Little Painting Tricks
Almost all paint companies offer sample containers, which can range from 2 to 31 ounces and usually cost between $4 and $10. Despite their size, these little pots of paint can definitely pack a big punch.
Color Your Chair Spindles
Hold an angled 1/2-or 3/4-inch craft brush parallel to the spindles, then dab the paint at the top and bottom of each one to avoid splattering the chair's frame. Slowly paint the middle of the spindles with long, smooth strokes. Wipe off any drips right away with a damp paper towel.
PAINT COLORS: Sunshine, Pear Green, and Utah Sky by Benjamin Moore
Dress Up Dresser Drawers
No need to buy multiple paints—you need just one color and white. First pull out the drawers and unscrew the knobs. Use undiluted color to paint the front of one drawer. For the other drawers, mix the color into white until you get the shades you want. Try 3 ounces of color with 8 ounces of white for a medium shade; use 1 ounce of color with 8 ounces of white for the lightest shade. Let dry, then reattach hardware and replace drawers.
PAINT COLORS: Thermal Spring and Extra White by Sherwin-Williams
Add Splash to a Set of Frames
First paint all the frames white and let them dry completely. Then add pops of color by painting photo corners or highlighting edges with stripes. Use the smallest straight-edge craft brush you can find. Work slowly, and if your painting hand strays a little, wipe off mistakes right away with a damp paper towel.
PAINT COLORS: China White, Two to Tango, Magical Merlin, and Asparagus by Olympic
Make a Chair's Legs Pop
Unscrew the legs from your chair before you paint. If you can't detach them, or if your chair has a wooden base like ours does, apply plenty of painter's tape around the seat to protect it. Then paint. Once dry, reattach the legs or remove the tape.
PAINT COLORS: Dragon Fire by Behr
Brighten a Stool (Two Ways!)
Make your own mix-and-match set by painting just the base of one stool and just the seat of another. We didn't bother painting the underside of the seat since it's out of sight.
PAINT COLORS: Rose Dust by Valspar
Turn a Metal Pan Into a Cool Tray
Wipe down the tray with rubbing alcohol and a cloth. Use a triangular ruler (a.k.a. a set square) and painter's tape to block out a zigzag design. To ensure the paint will stick, scuff up the exposed metal lightly with sandpaper, then wipe clean. Apply primer made for metal and let dry. Paint, let dry, then slowly peel off the tape.
PAINT COLORS: Yellow Raincoat, Razzle Dazzle, and Tropical Turquoise by Benjamin Moore
Give Salad Stuff a Color-Dipped Look
Mark where you want the color to go with painter's tape, leaving a few inches between the paint and the part of the server that will touch food, for safety. Since the wood will likely be oiled, prime it with a formula made for glossy surfaces like plastic. Paint, let dry, then remove the tape.
PAINT COLORS: Lime Green and Fuzzy Navel by Olympic
Highlight a White Lamp
Use an artist's brush with rounded bristles for this project. First paint the base, directing the color in the grooves of the carved details. While it dries, work on the shade. Follow its frame with short strokes to create the neatest lines.
PAINT COLORS: Tropical Splash by Behr