Her update created 'new' mini-blinds

Updating Vinyl Mini-Blinds

contributed by Nanci

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This year, I organized a major interior renovation in our home. My husband says I watch too many home shows on TV, but they do give me ideas on how to fix up things on a budget! We have made it a goal to have our house paid for as soon as possible, and we are on target to pay it off in three more years, before we are 45. While our friends are moving into 2000-plus square foot, custom-built monstrosities, taking cruise vacations, and buying new vehicles every four years, we stay in our 1200-square-foot house and go camping. Our money is better spent retiring our home loan!

Several years back, we did some interior decorating, using a color scheme of blues and rose. As part of that project, we custom ordered vinyl vertical blinds to fit our large living room window and sliding patio door. At the time, I winced at the price of about $800 for both, but I got them during a big sale at JC Penney and decided they were worth the cost as they were "just what I wanted." They are a pale blue pattern that blended perfectly with my sponge-painted walls.

Related: The $150 Living Room Makeover

I have been extremely happy with the blinds. They block light very thoroughly and are easy to keep clean. I love being able to adjust for just the right light. However, the blue color will not work with the new palette of caramel, pale green, bright white, and our refurbished hardwood floors! Because we live in a dusty environment, and have lots of indoor pets, I wanted to stay with the easy to clean vinyl blinds. However, I would have had to custom order replacement blind inserts or completely replace the whole unit in order to get a color that worked. I decided that I really had nothing to lose by trying to paint the vinyl blinds.

First, I took all of the slats down, including the valance part. Then I wiped each blind with vinegar and water. I purchased a product from Krylon, called Fusion spray paint, which is intended for plastic (it is recommended for resin patio furniture). I spray painted the blinds white (satin finish), using two coats (I used nearly 5 cans). I only painted the side that faces out, as the reverse is unfinished anyway. This product dries in about 15 minutes! Once the spray paint had dried, I used a simple pearl glaze mixed with just a few drops of metallic green/gold, and using a sponge roller, I went over each blind to add some texture and soften the color. To resist chipping when the blinds open and close, I think the choice of a base product is important.

My total cost for the living room window (about 8 feet wide by 4 feet high) was less than $30, and it took me one day to complete. Our blinds look good as new! I need to get more product to do the patio door, but now I know it works!

"My Story" is a regular feature of The Dollar Stretcher. If you have a story that could help save time or money, please send it by MyStory@Stretcher.com

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