These days all manner of old, tired surfaces in the home can be rejuvenated with new-fangled coatings that can make the home much more appealing.

Whether it's your bathroom or kitchen surfaces and cabinetry, or your garage floor that looks outdated, entire industries have sprung up to solve your problem and consequently help you sell the house.

Some products are no less than remarkable if applied correctly. For example, are your light switches in all the wrong places? A new Resene product coming to market soon will allow you to turn on the lights by tapping your paint finish, says Karen Warman, marketing manager at Resene.

"A very handy option for stairs, hallways and bedrooms where you may be fumbling around in the dark trying to find a light switch."

Coatings can bring old kitchen and bathroom cabinetry back to life. Baths and tiles can be painted with specialist products. Products such as White Knight Tub and Basin paint, for example, provided a new surface for bath tubs and laundry tubs and hand basins. Likewise MDF cabinets can be painted as well.

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Products to rejuvenate surfaces needn't be expensive and many are DIY friendly, says Grant Stephen, who imports the Daich range. Stephen's number one top seller is a DIY benchtop refurbishment kit, which retails at $299.

It goes on over the top of almost any surface including tile and stainless steel. Also becoming popular is a roll-on real stone bench top coating, says Stephen.

Coatings and finishes are a real drawcard for home renovators who visit Home Ideas Auckland, a display centre in Parnell, says owner Hugh McKellar. The space showcases creative products for the home including decorative paints and plasters from companies such as Aurora and Decoral.

Aurora's Mike Hao says his most popular products are applied over old walls to give a modern industrial look. Once applied the wall can look just like concrete, wood, stone and other surfaces. Decoral sells metallic and gold-look paints as well.

In the past rumpty old walls have been tricky to repaint because they showed up every mark, says Warman. These days there's a surface prep and seal to help smooth out imperfections.

Old wooden floors can be a turn-off for buyers. Sanding back to the bare timber is not always practical. A whitewash or grey wash is easy to apply and gives a relaxed look while still allowing the timber grain to show, says Warman.

"You can apply it over your existing timber floor and save yourself all the sanding."

Homes with timber walls tend to end up looking yellower over time as the polyurethane finish ages. To freshen this up, apply a whitewash, says Warman.

"This will give you a fresher look that works well with popular black/white neutrals."

Primers such as Valspar Paint & Primer in One make painting much easier for people looking for a high quality finish, says Mitre 10's Alison Oldridge. It's designed to prevent the age old problem of cracking, flaking, peeling and mould/algae.

If your paths, porches or old interior floors have ingrained dirt that is impossible to remove there is a product for you, says Warman.

"All these areas can be easily painted over using Resene Walk-on Wall Paint. For high traffic areas and areas prone to being slippery when wet, use Resene Non-Skid Deck & Path."

Old concrete and garage floors can also be jazzed up with modern coatings.

A coating such as Daich's RollerRock can be painted on to porches and steps, decks, patios, garages, balconies and more and comes in colours ranging from pink to charcoal.

Stephen says no primer is required and the water-based stone coating is simply to apply.

"This product can go over existing surfaces so there is no need to rip up tiles, driveways, decks etcetera," he says. "They just need to be repaired and prepped to eliminate existing blemishes."

Another option to add value is to apply an epoxy coating to the garage floor. It needs to be prepped well, but once that has been done the epoxy rolls on. Polyaspartic is a newer coating for concrete floors. It's quicker to apply because it dries faster between coats. It also helps prevent rising damp.

Many other types of coatings are available, such as Cretecova, a trowel-finished flooring that can be skimmed on. It looks like raw sandstone when applied.

Or if you have worn, discoloured or mismatched concrete there are easy to apply surfaces such as Spraycova, which adds about 3mm of new concrete over the old one.