Home decor tips for using leftover paint

Decorating / Home decor tips Un Peintre Pro (House painter)

A splash of colour is often just what you need to breathe new life into your home. Here are a few simple ideas to add colour to yours.

Save those leftover paints

Whenever the decorating bug bites, you’ll be very glad you didn’t toss out your half-empty paint cans. Hang on to them to create small “patch” tests during those redecorating binges. Better still, use them for some of the following:

  • Patching nicks and scratches in existing wall paint
  • Priming for new paint
  • Redoing or touching up old furniture and accessories
  • Painting a closet or pantry
  • Painting the inside of a small cupboard
  • Tinting other paints to create colour washes
  • Creating multi-colour faux finishes
  • Doing decorative stenciling
  • Painting trim work on everything from furniture to picture frames.

Transfer small amounts of leftover paints to wide-mouthed plastic storage containers, like clean mayonnaise or peanut butter jars. Label by colour, type of paint and manufacturer. Air and moisture are the enemies of stored paint, so be sure tops and lids seal tightly. Alkyd and oil-based paint will form their own protective skins in the containers. For latex (water-based) paint, lay a layer of plastic wrap atop the paint before putting the lid on. And always store leftover paints in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight.

Make that bookcase pop

One of the simplest ways to add depth to a room is to paint or wallpaper the inside backs of built-in bookcases and display shelving — a great way to use leftover decorating materials. If you paint, keep in mind that darker colours appear to recede, fooling the eye into seeing a deeper recess — hence a larger room. A solid or discreetly patterned wallpaper will achieve the same effect.

Spruce up trim with colour

Before starting a large-scale freshening-up project, look up at your wall mouldings and trim and check your supply of leftover paints. In general, a single trim colour is carried throughout the home to unify the spaces from room to room. But you could add colour to, say, a child’s room, family room or game room by painting the trim in an accent colour. (To maintain the visual flow with the rest of the house, keep doors and window frames in the overall trim colour.)

Rainbow colours for outdoor furniture

Outside, you have five lawn chairs that have seen better days. Inside, you have five cans of leftover paint. Here’s your chance to make good use of those paints you’ve been saving, and to go a little crazy with colour to boot. There’s no rule that all outdoor furniture has to look the same, so be adventurous and go for the bold. As long as you prepare surfaces well by sanding and cleaning and follow manufacturers’ instructions, you can use leftover interior paints on outdoor pieces and protect them with a polyurethane finish. Rusty metal furniture should be scraped as needed and primed with a rust-resistant undercoat. Thanks to modern technology, you can also spray paint faded plastic yard furniture.

You’ll be a rock star in your house when you take that leftover paint that’s been siting around and use it to add pops of colour to the rooms in your home. Instant home decor!

Home decor tips
Home decor tips for using leftover paint

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