Can a Dark Gray Paint Increase Your Home’s Value?

Updated: Jun. 06, 2024

This one easy, affordable change can inspire buyers to increase their bids.

When preparing to sell, homeowners consider a variety of renovations to increase their home’s value. A December 2022 poll conducted by the Harris Poll on behalf of Zillow found that 65% of sellers conduct at least two home improvement projects before listing their home. Of these renovating sellers, 40% repainted their interiors.

But what colors offer the best return on investment when painting your interiors? And are some colors more lucrative for resale than others? Another Zillow study from last month reveals that dark gray wall paint is having a major moment, increasing home offers by as much as $2512. Here are also some gray exterior house paint ideas that work across the board with lots of home styles.

Here’s everything to know about painting your walls dark gray before listing, including why it works and which rooms benefit the most from a fresh coat.

Which Rooms Increase Home Value When Painted Dark Gray?

Black / gray modern kitchen interior with island, sink, cabinets, kitchen appliances and marble floor in a new luxury homeImaginima/Getty Images

To conduct the study, Zillow surveyed more than 4,700 recent and prospective home buyers across the United States. Each participant received a random image of a home painted with one of 11 interior colors in the kitchen, living room, bedroom or bathroom. Participants also looked at 10 different front door colors. Based on these pictures, participants scored the colors based on their perception of the home, likelihood of touring it and the price they would pay for it.

Through these methods, Zillow discovered that buyers would pay up to $2512 more for a home with a kitchen painted a “deep graphite gray” or $2553 for a “mid tone pewter gray.” Dark gray tones in the bedroom or living room yielded offers of at least $1755 more, outperforming the other colors in these rooms. If you’re looking to price your house, be sure to check out our best 14 tips for pricing your home.

Why Does Dark Gray Paint Increase Home Offers?

Real Photo Of A Dark Interior With Wooden Desk, Chair And Computer In The Study Space In The MiddleKatarzynaBialasiewicz/Getty Images

First off, a fresh coat of paint “has an outsized impact on a buyer’s perception of a home,” according to Zillow home trends expert Amanda Pendleton. “[B]uyers rely on color as a powerful visual sign that a home is modern and up-to-date, or tired and needs maintenance,” she adds. Check out more bang-for-your-buck home improvements here.

As for why dark gray paint yields such high offers, color psychologist specialist and interior designer Mehnaz Khan weighs in: “Buyers have been exposed to dark gray spaces through home improvement TV shows and their social media feeds, but they’re likely drawn to charcoal on a psychological level. Gray is the color of retreat. As we come out of the pandemic and return to our hectic lives, buyers want home to be a refuge. They want to withdraw and escape form the uncertainty of the outside world, and rooms enveloped in dark gray can create that feeling of security.”

And if gray isn’t your color, try one of these value-increasing interior paints instead.

Which Paint Colors Decrease Home Value?

Cement Gray Front Door with white trim, windows on both sides of the door, stucco siding and rock stone pattern stuck to the front of the homeTriggerPhoto/Getty Images

Don’t go painting your entire home dark gray just yet, though! According to Zillow’s research, a front door painted cement gray can yield $3365 less than a front door painted a different color. Black front doors were found to be preferable to gray ones, and a “mid tone rosy brown” front door yielded $300 more for a house than any other color. Check out our full list of flattering front door colors here.

Finally, prospective buyers didn’t like dark gray paint in their bathrooms. Instead, opt for earth tones, such as 2023’s color of the year terracotta brown. When used in a bathroom, terracotta brown paint could help a home sell for $1624 more than a home with a different colored bathroom. JustĀ avoid these common resale mistakes and you’ll do great!