Things you should never paint in your home

With cold weather finally arriving after saying goodbye to the holidays, many people think about escaping to warmer destinations. For those of us staying put, many homeowners think about making updates to our homes… whether for their own enjoyment, or to get ready for a sale in the future.

Painting is perhaps the do-it-yourself update that provides the most magical transformation in the least amount of time, at the most affordable cost. But that doesn’t mean you should paint everything. I eagerly clicked through to an article from REAL SIMPLE entitled 6 Things You Should Never Paint in Your Home... to find I agreed with some things but not all.

Things You Should Never Paint


Designer Elizabeth Sutton was quoted as saying “Never paint tile. It never looks good. Never. It will always look like a cheap fix, and I never like how paint adheres to tile. It chips and can peel easily.” I must say I agree. As a Realtor, I see lots and lots of homes… and painted tile is never a plus.


We are coming out of a period of time where it seems like the craze has been to paint wood trim white. There is no question it lightens the feel of a room, and can totally change the character of a room… for better or for worse depending on your personal aesthetic. The article advised against painting over natural wood trim, suggesting stain instead of paint if you want to change the color. I remember a time when instead of painting trim, the goal was often stripping the paint off woodwork to bring back its natural color and wood grain. Neither is good nor bad… it depends on the effect you want. But keep in mind that if you paint it is really hard to go back to natural wood.


Refinishing floors is an incredible amount of work regardless of what you do. I have seen pine floors in a front porch painted very easily and successfully, but the finer the quality of the grain in the wood the harder it is to get it right. Many a rehabber has used a power sander to ruin the fine wood grain and make it look like a botched amateur job. Be sure you know what you are doing before you refinish your floors as a DIY project… it can go terribly wrong.


While it may be tempting to simply paint over hardware on cupboards or doors because new hardware can be expensive and time consuming, don’t do it. The paint can chip off and scratch with use, and if the paint gets inside the lock it may not work properly. The handle above on the left has a wonderful antique look where paint has worn off and can add charm, but the one on the right screams cheap renovation. Don’t do it, it even feels bad to the touch.


This one is a no-brainer. Of course you should never paint smoke and carbon monoxide detectors… paint could block sensors so they do not work properly.


Painting appliances has been a trend in recent years, but this article advised against it for the same reasons as the smoke detectors… paint can disrupt the operation and electricity, thereby posing a fire hazard. Even ignoring this potential hazard, there is strong potential that it won’t turn out as good as you expected… and replacing it because you didn’t paint it properly can be very expensive.

Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results –

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I love what I do! Highly insightful, analytical and creative, there is nothing I love more than helping you find the right solution for your real estate transition. My mission is to serve my clients with honesty and integrity, exceeding their expectations in service and support… and to help others by donating a portion of every transaction to Habitat for Humanity.

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