13 Creative Paint Projects

Cricket Screen Print
Sporting bright hues, this once-blah bedroom is singing a fresh new tune. See how these simple, budget-friendly painting ideas transform nearly every surface in sight.

What We Did

Our challenge: Boost this bedroom on a barely-there budget. What to do? Paint to the rescue! By the tube, can, quart, and gallon, we brushed, sprayed, and stenciled our way to a colorful, sunny view. With large-scale zinnias underfoot and thrifty butterfly artwork, we set a springtime theme.

DIY Faux Bois

A trendy faux bois headboard was anything but spendy -- it's painted right on the wall. Its wood-grain appeal gives a nod to nature. Try your hand at these techniques and you'll be painting your way to a new look in no time.

A Punchy Palette

Drenched in playful hues, this room looks as fresh as a spring day. Sunny yellow is a delightful canvas for sky blue and grassy green accents. Bright Pink ups the ooh-la-la factor, while crisp white keeps the room from becoming Candyland. Here, we gave an old dresser a bright makeover with the help of a sassy pink (BHG 315, Better Homes and Gardens through Dutch Boy).

Stencil for a Unique Accessory

To give the dresser a personalized touch, we created a honeycomb-like stencil.

To get the look: Purchase a stencil or cut your own from plastic. Clean and dry the surface to be stenciled; add a base coat, if desired. Then position the stencil and use stencil adhesive to adhere it to the surface. Use a stencil brush to apply paint over the stencil. Apply a very small amount of paint and, if working with a stencil brush, use a dabbing motion while holding the brush vertically. If your stencil requires a repeat, use the registration marks on the stencil to line up the next position. Let dry. Spray with a clear finishing sealer, if desired.

Personalized Lampshade

We transformed this thrift store shade into a unique masterpiece with a few simple steps -- and just a few bucks!

Click to the next slide to get the how-to instructions.

How to Paint a Lampshade

First, spray the entire shade with a latex spray paint. Then use painter's tape to mask off a straight line for the stem and use a darker shade of green to fill it in.

Adding the Leaves

You can create two leaf stamps using foam and Plexiglas blocks. Stamp the two different-toned leafs onto the shade, completing the personalized look.

Eye-Catching Wall Art

To add a whimsical butterfly pattern onto these once-white plates, use butterfly cutouts (download below) and a masking technique. When masking with intricate shapes, trace or print designs on sticky-back label paper, then cut out.

Customized Pillow

Don't shell out a fortune on a designer pillow when you can create your own with less than a yard of fabric and a little paint!

Click to the next slide to get the how-to instructions.

How to Paint a Pillow

Cut fabric into two 14x24-inch pieces. Print or photocopy desired letters. Using the end of a paintbrush as a stylus, trace letters onto one piece of fabric using dressmaker's carbon transfer paper.

Start Painting

Paint gesso inside the transferred lines; let dry. Paint fabric paint over gesso; let dry. Machine-stitch around letters. Cut piping to fit around the perimeter of the pillow and cover with fabric cut on the bias. Place fabric pieces right sides together, sandwiching piping between. Sew together, leaving an opening. Turn, insert pillow form, and hand-stitch opening closed.

More About What We Did

As with the bedside dresser, we rescued this highboy dresser and misfit mirror from a thrift store and revamped them with a coat of Sweet Rhapsody by Behr. We matched the dresser to the headboard hue -- and even gave the dresser top the same faux bois treatment. To get the look, we sanded and primed each piece, then applied two fresh coats of paint. The wicker chair was our gain from a friendly furniture swap; we covered it in several coats of Paradise Green by Pratt and Lambert. The bed's pillow shams inspired the chair color. New glass knobs and drawer pulls are the finishing touches.

Masking on Fabric

To give this standard pink pillow a new look, we used the same zinnia stencil as we used on the floor but on a much smaller scale. Then we used a masking technique to create the collection of lines.

Simple Touches

Use a stencil and Krylon glass frosting spray paint to achieve the vintage etched style treatment on the mirror.

Personalize Vase

With a custom-made stamp, this once-ordinary vase gets embellished with a pretty pink cricket to tie in with the room's spring theme.

Try Faux Bois

Punch up any surface with a faux bois finish.

To get this look: Purchase a wood-graining tool from a crafts store. Mask off the area with painter's tape, if needed, and paint a base coat; let dry. Mix 4 parts glaze mix with 1 part paint color. Apply the glaze mix using the wood-graining tool and following the manufacturer's instructions, rocking the tool back and forth as you pull it across a surface. Repeat until the entire area is completed. Remove masking and let dry. Spray with a clear finishing sealer, if desired.

How to Screen Print

This custom piece of artwork is a one-of-a-kind screen print, which is an easy way to make your own art.

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