Home Improvement

8 Things You've Never Considered Painting (but Should)

  • A boldly spray-painted refrigerator gives this kitchen new life!

    A boldly spray-painted refrigerator gives this kitchen new life!

  • Add a splash of color to your bathtub

    Add a splash of color to your bathtub  (Prill Mediendesign & Fotografie)

You know how a fresh coat of paint can give new life to a room? Well, apparently a brush and a new hue can reinvigorate a whole lot more than just your walls -- if you're willing to think outside the box (or can).

"Paint can quickly update, refresh, or change the entire look and feel of just about anything," says Tori Toth, celebrity home stager and author of " Feel at Home: Home Staging Secrets for a Quick and Easy Sell."

Here are some ideas on how paint can go boldly where it's never gone before.

Wood floors

"A cost-effective way to update wood floors if you don't have money to resand it is to paint them -- but rather than paint the entire floor, try using a checkered pattern or paint a fake rug on the wood," says Toth, who did just that in the photo above.

To prepare a wood floor for painting, rough up the surface to remove the gloss. Next, vacuum and wipe down the surface and start painting in thin coats at least two times. Then seal the floor with polyurethane. Done correctly, it can be a dazzler.

Appliances

Tired to death of those dingy white appliances in the kitchen? Brighten them up! Yes, you can paint those outdated appliances versus replacing them for a fraction of the cost.

"Use a self-priming epoxy appliance paint -- such as Rust-Oleum Appliance Epoxy paint -- that you can either spray or brush on," suggests Toth. "Like most painting projects, make sure the appliances are cleaned and tape any surfaces you don't want painted, the handle or grill."

If you do brush on the paint, Toth recommends using a foam brush and long strokes.

Light fixtures

"Grab a can of spray paint to update chandeliers or ceiling fixtures in the latest metal trend," says Toth. "Go from silver to gold or vice versa in just a few hours or try a color."

To pull it off: First, remove the fixture and wipe down the surface, protect any areas that you don't want to be colorized with painter's tape, and then use a spray paint with primer in it. Apply short, light wisps of spray; don't hold your finger on the nozzle for long periods of time or spray too close to the fixture. Toth provides more how-to information in this video.

Bathtubs

Have a horrid 1960s bathroom or a tub that won't ever seem to come clean? Cover up the past (at least aesthetically speaking) by painting these items to create a spa-like bathroom on a budget.

"Rust-Oleum and Homax sell kits that include epoxies, but you need to make sure you sand and clean the tub and tiles so you have the adhesion needed," says Toth. "The best way to apply the paint is with a spray gun, which provides that nice smooth finish."

Glass coffee tables

"A big fave of mine has always been to simply paint the underside of a glass tabletop," says Meridith Baer, founder of Meridith Baer Home. "It gives it a whole new sexy look."

The good thing about painting the underside as opposed to the top is that it keeps it from getting scratched with coasters, books, or whatever you place on top. Enamel paints are usually best here, and be sure to first clean the glass with rubbing alcohol.

Countertops and cabinets

"Don't have the funds to install a new kitchen or bathroom? Paint it instead!" suggests Toth. "For about $400, you could redo your whole kitchen! While the cabinets can absorb just about any type of paint product, there is a special paint available to refresh your countertop called Rust-Oleum countertop paint."

If the cabinets are melamine, you will have to sand the surface with 150-grit sandpaper first, or you can try to use a liquid deglosser to make the paint stick.

The insides of cabinets or shelves

It's no secret that refinishing furniture can give it another life, but did you know that what's on the inside counts, too?

"You can add depth and highlight a color in cabinet furnishings by painting the back of the bookshelf, hutch, or cabinet," says Toth. Take a cue from the colors already in the room, or stick with neutral or natural colors such as cream, beige, gray, pale green, or light blue.

Ceilings

Thinking of painting your room a bold color? Don't forget the ceiling.

"It's ugly to have a dark wall and a white ceiling," says Francis Toumbakaris, an interior designer in New York City.

"However, painting a small room a dark color like black, dark blue, or dark charcoal -- including the ceiling -- all of a sudden gives it character and creates a sense of infinity for the eye."