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  • Writer's pictureBetsey Dempsey

BIG updates with a little paint!

When people want to do an upgrade on the cheap, they often think about a fresh coat of paint - on the walls or cabinets. Did you know a little paint can transform all kinds of things in your home? Pretty much anything can be painted as long as it is prepped correctly. I have helped countless realtors find ways to upgrade homes they plan to put on the market without spending much money. Paint is one of the least expensive ways to do that. You may have seen my blog titled, "What do I do with my ugly..." I decided to expand on that since I'm finding people are more eager than ever to find inexpensive solutions.


Let's face it, countertops are EXPENSIVE, even laminate ones. If you have one you hate and replacing it is a little ways off, paint it! Sure, it's not the best long-term solution, and don't plan on cutting on it, but it can buy you some time without cringing everytime you walk by it. You'll want to rough it up a bit with sandpaper, use a high-adhesive primer, 2 coats of paint, then a clear coat (optional, but a good idea). The video above goes one step further than a solid color on the countertop, they add visual texture and veining. You can ignore that if you like. Talk with someone who is knowledgeable at a store where they specialize in paint for the details. (Some stone countertops may be problematic to paint.)


Backsplash tile is a lot easier to paint than to rip it down and re-tile. There are great products that can rough up the tile surface, add primer and 2 coats of paint. Go ahead and paint the grout as well, if you like.


Who says your fireplace bricks needs to stay natural? Who says they have to be white? I love a rich color on bricks. Same goes here with prepping the surface. Talk to the pros at the paint store.


Recently, I suggested a homeowner spray all of their shiny, brass light fixtures matte black. They were trying to do very inexpensive updates in preparation for selling. What a difference! Often you can just get a can of spray paint and don't have to prime, as there will be no wear on the fixtures. Again, talk to the pros. Just remember to tape off parts that shouldn't be painted!

Fireplace Screen

Do you have one of those shiny, brass fireplace screens or doors? Spray it matte black. You may need to purchase a can of heat-resistant paint, similar to what you would use for a gas grill. The pros will know!

There are not a lot of surfaces I haven't tried painting over the years. Old lamps, table legs, cabinet hardware, flower pots, picture and mirror frames, buckets and tins, and countless other things in addition to the suggestions above. Go ahead and give it a shot. Save some money and update with paint!

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