Painting your home: Boost its value and appeal

With Ottawa housing prices expected to grow by 13 per cent this year, and historically low inventory of properties for sale, it’s no wonder that many are turning to home renovations to enjoy the space they have now.

Not everyone is able to do a major remodel of their home, but using something as simple as paint can enhance design and add energy and vibrancy to your space that extends beyond just decoration. Painting your home can add five per cent or more to the price when you sell.

But more than adding to the eventual resale value, painting your home allows you to transform your space and reap the benefits of that value as you live in your home each day. Paint can create depth and visual interest, make features pop or fade to the background, provoke emotion, and it can visually clarify your space.


Over the past two years, haven’t we all had a little extra time to look around our homes? Maybe you’re one of many who’ve realized that the home they are in isn’t meeting their needs anymore. Maybe your walls are drab and you want the mental lift that can come from freshening up your space.

Painting is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to create a space you love. With today’s open-concept direction and trends that we are going to now, having paint delineate space is really important.

Paint transitions in an open-concept home can be subtle or bold, but I recommend embracing the trend towards timeless warm neutral palettes for your walls and infusing bolder on-trend colour more subtly, like in your decor. For instance, the Sherman-Williams colour of the year is Evergreen Fog, a soft green/grey neutral tone that adds warmth and brings a bit of the outside in.


People are home a lot and they’re nesting — they want to feel comfortable and safe. Indeed, the trend towards warm green shades may be linked to the effects of the pandemic, with people craving the outdoors and looking for the kind of comfort I describe.

As for tips to help people DIY their own painting, there are some great new innovations out there, like using large, hand-painted, peel-and-stick paint swatches, which can give you a more accurate idea of what the paint colours will look like in your space without having to make a mess painting on multiple colours or using the small paint chips you find at the store.

Additionally, you want to make sure you’re getting a very high-quality paint. It will cover well and it’s easy to use. And a quality paint job starts with quality tools, of course. Make sure you get a good-quality roller and brushes. I know they are a little more expensive, but you can clean those up after and they last forever — don’t buy your brushes at the dollar store.


Additional painting tips

The best time to paint is now: While painting can technically be done all year, August is the optimal time of year to paint the exterior of your home — while humidity is low, rain isn’t as frequent and heat levels are moderate.

Repaint every five to 10 years: It keeps things fresh and bright, increasing your intrinsic value and the curb appeal, if you are looking to sell your property.

Wash your walls before you start painting: While it might be tempting to skip this step because you are too excited to see the finished product — DON’T. It can make a huge difference in the quality of the job if there are trapped dust particles in your paint finish. Use soap and water with a sponge to first clean them. Then run a tack cloth over the surface to clear off any remaining dust or debris.


The bottom line about painting your home

Painting your home increases its value, provided the paint job is well done. If you have uneven finishes, brush marks or paint drips and streaks, these will diminish your home’s visual appeal and possibly lower its value.

If you are handy, make sure your home’s interior and exterior paint jobs are done with care, and if you aren’t confident in your painting skills, consider hiring a pro to achieve excellent results.

Find out more: In this recent appearance on CTV, I talk more about painting your home:


About the Author

Steve Barkhouse

Steve Barkhouse is owner and president of renovation firm Amsted Design-Build, a well-respected Ottawa renovation firm with more than 30 years’ experience. Steve is a past president of the Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association, has been named provincial and local Renovator of the Year several times, and takes an active role in industry education and leadership.



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