Instant Gratification: Painting Projects to Update Your Decor in One Weekend

(ARA) - Updating the decor in your home doesn't have to be a long, laborious or expensive process. Instead, get a little instant gratification by using paint to easily refresh areas and items throughout the house. With a little cash and a free weekend, you can makeover your house right now.

Furniture Facelift

Whether it's an old pair of chairs in the attic or a desk that's seen better days, it's easy to breathe new life into pieces of forgotten furniture with a fresh coat of paint. You can add interest and a pop of color to any room. A semi-gloss finish works best when painting furniture because it's easy to clean and hides any imperfections.

How to:

  • Make sure the surface is clean, dull and dry.
  • Prime with a stain blocking primer to ensure the surface is properly sealed. This will help the paint go on evenly and uniformly.
  • With a high-quality mini-roller, like those from Purdy, apply the paint of your choice to achieve the best finish. These tools are versatile, lightweight, and can quickly and easily deliver a perfect finish with smooth rolling action.
  • For extra protection, brush on two thin, even coats of water-based polyurethane.

Door Do-Over

Changing the color of an interior door can make a big impact in any room. The key to getting this update right: color selection. Choose color similar to your walls for the door, because you don't want the contrast to be jarring. Be sure to paint the frame too, so the door doesn't seem to float in space, and use a gloss or semi-gloss finish.

How to:

  • Remove door and hinges from the wall.
  • Make sure the door is clean dull and dry.
  • Prime bare, sanded woodwork; there's no need to prime previously painted surfaces if they're in good condition. However, if you are going over an existing oil-based paint with a latex paint, follow the instructions on the paint can on how to prime.
  • When applying paint or primer, work from the center of the door outwards in the following order: molding, inside panels, rails, stiles
  • Once paint is completely dry, re-hang door using existing hinges.

Step To It

For an unexpected update, paint an area of the house that doesn't usually receive a lot of love - your stair risers. They can get nicked and scuffed easily, so a fresh finish - and color - can really perk up the staircase. If you're unsure of which shade to choose, cut and paint cardboard pieces the same size of the risers and position them on the steps to get an idea of the effect.

How to:

  • Dust risers with a broom and cover steps with masking paper; secure with painter's tape.
  • Apply latex primer to wooden risers or metal etching primer to metallic ones. Brush horizontally and let dry for at least two hours. Mini rollers are another tool to consider especially over metal.
  • Apply gloss, latex paint with a clean brush or mini roller. Let first coat dry two hours, then apply second coat.
  • Wait a day for the paint to cure and then add a third coat for the most durable finish.


Remember: Painting is the easiest way to make a dramatic and instant impact on a room. This weekend, get inspired and makeover with these simple and inexpensive projects.

Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

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