5 Ways to Transform Your Home with Just Paint
Interior
February 10, 2022

5 Ways to Transform Your Home with Just Paint

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I've rounded up my best blog posts, for what you can do in your home, to make big impact using just paint. It really is amazing what a difference you can make in the appearance of different space throughout your house through the power of paint. Paint is the number one, budget-friendly item you can have in your DIY tool belt!

When we first moved into our house, the first thing I knew that needed to be done (other than taking down the terrible curtains), was to paint! The home was well taken care of, and they had it decorated nicely for them, but the colors did nothing for the space—just a sea of brown. There were brown walls, brown (wood) cabinets, and brown (wood) floors. My goal in phase 1 of making over our, then, new home, was to paint! Paint all the things!


This space is totally not me, right?? I’m so thankful for the home and the life that we are making here, but something had to be done to give this space a little character…and make it more fitting to my personality.

Jason didn’t mind that I wanted to paint the walls, but he was definitely hesitant on painting any of the woodwork. In his mind, it was fine and nice wood, so why would we cover it in paint? I’m not against wood, but there was just so much of it in the house. Plus, all the tones were different and didn’t necessarily jive together.

My goal wasn’t to paint all the wood, just the parts that would make big impact and would help give the eye a little break from all the browns. This was especially important since we live in an open concept home—brown for as far as the eyes could see.

Sometimes it can be hard to know where to start with house projects. The first thing we did was paint all the walls white—I wanted light and bright. After than, though, it was time to start in on the different rooms in the house, painting the big pieces in each space to transform them.


Just one more before picture, so you can really get a sense of why the need for paint was so great!

I’m sharing five of the bigger painting projects we’ve done in our house, but I’m hoping they will help you to become inspired to tackle even more areas in your home. Paint really does have the power to transform, for just a few dollars!

First things first, I need to have some professional photos of this space because the color of the island just never translates when I photograph it. The color is Benjamin Moore Dark Harbor and it’s really more of a moody color than shows here and looks more green or blue, depending on the light.

I had to do some convincing for Jason to let me have the island painted, but I’m so glad that he went along with it because it has made such a difference in this space! The island is such a big chunk of real estate in the kitchen and the whole main living area since it’s open concept. Painting it helped to anchor the space a bit and did so much to break up all the brown.

I know that a lot of people are hesitant about painting cabinets for a couple of reasons. They either don’t want to ruin them or they’re afraid of the paint getting chipped off from regular use. I totally understand both of those reasons, which makes the kitchen island an even better choice for painting! You’re not touching the rest of the cabinets and it’s easier to touch up if need be. After having some sort of painted cabinet in both of our homes, I have to be honest and tell you that there will be chipped paint. It’s just how it goes. It really isn’t bad, though, and if you’re prepared for touch ups, it’s no big deal!

The bathroom vanities on our main level were just plain old white thermofoil and lacked any real personality. They also didn’t have any hardware, which is a real bummer to me—that’s the jewelry of any piece, as far as I’m concerned. In case you don’t know, thermofoil is a vinyl wrap that is basically vacuum sealed onto a (typically) MDF cabinet. It’s very durable and more cost effective than real wood cabinetry, and also easier to clean, so it’s often used in bathrooms.

For all the good qualities of thermofoil, it is tough to paint. I go into a little more detail in this blog post, but you’ll just want to make sure that you prep the thermofoil surface before you paint it. Also, be prepared because it will likely chip a little bit more than painted wood.

However…

Since I wrote this blog post, I have since repainted this vanity. Long story short, I was touching up chips on the cabinet and realized I had used the wrong paint color, but didn’t have any more of the paint color I had actually used on the vanity. So, the whole thing got a new coat of paint. That being said, the paint on the cabinet has held up much better this time around, because it has a few layers on it. If you were to do multiple coats the first time around, I think you’d be a lot safer.

In all, I’m so happy that I did this project…even with the chipping paint. I can always touch that up. I’ll just make sure that I have the correct paint next time.

I want to start out by saying that I couldn’t be more thankful for having a laundry room/mudroom at all and especially that it is right on our main level. However (you knew there was going to be something right?), it is a really tight and dark space. It’s also the only room in the house that we’ve spent any real money on to redo in any way, other than just cosmetics.

In Phase 1 of the laundry room/mudroom project, we added shiplap, floating shelves, and put a counter with folding doors over the washer and dryer. I need to blog about this at some point, but for now, just use your imagination! I also painted the sink that was already here, added peel and stick wallpaper, and painted the cabinet and lockers. There were a few other things thrown into the mix, but that gives you a good idea.

I actually think we will end up pulling the lockers out if we stay in this house. They don’t function very well (the cubbies are tiny) and it eats up a ton of space in the room. I would rather possibly add a small bench and hooks above or maybe forgo a bench altogether and just do a shelf and hooks.

Until we decide to tackle that project, though, painting the mudroom lockers was one of the best decisions we’ve made. It is such a huge, hulking piece in the room and it just sat there all dark and brown. Now it’s a beautiful blue and is a real statement in the room! It’s fun to look into the laundry room now and see it! My advice is always to change what you can in a space, instead of waiting until you can do a major remodel. You could be waiting a long time for that and not like your home for years!

We also have a double closet in our laundry room/mudroom that was begging for a makeover! I had originally intended to remove the doors so it could really be a focal point, but decided that it’s nice to be able to hide messes. This is especially true since our whole main level is basically open. Odds and ends usually end up in our offices or our bedroom, which isn’t ideal.

I removed the hanging bar from the closet, painted everything, including the walls, shelves, floor trim, and the inside of the doors, and added contact paper as wallpaper! One the closet was done, I put a storage bench inside (I actually painted this too, from tan to hot pink!) for a little extra storage. Since I removed the hanging rod, we put hooks up instead. I don’t like this space to be storage for all the different coats we have, but instead, just the ones we use seasonally. Although, winter seems to really put it through its paces.

Even though I left the doors on, I am so happy I gave this closet a makeover. Every time I open it, it makes me smile! Also, I’m sure you know, but it’s way easier to try and keep a space picked up when you enjoy the way it looks!

Full disclosure, I didn’t paint our fireplace myself. We had hired professionals to paint a bunch of stuff right after we moved in, and they did the fireplace too. However, I am just now working on editing it a bit and will share the after soon! See, this is what I love about paint—it’s not expensive or permanent!

Remember…our main living area is just one big space and it was filled with heavy brown wood when we moved in. My goal was to lighten and brighten, especially since there’s no way to add more natural light. The fireplace was such a huge dark thing in the corner of the room—it really felt like a divide in the room. Once it was painted white, though, everything just flowed better and the corner of the room felt so much lighter.

Since I didn’t want to pay to have new tile installed, we just worked with what was here. The tile was painted the same color as the rest of the fireplace and then the painters did a stencil over the top of it that I had ordered on Etsy. I still can’t get over how much just a bit of paint can change the look of something!


Have I convinced you to add some paint to your life? It doesn’t even have to mean adding color—I know some of you might be averse to that. I’ve used white all over our house—just bathed the place in it—and couldn’t be happier. Of course, we’ve come back in with pops of color in certain places, but the main back drop is clean and bright white!

Using paint to transform your home is satisfying and will help you stay on budget. One thing I do want to say is that you will benefit the most from buying the best paint you can. It might seem more expensive up front, but you’ll end up using way less because you’ll need fewer coats. You’ll also save yourself a lot of headache from having to go over the same spots multiple times.


I hope I’ve inspired you to try painting something in your home. If you’re not happy with how your space looks right now, try painting it! Even if you’re waiting to do a full remodel, you can still enjoy your home in the meantime. Paint is a miracle worker and I’m here for it. If you’ve done some painting in your home, or decide to try something out that I shared, I would love to see your projects! Post what you’ve been working on in your Instagram stories and tag me! You can find me on Instagram at @hilaryprall.

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