DIY Paint Projects for Your Home

Have the itch to paint? Get inspired and try one of these paint project ideas to personalize your home and update your decor.

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Everything In This Slideshow

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    Floor Covering

    Turn a piece of plain vinyl flooring into a stylish rug for your kitchen with a simple stenciled makeover. Embrace southwestern style with our free pattern, or use your own stencil. 


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    Dip-Dyed Chair Legs

    Update basic chairs in no time with this easy "dip-dye" painting project. The secret to success? It's in the taping off. Watch and get the full how-to.

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    Puffy Paint Pillow

    Fake an embroidered look with puffy paint. To make a painted pillow like this one, trace a favorite shape on contact paper. Cut it out, and press the paper to a solid-color pillow. With a light touch, apply puffy paint dots around the outside of the design. Allow the paint to dry for three hours, and then remove the contact paper. The puffy paint dots will look like embroidered French knots.

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    Mercury Glass Magic

    Create the look of mercury glass with specialty spray paint and a few basic tools. You can create the effect on almost any clear glass surface, like picture frame glass. Watch and see how it's done.

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    Perfect Patina

    Give a piece of wood furniture a distressed finish. This simple technique uses paint, sandpaper, and a few basic supplies.

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    Back Painting

    Try this back painting technique to jazz up a plain glass lamp.

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    Painted Message Board

    What's another vehicle for back painting? This creative message board. Paint the backside of a piece of glass, frame it, and you have a fun message board -- simple as that. Messages written in dry-erase marker easily wipe away. We framed our glass to give it a polished look, building in a ledge for holding markers.

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    Painted Pillow

    Give a plain pillow a lift with painted on stripes. Watch and see how it's done!

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    Modern Botanicals

    Combine a silhouette and a bontanical print with this clever reverse stenciling project, which is achieved by laying silk flowers and greenery on paper and spray painting over them. 

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    Lamp Makeover

    Transform an ugly duckling lamp into a swoon-worthy swan with the help of spray paint. Watch and see how it's done. 

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    Stenciled Table

    Dress up a wood table with a stenciled-on table runner. A simple geometric design is easy to stencil and gives a fresh look. Slightly water down your paint to let the wood grain show through.

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    Cabinet Makeover

    You don't need to rip out your existing cabinets to get a new look. See how a simple stenciled motif can give cabinet doors (and your kitchen) a fresh face.

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    Watercolor Magic

    Customize a favorite photo with watercolor. Convert a digital photo to black and white, then print it on lightweight watercolor paper or cardstock. Avoid ink-jet printers; use a laser printer, or enlist your local copy shop for help. Tint your favorite details from the image with watercolor paints (light colors work best) using a soft watercolor brush. Leave the remainder of the photo black and white, and allow it to dry at least three hours. If the first wash of color isn't bright enough, apply a second coat. Let dry completely before framing.

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    Chalkboard Calendar

    Use a tape measure, ruler, level, and chalk markers to mark off a grid on your wall. (This calendar is 32x45 inches with a half-inch space between each 6-inch square.) Start by taping off every third square with 1-inch painter's tape made for delicate surfaces. Apply three coats of chalkboard paint to each taped-off square with a 4-inch roller, allowing paint to dry between coats. When the final coat is dry, carefully remove the tape. Repeat with remaining squares until finished. When paint is cured, add numbers to the squares with chalk markers.

    Tip: To make sure chalk will write clearly and come off easily, use at least three coats of chalkboard paint.

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    Painted Staircase Risers

    Have a little fun with your staircase and paint the risers a rainbow of fun colors

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    Splatter Art

    Bring a Jackson Pollock-inspired piece to your home at a DIY price tag. Place a large stretched canvas on a drop cloth. Drip, drizzle, and splatter paint until you have a design you love. Experiment with old paintbrushes, toothbrushes, and splatter tools to create different effects.

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    Dipped Pots

    Dip into the dipping trend with this easy technique. Watch and learn how it's done.

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    Lamp Upgrade

    Spruce up a lamp with spray paint. Tape around the cord and top of the lamp base (including the lightbulb socket) with painter's tape, then spray all-purpose primer and paint on the un-taped portion (we used aqua color paint). When dry, spray clear sealer over the paint, let dry, and remove tape. Tape off the portion you painted and the lightbulb socket, and spray the top with gold metallic paint. For the shade, punch circles from cardstock to make a stencil. Press the cardstock stencil against the shade, spray with gold glitter paint, and let dry. Spray with clear sealer to prevent flaking.

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    Painted Rug

    Put a little spring underfoot by giving an inexpensive sisal rug a fun update with paint. Use green painter's tape and a straightedge or yardstick to create clean outlines. We chose an improvised chevron pattern. When you're happy with your design, use a paintbrush or foam roller to apply interior latex paint, one color at a time. 

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    Zigzag Chevron

    Tap into the chevron trend and apply the pattern to your walls or another surface. Creating a precise chevron pattern requires a bit of math. Click the link below to learn how to measure and map out a chevron design.

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    Striped Pillow

    This pillow's painted cover is sewn from a flour sack towel. Choose a pillow form, then fold and trim your towel to size. The cut towel should wrap around the pillow completely with an additional 1 inch on three sides for seam allowances. With right sides facing, sew the side seams together using a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Sew the remaining side, leaving a 4-inch opening in the middle. Turn the pillow cover right side out, lay flat, and insert a piece of cardboard to prevent paint from bleeding. Use painter's tape to make stripes on one side. Spray fabric paint over the untaped areas as desired and according to manufacturer's directions. Let dry and remove tape. Add stripes as desired in a second color. Let dry and insert your pillow form. Whipstitch the opening closed.

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    Frame Up

    Thrift stores are filled with plenty that's past its prime. While the art may be passe, the frames are diamonds in the rough. For this gallery wall, collect a wide variety of frames in all shapes and sizes and pop out the art. Give the frames a few coats of spray paint and arrange on your wall, gallery style.

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    Painted Upholstery

    Did you know you can paint upholstery? You can, and this video shows you how. It's a simple way to refresh old upholstery, without the work of a complete reupholstering job. 

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    Faux Bois Headboard

    Skip an actual headboard and go for one painted on the wall. A fun pattern, like this faux bois design, will have the same focal point affect as a regular headboard.

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    Pretty Vases

    Jazz up plain white glass vases with customized painted designs. Mix glass paint with a few drops of paint thinner. If desired, adjust the amount of paint thinner to achieve varying viscosities and results, such as drips and runs. Paint freehand designs on each vase using an acrylic brush.

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    Faux Mercury Glass

    Dress up your table with a faux mercury glass vase. Spray the inside of a glass vase with water -- some of the water will bead, and some will run down inside the vase. Spray the inside of the vase with a coat of Krylon Looking Glass spray paint while the interior is still wet. Let dry, then spray on another coat of paint. The finished texture is a "mirror" image of mercury glass.

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    Tone-on-Tone Stenciling

    Stenciling brings pattern to walls and an interesting break from solid hues. Download this free stencil pattern, and go to the next slide see how to stencil a wall.

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    Stencil a Wall

    Give a plain wall a boost with a stenciled pattern. Watch and see how it's done!

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    Lighter Than Lace

    Brighten a basic solid-color lamp base with delicate motifs. A white oil-paint marker is the perfect tool to put your sketches in the spotlight. Draw simple spirals and interlocking paisley or flower patterns for an intricate look. Start at the top and work your way down for the best results.

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    Kitchen Floor Stencil

    Put pattern underfoot by stenciling your floor. Click the link below to see how to stencil a floor, and get the free pattern used in this project.

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    Color Washing

    Give furniture a subtle lift with color washing, a technique using watered-down paint to apply color in a whisper-soft finish.

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    Three-Way Mirrors

    A few coats of paint can transform an old mirror frame, and the fresh effect is amplified when the look is multiplied. While one mirror would have been impactful, a trio of mirrors ups the wow factor. Simply mask off the mirrors, and paint the frames a hue that matches your decor.

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    Boost Curb Appeal

    Easy paint projects aren't just for your home's interior. Brush a little color on your home's exterior for quick curb appeal. Try painting the front door -- a simple, done-in-a-weekend project -- a favorite shade that coordinates with other exterior elements and the surrounding landscape.

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    Metal Caddy

    Organize in style with a painted metal caddy. To get this look, choose three colors: one for the base; one for the honeycomb pattern; and one to paint a few sections at random as whimsical accents. Complete this project with our free stencil pattern and step-by-step instructions.

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    Personalize Your Bedroom

    Dress up a wooden headboard with paint and a stencil. First, paint the headboard with your desired base color. Once dry, position a stencil on the headboard, and tape in place. Fill in the pattern with a contrasting paint color.

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    Aged to Perfection

    Bring signature style to a basic white dresser with a few coats of dry-brushed paint and a set of antique handles. Milk paint gives this dresser a rich-looking finish, and narrow trim on the drawers gives the once-flat structure dimension. Antiquing glaze rubbed over the entire surface completes the transformation.

  • Next Slideshow Colorful Backyard Makeover

    Colorful Backyard Makeover

    These San Diego homeowners and landscaping novices transformed their backyard into a lush getaway with do-it-yourself projects and salvaged materials.
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