‘Unappealing’ paint colours to ‘avoid’ that risk devaluing homes – and shades to add value

B&Q: Expert shares advise for painting a room

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Sprucing up the house with a fresh coat of paint is often recommended before putting a property on the market. But while certain colours are likely to appeal to prospective buyers and hasten a speedy sale, there are some that are likely to turn prospective buyers off and could actually devalue homes. Tayo Oguntonade, leading property expert, mortgage advisor, and founder of Brickzwithtipz said: “While it’s very easy to change the paint of a room, first impressions are everything. In some cases, it can be difficult to visualise what a room will look like in a different colour, so the choice of paint can really affect the demand of a property and in turn the value.”

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According to a recent study by independent paint retailer, The Paint Shed, nearly four in 10 would offer less for a house they were interested in purchasing based on the colour scheme alone, and nearly one in five would be put off from making an offer completely. 

So for those considering putting their home on the market, which are the colours that are likely to hasten a speedy sale, and which are the colours to avoid?

Bright pink 

While bright pink is a feel-good colour that will add instant impact and can energise a space, for those planning on selling their home, a hot pink living room might be one to avoid according to the experts. 

Fuchsia takes top place as the most undesirable paint colour for the home, closely followed by neon pink, yellow and green according to The Paint Shed’s survey. 

Three of the top 10 least-liked shades are bold pinks – namely fuchsia, neon pink, and hot pink.

Marainne Shillingford, Creative Director at Dulux, advised: “When you are selling your home, you want the people who are going to see it to imagine themselves living there.

“This could be hard if you have really stamped your unique personality on it – and you happen to love bright pink. 

“It’s why new homes are painted white or off-white, it’s the blank canvas onto which you tell the story of your life rather than the one you inherit from someone else.

“Unless the room is exceptionally styled, bright colours can put people off.”

Instead the expert advised using bright colours in the smallest spaces and rooms for “a flash of impactful joy” rather than “a sock in the face with a bag of jelly beans”.

Citrus green

While lush leafy greens and soft, soothing shades of sage green are super-popular in interior trends right now, it seems that lime green is less so, coming in fourth on the least-liked list, so might be one to avoid if you don’t want to turn off potential buyers. 

Zoe Warren, interior design expert at PriceYourJob said: “Bright shades of green can almost resemble neon. Whilst they do stand out, this can be unappealing to others and are more likely to clash with your furniture. 

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“Instead, give the illusion of a light and bright space by opting for a soft sage green on a feature wall, ideally, one you see when you first enter the room.”

Tayo agreed, explaining: “When you are redecorating a house, it’s always important to try and capture as much of the market, potential tastes, and potential buyers as possible. 

“That’s why it’s always wise to stay away from super bright colours, such as lime green, yellows, and bright blues. 

“While these colours may suit some people, it’s unlikely that they will be to the taste of the majority of the market.”

Bright yellow

While yellow is a cheery colour that can have an uplifting effect, neon yellow comes in third on the top 10 least-liked colours list according to The Paint Shed survey (after fuchsia and neon pink), while lemon yellow comes in at number nine.

Zoe agreed: “While we all have our own personal preferences when it comes to colour, research shows that certain paint colours can impact the value of our homes. 

“Although yellow evokes a happy tone, the brightest tone can be overwhelming in your home.” 

Instead of opting for super-bright shades, Zoe advises opting for more mellow tones of yellow such as ochre or mustard which are much less likely to have an adverse reaction. 

She said: “These shades will provide a toned-down version of the cheerful palette.”


While all-black rooms can look ultra-smart, black is a love-it or hate-it colour that’s guaranteed to cause a strong reaction either way. 

At eight on the top 10 list, if a speedy sale is your priority, an all-black living room might be one to swerve.

Taco explained: “As well as avoiding overly-bright colours, it’s also important to avoid colours that don’t complement the home.

“If the house isn’t large, colours like black or other very dark colours can make a small home look even smaller, which goes against one of the main things most people are looking for in a home – space!” 

Not even the best ideas to maximise and organise small spaces can help if the paint colour is already making the room feel enclosed.

What colours can add property value?

Just as some paint colours devalue homes there are tones that can help to sell, in effect adding value to the property. 

Simon Bath, CEO of iPlace Global, the creators of property concierge platform, Moveable, explained: “For sellers, it’s key to note that there are various factors that come into play when buyers consider whether it’s the right fit for them – down to the paint scheme of the house. 

“Painting the interiors and exteriors can add up to four percent to your home’s value.

“Neutral tones can make buyers think of the house as a blank canvas and this gives them the ability to think of how they will fit into the home. 

“Colours such as green, bright yellow, dark brown, and black can sometimes be classified as a no-go zone if you’re looking to boost the value of your property.”

Taco agreed: “For me, the best advice is to either stick to neutral colours or colours that are currently on-trend to ensure your paint choice doesn’t affect your house value.”

Michael Rolland, interiors expert and MD of The Paint Shed also advised homeowners to reach for the neutral shades as he said: “As bland as it may seem, sticking with whites and magnolia is the best way to guarantee a potential buyer won’t be put off by the colour scheme.”

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