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9 Ways a Touch of Paint Can Make Your House Shine

Selling your home? Then a fresh coat of paint may be the best investment you can make.

Before you head out to the paint store, though, there are some things to think about. For example:

1. Don’t think you can cover up water damage, a bad renovation or crumbling concrete stairs with a coat of paint.

2. Do play up interesting architectural features of your house with paint.

3. Do take the time to do it properly. Prepare the walls and tape off windows and baseboards with painter’s tape.

4. Do consider having the outside painted. It can add to your home’s curb appeal.

5. Do pick colors that are compatible. If you can see the kitchen from the living room, pick complementary shades.

6. Don’t be afraid of color. For 2011, light lemon yellows, greens, soft blues and paler pinks are popular, as is light gray - the new neutral. Just avoid anything too strong.

7. If your baseboards, doors and windowsills are painted, you probably should repaint them as well. Freshly painted walls won’t show well with scuffed, chipped trim.

8. Some designers suggest you paint natural wood trim to make the rooms look larger. It’s not an easy decision. Some buyers still want the warmth of wood trim, especially if natural wood is part of your home’s charm.

9. Don’t put latex paint over oil-based paint without a primer. It might start chipping before the first open house.

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