31 Creative DIY Paint Projects to Try This Weekend

living room pattern prints
Photo: Jay Wilde

Paint provides a quick and affordable way to update your home. Use it to add pattern and color to furniture, throw pillows, decorative accessories, walls, and more. Try one of these DIY paint project ideas to personalize your home in just one weekend.

01 of 31

Spray-Painted Chair

bright dining wallpaper plants
Nicholas Gourguechon

Add sparkle to the back of plain seating with spray paint.

  1. Cover any parts you don't want to paint with rags or painters tape.
  2. Spray paint with your favorite metallic shade outdoors or in a well-ventilated area.
  3. Repeat the technique around the bottom of each chair leg for a fun dipped effect.
02 of 31

Crackle Painted Pillow

throw pillows pattern artwork
Steven McDonald

Give a plain pillow a cool crackled effect with this simple DIY paint project.

  1. Spread a paste of equal parts flour and water over the pillow cover. The paste will crack as it dries (you can create more cracks by crunching the fabric in your hands).
  2. Use a foam brush to coat the area with black fabric paint, pushing it into cracks when necessary.
  3. When dry, run the pillow under water and peel off the paste, then heat-set the painted pattern according to the paint manufacturer's directions.
03 of 31

Patterned Accent Wall

living room pattern prints
Jay Wilde

Create an accent wall with a 1-inch angle brush and a quart of paint.

  1. Using 1-inch round crafts brushes, blot dots of black latex paint randomly on white walls.
  2. Once dry, layer dabs of metallic gold paint over and next to the existing black spots. Remember, a random application is key for a more believable look.
  3. Spin your brush ever-so-slightly as you dab paint.
04 of 31

Painted Wallpaper Look

bathroom mirror gold pattern
Jay Wilde

Get a wallpaper look for less by hand-painting trendy, cheetah-inspired spots.

  1. Using 1-inch round crafts brushes, blot dots of black latex paint randomly on white walls.
  2. Once dry, layer dabs of metallic gold paint over and next to the existing black spots. A random application is key for a more believable look.
  3. Spin your brush ever-so-slightly as you dab paint.
05 of 31

DIY Painted Pots

plants table bird books
Nicholas Gourguechon

Add a patina to your planters.

  1. Use painters tape to mark an even line around the bottom of the pots.
  2. Apply metallic paint in one direction using a foam brush.
  3. Use at least two coats for porous surfaces like concrete, letting the paint dry completely between coats.
06 of 31

Painted Vase Project

vase mug décor table
Steven McDonald

Salvage a lackluster vase with paint and rubber cement.

  1. Using a small paintbrush dipped in the adhesive, dot on a pattern, making sure the beads are thick, so you can find them later under a layer of paint.
  2. Once dry, use a round sponge applicator to apply a thin layer of glass or ceramic paint over the vase exterior and let dry.
  3. Rub off the dots of rubber cement with your finger before baking the vase according to the paint manufacturer's directions.
07 of 31

Painted Cabinet Makeover

white and blue mosaic pattern cabinet door
Brie Passano

A simple stenciled DIY paint project gives cabinets a fresh face without replacing them. After painting the door in your desired background color, tape a star-shaped stencil on the door. Use a tapping motion to paint the open areas of the stencil, then peel it off to reveal your design.

08 of 31

Cloth Napkin Paint Project

dining blue gold plates silverware
Steven McDonald

Design with corn syrup before painting to create a one-of-a-kind fabric pattern.

  1. Using a spoon, apply corn syrup in drips, smears, and swashes to a cloth napkin.
  2. Let dry at least 24 hours. (The thicker the shapes, the longer they'll take to dry—possibly two or more days.)
  3. Thin fabric paint with water until it is the consistency of watercolor paint, then brush it over the napkin, covering all the corn syrup.
  4. Keep the fabric flat while the paint dries so the syrup-covered sections don't stick together.
  5. Rinse the napkin under running water to dissolve all the corn syrup; let dry.
  6. Once the napkin is clean and dry, set the design by ironing the napkin following the fabric paint manufacturer's directions.
09 of 31

Geometric Painted Chair

workspace office blue gold décor
Steven McDonald

Add geometric designs to a plain chair.

  1. Print geometric shapes on adhesive vinyl sheets to upgrade a chair with painted designs.
  2. Cut out the shapes and stick them to the chair where you want wood to show.
  3. Protect the rest of the chair from overspray with newspaper and painters tape.
  4. Spray-paint the design using light, even strokes. Let dry and remove the vinyl.
10 of 31

Color-Blocked Wall Painting Idea

blue door plant rug
Marty Baldwin

Add modern color-blocking with this DIY pain project on walls for extra style.

For this wall painting idea, we used three hues of blue paint.

  1. Paint the wall the lightest shade of blue.
  2. Once dry, measure and tape the lower portion of the wall (plus door and trim if applicable) between 4 and 6 feet from the floor. (Use painter's tape for delicate surfaces when applying to freshly painted walls.)
  3. Paint the lower part in a medium shade of blue, removing the tape after the paint dries.
  4. To create the vertical stripe, tape off a 15-inch-wide section from floor to ceiling and paint this stripe the darkest shade. (Clean lines are key to achieving a high-contrast monochrome look.)
  5. Allow adequate drying time between coats to prevent bleeding, peeling, and uneven edges.
11 of 31

Painted Front Door

yellow front door large potted plants
Stacy Zarin Goldberg Photography LLC

Easy paint projects aren't just for your home's interior. Painting the front door is a simple, done-in-a-weekend project that delivers quick curb appeal. Choose a favorite shade that coordinates with other exterior elements and the surrounding landscape.

12 of 31

Painted Chalkboard Calendar

blue ombre chalkboard calendar
Cameron Sadeghpour

Create a chalkboard-paint wall calendar.

  1. 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.)
  2. Start by taping off every third square with 1-inch painters tape made for delicate surfaces.
  3. Apply three coats of chalkboard paint to each taped-off square with a 4-inch roller, allowing paint to dry between coats.
  4. When the final coat is dry, carefully remove the tape.
  5. Repeat with remaining squares until finished.
  6. Add numbers to the squares with chalk markers when the paint is cured.
13 of 31

DIY Painted Rug

modern patio with blue bench and pillows
Cameron Sadeghpour

Give an inexpensive sisal rug a fun update with paint. Use green painters tape and a straightedge or yardstick to create clean outlines. A chevron or striped pattern makes an easy and eye-catching choice. When you're happy with your design, use a paintbrush or foam roller to apply chalk-finish paint.

14 of 31

Wall Art Paint Ideas

color coded antique wall art
Adam Albright

Update thrift-store art with a fun color-blocked treatment.

  1. Instead of painting the print itself, cut pieces of poster board to fit over sections of the frame and paint in your desired color.
  2. Attach the poster board to the print using double-sided tape and put back in the frame.
  3. Tape off areas of the frame that align with the color block and paint with the same shade.
15 of 31

Painted Floor Covering

vinyl floor southwest stencil
Blaine Moats

Turn a piece of plain vinyl flooring into a stylish rug for your kitchen with a simple stenciled makeover. We used a southwestern-inspired motif, but any stencil would work. Bright cerulean, aqua, and gray paint make the pattern pop.

16 of 31

Mercury Glass Paint Project

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, such as picture frame glass. Watch and see how this paint project is done.

17 of 31

Painted Staircase Risers

colorful stairs
Jay Wilde

Have a little fun with a DIY paint project on your staircase, and paint the risers a rainbow of fun colors. This project is a great use of leftover paint or sample pots. After masking off each tread with painters tape, use a small roller or 2-inch brush to paint each stair riser. Remove the tape before the paint has dried.

18 of 31

Distressed Paint Project

blue distressed coffee table
Greg Scheidemann

Give a piece of wood furniture a distressed finish for an antique look. This simple technique uses paint, sandpaper, and a few basic supplies. Use this paint project idea to update flea-market finds with fresh style.

19 of 31

Painted Message Board

green dry erase board
Greg Scheidemann

Paint the backside of a piece of glass and frame it to fashion a colorful message board. Messages written in dry-erase marker are easily wiped away. We framed our glass to give it a polished look, building in a ledge for holding markers.

20 of 31

Botanical Art Paint Project

floral stencil wall art
Greg Scheidemann

Make your own nature-inspired wall art with this DIY paint project idea. This reverse stenciling technique is achieved by laying silk flowers and greenery on paper and spray painting over them. It works best with flowers or greenery with bold forms, such as tulips or monstera leaves.

21 of 31

Stenciled Table

coffee table stencil table runner
Cameron Sadeghpour

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.

22 of 31

Watercolor Paint Idea

watercolor-altered photo in thin wooden frame with white matte
Steven McDonald

Customize a favorite photo with watercolor.

  1. 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.)
  2. Tint your favorite details from the image with watercolor paints (light colors work best) using a soft watercolor brush.
  3. Leave the remainder of the photo black and white, and allow it to dry at least three hours.
  4. If the first wash of color isn't bright enough, apply a second coat.
  5. Let dry completely before framing.
23 of 31

Lamp Paint Project

gold polka dot lamp
Steven McDonald

Spruce up a lamp with spray paint.

  1. Tape around the cord and top of the lamp base (including the lightbulb socket) with painters tape, then spray all-purpose primer and paint on the un-taped portion (we used aqua color paint).
  2. When dry, spray clear sealer over the paint, let dry, and remove tape.
  3. Tape off the portion you painted and the lightbulb socket, and spray the top with gold metallic paint.
  4. For the shade, punch circles from cardstock to make a stencil.
  5. Press the cardstock stencil against the shade, spray with gold glitter paint, and let dry.
  6. Spray with clear sealer to prevent flaking.
24 of 31

DIY Splatter Paint Art

blue yellow splatter art
Wendy E. Johnson

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.

25 of 31

DIY Striped Pillow

white chair red pink painted pillow
Steven McDonald

This pillow's painted cover is sewn from a flour sack towel.

  1. Choose a pillow form, then fold and trim your towel to size. The cut towel should wrap around the pillow entirely with an additional 1 inch on three sides for seam allowances.
  2. With right sides facing, sew the side seams together using a ½-inch seam allowance.
  3. Sew the remaining side, leaving a 4-inch opening in the middle.
  4. Turn the pillow cover right side out, lay flat, and insert a piece of cardboard to prevent paint from bleeding.
  5. Use painters tape to make stripes on one side.
  6. Spray fabric paint over the untaped areas as desired and according to manufacturer's directions.
  7. Let dry and remove tape.
  8. Add stripes as desired in a second color.
  9. Let dry and insert your pillow form. Whipstitch the opening closed.
26 of 31

Pretty Painted Vases

painted vases
Steven McDonald

Jazz up plain white glass vases with custom-painted designs.

  1. Mix glass paint with a few drops of paint thinner.
  2. If desired, adjust the amount of paint thinner to achieve varying viscosities and results, such as drips and runs.
  3. Paint freehand designs on each vase using an acrylic brush.

27of 32

27 of 31

Paint Marker Project

green vase white painted design
Steven McDonald

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

28 of 31

Faux Mercury Glass Paint Project

diy mercury glass vase
Steven McDonald

Dress up your table with a faux mercury glass vase.

  1. Spray inside a glass vase with water; some of the water will bead, and some will run down inside the vase.
  2. Spray the inside of the vase with a coat of glass spray paint while the interior is still wet.
  3. Let dry, then spray on another coat of paint.

The finished texture is a "mirror" image of mercury glass.

29 of 31

Painted Kitchen Floor Idea

painted kitchen floor
Adam Albright

Put pattern underfoot by stenciling your floor. This simple pattern adds a tiled look to kitchen flooring without the cost of tearing up and replacing the floor. It can also work well on walls or other surfaces.

30 of 31

Painted Mirrors

painted pink picture frames
John Bessler

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 creates an even more striking display. Simply mask off the mirrors, and paint the frames a hue that matches your decor.

31 of 31

Antique Painted Dresser

distressed wood dresser mirror
Adam Albright

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 this paint project.

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