Budget Decorator: 25 Fab Projects With 1 Paint Can
Whether there's only an inch left or your paint can overfloweth, these household painting projects will get your creative juices flowing
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When it comes to getting the most bang for your decorating buck, there is no question that paint reigns supreme. But if you really want to make the most of your purchase, try stretching that can of paint by using it in a number of smaller projects. Whether you are starting with a full can or are wondering what to do with the last few drops, there is sure to be something here to inspire your next project. These 25 creative painting ideas include something for every room in the house.
1. Bedroom + lots of paint = patterned wall. If you have a color plus a can of white paint (and lots of patience), this project is for you. Take your time plotting out the pattern with painter's tape (I recommend starting the weekend before). For the best results, paint one color and let it dry before applying the second.
2. Bedroom + a little paint = molding accents. If you have just a smidge of paint left, try picking up some decorative moldings at the hardware store to accent your wall instead. If your wall is already a color, paint the moldings white. If you have white walls, try gray moldings for a chic look.
3. Bedroom + a little paint = chevron dresser. Give that old dresser a makeover with a carefully applied chevron pattern. If you prefer something simpler, try alternating thin and wide stripes, or just paint the drawer fronts.
4. Bedroom + a little paint = new accessories. Unify a collection of mismatched trays, bowls and jewelry holders with a fresh coat of white paint. Metallic would be really pretty, too.
5. Living room + lots of paint = accent wall. A rich-hued accent wall can do wonders to enliven your space. Choose your wall wisely — the new color will draw attention to this spot, so make it a place you want people to notice.
6. Living room + a little paint = painted brick fireplace. For some reason, people hesitate painting over brick fireplaces. Sure, some historic homes have really beautiful original fireplaces that would be wise to leave alone — but if your brick fireplace has been bumming you out, nothing is stopping you. Get out your paint can and hop to it!
How to Paint Your Brick Fireplace
How to Paint Your Brick Fireplace
7. Living room + a little paint = new life for an old mirror. An old mirror, or even the mirrored door of an old armoire, can be refurbished with a coat of color on the frame. If you have some of your wall color left, try lightening it with a bit of primer or white paint for a subtle tonal look.
8. Stairway + lots of paint = painted runner. Update a dark staircase by painting layers of light colors. Start with a white base, follow with the main runner color and accent with a thin border stripe if you wish.
9. Stairway + a little paint = number stencils. Short on paint? Leaving the stairs bare, use a basic number stencil set from the crafts store to apply paint to each riser.
10. Kids' room + lots of paint = chalkboard wall. This now-classic look has remained popular for a reason: It's fun! What kid doesn't want to be able to draw on the walls?
11. Kids' room + a little paint = dramatic doorway. Try your hand at painting an ornate border around an open doorway. Make a template using a roll of paper and tape it to the wall to create an outline you can follow.
12. Kids' room + a teensy bit of paint = spice rack book display. Scoop up a few inexpensive spice racks from Ikea for this supereasy project: Simply paint the racks, allow them to dry, then attach them to the wall.
13. Kitchen + lots of paint = patterned accent wall. Try your own take on a Union Jack motif, in whatever colors strike your fancy ... or whatever colors happen to be lying around in your storage closet.
14. Kitchen + a little paint = chalkboard fridge. If you have a bit of chalkboard paint left over from another project, I love the idea of using it to cover a boring fridge for an instant message board.
15. Kitchen + a teensy bit of paint = stenciled wall art. Make a statement with a single oversize number or letter, carefully stenciled.
16. Craft room + lots of paint = whitewashed floors. White floors may not seem like the most practical choice for a craft room, but they feel fresh and creative, and are surprisingly useful — just try finding that stray bead on a dark floor.
17. Craft room + lots of paint = painted pegboard. Organize the tools of your trade and hang art in a creative display with a simple pegboard from the hardware store. Match your walls or contrast them; the choice is yours.
18. Craft room + a little paint = embellished crates. Basic wooden crates are transformed into a creative storage and display area with a fun new hue. For added pop, line the backs with wallpaper scraps or pretty wrapping paper.
19. Bathroom + lots of paint = chic wide stripes. Continue a wide stripe from the interior of the bathroom right onto the back of the door for an unexpected twist.
20. Bathroom + a little paint = tub makeover. Give your claw-foot tub a lick of color — dark gray, black or bitter chocolate will look chic and sophisticated. Try red, pink or vibrant blue for a more daring look.
21. Bathroom + a teensy bit of paint = tin can containers. Turn old cans into useful vessels for everything from plants to makeup brushes with a touch of colorful paint.
22. Dining room + lots of paint = patterned floor. Whether you go for a classic checkerboard or modern stencils, painting a pattern onto the dining room floor means you can forgo the rug. Paint the background first, or let the natural wood peek through, as shown here.
23. Dining room + a little paint = updated buffet. Paint just the fronts of the drawers and cabinets for a two-tone look. Alternatively, if you have a glass-front cabinet in the dining room, try painting just the inside of the cabinets for a subtle change.
24. Home office + lots of paint = gallery wall. Ground an art wall above your desk with a deep dark hue. Once the color has been applied, try out your arrangement of objects on the floor before hanging it to be sure it works.
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Ideabook updated on August 27, 2012.