“Out with the old, in with the new.” For many of us, that’s the default setting when we think about remodeling a room. But in these lean economic times, a better motto might be “Repaint, rather than replace.” Following that script would put less stress on both our bank accounts and our environment.
So much of what we discard is still perfectly serviceable. It may even be mint condition. Often, we’ve simply grown tired of its look. Yet a fresh coat of paint can quickly revive our love affair with things we once treasured enough to purchase.
Cabinetry is perhaps the best example. Kitchens and baths are some of the most commonly remodeled rooms, and contractors are all too happy to tear out what’s there (remember, they’re scrambling to earn a living, too).
But cabinets can be painted in a rainbow of colors and finishes to give them almost any look you desire – from bright and contemporary to faux antique using one of many “distressing” techniques (most paint retailers carry kits to simplify the job). When your painting is done, switch out the knobs or handles, and your cabinet makeover will be complete!
Furniture is another prime candidate for reviving with paint. On certain trash days in many neighborhoods, fine old tables, headboards, picture frames, chairs, and countless other items sit curbside waiting to be rescued at sunrise by antique dealers and savvy second-handers scanning the streets in SUVs and pickup trucks. Why not take a page out of their book? Spend a little time painting these items to give them new life.
Interior designers know that a piece or two of painted furniture can add character to a room, and will often help pull together a color scheme. If your only objection to an item is some marks, stains, or the type of wood it’s made from, try painting it. You might relish saving an old “friend”, and you’ll be saving money in the process.
Sometimes, it’s surprising what you can revive with paint. A friend is painting a ceiling fan to match his new décor, something few people would think of. But it works. And it’s an easy way to save $500 to $700 or more for a replacement fan.
If your bank account is low, but you’re high on remodeling, consider a new default setting that focuses on paint. Virtually any interior painting project can be completed for under $100, and often, far less. Be smart and resourceful when remodeling: Do it with paint!