1 Can of Paint, 50 New DIY Projects

A little paint goes a long way. See how just one can (or less!) can totally transform everything from walls to furniture to bright, upcycled accessories.

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By: Liz Gray

Photo By: Lara Robby/Studio D

Photo By: Photography by Philip Friedman/Studio D

Photo By: Photography by Philip Friedman/Studio D

Photo By: David Tsay

Photo By: David Tsay

Photo By: Courtesy of Emily Hart

Photo By: Thomas Liggett

Photo By: Thomas Liggett

Photo By: Marko Metzinger

Photo By: Alison Gootee

Photo By: Alison Gootee

Photo By: Thomas Liggett

Photo By: Thomas Liggett

Photo By: Thomas Liggett

Photo By: Alison Gootee

Photo By: Alison Gootee

Photo By: Melissa Edgemont

Photo By: Kayla Kitts

Photo By: Kayla Kitts

Make a Neon Animal Garland

Combine two hot trends with an easy-to-create animal garland. Erin Loechner of Design for Mankind purchased toy dinosaurs at a discount store, painted them in various neon colors, then attached twine and hangers for a cute kids' room accent.

Make DIY Contemporary Art

Brilliant strokes of pink in this painting create high-contrast drama against pure white walls and credenza in this space designed by Tara Benet. Grab a canvas and some brightly-hued leftover paint and create this look at home.

Add Stripes to a Staircase

Take a cue from designers Cortney and Robert Novogratz: They painted candy-hued stripes on a plain white staircase to add a hint of whimsy and fun.

Revamp a Yard Sale Dresser

Give a yard sale dresser a brand new look (and cover up imperfections) with just a little bit of paint. Clean up the drawers, then set them aside and paint the hardware, top and sides with one hue. Get the full how-to from HGTV Magazine.

Modernize a Traditional Brass Chandelier

All it takes to transform an old brass chandelier from fussy and formal to functional, fun and fresh? You guessed it: A coat of white paint.

Paint Thrift Store Candlesticks

Bring dated or tarnished gold candlesticks up-to-date, easily, by adding a coat of paint. For a thoroughly modern look, add candles in same hue as your paint like HGTV Magazine did here.

Modernize Drapery Rods

You don't have to break your budget to create a whole new window treament look. Paint basic metal drapery rods and rings bright white, then thread on inexpensive, patterned sheers.

Create a Faux Stair Runner

Give a plain white staircase a whole new personality by creating a faux runner. Paint the outer edges, add stripes and stamp Xs and Os on the risers for a new, whimsical look. Get the full how-to at DIYNetwork.com.

Add Color to a Tired Coat Rack

Perk up the entryway with a bright shot of color. You'll love hanging your hat on a rack revamped with a coat of fresh paint, as seen in HGTV Magazine.

Paint a Pattern

Freehand a simple design, like this Moroccan-inspired pattern DIY blogger Kristin Fountain Davis created using just a little bit of contrasting paint. Don't worry about imperfections: Slight variations mimic the look of (pricey!) hand-painted wallpapers.

Add Detail to a Basic Door

Contractor-grade doors don't have to be boring. Use an accent color to paint the insets for a modern, graphic detail. Design by Kristin Fountain Davis

Paint an End Table

Make garage sale end tables modern with a coat of high-gloss paint and some new hardware. Design by Kristin Fountain Davis

Make Your Own Abstract Art

Create an abstract diptych on canvas by brushing on circles in various sizes atop a contrasting background. Here, black and white add graphic punch to this otherwise-neutral bedroom. Design by Kristin Fountain Davis

Upgrade Bamboo Furniture

If you've opened a design magazine lately, you know that painted bamboo furniture pieces are experiencing a resurgence. Transform a cheap Craigslist find into a high-end designer piece with just a coat of high-gloss paint and new indoor-outdoor fabric. Design by Kristin Fountain Davis

Paint the Front Door

It takes less paint than you think to add a new hue to your home's front door. As seen in HGTV Magazine, this classic home's entry is electrified with a high-voltage green (Feel the Energy by Benjamin Moore). See the rest of this colorful home.

Paint the China Cabinet Shelves

Turn a basic glass-front cabinet into a colorful accent by painting the inside back and shelves. Here, white dishes pop agaist the new soft pink hue. For a similar look, try Cool Melon by Behr. See the rest of this colorful home featured in HGTV Magazine.

Give a Bathroom Vanity a Modern Update

Give an old vanity a fast makeover with fresh paint and repurposed door knockers.

Make Quick Painted Animal Bookends

A brick and a pair of toy animals look impossibly high-end when glued together and painted in one bright hue. Use these colorful, fun pieces to dress up your bookshelves.

Give Basic Pots a Modern Touch

Turn plain terra-cotta pots into a unique home for houseplants with just a little paint. Use plain white as the base, then fit the pot with a rubber band to easily tape off the asymetrical section. Then, add a bright, fun hue.

Embellish a Lamp Base

Take a cue from this project featured in HGTV Magazine and dress up a basic lamp with fun polka dots. This project uses gold leaf, but you could create a similar look using paint and a stippling brush.

Make Custom Desk Organizers

Unify containers like Mason jars, vases and tin cans to create a matching desk accessory set. All it takes is a coat of bright white paint and a few embellishments.

Painted Picture Frames

Empty picture frames gathered at flea markets or craft stores can become an impactful piece of art when painted in harmonious hues and grouped together on a large wall.

Customize a Basic Bookcase

A plain white bookcase comes to life with a bright hue peeking out behind books, toys or baskets.

Add Bright Trim

Infuse a space with excitement by painting white trim a fun new shade. Summery coral paint on the trim of this family room contrasts perfectly with the main focal point of the room — the amazing blue sofa. Photo courtesy of Peppermint Bliss; photo by Emily Anderson

Make a DIY Painted Headboard

Add style, color and texture to your bedroom with this do-it-yourself headboard that looks anything but DIY. A great project for newbie woodworkers, this headboard can be completed in just a few hours and for less than $100.

Turn Hula Hoops Into A Chandelier

Oh, the miracle of paint. A coat of a shiny hue can turn basic dollar-store hula hoops into a stylish chandelier. See how Secrets From a Stylist host Emily Henderson did it.

Make a Dropcloth Tablecloth

Make a chic and affordable tablecloth with a basic dropcloth. Use painter's tape and white paint to create stripes, triangles or your own custom design.

Stenciled Baskets

Inexpensive baskets are plentiful at yard sales and thrift stores. Transform them using a stencil and just a tiny bit of paint.

Made-Over Modern Desk

Play up a vintage desk's midcentury modern style by painting drawer fronts lemon and lime, like HGTV Magazine did here.

Just a Little Paint? Mix and Match

Using sample jars of paint — just $5 each — the editors at HGTV Magazine gave this bookcase a bright, color-blocked makeover. This project is also ideal for those last few inches of a quart of paint.

Paint Vintage Luggage

Beat-up old suitcases take on new life when painted with a bright new hue. Stack a set as a bedside stand, or use just one to neatly store photos or paperwork under a console table.

Milk Bottle Makeover

Cover clean bottles with a spray primer that works on glass; let dry. Then spray-paint the bottles and just inside the tops with vibrantly-colored paint. See more flea market flips from HGTV Magazine.

Nesting Tables

This set of nesting tables turns playful when you spruce it up with eye-catching paint colors. If your tables have lots of nicks or aren't in great condition, sand them first. See more flea market flips from HGTV Magazine.

Vintage Egg Basket Lighting

A bright paint color and a light cord kit are all you need to transform vintage egg baskets from a country relic to a modern pendant light, as featured in HGTV Magazine.

Stencil Floral Plates

Give mismatched china new life by painting on a fun stencil and hanging pieces in on a big, empty wall. Get the step-by-step instructions from HGTV Magazine.

Stencil a Basic Table

With a little paint and a lot of time, you can create a stenciled coffee table inspired by intricate Moroccan tile work. Learn how, courtesy of HGTV Magazine.

Make Modern, Geometric Wall Art

It's amazing what painter's tape, some patience and pretty paint colors can achieve. The finished artwork will look like a modern canvas straight out of a museum.

Paint a Chair's Spindles

With just a little bit of leftover paint (even a sample size will do!) adorn a dining chair's spindles with a rainbow of bright colors. Get the full instructions from HGTV Magazine.

Add Splash to a Set of Frames

Add pops of color to plain white frames by painting photo corners or highlighting edges with stripes. Get the full instructions from HGTV Magazine.

Make Hanging Ombre Vases

This project is a fun and colorful way to recycle baby food jars. After they are wired together, the jars can be used to add a splash of color to a plain window. http://www.hgtv.com/accessories/upcycle-baby-food-jars-into-hanging-ombre-vases/index.html

Bold Bathroom Door Trim

Update a drab bathroom door with some trim and a little contrasting paint. Get the step-by-step instructions for this simple door makeover.

Paint Inside Your Drawers

Add an unexpected splash of color to the inside of your vanity, dresser or nightstand drawers by painting them a bold hue, like this shade of vibrant yellow. Design by Gregg De Meza, Jennifer Gustafson and Michelle Nelson of De Meza Architecture + Interiors

Paint the Mailbox Flag

Add instant curb appeal with a quick and easy mailbox update for less than $20. Design blogger Erin Loechner painted the traditional red flag a vibrant yellow. Modern letter decals and a simple metal post complete the look.

Dip-Dyed Stool

Dip your toe into the the dip-dying trend with this simple, budget-friendly accent. Design blogger Erin Loechner faked the color-blocked look by taping off the same amount of each leg and painting it bright white.

Chevron-Patterned Dresser

Give a basic chest of drawers designer flair with a painted chevron pattern in three, five or seven of your favorite paint colors.

Painted Bottles

These vintage gold bottles probably have a rich history, but you can easily mimic the look by painting extra Mason jars and liquor bottles. Add shine to a bedside table with a group of three tiered pieces. Design by Erinn Valencich

Make Painted Utensils

Add a personal touch to basic bamboo utensils by dipping them in your favorite hue. To make them gift-worthy, gradually add white paint to the base hue as you dip for an ombre effect.

Make a Painted Market Basket

Customize a natural seagrass basket by adding bold designs in a vibrant summer color.

Ginger Jar Lamp Makeover

Never let the color of a lamp deter you from taking it home. Ginger jar lamps are readily available at thrift stores (this one was just $6), and can be easily updated with a few coats of paint.

Turn Foliage Into Artwork

A few clippings of foliage and some spray paint transform a blank canvas into bright, modern wall art.

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