Don't settle for plain old storage baskets and boxes -- give 'em a little pizazz with spray paint. Apply wide painters tape to mask off areas on all sides of the container, then, using an all-purpose primer and paint, spray the uncovered areas with a sweeping motion, beginning and ending each spray off the side of the box. Let dry before removing the tape. Use different colors of paint to assign baskets to family members -- it works even for kids who can't read yet.
Trick to Know: Put spray paint to work on highly textured surfaces -- it's the best medium for hard-to-reach areas.
Give a plain chairback a dose of pattern by spray-painting over a stencil. To hold the stencil in place, spray the back of the plastic stencil with spray adhesive, then press the stencil onto the chair back. Tape around the edge of the chairback, and protect the seat, legs, and sides of the chair with plastic. Spray-paint the stencil openings and around the stencil edges. Apply two coats, allowing the paint to dry after each coat. Peel off the stencil and wipe away any residue left on the chair. Finish with a coat or two of clear gloss lacquer.
Trick to Know: Use smooth, sweeping motions when spraying. Holding the can in one spot for too long can cause drips.
Watch and learn how to wield a spray paint can like an expert DIY-er.
Brighten a ho-hum lamp with metallic accents. Tape around the cord and top of the lamp base with painters tape, then spray all-purpose primer and paint below the tape (we used aqua color paint). When dry, spray clear sealer over the paint, let dry and remove tape. Tape off the painted portion, and spray the top with gold metallic paint. For the shade, punch circles from cardstock to make a stencil. Press the stencil against the shade, spray with gold glitter, and let dry. Spray with clear sealer to prevent flaking.
Freestyle loops pop when spray-painted on a purchased white curtain. Starting with a freshly pressed curtain, tape a strip across the bottom hem and hang the curtain vertically with a protective piece of plastic behind it (a tall outdoor fence works great to hold up the curtain). Make sure everything hangs smoothly. Using spray paint recommended for fabric (such as Krylon ColorMaster Enamel), hold the can vertically to evenly spray the border below the tape. Remove the tape, then spray loops across the fabric. If the idea of spraying freestyle loops makes you nervous, draw the pattern using a water- or air-soluble marking pen, then spray.
Make over a canister set from the thrift store with splashes of color on the lids and stand, and chalkboard paint labels on the glass sides. Trace a label template onto the paper side of contact paper, then cut out the shape and around the label. Press the stencil onto the jar and cover areas that might get overspray. Lightly spray the stencil with chalkboard paint; let dry (a). Apply three coats, allowing the paint to dry between coats.
Trick to Know: Paint small objects inside an open-top cardboard box. For bigger items, make a spray paint booth using large pieces of cardboard.
Perk up your cleaning routine with a lively striped broom. Wrap bands of 1½-inch wide painters tape around the wood handle, butting each band up to the next along the handle length. Remove desired tape strips; spray-paint the first color in exposed areas. When dry, cover painted areas with new bands of tape and remove bands for second color. Continue process until entire handle has been painted. Spray-paint a coordinating dustpan too, for a complete sweeping set.
Trick to Know: Stand back when painting. Apply multiple thin and even coats, allowing the recommended drying time between each, instead of one thick coat.
Mimic the look of resist dyeing using glue and spray paint. Remove the form from a purchased white pillow, then draw a design on the cover front with washable glue; let dry overnight. Spray-paint over the glue lines, using a different color for each section of the design but allowing overlap; let dry. (Use paints recommended for fabric, such as Krylon ColorMaster Enamel.) Soak the cover in hot water for an hour. Rub the glue lines with a rough textured cloth until glue is gone. Turn the cover inside out; wash on gentle cycle and line dry.