Home Decor Ideas Using Spray Paint

Turn a plastic cup into a pretty vase for flowers
Turn a plastic cup into a pretty vase for flowers

Bring new life to your old stuff! You can give a face-lift to almost any item using spray paint. I am a huge fan of spray paint because it is cheap, easy to use, and the results are beautiful. Spray paint comes in every color and multiple finishes. I prefer a satin finish for most home décor projects, but flat and high gloss options are also available. My favorite spray paint is Krylon's indoor/outdoor paint. It adheres smoothly to surfaces, dries in less than ten minutes, and costs less than $3 per can at Wal-Mart.

Transform an old brown dresser into a darling piece of furniture for your child's bedroom
Transform an old brown dresser into a darling piece of furniture for your child's bedroom

Wooden items, such as picture frames, shelves, furniture, and mirrors can be made new with a fresh coat of paint. I have done this with several items in my home and have been thrilled with the result. For picture frames and mirrors, remove the glass from the frame before starting your project. Start by sanding the wood just a little with a piece of fine sandpaper. Sand the entire surface using light, gentle strokes. Roughening the wood up just a little will help the paint stick to the surface. Don't damage the wood by going crazy with the sand paper. There's no need to completely remove the old paint or finish.

After sanding, wipe the wood down thoroughly with a damp rag to remove any dust left from sanding. Now you're ready to paint. It's best to do the painting outside if at all possible. Spray paint looks best if multiple light coats are applied. Follow the directions on the can for application. Spraying the paint on too thick will lead to drips, which will have to be sanded down and repainted later. Two or three light coats of paint should be enough to achieve a smooth even finish. After the final coat dries, the project is complete. Unlike painting with a brush, there's relatively no clean up when using spray paint.

Spray paint can also be used to give a new look to lamps, light fixtures and ceiling fans. Turn an old brass fixture into a brushed metal work of art. To start, take the fixture apart, removing any glass, light bulbs, fan blades, or electrical cords. If some of these parts are not removable, cover them with painter's tape. I prefer brushed metallic paint for metal light fixtures and fans. The look of brushed nickel adds style to any home. Metal items do not need to be sanded prior to painting. Follow the steps outlined above for applying the spray paint. Make sure to read the instructions on the can as well. When the paint is dry, reassemble the fixture and fall in love with its new updated look.

Add some pizazz to your outdoor living space by painting old white chairs with bright new colors
Add some pizazz to your outdoor living space by painting old white chairs with bright new colors

Patio furniture can be updated the same way. Use indoor/outdoor spray paint for metal or wood furniture. If your outdoor furniture is plastic, select a special spray paint made specifically to adhere to plastic such as Krylon's Fusion for Plastic. A simple paint job can make your outdoor living space look brand new. Kitchen appliances, barbecues, doors, shutters, cabinets, hardware, glass, radiators, and farm equipment can all be recreated using specially designed types of spray paint.

Add a fun twist to a child's play room using chalkboard or magnet paint
Add a fun twist to a child's play room using chalkboard or magnet paint

Other fun ideas using spray paint include chalkboards and magnet boards. Believe it or not, you can spray a chalkboard finish onto any surface using chalkboard spray paint. This type of paint comes in dark green or black and can be used to spruce up an old chalkboard or create a completely new one. It's a great product for classrooms, playrooms, and kids' bedrooms. Just tape off the area you want to paint with painter's tape. Make sure the area is clean and dry before painting. All you have to do is spray the paint on and let it dry. You can do the same type of project using magnetic spray paint. This type of paint is great for home office areas, classrooms, workshops, or kids' rooms.

Unlike the chalkboard paint, the gray magnetic paint is a primer. After taping off and cleaning your surface, paint the area with the magnetic paint. After it dries, paint over it with spray paint that is the color of your choice. Because it is a primer coat, the magnetic paint can be used virtually anywhere because it's gray color will never be seen under the final top coat of color.

Spray painting saves you money by transforming something you already have instead of buying something new. It's a way of recycling, so it's great for the environment. Recycle the spray paint can when you're done to make this project even more earth friendly. Spray paint costs $1-$6 per can, so it's a relatively cheap project. I repainted eight dining room chairs for less than $30 using one can per chair. To see pictures of the transformed chairs, click here. 

Smaller projects like picture frames and mirror frames will require far less than one can. Spray paint can be purchased at any home improvement store or craft store. I challenge you to find something tucked away in the back of a closet somewhere that you can turn into a stylish piece of décor for your home. You'll have fun doing the project, you'll be amazed at the transformation, and you'll love how easy and inexpensive spray painting projects can be.


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Comments 34 comments

glassvisage profile image

glassvisage 8 years ago from Northern California

I like your money-saving tips! Would you believe that I spray-painted my laptop? :D

Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

I am the person who approaches a can of spray paint with terror...what if it's not the right color, what if I breathe it, what if it doesn't stick on what I'm spraying it on, what if it goes off by accident in the car, what if I miss my target? I am nowhere near applying spray paint to a cool project. I'm so terrorized by the spritz of a spray can, that I can't think in terms of projects.

About the idea of recycling old items into pieces of use and beauty for just a few bucks, right on! I think I need to hire you. :)

I admire your ease with turning a creative idea into reality.

Thumbs up!

shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 8 years ago from Arizona Author

glassvisage-I'd love to see a picture of your spray painted laptop! Now that's brave.

Dottie1 profile image

Dottie1 8 years ago from MA, USA

Fantastic and many creative ideas here using spray paint. Thanks for sharing!

Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 8 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

I love giving new life to old objects- and giving them a fresh coat using spray paint is a great idea. I used to use this really great acrylic paint that stuck on everything, called DEKA, then they stopped making it and I was beside myself. It's hard finding good paint for projects, I will have to try the new Krylon!

Great hub.

cthomas 8 years ago

Good article, I use these techniques and now realize I could probably be wealthy if I had invested in spray paint stock!!!! Soooo many things you can do with it, great to see your article.

shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 8 years ago from Arizona Author

cthomas-what have you created for your home using spray paint? I'd love to hear some new ideas!

Dorsi-I really like the Krylon. I know you can spend less for other brands, but it is great quality, so it's worth it to me.

hshimul profile image

hshimul 8 years ago from Bangladesh

nice post

Amy 8 years ago

Shawna-I had no idea you used spray paint for things around the house! I do the same thing! I've updated many picture frames using spray paint and my most recent project was a a coffee table. I bought a solid wood table through craigslist.com for $35 and then spent another $9 on black spray paint and it is beauituful! It even matches my dining room table so it looks great in the front room! Great articles, how do you have the time? :)

shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 8 years ago from Arizona Author

Amy-Thanks so much for reading! Your coffee table sounds awesome! My greatest achievement so far using spray paint was repainting eight dining room chairs that were given to us by my grandparents...and I reupholstered them all too, so it was a major undertaking. But I LOVE them! I know you'd like them too because we seem to have the same taste in décor :) I'm going to repaint the table too, but I'm waiting until it's cooler outside since it's mostly an outdoor project. Great to hear from you!

RGraf profile image

RGraf 8 years ago from Wisconsin

Thanks for the tips! I could really use this right now.

Dee Williams 8 years ago

Ok Love the post but I'm trying to understand which spray paint is best for my wooden dresser drawer that I bought from IKEA....Its the bright wood color and I am trying to spary paint it black to save money but I dont want to mess it up by using the wrong spray paint... Shawna can u help me plz.

shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 8 years ago from Arizona Author

Hi Dee-

I painted my wood dining room chairs using Krylon's indoor/outdoor spray paint in a satin finish.  It worked great.  I think the key is light sanding so the paint has something to stick to. 

Also, when you paint, make sure to use multiple thin coats, rather than spraying it on thick.  If it's too thick, it will drip.  If you're worried about the light wood showing through the black paint, you could try a primer coat first...I've never done that before, but it could work.  I hope this helps!

midnightbliss profile image

midnightbliss 7 years ago from Hermosa Beach

nice post on spray painting ideas. It iust needs creativity to transform something old to something really nice.

shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 7 years ago from Arizona Author

Thanks midnightbliss. I think it's a really fun way to change your old stuff. And then if it doesn't turn out, it was just old stuff you didn't want anyway, right? No loss! Glad you stopped by to read :)

josh88 7 years ago

hi shawna,i bought an old cofee table and 2 side table.im saving on money so i decided to give this old furniture which is brown and shiny(the classic look ) an update look. i would like to paint it black.ive read about sanding it first ..what type of sandpaper?.then primer..then the paint.i would like to use spray paint though i have never done this before .thiw would be my very first project.i would really appreciate all the tips you could give me..including brand names of things to use.thanks.

shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 7 years ago from Arizona Author

Hi Josh-I think another article I wrote will help you:


The parts about upholstery won't apply to your project, but I went into detail about sanding and spraypainting a set of dining room chairs that were a really shiny cherry finish to begin with. I painted them black, like you're hoping to do with your tables. Hope this helps!

audreana71 profile image

audreana71 7 years ago from WV

Great hub! I am a real novice with spray paint. I love what you did with the chairs! The toile, for the seat cushions, is beautiful! I would love to get beautiful results like yours. Any first-timer tips?

shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 7 years ago from Arizona Author

Hi audreana71- Spray paint is really fun because you can turn "junk" into something nice and new. When spray painting wood items, I've found the paint looks best if the item you're painting is actually real wood. I did a table, and the legs and sides looked great, but the top looked really splotchy. I am pretty sure the top was not real wood. So that's one tip I guess. Just find some old stuff and experiment. Enjoy!

newspraypainter 7 years ago

Thanks for the pictures -- they were impressive. We just bought a beige file cabinet and a brass-looking bed frame at a flea market. We wanted a glossy finish on both and used the Rustoleum for metal primer and paint on both. In spite of several what-we-thought-were light coats, on the file cabinet it remains shiny in some areas and less shiny/dull in others. We bought the Rustoleum shiny gold-looking spray paint for the bed (which was suppose to resemble the lid, per the can) and it came out a dull looking flat brass color. We tried on a spot with & without primer to see if that was the problem, but there was no difference. Help! Design shows make it look so easy! Thanks!

shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 7 years ago from Arizona Author

newspraypainter- I have never spray painted anything metal before, so I'm not sure how much advice I can offer. Did you sand the metal at all? Sometimes the paint just needs a rough surface to stick to. Don't sand too much though, or you'll damage the furniture and then it really won't look good. I hope this helps at least a little bit!

Solid Wood Coffee Table 7 years ago


Hi.Your idea was so nice , I really like this topic.

It is good to use spray paint in decorating.

Thank You and Have a Nice Day.

shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 7 years ago from Arizona Author


heart4theword profile image

heart4theword 6 years ago from hub

A few months ago, I saw some 70's chairs, and the cushions were airbrushed. They were really funky lookin, but awesome. They sold at a garage sale for $25 a piece, not bad for an old chair? You are so right, paint can do miraculous things!

fred allen profile image

fred allen 6 years ago from Myrtle Beach SC

Great ideas here! I bet I can find some things around the house that can be improved with a little bit of fresh paint and TLC. Think I'll give it a try.

shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 6 years ago from Arizona Author

Fred-have fun painting!

Marie 6 years ago

I am so glad i came across your hub. I am a NYer moved to Ireland and a lot of our furniture got banged up in transit. I don't have patience to hand paint and i have used spray paint in the past and it is much quicker and so there is less chance to mess it up. My question is how do i know if i need a primer first? I have an old pressed wood nightstand and i think i could breathe new life into it with a spray. Thanks!

shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 6 years ago from Arizona Author

Marie-If you aren't going to sand the wood, use a spray on primer. Also, if you're painting a dark color onto a light surface, use a primer. When you're using spray paint, priming is a quick and easy step, as opposed to priming with a brush. So I'd go ahead and prime. Hope this helps!

ggenda profile image

ggenda 5 years ago from USA

These are some great ideas! We are still getting settled in our new home, and I'm on the lookout for inexpensive decorating ideas. Great hub!

Mark 5 years ago

Thanks for the info, going to spray a coffee table I bought for $20 red right now!

jennifertaylor91 profile image

jennifertaylor91 5 years ago from USA

I like your advice and appreciate your opinion to décor old furniture. Each and Every thing are looking good attractive design. After see your furniture, I would be repaint of my furniture set.Thanks


Wooden bedroom furniture :- http://www.bedroomfurniturespot.com/shop-bedrooms-...

Kim 4 years ago

I spray painted and old ugly dining room chandelier! It was the icky gold/brass color. I sanded the heck out of it and did metal primer, then silver/chrome color, then a clear coat. It turned out stunningly! Best $10 of paint ever spent! We recently had our home assessed because we are refinancing our mortgage and the assessor said the chandelier was "an upgrade"! Little did he know!!

Catherine 4 years ago


I just spray painted my first end table, after i complete the 2/3 light coats. Do i need to seal the spray paint after it's done?

shawna.wilson profile image

shawna.wilson 4 years ago from Arizona Author

I have never done a sealing coat, but it's not a bad idea at all. Maybe a coat of clear polycrylic? Good luck!

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