5 Weekend painting projects

Sep 21, 2010 at 4:13 p.m. ET

Painting your home can be hard work, so it’s understandable that some people choose to leave painting to the professionals. However, hiring a professional painter can be costly and, if you’re contemplating a minor home improvement project, it can be easier on your wallet to haul your drop cloths and rollers from storage and turn painting your home into a fun way to liven up your walls over the weekend.

Painting your walls will liven up any room in your home.

Whether you want to add a splash of color to drab décor or freshen up walls from pet and child damage, here are some quick weekend painting projects that even the least artistic can accomplish.

1Liven up laundry day

If you have a laundry room, you can brighten it by splashing a solid color onto its drab white walls or by adding a personalized stencil with a saying such as, "French Laundry," on your walls. Since most laundry rooms are fairly modest in size, painting them can be a quick, day long project that will leave one of the most practical rooms in your home feeling like a haven. Who said you have to dread laundry day?

>> How to make over your laundry room

2Choose your accent

Accent color walls can liven up any room, but since kitchens full of large, hard to move appliances can be challenging to paint, sometimes an accent wall goes a long way. Interior designer, Pamela Farnsworth Smith, of Avallon Design suggests that you select a color that fits the basic theme of your family room and choose a muted tone of this color. Alternatively, if you want to make a statement, look for a bright, bold hue that can wake up a room or highlight key architectural details.

>> Chic walls on the cheap

3Think stripes for small spaces

If you have a powder room or half-bathroom, you can experiment with multiple colors by painting thick stripes onto your walls. Farnsworth tells her clients to start with wide stripes in a small space to make the room look bigger. For first timers, pick neutral shades, such as two tones of camel and ivory to lighten and brighten a bathroom.

>> How to paint stripes on a wall

4Master bathroom rules

Your master bathroom is a place where you spend a lot of time, from primping for parties to getting ready for work every morning. If you have a soaking tub, the master bathroom also can be a place for relaxation and rejuvenation. Paint the walls a calming, warm earth tone. For a decorative finish, stencil or use wall decals to add a large-scale fleur-de-lis pattern along the top of your walls.

>> How to make over your master bathroom

5Find your niche

Older homes tend to be full of niches and alcoves that are all too often ignored by homeowners and designers alike. Farnsworth suggests maximizing the space in your home by turning niches and alcoves into home office spaces or reading nooks for quiet relaxation. "Recessed wall niches will always look better a tone or two darker than the wall color," Farnsworth says. "Unless walls throughout are very dark, then niches should go lighter tone." For example, if walls are rich caramel beige, the niches also can go the main tone of the room, which could be dusty, muted red, teal blue, or light latte brown.

>> How to turn little corners of your home into mini-vacation zones


Do it yourself!

>> Get DIY tips & tricks to make your home better than ever!