Whether there’s only an inch left or your paint can overfloweth, these household painting projects will get your creative juices flowing

Budget Decorator: 25 Fab Projects With 1 Paint Can.

When it comes to getting the most bang for your decorating buck, there is no question that paint reigns supreme. But if you really want to make the most of your purchase, try stretching that can of paint by using it in a number of smaller projects. Whether you are starting with a full can or are wondering what to do with the last few drops, there is sure to be something here to inspire your next project. These 25 creative painting ideas include something for every room in the house.

How to Paint Windows

Here are a few simple tips to simplify the job of painting your windows.

1. You will need a small brush for this project. Depending on the size of the molding, a 1 ½ inch to 2 ½ inch angled brush will allow you to “cut in” on the edges and hard-to-reach parts of the window frame.

2. Remove the hardware you don’t want painted, saving it in a small plastic bag or container so they don’t get lost.

3. Work from the top of the window down and start by painting the movable portion of the window.

4. Paint the sash and the trim first, leaving the windowsill last to avoid touching wet paint.

5. Paint slowly and carefully. Avoid getting paint in the sliding tracks and inadvertently “gluing” your window shut with paint.


For best results, ALWAYS READ THE PAINT CAN LABEL. Professionals read the paint can labels to get the paint manufacturers’ most up-to-date information and instructions on the use of each specific paint. Every paint is different, and the labels provide important information, such as the average coverage area per gallon, drying times, number of coats needed, and surface preparation requirements. The labels also give specific safety information that should be carefully adhered to.


If you have windows that move up and down:

1. Raise the lower sash up and lower the upper sash down and paint the lower half of the upper sash.

2. Raise the upper sash back up and lower the lower sash and paint the upper half of the upper sash.

3. Raise the lower sash a bit and paint the lower sash.

4. Paint the trim and the windowsill once the painted sashes are dry.

When you have finished painting and the paint is dry, use a window paint scraper to remove any paint that has gotten on the glass.

Tips for Painting Walls

Painting a wall can transform any room. The secret of a professional quality paint job is to paint one wall at a time. You may need several sizes of brushes, including the following:
A smaller brush to paint near the ceiling and baseboard line
A Benjamin Moore 2 ½ inch angle sash brush for painting corners and cutting in around window and doors
A 9-inch roller to paint the rest of the room
For the average home you would need a sturdy stepladder


For best results, ALWAYS READ THE PAINT CAN LABEL. Professionals read the paint can labels to get the paint manufacturers’ most up-to-date information and instructions on the use of each specific paint. Every paint is different, and the labels provide important information, such as the average coverage area per gallon, drying times, number of coats needed, and surface preparation requirements. The labels also give specific safety information that should be carefully adhered to.


To obtain a great finish, follow these simple steps:

1. Start by carefully painting up against the ceiling line where the wall and ceiling meet with a smaller brush. Make sure to avoid painting the ceiling line itself. Start by slowly painting or “cutting in” the edge 3 to 5 inches down the ceiling line to achieve a better quality finish.

2. Paint out from the corners about 3 inches on each side.

3. Cut in around windows, doors, and the baseboard.

4. If you use a conventional coating, you’ll have to cut in a small area at a time and then roll into the wet, cut-in area, repeating the process down the wall.

5. A technique that will help produce an even finish on your wall is to paint the shape of a “W” on the wall with the roller (approximately 3 or 4 feet in area), then using a light, up-and-down movement fill in that area with paint before adding more paint to your roller. This will help avoid a “dimpling” or “orange peel” effect. The use of an extension pole will allow you to paint from ceiling to floor in a single roll.

6. Keep your roller loaded with paint and after you reload the roller with paint start from an unpainted area and work into the wet area.

7. Paint from the top of the wall down using the “W” technique until you finish the first wall. Then repeat this method on all the walls in your room.

8. Wait until the paint is completely dry before you add the second coat. Check the paint can for any recommended drying times.

Painting Wood

Have you ever noticed when you get a manicure that they always buff your nails before applying the nail polish? The same is true when you paint wood. You want to rough up the surface area so that the paint has a better opportunity to stick. Do this with fine-grit sandpaper. (See below.)

SANDPAPER CHART

GRITS
MEANING
USED FOR

35-60
Coarse
Very heavy sanding, stripping, and roughing up the surface

80-120
Medium
Medium smoothing of the surface. Roughs up the surface so that paint can adhere. Removes smaller imperfections in surface.

150-180
Fine
Very light sanding and smoothing. Used for final sanding before buffing and/or finishing.

220-240
Very fine
Extremely light sanding and smoothing. Used for sanding between coats of stain or sealer. Gives a light buffing.

280-320
Extra fine
Even lighter sanding and smoothing. Used to remove tiny imperfections or dust spots before the finished coats of stain or sealer.

360-600
Super fine
Fine sanding and smoothing. More like buffing for a shiny finish (like you would use on your nails). This can be used to remove miniscule surface imperfections and tiny scratches.

How to prepare a wood surface for painting:

1. Apply wood filler to any area needing repair. Let it dry according to the manufacturer’s label. You can also test an area by running your finger across it. If nothing sticks to your finger, it’s dry.

2. Once the wood filler has dried, sand the area with fine sandpaper (150 grit) until smooth or until it matches the surface of the wood.

3. Wipe the area clean with a damp cloth.

4. Apply paint. If you have wood that you would like to repaint, you may want to simply paint over the existing paint, which is good for a variety of projects. This simply requires cleaning the wood with soap and water before getting started, but don’t forget to lightly sand.
For more detailed projects, it is best to strip the wood and start fresh to avoid a thick, unattractive buildup. There are two main ways of doing this: heat stripping and chemical stripping.

TIP: Make sure that you always use primer before painting any surface. Because different surfaces (wall, wood, etc.) are all different, they soak up paint differently and, if not done properly, will leave you with an unfinished look, if you are varnishing wood, use a wood sealer to do the same job as primer.

Painting over Wallpaper

You don’t necessarily have to remove your old wallpaper to paint your walls a different color.

Removing wallpaper-especially if it’s been on the walls for years-can cause unexpected damage to your walls. But if it’s in good condition and has no signs of adhesion failure, there’s no reason to invest a lot of time and effort in removing it before painting your walls.

Also, by leaving the wallpaper in place, your walls will stay in their current condition, and you’ll be able to start painting without delay.

Prep before Painting

It’s vital to prepare your walls carefully before painting. Follow these simple steps to ensure the best results:

• Start by replacing any damaged sections and adding adhesive to loose pieces to minimize the chance the paper will fall.
• Add a thin line of clear caulk around the perimeter of the walls, at the joint seam where the paper meets the floor and ceiling. This will help seal the edges and keep the paper from peeling after you’ve painted.
• Cover heavily textured paper with a thin coat of joint compound (spackle). This material will help smooth out the surface so that the texture won’t show through the paint.
• Gently sand down the seams of the wallpaper so they’re not too noticeable.
• Apply a coat of oil-based primer to the entire surface of the walls before painting. This helps seal the adhesive within the paper and away from the moisture in the paint.
• The wallpaper is now ready for painting. Because the moisture in latex paint can sometimes loosen wallpaper glue, causing bubbles or peeling, you should use oil-based paint.
Finally, it’s time to enjoy your freshly painted room.

Painting Interiors

PREPARING INTERIORS

The key to a successful, good-looking paint job is preparation. As with anything in life, when you are more prepared, you tend to be more efficient and to look better! Painting is no exception. Preparation usually takes longer than the actual painting and is thus tempting to skip, but trust me. The time you take to properly prepare at the beginning of the job will save you lots of headaches and money in the long run.
If your interior walls have been well maintained, and you are simply going to freshen them up or change the color, then prep time can be kept to a minimum, and may even be as simple as washing the walls.
If the walls are in bad shape, however, be prepared for some serious effort. I once spent two weeks preparing a single bathroom in an old rental apartment; not only were there layers and layers of cheap paint from years of quick-fix property-manager jobs, but the paint was covering wall paper from the 1950s. By the time I got to the paper, I felt like I was on an archaeological dig! Apart from the walls, the studio apartment had old ornate plaster ceilings—beautiful, but a nightmare to scrape backs all the flaky, hanging paint.

How to prepare interiors:

1. Remove all furniture and rugs, or move these items to the middle of the room and cover them with a sheet.

2. Remove all pictures, shelves, hooks, curtain rods, brackets, and any other moveable items from the walls. Be sure to keep all screws, nails, etc., with the item so they do not get lost.

3. Remove cover plates from electrical outlets and switches. Be sure to keep all screws with their plates.

4. Protect any other item in room with either a drop cloth or tape. You can use the blue painter’s tape for base boards, corners, windowsills, or any area that you would like to mask off.

5. Fix the walls by repairing any small holes. Fill these with joint compound or putty with a small putty knife. Once it’s dry, sand it until smooth with 100-grit sand paper. Seal these spots with primer.

6. Wash down all walls with a sponge or wet rag.

TIP: Tape screws to the objects you remove so that the hardware stays with the objects.


PRIMING INDOOR SURFACES

You should prime most surfaces that you intend to paint. If you are covering an old paint job, and the color is not too dark, you can get away with not priming. Priming is just as it sounds—it “primes” or prepares the wall for paint. You should definitely prime any wall surface that you have just re paired and unfinished wood that you intend to paint.
How do you prime? Priming is just painting, so follow the directions in the next page2. Instead of paint, use primer!


PAINTING WITH A PAINTBRUSH

Let the painting begin! Now that your room is prepared, you are ready to start painting. The best way to paint is from top to bottom, mainly because if paint should drip down the wall, you can easily smooth the surface and retouch. Start at the top near the ceiling with a two paintbrush. This is where you do the “cutting in” described earlier. Use this brush to paint the corners and edges, including near the baseboard, doors, and window trim. You can then fill in the rest of the surface with a paint roller.

How to paint with a paintbrush:

1. Dip the paintbrush into the paint.

2. Pull the paintbrush along the side of the container to remove any excess paint and avoid drips.

3. Use long, even strokes to spread the paint on the painting surface. Make sure that you do not have any drips or buildup.

4. Keep using the brush until the strokes become dry.

5. Redid the brush into the paint and continue.

TIP: Take a large nail with a very sharp point and make five or six tiny holes all along the rim of the paint can. This allows the paint to drain back into the can when you brush off excess, instead of it spilling over the sides.

PAINTING WITH A ROLLER

For a large surface, rolling is the best way to achieve fast and efficient results with ample coverage. When purchasing a roller sleeve (or cover), don’t skimp. Spend the money and get a higher quality sleeve. It will pay off in the long run. Use rolling to fill in the central part of the surface after you has done the cutting in on the corners and edges with a paint brush.

How to paint with a roller:

TIP: There are a couple of different ways to apply paint to your roller. The first is by using a paint tray as explained above. Another is to hang a paint grate or bucket screen over a five-gallon bucket of paint. You can dip the roller into the paint, run it along the grate, and get a nice, even distribution of paint over the roller, if you do this, add to your Tuft Tools list a large bucket and bucket screen.

1. Remove any excess lint from the roller sleeve

2. If you are using water-based latex paint, run the sleeve under water. This opens up the fibers and allows paint to penetrate. Use mineral spirits if you are using oil- based paints.

3. Squeeze any excess liquid from the roller

4. Fill the paint tray—not too deep—with paint.

5. To properly put paint on the roller, dip it into the paint then use the textured ramp of the paint tray to roll the roller back and forth and evenly distribute the paint. Your roller should be covered with just enough paint, but not so much that it is dripping or running.

6. On the surface, make an upward roll. Continue rolling both up and down in about 4-foot sections, at a slight diagonal. Be careful not to go so fast that you splatter paint.

7. Use the roller until the strokes become dry.

8. Then redip the roller in the paint and continue.

TIP: Use a large plastic bag to cover an entire paint tray. Pour the paint into the tray, over the plastic bag. That way, when you are complete you just turn the bag Inside out and throw the mess away.

CONSIDER THE SURFACE TYPE

Different surfaces require different treatments. Bare wood should be sanded and then primed, while stained wood should be treated with wood bleach. Surface texture should match the character of a room; for example, smooth paintwork may not suit an old house.

1. BARE PLASTER
Brush, prime, and seal with diluted latex paint.
2. BARE BRICK
Brush to remove debris, and then coat with masonry paint.

 

3. TEMPERA
Scrape. Seal with stabilizing solution. Paint with latex.
4. WALLPAPER
Although stripping is best, no vinyl can be painted over.

 

5. CERAMIC TILES
Coat with gloss or enamel, or strip for best results.
6. STAIN
Remove stain with wood bleach, seal, sand, and prime.

Painting Wood Tips and Tricks

Painting wood is a quite common project for many people. The problem with painting it, though, is that not everyone does it correctly and therefore the finished project is not as good as it could be. Think of wood as a sponge. Many types of wood will soak up the paint and then leave you with just a residue like painting. But, if you want your wood to have a painted look, there are things that you can do to allow the wood to react correctly. No matter if you are painting wood floors or if you are painting your kitchen cabinets, following a few common rules to painting wood will leave you a satisfied customer.

In any painting project, you first need to insure that the woods used are healthy. With wood, you need to protect against such things as mildew and peeling. Check your surface to make sure that it is whole and ready to be painted. You can use proper cleaning methods as well as specially made primers to help you seal the wood as well. Another common problem with painting projects with wood is Tanning staining. Some woods are more likely to have this issue, such as cedar and redwood. What you need to realize about this is that it is not necessarily related to the paint as it is related to the wood’s surface. That means to repair it; you’ll need to control the humidity and other moisture problems with the wood prior to getting started and it will need to be tanning resistant.

Painting wood is an exciting project. It can transform a room, a home, or even the exterior of a home within a few brush strokes. Properly mixing and applying the paint is important as is using high quality paint. You will need to insure that your painting area is clean and sealed as well.

There are many common wood painting projects out there. Painting wood furniture is one of them. Flooring, cabinetry, and even molding are all common projects that you may be looking to take on. And, you can do this with some skill and good materials. The result will be one that is beautiful every time you follow the specific directions of your painting project.

Painting Wood Furniture

Do you have some dingy, old wood furniture that is just too comfortable to get rid of but might do well with a fresh coat of paint? Many people are painting wood furniture and giving it a new life. It can be quite welcoming to clean and paint this furniture. It doesn’t even have to be a difficult job! So, how can you go about painting wood? Here are some helpful tips on how to do so. You’ll find that it can be very rewarding to transform your home’s furniture into something beautiful and lasting.

No matter what type of wood furniture that you need to paint, you simply must paint it only after you have cleaned and repaired any damages. It is important to look for mildew, mold, or other harmful issues on the wood itself. You also need to consider any peeling or cracking in the wood as well. Lastly, consider the moisture or humidity in the area in which you are using the furniture. Drying out and then controlling the amount of humidity that the wood is exposed to will keep it in good condition.

Depending on what type of wood furniture you have and where it is located will help you to choose the proper paints to use on it. When painting wood furniture, you need to take into consideration if it is exposed to the weather, if it is to be stained or painted, and whether or not the type of wood will hold paint well. You can find various types of paint for just about every type of furniture product. When you take the time to choose the right products to use, you’ll end up with a good finished product.

Don’t skip steps either! Many people simply think that a coat of paint is all that is needed to create a new look with their furniture. Some woods need more care and consideration than others. For example, you’ll find many products need primers and others will require etching products to all for the paint to stick to the surface. When you take the time to find the right materials to use and take your time with painting wood furniture, it comes out beautifully and you can turn even the worst looking chair or table into a remarkable piece.

Painting Wood Floors

Painting wood floors is a great way to offer a new look and often times a new life to the woods within your home. For many, it is an excellent way to discover a new and beautiful flooring option for the home. But, where do you begin? While many people first think to call the professional in for this job, you really can do it on your own. With a few skills and a few helpful tips, you can discover a new world under your feet. Here are some things that you can consider first of all.

Painting wood floors is not a small job. Not all wood flooring can or should be painted either. Many times, hardwood floors and laminates will have protective coatings on them to protect them and to give them more durability. But, these coatings will get in the way of your painting. If you have a wood flooring that has a coating like this, you may need to seek the manufacturers advice on how to handle the painting.

Still other wood flooring is troublesome because it has been stained. While many times you can paint over stain, you need to take protective and careful measures to insure that you do not damage the wood in your painting process.

Once you have found out just what your painting entails, you can get started with the task at hand. In most cases, a properly clean and repaired floor is necessary to start with. In these cases, you will find that you will need to prime the wood prior to getting started with painting. You will also need to adjust your type of paint to match the type of wood as well as any protective coating and stain that is on that wood. All in all, painting wood is quite doable, if you take the right measures to get it done correctly.