6 Things You Should Never Paint in Your Home

Please, leave these items items alone.

Paint can be magical. Whether it’s an accent wall, a whole room, or even a piece of furniture, paint can have a transformative effect on anything it touches. And, as far as home upgrades go, painting is usually an easy DIY project and it's generally affordable—especially when compared to the cost of replacing or fully renovating whatever you're working on. But that doesn’t mean you should paint everything. Painting some household items can even be dangerous. So, read on for six things you should never paint in your home.

<p>Boris SV/Getty Images</p>

Boris SV/Getty Images

Related: 7 Things You Should Never Store in the Garage

Things You Should Never Paint


While you might be tempted to use paint to change things up in your bathroom or kitchen, artist and designer Elizabeth Sutton says it’s a bad idea. “Never paint tile," she says. "It never looks good. Never. It will always look like a cheap fix, and I never like how paint adheres to tile. It chips and can peel easily.”

If you’re looking to change up your tiles on a budget, installing a peel-and-stick backsplash is a better alternative.

Natural Trim

While you might not be into that wood trim in your dining room, Sutton cautions against painting over it. “Don’t cover up the grain of a beautiful natural wood with paint," she says. "If you want to change the color, opt for a stain instead. Stains are sheer. Paint will cover up the beautiful texture of the wood.”

Wood Flooring

If you have slightly dated dark espresso or cherry wood floors, you might be tempted to give them a little update by painting them white or another color. But this can go terribly wrong. Refinishing floors is an incredible amount of work, even for more experienced DIYers. Not to mention, damaged floors can be challenging to fix and a fortune to replace, so you may want to reconsider before you get out the sander.

If you’re truly tempted to change up your wood floors and don’t have the budget for new ones, having a professional re-stain them is a safer and more economical option.


While you might be tempted to paint hardware—it's a big no. This includes knobs, faucets, and hinges. “With enough use, the paint will chip, scratch, and won’t look fresh," Sutton explains. "You’re better off swapping out your hardware entirely."

Painting knobs and locks can even cause major problems according to Kat Christie, licensed contractor and DIY Expert and founder of She Fixed That. “You should also never paint any locks or door handles, as the paint could get inside the lock, making it not work properly, which can be very dangerous,” she added.

Smoke And Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors—while not the most aesthetically pleasing things in the home—are crucial for safety and should not be tampered with under any circumstances. “You should never paint over smoke or carbon monoxide detectors, as the paint may block sensors and reduce their effectiveness,” says Christie.


While painting appliances has been a major trend in recent years, Christie cautions against the hype. “Generally speaking, I would not paint appliances, as the paint can disrupt the operation and electricity, posing a fire hazard," she says.

Replacing an appliance because you didn’t paint it properly can be very expensive. You’re better off waiting for a sale or saving up for a new appliance than risking it.

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