'i Can't Afford A Remodel'

By Kristen Castillo

July 12, 2019 4 min read

Remodeling multiple rooms in your home could cost over $18,000, but there's a much more affordable option for a transformation. Painting the interior of a 2,300-square-foot home costs between $966 and $2,727. Both stats come from HomeAdvisor, an online resource for home improvement tips, advice and connections.

"A fresh coat of paint is a low-cost, little-effort way to make a big change to the way you welcome people into your home -- inside and out," says Erika Woelfel, Behr Paint Co.'s vice president, color and creative services.

*New Look

A new coat of paint can be a fresh start.

"When you change with paint, it feels like a completely new room or house," says Gentry Stafford, vice president of marketing and store development at Spectrum Paint, the largest independent paint dealer in the country. "That's a lot more appealing to people than having to deal with an entire move."

Not only does paint look great, but it protects the property's interior walls from wear and tear and shields the exterior from sun, rain, snow and wind.

-- Sheen

Factor in the circumstances of each room. For example, if you have kids, pets or high-traffic areas, pay close attention to your paint.

Do you prefer a matte finish? Glossy? Semi-gloss? Stafford says sheen is typically a consumer's biggest consideration.

"If you want a paint that hides mistakes and is easy to touch up, you'll want something with a flat sheen," she says. "If you want something that's a little more durable, you'll want eggshell or semi-gloss sheen, though those will show more imperfections in the finish."

Generally, it's practical to select an eggshell finish for the walls, semi-gloss for the trim, flat finish for the ceiling and semi-gloss for the front door.

Don't forget to prep the walls and prime them, too, for best results.

*Setting a Mood

Before choosing a color, consider how you want the space to feel. A lighter color will create an airy feel, while a darker shade can make a space feel cozy and intimate.

If you want a classic color scheme, choose neutrals like light beiges and grays. Use darker colors such as gray, navy and black for accents on doors, kitchen islands, bathroom vanities or the lower half of kitchen cabinets.

"Choosing interior and exterior paint color should always reflect your personal taste and style," says Woelfel.

Still, when it comes to choosing an exterior paint, it's a long-term investment. Look for a high quality, durable exterior paint. "You should choose a color you'll love for years," she says.

*Smart Investment

A fresh coat can also be a selling point.

"Paint color is one of the least expensive and most visually effective tools sellers use to engage buyers when selling their home," says home transition expert Caroline M. Carter, founder and CEO of Done In A Day, Inc.

Carter's color picks include white, soft gray or light taupe for the interior walls, paired with white ceilings and trim. For exteriors, she suggests white paint with black shutters and a black door.

Basic colors can be appealing for buyers so they can envision themselves living in the home.

Carmen Smith, home decor blogger and owner of Living Letter Home, loves to show her readers how to "make small changes on a small budget and make a big impact."

Paint is her No. 1 tip. She's painted all of the interior doors in her home and loves the finished look.

"We also couldn't afford a full kitchen gut job, so we just painted our kitchen cabinets to hold us over," says Smith.

She also used coral-colored paint on a lamp in her daughter's nursery; when the girl grew, Smith repainted the lamp navy.

"Paint is the best, budget-friendly way to transform the feel of an entire room," she says.

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