Playing With Paint

Redecorating may seem like a budget-busting project, but a little creativity can get you a chic, new look for little more than the cost of a few gallons of paint. Check out these tips on how to spruce up your space with paint.

Woman painting walls

What to paint

Giving a room a fresh look can be as simple as rolling a coat of paint on the walls. A crisp wall color creates a background frame that helps dingy, old furniture look fresh and new -- but why stop there?

Trim moldings, window frames, doors and architectural features painted in lighter or darker shades adds depth to the design and creates a polished look. Rather than getting rid of outdated wooden furniture, sand it down and refresh it with a fresh coat of paint.

Picking your paint

These days the world of paint has a whole lot more to offer than simply flat, semi-gloss and glossy finishes. The top interior paint manufacturers offer an extensive selection of decorative and faux finishes that add a look of greater depth and texture over standard paint finishes.

Go for an Old World look with a Venetian plaster faux finish, or get a modern look with a metallic paint for an urban sheen. For the kids' room, try paints with a glow in the dark or chalkboard finish. Furniture with heavy-use surfaces -- like desks, bookshelves or tables -- need a durable oil-based paint. Use a crackle finish to give furniture a shabby-chic distressed look, or add a bit of bling with a glitter finish.

And don't be afraid to go bold with your color choices. After all, what can be painted can always be repainted when you're ready to switch to a toned-down color.

Playing with painting techniques

How you apply the paint is just as important a decision as the type of paint you've selected. Even the most basic latex paint can be livened up with a creative painting technique.

Specialized rollers and brushes let you add texture and dimension, such as a denim finish or a leather effect. Get creative with painter's tape to create geometric patterns on the walls like stripes or a checkerboard pattern. Other paint application techniques -- like washes or creating texture with tissue paper -- let you create an expensive-looking finish without paying for the cost of pricey finishes or special equipment.

Watch: How to use a paint roller

Tim Carter, of AsktheBuilder.com, demonstrates a few simple tricks when using a paint roller. Carter also talks about putting the right amount of paint on a wall surface.

More on painting

3 Neutral color palettes to complement any decor
Painting with tape
How-to: Paint a room

Tags: furniture painting ideas interior paint ideas wall paint ideas

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