When we consider upgrades to our home that can be done ahead of listing the property for sale, we often think of big dollar projects. While it’s true that kitchen renovations and/or total bathroom facelifts are often undertaken to beef up the property’s selling price, we should also consider the itty bitty projects that can be done for five dollars or less. Some of the tricks that follow, straight from the home stager’s vault of best kept secrets, can brighten up your home and give it a whole new look for the price of one or two cans of spray paint.
Flower Pots: In the street-appeal department, you may already have added three or five pots of blooming greenery to give your entryway a bit of charm. What would happen if you spray-painted those pots in colours to match your house and its trim? The answer is coordination. A tiny bit of paint can tie the entire front aspect of your home into a pleasing bundle of beautiful that will capture the attention of drive-by shoppers in short order.
Lawn Furniture: Whether it’s a vintage wicker setting or a pair of classic Adirondacks, a good scrubbing and a couple of coats of bright colour can give these lawn seating pieces a new life. Not only will they help prospective buyers envision entertaining in their new space, they will probably find their way onto the moving truck to take up a new place in your next yard. There is simply no better way to perk up flea market finds than spray paint and, if you’re at all creative, you could easily bring the cans inside for more mist-ical magic.
Fireplace Screens: A quick coat of heat-resistant flat black paint can make an old fireplace screen look new again. There is even spray paint in metallic colours that can renew the beauty of chrome and brass fireplace tools. Ditto the andirons.
House Numbers: For reasons the home stagers can’t explain to us, we tend to allow our home’s identification numbers to fade into obscurity. That’s fine for us. We know where we live. Until and unless you want somebody else to find your house – a prospective buyer, for example – it isn’t critical to make a big statement with numbers.
When you’re ready to list your place for sale, however, it’s a good idea to affix big, bright numerals to your front door area. Do the same with mailbox numbers or, use the same numbers you had before, but paint them in a dazzling new colour or finish that will grab the attention of passersby.
Drawer Pulls and Cabinet Handles: We’ve often sung the praises of new cabinet ‘jewellery’ as a way to make your old kitchen cabinets look new again, but replacing the drawer pulls and cabinet handles in an entire kitchen is not necessarily cheap. Instead, consider painting not just the cabinets, but also the hardware. One can of spray paint will, most likely, brighten up the handles of a kitchen and a bathroom, with paint left over. Tip: Use an old egg carton turned upside-down as a painter’s helper. Poke the screw ends of the knobs through the individual egg holders and spray away.
Switch Plates and Outlet Covers: You are certainly not the only human to bemoan the fact that plastic or metal electrical plates come only in ivory or white. Many of us finish a truly inspired paint project in a room that begs for cerulean blue accents and then settle for white outlet covers. Why do we rarely think to repaint them? It’s a total mystery. Don’t allow yourself to become too limited in this way but, if you really want to sell your property, consult with your design professional before you get too exotic in the paint department. Neutral colours remain the best choice in a house that’s listed for sale.
Your home stager should always be included in your paint colour decision-making process right up to and including the rubber doormat you want to paint lime green. Do allow your imagination to run a bit wild as you consider what elements of your home can be improved on with a bit of push-button colour. Remember, colour is the most effective and least expensive way you can refresh and renew the excitement in your home.