Creative Paint Ideas For Home Projects

I am passionate about paint. It doesn't matter what type of paint - latex, acrylic, artist oils, spray paint, metallic paint, poster paint; There are so many ways to use paint products and anything can be your canvas ... well, minus the family pets. As a decorative painter myself, I love the concept of putting art and function together to create unique working furnishings for the home. With a little bit of paint and a little knowledge about how to apply it, you can give any object or space a whole new look.

Paint is one of most cost effective ways to re-decorate or just create items for the home. When I think about painting, I think out the box. Sometimes I use artist paints for cabinet projects and basic latex / acrylic house paint for canvas paintings. I was fortunate enough to be raised in a home with the philosophy of, "Why buy it when you can make it" and, "Let's do it without a budget" kind of thinking. It is amazing what you can do with the products you have at hand. What ever is on my garage shelf is where I get my inspiration.

Paint and Stain with Distressed Look
Paint and Stain with Distressed Look

Aged Painted Look - This is an old victorian dresser that someone had completely stripped off the finish and then left the wood to become dry and cracked. To create this look, I used two colors of paint: a soft gray and a light mossy green. First I randomly applied the green, let it dry, then applied the gray overlapping the two colors in some areas. In some areas, I left gaps so the wood from the dress is exposed. After the paint drys, I lightly sanded it to help blend colors then applied an oil base wood stain to the entire dresser. After it completely dries, I applied a clear satin finish to seal the finish. Hint: When using more 3 different colors, I like to use a ratio of 60% 1st. color ( gray) 30 % 2nd. ( mossy green), and 10% 3rd color (exposed wood tone). It creates a more natural look and is more esthetically appealing the to the eyes.

Paint and Glaze -appears lighter in picture
Paint and Glaze -appears lighter in picture

Faux Wood Grain - The top of this dresser was stained and painted a few times over so I decided to make the top look like wood using paint and glaze. I used a light beige- brown color as a base. After the paint dried, I applied a dark vandyke brown water- base glaze. Once the glaze has dried, I applied the oil based satin clear finish at the same time I applied it the rest of the dresser. When creating a wood look, you will be surprised at the variety of colors you can use for the base color. For instance, if you like a mahogany, use a red color. If you like oak, use a gold or beige color. If you like walnut, use a dark chocolate brown. The key is to make sure the glaze you use is always darker than the base color. The glaze should always be thin enough and wet enough to give you enough time to move it - work it! Hint: apply it to small areas at a time that have a transition from one space to the next.

Paint and Glaze
Paint and Glaze

Faux Wood Technique - This is a panel from a (paint grade) double- door to a large home office. The color shows a deep rich color seen in person, however, the photo gives you an idea of the motion of the brush strokes. Basicly, the difference in color choices and variation of techniques will create different looks to fit a variety of styles.

Paint and Glaze with Distressing
Paint and Glaze with Distressing

Paint Grade Cabinet - This cabinet has been painted to look like wood grain is coming through old worn paint, however it is made from MDF wood and they are false drawer fronts. It is actually 1door rather than 9 drawers. To create the paint pattern, I used a sea sponge that you would typically use in some faux painted wall techniques. The actual color is much darker to transition colors better but the camera lighting brightens the picture.

Perfect Round Rock Painted to Look Like Marble
Perfect Round Rock Painted to Look Like Marble

Faux Marble Rock - I was picking weeds in my yard one day and was to fascinated by the perfect shape of this once gray rock so I decided to turn it into a piece of art. After I hand painting it with acrylics, I sealed it with an oil base clear finish. In the faux finishing industry marbling is often used on large structures like pillars for dramatic effects but applying this technique to small items for the home make fun and interesting projects. Some items to consider may be candle holders, lamps, table tops, boxes or clay pots.

Latex paint and Metallics Layered
Latex paint and Metallics Layered

Latex and Metallics - To get this effect, I applied the paint in layers by allowing it dry between colors. Most of the paint was applied with a small rag and some paint spattering with the end of a small brush.Then I sealed it with a clear satin polyurethane. The canvas was a recycled cheap dingy reproduction painting that was being thrown in the trash. What a deal!

Latex and Metallics Layered with Some Texture Added
Latex and Metallics Layered with Some Texture Added

Latex, Metallics, and a Little Texture - This was a fun painting to create. I had no plan just that I wanted something with texture and bronzy looking. I grabbed a few paints out of the garage, a few objects off the floor, and some gauze from the medicine cabinet, along with a few secret specialty art store items and ...Wa La! What I end up with is how it stays. The nice thing about painting like this is you don't have to over think an idea and you don't have to follow any rules. There is no right or wrong way to paint. Just paint!

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Comments 7 comments

Rosie2010 profile image

Rosie2010 6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

Hiya 4wardthinker, this article is awesome. It is informative and the pictures are beautiful. Great presentation. thumbs up and awesome!

Have a nice day,


4warthinker 6 years ago

Thanks Rosie2010! Hope it can be helpful some how.

imatellmuva profile image

imatellmuva 5 years ago from Somewhere in Baltimore

Okay...I already commented on this hub in Fan Mail to you, but Chile' I am back to tell you that I AM LUV'N THIS HUB!!!!!! I believe in "Use What You Got", and if what you got doesn't work, then re-create it!!! Awesome, wonderful...keep em' com'n 4wardthinker...guuuurl, you got sumth'n to say!!!!

carol7777 profile image

carol7777 4 years ago from Arizona

You have covered to ground with paints. I also love to paint. Something about swishing around in the different colors and creating new ones. Each project you have done is unique, beautiful and very interesting. Loved this a lot!!!

4wardthinker profile image

4wardthinker 4 years ago from Sierra Nevada CA Author

Thanks carol777 for stopping by. A little bit of paint goes a long way. It's an inexpensive way to give something a whole new look.

theraggededge profile image

theraggededge 3 years ago from Wales

Oh you are a woman after my own heart. I love all this sort of thing, and at the moment am contemplating mixed-media-ing my stair risers.

4wardthinker profile image

4wardthinker 3 years ago from Sierra Nevada CA Author

That's funny. I did that with my stairs at my other home. Look forward to reading your hub on that one. Thanks for stopping by.

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