Have you ever looked around your house and thought it looked a little outdated and needed a makeover, but you don’t want to deal with all the hassle and cost of renovations? A fresh coat of paint might be your solution.

We naturally think of painting walls when they get chipped, discolored or marked up but maybe not so much when we are looking to freshen up and modernize our home. Here are my top recommendations of where and what to paint to liven up your space:

The Exterior of Your Home

Painted Brick House.jpg

We often think about painting the interior of our house but maybe not the exterior. Painting brick and siding a new color will freshen up your home and bring it into the 21st century. Many older homes feel outdated compared to the modern craftsman and contemporary styles. By painting the exterior of your home a more modern color, you will liven up its curb appeal without breaking the bank.

Your Kitchen Cabinets

The oak style cabinets of the 1980s might have been popular at the time but can feel old-fashioned and grungy now. Painting the cabinets and drawers a lighter color and replacing the hardware is an inexpensive way to update your kitchen. The kitchen is the heart of the home, so you want it to be as welcoming as possible.

before and after painting cabinets.jpg

Your Tile

The tile in your house may be in great shape, with no cracks or chips, but the pattern looks dated, and the color has never matched your aesthetic. You don't like the thought of filling up a landfill with perfectly good tile.

Instead of replacing it, glaze it. I have seen old, red kitchen tile floors glazed black and the difference is unbelievable. With the reglazed backsplash, it looked like a whole new kitchen.

As for your pink bathroom tile from the 1960s that does not match anything, it will look amazing with a fresh coat of glaze. Have the glazer put a coat on your tub as well and, viola, you have an updated bathroom! It is amazing the difference it makes.

Painting your interior walls might be a good DIY project, but for the exterior, cabinets and tile to look just right, I would highly recommend hiring a professional. The professional finishes will take your home to the next level.

Now that you know where to paint, what color should it be? A good interior decorator or someone from the paint store can offer suggestions on what color best fits with the items already in your home. They can also curate an individual palette you can use across your home to match your tastes and make the transitions between rooms feel seamless.

If you do end up painting your walls, include the ceilings as well. One designer told me that painting the ceilings is like having your eyebrows waxed, people notice that something looks great but cannot put their finger on what it is.  

Ask your trusted Realtor for recommendations on a good designer, painter and glazer today. Start your home refresh and be amazed at your “new” home.

Jean Beatty is a licensed real estate agent in VA, MD, and DC with McEnearney Associates Realtors® in McLean, VA. If you would like more information on selling or buying in today's complex market, contact Jean at 301-641-4149 or visit her website

If you would like a question answered in our weekly column or to set up an appointment with one of our Associates, please email: or call 703.549.9292.

McEnearney Associates Realtors®, 109 S. Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. Equal Housing Opportunity. #WeAreMcEnearney

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