Paint Ideas That Will Bring Your Home to Life!
Decorating with paint is one of the most inexpensive ways to transform your space.
Color affects your moods and emotions and can change your life. If you experiment with interior paint ideas and learn how to use color to your advantage, you really can change not only your home, but the way you feel.
Think of your white walls as an empty canvas. When the walls have color, texture, and movement, you really don’t need to hang a bunch of “stuff” or pack the room with furniture. Less really does become more, in terms of impact.
So let your walls become the art and paint that canvas!
Never Painted Before?
If the thought of decorating with paint makes you nervous, I highly recommend you read “Color Your Life: How to Design Your Home with Colors from Your Heart” by Elaine Ryan.
Elaine dispels a lot of the design myths about using color and sticking to a theme throughout your home, and helps you feel more comfortable about choosing paint color. A sentence from chapter five sums up her philosophy, and mine: “Color is the key element that creates and sets the mood of every room.” I promise you that even if you’ve never done it before, you can create a look you’ll love.
Faux paint finishes on the walls of this two story great room bring warmth and dimension, keeping the space from appearing cavernous.
There are so many fantastic products and interior paint ideas you can experiment with to get a designer look for very little cost. And you don’t have to stay on the walls either.
Try my stair railing ideas for a fabulous custom look that fits your home’s personality. With a little paint and a bit of imagination, you can quickly and easily get a brand new railing.
Next time you get the urge to spend money because you’re bored, sad, or need a change, paint a room. It’s much more satisfying and the effects last longer.
closeup of a warm glaze faux painted over an orange peel textured wall
Forget watching TV when you’re spending Saturday night home alone! Pour your beverage of choice, put on some great tunes and get your painter’s hat on.
Not ready for a whole room? Try some of my decorative paint ideas on a niche or kitchen backsplash.
Closeup of an “orange peel” textured wall that was first painted with a Frazee color called Plantation Beige, then a warm glaze was applied over it.
Ideas for Decorating with Paint
I have so many decorative paint ideas, but here are a few to get your creative juices flowing. Every one of these effects, and more, can be achieved with just $50 to $100 of materials and a little sweat equity:
- Do you love the bright washed colors of Mediterranean homes? If so, you’ll love the effects of glazing or aging techniques over a vibrant base color.
- You can get patterns on your walls without paying for pricey wall coverings by varying the shade of one color to create stripes or use stencils.
- Interested in finding creative interior paint ideas? There are paint techniques that look like stone, metal, suede, linen, or even denim, making it simple to get a unique look.
- Faux techniques can create billowy clouds of color with a three-dimensional quality and are easy to use, even if you don’t know how to faux paint.
Great Products and Paint Ideas to Check Out
I’ve tried many of Ralph Lauren’s (RL) wonderful products but one of the easiest to use is called “Aging”. Here’s an example of this product in a master bathroom makeover, with “before” on the left wall and “after” on the right.
It’s actually a glaze, and it’s applied over an eggshell or satin paint. It can lighten, for a faded-by-the-sun look, or darken, for an antique effect. I used it in another house over bright base colors like turquoise and poppy yellow for an old-world, Mediterranean feel, and it works wonders tying colors together. You can also use this aging technique on furniture, kitchen or bathroom cabinets, moldings, mirrors, etc.
You can also buy an un-tinted glaze base and add up to 25% paint, just make sure you mix like with like, as in acrylic glaze with acrylic paint, or oil based with oil based.
Metallic Wall Paints are another great way to bring luster and depth to your walls, ceilings, even furniture is by using Modern Masters Metallic Paints, Metal Effects Reative Paints and Patina Aging solutions. Use them to create aged copper walls, blackened bronze finishes, rusted metal, etc. Visit their web site for metallic paint ideas as well as recipe cards that show you how to achieve the same look or start with an inspiration of your own. Here’s a video they made to show how to do a rusted wall technique.
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Besides walls, you can use metallic and reactive paints on wood or metal furniture, wall sconces, picture frames, candlesticks, drapery rods, etc, all with great results!
Here’s another decorative paint idea using Ralph Lauren’s River Rock, to simulate an old stone wall. With the claw foot of a hammer, I knocked out chunks of drywall and wedged several pieces of leftover tile that looked like stone into the wall. (securing them with construction adhesive) Then sanded tile grout was used between the faux “stones” to look like mortar.
“After” photo of a tiny foyer in a bi-level home. Once boring and claustrophobic, it’s now rich with color, having several interior paint ideas combined, including: faux rust on stair railings, faux paint walls, River Rock on the lower wall, wall mural, faux balcony & mirror/window.
This project started with the wall mural idea and then I had a decorative grid and sill made by a carpenter in order to simulate a large picture window.
My friend then suggested we piggy back on that idea and created a decorative balcony next to it. He salvaged wrought iron railings from a neighbors trash and had a welder do the work for free, in exchange for all the extra railing he didn’t need.
Next, he made a balcony out of wood and corbels , then covered it with terra-cotta tiles and floor grout. We hung a mirror and shutters, and then mounted a flower box filled with silk plants. Candles and a rug hang from the balcony, and a new-old looking, light fixture completes the effect.
Ralph Lauren “Candlelight” is a shimmering topcoat that changes throughout the day and adds glamour. It is a great addition to a romantic bedroom makeover or a sensual dining experience. You can even use this product over a striped wall to get the look of an expensive fabric wall treatment. I plan to experiment with Candlelight over the Aging product and will let you know how that goes.
compostie planter in white before it was was painted
Try one of these paint ideas next time you want to take advantage of a great sale but can’t find the exact color or finish you’re looking for.
black and brown paint was used on this planter to give it an aged look
I used leftover exterior house paint in black as a base coat and while it was still wet, filled in the groves with a reddish brown, then went over the whole thing with a dry brush and wallah! This urn looks like it’s made of iron, but it’s really just plastic.
Once you try you hand at decorative paint techniques you may feel a huge sense of freedom. It’s fun knowing that you can change things to resemble anything your heart desires, so experiment away!
Mistakes Decorating with Paint
Are you worried about making a mistake, maybe choosing the wrong color or using the wrong kind of paint?
That’s the beauty of decorating with paint! We all make mistakes (I have too) but fixing those mistakes is easy. You’ll also find lots of information on this site to help you avoid making mistakes in the first place. So whether you’re learning how to paint kitchen cabinets or how to paint your entire home, you can relax.
One mistake I made decorating with paint was not choosing the right color but it happens to all of us sometimes. I had used RL Suede paint in “Vista” (can you picture blue suede shoes?) with antique white furniture and light carpets. In hindsight, this color would have felt more cozy in a room with warm woods and rich colors. On the up side, a suede paint called “Snowdrift” turned out great in another bedroom, and I found the soft brush pattern very relaxing.
Bottom line ~ paint is cheap ~ and doing the work yourself is part learning experience, part meditation, but wholly satisfying when it comes out as you envisioned. Don’t be afraid to be creative!
Share Your Paint Ideas
Were you able to breathe new life into an old piece of furniture by giving it a “paint lift”?
Have you painted an accent wall, used two bedroom wall colors, done glazing, antiquing or faux paint techniques? What about ideas for painting stair railings? Stripes or stenciled designs on walls or floors?
Tell us your interior paint ideas for walls, floors, concrete, even kitchen cabinets!
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Check out some of our other great topics
We've compiled all sorts of great information that we know you'll love - Take a look below to find tips for all of your favorite home decorating categories.