The Cheapest Ways to Make Your Home Look Brand-New Again

Hardly anyone’s home looks magazine-worthy all the time, but if you’ve noticed that your home is looking a little dingy or rough around the edges, it may be time to spruce things up. There's no need for a major renovation, though. There are plenty of projects you can take on that will make a big impact on the appearance of your home but don't require refinancing, or even dipping into your savings. Here are the 15 cheapest ways to make your home look brand-new again.

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Paint your front door

Painting your front door is one of the most dramatic transformations you can give your house without having to spend a lot of cash. For a single exterior door, all you’ll need to get the job done is about one quart of paint and a sunny, dry day.

Related: 14 Eye-Catching Options for Your Front Door

Add new address numbers

We’re all required to have address numbers on our house, so why not make them a design feature? Put up new numbers in a modern font, or mount a wooden farmhouse-style address plaque to give your exterior a mini makeover.

Bleach the grout

If your bathroom is starting to look drab, bleaching the grout is a cheap and easy way to freshen it up and eliminate mold and mildew while you’re at it. Before you begin, put on a pair of rubber gloves and open any windows, then mix together five parts water and one part chlorine bleach, and scrub the stains away with a grout brush. When you’re done, stand back and be amazed at your sparkling, rejuvenated bathroom.

Clean up an overgrown garden

An overgrown garden can make the entire exterior of your house look unkempt, but with only a few hours of work you can turn a neglected garden into a tidy, inviting space. All you’ll need is a shovel, a hoe, and about $20 worth of topsoil and mulch to give the garden much-needed revamp.

Add a window box

Give the exterior of your home some eye candy by adding a simple window box—a cost of only $20 to $40. Fill it with colorful foliage, vibrant flowers, or a thriving ivy to festoon your house with color and texture.

Fertilize a tired lawn

If parts of your lawn have turned brown or grown thin, maybe it’s time to give it a good feeding to encourage healthy growth. To avoid adding chemicals that kill desirable insects and create toxic runoff, use an organic fertilizer derived from plant and animal matter, which should set you back anywhere from $10 to $40 a bag.

Related: Solved! When to Fertilize the Lawn

Change an outdated light fixture

You’d be surprised how an updated light fixture can transform the whole look of a room. Swap out a gaudy chandelier or an old brass flush-mount fixture for a modern pendant or industrial-style lighting—a simple project that can cost as little as $50, including the fixture.

Switch out drawer pulls and cabinet knobs

Installing new drawer pulls or cabinet knobs is an inexpensive way to upgrade a kitchen or bathroom. And you never know: New hardware may even make you finally come around to those 1980s oak cabinets in your kitchen.

Illuminate a walkway

Give your home nighttime curb appeal (and extra security) with simple path lighting. Though professional lighting installation could potentially cost you thousands, you can DIY this project for much less by opting for low-voltage lighting that plugs into an outdoor outlet, or installing solar-powered fixtures that illuminate without the need for power cords.

Install new doorknobs

If all your home’s doorknobs are still stuck in the brass-fueled ’90s, a simple hardware upgrade will give your place a completely fresh look. Interior doorknobs cost as little as $10 to $30 apiece—a small price to pay for a quick improvement.

Paint a room

Paint gives you the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to home design projects. In just one afternoon, a few coats of paint can take a bedroom from dark and cramped to open and airy, or transform a living space from boring to bold.

Related: These 8 Home Makeovers Prove the Power of Paint

Deep clean your upholstered furniture

After years of abuse from dirty paws and dropped plates of spaghetti, upholstered furniture starts to look a little worse for wear. Luckily, depending on the fabric, all it takes to make your sofa look brand-new again is a bit of elbow grease, some gentle dish soap, and an upholstery brush—about $10 in all. Certain fabrics shouldn’t be cleaned with water, so always check the label first.

Remove scuff marks on paint

Even if a paint job is holding up well and you still love the color, the wall may have accumulated scuff marks that bring down the appearance of the entire room. To eliminate those black marks without damaging the paint finish, grab a toothbrush and some plain white toothpaste, then scrub and watch the scuffs disappear from your walls, leaving the room looking trim and polished. Alternatively, use a microfiber cloth or a sponge to clean painted walls.

Clean your baseboards

Clean baseboards really brighten the look of a room. The easiest way to clean them is to wipe them down with a dryer sheet, which will both remove the dust and coat the baseboard with antistatic agents that will prevent the dirt from building back up. If you don’t have any dryer sheets, use a microfiber cloth instead.

Make your stainless steel sparkle

Stainless steel appliances give your kitchen a sleek, polished vibe—but only when they’re free of smudges and fingerprints. Buy a bottle of stainless steel cleaner for about $5 to $7 and wipe down those silvery surfaces to renew your appliances and make your kitchen sparkle.

A little goes a long way

A few small cosmetic projects can make a big impact.