Quick and Easy Paint Projects | Midwest Living

Quick and Easy Paint Projects

A simple coat of paint transforms just about anything—walls, floors, furniture and more. Plus, it's cheap and easy! Try these projects in an evening or a weekend.

Paint a lampshade

You don't have to be a professional to turn a boring lamp into a one-of-a-kind find. Paint or stencil the shade using acrylic crafts paints, and it instantly becomes an original that matches your decor perfectly. Or stick with a solid-color lampshade and spray-paint the base for an easy update.

Wallpaper chalkboard paint stencil

Use chalkboard paint to create change-your-mind wallpaper by repeating stencil shapes. We chose a regimented pattern of tropical leaves, but the only limit on the look is your imagination. Keeping the chalk above a chair rail reduces the chance of smudges. Buy stencils at crafts stores. The background color in our photo is Benjamin Moore 2147-30 Jalapeño Pepper.

Decorate a window shade

Transform a standard-issue window shade with paint. You can't go wrong with alternating stripes. Roll the shade out flat and use painter's tape to create easy stripes. If you don't already have paint, buy the tester size -- you don't need much to paint a shade -- for an inexpensive project.

Paint furniture

Painted furniture brings your home a touch of cheerful cottage style. Transform old furniture or find inexpensive new unfinished pieces at furniture stores. A pastel palette of yellow, pink and green plays to your feminine side. You can skip the tablecloth when you paint a pretty pattern on the tabletop instead.

Embellish with stencils

Give a painted piece extra personality by adding a stenciled embellishment. The subtle vine on this painted hutch appears almost random in its placement, giving the piece an organic feel. Don't forget to paint the inside of a glass-door cabinet to get even bigger color impact.

Stencil a floor covering

Give your floor a boost by using paint and stencils to create a personalized floorcloth. Start with a remnant of vinyl floor covering in the desired size -- the backside makes a perfect surface for a floorcloth. Prime the back of the vinyl, apply the background paint color, and then the stenciled designs. For a big floor covering like this, a combination of large and small stencils creates an interesting pattern with plenty of white space that doesn't detract from the room's other accessories.

Paint outdoor furniture

Pretty up your porch or outdoor room with painted furniture. Before you paint, wipe away excess dirt and use sandpaper to smooth away chips and uneven areas. Spray paint is a great choice for easy, even coverage. If you don't have outdoor furniture, look at garage sales and flea markets for inexpensive pieces to transform; a coat of paint will make turn a tired piece into something special.

Make over a fireplace

A red brick fireplace is beautiful in some settings, but in a room that is light and bright, it can be an eyesore. That's where a fresh coat of paint comes in. Paint the bricks bright white for a look that's fresh and chic.

Try chalkboard paint

Turn your refrigerator door into an instant message board with chalkboard paint. Before you start painting, remove the door handle, clean the surface, and lightly sand for a smooth canvas. Most brands require several coats for an even finish. (Read the directions on the can before you start.) Look for chalkboard paint at your local home improvement store for less than $20 -- some brands even offer different colors.

Paint a rug

Transform a neutral sisal or jute rug with vibrant color. Block out your design with painter's tape and start painting! Vary the size or color of your design for an eclectic pattern that's easy on the eyes.

Customize a headboard

A headboard doubles as artwork when it's custom-painted to match your decor. A basic board, painted with a simple stencil and hung over the bed, gives your room a striking focal point -- on a budget. In this creative design, three vines look like they are sprouting from the pillows. A dark green edge frames the project and sets off the piece against the creamy walls.

Paint the floor

Floors sometimes get overlooked when it comes to decorating, but don't underestimate their ability to transform a room with a shot of color. Refresh a tired wood floor with a coat of paint, and the whole room will look like new.

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