Surface modification is one of the most important techniques in modern science and engineering. The facile introduction of a wide variety of desired properties onto virtually any material surface is an ultimate goal in surface chemistry. To achieve this goal, the incorporation of structurally diverse molecules onto any material surface is an essential capability for ideal surface modification. Here, a general strategy for surface modification is presented in which many diverse surfaces can be functionalized by immobilizing a wide variety of molecules. This strategy functionalizes surfaces by a one-step immersion of substrates in a one-pot mixture of a molecule and a catecholamine surface modification agent. This one-step procedure for surface modification represents a standard protocol to control interfacial properties.