People who have lots of money can afford to buy expensive paintings, posh accessories and fancy furniture for their homes. They can decorate their walls gloriously with pictures and mirrors the rest of us can only dream of having. However, this doesn’t mean we can’t use a very common resource to our full advantage.
Paint is cheap and comes in all different colours, shades and types under the sun. In this article I’ll show you examples of how you too can use paint to make your house look beautiful and stylish.
Make your home beautiful with paint
1. Use paint to tidy up damaged/dark corners
When we moved into the house the kitchen left a lot to be desired. This was the corner of the kitchen counter. In this picture we’d just removed all the broken and damaged tiles to a point where we could have a straight line.
The holes in the wall had to be filled and all the bulges, levelled with smoothover (a type of filler for people who can’t work with plaster) . Once this was done, everything was sanded down, primed with diluted white paint, then painted. Of course, there was the issue of the very old and dull-looking tiles which were a different colour from the new paint. These were primed with universal primer, then painted over with the same paint as the wall. Note: when you buy a tin of primer purchase a universal one which can be used on multiple surfaces.
The corner was painted in the colours we chose for the kitchen. We bought one kitchen cupboard (you can buy one individually if you can’t afford to change your entire kitchen) for added storage. The red board on the left wall is a magnetic board I covered with red fabric. I store spice jars on it. The colour red, where fabric is concerned, is a recurring theme in our kitchen/diner. See here for kitchen makeover pictures.
2. Use paint to brighten up furniture for kids bedrooms
The above wardrobe had to be reduced because the storage space was way too much and filled up the entire room. This did not take care of the dullness however. As this was going to be a kid’s room, we had to either replace it, or go with the more sensible/cheaper option of doing something with it.
This is much more suitable for a child. All it needed was some paint. Everyone has left-over sample pots of paints in their sheds. This is a perfect way of making use of them. Just make sure colours complement the room in which they’re used. Handles were also changed. You can see the entire bedroom makeover here.
NOTE: all the colours used on the wardrobe were previously emulsion, not gloss. Remember that wood always has to be painted with gloss paint. There is however, a way you can get around this. If all you have is emulsion paint, just use it and when it’s completely dry, paint a thin coat of clear varnish over the top. This will keep it sound for years to come.
Here’s a chest of drawers which was once pale brown. I spiced it up by using pots of sample (emulsion) paints. Again, because this is the wrong paint to use on wood, I waited until the paint was completely dry, then painted a coat of clear varnish over the top. I also painted the drawer handles in this case. They’re the same colours used on the front of the drawers, but they’re on different colour drawers. This was done about 7 years ago, and the varnish is still holding strong. Notice, all the colours complement the wall, and two of the handles were painted in exactly the same colour.
3. Use paint to add style to your home
Do you have stairs that look like these, or ragged carpeted stairs you wish you could change? Well, you can!
If you’re stripping the carpet off, remember that your stairs will be a bit creaky once it’s gone. Just be prepared to go underneath your stairs and do a bit of gluing and screwing the boards back together before you start painting.
Sand the stairs completely and fill all visible holes with wood filler.
Do the same for gaps if there are any remaining. I found a heavy-duty glue very useful in filling deep gaps before the filler was administered. This also gets rid of a lot of the creaking.
Mark off where you want the middle to be and do the sides first. To make your life easy, you could do the entire stairs in one colour, but you’ll have to do the painting once the kids have gone to bed.
I made little ‘step here’ notes and placed these on the steps I wanted people to walk on. I preferred to do alternate stairs so that I could do the painting in the day time. Under the stairs also had a beautiful makeover.
4. Use paint to add spice to a boring wall
See this article, ‘Make A Wall Feature’ to see how this was achieved. A dull wall above the kitchen door was turned into a focal point. Over doors are hardly given any attention. This is something you can do above any door in your house.
5. Use paint to add the ‘Wow’ factor to your home
It’s amazing what a bit of masking tape and some paint can do. This is the side of the stairs. It’s been done in all the colours of the hall, landing and stairs. I used paint, masking tape, and patience. That’s all. It takes days because one colour has to be dry completely before you add another next to it. The effect is tremendous and you can’t but look at it every time you go up or downstairs.
When we converted the garage into a room for the kids, we used some of the hollow walls to create storage space. On the right, this little shelf goes into a small, hollow space which existed when the room was a garage. I wanted to carry this ‘space’ right along the new wall, so I painted the shelf and a panel of that wall white. The two pictures had been measured before the white was painted, so they fit to exact measurements and fill the space perfectly.
6. Use paint to add interest to mirrors and picture frames
These mirrors on the wall cost 50 pence each from Ikea. They were raw wood. Again, I used left over sample paints and put a layer of clear varnish over them to protect my work. The same varnish has been around for ages and has done several rounds around the house. Four of these mirrors can be set in a line, or as couples on a plain wall. They look great – with just paint!
Haven’t got enough money to buy an expensive painting? Paint a picture yourself using colours that go with your room. I painted this one above on a piece of plywood we had sitting in the garage, but you can buy canvass really cheaply and paint your own picture – in your own style. Stuck for ideas? Visit posh furniture stores and you’ll soon be inspired.
7. Use paint to make old things new
The rest of the house is done, but this old front door makes this entrance area look old. The wood is dark brown and the metal/glass door, though sound, is shabby-looking.
Simply sand an old metal and wooden door down. Give it a brighter look just a with a couple coats of gloss paint. Gloss paints are usually made for both metal and wood, but check this first before you start painting. I recommend gloss for doors because they have very high traffic and gloss is easier to wipe down than other types of paint. White is usually looks cleaner and is cheaper than other colours.
Instead of throwing it out, revamp an old, tired fireplace with paint. You need to first of all prime it with universal primer, (the same one used on your tiles) or the paint won’t adhere to the surface. After the primer is dry, go ahead and paint it in whatever colour you wish. It may take a few coats, though. See how our ugly fireplace was transformed.
Old beach stones can also be turned into something more exciting. See how to do this at the link. If you’re not convinced, how about doing up an old chair?
So what are you waiting for? Get hold of some paint and start beautifying your home! Please share this article if you find it useful. There are many other tutorials showing you little things you can do to make your home even more special. There are also several articles describing our own extreme makeover. As always, thanks for the visit to diy projects and thanks for your comments.
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