My Kitchen Looked So '90s Until I Tried This Simple Paint Project

This week, I finished my first adult attempt at decorating a home: a four-month process that involved painting, furnishing, and styling my one-bedroom NYC apartment. Now that it's complete, I'll admit that I'm surprised by the parts of the makeover that had the greatest impact on the space. One of the most transformative? Painting our faux-wood laminate cabinets crisp white.

"Without making any other changes, simply repainting can give a space a new personality," says Paintzen spokesperson Rebecca Hochreiter. "Whether that means [choosing] a bright white that makes the space feel fresh and new or creating an entirely new aesthetic with an accent wall, creating a harmonious palette that pairs well with your new décor is key to the overall effect."

If you're considering a DIY paint project, she cautions that there are a few surfaces you should never coat. "Wallpaper, plastic siding, and waterproof silicone caulk" are all off-limits. If a surface is covered in oil-based paint with latex, prepping is essential. "Fully sand down the surface, and apply an oil-based primer before painting over it with a water-based paint," she says.

Those common mistakes aside, there are a ton of ways to easily update your home with a fresh coat of paint. Ahead the Paintzen expert talks us through five transformative projects that'll make your home look brand-new. Grab a brush—there's no need to gut renovate, thanks to these smart painting projects.