Make Your Home Less Ghetto-Licious With These Three Fixes

If you bought a home that has a few style holdovers from the '70s or '80s, you may be champing at the bit to give it a makeover. But some of those projects can seem a little daunting or even too expensive. Here are three relatively easy fixes you can do on a small budget that yield big results.

Get Rid of Ugly Wallpaper

Many fixer-uppers harbor this makeover challenge: ugly wallpaper. You may have seen so much bad wallpaper that the term is starting to sound redundant. Get rid of Great Grandma's floral bouquets in the dining room, those overly cutesy hens in the kitchen, or that loony geometric print in the bathroom.

But, you say, this involves back-breaking hours of applying chemicals and peeling paper. Wrong! Stripping wallpaper has gone the way of backing up data on a floppy disk.

Now you can apply a shellac-based primer that soaks through wallpaper, sealing it in place. It offers you a clean slate for applying paint without killing yourself in the process.

Clean the surface thoroughly first with a tri-sodium phosphate substitute (better for the environment) to remove any dirt and oils. After allowing the wall to dry, secure any loose wallpaper with wallpaper paste. Fill any damaged areas with joint compound or spackle.

Sand the surface of the walls with a fine paper, and apply your primer. Then cover with the paint color of your choice. Voila! A whole new room!

Cover Hideous Tile

You can paint or resurface your kitchen cabinets and swap out those harvest gold appliances. But the ghost of disco past still haunts your kitchen with those dark, dirty, and dated tile countertops.

Be glad you have tile, and not linoleum, because--good news--you can paint over it and save yourself a ton of money. Not having to completely replace your countertops saves you not only on the cost of the counter but the expense of having to take out your sink too.

The paint that adheres over tile is usually sold as part of bathroom makeover kits, and it's meant to get wet, although the less abuse it takes, the longer it will last. It's an epoxy, so be sure to keep the area well ventilated, wear gloves, and don a mask. A half-face mask made for epoxy use with organic vapor cartridges is best.

Clean the countertop thoroughly and repair or replace any cracked tiles or chipped grout. Apply the epoxy paint in even strokes, and plan on giving it a few coats. Also plan on extra dry time beyond the package instructions, just to be safe. You will be amazed at the results.

Replace a Dated Fireplace

You know the fireplace. It's pink or coral, and it looks like the love child of Erte and the set of "Dynasty." You'll never wear shoulder pads big enough to go with that fireplace.

Getting rid of this monster is, unfortunately, not a DIY job. Hire a professional home improvement company, and save your creativity for selecting new colors or choosing a more fitting mantel. You want the aesthetics and safety of the job to be top-notch.

A home improvement contractor can show you photos of alternative hearths, bring samples of materials, and sketch out ideas for a new fireplace. Things you will have to consider are

  • the exterior of the hearth
  • whether the chimney needs cleaning, repair, or rebuilding
  • the safety and efficacy of the firebox
  • how the new fireplace will draw so you don't have smoke in your room
  • whether you want to add any heat features, like a woodstove
  • andirons and screens
  • whether you even want to burn wood or convert it to a gas fireplace (if possible)

The great thing about redoing a fireplace is that it's usually the focal point for the room, so when you make it over, the space will look completely different. Contact a company like Home Exteriors Of Fayetteville for professional assistance with this job.

While some aspects of days gone by are desirable, tacky decor from the last century isn't. Try one of these three projects to make your house less ghetto-licious, and it just might give you the motivation to bring the whole place up to date.