For selling, should I re-paint my red dining room/kitchen?

beths96February 3, 2014

Hi everyone. Our family is probably going to move soon, and as soon as we put an offer on a house, we're going to list our current home. I have been working hard the past few months, touching up woodwork that has been scratched, cleaning like crazy, decluttering and organizing closets, etc. to prepare for listing our home. I also painted two rooms in a more neutral color. One was my son's room, which had navy blue and red stripes. It's now a nice taupe color.

I have two questions. 1, This past summer, before we were sure about the move, I painted my daughter's room a very, very pale pink, and decorating with black accents (curtains, comforter, lamp, etc). Should I re-paint her room? We have a three bedroom home, and two of the bedrooms have the same taupe color. To make it look better, should I paint her room as well? The only problem is that she isn't thrilled about the move, and she really wants her pale pink room to stay the same.

2. In 2004/2005, we remodeled our kitchen and dining room. We have craftsman-style molding in the dining room that goes 3/4 of the way up from the floor, which is painted white. The top 1/4 of the wall is a color that's no longer made by SW called Barn. It's a warm, brownish-red. Our kitchen has all white shaker cabinets with crown molding, white subway tile backsplash with gray grout, and dark gray laminate counters. We also have stainless appliances and hardwood floors. I carried the red into the kitchen, so above the cabinets is red. (I have 42" cabinets).

I love the red, and it looks beautiful when our blinds are up and you look into the house from the sidewalk. But we live in an area that is very much into "country" or "primitive" decorating, and oak trim and oak cabinets are the norm, along with white walls. Our house will probably be looked at by young families due to the finished basement and yard and do you think I should repaint? My living room is a nice dark taupe color. Maybe I should paint in the dining room, too? The good thing is that the white molding takes up a lot of the wall.

Thank you!

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Here's a pic of the kitchen. I'm looking for one of the dining room. They are open to each other.

Here is a link that might be useful: My kitchen

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 7:51AM
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Unfortunately the link you posted doesn't work - says it's private.

But from your description, the red sounds lovely. I would be tempted to leave it since it seems to coordinate well with your home. See what a realtor says.

As for your daughter's room, I don't think pale pink would be a game changer. I would leave it.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 8:52AM
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I think children's rooms, unless they're really out there, can be left alone. Let her keep her pink room! Can you post a picture(s) of the kitchen and dining room? It sounds fine, but I think a picture would help.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 9:04AM
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No. I would only advise it if it were say bright purple or day glow .

I know there is a whole industry around staging , tv shows, etc. but I recently read an article about a study that was done . The study suggested no effect .

I will see if I can find the study . Meanwhile , my advice is dont spend any funds for staging , just do minor repairs.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 9:31AM
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I had very contemporary taste in the 1970s. I decorated my boys' rooms in great/expensive but colorful furniture, papered walls with limes/blues; oranges/greens.

My bedroom looked like a parlor where you do what you do that you don't confess, with antiqued/gold veined mirrored wall behind the bed, black/gold flocked wallpaper, a furry black bedspread and matching floor rug, beaded doorway to master bath. I was going to change it all up for sale.

I ran an ad in the paper expecting no one to respond over Christmas holidays, and was going to take a week for paper/paint people to come in and gut the walls of paper and paint.

A lady called me Christmas day, bought the house within 24 hours and saved me a lot of work. You never know! Whoda thunk it that someone else would have liked that wild and crazy house, although my family room and formal LR/DR and kitchen/foyers, etc., were very eclectic/traditional.

I say leave it be unless you get bad vibes after it has been on the market for a while.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 9:48AM
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It would help to see a picture, but I recently sold my house that still had wallpaper left in one room and the realtors told me it was fine and I should leave it. They even liked it. It was the master bedroom and very feminine but tasteful. It was tone-on-tone damask in a dark mauve/raspberry color. The furniture and accessories completed the look nicely. Although it was taste-specific and should have been "neutralized" and modernized, it did not meet the criteria for must-fix-before-listing. The rest of the house was updated and neutral so the whole package worked fine.

It sounds like your overall package is up-to-date, so even if the red is objectionable to a potential buyer, they should be able to see past it that it is easily fix-able.

Have you had a realtor comment on it?

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 10:06AM
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I would not paint either. A bedroom in a very strong color is a maybe, especially if it is a high energy color, but even then, most folks will not be turned off by one or two rooms of painting. The red in the kitchen and dining room sound like a great choice. That is the kind of thing that will make your home feel warm, interesting and set it apart from the mass of oak, etc. Those who don't like it probably won't be drawn to the white cabinets no matter what the color on the wall. Those who are a maybe on white cabinets will see they don't have to mean white on white or feel cold or formal. Those who like white will see they can have a strong color or a neutral on the walls. The color sounds appropriate to the home and there isn't so much of it that it would be overpowering.

Your house may well sell faster because it is different.

This post was edited by lascatx on Mon, Feb 3, 14 at 10:44

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 10:43AM
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The pink will be easy to cover up with a coat of paint. The red may take some more work, but doesn't sound like there's that much red paint, even spread between the two rooms.

Red is a very traditional color for dining rooms. Plus, the shade you describe sounds like a very "country" shade of red. Pink is a nice color for a kid's room.

My suggestion would be to leave them as they are. When you get around to interviewing agents, ask them what fixes they think the house will need. They'll let you know then if they think repainting is necessary.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 10:57AM
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A picture would be super helpful.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 5:13AM
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Without seeing the space it is hard to say for sure.

But I think generally speaking, that any room that gets as much daily use as a kitchen area that hasn't been painted in 10 years will look more up to date if the paint is brand spanking new in appearance.

Our realtor had us repaint particular walls in our kitchen when we sold, jut because they didn't look perfectly fresh. And our paint was only 4-5 years old, including ceilings. So honestly look at your kitchen ceiling too to make sure it is not dingy from cooking.

So I don't think it needs to be repainted for the color per se, but because the paint has been there that length of time.

Please understand that this is not meant to pick at your housekeeping at all, just to give a point of view from a recent veteran.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 8:06AM
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Hard to tell without seeing photos ......

a)Maybe. IF the house does not sell as quickly as you might need -- then I switch my vote to Yes. Re-paint the kitchen and dining room in simple fresh and clean white to match the cabinets.

b)No. Do not re-paint your daughter's bedroom (painting a bedroom may not be a deal-breaker for a buyer -- unless the house does not sell as fast as you wanted ..... of course!)

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 9:24AM
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I like what Patricia said. Leave it. See what the reaction is from potential buyers, maybe at ab open house. If people are whipping out their sunglasses and making gagging sounds, then paint. If not, let it be. The house next to mine had a red living room. That room stayed red through the next two owners! It looked great, but the red fad finally ran its course. I don't think that applies to dining rooms,though.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 9:41AM
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Beth - I think I remember your kitchen from when you did it back in 2005! We have moved 3 times since then. Leave the bedroom and leave the kitchen. The kitchen looks great and no one would say, "oh I can't buy this house because of the kitchen paint". No one. Good luck and I hope you enjoy your new house!!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 10:20AM
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I would change out the curtains in DD's room. Black curtains might be a turn off-but the pink walls-no. Black/pink is very trendy for tweens and young teens, so I don't see the accessories as a deal breaker-just that the drapery might be over the top.

As to the red, I say leave it-if your area leans toward the country/primitive, it's a perfect fit.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 10:24AM
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Actually, it sounds nice.

As for the daughter's room, I can't imagine that would ever make or break a sale. Teenagers don't get financing.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 11:09AM
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Here are some pictures of my daughter's room, the living room color (that is used in the upstairs hallway too), and the dining room and kitchen.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 10:36AM
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I'm having some trouble uploading the other photos...give me a second. :)

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 10:43AM
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That is actually your kitchen, and it is gorgeous---- leave it!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 11:35AM
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It looks beautiful! Leave them both! I will bet because your kitchen is different than the neighbors (yet still classic), it will help your house sell much more quickly.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 11:41AM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

I have the same shade of red in my dining room. The red is not garish or startling so I think it should be fine. Seeing it in your kitchen, I think it looks great and works very well with the white. Good luck on your sale!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 11:44AM
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No way. That's a beautiful red, and it looks great.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 11:44AM
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No way! It's a beautiful barn red. Leave it.

**sorry for the double posting**

This post was edited by Tibbrix on Wed, Feb 5, 14 at 11:48

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 11:46AM
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Love it. Good work on clearing the countertops :-)

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 2:47PM
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It looks great! And your daughter's room sounds lovely. If the buyer's have a little boy or need a manly study, they can repaint, but I bet there may be just as many who would love a pale pink room.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 2:47PM
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A pale pink would be okay. And I like your kitchen, there isn't that much red. It looks good.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 5:25PM
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I would leave it and not consider repainting unless you find the house lingering on the market. I sold my old house in 2012 in a mediocre market with dark red walls in the living room, pink in my daughters room, blue in my son's room, and rich colors throughout the house. We still had an accepted offer within a month of being on the market and I'm told the new owners have since painted just about every room white except the boy's room where they kept the blue. It's only paint, after all, and I would think most people want to personalize with their own colors no matter what you have. I like your red though!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 7:17PM
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Thank you all! The red is more of an accent, really, since the dining room has the white 3/4 up the wall. I am having an awful timSe posting pictures today! But my daughter's room is very, very pale pink, almost white. I have de-cluttered both of my kids' rooms and closets, and have gotten rid of any extra furniture or toys that are not necessary. I have repainted all of the woodwork that's been scratched or worn. I've been cleaning like crazy, too. I just really hope it sells easily!! I think that it will, honestly. We've had neighbors who have actually said, "If you ever think of selling, please let us know!" :) Please wish us luck!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 8:44PM
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Beths96 - I know you were having trouble with pictures, but if you get a chance, I'd love to see your dining room. I've been thinking about adding molding in our kitchen and dining area. I originally thought about chair-rail height since I want to paint the walls a deep red. I've been afraid that the red will be too dark, but the idea of having the molding go up 3/4 of the way is very interesting. I would love to see it!

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 2:06PM
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Everyone...thank you for your help! I finally got some pictures together. My husband and I just made an offer (it was accepted!), so I have to list our house very soon.

The problem is this: As I'm touching up paint throughout the house, I'm running into the problem of having my touchup paint samples not matching the wall color, even though they're exactly the same formula from the same store! (Lowe's). I touched up around a window frame yesterday, and it dried a few shades lighter than the color of the walls (Oatmeal from Lowes, not sure of the line).

I could cry!! It's very noticeable! I don't know what to do? I cannot repaint the whole living room and hallway going. upstairs.

And I took down all family photos in the red dining room, and there are knicks in the paint. So now I'm really afraid, because that color came form SW in 2004, and it's been discontinued. I still have the paint can with the label, so I bet they could match it, but what if the same thing happens when I try to touch up?

I'd like your honest opinions, please. Houses in my town are not selling very quickly, and I'm getting nervous. We can afford both house payments, but things would be tight, and we couldn't do it for too long. Honestly, everyone tells us our house will sell so quickly, but I still have my doubts.

ps: The living room color in these pictures has changed. These pictures were taken several years ago. We've done so many changes (new roof, furnace/ac, finished basement, all new windows, etc).

Here is a link that might be useful: House pics

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 10:06PM
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Touch ups are very tricky because paint fades over time. If the touch ups are noticeable after the paint dries completely, I think you would be best served by repainting. I know it's a hassle, but that first impression on the market is important. The longer a house is on the market the harder it gets to sell.

I would ask your real estate agent about changing wall colors. Ours advised me to leave our recently painted navy study alone, along with various other blue and yellow walls throughout the house. But he did want me to paint the few rooms that had not been recently painted and suggested pale neutrals for those spaces. (We sold in under a week in a tough market, and I firmly believe it was partly because we took every bit of our realtor's advice on painting, opening blinds for every showing, turning on all lights for very showing, etc, etc.)

If you can afford it, maybe this is the time to bring in a professional to paint the walls that need it.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 10:36PM
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Are you using actual paint or paint samples for your touch ups. Color paint samples are not real paint. They are meant to just give you an idea of the color. They are temporary coats of paint that are meant to be top-coated with real paint. They are generally thinner or watery and often streaky. That could be why your touch ups don't match.
If you are in fact using samples it would be worth it to try a quart of the actual paint instead and see if that matches before you completely repaint the rooms. Even though it will cost more than paint samples, it could save you lots of time and effort.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 11:38PM
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When you get new paint mixed, it is more likely to be slightly different and when you add years of exposure and aging on top of that, you are likely to get some variation. Give it some more time -- even thought paint dries to the touch in minutes, it isn't completely dry for a lot longer. Also get away from it and see if you still see it -- or better yet, have someone else see if their eyes are drawn to any of the touch ups.

Clean the wall where ever possible instead of using paint. Then see what you can do to help the places that need paint.

If you have a cooperative paint person at your Lowe's, you might be able to get them to help you tweak the paint a bit. You might be able to get a sample pot of a darker shade that you could mix in. I have also been known -- well, not known, but I have done it -- get out my other cans of paint or even craft paint -- those 99 cent little bottles, and mix until I get what I need. Work with small amounts if that is all you need - take a cup or jar and mix a small amount -- working with dots of the tint paints until you get the hang of it. Test on index cards or posterboard, a plain white paper plate. I haven't done it often, but it has pulled me out of a couple of cracks. Also, use a small craft brush and only fill in what is essential.

Another trick I use when touching up is to feather the paint out. sometimes adding a little water or using a wet brush to thin the paint as it goes over the existing paint. That is more likely to work on your living room paint (lighter color) than the red, but I've never tried it on a strong color.

On the red, I'd be inclined to put the photos back up if the nicks don't show - change out the pictures in the frames if you are happier with that. Even if you repaint, there will be new spots that need retouching when you move your things out. I've bought two homes thinking I wouldn't have to paint most of the rooms only to move in and need to paint everything.

Worst case, if you feel you need to paint the LR, get the color as close as you can and let the break of the white and wood stairs provide the break you need to stop. And if you do repaint anything, leave them the leftover paint for their move-in touch ups.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 11:49PM
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I agree with lascatx.

Plus you said you had the original paint can with the label. Is there any paint in it? If you stir it up real well, it should be usable. I have used 10yr old paint if it was closed and sealed well. I have also done mixes with craft paints to tweak colors.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 2:35PM
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Another worst case solution -- you can blend in transition areas with a damp sponge (or feather lightly with a dry roller) to better hide the "lap lines". Try to do it, as pointed out above, where there is a small natural transition, such as at a door frame.

This post was edited by gooster on Wed, Feb 26, 14 at 15:53

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 3:51PM
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I'm glad I'm not the only one to use the craft paints. I have used a sponge to feather out or texture in touch up paint. Wendy's right -- if you have anything in the can, you can probably use it.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 6:33PM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

You might be able to get away with the Barn red for very small touch ups. Sherwin Williams can still match it. We touched up a large area and it is noticeable so we will likely repaint the whole room at some time. I agree with just leaving the pictures up for now.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 5:03PM
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