Decorating with Spray Paint

Are you ready to decorate, but have a tight budget? Hit the flea markets and the neighborhood yard sales! Someone else’s discarded items could be your most favorite find. Well, once you repurpose and restyle them with a little paint, that is. Whether you are decorating your apartment or a recently purchased first home, you need to get your decorating project done and stay on budget.

Spray paint is quicker than a brush and the finish is smoother. It takes a little practice, so practice on something you won’t mind throwing out if all goes awry. Preparation makes all the difference, be sure to follow the Tips for a Flawless Finish at the end of this article.

Follow along to see how these yard-sale-finds were transformed into fresh new furnishings and get those creative juices flowing. Arm yourself with a can of spray paint and let’s get started.

Dining Chairs

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At first glance, oak country chairs are fairly dull. However, wooden chairs painted in a whimsical color, that match your decor, will bring new life to your room. I’ve seen these same chairs at yard sales for as little as $10 each. At that price, plus the cost of spray paint, you can outfit your dining room for under $100. Add a coordinating cushion to spruce up the comfort level.

Painted Furniture

These console pieces can be found at flea markets for under $100. These neglected furnishings will have faded wood or a laminate finish and feel outdated, but they can become a focal point with a little elbow grease. Can laminate be painted? Yes. Spray paint covers a wide variety of surfaces from wood, plastic, laminate, metal and even glass. Shine up the metal hardware, or replace it all together, to complete the transformation. For many years of use, you will want to paint this type of project in semi-gloss or high-gloss paint to protect from scratches.

Accent Tables

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Things aren’t always what they seem. Look familiar? Yep, that’s a trash can! Flip it over and it makes the perfect accent table. Look for items that will serve a particular purpose once you have worked your magic. You will have to get creative with this one!

Do you need inspiration? Suburble has 60 amazing spray paint projects for you to try.

Painted Fabric

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Are you thinking to yourself – “I didn’t know you could spray paint fabric?” Absolutely! Spread out  your $20 off-the-rack curtains on a flat surface (somewhere over spray won’t damage the surroundings) use painter’s or masking tape to create the design. You may want to consider a simple Stripe for your first attempt, as the Chevron is a little tricky. Use flat or satin finish paint for this type of project, depending on the sheen of the fabric.

Antiqued Finish

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Do you prefer the antique look? Antiquing is easier than one may think. Paint the entire piece with the spray paint you have chosen for the base color and allow sufficient time to cure – Rub a small amount of brown glaze or dark wax to the surface (concentrating on the embellishments that hold the darker color in it’s crevices) – Immediately wipe off with a clean dry cloth – Let dry. You may repeat this process several times until you reach the degree of antiquing you require. Use satin finish paint for this project.

Tips for a Flawless Finish:

  • Lightly sand the surface to remove dirt and oil. For deep scratches, use wood putty to fill in dents or deep wounds, then sand smooth. You may use de-glosser to prep the surface if you prefer not to sand.

  • Use a primer coat for better adhesion. Don’t skip this step – it will save you from the headache of peeling paint or paint bubbles later.

  • Buy a spray can snap-on attachment. This keeps the spray steady and relieves finger fatigue.

  • Use short smooth strokes from a distance of 8-10 inches away. Don’t stay in one area too long, as runs will appear in the paint. It is better to do 3 light coats than 1 heavy one.

  • For added protection, spray a clear coat of polyurethane as your final coat. (This step is not recommended for white, as polyurethane can yellow over time).


Published by April 2014