I always need some instant gratification…how about you? I thought I’d post some easy things to do when you want to update some items you already have in your home. Paint is the quickest, easiest and least expensive ways to transform just about anything!
You can pick up so many sale items in HomeGoods, estate sales, thrift and antique stores that you can update quickly and easily. I love, love, love sunburst type mirrors but the ones I love are way beyond my budget. I picked this little guy up at HG for about $12 – and painted it with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White. It could be hard to tell, but in the before pic – the interior spikes are like a glass that looks like granite or marble. It’s nice – but just a little too glitzy for me, so I just painted over it. It took a quick sanding and 2-3 coats and then a coat of antique wax (Miss Mustardseed) – so about an hour and a half to transform this.
One of the other things I am going to try is to use some flocking material to alter a mirror, candlestick etc. Martha Stewart has some fun colors for flocking…why use it for scrapbooking or greeting cards – use it on your accessories at home!
I’ve done many other mirrors with paint and gold leaf antiqued. This week I will be helping a client repair a beautiful old mirror that has lost some of its glorious gold – so stay tuned as I help her repair this beautiful mirror. Other ideas that you can use to update mirrors are to paint them a vivid color. Why do they have to be white, gold, black or bronze? Why not use a vivid pink or citrus green or yellow? Create a beautiful “Hello” in your entryway by painting a mirror in an outstanding, yet unexpected color?
After, the picture frame was just painted with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Paris Grey and Graphite – and sanded back.
The same goes for picture frames. Why stay with the typical white, gold or black? Use the colors in your home to determine some of your picture frame colors. I used some Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Paris Grey and Graphite (then sanded back) to change these free frames I received from a friend of mine. To determine the color you should use to alter the frame, keep in mind your room’s color scheme…and pick out a color that is already in the artwork of the frame you want to paint.
I have spray painted, gilded (even used variegated leaf to change frames – as well as chandelier bases…see below).
Gold Leaf or Paint Something Gold
Whether you use gold leaf, gold paint, gold wax – or many variations thereof, you can update anything. Gold paint and leaf are always in my toolbox because I can always improve the look of anything I come across. About 12 years ago, I came across a chandelier online that was very inexpensive – and it suited my small budget at the time. When the chandelier came to my door a few weeks later – I was shocked to find the ugliest thing I had ever seen! It was supposed to be an antiqued white – but it looked like army camouflage to me (someone’s idea of what antiquing looked like!) I wish I had a picture of it (somewhere I do – but it was taken with an old camera – and a dark and bad pic at that!). but believe me – it was UGLY! So, I could not tell my husband that I made a bad decision that cost nearly $500, so I painted it bronze and I gold leafed the birds on the chandelier and I used variegated leaf (in reds and gold) for the leaves on the fixture. I then antiqued the entire piece – so much better. A 300% improvement…believe me!
Candleholders and Vases
You can find these everywhere and they are so inexpensive when they are big – but they are an ugly color or if they are marred in any way. Don’t ever pass up something in the Clearance section, just because it has some flaws or it’s the wrong color. I love the things that other people pass up. They are a gold mine to me and they will be to you!
The first pic above is an HG find – that was a dirty white…pretty nondescript…and on sale! BINGO! I painted it first with some Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Scandinavian Pink and then a dry brushing of Old White. Simple and easy – took me less than an hour. The second pic was something I got at HG too for about $3.00. I painted it in a metallic green (top portion) and I used a variegated leaf (in greens and blues) for the longer base. I antiqued it and it looks so much better than it did when I bought it (for $3)! See this blogpost for a how to.
Vases are also ripe to change with paint. These vases were so ugly and modern, so I transformed them with some bronze paint, verdigris colors (3 different shades of blue/green) and some faux rust. Here’s the before…
Click here for the tutorial on how to do this paint finish on the vases.
A Quick Change for Small Chairs
Chairs can be painted and done in less than a day and the impact this small change can make in a room is huge. Everyone has some ugly brown wooden chairs that have seen better days…and if you don’t have one just go to a yard sale because everyone is trying to get rid of theirs! This chair below was sitting in our Master Bedroom for years – just collecting my husband’s clothes. I needed it for a home staging that I was doing, so I quickly used some Annie Sloan Cream Chalk Paint and some stencils and the chair then had the cottage look I needed for this sun porch in a vacant home. Here’s the before and after…
I could keep going with ideas…but I know that if you just carve out a little bit of time you can substantially alter something in your home – tomorrow. A little bit of paint can change the most mundane item into a special, cherished heirloom in your family.
Thanks for reading. Let me know what you have painted in your home. Send me pictures! Please share in the comments below!