Passionate about Painting

by Shaunna Privratsky

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I love to paint. Hand me a paintbrush and point me towards a wall, piece of furniture or even a whole house and I'm in my element. From flat to glossy, plain to fancy or faux to pro techniques, paint is great!

Paint is an economical way to revitalize furniture, change the look and style of a room or create new areas without spending a fortune. It is so versatile it goes on virtually any surface, including the floor.

People have known for eons that color is an instant mood booster. The right shade can create a sense of harmony and home. The color palette for the 21st century is bold, so forget all over beige.

The Caribbean tropical isles inspire vibrant reds, oranges, turquoise, sun-yellow and coral. Apple green paired with chocolate brown and a slight Asian influence is hip in everything from accessories to large pieces like couches and dining room sets. The natural spectrum of greens, browns and tans are popular in the deeper and darker tones. Hot pink + Lime = Happy.

What does that mean to you? Paint gives you a designer look for a fraction of the cost of a professional consultation. It is much cheaper than wallpaper, buying all new furniture or most fabrics. Discover your personal style with the latest painting techniques, trends, and finishes for a look that is distinctively you.

You can paint the whole room for a dramatic change or experiment with smaller areas. Typical rooms only need one or two gallons of paint. I use Wal-Mart's brand of one coat paint for $9.98 a gallon. I am quite pleased with the coverage and quality. They can also custom color to any shade to fit your decor.

You can choose a focal wall and only paint that, leaving the other walls neutral or a contrasting color. This draws attention to the area, whether it hosts a fireplace, entertainment center, stunning artwork or a conversation area.

Another technique that really saves on time and money is painting just a small area on a focal wall. For example, I recently re-decorated our living room in a Safari theme. The two 20"x24" pictures of a lion and white tiger I found were a bargain at only $7 each, but a bit small and out of proportion to our oversized wall.

To produce the illusion of larger artwork, I measured six inches all around the hanging pictures. I used my level to make sure the lines were exactly straight. I then painted the large rectangle a deep golden tan. When it dried, I hot-glued several layers of pheasant feathers around the edge and re-hung the pictures.

You can choose any color and any trim idea for your box. You could even make several boxes of paint in a pleasing pattern for a unique wall treatment. This fools the eye into believing the pictures are larger and adds a rich look to the wall.

Paint can turn old, tired furniture into brand-new treasures. An old cabinet in dirty yellow will look ravishing in red. Sleek black paint transforms a scratched wooden bookcase into a modern must-have. Paint your coffee table white, and then take chains, chisels and hammers to it for a distressed look that sells for thousands of dollars.

Painting can disguise flaws or awkward architecture. If you have a room with deep dormer windows, paint all the way up to the ceiling line to elongate the visual space. This works for stairways, nooks or difficult corners to fool the eye.

Try the latest faux techniques like sponging, glazing, ragging, marbleizing, aging or distressing. Countless shows on the Home and Garden channel show you step by step how to do it, or you can check out free classes at home improvement stores like Home Depot. How-to books are free to checkout at the library, or go online and do a search for painting techniques. Don't be afraid to try new things or colors. After all, you can always paint over any "mistakes" or finishes that didn't produce the desired look.

Don't overlook the humble spray paint. Nothing beats the speed and ease for a fresh coat of color or instant "new." Refresh your patio furniture, glam up your wrought iron furniture and accessories, or give a color injection to a boring room. You can have a revamped piece for less than $2.

Stains also come in spray cans. I highly recommend this timesaving step. No more messy brushes. Just spray, and then gently wipe with a rag until you get the desired effect. Remember that stain usually dries a shade or two darker than when you are first applying it.

Paint is a powerful decorating tool. Use some of these pointers to transform your house into a place you love to come home to. Liven up your living area with some of the exciting new shades of bold color. When you are passionate about painting, your true colors will shine.

Shaunna Privratsky became an expert in personal finance out of necessity. Between writing, reading and gardening, she is always on the lookout for bargains. Please sign up for the free newsletters at The Discount Diva. You can also visit Shaunna on Google+.

Take the Next Step:

  • Use one or more of these pointers to transform your house into a place you love to come home to.
  • Want to have a little fun? Read about the psychology of color at

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