The Color of Your Walls Can Make You Money

Painting your walls is one of the biggest ways you can make a house (or a condo, or an apartment) a home. Choosing colors, whether it's a tasteful neutral or a bright accent wall, can consume a staggering amount of move-in time. If the thought makes you dizzy, there's some proof that it's all worth it: Turns out that some interior color schemes can raise the selling price of a house by more than $5,400.

The real estate website Zillow released a report in June analyzing over 32,000 photos of houses sold nationwide. It compiled the data into its 2017 Paint Color Analysis, revealing how much prices changed in relation to certain popular palettes and where those colors are most popular. A light brown living room can net you more than $1,800 (good call, Chicago), while a straw yellow or marigold kitchen can ding prices more than $800 (sorry, Detroit).

The most profitable hue for interior walls? Varying shades of blue, proving Pablo Picasso, Joni Mitchell, and one-hit wonder Eiffel 65 correct. Soft blues in the kitchen can add $1,800 to your selling price, while painting your bathroom a light powder blue or periwinkle can bump you a staggering $5,440. The absence of color (or at least interesting color) can also take a big bite out of your asking price. Zillow found that an off-white or eggshell coat in your bathroom can diminish your sale by more than $4,000.

If you have a freestanding house, exterior paint choices can also affect how much your home goes for. Greige, a mix of gray and beige, adds about $1,500 to sale numbers. Avoid darker colors like medium brown or taupe, as well as stucco — those can lose you almost $2,000. You don't need to repaint your whole exterior to reap the benefits of a pop of color, though: Dark gray or navy on a front door can net an extra $1,500.

If you're looking to buy rather than sell, it may be worth looking at properties with less popular colors and keeping an open mind. It's easy to calculate how much paint you'll need to redo the walls yourself, and there are loads of ways to spruce up interiors without breaking the bank or hiring a professional. A few coats of paint might aggregate by the time you're ready to go.