Saturday, July 11, 2009

Inexpensive Updates with Paint

Paint, whether latex or spray paint, is a great, inexpensive way to update your home. I have self-diagnosed myself with decorators ADHD, symptoms including the sporadic need to rearrange furniture and the uncontrollable desire to change pretty much anything I can physically move myself (or plot to change in the future with the help of professionals). That's why I've become a fan of "paint decorating." Paint projects are DIY and give the instant gratifications others like me crave. Here are a few examples of ways to update your home using paint.
Try painting your front door a fun color like red, blue or sage green. It will add lots of charm for very little expense. (I used left over paint from another project and would use gloss or semi-gloss in the future.)
Stripes, whether horizontal or vertical, can add style to a room lacking in architectural detail. *Helpful Hint: Use clear caulk after taping to prevent paint from running.
Try painting your walls a neutral color and adding a splash of color on the mantel. I chose this blue for a soothing effect, but I've also seen a rustic black finish that I loved! That may be my next project!
This chandelier was originally an 1980's brass that I spray painted antique white. *Helpful hint: Find somewhere to hang the chandelier, I slung mine over the garage door rail, to more easily paint the underside. Before painting, be sure to remove all light bulbs and place cottonballs in the openings to prevent paint from ruining the lighting.
This project was done by professionals, but was well worth the extra cost for the expertise. The original tile was in great condition, but an outdated brown. The tub, floor and wall tiles were all refinished in white. The finish can chip, so I wouldn't recommend doing the floors (I found out the hard way), but it was a less expensive fix than having the entire bathroom retiled.
Paint a focal wall a vibrant color. I also used a "fake" mantel to give this non-descript living room a focal point. *When using red paint, it may take more coats of paint to get the look you are after. I had one friend who painted 8 coats of red before she got the depth of color she had invisioned. This project has 2 coats, but after one coat, I had serious doubts. The second coat made a big difference.
I used acrylic craft paints and a stencil to create flowers over the corners of the doors (I wish I had a better picture, but you get the idea. Click on the photo to see larger image). This was a really simple project, aside from sore arms holding up the stencil, that added a fun touch to a plain, small girl's bedroom.

I have also painted furniture, such as outdated yellow pine barstools and a table and chairs, for a fun change. Be sure to prime before painting--the result is worth the extra time and expense. Happy Painting!


  1. Nicole-
    You are so talented, do you want to come help me decorate my bedroom? It is a sage green with a chair railing around the middle. Call me or email me and we can get together, I am in West Valley:) (It is me Beth It will say andrew)

  2. Looks great! I look seeing all your darling ideas!

  3. What a perfect girls room! What do you mean by using caulk after taping?
    I love all of your hints and the pies on the home page of your blog look YUMMY!

  4. Oops, that last comment came from me -Carol Guthrie.

  5. Thanks for helping me to clarify Carol. With the stripes, after you tape, run a line of caulk down the tape line, that way, when you paint, the colors won't bleed. Definitely use clear caulk. I hope that's helpful. My sister-in-law has also said that she has good luck with colors not running by using her fingernails to push the tape down.