5 Surprising Ways to Update Your Home With Paint

Paint – it isn’t just for walls. It’s also for bathtubs, furniture, fabric, and much more. Here are five things you probably didn’t know you could transform with paint.

1) Bathtubs

painted blue bathtub

Does your bathtub give you the sads? If it does, and you don’t have the money to rip it out and install a new one, try painting. Paint? Yep. If the tub is in good shape, paint is an affordable way to make it look new.

In this job, you’ll pro tools and experience will be valuable. But it’s all in the materials you use. Epoxy paints will actually bond to your tub’s surface.

You may want to buy a prepackaged tub kit at your local hardware store and follow the instructions to the letter. One thing the DIY kits don’t warn you about? Epoxy takes a long time to cure. So, let the tub cure as long as the package says – and longer if you can. Otherwise, you’ll wind up with wrinkled surfaces and an even worse case of the sads than before.

2) Tile

painted subway tile

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly redo for your kitchen or bathroom, look no further than paint. In moisture-prone or high-traffic areas, the paint will wear away with time, making this a better project for a kitchen backsplash than, say, a floor. But it’s a great way to refresh any ceramic tile.

To get the best results, start with a pristinely clean tile (let your OCD side come out to play here). Then sand the heck out of it and prime it. These three steps are vital for a successful outcome. Finally, paint – and happiness.

3) Furniture

painting wooden chair

Paint’s a tried-and-true furniture transformer. It can give an old piece a whole, new look. And, it works on a variety of materials, from wood to metal. While you wouldn’t use regular spray paint on a tub or tile, you can definitely use it here. As with any paint project, prepping is the name of the game: clean, sand, clean again, prime and then paint.

You can also paint fabric, rather than reupholstering. Do this on furniture that’s more for show than for use, since it turns the fabric rough. But for that pretty little thrift-store side chair? Turn it into a one-of-a-kind designer piece with just a couple of coats of paint.

4) Cabinets

gray kitchen cabinets

If you’re planning a kitchen or bathroom remodel, expect to spend 20-30 percent on new cabinets. But if your cabinets are in good shape and just need a refresher, you can cut costs by repainting them, instead.

This is a labor-intensive project that involves removing doors and hardware, then cleaning, sanding, priming and painting. So, if your time is limited, you may want to call in the pros. You’ll still save money over replacement costs, even paying someone else to do it.

5) Stencils

mural in kids rooms

Love word murals? They’re super easy to create – just stencil them. The trick is to find a high-quality stencil – you’re looking for well-cut material that withstands water, so steer away from paper or cardboard ones. Then:

  • Measure carefully to account for repeating or overlapping patterns
  • Secure it to the surface with tape so it won’t move
  • Use a small amount of paint at a time, so you don’t get paint blobs under the letters

Get more ideas for refreshing your space with paint. Browse our Featured Projects or let us send you free PPG paint samples.


Kelley Rebori

Kelley Rebori has written for national brands like Paintzen, HGTV, the DIY Network and Trulia for more than a decade. She loves home renovation projects, chocolate icing and small poodles. She and her husband split the year between their homes in Tennessee and Italy.