We recently moved into a new house, and “cosmetic fixer” is putting it nicely. As I walked through the place giving my friend the grand tour and pointing out all the projects on our to-do list, we stopped in the dining room and I sighed, motioning toward the wall of windows. “We’ll need to buy new blinds because these are ridiculous.”
She gave the plastic purple patterned vertical blinds a once-over, and without missing a beat, shrugged her shoulders and said, “You could just try to paint them.”
And with that, my eyes opened. I had never even considered such a thing. But really, what did I have to lose? Even if it turned out terribly and I had to buy new blinds, I’d be right back where I started. But if it did work, then I’d save myself a ton of money.
Thus began my mission to PAINT ALL THE THINGS. As I look around my house and find old décor pieces that I’ve fallen out of love with, I ask myself whether a colorful facelift might breathe new life into them.
And so far, the answer has been yes.
Armed with a simple can of spray paint, so far I’ve refreshed my old ugly lamp,
random home décor pieces,
turned my dark wood-colored fan blades a fresh, bright white,
and turned an $8 chair from Goodwill into a fun, colorful piece that my son absolutely loves.
Spray painting old, ugly things is simple and fast and the results are immediate – giving you instant satisfaction. And with cans of spray paint well under $5, there aren’t many things you could do to upgrade a room for cheaper.
I do have a couple of tips, though:
- Be bold! This is not a high-stakes makeover; you’re painting stuff that was destined for the trash anyway. Step outside of your comfort zone, go a little crazy, and try a fun color!
- Spray the paint in multiple thin coats to prevent it from dripping.
- If the item you’re painting is going to be touched by people (i.e., not just sit on a shelf and look pretty), consider finishing it with a lacquer or polyurethane spray to protect the color.
- If you’re painting an item bright white, you might want to consider a polycrylic spray as a finish instead. It’s a little more money, but lacquer and polyurethane have a tendency to yellow which is super obvious over white.
- To paint more of an everyday-use or good-quality heirloom piece (think dressers, coffee tables, nightstands), you’re better off skipping the quick-and-easy spray paint and doing a high-quality sand and paint job. The Frugal Girl has a fantastic tutorial on how to paint furniture.