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Paint is an Easy Way to Update Your Home

Linda is a seasoned writer and bedrooms authority. She loves sharing design trends, decor ideas, and useful tips with her readers.

Paint is an easy way to upgrade your home without having to undertake major renovations. Tackle a few minor cosmetic updates with paint then determine if you want to go endure the headaches, cost and associated delays of a full-blown renovation. Chances are good when you complete your painting project any thoughts of undertaking a large-scale home makeover will be little more than distant memory.

Choose from a myriad of colors to update your house with paint.

Choose from a myriad of colors to update your house with paint.

Change the Wall Color

Changing wall colors is the most logical place to begin. A fresh coat of paint is the quickest way to update your home. A new wall color gives you the chance to infuse an updated vibe into outdated rooms.

The simple act of changing the colors on your walls and ceilings can transform a room from dull to dramatic in as little as a few hours. No other renovation project gives you the same bang for your buck. A gallon of high quality paint and supplies can be purchased for around $100. A minimal investment of money and time will improve your room’s personality and it will also do wonders for your mood.

If you don’t have the time to do the entire room consider painting one wall as an accent. Paint the wall that is directly opposite the room’s entry for the greatest impact. This will also visually balance the room. Choose a contrasting color to energize the space or select a hue that is several shades darker than the other walls for a subtle, monochromatic look.

If you’re feeling super ambitious try a custom paint technique. Add vertical or horizontal stripes to your room’s walls. Start by applying a base coat that will be one of your stripe colors. Carefully measure, mark and tape off your alternating stripes. Use a color that compliments the base coat for a sophisticated look. Artistic types can go wild with geometric shapes and oversized polka dots in a child’s or game room.

There are also a number of other decorative wall painting techniques that require some practice but will create texture and nuance by recreating the look and feel of other surfaces. Faux finishes such as strié, sponging, ragging, color washing, crackling and marbleizing are just a few options to consider.

You can even give your walls the look of leather, suede, denim or linen. Most paint stores or home improvement centers can help you select paints and glazes. A number of manufacturers even have special tools and instructional brochures that will walk you through these painting techniques.

Add huge impact by painting a single accent wall.

Add huge impact by painting a single accent wall.

Paint the Front Door

If your exterior paint is in good shape think about changing the color of your front door. A new coat of paint improves your home’s curb appeal and provides a warm welcome for friends and family.

Just remember to choose a color that compliments the existing exterior colors of your house. You may want to rethink your plans for an emerald green door if your house is clad in red brick, unless you want a Christmas-y feeling year round. Red, black, green and brown are the four most popular paint colors for front doors. Here are their color interpretations:

Red – Is considered a power color and an indication of passion. By painting you front door red you’re saying your home is brimming with positive energy and vibrancy.

Black – People who choose black paint for the front door convey a sense of strength, class and authority. This home is stable and owned by a person of influence.

Green – A green front door represents calm, security, health and harmony. No wonder it's one of the most sought-after color choice.

Brown – If you choose a brown front door it can mean one of two things. Brown denotes consistency, warmth and dependability. On the other hand, deep browns indicate anti-social behavior and the need for seclusion. So think twice before considering which brown to choose.

Give your front door a peppy look with a bright shiny coat of paint.

Give your front door a peppy look with a bright shiny coat of paint.

Enhance Architectural Features

Happy with your existing wall colors? Why not spruce up your trim, crown molding, niches, columns, mantel or stair railing and spindles? This type of painting requires a steady hand and a bit more skill and prep time but the results are amazing if you pick the right colors.

For example, if you have builder-grade white on your stair railing or crown molding, choose a dark color to highlight the room's best features. It looks stunning against white, neutral or light gray walls and natural hardwood flooring.

Paint your crown molding and trim in a black or dark gray to create a sense of drama.

Paint your crown molding and trim in a black or dark gray to create a sense of drama.

Update Cabinets and Furniture

A fresh coat of paint will give your worn cabinets and furniture a new lease on life. Prep the surfaces by lightly sanding them so they'll accept and hold paint. You might also want to prime the surfaces after sanding before applying your desired paint color.

Use a semigloss, gloss or satin to create a hard, durable and easily cleanable surface. Stay clear of matte paint on kitchen cabinets. It is totally impractical. It will leave a multitude of fingerprints everywhere.

One of the most popular choices for cabinets and furniture is an antique painting technique. It typically requires the addition of a base color that compliments the top coat. Once the top coat has dried use a fine grit sandpaper to expose the base coat on areas that would normally receive the most wear like edges and chair arms.

If you prefer, skip the base coat and simply rub a small amount an antiquing medium in spots over the topcoat to recreate the look of wear and age. Finish with a coat of clear poly sealer to protect all your hard work and don’t forget to give each piece a light sanding and cleaning between coats.

Sand and/or prime your cabinets before painting.

Sand and/or prime your cabinets before painting.

© 2012 Linda Chechar

Start a Conversation!

Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on September 29, 2020:

Rebecca, are you ready to paint in one of your rooms? There are so many different paint techniques. It's so much fun!

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on September 29, 2020:

I love a freshly painted room. I'd like to get brave enough to try the techniques like sponging and ragging. Thanks for the inspiration.

Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on June 13, 2012:

Paint is renovating and decorating magic. Hmmmm, I could probably do several more Hubs on the same subject. Maybe I will!

Simone Haruko Smith from San Francisco on June 13, 2012:

Sigh, it really is amazing what paint can do. Thanks for all the great ideas!

Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on June 11, 2012:

Thanks Christy! I'm so happy you checked this Hub out! I'll take painting over a renovation any time!

Christy Birmingham from British Columbia, Canada on June 11, 2012:

I agree that painting walls and even trim can make a space new again. Great information here Linda.

Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on June 11, 2012:

Thanks Robert! Now you have some inspiration for your house. Your renovation work, repairs and decorating would make for some great Hubs! Thanks for reading and commenting. I appreciate it!

Robert Erich from California on June 11, 2012:

Great article! I like the ideas about painting the door or furniture. I have not thought of painting furniture to make a different look. Very creative! My mom has always loved the idea of walls being different colors. Like one of your pictures up above, she enjoys having one more two walls be a bright color for emphasis. It does look pretty cool.

Great article.

Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on June 11, 2012:

leah, those are great illustrations of the impact of paint! It doesn't take much to change a room. You must write a Hub about painting your son's room. Thanks for stopping by and commenting! :)

Leah Lefler from Western New York on June 11, 2012:

We have a red front door and I love it - it really gives a great punch of color! My little boys' room is all white, but we plan on remedying that soon. We have updated a couple of nightstands that were a horrid sea-foam green - we painted them with a "leather brown" paint and they fit into our guest room nicely. Paint can really update a room for low cost!

Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on June 11, 2012:

Teaches, paint is relatively easy and inexpensive. You can create instant drama in a room with minimal effort. I think the accent wall is a great idea. I've done it before and it makes a huge difference. Thank you for reading and leaving a thoughtful comment!

Dianna Mendez on June 10, 2012:

A coat of paint is such a great way to renew anything. Your suggestions are all simple to follow and will make the difference without a lot of expense. Highlighting one wall is one that I would like to try in our downstairs living room area. Thanks for the suggestions.

Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on June 10, 2012:

Om, I've always found painting to be therapeutic. Gives me a chance to get lost in my thoughts and put things into perspective. Once I'm in the groove, time just flies. And the end result is so worth it. I'm thrilled you liked the tips!

Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on June 10, 2012:

Thank you, Angela! Just takes a bit of time an sweat equity. Happy you stopped by to read and comment!

Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on June 10, 2012:

CassyLu, yes it does seem to be a popular topic these days. Guess it's a sign of the economy. We're promoting reusing -- that's a good thing -- and you get a beautiful "new" piece of furniture at the same time! Thanks for reading my Hub, the vote and share! Greatly appreciated!

Om Paramapoonya on June 10, 2012:

I LOVE your tips! When it comes to painting, some people see it as such a huge, labor-intensive project, but it's actually not that hard at all. Plus, repainting small furniture pieces, such as a cabinet or table, won't be very time-consuming and can make the room look a lot different. :)

Angela Brummer from Lincoln, Nebraska on June 10, 2012:

Great information. Truly sounds simple enough with your great description!

CassyLu1981 from Spring Lake, NC on June 10, 2012:

I've noticed a lot of people doing these tips with furniture. Seems like all old stuff needs is a good coat of paint and it's like new again :) Great hub! Very useful! Voted up and shared!

Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on June 10, 2012:

Glad you enjoyed the tips, rebecca! Yes, paint can make all the difference in the world. Thanks for reading and commenting!

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on June 10, 2012:

Painting can really give a place a make-over. Thanks for these tips!

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