20 DIYs to Update An Old Home

Do you want to update your old home?

When we moved into our 1970s ranch, we knew that we wanted to update it to make it look so much more modern.  Spending $15,000 to upgrade the kitchen wasn’t in the budget.  Since we love DIY projects, and also wanted to do things that were going to be easy on the wallet, we searched for the cheapest, easiest ways to really update our home.  Here, I have compiled a list of our favorite DIYs to upgrade an old house.

Here are some easy DIYs to upgrade your home.

1. Change or paint your air registers.

If your registers are in good condition, paint them.  My current registers had some sort of orange stain on them in places.  A little bit of spray paint made them look new again.  Do your grates have tons of old paint on them?  Replace those.  It is a little upgrade but makes the whole room look fresh and new.

2.  Scrape that popcorn ceiling.

A popcorn ceiling really dates the house.  There are ton of great posts on how to scrape a popcorn ceiling.  This post is about the easiest how to I have seen on the subject, but there are many on Pinterest.

3. Change the outlets and light switches to be white.

This one takes a little bit of electrical know-how but really brings the house up to date.  Do not attempt this without doing research, acquiring the correct tools, and switching the breakers off.  If this is done wrong, you could die or start a fire. If this is done right, Your house will look so much more modern!

4. Paint your walls.

Cheap, easy and has a huge impact. Go for neutrals, as they are in style in any house.  Check out my whole house color scheme if you’re lacking inspiration!

5. Paint your trim.

Do you have oak trim? Yellowed white trim?  Paint it!  Stay tuned for a little tricks and tips post.

6. Replace your light fixtures.

Again, this one takes research.  It really is not hard to do though, and changes the whole feel of the room.  One of my favorite ways to change a room is to switch a ceiling fan to a chandelier.  So gorgeous.

7. Paint the exterior doors.

Doors that are dented or dirty can look brand new again with a little love and paint.  Fill in any major dents with Durham’s Water Putty, and then paint the door with a high quality exterior paint.  You’re not limited to just painting the outside of an exterior door.  Stay tuned for pictures of the man door in my kitchen and the dreamy gray I painted it.

8. Spray paint brass fixtures, or replace them altogether.

Brass knobs, faucets and handles really date a room.  It’s easy to spray paint them, and they also make a special brass darkening solution that gives your brass knobs an aged look.  It either of those solutions doesn’t strike your fancy, replace them altogether.

9. Paint your cabinets.

We plan to paint our oak kitchen cabinets this spring and I cannot wait.  The kitchen will look so updated with painted cabinets.  Pictures to come!

10. Change the knobs and pulls on your cabinets.

Stylish knobs are cheap and impactful on an old cabinet.  Changing them out takes minutes, but the upgrade is huge.

11. Add corbels or legs under your countertop bar.

Adding a little under the counter accent gives your island a custom look. The whole kitchen will look upgraded.  We plan to add legs to our island when we paint the cabinets.

12. Redo the caulk in your bathrooms.

Nothing screams old like cruddy, yellowed (or worse, moldy!) caulk in your bathrooms.  Scrape it out using a softening agent and a scraper, and put new caulk in.  Stay tuned for a how to on making perfect edges with your caulk.

13.  Paint the grout.

Is your grout dirty and discolored?  Paint it!  Polyblend comes in a ton of updated colors, or in perfect whites, and really makes an old bathroom shine!

14. Add a shiny kickplate to your front door.

After you have painted your front door, put a new kick plate on the bottom.  The really snazz up the door, and balance out a fantastic farmhouse wreath or some other decoration at the top of the door.

15. Add trim to your doors and windows.

Wider trim really gives your house a custom feel.  Trim can be added to your additional trim to give your doors and windows a grander look.

16. Remove that brass fireplace cover.

If you like it and want to keep it,spray paint it to a matte black or oil rubbed bronze finish.  There are awesome tutorials for how to do this all over Pinterest.

17. Add trim to your cabinets.

Putting trim on the top of your cabinets gives your kitchen a custom feel.  It is easy, fast and does not require too many special tools.

18. Whitewash your fireplace or other interior brick.

A whitewashed fireplace is so gorgeous.  Check out how we whitewashed our fireplace.  It made a huge difference in brightening up the room, and gave the room a farmhouse feel

19. Shine the wood floors.

Are your wood floors needing a little love?  Quick Shine Floor Finish is my favorite way to give new life to old wood floors.  You wipe it on with a mop or some old rags, and it leaves a lasting shine.  It’s almost like a little bottle of magic!

20. Declutter.

This one may not seem like much of an upgrade, but think about it. A cluttered house, counter, shelf, table, etc. makes the house look old. A new house is shiny, sparkling and sparse! Remove any knicknack or clutter that you don’t need. Do you have some things that you would like to continue to display? Space them around your home in little vignettes.

There you have it.

20 ways that you can make your older home look like new again.

They take a little bit of work, but they are so worth it.  Each quick, cheap upgrade makes the house feel up-to-date and gives it your own modern style!

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