Best Staging Paint Colors To Sell Your House

Without a doubt, the most popular question I get asked when conducting a staging consult is what color should I paint my walls?  And that’s a good question, because by far, hands down, painting your house before you sell, can be the BEST decision you make when you’re getting your house ready to sell. Its the most inexpensive yet effective way to add value to your home and the increase your house’s value.

Painting your home is the #1 most effective inexpensive renovation that will increase the value of your home exponential more than other renovations that you can do to your house.

But I like my current paint color. Why do I need to paint my house?

If potential buyers feel the need to paint your house, they will either move on to another house that doesn’t need painting, or worse, they will come in with a lower offer compensating for their time, materials & labor to repaint the house.

“What paint color should I paint my house when selling my home?”

The purpose of staging when getting your house ready to sell, is that you’re appealing to the majority of the buyers, which means you’re appealing to 80 to 90% of the population.  That means you need to make your house neutral, trendy and appealing to the masses so that they can picture themselves living in your home. It doesn’t mean that every single room in your house has to be a neutral. You can have different color trends in your home.  Popular rooms to add pops of color would be an office, powder room, dining room or a primary bedroom.  It’s how often, and how you use them is the important question to ask.

Neutral walls is the canvas like an artist’s canvas to create a masterpiece.  Its the backdrop to add the décor and accessories which will add pizzazz to the home. Also, your walls may need a refresh if they haven’t been painted for awhile to give them that new fresh feeling as opposed to a tired & worn look.

BUT the big question is, what is the best neutral for your home? The word “neutral” conjures up different images in our minds. To some, neutral is gray, others its white or cream, others its beige, tan or greige. And there you have it! That is the challenge when you tell some that they should “paint their house a neutral color.”

What is the best neutral to stage your house with?

Ironically, neutrals come in many “colors.” If you say to someone they should paint their house “neutral”, they may be thinking they should paint their house gray, whereas you were thinking white. Some also call cream, tan or beige a neutral. As we casually throw the term “neutrals” around, we are in fact referring to colors that are technically not neutral. Some neutrals have color added to them, therefore, its important to determine what the best “neutral” is for your home. Its NOT a one size fits all.

Trends in paint colors for getting your house ready to sell come and go just like any other design trend.  We went from deep beige in the 90’s to gray for a decade and then all white for another decade. Enter the pandemic and we got bored, so bored, of staring at all gray or all white walls.

Also, trends in staging paint colors vary by region. What is popular in one person’s region, may not be popular somewhere else. Therefore its REALLY important to check other listings out in your area, to not only see paint color trends but also other trends & upgrades that are prominent in your area.


When I first started staging in 2006, Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter was the go-to color for most stagers at the time. Revere Pewter is a warm light gray with green undertones. You saw it everywhere. Then it became too dark apparently for staging. Revere Pewter is now making a comeback in house interiors, but NOT for staging.

Read: Why You Need to go to Open Houses in Your Neighborhood

Let me help you pick the BEST color for your home with my one staging & color consult packages here.

2024 Top Staging Paint Color Choices:

Ready for the new popular staging color? White.  YES, white! But WAIT! White MAY NOT be for you!!! Especially cool whites! There are other options!

Should I follow the paint color trends?

Gray took over and all you saw was gray walls, gray flooring, gray kitchens, and gray furniture. But the mid-tone gray that I nickname cement gray or battleship gray is out. But now, the whole all mid-tone gray look is out.

White walls have taken over as the leading staging paint color, but you will still see lighter grays that are very popular. The mid to darker grays are out for staging.

Its not hard to see why white is now the favorite neutral paint color. Its fresh and inviting. You see beautifully styled white rooms in the magazines and all over Instagram feeds. Its the blank canvas to create your stunning home.

But unfortunately there is a drawback to white paint colors that you may not even discover until you spent the time and money painting your room white, only to hate it in the end.

How can painting your house white go wrong? There are two types of white paint. Cool white and warm white. Picking the correct tone of white can look amazing likewise picking the wrong tone can be disastrous.

Warm whites have warm undertones of pink, red, orange and yellow. They look soft, warm and relaxed. Warm white rooms are cozy and inviting.

Cool whites have blue and gray undertones. They appear clean and crisp. Cool white painted rooms are the backdrop to create a masterpiece. Cool whites are great for rooms that get alot of natural light throughout the year. Cool white can look amazing BUT they can also make a room look dingy like primer or gray if used in the wrong conditions.

I’ve had several clients come to me after they painted their walls white while staging their home and hated the look. They found their homes looked dingy and like a institution after they painted their walls white based on the recommendation of their realtor or painter. They had chosen the WRONG white and it looked awful.

Read more here: Should I paint my walls white? Read this first!!!

Generally speaking, and its dangerous to talk in wide generalities, soft or warm whites suit transitional and traditional homes, and also homes with a north face light, whereas cool whites work well for contemporary homes.

Read: How to choose a paint color when you’re selling your house
Read: Is Gray out of style? 5 tips to neutralize gray

Best Warm White Paint Color

If you you’re looking for a whole house paint color, a warm white is a good choice for you. Warm whites are clean, fresh and the white gives you a clean slate to style it the way you want. Its your canvas as you stage and style your home. Warm whites are particularly favorable for those tricky north facing rooms and they’re the backdrop of your canvas where you can add almost any type of furniture & accessories.

 Benjamin Moore OC-17 White Dove

Benjamin Moore’s White Dove is in the white collection. It’s one of their most popular if not the most popular, soft warm white paint color. It is a soft warm white with creamy undertones and a slight hint of greige.   It’s a great color for a whole house staging color and for all facing directions of light.  Its difficult to go wrong with this color when getting your house ready to sell.


You could also use this color for doors and trim with a different sheen like semi-gloss for a slight differentiation.

In my recent house flip, I used the similar equivalent of Benjamin Moore White Dove, Behr Palais White. As you can see in the three pictures above, its a warm white and great for a whole house. The difference of the white in the pictures is due to the direction that the room was facing, and how much light the room was receiving. 

Benjamin Moore OC-117 Simply White


Photo: Benjamin Moore


Benjamin Moore’s Simply White was the Color of the Year 2016.  It’s popular because its both a bright and warm white at the same time making it very versatile.  Its often used for doors & trim, but due to its warm yellow undertones, it looks great on walls as well and creates that perfect canvas to decorate & stage your home. Its best for more traditional & transitional homes as opposed to contemporary because of its warm yellow undertones. If your home is modern & contemporary, you will want to pick another white. This one is not the one for your home.

In our photo above, by Benjamin Moore, you can see this beautiful warm white being used in a transitional home. This photo was taken for the Color of the Year promo back in 2016. You can see how monochromatic it is. We have steered away from monochromatic rooms, thank goodness, but this is still a great color for staging. You can add pops of color through styling like adding throw pillows, artwork, a rug, and or a throw in beautiful colors.

Sherwin Williams Alabaster SW 7008



Sherwin William’s Alabaster is one of their most popular off-whites. It was Color of the Year 2016. Its a beautiful soft warm white that is often compared to Benjamin’s White Dove & Simply White but a wee bit warmer. Its has warm soft undertones of gray and beige which makes it very versatile for use as a whole house paint color for staging your house for sale.

This color is Joanna Gaines favorite go-to paint colors so if you have watched any of their shows, you will have definitely seen this color in their stunning transformations.

Best Cool Whites

A few years ago, I was called in to help two separate clients who’s realtors told them to paint their house “white” since it was the trending color. The challenge was that these whites were not the best whites for their respective homes.  The whites were cool whites, too stark, and showed lots of gray and shadows ,especially at night time where typically alot of showings occur.  Both houses were on the market for 4+ months without being sold. Working with the clients we were able to soften the look of the stark white by using accessories and adding larger pictures.  Not the best solution but it worked! Both houses sold after that.  The best solution, of course, is choosing the right color the first time around, and not having the stress and expense of a house for sale for 4 months!

Cool white is one of the trickiest colors to decorate with! Cool white is best for contemporary interiors. The accessories and lighting also need to complement the interior look. If you’re going with a cool white, add additional lighting for those night time showings to show off the room in the best possible light (no pun intended – lol). Cool white is not a good fit for transitional and traditional interiors as they will make the room look harsh. If you don’t have a contemporary space, use a warm white.

Sherwin Williams High Reflective White SW-7757

Sherwin Williams High Reflective White is pretty close to a pure white with a wee bit of warmth to it to prevent it from looking too stark. It will look amazing on your walls, trim and ceiling. Its one white that you can paint your entire room the same color and would work for a whole house paint color and would look great in contemporary interiors.

Benjamin Moore Decorator’s White OC-149

Decorator’s White is another favorite go to color in the Benjamin Moore family. Its a cool white with a gray undertone which makes it an off-white compared to a pure white. It can be used for walls and trim. It pairs well with gray paint if you’re looking for a white trim. It would be suitable for rooms where you have gray fixed elements in the room like gray flooring or a gray bathroom vanity. Its a softer version of Chantilly Lace which is their purest version of a cool white.

Best Cream Paint Colors for Staging Your House

Cream is making a comeback. It’s easier to decorate with than white, and its perfect for houses that have warm elements like wood kitchens and warm wood floors.  It suits houses that are more traditional. What exactly is cream vs white? Cream is in the off-white collection with yellow undertones. It has warmth to it but its not considered yellow.

Benjamin Moore OC-95 Navajo White


Benjamin Moore’s Navajo White is a great cream for staging.  Its a warm neutral in its off-white collection and would be suitable for a whole house color, perfect for staging. It would complement warm woods in flooring and cabinets, as well as warm home décor.  It’s warmer than a white, but lighter than a tan. Its suitable for more traditional and transitional homes. I would not put it in a modern contemporary home.

Sherwin Williams 7012 Creamy


Photo: Sherwin Williams Creamy


SW Creamy is a great cream that can be used for staging.  It’s a warm neutral in Sherwin Williams off-white collection. It would complement warm woods in flooring and cabinets, as well as warm home décor.  Its warmer than a white, but lighter than a tan. SW Creamy is often compared to Benjamin Moore’s Navajo White. They’re very very similar but Navajo White is a tad darker than Creamy. This color would be great as a whole house paint color.

Best Greige Paint Colors for Selling Your House

Sherwin Williams Shoji White SW7042


Photo: Amanda Louis Interiors

Don’t let the name fool you! Sherwin Williams Shoi White is a beautiful warm creamy greige. It has an LRV of 74 which puts it in the off-white color collection. Its a warm greige with slightly green undertones. You can see the effects that natural light has on this color. It appears more of a cream when the color is on the upper cabinets, but more of a greige on the lower cabinets that is not receiving the natural light.

It would look beautiful as a whole house paint color. Pictured above, its lovely on the kitchen cabinets. We’re seeing a trend away from pure white cabinets and leaning towards warm off-white colors.

Due to its slight green undertones, be sure to test this color. See my long rambling note here about greiges and green undertones!

Benjamin Moore Classic Gray OC-23


Photo: Benjamin Moore

Don’t let the name fool you. This ‘classic’ gray is a beautiful warm greige that could be your whole house paint color. With an LRV of 78.4 this puts ‘classic’ gray into the off-white collection. It creates a very light and airy feeling in the room. It creates the perfect backdrop to create a space you will love. It has slightly pink undertones that may reveal its self in south facing rooms. This neutral may appear a bit darker in north-facing that don’t have alot of natural light. It could be a good alternative for those wanting a very light neutral that leans into gray & greige. It would be a nice complement for homeowners that have some gray furniture & fixed elements left over from the all gray phase we went through.

Best Light Gray Paint Colors for Selling Your House

I know, I know. I just talked about how gray is on its way out and not to use gray. The mid-tone grays are out, but the lighter grays are still in. Light gray can be the perfect solution for houses that have gray colored floors, or fixed cool elements like gray kitchen cabinets. Light gray can be an option to tie your fixed elements together and create the perfect backdrop for artwork and accessories. It can also work well if you have some gray furniture or accessories to tie the room together for a cohesive look.

Lighter grays are popular in some regions, where you will see the whites popular in other regions. Choose lighter grays as opposed to the mid-darker grays that were popular a few years ago. 


Benjamin Moore’s Paper White OC-55

Benjamin Moore’s Paper White name is a little misleading. Its an off white that leans into gray. It’s a “cool” gray with blue undertones that is very light and neutral.  Paper White’s LRV is 77.9 which puts it in the off white collection. It’s very sophisticated and can complement your gray fixed elements in the room and/or gray furniture & accessories.


Photo: Benjamin Moore Paper White

Sherwin William’s Ice Cube SW6252


Sherwin Williams Ice Cube SW6252 could be the one for you if you’re looking for a light gray in Sherwin Williams. Its very similar to Benjamin Moore’s Paper White. Sherwin Williams calls Ice Cube a white with blue undertones. Designers call this a “cool” gray with blue undertones, that is very light and neutral. The color is technically in their white collection but with an LRV of 77 its not too light. This light gray can be the perfect color for you to tie your fixed elements together and create the perfect backdrop for artwork and accessories.


  Photo: ChrissyMarieBlog

Chrissy Marie used this color for her recent new build. She shows you her beautifully home and what the color looks like in different directions and different times of the day. Be sure to read her Sherwin Williams Ice Cube Paint Color Review here.

For both of these light gray paint colors, its the darkest gray I would go for a whole house paint color to stage your home with the staging current trends. 


Using the same paint color for walls & trim 

If you are painting your walls white, you can paint the trim in the same color but increase the sheen so that there is a differentiation between your wall color and the trim.  For example, if you Benjamin Moore’s White Dove, in a matte or eggshell finish, you could paint the trim in a satin or semi-gloss finish.  Read more about differences in paint finishes here.

If you want a clean crisp white for your trim, doors and ceiling, then Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace or Sherwin Williams Pure White could be the color for your home.

Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace OC-65 & Sherwin-Williams Pure White SW 7005


BM’s Chantilly Lace or SW’s Pure White is a fan favorite among designers & home owners alike. Chantilly Lace & Pure White is a “pure white” because it has no tint added to it.  But because it has not tint, it appears bright.  It can be a good thing or not a good thing depending on where you put it.   It’s perfect for doors & trim when you’re pairing it with a wall color that’s too dark to paint the same color for the trim.  Homeowners like these colors because they are considered pure white but some find it a wee too stark. If you’re looking for a trim with a bit of warmth, move on.

Shown here is Benjamin Moore’s Chantilly Lace but both colors are so similar.


Benjamin Moore OC-117 Simply White

Benjamin Moore’s Simply White was the Color of the Year 2016.  It’s popular because its both a bright and warm white at the same time making it very versatile.  Its often used for doors & trim, but due to its warm yellow undertones, it looks great on walls as well and creates that perfect canvas to decorate & stage your home.

Read: 8 Tips to Choosing the Best Paint Color for your Home

Read: Best White Paint Colors for Trim, Doors & Ceilings


And, they add value to your home!


White interiors look great but a whole white or light gray house can look mundane without some pops of color. One easy way to add a pop to the all white interior trend, and to add interest to the room is by painting one wall a different color that coordinates with the room. This wall then becomes the accent wall, and the focal point in the room.

Need help picking your paint colors?

This list is by no means exhaustive of paint colors that you can use for staging. But if you’re looking for a quick color to pick out on your own, this is a list of safe staging colors to make your house look amazing


The wrong wall color can make your house look dated, unattractive or clash with your current flooring, kitchen cabinets etc. which can turn potential buyers off.  Make sure you have the right color for your furniture, accessories AND most importantly, the selling features of your home! 

Hire Me: 1 hour zoom call

In a hurry? We can do a 1 hour zoom call where you virtually “walk me through your house” with your computer in hand, and I will make 2 wall paint color + trim colors recommendations for your house.  With time permitting, I can give you suggestions for accent walls, and/or suggestions on room(s) that you can “pop” with additional color based on your home’s interior + trending staging colors at the time of our call. You can record our call as your notes.

  • *Paint color recommendations & sheen recommendations are clear and concise that you can give to your painter.  The paint color recommendations are either Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore.  Your preference.

Option #2 is a Staging Report

But if you don’t see a color that you like or you’re just not sure, I can help you with that. As one of the first stagers ever in the industry, I have helped hundreds of clients make their homes stunning, and help them make money beyond their wildest expectations.  I’ve staged many clients’ houses that sat on the market unstaged, to help & work with the clients, stage their home where the home sold within 1 – 2 weeks.  As a real estate investor, I know what renovations work to sell a house for a healthy profit and which ones are not worth the investment.  Let me help you choose the right color for the home.

Click here for my whole house staging paint color consult

Cool grays are lighter now, and the warmer grays (greige as they have become known as) are lighter too.  Warm whites & soft creams are the most popular staging colors, especially in new builds and commercial spaces. Light gray is popular in some areas whereas white is more popular in other areas.  You need to know the trend in your neighborhood before you paint.  Are you in an older suburb? Trendy condo or townhouse? Or a relatively new build?  That’s why it’s important to search the current real estate listing in your area and go to open houses in your neighborhood as much as you can, so you will know the trends. Ideally, you should be starting this research well before you are ready to list your house.

Should I Renovate My House Before Selling: What’s My Profit Potential

 About Debi Collinson. Designer. Real Estate Investor.


I help busy homeowners, just like you, to style their house to make it a stunning retreat, where they can live and enjoy their home. I help homeowners, make money beyond their wildest expectations from the sale of their house by guiding them when they’re getting their house to sell.

I conducted my first color consult at the age of 7. lol. I grew up learning how to read blue prints, going on construction sites and helping my dad, an Engineer|General Contractor|Co-Owner of a Design|Build|Engineering firm pick out paint colors for his buildings. Since 2006, I have been styling & staging hundreds of homes to make them look like they belong in a magazine page whether the client is styling to stay or staging to sell. 

In my spare time, LOL, I buy “fixer uppers” to fix up & either sell for a healthy profit or to rent. I’m currently looking for my 10th “fixer upper.” Sign up to receive my e-mails of how to make your home stunning, how to sell your house for top dollar AND how to become financially independent one fixer upper at a time! Read my full story including my design credentials here.


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  1. Hi Deb

    USA has lots of online help but not so much here in Oz. Great article and I will be getting back to you in the near future for your advice. I’ve been agonising over paint colours for a while mainly due to the varying shades of furniture I have. There must be a solution so I look forward to working with you soon.
    Thank you for the packages you offer, in particular the one room package. How thoughtful as some people have to update their homes in stages, esp. Right now.
    I would have loved to have the expertise to work in this space.

    1. Hi Janet – its so good to hear from you. I’m assuming you’re getting your house ready to sell? Do you have a resource in Oz like or zillow where you can check out similar houses to yours in near by areas. Its checking out your competition! You will get some ideas of what to do and also as important, what not to do. That can be helpful. If you pick a whole house neutral paint color you should be safe when it comes to coordinating with your furniture. I look forward to working with you as well. Cheers Debi

  2. The Benjamin Moore store in my neighborhood doesn’t sell samples or even quarts! You buy a gallon and if it’s not the right color you’re stuck with it. We live in a small community of 25,000 people. Everyone raves about how helpful the store is but the owner talked me into a colour I really didn’t like for my revenue suite because “everybody was using it”. When you can go to Home Depot or Lowe’s and get samples I don’t see that the customer service at our Benjamin Moore store is very good. Is this standard for their stores?

    1. Benjamin Moore are usually very good with customer service. They are privately owned and not corporately owned. Perhaps you should try another store. It sounds like you have great success at Home Depot or Lowes.

  3. Very informative! I will be selling in the spring. I live in an open concept, white kitchen , vaulted ceiling. I would like to know if revere pewter or Edgecomb grey would be ok with dark brown leather furniture that has some red undertones I can’t afford new furniture but really need a neutral paint Color
    Floors are rustic looking
    I really like revere pewter but maybe too dark
    Thanks in advance

  4. I like these colors, however, it looks like a commercial for Benjamin Moore..What are the equivalent paints at Sherwin Williams??? I agree with a previous comment mentioning the fact that contractors often only include BW in their bids for a job. Estimates from FEMA (Houston … Harvey) barely cover the cost of SW, definitely not BM…
    Thank you for giving us suggestions about SW paints.

    1. Hi Danielle – thanks for your feedback. The post is not meant to be an ad for Benjamin Moore – lol. Alot of painters like BM and some homeowners say they are not near a Sherwin Williams store. I will do a post this month for Sherwin Williams colors. Thanks for your feedback Danielle. I really appreciate it!!!

  5. Hi Debi.

    Love this post. I have been trying to pick a new paint color for the exterior of our home for it feels like years. I too think Gray is on it’s way out and have been looking at Greigs and they are either to plain Jane, too pink, too purple etc. Do you have any suggestions for a clean warm coastal exterior color pallet. We live in Santa Barbara, CA. Our house is wood and stucco. Our interior is Coastal Modern. Blues, White, Sisal. Thank you for your brilliance! Brooke

    1. Hi Brooke – I’m so glad you enjoyed this post. It’s really hard to pick colors without seeing pictures. I do color consults. Please email me for my rates and how the process works! Thanks for your kind comments!

  6. Wish you had colors for Sherwin Williams. That’s all the painters here want to use, since that’s the local store, and they have to drive to a nearby town to get Benjamin Moore paint.

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