Thursday, July 8, 2010

Five (More) Surprising Things That You Can Transform With Paint

You're on a first-name basis with every employee in the paint department at your local Home Depot. You collect paint chips the way that kids collect baseball cards. You anxiously await the arrival of Spray Paint Season (referred to as "spring" by non-DIYers), and your neighbors hold you personally responsible for the hole in the ozone layer. Think you've painted every paintable surface in your home? Think again! Here are five more surprising things that you can transform with paint:

1. Beaded Trim:

The formerly-beige beaded trim on this (formerly-beige) lampshade did little to enhance the shade. To paint the trim, I started by removing it from the shade (the beads dangle from a band of ribbon, which was attached to the shade with double-sided tape). I used fresh double-sided tape to attach the trim to the edge of a piece of cardboard, and then I painted the trim with spray paint in the backyard, rotating the cardboard so that I could hit both sides in one coat of spray paint. Once the beads were dry, it was easy to adhere the trim to the shade again with more double-sided tape.

2. Art Mats:

Many people use spray paint to paint picture frames, but did you know that you can also transform the mats with a light coat of spray paint? Here's an example from my own home. I loved this collection of black and white photos from my childhood, but the frame had become dated and the formerly-white mat had yellowed over the years. Rather than spring for new custom framing and matting for the photos, I just removed the photos, took the frame apart, and hit the mat and frame with spray paint. The "new" mat and frame look much crisper, though my mom still shakes her head and wonders why the photographer didn't advise her not to wear a shirt with such a busy pattern! Ah, the seventies!

3. Your Plastic Paper Towel Holder:

Let's say that you move into a house and find that the previous owners have left their formerly-white-but-now-yellow plastic paper towel holder for you. And let's say, just hypothetically mind you, that you're too cheap and/or lazy to drive to the hardware store and plunk down $20 to buy a new one. Well, my hypothetical cheap, lazy friend, if you've got a can of metallic spray paint, you're in luck! There's no need to prime the towel holder; just give it a good cleaning, hit it lightly with a coat or two of spray paint in the backyard, allow it to dry, and hang it back up. Voila!

4. Cabinet Hardware:

It's the oldest Realtor trick in the book, but many homeowners haven't tried it: to update the look of cabinet hardware, simply use spray paint! The cup pulls on this armoire were on sale at Lowe's for 99 cents because they were an odd brushed gold color. After a coat of Rustoleum oil-rubbed bronze spray paint, they fit in nicely with the cabinet knobs, which were factory finished to be oil-rubbed bronze. One painting tip: to avoid paint drips and pooling, opt for several light coats of spray paint rather than one heavy coat.

5. Light Fixtures:

Who doesn't have at least one outdated shiny brass light fixture lurking somewhere in the house? With the help of a little flat white spray paint, a string of costume pearls, and some inexpensive chandelier shades, this fixture was easily made over from "brassy eek" to shabby chic. A handy way to paint chandeliers is to disconnect them (turn off the electricity first, of course) and hang them from a tree branch in the yard so that you can paint all sides easily.

Can't get enough painting? Click here to read my earlier post about five other surprising things that you can paint!

This post has been linked to: The Shabby Nest and Finding Fabulous