So maybe you're a tenant looking to spruce up your new rental or maybe you're a landlord seeking to freshen up a rental during turnover... whatever the case, one thing is for certain... you're looking to paint with an awesome color that will stand the test of time, stands up to wear and appeals to most (we're pretty sure that's why you're here).
Bare white walls might seem easy but, they're neither appealing nor as easy to maintain as some may think. Color is attractive and warms up a space. As a tenant you want a color that feels like home and feels comfortable within your space; as a landlord you want color and paint that is appealing to most and easy to maintain. Well, we have good news!... there is a way tenant and landlord can both get what they want - yep, true story.
Before Getting Started
Before you start getting the paint rollers and color swatches out however, it's important to cover all your bases. If you're a tenant it's important to reference your lease before you start splashing paint on the walls... your landlord may have certain restrictions and conditions specifically addressing painting by tenants. Most lease agreements require a tenant to seek approval from the landlord before being allowed to paint... it might be an additional step but, receiving approval will likely also mean you won't have to repaint the unit back to its original color once you move-out... that is... if it is painted correctly and conditions set by the landlord are met.
Related: Top 5 Most Overlooked Lease Clauses
Okay... we hear what you're thinking... what conditions? Well, some common conditions might include:
Providing color samples for approval
Using the correct sheen in paint color - eggshell on most walls; satin or semi-gloss on bathrooms and trim
Protecting flooring, trim, ceilings and outlets from over paint
Maintaining ceilings, doors and trim the same color
Using a professional painter
Following the conditions requested by your landlord will ensure that you get to update your space and not have to worry about painting it back or paying for a professional to address incorrect application.
Now that we got that out of the way... check out these great rent friendly paint colors:
1. Quail Ridge by BEHR
The Quail Ridge color itself is amazing. It's definitely a warmer grey with brown undertones. It makes the room very cozy but also looks elegant. The quality of the paint is impressive for the price.
2. Popular Gray by Sherwin Williams
Popular Gray has some brown undertones. It reads a bit more beige than gray. It pairs well with most furniture or added accent. The darker you go on this color strip, the browner you'll see the tones.
"Panting can be a win-win... and... as long as it is done correctly and the landlord is notified prior, you will only have to do it once."
3. Silver Sage by BEHR
Silver Sage is a nice greenish blue with enough gray to keep it calm... Who said it was all about grays and creams? Silver sage is a great and timeless color.
4. Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore
Revere Pewter is a light gray with undertones that are warmer than most grays. It's a beautiful, classic shade that is lighter than most grays. Decorators describe pewter as a shade that is between silver and deep gray, both neutral colors.
5. Moth Grey by BEHR
Moth Gray is a faint warm gray with a washed out gray undertone. Depending on the light source or time of day, it may appear as a light 'greige' on the walls.
6. Kilim Beige by Sherwin Williams
Kilim Beige is a warm beige that is right in between a golden-yellow beige and a caramel beige. It's not too yellow-toned and not too orange-toned either.
7. Merino Wool by BEHR
Merino Wool is a medium beige with a warm undertone. Depending on the light source or time of day, it may appear as an ashen tan on the walls.
8. Repose Gray by Sherwin Williams
Repose Gray is undoubtedly the grayest of the bunch and is a mix of gray and beige, but it also has some brown and slight purple undertones. The purple undertones are very subtle (and yes, there are some grays with obvious purple undertones).
9. Gentle Cream by Benjamin Moore
Gentle Cream is rich enough to add some warmth to your space without weighing it down. The yellow/orange base of this heavy cream will help to balance out your cool northern light, without looking overly colorful on your walls.
10. Navajo White by Sherwin Williams
Navajo White is a beautiful warm white that has even more yellow in it's undertone and is a great color choice for a wall color in spaces where a soft yellow color is desired.
Do it right and have fun!
Follow the conditions set forward within your lease and those of your landlord and keep in mind... sloppy results may require a landlord to hire a professional to fix it and forward the costs to you, so try to do a good job!
Panting can be a win-win... and... as long as it is done correctly and the landlord is notified prior, you will only have to do it once. For landlords which are on the fence on whether or not to allow tenants to paint, consider this... it is your property but it is the tenant's home, the ability to personalize a space makes for a happier resident... heck who wouldn't want to be comfortable in their own home?
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About Ricardo Reis
Ricardo is a member of G3 Management & Investments and a real estate professional. He has been a successful property manager and real estate investor for over 10 years.