People Seem to Think Gray Paint Sells Houses


Home buyers prefer cemetery industrial gray to any joyful colors, according to a Zillow study. Photo: imaginima/Getty Images

People are suckers. That’s the conclusion of a study that found buyers will pay thousands of dollars more for a home if it has gray paint in a single room.

The study, run by Zillow, with a fairly small sample size of 4,700 homes, compared offer prices and concluded that buyers are offering $2,512 more for places with “deep graphite” kitchens, and $2,553 more if the room is “mid tone gray.” Dark-gray living room? $1,755 more.

Architectural Digest posited that gray had this particular effect on people because of calming properties which presumably lull people into spending money. A designer it interviewed in 2022 said, “When you come home you just want to shut the door and have peace and a soft, calm home.”

An alternate theory: Gray strongly signals the house was painted fairly recently, and by someone with a Pinterest account. Two of Joanna Gaines’s favorite paint colors, per a blog post titled “Fixer Upper Paint Colors — The Most Popular of ALL TIME,” are “Repose Grey” and “Mindful Grey.” HGTV’s Jasmine Roth’s favorite paint color is Dunn-Edwards Faded Gray — a hue she claims to slather on “80 percent of walls.”

But more than taste or the sheen of a renovation, the matter may be more about subtle deception. As one architect told me: “One thing that darker colors do is they hide imperfections. Lighter colors highlight them.” That’s borne out by the study, which showed a bright-white kitchen knocking $612 off an offer.

Via Curbed

Joyce Rey
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