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Quick paint touch-ups can transform the entire room

If you want the most stunning result for

If you want the most stunning result for the lowest cost, try repainting a few carefully selected spots around your home.  Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto/koldunova

You don't need to buy gallons and gallons of paint to make over your space. When paint is applied in a few carefully selected spots around your home, the effect can be just as dramatic — if not more so — than repainting the entire room. Especially if you choose a high-contrast color, even a small pop of paint can have a big impact. If you want the most stunning result for the lowest cost, try repainting one of the spots below. Even better news: each of these mini painting projects can likely be accomplished in an afternoon.

1. Paint the banister.

Making over your staircase can drastically change the look of your home, especially if it's the first thing guests see when they walk in the door. Rather than attempting to paint the entire room or the entire staircase, consider painting just the banister. This project will require less painter's tape than repainting the stair risers, and you won't have to worry about the paint being slippery or wearing off like when painting the stair treads.

2. Get under that kitchen island.

If you have a kitchen island, consider brushing a fresh coat of paint on the surface under the counter. To boost visual interest, choose a hue that complements yet contrasts with your kitchen cabinets. No matter which color you choose, opt for a semi-gloss paint finish, which will make it easier to wipe away scuffs and marks. This will be especially important if you have stools that pull up to the island.

3. Hit the window frames.

For an eye-catching effect, give just the window frames a fresh coat of paint. You can choose a contrasting hue, or for a subtler (yet still stunning) look, choose a different shade of the hue already on the walls. For example, if your kitchen is a light dove gray, consider brushing the window frames with a deeper charcoal gray. The variation will add depth and interest to the room.

4. Consider the back of the front door.

We carefully consider our front door paint color because it can affect our property value and it's the first thing visitors see — but what about the back of the door? After all, it's the last thing you see when leaving your house in the morning and is the last impression guests will have of your home. Make it memorable with an unexpected hue that still coordinates with the rest of your entryway decor.

5. Add contrast finish to doorways.

If your home has cased openings, or doorways without doors, consider painting the trim the same color as the walls but in a contrasting finish. If the wall is painted eggshell or flat, try brushing the trim with gloss. Want to amp up the contrast? Choose a darker shade of the same color that's on the walls or even a different color entirely for a bold effect. Whichever option you choose, the contrast will call attention to this transition zone in your home.

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