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Embrace the power of paint for your home

Carson Arthur

Carson Arthur

We’ve all heard that freshening up the paint can help you sell your home, but now we actually have numbers that back it up!

I am a firm believer in the concept that you only get one chance to make a first impression. When it comes to your home, the first impression is made the moment someone sees it for the very first time. I often ask my clients what they think the front of their home is saying about them. On average, a good first impression can increase the perceived value of your home by up to 8 per cent according to Century 21 Canada. This means that on the average Canadian home valued at $300,000, that initial first glace is potentially worth $24,000.

Paint is a game changer when it comes to first impressions.

When I first saw my new home, painted green and yellow, my initial reaction was that the space was ‘okay’. The green and yellow combination seemed a bit dated and didn’t do anything to help the house stand out in the space. In fact, by painting it the same colour as the foliage around it, the house literally blended into the background.

I pumped up the volume with a fantastic combination of Black Horizon 2132-30 and White Heron OC-57 from Benjamin Moore. I went with these strong colours because I wanted the house to have presence but I also wanted my home to convey confidence. My colour scheme has impact.

When choosing colours, here are my simple rules.

1. Start with picking several paint chips that are natural colours. If you can find the colour outside of your home, in the trees, the rocks, even the pavement, you’ll always know that your home blends with the neighbourhood instead of standing out in an obtrusive way. I went with the dark colours that you find in the shadows, or under the branches. Black and dark greys are always around us.
2. Beware of choosing colours from your favourite flowering perennials or deciduous trees. Those great shades from your irises or Japanese maples may look amazing in the summer, but having a purple or red house in the middle of February isn’t going to help your curb appeal.
3. Don’t be afraid of adding personality. You should use a bright colour or even whimsical pieces like my wooden chicken; just make sure that you show a little restraint. It is always a good idea to add the personality to the areas that are easily changed in the front of your home. This is why designers recommend painting the front door…it’s easily fixed if you get it wrong.

This is your home and it shouldn’t be the same as all the others. Just consider that every single Canadian wants to know that when it’s time to sell, they will make the absolute most on their investment. Even if you are not selling right now, choose a great colour scheme for your home so that when you do sell, you know you’ll see a return on your investment!

-Landscape designer Carson Arthur is host of HGTV’s new Home to Win show. He is also the outdoor expert with City TV’s Cityline and wrote the sell-out book Garden Designs for Outdoor Living in 2015. More at
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