Whether you’re trying to update your new home to match your style, prep your old home to sell or just opting for a change of scenery, there’s one simple tool that can completely transform your home: paint. Get tips and guides on how to paint these 10 items or places in your home for a budget-friendly makeover!
1. Front Door
Looking to create a new impression of your home to boost its curb appeal? The front door is an excellent place to start. Decide what kind of look you’re going for — fresh, bold, vintage, quaint — and pick out your paint colors. If you’ve never painted your front door before, check out this quick, learn the details behind how to paint one here to make ensure a smooth painting process. Need some inspiration? Check out these lovely painted doors here.
(Tip: It’s often easier to just leave the door on its hinges while you paint, but don’t forget to cover your floor in case it drips!)
If you’ve got battered hardwood floors, painting just might be the way to go if you can’t afford to refinish or replace them. Clean them, sand them and slap on a coat of paint. Feeling adventurous? Branch out with some retro stencils or checkerboard patterns to spice things up a bit. You can even repaint linoleum with a funky pattern, or just a fresh coat of solid color.
(Tip: Tile floors will also require their own, epoxy-based paint. Read the Tub & Tile section below for more on this.)
Painting mirrors can be a really quick and easy way to add some visual interest to your home. Or if you’re not a fan of the mirrored, sliding-glass doors that sometimes conceal bedroom closets, you can just cover them with a splash of color in lieu of their reflective surfaces. The good thing about this project is that is requires less prep than others (no sanding, for instance). Although you may find yourself wondering about how to paint glass so that it can’t just peel right off. You’ll need to use glass paint or you can even use frosted glass spray paint, maybe with some stenciling to create an interesting pattern, to really class up that glass.
(Tip: If you have sliding mirrored doors in your home, and you’re fine with them, but you want to update the trim, check out this tutorial here!)
This category is limitless — if it has a hard surface, it can be painted. And in so many ways! With some painter’s tape, you can apply any sort of geometric pattern, stripes or designs that you can think of. Normally, pieces just need a little cleaning and sanding and then they’re ready to be painted. Never rush painting furniture though! Each coat needs to be given enough time to dry to the point where it’s hard, normally at least a full 24 hours. If not, the furniture’s surface will be soft and will easily be marked up and scuffed over time. Before you begin, read this for some quick, essential tips on painting furniture. If you’re looking for inspiration, Pinterest is an excellent muse. Found a piece you’re ready to paint, but not sure how to get started? Simply search the web for a how to paint [insert item here] guide on just about anything!
(Tip: If you’re painting anything with drawers, door or knobs, make sure to number or label everything with a piece of painter’s tape for seamless reassembly! You can also paint “wooden” furniture that’s actually laminate — just give it a very light sanding first.)
Somewhat of an unexpected option, painting the ceiling can be a simultaneously subtle and dramatic way to change the appearance of an entire room. Typically, painting the ceiling (a color other than white) works best when the rest of the room is a neutral color or it’s a light color. For instance, if you have neutral light walls, painting your ceiling a more dramatic color would work well, or vice-versa. Some people will even opt to paint their ceiling the exact same color as their walls — which is en vogue right now. Check out this article for some inspiration.
(Tip: Don’t roll directly over your head when painting a ceiling. Try to position yourself in a way where you can roll straight, parallel lines toward and away from yourself. This makes the process easier, cleaner and safer for your back.)
6. Light Fixtures
Outdated fixtures can really clash with the vibe of a room. However, before you just opt to replace that light fixture that is the bane of your dining room, really take a look at it. How would it look with a more modern, matte color and maybe some new light bulbs? If it works, but just isn’t very pretty, a coat of paint may be just the answer you’ve been looking for. Same goes for outdoor light fixtures as well. Many homes are still sporting lanterns from the 70s and 80s that are borderline medieval-looking. But what would they look like if they were bright red or yellow? Or a clean, fresh white? Or a steely gray? Now, the trick is just finding the right shade of Rust-o-leum.
(Tip: Using cling/saran wrap or something like Glad’s Press’n Seal is an ingenious way to protect large areas of your light fixture, like glass panes or glass bulb covers, while you spray paint.)
If you have wooden stairs, painting them can make such a bold statement! You can paint the risers in an ombre spectrum (like these), paint just the risers or just the treads, paint yourself a stair runner or deck out each riser with its own, bold pattern. Ready to tackle this project? Read more about how to paint a runner with this tutorial to get you started.
(Tip: You may need to paint every other step during this process so the stairs can still be used! Also, consider adding a traction paint additive to the stairs to keep them from being too slick.)
This is somewhat of an unorthodox item to paint, but painting paintings can be a cool way to add some artwork to your walls without spending a fortune — especially if you’re trying to fill a wall with hanging art á la wall galleries like this one. This is look is super simple and quick to achieve, (although there’s really no dipping involved). Check out the directions for this look here.
(Tip: We recommend thrift store finds for this project! That way you’re not permanently altering an expensive piece of art. You can however, always give your painted painting a new frame if you tire of the “dipped” look.)
9. Tub & Tile
If you’re living in an older home then, chances are, you may know the pastel-tiled-bathroom look all too well. Which means you also know the struggles of trying to scrub some white out of that dingy grout too. This feat, we’ve deemed, is impossible. However, it is possible to rid yourself of your baby-pink, pea-green or powder-blue bathroom — with paint! This is a bit of an undertaking, but the results are well worth it. Here’s an excellent step-by-step guide on how to paint your bathroom (tub, tile and all) here.
(Tip: You’ll need to use epoxy paint for anything tub or tile related, which has some pretty heavy-duty fumes. This is a task better suited for Spring or Fall, so you can keep a window open while you paint.)
Porches are wonderful. There’s just nothing like being able to enjoy some nice weather on your porch, maybe admiring the yard you slaved over last season, sipping some tea or ice-cold lemonade. Breathe some life into a worn-down portico, or transform it into a new haven with a fresh coat of paint. Need some ideas? You can follow old, southern traditions, like painting your porch ceiling blue to paint off evil spirits. Or try out some non-traditional patterns on the floor of your porch using stencils. Or you can add pops of color by painting your railings, shutters or doors bright, while flanking them with a neutral backdrop. Check out this step-by-step guide (complete with shopping list) to get the job done!
(Tip: Some porches may contain lead paint, depending on when the house was built or the porch was added. If you know for a fact that the porch is older, you may need to get some paint chips tested. If there’s lead paint, professional removal of the existing paint may be required before you begin.