcoal on a psychological level," color psychology specialist and interior designer Mehnaz Khan said in a press release. "Gray is the color of retreat.  As we come out of the pandemic and return to our hectic lives, buyers want home to be a refuge. They want to withdraw and escape from the uncertainty of the outside world, and rooms enveloped in dark gray can create that feeling of security."

Shades of gray and other colors

Kitchen with dark gray walls
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Of course, there are (more than) 50 shades of gray, and they're not all created equal. Zillow found that gray can actually hurt a home's value when it's used on the front door (where buyers prefer black or warm brown colors). 

And gray isn't the only star of the show these days. Earth tones are also deeply on trend, and bathrooms painted terra cotta brown, a 2023 color of the year, could help a home sell for $1,624 more on average.

How paint helps your home’s value

Now for the good news: When it comes to improvements you can make to boost your home's value, paint is both low-effort and easy on your wallet.

"Paint is a relatively affordable and easy change, yet it has an outsized impact on a buyer's perception of the home," said Amanda Pendleton, Zillow's home trends expert.

Ready to update your home to be darker, moodier — and pricier? These on-trend paint colors can help.

Moody paint colors to up your home value

Glidden Premium Satin Interior Latex Paint in Cool Charcoal

If charcoal is the must-have, value-adding color for kitchens and bathrooms, you can't go wrong with this cool-toned version. Dark and moody, this premium paint includes paint and primer in one, guaranteeing a one-coat job.

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Behr Dynasty Semi-Gloss Enamel Exterior Stain-Blocking Paint & Primer in Earth Fire Red

If your front door needs an on-trend makeover, you can't go wrong with the color that buyers love: a rich, warm brown. This stain-blocking, rain- and fade-resistant semi-gloss paint is perfect for upping your home's curb appeal — plus, it dries quickly, guaranteeing your door won't stick just a few hours after painting.

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Glidden Premium Satin Interior Latex Paint in Vining Ivy

Vining Ivy is one of those colors we're seeing everywhere this year, and it's no wonder why — this cool, moody, green-gray-blue evokes ocean waves, lazy rivers and the sky at dusk. This calming color is perfect for a bedroom, a bathroom, or anywhere in your home that could use a boost of relaxation.

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Behr Marquee One-Coat Hide Eggshell Enamel Interior Paint & Primer in Terra Cotta Urn

As we already know, 2023's color of the year is perfect for a bathroom makeover — or any other part of your home. The best thing about this rich terra cotta shade is that it goes with any decor style, so no matter how you decorate your home, this color will fit right in.

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Glidden Premium Flat Interior Latex Paint in Heart's Desire

Want to go as bold as possible? This year's Pantone color of the year is Viva Magenta, and Glidden's Heart's Desire is a close dupe — a vibrant, playful shade that's sure to completely transform any room. Plain white? You don't know her. 

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Christina Marfice writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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