Study Confirms: Staging Colors Increase Home Sale Prices

I’ve been saying it for years now – the right staging colors increase the sales price of homes on the market. I believe it and have built my business on it!

right staging colors


Many of you know that I founded the RESA-accredited Expert Psychological Staging® certification course after years of staging homes to sell quickly and for top dollar. Our course offers the most specific and proven paint color instruction for staging in the business. I say that with all confidence, because IT’S TRUTH.

Last year, a well-known home stager publicly said something like:  “Anyone can do paint color – all you have to do is choose one of the paint company’s Color of the Year and you’re good.” I probably shouldn’t put that in quotes, but that’s the gist of what she stated regard to the need (or lack thereof) of color instruction for staging. Wow, is she ever underestimating the power of staging colors!

Zillow just put out a study that confirms what I’ve known all along – the right paint colors increase sales prices of homes. Zillow’s 2017 Paint Color Analysis looked at more than 32,000 photos from sold homes around the country to see how certain paint colors impacted their sale price on average. You can read all about the particulars here, but these are some high points:



Houses with bathrooms painted light blue sell for more (over 5K!), while those painted white sell for less (-4K).

Houses with dining rooms painted gray-blue or dark blue sell for more (+2K), while those with red walls sell for less (-2K).


color design by The Decorologist

Houses with living rooms painted beige or oatmeal (greige) sell for more (+1.8K), while those painted blue sell for less (-800).

Houses with kitchens that are soft blue or gray-blue sell for more (+1.8K), while houses with yellow kitchens sell for less (-800).


color design by the decorologist

color design by The Decorologist

Exteriors painted greige sell for more (+1.5K), while those painted taupe or brown sell for less (-2K).

I know what you’re thinking: WHICH light blue? WHICH greige? etc. There are millions of colors to choose from, but I teach my EPS™ stagers EXACTLY which staging colors to use and where to use them.

And now, you can become an Expert Psychological Stager™ from the comfort of your own home, on your own schedule through my ONLINE course. Find out more here.


  1. Phyllis E

    Thanks so much for posting this, Kristie! You have provided me with some more good ammunition to convince my husband WHY we need to repaint most of our home, as we are prepping it to sell, as most of our colors are not in the “sell for more” range (as I have been trying to tell him!” Most of our first floor is currently a light golden yellow–including the kitchen! It would be interesting to find out which color kitchen cabinets sell for more–and wood stained vs. painted, etc.
    I love the home that you are going to be using for your staging training–the stonework is gorgeous. However, the dark blue on the gables seems a bit unrelated and disjointed with the rest of the home to my eye. I would think repainting with one of the the tones of the stones would be absolutely gorgeous, but I would love to know your expert opinion regarding this, Kristie. (I understand, though, that the homeowners don’t necessarily need to repaint the exterior if it is in good shape before they sell, as there is only so far the budget can stretch with all the things one typically needs to do to sell!) Thanks.

    • Kristie Barnett

      Great, Phyllis, I hope this helps your husband see how important the right paint colors are when selling! Golden yellow is a big no-no for staging. There’s a lot of it out there, but buyers don’t like it anymore. As for kitchen cabinets, white cabinets definitely sell better at this point. I love, love the stonework of the home we are staging! We are not recommending painting the exterior, although I asked them to repaint three of the main spaces inside the home. Let’s hope they are able to get that done before we arrive on Saturday to stage 🙂

      • Phyllis E

        I told my husband about the statistics in the article, and, and wouldn’t you know it, he googled it and found an earlier, Zillow article from 2016 that stated that yellow kitchens sell for more, LOL! ( However, mind you, the kitchen they showed to illustrate it had WHITE cabinets!) I tried to tell him that the general public has finally gotten tired of yellow since last year, ha, ha!
        To tell the truth, I think that Zillow’s statistics for kitchens probably need to be correlated with the other finishes to truly be meaningful. I mean, maybe those blue and blue-gray kitchens were selling for more because they usually also had white cabinets?
        Today I was looking again at homes for sale in my area, and very, very few of them (even very expensive homes) are painted in on-trend colors. Most of them seem to reflect the wall and cabinet colors and styles of the time period when most of them were built: the 1990-early 2000’s. (This local area was very rural before then–and, though it is still is rural/semi-rural, most homes around here were built during that time period.) So that tells me that, just by updating our paint colors and staging , we will gain a bit of an advantage over the competition . Also, when I do see the occasional home listing that has been freshly painted in an on-trend color, the paint is usually too cool of a blue-gray to look good with the existing, older warmer finishes and cabinet colors!
        What colors do YOU think generally help a home sell for more money in 2017, Kristi? Since you are a color and staging expert, I trust you more than Zillow’s statistics! By the way–I have your staging book and have referred to your paint recommendations many times and have gotten samples of many of those colors. I have wondered, though, since trends change so quickly these days, have your recommendations for paint colors changed at all since you wrote the book? It seems like I am seeing mainly very, very light colors and white/off-whites these days in decorating magazines, Houzz, HGTV, etc. , but perhaps those aren’t the best to stage the typical home?

  2. Mary

    Hi Kristie,
    Very interesting post. While I don’t question your expertise on color selection (or Zillow’s findings), we have been looking at houses in the south Florida area (over $500k) and we find that most of the kitchens in this area have dark or darker cabinets and white tops (marble, quartz, etc.). I wonder if these findings are different for certain areas. Do you have an opinion about that?

  3. Jenny Baker

    This is great information (as always) that I can use to help get my parents house ready to sell. There are some really bold colors in there right now! By the way, love, love, love the area rug in the dining room picture. Are you able to share any information on that. I am wanting to redo my open concept – LR, DR area with those colors. I have seen wallpaper similar to that pattern that I love, but not sure about how would look. The open concept has minimal walls and if there is a wall there are windows, doors, fireplaces etc – so I don’t think would make the impact that I am hoping for. Thanks for the great blog. I regularly read only 2 blogs and yours is one of them. I get great information and love your personality!! Keep up the great work!! Jenny

  4. Annette

    Hey Kristie – I found your blog through Kelly’s and I LOVE it!

    • Kristie Barnett

      Great, Annette! Happy to have you reading along 🙂


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