Of all the changes you can make to your home – new furniture, new textiles, complete renovations, adding on – swapping paint colors may be the easiest and cheapest. For the cost of a gallon of paint and a few hours of your time, you can turn a dated bedroom into a spa retreat; give a neutral living room a vibrant makeover; and take your kitchen from colorful and country to modern and sleek. Here are some other easy ways to use paint to update any room in your home.

In the bedroom
If your bedroom is still sporting the bold colors from a decade-old paint job, then give it a refreshing, relaxing makeover by choosing soothing blues, greens, and grays. Beachy, washed-out shades accented by wood furniture in deeper colors will make your bedroom a soothing space to start and end your day.

In the foyer
What better place for a burst of bright color than in your foyer or entryway? Try a warm, inviting color – like orange or yellow – and accent it with family photos and your favorite mementos. This is also an ideal place to try a pattern (think wide stripes or a fun stencil) to add a little personality without going overboard.

In the kitchen
Kitchens may be the room in your home that look dated the fastest – but with a sturdy, glossy paint and a durable primer, you can give your kitchen a full makeover by painting the cabinets instead of installing new. Turn basic maple into a modern white, or paint a reddish cherry stain black for maximum impact. You can even pair different colors on your upper and lower cabinets – like a dark sage green below and a pale cream above, or two shades of your favorite blue – for an instant (and low-cost) update.

In the dining room
Prefer a traditional dining room? Paint can still have a big impact. Install a piece of molding to act as a chair rail and choose coordinating colors for the top and bottom – try a dark gray on the bottom and a lighter neutral above. Then give your space a little something extra by painting the ceiling a pale green, light aqua, or sunny yellow for a contemporary look that won’t compete with your grandmother’s heirloom table and chairs.

In the living room
The space you use the most may feel most in need of a makeover, and choosing a neutral color for the walls in your living room gives you some freedom to have fun with the rest of your accessories. Pair pale cream, gray, or tan walls with coffee tables painted a rich emerald, a mirror framed in lake blue, a chandelier painted a dreamy bright yellow, or a dresser-turned-tv stand in a deep red (all of which you can find at thrift stores and perk up with a little of your favorite paint).

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