Paint offers DIYers of any skill level an opportunity to make over drab dwellings at the mere lift of a brush, roller, or sprayer. But homeowners often paint themselves into a corner by focusing on interior or exterior walls, floors, and ceilings—which can take a day of work and then dry time—while ignoring less ambitious yet deeply satisfying mini updates, such as painting textiles, ceramics, and other home and garden accessories. Click through for 11 smaller-scale paint projects, each requiring less than an hour, that will prime your home for luxurious living.
Fake a flat-woven texture by painting prewashed pillow cases using geometric stencils inspired by the rich tapestries of Turkish kilim rugs. If you don’t have fabric paint on hand (or you cannot find your favorite hue in stores), combine acrylic paint with a textile medium to convert it into a fabric-friendly coating.
A Jarring Experience
To create a perfect dip-dyed illusion on glass kitchen canisters, mask the jars from the midsection up with painter’s tape, then spray-paint them. You can even press on foam letter stickers to spell out labels before you paint! Just start with the last letter of the word and work backwards for flawless alignment.
Dip the wooden handles of garden tools into a can of your favorite paint hue for a set of stylish and utilitarian accoutrements to accompany your raised garden bed. Once the paint dries thoroughly, apply polyurethane or acrylic spray to the handles so their color lasts the whole life of your garden.
Long before the advent of the digital pin board, there was the original cork memo board. Transform this kitchen and home office staple into a source of mesmerizing optics by covering a corkboard with a striped lattice of painter’s tape and then coating the visible areas in matte white spray paint.
Alphabet refrigerator magnets may evoke nostalgia, but they probably lack the sophistication that oozes from the rest of your kitchen. This DIY brings them up to speed. Simply spray-paint magnets with two coats of primer followed by two coats of gold paint for a lustrous sheen that is positively magnetic.
You don’t need Van Gogh’s artistic prowess to create a wall hanging that looks like a watercolor masterpiece. Produce a one-of-a-kind print by adding drops of a few different oil paints to a shallow basin of water thickened with methylcellulose, then delicately stirring up the floating pigment until you're content with the effect. Transfer it onto absorbent paper for a marbled artwork that will marvel your guests.
A Welcome Change
Create a truly inviting atmosphere at your doorstep by emblazoning a fiber welcome mat with a fun and friendly stenciled greeting. After you apply your basic lettering with ebony spray paint, go back in with a brush to add creative detailing—in this example, good-enough-to-eat frosting and sprinkles—that will spark a smile from visitors.
If spring cleaning completely cleared out your wardrobe, convert your old closet door into a headboard that delights the senses. All it takes to complete this transformation are a few basic painting tools—a canvas drop cloth, painter's tape, and your can of color. Pull the fabric taut over your board, stick up your stripes, and blot the canvas with navy paint for a trendy "time-worn" arrow design.
An Unforgettable Mug
To give your ceramics a striking facelift, wrap the upper portion of a plain white mug with painter’s tape. You can keep it simple with a dip-dye design, or use multiple strips of tape to create a more geometric two-tone style. Then spray-paint the visible areas of the mug with matte gold paint and sealer, and take the dry time to ponder switching to open shelving to show off your updated collection.
Encourage your potted plants to grow bright buds and leafy greens by planting them in evenbrighter planters. To sow the seeds of inspiration in your set of terra-cotta pots, coat them in white and then brush on rough-hewn strokes in your favorite acrylic hues. The resulting "tie-dyed" pattern is a colorful nod toward woven Indonesian ikat tapestries.
Infuse your workshop with pizzazz by using a herringbone stencil to brush barren pegboards with a whimsical, tricolor scheme like this chipper combination of coral, mint, and gold. Affix folded painter’s tape to the underside of the stencil to prevent slippage while you work.