July 13, 2016

Neutralize Walls for Listing/Selling

I believe I mentioned in a previous post that my parents have put their their house on the market. That was the catalyst for lots of fixups, de-cluttering,  painting, and staging. 

My mother has loved her yellow-gold paint that has been on her walls for a few years, but I suggested that they consider "neutralizing" their open concept living-dining-kitchen. My mother hates the idea of painting over "her" color, but understands that to be attractive to others she needs a more neutral paint shade. (I will have the same problem whenever I should move, because I love color and have it on my walls. However, I have no plans to move! :-)

It was with some trepidation, but my mother picked out a neutral paint that she thought would work, Valspar's Tagsale Linen.  (This online paint chip does not adequately represent the true shade of paint.) 

Co-incidentally, while I was helping my mother with her painting project I was contacted about a guest post on the blog. I agreed, since one of the topics was about getting your house ready to paint. How timely for me, and my parents. 

They will be having a painter come to do the painting, but there is some prep work to think about.

Painting without the prep is easier, but you might end up regretting not prepping. You know, fill the nail holes, prime over a dark paint, wash surface before, etc. 

Mom and dad, listen up. This post is for you. :-)  


Guest Post...

How to Prepare Your Home For Painting In 5 Steps

Do you feel it’s about time you changed the interiors of your home?

Has the existing coat of paint on your house reached its maximum use? 

A paint job can be the answer to your needs. 

However, you need to take the necessary steps to make sure you do a job that meets your expectations. Proper preparation may reduce the time you spend cleaning after you finish painting.

1. Plan adequately for your project

Before you can start your project, take time and plan for it. 

Decide which rooms will be painted and determine the materials you will need.  

Identify a storage area where you will keep furniture and other household items during the project. This will make sure that you do not risk your possessions getting accidental paint spills. 

If there are items you cannot remove from the house, move them away from the wall and cover them with protective plastic covers.

2. Choose a working area

Designate an area where you will keep all your paint tools. 

This is also where you will mix your paint and clean your brushes whenever you need to. 

The main purpose of a staging area is to control paint spills. If you have several staging areas, there is a high chance that you will leave unwanted paint marks in every working area. Cleaning a single working area is easier than tackling two or more of such.

3. Protect the floor

You will need to protect your floor from the paint spills. 

Once you have cleaned the walls and rinsed them clean, cover the floor with an appropriate drop cloth. 

Choose a drop cloth that will not only protect the floor from paint spills but also prevent you from slipping as your work. 

Such drop cloths will most be butyl backed. For exterior painting, take care of the plants near your house. You may have to trim edges and remove potted plants. Do not forget to cover the veranda with a drop cloth as well. 

4. Prepare your power sockets

For you to paint your socket area effectively, you will need to remove the cover plates. 

This will ensure that no paint marks remain on the covers which could make your work untidy or appear unprofessional. 

Remember to switch off  the electricity from the main supply to avoid electrocution.  Also, make sure that there are no naked wires left protruding from the wall. 

Once the paint has dried, fix the outlets and sockets first before putting your house in order.

5. Mask / tape special fixtures and steel surfaces

If there are some fixtures in your house that cannot be removed, mask them with painters tape. This applies to door handles, faucets and glass surfaces. 

Do not forget porcelain sinks and tiled surfaces as well. 

When using a sprayer, the risk getting these surface spotted with paint is very high. Do not leave anything to chance otherwise you will have lots of paint spots to clean. 

When you are done painting your home, you will be glad you followed the above steps. 

Otherwise, you will have to do a lot of cleaning. Unfortunately, cleaning paint spots from unwanted areas can be tricky. You may fail to remove the paint as desired, leaving behind a faint but visible smudge on the surface.

Accidents happen which may cause cleaning agents to spill and trickle down the wall. This spoils your painted surface and you may be forced to re-paint it. 

It is best to take precautions from the start of your painting project and to follow the proper steps to get your work done correctly and neatly.

Remember, if you are repainting your house to resell it, the neater your work is, the more appealing it will be to your clients. This will increase your chances of selling it faster. 

This post is sponsored by The Tidy Maids

Beverly Jenkins is proud of her staff at The Tidy Maids house cleaning service in Raleigh, NC. She has 24 years of experience in house cleaning, customer service, and business operations. She knows all the tips and tricks and do-it-yourself hacks when it comes to cleaning and her clients' homes are the best proof for that.

I hope to post before and after pics of my parents newly "neutralized" living areas after their project is finished. 

I have been buzzing around here and there, and have not been able to keep up with my comments, and replies to everyone. Please forgive me. Thanks.

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My Kentucky Living
My Kentucky Living

Hello, I'm Sheila and my house is a giant art project! I enjoy creating an environment where my family can feel safe, secure, and loved. We are empty nesters learning to slow down and enjoy life.


  1. My Daughter, the realtor has always said to keep the walls neutral for selling..Good luck!

    1. Thanks Jeanie. I have my real estate license too. To sell you gotta out away the personal stuff and neutralize. I once read that when you are on the market your house needs to look like a model home. You have to remove your personality from the house. Hard..but necessary. Especially hard for my mother. 😊

  2. because white walls have always been my favorite, when we moved, when we moved, we didn't have to repaint...I always love my color on things I can change easily. Good luck on getting the house sold..it sure can be a lot of work...

  3. I have mixed feelings about what the stagers say. We did paint 8 rooms when we moved and removed SO much that the house looked bare and kinda unfinished to me:) We refused to repaint the living room as it had 15 foot celings and had taken us 6 days the last time we painted. But it sold anyway so you never know. I hope your parents are able to sell fast. Where are they moving to? Hope it will be the perfect fit for them!

    1. I know what you mean. It is hard to know exactly what to do. Oh my...painting walls 15 feet high...what a job that would be. I would have probably done the same thing as you. Mom and dad have 8 ft ceilings...so the job is not as bad. Fingers crossed they have a nibble on the house. Sheila

  4. Such a big task. Prepping is a big part of the job! I love that your parents are still so active!

    1. Yes...Prepping is a pain, but a necessary one. ha! Mom and dad are very active...and I am glad! They are more fun that way. ha.

  5. Nice tips and good luck ♥


  6. Moving can be hard work! So can paint prep. We still have swatches painted in one room; just ran out of time and energy. It's next on the list. We bought our home about 15 years ago. I thought we would never get all the dark painted covered up! Many coats later we finally did. Most rooms have been repainted at least since. But sometimes as a buyer it is hard to see beyond the color especially if you don't like it! Hope it sells FAST!!

    1. Our daughter bought a house that had strong colors and did not sell, then the sellers painted the house tan with white woodwork and bingo, daughter bought it. I showed her the old listing pics and she was like...oh my, horrible. It is so hard to paint while living in a house...part of ownership I guess. ha. Thank you for visiting.

  7. Prepping is key to a nicely finished surface. Good luck...

    1. Prepping is important! And the part I hate. ha ha. Thanks Donna.

  8. We're making plans now to repaint the entire inside of our house. Painting is not my favorite thing and I am notoriously messy! Thank you for all of your good ideas!

  9. My walls are ecru now. I like to change my accessories and anything I want to use blends nicely! Thank you so much for linking at #overthemoon! I look forward to seeing what you share every week. Please come back for #WonderfulWednesday or #ThursdayFavoriteThings. Don't forget to comment your link #'s so I can be sure to visit and you get a chance to be featured! Pinned and shared.

  10. I couldn't agree more with some of these painting tips. We are preparing for a kitchen remodel and I can attest to how the wrong paint color or a bad paint job can take away from a top dollar sale. I know we offered less on our home and I have to believe that these things kept our home on the market longer than it would have been if they had read this first. :D In fact, I recently wrote about our kitchen cabinets that look like they were painted with a broom. Oh my. Visiting via Coastal Charm

  11. Definitely a great tip! :)

    I’d love for you to share this with my Facebook Group for recipes, crafts, and tips: https://www.facebook.com/groups/pluckyrecipescraftstips/

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

  12. Thank you so much for linking at #ThursdayFavoriteThings! I look forward to seeing what you share every week. Please come back for #OverTheMoon on Sunday night. Don't forget to comment your link #'s so I can be sure to visit and you get a chance to be featured!

    Pinned and shared.

  13. Thank you for sharing today! Please visit #OverTheMoon on Sunday or #ThursdayFavoriteThings and #RecipeSharingParty on Thursdays for more sharing fun! Don't forget to Comment your link #'s so I can be sure to visit and you get a chance to be featured! In order to be fair to all sharers you will receive a comment on all new posts and an informational comment on resubmitted to let you know I was there. EVERY link receives a Pin and Tweet to the appropriate board. Yums and Stumbles are given occasionally. Get you links shared at all four parties!

  14. Great tips now I just have to put them in to practice!


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