First Rental Turnover- What materials to use?

6 Replies

I need to turn a unit in my duplex for the first and I'm looking for some help! What kind of paint, type and color do you recommend? I need to paint walls, trim, ceiling and kitchen cabinets. Are there different types or finishes that you recommend for the different surfaces? Also, what other suggestions or tips do you recommend? I'm looking to create a process out of this and make fewer decision every time I turn my units in the future. The unit is located in a lower income neighborhood in Minneapolis. Thanks!

Everyone has opinions on paint brands and quality. Don't get the cheapest but most importantly don't over think it. Whatever paint you use try and use the same going forward. I have been using Behr brand from Home Depot because I have a large credit line (that gives me free gas). But mostly because my crews can get everything else for the house there also. It keeps my guys working longer and on the road hunting items less.

Paint color:

satin, silver bullet for the walls 

flat white ceiling

semi-gloss white doors and trim

This make the house really pop out from the neighbors.

Flooring- get vinyl plank throughout. You will almost never have to replace it once it is installed

Walls - beige/ivory satin

Trim - white semi gloss

Cabinets - white (specialty cabinet paint)

Ceilings - flat white

Keep it simple and standard in every unit. Use water base paints. Inexpensive but durable finishes. I would not use a combination primer/finish coat in one but that is only my personal preference. I don't believe it is as durable as primer and finish as separate coats.

Keep in mind you will have to paint at every turn over so brand and quality of paint is only slightly important. Pick one and stay with it. Buy in 5 gal pails and keep some for touch up.

Laminate click flooring is extremely durable but you must buy good quality, stay away from all carpeting, do not use tile as it will crack and break. Wood floors will take a beating and are best for A class units

Counter tops should be  laminate, inexpensive and easy to replace.

Remember th emore regular you inspect th eeasier it will be to maintaine your property and train or dump bad tennats that are abusing th eproperty. Tennat caused damage repaired and billed to tennats will avoide having repairs at turnover that exceed the tennats deposit. Make them pay while they are still a tenant.

@Brady Mickolichek - neutral colors and pick one color/finish for your surfaces that will fit for ALL of your rentals. That way you, down the road, you don't have to worry what color is that wall? Is it Seaside Grey or Moon Light Grey?  Everything is Seaside Grey, grab a bucket and go. 

Was that trim paint semi-gloss or gloss? Glidden Semi-gloss, base white...all the time. 

Does that make sense?

Everything @Kyle Mccaw said! I’ve sold two houses with that color combo (although I use Revere Pewter mixed in Behr paint) and people Love It! Grey is a neutral that is predicted to stay. Also- paint the walls in satin for easier cleanup than flat or eggshell, without the shine of semi gloss. Vinyl plank click lock flooring- very durable and not terribly expensive. Don’t use the grip strip type as that tends to ungrip in spots. 

I just sold a cottage that I painted the cabinets in a dark gray and everyone loved them - but thats a super trendy choice so for my duplex I’m closing on for a buy and hold, I may just go white... still deciding. 

Best of luck!!

My advice is to spend a little extra and get a good quality paint......from a real paint store..... I buy at Kelly Moore ( about  a mile from Home Depot)...... the service people actually know what they are talking about.....

The $50-100 more you pay for the quality paint will save you tons later....... better coverage and WAY easier to touch up rather than repaint entire walls or rooms

And I agree that if you have multiple units, try to keep the colors the same....OR take meticulous notes on what you do in each property.

I dont repaint after each turn over . I use semi gloss white on ceilings and trim , satin on walls . 

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here