How To Update Your Décor with Paint, for Just Pennies!
by Kathleen Wilson
Description: Tips for updating your home decor with paint.
One of the fastest, cheapest, and most effective ways
to update your décor is to paint. Nowadays, however,
there are many paint techniques available to the do it
yourselfer, and as many products expensive pitched to
you that are usually unnecessary! Here are some great
tips to update nearly any surface, on a budget.
First things first. Preparation. Nasty word, I know,
but it makes all the difference! Except for unfinished
surfaces, you first want to clean the surface. I prefer
TSP, which is a substance you can find in any hardware
store or paint section. Follow directions. Let dry
thoroughly, then lightly sand. I recommend priming most
surfaces, except walls. ( Hint: You can paint laminate
surfaces, even countertops and floors! The trick is to
use a primer made for non porous surfaces such as BIN
or KILZ. Let dry thoroughly between coats, then
remember to topcoat with polyurethane…I like 4-6 coats
of water based polyurethane for high use areas.) For
wall painting, use painters tape to mask off ceiling,
trim, and windows.
Now that you are all primed and ready, here are three
of my favorite easy, inexpensive paint treatments.
These can be used on walls or furniture, and several
techniques can be combined to create a very custom look!
Colorwashing is a lot of fun. It is a wonderful finish
that creates a lot of depth and texture, and is a quite
popular paint finish in luxury homes. It is simply a
method where you add water to a paint or paint base,
then rub over the walls with a damp rag, similiar in
technique to washing the wall. That simple! I have
mixed my own paints for this, but it can be difficult
to get the colors and ratios right. If you want to try
a product made specifically for colorwashing, give
a try. I've used their products, and they go a long
way with beautiful colors. If you want to try to mix
your own, start out with a 75% paint, 25% water mix,
then try it on a practice board. You can increase the
water up to 50/50 if you like the effect.
Sponging is perhaps the easiest faux technique to
master. It takes very little paint, just a touch of
practice, and looks great in nearly any style home! I
prefer to sponge one color over another base coat for a
more subtle look, but you can sponge over white if you
prefer. You don't have to use those expensive sea
sponges, either. Just rip and tear an ordinary kitchen
sponge to create an irregular surface. Dip into paint,
dab off so that it is almost dry, and pat onto the
wall. Vary the direction of the sponge as you go to
create a more natural look. You may wish to practice a
little on cardboard first to test your technique.
Stamp or Stencil
Stamps or stencils can be used to accent, border, or
provide an overall design similar to wallpaper. They
are very inexpensive, or simple ones can be made at
home with lightweight cardboard (cereal boxes work
great) and a craft knife. Stamps can be made the old
fashioned way, with a potato! To stencil, simply tape
the stencil in place, then pounce the paint over the
stencil with a nearly dry brush, rag, or sponge. To
stamp, brush a small amount of paint onto the stamp,
dab off , then stamp onto the wall. There is a great
ebook on stamping available with the “Awaken Your
Interior Designer”, and it’s free with purchase of the
ebook series! Click here to check out this highly recommended
Alright then, let’s get to work! Paint can transform a
room in an afternoon like no other decorating tool.
Don’t be afraid to take the brush to cabinets, tables,
even the entertainment center. You could even stamp
paint onto pillows and slipcovers! Use your
imaginations, stick to your color scheme and theme, and
watch your rooms bloom before your eyes!
Kathleen Wilson is an author, national columnist, and
editor of The Budget Decorator ezine. More free ideas,
inspiration, and a free subscription to her newsletter
can be found at http://www.TheBudgetDecorator.com.
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