32 Creative DIY Paint Projects to Try This Weekend
Add sparkle to the back of plain seating with spray paint. Cover any parts you don't want to paint with rags or painters tape, then spray paint with your favorite metallic shade while outdoors or in a well-ventilated area. Repeat the technique around the bottom of each chair leg for a fun dipped effect.
Crackle Painted Pillow
Give a plain pillow a cool crackled effect with this simple paint project. Start by spreading 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). Then use a foam brush to coat the area with black fabric paint, pushing it into cracks when necessary. 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.
Patterned Accent Wall
Create an accent wall with a 1-inch angle brush and a quart of paint. Decide on a pattern of dashes, dots, and zigzags ahead of time (you can find a pattern online or mock up your own). Loading very little paint on your brush each time, start painting the pattern at the top, and work your way across and down the wall. Embrace imperfections: spacing that's slightly off, lines that aren't exactly straight, and varying brushstrokes are all part of the charm.
Painted Wallpaper Look
Get a wallpaper look for less by hand-painting trendy, cheetah-inspired spots. Using 1-inch round crafts brushes, blot dots of black latex paint randomly on white walls. 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. Spin your brush ever-so-slightly as you dab paint.
DIY Painted Pots
To add a patina to your planters, use painters tape to mark an even line around the bottom of the pots. Apply metallic paint in one direction using a foam brush. Use at least two coats for porous surfaces like concrete, letting the paint dry completely between coats.
Painted Vase Project
Salvage a lackluster vase with paint and rubber cement. 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. Once dry, use a round sponge applicator to apply a thin layer of glass or ceramic paint over the vase exterior and let dry. Rub off the dots of rubber cement with your finger before baking the vase according to the paint manufacturer's directions.
Painted Cabinet Makeover
Use a simple stenciled motif to give cabinets a fresh face without replacing them. After painting the door in your desired background color, tape a star-shaped stencil ($14, Royal Design Studio) in place on the door. Use a tapping motion to paint the open areas of the stencil, then peel it off to reveal your design.
Cloth Napkin Paint Project
Design with corn syrup before painting to create a one-of-a-kind fabric pattern. Using a spoon, apply corn syrup in drips, smears, and swashes to a cloth napkin. Let dry at least 24 hours. (The thicker the shapes, the longer they’ll take to dry—possibly two or more days.) Thin fabric paint with water until it is the consistency of watercolor paint, then brush it over the napkin, covering all the corn syrup. Keep the fabric flat while the paint dries so the syrup-covered sections don’t stick together. Rinse the napkin under running water to dissolve all the corn syrup; let dry. Once the napkin is clean and dry, set the design by ironing the napkin following the fabric paint manufacturer’s directions.
Geometric Painted Chair
Print geometric shapes on adhesive vinyl sheets ($2, Michaels) to upgrade a chair with painted designs. Cut out the shapes and stick them to the chair where you want wood to show. Protect the rest of the chair from overspray with newspaper and painters tape. Spray-paint the design using light, even strokes. Let dry and remove the vinyl.
Color-Blocked Wall Painting Idea
For this wall painting idea, we used three hues of blue paint. Start by painting the wall the lightest shade of blue. Once dry, measure and tape off the lower portion of the wall (and door and trim if applicable) between 4 feet and 6 feet from the floor. Use painters tape for delicate surfaces ($8, The Home Depot) when applying tape to freshly painted walls. Paint the lower part in a medium shade of blue, removing the tape after the paint dries. 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. Allow adequate drying time between coats to prevent bleeding, peeling, and uneven edges.
Painted Front Door
Painted Chalkboard Calendar
To form a chalkboard-paint wall 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 painters 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 the paint is cured, add numbers to the squares with chalk markers.
DIY Painted Rug
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.
Wall Art Paint Ideas
Update thrift-store art with a fun color-blocked treatment. Instead of painting the print itself, cut pieces of poster board to fit over sections of the frame and paint in your desired color. Attach the poster board to the print using double-sided tape and put back in the frame. Tape off areas of the frame that align with the color block and paint with the same shade.
Painted Floor Covering
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.
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, like picture frame glass. Watch and see how it's done.
Painted Staircase Risers
Have a little fun with your staircase and paint the risers a rainbow of fun colors. This paint 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.
Distressed Paint Project
Painted Message Board
Paint the backside of a piece of glass and frame it to fashion a colorful message board. 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.
Botanical Art Paint Project
Make your own nature-inspired wall art with this 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.
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.
Watercolor Paint Idea
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.
Lamp Paint Project
Spruce up a lamp with spray paint. 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). 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.
DIY Splatter Paint 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.
DIY 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 ½-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 painters 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.
Pretty Painted Vases
Jazz up plain white glass vases with custom painted designs. Mix glass paint with a few drops of paint thinner ($9, The Home Depot). 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.
Paint Marker Project
Brighten a basic solid-color lamp base with delicate motifs. A white oil-paint marker ($4, Michaels) 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.
Faux Mercury Glass Paint Project
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 ($14, Michaels) 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.