How to refresh your home with paint

Property prices are going up and up, plus there are all those essential set-up costs of a new home. So does this mean ditching plans for sprucing up your new place? Absolutely not!  It all starts with a lick of paint.

When you’re buying a home, there are some costs that are pretty non-negotiable. Home insurance, for example, to cover the cost of rebuilding your investment – should that ever be necessary. And contents insurance to help you protect your precious belongings.

But a refresh of your interior doesn’t need to cost a bundle. The only limit to what can be achieved lies within your imagination. You’ll be amazed at what you can do on a tiny budget and one of your very best friends is paint.

Relatively inexpensive, it allows you to refresh, revive, or reveal your own personality in subtle or dramatic fashion.

1. Spoilt for choice

If you’re new to home decorating and DIY you might wonder how to make sure you’re choosing the right paint colour and not committing a paint faux pas. But actually, there aren’t any hard and fast rules. It comes down to what you like.

One suggestion is to find a scheme you like in a decorating book or magazine and with that as a guide, the staff at your local paint store should be able to help you find the right shade, or at least suggest some options. Many of the larger stores can even match the shade you’re after from a swatch or sample via a colour computer.

When it comes to the actual application, don’t rush in. Paint A4 sheets of cardboard in shades you like then look at them at different times of day and night to ensure that they will work well - before picking up a brush or roller. Make sure that the shade you choose matches your furnishings. Creating a mood board with paint and fabric samples can be a useful pre-painting project.

2. Fabulous furniture

Most first-time owners can’t afford fashion furniture but that problem can easily be solved with a trip to the local charity shop. For just a few dollars you can pick up quality, if dated, pieces – then just add paint.

When upcycling, you’re generally best to spray rather than brush for a smooth, even result. If you’re feeling adventurous, try spraying polyurethane on top of the paint job for a fashionable, high-gloss finish.

If you don’t feel confident, a furniture restorer or painter can be contacted to help with the task. Shop around and the total cost should still be economical - and you’ll have something unique to enjoy. Pedestal dining tables, traditional wooden chairs and dated wall units will all become super stylish, without breaking the bank.

And remember that by adding a new piece of furniture to your décor, you’ve potentially upped the value of your contents, so you might need to revisit your contents insurance policy and its sum insured. Make sure you can replace it, and your other fabulous pieces, if something unfortunate should happen.

3. Fun with floorboards

Give old floorboards a makeover

Floorboards are another part of the house that can be brought to life with paint. If they’re shabby, just sand them down and pick up a roller. White floorboards look sensational with a rough, shabby chic finish. High-gloss black is also a winner for an extra touch of elegance.

We’ve only scratched the surface here because there’s a lot more fun to be had with paint, so get those test pots home this summer and unleash your inner designer!

Image credit: Valspar Paints, available at Mitre 10

About the writer:

Louise Richardson has worked in the media for close to 30 years, in the UK and New Zealand, writing about food, decorating, travel, beauty, fashion and much more. These days she specialises in property and lifestyle issues and as a keen interior decorator herself, loves keeping up with ever-changing trends. She realises that many of us have limited funds when it comes to our homes and enjoys sharing her own budget-conscious thoughts and ideas in order to inspire others.

Have a question for us?

Find out why we‘re consistently awarded best insurer and most satisfied customers:

Make an online enquiry

Call us on 0800 500 231

8am-8pm Monday to Friday.  8am-6pm weekends & holidays