10 Paint Projects To Revamp Tired Spaces
Assistant design editor Jennifer Koper shares fresh ideas for your next paint project.
I love a natural patina, like tarnished silver or weathered wood, but when the finish on a piece is less than desirable, a quick coat of paint has the power to completely transform it. Plus, painting is affordable, quick and easy, so you change your mind whenever another color calls your name. This is why I’m a bit of a serial painter — the power of paint can be almost addictive!
Whether you’d like to breathe new life into a space by painting your walls, floors and ceilings, or try your hand at a smaller project like sprucing up an old piece of furniture, there’s a paint for every type of material and application. Inspired? Here are some fresh ideas for your next painting project.
An open bookcase or étagère is a great piece to paint in a fresh shade, since the open back and sides will keep the color from feeling overpowering. A leafy green upgrades this shelving unit, drawing the eye to some pretty books and objets.
While some brick walls are beautiful, adding warmth and texture to rooms, others aren’t so pretty — and keeping a brick wall exposed just for the sake of having one isn’t always the best choice! In this renovated kitchen, designer Trish Johnston maintained the cool texture of the brick veneered wall, but painted it a neutral white to conceal its flaws.
If you can’t get rid of an undesirable architectural element, you can either paint it out so it blends in with the walls, or have fun and accentuate it with a statement color. Here, senior editor Morgan Michener went with a bold tomato hue to revive a radiator, giving this space instant cool factor.
In a neutral space like this beautiful, light-filled kitchen, you can have fun with an energetic paint. The turned legs of these stools really stand out in sunny yellow, and painting all four makes a bright statement. (Don’t worry: when pieces are relatively small, like these stools, you can easily paint them again if you tire of the color.)
Break the rules: trim doesn’t always have to be painted a shade of white, or the same color as your walls. Call attention to great architectural elements, like high baseboards, with a coat of contrasting color. For a look that’s unexpected, but still sophisticated, go for a rich shade like this great olive green.
Don’t want to commit to color on your bedroom walls? Can’t decide between a few different shades? Why not follow senior design editor Joel Bray’s lead and paint out a few large canvasses, leaning them against the wall as an impromptu headboard. I love the soft taupe and blush palette Joel chose for this project.
Learn how to make the pictured DIY: Painted Canvas Headboard.
Sometimes it’s not about painting any one particular piece of furniture or architectural element; it’s all about creating the perfect backdrop for a gorgeous piece. This handsome wooden chair in designer Deb Nelson’s charming home stands out beautifully against soft white-painted floors, stairs and walls.
It’s tempting to shy away from bright colors when painting something as large as a bed, let alone two beds in one space! But as long as you create a sense of balance, by using softer shades on the walls, for example, you can really go for it on pieces of furniture. I like how the glossy finish on these pretty single beds intensifies the vibrant blue hue.
Painted ceilings are gaining popularity these days, so go ahead and embellish these long-neglected surfaces. But before you pick up your roller, don’t forget to consider the finish of your paint. A flat finish tends to absorb light and visually recede (creating the illusion of a higher ceiling), while a glossier finish will reflect more light, but recede less. Designer Allison Pringle chose a sky blue paint in a glossy finish for her petite apartment, which adds a lot of brightness to the space.
A white-painted floor is charming, classic and timeless. But in decorator Heidi Smith’s cottage, a splash of watery turquoise really livens up the mostly white mudroom, giving it a fresh, playful feel. In my mind, this is the perfect amount of color for a small space.