Decorative paint makeover ideas
Stenciled Animal Mugs
Look no further than the nearest pasture for inspiration to dress up plain dishware. To duplicate these mugs, print and cut out the animal shapes. Use these templates for Cow, Sheep, and Pig shapes. Place each shape atop a small piece of contact paper and outline it in pencil. Cut out with a craft knife; then discard the paper inside the outline. Peel away the backing and affix the stencil to a clean, dry mug, making sure to center the image. Following the package directions, use a soft brush to fill in the outline with dishwasher-safe PermEnamel paint ($3.49 for two ounces, joann.com); let set for a few minutes. Carefully remove the contact paper, clean up any edges with a damp cotton swab, and allow the paint to cure for 10 days.
Dress Up a Plain Mirror
To fashion this pretty piece, print out our template, sized to fit an 11¾"W ×16"H mirror ($19.99; kmart.com). Trim the template as directed and place the resulting hand-mirror shape atop contact paper. Outline; then cut out. Peel away the backing and center the shape, sticky side down, on the mirror. Spray the mirror's surface with a coat of no-prime acrylic paint — we used Montana Gold's Bazooka Joe ($6.83 for 13½ ounces; dickblick.com). Let dry for 30 minutes; then peel off contact paper.
Transform a plain window shade with a sweet stencil. Painting this birdcage motif is a snap, thanks to a goof-proof stencil ($26; 9"W x 14"H; designerstencils.com). Simply center the stencil on the front side of a bamboo shade — ours cost $21.50 at pearlriver.com — so that the top of the design lines up with the top of the shade; secure with painter’s tape. Following the stencil package directions, use a stencil brush ($1.99; joann.com) and acrylic paint to gently tamp the design onto the shade. Let dry for 30 minutes, then apply a second coat. Wait another 30 minutes before carefully removing the stencil. Allow the shade to dry for an hour before hanging.
This woodland pattern is the work of paint, but when applied to a whole wall, it looks like rustic wallpaper. The secret to creating it? This genius double-roller ($78.95; rollerwall.com). As you drag the tool down a wall, the patterned rubber roller picks up a thin, uniform layer of paint from the foam roller. Before you begin painting, we suggest practicing on scrap paper to get the hang of the technique. Also, know that it's hard to distribute the pattern all the way to the top and bottom edges of the wall. Our advice: Remove molding before painting, then reattach to hide the unpainted borders.
Make a Pretty Desk
Creating a custom desk is easy! All it takes is two filing cabinets, a melamine desktop, and a can of spray paint in your favorite color.
Freshen Up Cabinets
If you already like the arrangement and style of your kitchen cabinets, opt for the simplest of all budget updates: a fresh coat of paint.
Bright-Colored Pantry Door
One important bright-colored piece is often all that's needed to add originality to a kitchen. Painted red, this unique pantry door stands out against the white surfaces that surround it.
Add color and texture to a kitchen by choosing interesting flooring. Here, the most eye-catching element is the plank floor that was painted to create a checkerboard pattern.
Upholstery spray paint and a cute stencil lend a formerly plain pillow natural appeal.
Upholstery fabric paint, $12.99 per can; simplyspray.com for stores. Birch tree stencil, $10.50; stencil1.com. Ektorp lumbar pillow, $19.99; ikea.com for stores.
Redo Your Front Door
Give your house curb appeal with these fast fixes for your front door. A fresh coat of paint, and a few accessories, can change the entire look of your home!