You Might Seriously Regret These Trendy Paint Styles When It’s Time to Sell

A fresh white wall in a new home almost feels like a blank canvas, open to a world of possibilities of colors, patterns, and textures. There are endless ideas and styles to choose from, but as a shrewd homeowner, should you be re-thinking your personal flair when it comes time to sell?

Experts weighed in when it comes 2020 painting trends and the longevity of their popularity in the housing market. Ahead, some trends they recommend you avoid ahead of a sale.

Here’s a style making the rounds on Pinterest and Instagram: Painted kitchen cabinets in bold or bright colors, popping out of an otherwise unassuming room. 

“Sometimes they’re in a muted grey, or as bold as a navy blue,” says Ali Joyce, a Jack Conway realtor from Boston. “It’s really hot right now, but I can see it becoming a fad and going out of style very quickly.”

Some adventurous homeowners are painting their kitchen cabinets in two different colors, alternating between the top and bottom cabinets. 

If you do decide to try this style regardless of how long its trendiness will last, Donel Beals, founder of Interiors by Donel, says, “You want to make sure you’re doing the lighter color on top, and the heavier color down below near the ground or it will [make the kitchen] look off.”

Bold prints and textured wallpaper

“Wallpaper makes a huge statement and I would say follow the same rules for it as you would painting,” says Alix Giannetti, a Boston-based realtor with Compass. “Stick with nature-inspired, neutral colors, something that’s not too loud. People should be able to see their own style in it.”

For example, big florals and geometric pattern wallpapers are very popular right now, but they may turn off buyers. 

And of course, always be mindful of where your wallpaper goes and how much of it goes up. “A ton of people love it, but they’re not wallpapering their whole house, it’s usually just for a special space, as an accent,” says Beals. 

Wallpaper can add pops of color on the back of bookshelves, the front boards of stairs, or behind the bed in a bedroom.

Another risky trend? Textured wallpaper, such as linen, wood imitation, or faux leather, according to Joyce. “That’s something you spend a lot of money on, too,” she says. 

For example, dark wood paneling on walls can make a home feel outdated and stuck in the ‘70s—today’s trendy version of that may have the same effect in 10 years. 

Painting the trim and moldings of a home can add a subtle but effective dash of personality to a room, and these days, creative homeowners are experimenting with “painting the walls white and painting the trim with a color,” says Joyce. “Or painting the trim with a muted, light color and then the surrounding wall with a darker shade of that color.”

But if you use a color that’s really trendy, like, say, millennial pink, it can be tedious to change it later, as the trim is a more exact surface area than a wall. That means it’s a little harder to paint. Most homeowners and buyers prefer white trim and molding, as other colors might make the room look smaller.

Paint trends come and go, so make sure your home outlives your own personal taste, as well as the general market. 

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