Home Design and Trends: A Little Paint Goes a Long Way!

Sometimes I am not able to commit to a lot of time to spruce up my home – or maybe I’m loving a color but can’t see it everywhere in the room. I have to take a step back and just do some updates with simple projects like…

1) Painting Furniture – Tips and tricks: Don’t be afraid to go with a potent color, especially if the walls and the trim are neutral. Before painting, prep furniture with a flexible-foam sanding sponge, which can “get around curves, legs, and grooves,” says Cathie Filian, a host of the DIY Network’s Creative Juice. If the piece has a wax finish, remove it with denatured alcohol first.

Best paint for the job: “High-gloss paint will turn a piece into a strong focal point,” says Edward Schaefer, a decorative painter in North Bergen, New Jersey, while “semigloss will freshen it up without emphasizing flaws.”

2) Painting an Inexpensive Mirror – Tips and tricks: A plain mirror can have an expensive custom look when you paint it a color that coordinates with others in the room, says Schaefer. To work most effectively, position the mirror so you can paint evenly around the edges. Place a small mirror over a sturdy bowl or a large one on a small stool, and put down newspapers to catch spatters. Using a brush the approximate width of the frame will help minimize dripping.

Best paint for the job: A paint with a glossy finish will give a frame “a little sheen,” says Filian. Interior designer Robert LaHatt suggests adding a few coats of clear varnish for a lacquered effect.

3) Painting Interior Doors – Tips and tricks: Changing the color of an interior door can take a room from drab to fab. But too much contrast between the door and the wall can be jarring, warns Filian. If your walls are bright, choose a similarly lively color for the door. If they’re subdued, go for a soft shade. Be sure to paint the frame too, so the door doesn’t seem to float in space.

Best paint for the job: It’s easiest to clean smudges and grime off gloss or semigloss paint. But avoid paints that are super-shiny―they tend to reveal even the tiniest nicks and dents.

4) Painting Stair Risers – Tips and tricks: A dark color in a glossy finish hides scuff marks best. (When risers get nicks, says LaHatt, just “fill them in with a Sharpie.”) If you want to test colors before committing, cut cardboard pieces to the size of the risers, paint them, and position them on the steps to approximate the effect. When you’re ready to go, prime the risers, then add at least two coats of paint. If you wait a day, then add a third coat, the paint will be even more durable.

Best paint for the job: Semigloss and high-gloss finishes withstand high traffic best.

Now…if my husband takes the kids to a movie for a few hours, I can totally get some of these projects done!

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