Advice & Tips


Tax Refund Can Help Refurbish Your Home

Spring House, PA -- For all the aggravation we go through at tax time, there’s a silver lining for most: According to the IRS, about eight in 10 taxpayers typically get refunds, averaging $2,800 or more in recent years. That’s a nice amount of forced savings that can be put to good use around the home.

Most on-time taxpayers get their checks (or direct deposits) in May or June, which is the perfect time to do indoor or outdoor painting. And there’s no better way to improve the appearance of your home.

Even if your refund is small, it likely is sizeable enough to fund some interior painting. That can cost under $100 for paint and supplies if you do the work yourself, and just several hundred dollars more if you hire a professional painter, according to the Paint Quality Institute. If you receive the average refund of $2,800, you can actually afford to repaint a whole suite of rooms!

Interior painting is a great way to spoil yourself by adding some fresh new color to your home, but exterior painting is typically done out of necessity. If your home exterior hasn’t felt the soft caress of a paintbrush in several years, then it’s likely yearning for it. Ordinary exterior paints typically last four years or so, while the best outdoor coatings – top quality100% acrylic latex paints – last about 10 years.

If your exterior paint is aging and your home is small, you just might be able to cover the cost of a new exterior paint job with your tax refund, depending in part on whether you do the painting yourself, or hire a contractor. If your home is bigger, or your refund is small, the money you get back from the government can at least make for a nice down payment on the work.

Should you already have plans for your tax refund, you can still reserve part of it for a few minor painting projects that have great visual impact. Adding new paint color to just the front door, for example, can give the impression that you changed the entire exterior color scheme. Inside, you can often dramatically change things up by painting only a few built-ins (bookcases, cabinets, or moldings) or an accent wall.

If, by chance, you run a home-based business, keep in mind that some of your interior or exterior painting expense may be tax-deductible on next year’s return. Direct expenses for a home office, such as interior painting, are fully deductible; you may even be able to deduct a portion of the cost of repainting your home’s exterior.

So, while you’re waiting for your refund, think about doing some home painting when the money arrives. Where better spend it than on the place that you call home?

To learn more about interior or exterior painting, visit the Paint Quality Institute website at or its blog at


The Paint Quality Institute was formed in 1989 to educate people on the advantages of using quality interior and exterior paints and coatings. The Paint Quality Institute's goal is to provide information on the virtues of quality paint as well as color trends and decorating with paint through a variety of vehicles, including television appearances, newspaper and magazine articles, and instructional literature. Please be sure to visit the Paint Quality Institute at PAINT QUALITY INSTITUTE and PAINTQUALITY.COM are trademarks of The Dow Chemical Company ("Dow") or an affiliated company of Dow.


Deborah Zimmer
The Paint Quality Institute℠
Dow Coating Materials
Office 215-619-1683
Cell 215-962-5551

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