Want to sell your home for more? Paint your walls dark grey. 

According to new research from real estate marketplace Zillow, Canadian homes with dark grey walls could sell for up to $6,491 more than expected. (Who says grey is a gloomy colour?)

This paint colour analysis is based on a Zillow study of more than 3,000 recent or prospective Canadian home buyers. Each colour received a score based on how interested participants were in touring a home, buying a home, and the price they would be willing to pay for the home, based on viewing that colour in a particular room. National price premiums were calculated based on a typical Canadian home value of $746,146. 

As it turns out, recent and prospective home buyers were willing to pay thousands more for a home with a charcoal grey kitchen ($6,491 more), bathroom ($4,029 more), bedroom ($5,074 more), and living room ($4,999 more).    

“Moody dark grey is appealing to today’s home buyers because it feels contemporary, and adds depth, drama and contrast to a space,” said Amanda Pendleton, Zillow’s home trends expert. “Painting is one of the easiest and most common projects homeowners tackle before listing their home for sale. This research shows it pays to be strategic about the paint colours sellers select to attract more potential buyers and boost their bottom line.”

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Recent and prospective buyers were also willing to pay more for homes with sky blue kitchens ($2,612 more) and bedrooms ($1,865 more), says Zillow. A mid-tone cement grey earned high marks when used in the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom, and commanded price premiums of up to $1,865.  

At the other end of the spectrum, forest green bathrooms and kitchens -- a designer favourite -- received poor marks from recent and prospective buyers. Those buyers would pay, on average, $5,596 less for a home with a dark green bathroom and $3,656 less for a dark green kitchen. While they may be trendy, mint green kitchens can also hurt a home’s sale price by $3,432, according to the research. Furthermore, kitchens and bathrooms in sunshine yellow -- the 2022 Pantone Colour of the Year -- were also generally unpopular with buyers, and could contribute to a home selling for $6,044 less than similar homes. 

 “Our study found home buyers may be particularly sensitive to paint colour, despite paint being a relatively easy and inexpensive change, because they’re navigating a complex environment with a lot of uncertainty,” said Kate Rogers, a senior behavioural scientist at Zillow. “When study participants thought the homeowner had similar tastes to them, they perceived the home more positively and were also more likely to make an offer more than $2,000 higher. On the whole, recent and prospective Canadian buyers were more likely to feel similar to the homeowners when the rooms were painted a shade of grey, white, or blue.”

Tastes can vary by region; this analysis found differences in buyer preferences across five of Canada’s largest metro areas. Toronto buyers were willing to pay $6,499 more for homes with a bright jay blue living room on a typical home valued at $1,354,000. In Montreal, burgundy in the bathroom and living room could command a sale premium of up to $4,413. Calgarians bucked the national sentiment and said they would pay up to $3,325 more for homes with mint green or sunshine yellow kitchens. 

Doors make a difference too. According to other recent research from Zillow, slate blue and black doors can sell homes for as much as $6,449 more.

The bottom line is that the right paint colour in the right room can have a big impact on a buyer’s impression of a home and a home’s sale price. So, before you list that home, you may want to purchase a few cans of paint.