Rental Property Paint Finishes

What is The Best Rental Property Paint Finish for Living & Bedroom Walls?

Navigating the intricacies of property management, especially when it pertains to the upkeep and presentation of rental properties, is a task that requires both skill and a deep understanding of what tenants value in a home. As the marketing director of a reputable Philadelphia property management company, I've had the opportunity to delve into various aspects of property maintenance that directly impact both the appeal of rental properties and the satisfaction of tenants. Today, I want to share insights into a seemingly simple yet crucial decision every landlord faces: selecting the right paint finish for rental properties.

Choosing the Right Rental Property Paint Finish

A recent question from David during our Grow Real Estate Investing Podcast highlighted a common concern among property owners: What paint finish should be used in living rooms and bedrooms of rental properties? This question is more complex than it appears at first glance, as the choice of paint finish can significantly affect both the durability of the paint job and the overall aesthetic appeal of the property.

Understanding Paint Finishes

Paint finishes range from flat to high gloss, each offering different benefits and drawbacks. The sheen of the paint not only affects the look of the walls but also their practicality in terms of maintenance and durability.

  • Flat/Matte: Offers a non-reflective finish that hides imperfections well, making it a good choice for older walls with blemishes. However, it's less durable and harder to clean.
  • Eggshell: Provides a slight sheen and more durability than flat paint, making it easier to clean and suitable for rooms with moderate traffic.
  • Satin: Offers a pearl-like sheen and is easier to clean, suitable for high-traffic areas but can highlight imperfections if the walls are not in good condition.
  • Semi-Gloss: Highly durable and easy to clean, perfect for trim, doors, and areas that may require frequent wiping down.

Our Recommendation for Rental Properties

After considering the various options and their implications, our advice for landlords, especially those managing properties in Philadelphia where a mix of new and historic homes presents unique challenges, is to opt for eggshell finish for living rooms and bedrooms. This finish strikes a balance between aesthetics and functionality, offering enough durability for easier cleaning without being too unforgiving on less-than-perfect walls.

Eggshell is particularly recommended if the walls are in relatively good shape or have minor blemishes, as it can withstand cleaning and touch-ups between tenants more effectively than flat paint. Moreover, it doesn't highlight imperfections as much as glossier finishes do, ensuring that living spaces maintain their appeal over time.

For trim and areas that require more robust cleaning, semi-gloss is our go-to choice. Its ability to easily wipe clean without absorbing the grime and dust that accumulate over time makes it invaluable for maintaining a pristine look, especially in areas prone to gathering dust and dirt.

The Importance of Rental Property Maintenance and Aesthetics

Choosing the right paint finish is just one aspect of preparing a rental property for the market, but it's a decision that has long-term implications for maintenance costs, tenant satisfaction, and overall property value. As a leading Philadelphia property management company, our commitment to helping landlords make informed decisions extends beyond simple maintenance tasks. It's about creating welcoming, durable, and easy-to-maintain living spaces that attract and retain tenants.

In conclusion, while the choice between paint finishes might seem minor, it's decisions like these that underscore the importance of thoughtful property management. By choosing eggshell for walls and semi-gloss for trim, landlords can ensure their rental properties are not only appealing but also practical for both maintenance and living. It's through attention to detail and an understanding of tenants' needs that we, as a property management company, empower landlords to achieve success in Philadelphia's dynamic rental market.

Here's to making informed decisions that enhance the appeal and durability of your rental properties. Happy Rental Property investing!


Joe White

Joe White is a Philadelphia Property Manager and Real Estate Broker. He is the owner of Grow Property Management and has been involved in the management, sales and purchases of Philadelphia area rental investment properties since 2008. He is an author and works as a real estate investment consultant and construction manager.

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