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10 Colors You Should Skip When Painting Your Home

Keep your house looking great by avoiding these paint colors in different parts of your house.

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Finding the Right Color

Picking out the perfect color for different parts of your house is challenging. On top of that, certain colors can add or decrease the value of your home. Check out the following colors pros say you shouldn’t have in your home. Here are the best-kept secrets of professional house painters.

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Vintage pastel horizontal wooden chair painted on two tone background; Shutterstock ID 735907939; job: Job (RD)9AIR/SHUTTERSTOCK

Painting in pastels

Baby blue and millennial candy pink are lovely and soothing, but they don’t translate well on the face of the home. “Curb appeal is very important, whether your home is on the market or not,” says Leneiva Head, owner of Welcome Home Realty in Tennessee. “You always want your home to feel welcoming.” And don’t forget the front door. It’s part of the all-important first impression.

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Woman painting in blue and orange on an otherwise unpainted wallLENETSTAN/SHUTTERSTOCK

Using loud and bold colors

Hey, it’s your house, and if you want to paint your living room blood red and your kitchen pumpkin orange, go for it. But real estate agents would rather dip their paintbrushes into neutral colors. “There is a reason real estate agents and house flippers use neutral colors—they appeal to larger audiences,” says Parks. She also advises against wallpaper. There’s a slim chance a buyer will like it, and most buyers will take one look and think of the cost and labor to remove it. If you do have wallpaper, here is how to clean it.

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Modern living room interior with sofaASBE/GETTY IMAGES

Red and Yellow

In a 2019 episode of the popular home improvement show, Property Brothers: Buying and Selling, the duo—Jonathan and Drew Scott—noted that there are two colors that should never be used to paint interior walls: Red and yellow.

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Off white room with mirror and a doorway into another roomFOLLOWTHEFLOW/GETTY IMAGES

Warm White

Any white with a warm undertone can look dingy, especially in the wrong light. Consider Benjamin Moore’s Decorator’s White or Farrow & Ball’s All White, both of which are crisp without being clinical. Here are more paint colors that can make your walls look dirty.

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Living room with a fireplaceARTAZUM/SHUTTERSTOCK

Builder’s Beige

The neutrals that can help sell a home can also give off a dirty cast. Avoid yellowy or greenish beige or khaki, which don’t cast anyone in a flattering light. If you want a nice neutral, consider something like Sherwin Williams’ Agreeable Gray, which deftly toes the line between taupe and gray.

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Again, those sneaky yellow undertones. Pale greens can sometimes feel like sickrooms, or cast a pallor upon your favorite faces. Instead of worrying about the relative minty-ness or sage-like qualities of light greens, consider cashing in on one of the latest trends, which looks flattering in both modern and historic homes: hunter green. Shy away from the browner undertones and opt for something like the deep, bold Chrome Green or the bluish Narragansett Green. Here’s how to get paint out of your clothes.

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Pink room with pink furnitureLEKSTOCK 3D/SHUTTERSTOCK


Pink can be a struggle. Too light and it feels sickly-sweet. Too muddy, and you guessed it—dirty. But the current pink trend has turned into using pink as a neutral, so choosing the right one may be in your future. Farrow & Ball’s Sulking Room Pink is sophisticated, muted and it has good depth. This is also an appropriate substitute for any terra-cotta tones you’re considering. Take a look at these cool crafts you can make with paint samples.

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Rustic Home interior mockup with bench,chairs and decor in red room, 3d renderingARTJAFARA/GETTY IMAGES

Copper Red

Zillow came out with a paint analysis back in 2017 that took a look at the best colors to use to paint different parts of a house and found that kitchens painted brick red, terracotta or copper red sold for an average of $2,031 less than other homes.

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Empty classic kitchen with table, decoration and copy space. 3d rendered image.GLADIATHOR/GETTY IMAGES


A study by Appetite found that people ate more snack foods and drank more soft drinks that were in blue packaging, so that could extend into the kitchen if you decided to use that color. Check out these tips for painting your kitchen cabinet.

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Zillow’s analysis also found that homes that have a medium brown, taupe or stucco color sold on average $1,970 less than homes painted other colors. Did you know Joanna Gains has a line of paint?

The Family Handyman
Originally Published on The Family Handyman

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