Creatively using paint in your home

Paint It!

by Jennifer Beam

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On any given day of the week, you can catch home remodeling and decorating shows on cable networks like HGTV and TLC that depict a complete room makeover done in minimal time for minimal cash. While it may be inspiring, the problem for most homeowners is they lack a resident carpenter, designer, and a thousand extra dollars. Don't worry. You can change the look of any room by spending a little time contemplating changes and by investing a lot less than a thousand dollars.

Paint is the most remarkable, innovative product in a home improvement store. As faux painting has taken hold of decorating trends, there are more paint products available today than ever before and you are no longer limited to changing interiors by merely painting the walls. There are now paints that will create the illusion of metal, bronze, and even stone. Further, you can turn any surface into a chalkboard or even magnetize it. What does all this mean to your home? The answer is change.

Say you have a chandelier or other light fixture hanging in a room that acts as an eyesore. Replacing a chandelier or ceiling fan will cost you over $100. If it is still in good working condition and the basic design is livable, you can change the look of it with paint. For example, I recently took down a dated chandelier with a dull brass finish and clear hurricane globes and painted it. I used spray paint that gave the metal a brushed nickel finish and spray paint that turns clear glass into frosted glass on the hurricane globes. The result was a more modern looking chandelier for about $12. Not only did this change the look of the room, it also saved me money.

You can use paint to update other existing items such as frames around your artwork or mirrors, lamps, shelves, and even furniture. Be sure to follow the proper steps involved in preparing and finishing the surface if you expect any kind of longevity from your work. Take advantage of professional paint retailer's ability to match paint colors with computer software to any sample you take them.

If you spend some time contemplating what you do and do not like about a particular room, you will likely find items that are useable, but simply do not lend to the overall feel of the room. Be sure to consider the changes you could make to the item with paint before discarding and replacing it. The key to budget decorating is not using what you have, which can lead to long-term dissatisfaction followed by a desperate, costly redecorating expense, but to change what you have to make it useable.

Solid, functioning accessories and pieces of furniture are not expendable when you do not have the money to replace them. This doesn't mean you have to live with a mismatched, unpleasant room. Simply visualize the changes you would like to make, look for other ways to use existing pieces and then go to work. Even if you're a novice painter, a professional retailer should be able to explain the steps necessary to achieve a quality finish paint job on any surface or project. The end result is a fresh room and more money in your pocket.

Jennifer is a freelance writer and editor who, together with her own resident carpenter, works at home providing many families in Ohio consultations on do-it-yourself home remodeling and repair matters.

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