Helpful hacks to make your home look brand new without busting the budget

  • 23/06/2022
  • Sponsored by - Resene
Helpful hacks to make your home look brand new without busting the budget
Photo credit: Getty Images

Kiwis wanting to add a little colour to their lives and spruce up their homes this winter can do so without blowing their budgets thanks to a number of quick hacks from Resene. 

Since starting in a Wellington garage in 1946, the company has spent decades helping New Zealanders personalise their properties with its range of paints, stains, wallpapers and more.

And with access to a huge range of advice and dedicated experts for free, Resene is determined to help those wanting to do it themselves for as little cost as possible.

Resene joins Three's latest local series, Sort Your Life Out NZ alongside experts Kanoa Lloyd, Carpenter Sean Brown and Natalie Jane. In the all-new series, Kiwi families will open up their homes for a chance to simplify their lives.

Colour Specialists

One of those who takes pride in helping people achieve their DIY dreams is Residential Colour Consultant Amy Watkins.

She offers colour and paint advice for both the interior and exterior of people's homes, a free in-store service where customers can book a time and meet with Amy and her colleagues at their local ColorShop.

With the cost of living in the spotlight people are having to prioritise what they spend their money on, but big changes can be made quickly and inexpensively, Amy says.

"Focal points and feature walls have become a real trend so you don't have to change the entire colour of the room," she says. "That can just change the whole look of the space."

Wallpaper is also one of the biggest style trends at the moment, because it's a way to showcase what's almost a "piece of art" on just some walls.

Those kinds of small changes can be made all around the house to give it a brand new feel.

Bathroom refresh

Replacing dull or boring tiles in bathrooms might seem like a costly option, but it's relatively easy for people to add that colour by themselves.

"We're starting to see people do that with lots of blues and greens, and coastal colours coming through because they're very calming," Amy says. 

Resene's SpaceCote Low Sheen is perfect for those areas that get wet and gives a long-lasting durable colour which will give new life to those old tiles.

"It's got an extra mould inhibitor that helps to protect against that moisture that bathrooms and kitchens often have," Amy says.

"It can be tinted into basically almost any colour so you're not limited with your choices. People are going quite dark and moody in those spaces at the moment."

Tiles need to be cleaned first using Resene Interior PaintWork Cleaner and then Resene

Waterborne Smooth Surface Sealer should be applied before the chosen coloured paint.

Grouting between the tiles can also be renewed with a lick of paint. It tends to get dirty fast, and no amount of scrubbing seems to make it perfect. But using an artist's paintbrush and your favoured Resene colour and you can make it look new again.

For the ideal finish, just make sure any stray paint drips are wiped off the tiles as soon as possible and a piece of cardboard or straight-edged tool is used to get that perfect, clean edge.

Depending on the kind of tile e.g. whether it has a grit to it or its glazed, may mean a slightly different undercoat is required, Amy says.

Using the free Ask a Resene Paint Expert service, or popping into the local ColorShop can quickly ensure that long-lasting finish.

Furniture fun

Another way of giving a home a new feel is by refreshing and recycling furniture, whether that's a set of tired drawers that have seen better days or even giving the bookshelves a brighter finish.

"The most important thing is the preparation work in those instances," Amy said.

"Also make sure that you give them a light sand and apply the correct undercoat before going over top with waterborne enamels. 

"That enamel strength is needed so it doesn't wear down when you're putting books or anything like that on shelving, or even sitting on your furniture."

If you're struggling for ideas, how about turning those old drawers on to their side to create some mini bookshelves for the kids? Or could that old door become a perfect replacement for the damaged headboard in your master bedroom?

Kitchen colour

Those wanting a slightly bigger project could renew their kitchen without the costly expense of ripping all the cupboards out and starting again.

"So again, it's just finding out if it's got a laminate finish on it or if it's wrapped, and then using the correct undercoat," Amy says.

"Usually, it would be a product called Resene Waterborne Smooth Surface Sealer, which acts as an adhesion primer, and then painting over the top with your choice of coloured waterborne enamels."

Kiwis shouldn't feel too daunted by the prospect either, Amy says.

The most important thing is taking time, and that's easier with kitchen cabinets where you can remove the doors.

"Try not to rush it. Allow the paint to cure by following the correct wait time - especially in these colder months where it is a slower drying time for the paint."

That will ensure a perfect finish.

Tougher surfaces

Floor tiles are one of the more difficult DIY projects, Amy says, with people often changing their minds because it needs to be done in a way which ensures a hard-wearing finish.

Again, preparation is important. Cleaning the tiles thoroughly, followed by the correct undercoat will ensure success.

"Use a product called Resene Walk-on to paint two coats of your first colour," Amy says.

Then you can mark off the grouted areas and paint the whole floor in your chosen tile colour.

"The biggest key in these winter months is making sure that there is good airflow in the room that you are painting because if you don't have that it's not going to dry properly.

"Once that's been done it can then be sealed with Resene Concrete Wax, which gives it a little more durability."

Of course, it's not always just the inside that needs a quick refresh - the outside can be made to look great again, as well as safer.

Slippery paths can be a big problem but can be made to grip again with the use of Resene Non-Skid Deck & Path.

After cleaning and preparation, applying the pain will give a textured finish that helps give feet and shoes something to stick to.

And if you're choosing a dark colour which tends to soak in the sun's heat, go for the Resene CoolColour version to ensure toes don't get too toasty.

For more inspiration, to ask an expert a question or to find your nearest Resene ColorShop to organise a free consultation go to the Resene website.

This article was created for Resene