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Decorating for Landlords: Painting the walls

Posted on 2014-10-10

It can be tempting to decorate a buy-to-let property to your own tastes. This is a mistake many people make and can cost you prospective tenants. Instead, create a blank canvas and make it easy for your tenants to personalise the space. If they can make themselves feel at home, they’ll be more likely to stay.

White, white or white... right? 

Your choice of paint colour doesn’t all have to be white or magnolia. These colours are great when you’re on a budget and won’t be charging a lot of rent. However, if you’re trying to attract a different kind of tenant, or want to charge a little more, there are many other neutral colours you could try.

If you like a certain type of paint but don’t want to break the bank – why not paint the walls in magnolia, with a different neutral coloured feature wall? Or paint the space above a dado rail magnolia and save the other colour for the bottom half.

However, try and stay away from bright colours and wallpapers too – as these could put a perfectly good tenant off renting your property, if it’s not to their taste.

When choosing your paints, if you have the budget, try and buy types that will provide the most durability and longevity for your tenants. For kitchens and bathrooms, especially in apartments, it’s a good idea to buy paint with added mould protection.

For the rest of the house, eggshell or silk paint is nice and durable - or try using a specialist paint that’s more easily wiped clean. Skirting boards and woodwork will be fine (and cheaper) in a white gloss emulsion.

Durable and water resistant 

For the ultimate in durability, look for paints that contain latex or acrylic – they take knocks and scrapes better than other varieties and, with so many people moving furniture in and out of rental properties, it’s likely there’ll be a few of these!

Once you’re done painting, save any leftover paint, buy extra tins, or make a note of the brands and colours of the paints you’ve used (including which rooms you used them in) – this makes it much easier to repaint after a tenancy or allow your tenants to touch up any scuffs themselves.

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