The Best Paint Colors for Each Room in Your Rental Home

by Lesly Gregory | Published: Feb 8, 2022

A picture can say 1,000 words, but the right color choice is essential for setting the mood. That's why the paint color you pick for the walls of your rental home is so important. As potential tenants walkthrough, you want them to get a good feeling, the right feeling, about your property. Paint choices help with that.

Additionally, if someone is looking at an empty room, picturing their stuff in the space, the right paint colors bring that vision to life. They make it possible to feel that this room could be theirs.

The best paint colors for rental homes let in light and feel clean and vibrant. But, they differ from room to room. In order to transform your rental home into the complete package, as far as the walls go, choose wisely within each room.

Beige in the bedroom

beige bedroom

Shades of beige are actually great paint colors for any room, but using them in the bedroom provides a neutral tone with a soft feel. It's just what you'd want to surround you as you fall asleep.

Warmer than a stark white and less institutional feeling, beige works with almost all other colors because it's so neutral. Whatever bedroom furniture or wall art your renters bring in, a beige base will match.

You can select from beige paints that have hints of other colors, such as browns, grays or yellows. These colors will subtly alter the paint, but not stick out so much that you'll lose the neutrality of the wall color.

Oceanic tones in the bathroom

blue bathroom

It makes sense to turn things up a tiny notch in the bathroom when it comes to paint colors. You want to keep it tranquil, so nothing too bold, but soft greens or blues are perfectly acceptable. They'll even help create a spa-like environment that gives tenants a soothing space.

Lean into pale blues when you want to up the relaxation quotient in your rental's bathroom. It's a great color to accompany a big bathtub along with white or gray cabinets and tile.

If you're working with a shower-only bathroom, lighter greens can help energize the space without being too harsh. They'll also complement existing Earth tones if you have brown cabinetry and darker fixtures already in place.

Bold shades in the kitchen

red kitchen

For every room, neutral colors usually reign supreme, but the kitchen is the one place where you can dare to be different. While you want a color that creates a warm and welcoming space, the kitchen is all about activity, so you don't have to stay within a muted range.

Bolder colors like red and yellow work just as well in the kitchen as white and gray. You could also opt for deeper hues of blue or green. Warm color choices may even stimulate the appetite.

With these color options, you can go dark, vibrant or anywhere in between. The trick is to not overdo the use of very strong color. If you're looking at a rich navy, for example, make sure the kitchen cabinets and counters are on the lighter side to balance that pop of color. You can even consider painting an accent wall in your kitchen, so you have a bold focal point and a softer shade of the same color on all the other walls.

Light gray in the living room

gray living room

Although a cooler color, there's no denying gray is trendy right now when it comes to picking a neutral paint color. It's perfect in a living room because it adds a hint of sophistication to any space, maybe even a little elegance, allowing you to really separate the room from the rest of your rental home.

Gray is another color that's easy to decorate around, but picking the right shade is important. You want to take into account the natural light that's in the room and use a complementary gray. For windows facing south or west, a cooler shade of gray works best. When windows face north or east, a gray with yellow undertones, something a bit warmer, is the best choice.

For smaller living rooms, this accommodating and classic color can even make the space look bigger, as well.

Cream in the dining room

cream dining room

Richer than white, the cream adds warmth to your space without creating a heavy feeling. It pairs well with any furniture and keeps the dining room feeling a little more formal. It also ensures the room won't feel bland.

While cream will lighten and brighten up your dining room, if you want to add a little something for dramatic effect, consider changing the hanging light fixture. Use it to make a bolder statement in lieu of the walls. Just make sure it's not hanging too low.

A better white in the entryway

white entry way

While white is a trickier paint color to use, since it shows every mark on the wall, a more complex white in the entryway can make the space feel open and clean. Look for a white that has a little yellow in it, but still looks crisp. The yellow will give the paint a warmer feel and more depth.

The added dimension of a slightly different white paint removes that sterile feeling that bright white can leave people feeling. It transforms your space into one that's livable and comfortable, giving the right impression from the moment potential tenants walk into the home.

If you're doing the painting yourself

Covering the walls in the best paint colors for rental homes can either be something you pay a professional to handle, or your very own DIY project. If tackling the painting all on your own, remember, you'll need a specific set of supplies, including:

  • Paint
  • Paint roller
  • Paintbrushes
  • Paint tray
  • Sandpaper
  • Painter's tape
  • Rags
  • Putty knife
  • Drop cloths (if there's any furniture to cover)

Start by prepping the walls. With painter's tape, go around the edges and corners of all your walls and use it to protect baseboards and crown moldings. Remove electrical outlet covers and those on light switches, too, and tape over what's left to protect it, as well. Don't forget about window and door frames. The putty knife can help flatten the tape in hard-to-reach spots.

If you're worried about paint dripping, lay drop cloths on the floor and cover any furniture in the room.

When you open your paint to begin the real work, don't forget to mix it up before you start. The paint should have come with a flat wooden paint stick to use for this task. Although the roller will paint the wall the quickest, start with the edges. Use a brush to “cut in" and paint all your edges first. Go along all the painter's tape you put down. After you finish that task, grab your roller and go for it.

Let your first coat of paint dry before applying a second coat and don't remove the painter's tape until the walls are completely dry to the touch.

As you're painting, make sure the room is properly ventilated. If you can open a window, or turn on a ceiling fan, you're in good shape. If neither option is available, bring in a small, portable fan to help move the air — and paint fumes — around.

Redo your walls right

The first rule of picking the best paint colors for rental homes is to think neutral. Even though you can incorporate a bit of boldness in the kitchen, the rest of the house should feature a palette that would match anyone's furniture.

Think of paint colors as part of how you'd stage the house to appeal to renters. Too much personality and individuality and those looking at the property won't see themselves living in it. That means it's harder for them to want to rent it. Giving them the right color scheme makes it obvious how perfect the house is for them.

Categories: Landlords

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