7 Unexpected Places to Paint to Increase Your Curb Appeal

published Jun 12, 2023
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Prepping your home for sale can be expensive and overwhelming — but it doesn’t have to be. Sometimes, a little time and money can go a long way, like using paint in strategic places to boost your home’s curb appeal.

If you’re tempted to focus all of your energy on your home’s interior, you may want to think twice about that strategy. After all, your home’s exterior makes the first impression on prospective buyers as they drive up for a showing or tour.

“If a buyer feels that the home appears to be dirty or outdated, they will be seeing all of the dollar signs racking up with improvements needing to be made,” says Melissa Hoff, a real estate agent in Florida. “Painting is a great solution because it’s something that is relatively affordable and can often even be a DIY project, especially if you are keeping it to just the smaller areas such as the trim, doors, and mailboxes.”

Many real estate agents agree: Painting your home’s entire exterior is the way to go before listing it for sale. But if that’s just not feasible, then focus on these unexpected — and more affordable — places instead.

The Mailbox

You probably don’t pay much attention to your mailbox, aside from opening it to grab letters and packages each day. But buyers certainly do — it’s one of the first things they see when they pull up in front of your home.

As such, you should take a few minutes on a Saturday to spruce it up, says Tracy McLaughlin, a real estate agent in California and Colorado. “Your home’s mailbox should complement the home’s exterior palette, so paint it if it doesn’t blend or match your home,” she says.

Natural Wood Elements

McLaughlin also recommends painting any and all natural wood elements to be the same color as your home. This includes wood fencing, posts, deck railings, hand railings, and anything else surrounding or abutting the home.

“Otherwise, it will look very disjointed,” she says.

Porch or Patio Floor or Ceiling

Invite buyers to imagine themselves sipping a cool beverage on a warm summer evening on your porch … with a fresh coat of paint. It may sound a little unorthodox, but Blythe Yost, the co-founder and chief landscape architect at Tilly, recommends focusing only on the floor or ceiling. You’ll save time and money, and it will make a big statement.

“This can instantly freshen up the space,” she says. “We see a lot of blues on porch ceilings in the South.”

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Garage Door

Unless it’s broken, you probably don’t spend a lot of time thinking about your garage door. But, especially if your garage faces the street, it can take up a huge amount of visual space on the front of your home.

“Painting it in a coordinating or contrasting color can make it pop and give it personality,” says Yost. “You can also take a generic garage door and give it some character with decorative hardware or adding trim to give it a more custom look.”

Bump-Out Walls

Some homes have what’s known as a “bump-out wall,” or an exterior wall that protrudes from the main structure of the house, usually with some unique architectural details. Even if you can’t afford to refresh the entire exterior, consider painting your home’s bump-out wall a different, contrasting color.

“This gives the impression of added depth and architectural layering,” says Jackie Mosher, co-founder and chief operating officer at Dzinly, a home exterior design platform. “It adds depth and complexity to the overall façade of the house. It becomes a focal point that adds visual interest and enhances the overall aesthetic appeal of your home.”

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The Front Door

Often the focal point of a home’s exterior, the front door can pack a big punch for prospective buyers. Paint it a vibrant or contrasting color to add a pop of color to an otherwise neutral exterior.

“This injects personality and character into your entryway,” says Mosher. “Paint can create an eye-catching element that draws attention and makes a strong first impression. 

Flowerpots, Flower Boxes, and House Numbers

Want to try a trendy or outside-the-box paint color? You can easily dabble (without spending a fortune or committing fully) by painting smaller exterior design elements like flowerpots, flower boxes, and house numbers, says Mosher.

“Just remember these accent pieces should complement the design as a whole, pulling it together, not taking over,” she says.