Black, Front and Center

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Painting your front door black adds thousands to its price tag

by Chris O’Shea

The Rolling Stones hit “Paint It Black,” features lead singer Mick Jagger proclaiming, “I see a red door and I want it painted black.” Though recorded and released in 1966, the song carries significance today for — of all people — homeowners looking to sell. That’s because a recent study found that simply painting a home’s door black increased its sale price by thousands.

According to real estate site Zillow, homes with black or dark gray front doors sold for as much as $6,271 more than expected. The site found this unique stat after studying more than 135,000 photos of homes sold across the United States since 2010. When you consider that an average gallon of paint costs anywhere from $15 to $30, it’s time to pick up the brush and get to it. Sure, it might seem drastic to go with black, but the data cannot be ignored. Black is in, classic, neutral colors are out. “For a seller, painting a front door is one the least expensive home prep projects, but also one that can have a powerful impact on a home’s sale price,” said Kerrie Kelly, Zillow home design expert, in a release. “While cool, neutral wall colors like tan and light blue are still popular, we’re seeing a notable shift in home design where pops of color — particularly in darker hues of blue and gray to even black — are becoming increasingly popular.”

If painting your door black is just out of the question for you, consider some other options. Zillow’s study also found that homes with bathrooms painted light blue sold for an average of $2,786 more than expected. Then there are the kitchen cabinets: Homes with “tuxedo cabinets” (white upper cabinets, darker lower cabinets) sold for an average of $1,547 more than expected.

Painting can have a huge impact on your house’s price tag, so if you’re selling, take time to consider a fresh coat or two. And a final word to the painting wise: Avoid yellow. Zillow’s report found that homes with yellow exteriors sold for $3,408 less than expected.