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5 Things to Paint vs. Replace in a Home Remodel

5 Things to Paint vs. Replace in a Home Remodel

May 08, 2020

Let's be honest, renovating a house can be a BIG money pit. When my husband and I bought our home last winter, we spent five months making the changes we wanted before moving in that summer. We had planned out before demo day how much money we could allocate to the renovations and estimated the cost of each project. It's true what they say - unexpected things come up and estimates are rarely accurate. So after the big changes of a full kitchen gut job, taking out a wall, scraping popcorn ceilings, remodeling the fireplace and painting every room, our budget did not allow for things like extensive bathroom or laundry room remodels. But one thing I learned during this renovation is that you can paint pretty much ANYTHING and it will instantly get the glow up you so desperately want, without the hefty price tag. Here are 5 things you can paint vs. replace to save that budget:

1. Floors

You better believe it, the right paint can turn that awful 90's linoleum into a Pinterest-worthy floor. Since we did not have enough money to lay tile in our master bathroom and laundry room, painting the dated floors was my only option if I wanted an update.

Dated 90's master bathroom   Dated 90's laundry room with linoleum floor

After researching, I decided to paint both rooms the same base color and then stencil on top in a different color to save further money on paint. To start, I added three coats of Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer in white to both rooms. Once that was dry, I used two different stencils and a small roller to apply Behr's Porch and Patio Floor paint in Tar Black. I decided to go with this paint because it would hold up better with foot traffic.

Master bathroom remodel with black and white tribal stencil Laundry room remodel with black and white floor stencil

The process of stenciling is rather time consuming, but to me it was worth it to not have to look at those dated floors again. I will be adding a tutorial on my process, tips and tricks soon, so stay tuned!

2. Bathroom Vanities

If the existing bathroom cabinets in your home have good bones, consider painting them rather than ripping them out for something new. I painted both of our bathroom vanities, but this one was the most drastic difference of the two. The cabinets themselves were in good shape and made of solid wood. A good clean, two coats of paint and new hardware easily revitalized this blah bathroom vanity, and those things can do the same for yours!

Bathroom vanity remodel using paint and new hardware

Bathroom vanity cabinet remodel using Behr paint

3. Laminate Countertops

Laminate is probably the last material I would choose to use for countertops. It just will never compare to the sleek slabs of quartz, granite or soapstone. But unfortunately, sometimes ya just gotta make do with what ya got, and in older homes, that is usually laminate. The countertop in our master bathroom wasn't horrible, but it looked too dingy after we painted the walls a bright white. 

Master bathroom laminate counter top remodel

I have found a product that I've used on two different countertops, one in a kitchen and one in a bathroom, and it has actually held up pretty well to wear and tear. Rust-Oleum Countertop Coating is a lifesaver when it comes to updating those dingy laminate countertops to a fresh color. They actually don't carry a tinted white color, so I ended up using the white base color, with no tint added. I will be adding a tutorial for this easy project too to provide the step-by-steps!

Bathroom counter top remodel using Rustoleum countertop coating in white

 4. Light Fixtures

When we bought our house, most of the light fixtures were dated and in need of an update. Think 90's fluorescent lighting box and warped ceiling fans. While we did replace most and added recessed lighting for brighter common areas, there were a few we could save money on temporarily with paint. Two of those lights were the below flush mount fixture, in a brushed nickel finish. The other finishes in our house were mostly black and gold, so a can of spray paint later and these fixtures blended better with the rest of our house style. I typically use either Rust-Oleum's Universal Matte Spray Paint or their 2X Painter's Touch Ultra Cover Flat Spray Paint, in black. Both cover well and provide a smooth, low-luster sheen.

Paint flush mount light fixture black instead of replacing

5. Floor Registers for Heating and Cooling

No one ever thinks about these little things in their renovations, I know I certainly didn't, but it's likely they will need an update. We ended up painting ours mostly because we had a hard time finding a grate in matte black. Most of the options were oil-rubbed bronze or brushed nickel. So in comes that matte black spray paint I referenced above in #4. Just clean your registers really well (I had to scrape off paint drops) and apply two coats of spray paint. Another easy upgrade for less than $10!

Spray paint metal floor register matte black

There ya have it! A few of these require more time than others, but all of them provide the update you are envisioning in your head without requiring blowing the budget out of the water. Paint is truly my favorite way to revitalize a space because it is inexpensive and packs a punch by creating an instant update. Don't let anyone tell you that paint is not magic!



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