Spray Paint
Easily Unifies Your Style

Spray paint has to be one of my favorite inventions, especially from a designer or decorator standpoint. It is an easy, convenient, thrifty "fix-all" product that gets the job done quickly.

When you have a "Restore, Reuse, Reinvent" mentality, such as myself, you find all types of uses for spray paint; most of which relate to interior design and decorating. Since I find it so efficient, it is often the go-to solution for my easy interior update projects.

Use it to make old items look new again or to give them some modern appeal. Use it to unify items in a space and to create cohesion. Use it to save money. If an existing item does not match the other finishes in the room, paint it rather than replace it. There are so many finishes and colors available that you are certain to find one that will fit your need.

Consider metallic finishes which I use often for my projects. In the examples shown below, I used metallic satin-nickel.

Here are a few, simple ways to easily update your interior.

Light Fixture

Recessed Lighting
The recessed lighting baffles in this kitchen had white trim. I knew a "silver" finish would really make them pop against the flat black and would create the modern edge wanted. It also tied them in with similarly colored elements and accents throughout the space.

Most trim rings are attached via springs or tension clips that you squeeze together to release the ring. The light bulb must be removed first.

Note: Wear Eye Protection when dealing with springs or tension clips. Keep the light switch in the OFF position while working.

Remove the ring and paint it outside on a piece of cardboard. Be sure to fully paint around the inner and outer edges. Numerous light coats will produce a nicer finish. Allow ample dry time between coats.

Exhaust Fan Cover

Kitchen Exhaust Fan
This plastic, kitchen exhaust fan cover was also white and in the same kitchen. It was painted the same color as the recessed lighting trim rings. Unifying these elements are the details that produce a finished, customized look.

Be sure the fan is in the OFF position before removing the cover.

Door Handle

Door Handle

Door handles and hardware sets can get pricey. I had some leftover bed/bath handles that were a dated, brass finish. I painted them a trendier color and used them on a different level of my home.

Note: Try to keep door hardware finishes the same on any given level of your home or use the same throughout if possible.

If you decide to paint door hardware, remove it from the door and anchor it in a piece of Styrofoam or through a cardboard box so just the handle part is exposed and sticking upright. Spray numerous light coats until full coverage is achieved. Be mindful of the moving components of the handle. You do not want to paint them closed. I had no issues with this. Be sure the handle is fully dry before reassembly.

Tip: Use your digital camera to take photos of the door handle disassembly to assist with reassembly.

Cabinet Hinges

Cabinet Hinges
Frugal Tip Reusing these previously white hinges provided
a savings of one-hundred dollars. The savings went toward new knobs and handles instead.

New hardware can get costly. You can easily spend a couple hundred dollars on new cabinet pulls and hinges, and that's for the "no-frills" styles. Save a few bucks by reusing your existing hardware and painting it in a new finish.

Be sure you use the correct type of spray paint depending on your hardware's material (plastic, metal, wood). This will allow for proper adhesion so the color does not wear off over time.

Spray painting hardware is not something you can rush. If you are painting knob pulls for instance, I suggest inserting them in a line through a piece of cardboard. You can use the included screws to hold the knobs in place although they will still be a bit loose. Space them apart so you can spray paint between them or else rotate them with the screw on the underside of the cardboard to get full coverage. Take your time and do numerous light coats. You may have to do some touch-up painting after the knobs are removed from the cardboard.

Tip: You can also stick the screw with attached hardware into a piece of Styrofoam rather than using cardboard to anchor it for spray painting.

Ceiling Fan Blades

Painted Ceiling Fan Blades
This ceiling fan, located in a kitchen, had wood-tone fan blades that neither matched the cabinets nor the chosen style direction. Rather than replacing the fan, we painted the blades in a metallic satin-nickel finish. This allowed it to coordinate with the other "modern" elements in the space, such as stainless appliances and brushed-nickel lighting and cabinet hardware.

Fan blades are typically easy to remove with a few simple hand tools.
Each blade is attached with its own set of screws or bolts.

Make sure the fan is in the OFF position before attempting this project.

Lighting Fixtures

Brushed Nickel Track-Light Before Spray Painted
This brushed-nickel lighting fixture no longer coordinated when the other fixtures in this bathroom were upgraded to oil-rubbed bronze.

The Solution? Rustoleum Universal Metallics in Oil Rubbed Bronze.

Rustoleum Oil-Rubbed Bronze Spray Paint
I highly recommend this spray paint. The finish was amazingly similar to the other oil-rubbed bronze fixtures in the space.

Use Aluminum Foil To Mask Electrical Connections Before Spray Painting

Quick Tip: Use aluminum foil to quickly and easily mask
electrical connections from spray paint.

Brushed Nickel Track-Light After Spray Painted With Oil-Rubbed Bronze
This frugal update only cost $8.00 - a can of spray paint. The frosted-glass shades originally came with the set. Switch shades for a quick, new look.

Other Ideas

Use spray paint on:

  • Old lighting fixtures (as shown above)
  • Cabinet and drawer hardware (such as knobs and pulls discussed above)
  • Air duct and heating vent covers
  • Outlet and switch plate covers Note: plastic fushion spray paint should be used on plastic covers for maximum adhesion and to inhibit wearing.

Tips and Suggestions

When doing any spray paint project, it is best to fully remove the item and perform the job outdoors in a well ventilated area. Spray numerous light coats and keep the can moving to produce the nicest finish. Follow the manufacturer's directions regarding dry times between coats and before final handling.

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