When selling your house for sale by owner (FSBO), if you had to pick one thing that would dramatically change the look of your home, that thing would be paint. Think of paint as the colors on an artist’s palette and your home as the canvas. Think about how you’re going to wow buyers with your beautiful, freshly painted rooms. Then think about your color palette. The top paint colors this year are both muted and bold. The clear winners are the off-whites, light grays, intense jewel tones, muted earth tones, and pastels.

Whites and grays get the nod for neutral shades. Benjamin Moore’s color palette trends web page shows seven shades of white, with pretty names like Paper White, Ice Mist, Simply White, Mascarpone, Ballet White, and White Heaven from a collection of more than 250 whites. They picked Simply White as their color of the year. Sherwin Williams chose Alabaster White. Behr’s pick was Ivory Keys White, Glidden focused on a creamy Cappuccino White, and Houzz’s on-trend pick is the off-whites in general.

White– and shades of white –maximize space. They’re light, clean, and make spaces appear larger. They won’t distract buyers with someone else’s style. Whites and similar neutrals let them imagine their style, not yours. Some homeowners are expanding their spaces even more by painting moldings the same color as the wall to give the illusion of higher walls. And, white offers possibilities. It gives your buyers some room to be creative without having to repaint the entire house, such as applying a trim with their favorite color to give the house their personality.

Gray has become popular over the last few years and is still going strong. Decorators like it because it adds sophistication to urban spaces. Darker shades of gray can make a bold statement or enhance sleek modern and colorful furnishings and accents. In more traditional homes, light grays bring out a feeling of coolness, similar to the calming effects of blue. Gray is especially nice in bedrooms and living areas.

Other popular neutrals based on gray this year are colors taken from natural materials: alabaster, marble, warm grays, khaki. These shades make one think of sand, nomads, and a desert oasis. They can work in many situations including bathrooms.

You’ll see earth tones in many homes this year. They’re warm, inviting, and relaxing with their flat, muted tones. They work well with most other colors and complement rooms with a lot of wood, stone, metal or glass. Living and dining rooms are good places for these soothing colors. They include not only browns, grays, and tans, but greens, blues, oranges, and some reds.

Primary colors are trendy too, particularly jewel tones like ambers, sapphires, rubies, emeralds and amethysts for warmth, depth, and saturation. House and Home chose Emerald Green as color of the year but it’s best used sparingly, in small spaces. Green can be cheery and cozy in a room with white trim. Deeper shades of green complement natural stained or finished cabinets in the kitchen or a sitting room.

The dining room has been experiencing a revival due to more people staying at home to eat, cook, and entertain. Behr likes dark colors for dining areas to create the illusion of depth with pops of tropical colors to stimulate the senses.

According to House Beautiful, the 10 hottest paint colors are muted shades of blue, gray, purple, and green:

  • Aqua Chiffon, Fresh
  • Oceanside Teal Blue, mysterious and sultry
  • Cathedral Gray, for a natural wood and linen feel
  • Forsythia Blossom, a high-energy yellow
  • Organic Garden, a balance between a warm and cool gray
  • Grape Hyacinth, a gray purple that’s soft but not intense
  • Clear Blue Sky, clean and airy
  • Cedar Green, restful, balanced, and goes with anything
  • Turquoise, a sparkling hue like the sun on water
  • Sea Kiss, a watercolor, refreshing and airy

So plan your palette and apply any of these beautiful shades so they bring out the best in each room of your home and complement your furnishings and accents. Buyers will take notice and be impressed!