When it comes to your rental properties, keeping them painted is not just about making them look nice (although this is important too), it is also about the potential to save you thousands of dollars in repairs over the years. Keeping the paint both inside and out is a good way to make your property look its best, which in turn will help it to remain rented, producing steady rental income.
Choose the Right Paint
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when painting the inside walls and trim is to choose the wrong paint. First, you need to drop the idea of buying the cheapest paint you can find, not only will it not last long, but color quality is not the best. Stick to the good stuff for the best results, it will save you money in the long run.
Next up is color, no matter how much you might like that rich burgundy accent wall or that lemon yellow for the kitchen, you need to avoid going off the wall with color. The best choice is off-white satin or matte finish. Off-white is one of the easiest colors to match for touch-ups and it blends well with any furniture.
Darker colors tend to fade quickly, making touch-ups can be almost impossible, leading to the need to completely repaint between tenants at significant expense instead of being able to do a quick touch-up. Be sure you keep a record of the brand and specific color you use so you can buy it again. You might even want to give your tenant a gallon of paint and a brush, so they can do touch-ups as they go along.
All the Same
Another important thing to keep in mind is that you should paint all walls the same color. Trying to keep track of the various colors if you do each room differently can make doing touch-ups more than just a little challenging. You can use a moisture resistant paint in the bathrooms, kitchen, and laundry room. This makes it easier for your tenant to keep the walls clean. But, once again, be sure to stick to a nice neutral off-white color.
Once the walls are painted and dry, use a pure white semi-gloss paint to paint the trim, baseboards, and any other woodwork. These areas tend to get the most damage and pure white is very easy to match. One thing to keep in mind is that you should expect your tenants to fill any holes they make in the walls, such as those caused by hanging pictures, etc.
If you make sure your tenants keep up on the maintenance of their walls, this may reduce the need to do so after they move out. The supplies are inexpensive, but the results of having your tenant keep up on their own maintenance can make a pretty significant impact on your costs when they move out. Of course, if they move out and leave damage behind, you have no choice but to take care of making it look good for your next tenant.