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Attention DIY readers! 5 things you should NEVER PAINT b/c they wont hold up!

ayla whitehead

Hey everyone!  Fall and winter are the two seasons that we do the most home renovation work.  There is no yard to mow, flowerbeds to weed, trees to trim, bushes to shape, garden to pick...on and on and on lol! It is generally a great time to start a project.  Now, most DIY people out there know the very best way to give a room any complete face lift for cheap is to paint it.  We have literally painted hundreds of things over the years and there are five things that I wished that I would NEVER EVER have painted.  Hopefully you can learn from my mistakes!


We bought a house built in 1962. When we purchased it the previous owners had painted all of the baby blue tile in the bathroom a creamy tan color (even on the floor- Painting a tile floor is a big NO-NO, but common sense would tell you that. Every time I wore heels it ripped more paint off, every dirty dog that went in the bathroom scratched away at more paint and dirt set up under the scratches.  It was awful!) BUT aside from the scratched up painted tile we had a beige bathtub with rust stains on the bottom and water stains running down from a leaky faucet.  I tried everything to get the tub clean.  I used every spray, scrub, and even Bar Keepers Friend (which is my miracle cleaner btw).  Nothing worked.  The next option  was to buy a new tub...but those were very expensive and our cast iron tub was encased in a tile/concrete wall- it was NOT coming out without busting out the entire bathroom. We did not have a total bathroom gut and rebuild in our budget, so the only other option was to paint it.  Now, if you buy cheap paint you get a cheap outcome.  So we went out and purchased the most expensive tub refinishing kit we could find. After days of using acid wash, scrubbing it down with the special pads, etching it, cleaning it, letting it cure, and going all through this long process we finally painted it.  We gave it three days to completely dry (just in case) before we ran water in it.  It was truly a beautiful sight.  The kids took baths for the first time in the new house and I actually felt clean after my shower.  It was wonderful...for about six months.  One small scratch appeared one day.  I'm not sure how it got there, but it did.  Water got up under the scratch, mold set in and you could see a brown spot growing by the day around the scratch.  I tried to seal the scratch but that just made it worse.  Eventually the paint separated from the tub in about a six inch span and created a huge bubble that would trap water and grow mold.  The paint chipped up in pieces  until the painted tub looked worse than the old rusty tub.  Now we were in trouble, because the paint wouldn't separate from any other part of the tub so we couldn't sand it off and re-paint it. The tub went from stained and not wanting to use it, to a black mold trap that we literally couldn't use without getting sick.  So, because we decided to paint the tub, we ended up getting a new bathroom!  It took a week to bust out all of the tile, concrete, mesh, and it took three men to get the cast iron tub out of our house.   Then it took another six months to get new drywall, flooring, plumbing, window back in, etc.  I like the new bathroom, but my bank account wished I would have just kept using the stained tub! 


Did I mention that the previous owners of our home painted the tile floors and walls in the bathroom?  Well they also painted the counter tops in the kitchen and bathroom.  I know they used a white primer first because when the paint chipped up (not even two weeks after moving in) you could see the tan paint with white underneath it.  Save yourself the painstaking trouble and time- just get new counter tops! It will be worth it in the long run- I promise.


Oh yes they sure do look amazing once painted.  Its crazy what a $3.00 can of spray paint can do to change the look of a room (like changing ugly gold handles with pink flowers in the middle to a classy bronze).  We had every kind of door knob there was on our doors- not one matched color or style.  Door knobs/handles are expensive, especially when you need six of them.  The cheap fix was to paint them with a spray paint designed to bond with metal.  I succeeded on making the non matching door knobs appear to match, but every time my wedding ring would touch the knob it would scratch the paint off.  Every toy that hit it, belt buckle that would barely touch it when squeezing by another person, I mean anything, it would scratch the finish.  Once the finish starts to scratch its all down hill from there.  So if you are wanting a temporary fix that will only last a month or two (like when you have company coming), sure, go for it.  But if you are wanting it to be a permanent solution, just go ahead and buy new ones.  Save all those hours removing the hardware, painting two-three coats, plus the dry time in between, flipping them over, doing it all again, then putting them all back on.


Our washer and dryer used to set side by side.  When we remodeled the laundry room we took three feet from the bathroom and created space for a wash bay in between the two.  Once separated, every piece of dirt and debris was evident.   After a good scrubbing our white washer and dryer sides were still brown and scratched from years of dirt being caught between spin cycles and unbalanced loads.  Well, you can't have ugly showing in a beautiful new room so I painted it with white appliance paint- yes paint designed for appliances.  First thing- the scratches still show through the finish.  Second thing, you would have to paint the entire thing, because when I only painted the side, the part where the non painted top met the painted side were two different whites...not pretty.  Third, it scratched easily, so I ended up with exactly what I started with! UGH! What a waste of time! My permanent fix- to encase the wash bay with rustic wood to cover the sides of my washer and dryer- can't scratch anymore and can't see the two different whites anymore.  Problem fixed! (and it took half the time of painting it lol)


Ok, so one wall our kitchen was made of paneling while the rest were tongue and groove boards running vertically to appear as paneling.  The paneling had that cheap, fake look, so I decided to paint it white.  I purchased a gloss paint with a primer built in and started painting away.  I let it dry and wow, it looked 100% better! I went to rub the wall (b/c I'm weird and was admiring my work) and to my surprise a ripple appeared! What! So I rubbed another spot and another ripple appeared, but this one broke the paint surface and was hanging off the wall a bit.  So I thought I'd just pull it off, repaint that spot, and tell everyone NOT to touch that wall.  Well, by the time I got done pulling that spot off I had a three food tear down my wall.  Uh Oh.  The only part the paint stuck was where the indentions were that looked like the fake wood was supposed to meet. I peeled and peeled, got off what I could, re primed it with a heavy duty primer, then repainted. Mistake!   The peel lines showed through and anywhere I had left the gloss paint showed through the semigloss second (third including the primer) coat of paint I put on.  It looked awful! There were shiny patches showing through a dull finish. It was just awful.  I went to sand it all off and start fresh but guess what you can't sand? GLOSS PAINT! It just gums up the sand paper.  So, needless to say, I just left it like it was, hung tons of stuff on that wall to hide the mess, and tossed that sucker when we remodeled the kitchen!