Quick and easy paint projects – 10 ideas for refreshing your home, speedily and stylishly
From colorful trims to simple accent walls, these quick and easy paint projects can add wonderful color and character to your home
- 1. Transform your trim
- 2. Use paint to zone and divide spaces
- 3. Uplift your furniture with color
- 4. Paint a nook
- 5. Decorate a headboard or bed frame
- 6. Add pretty painted detail to a fireplace
- 7. Get creative with a colorful accent wall
- 8. Freshen up your picture frames
- 9. Add color to a bathroom with a painted bathtub
- 10. Dress up your doors
Quick and easy paint projects can be a simple and satisfying way to uplift areas of your home with a colorful, unique and bespoke look – and they can be great fun, too.
Whether you have a collection of sample paint cans that you don't know what to do with, or leftover paint from another decorating project, getting creative with paint ideas can help put that leftover paint to good use.
From colorful paint tricks on woodwork, to painted picture frames, fireplaces and more, these small paint projects will inspire you to pick up a paint brush this weekend.
8 quick and easy paint projects to spruce up your space
'Not every paint job needs to be a daunting four wall, ceiling and woodwork repaint. Sometimes smaller projects can create the biggest difference to refresh a space without costing the world. These "mini projects" have become increasingly popular to add interest by injecting pops of color into a room,' says Benjamin Moore paint expert, Helen Shaw.
So if you're looking for a creative DIY project that doesn't cost the earth or take too long, let us show you how you can refresh your home with the power of paint.
Helen Shaw is part of Benjamin Moore's UK division. Color expert and international marketing director, Helen and her husband Craig are founders of Shaw Paints, acquired by Benjamin Moore in 2020.
1. Transform your trim
'The addition of an accent color is a quick and easy way to transform a space, define an area, or highlight architectural elements. If you’re lucky enough to have wonderful architectural details such as archways, deep skirting or picture rails in your home, paint is the perfect way to highlight them to create a design detail,' says Ruth Mottershead, creative director at Little Greene.
Gone are the days of standard white trims and architectural details; one of the biggest paint trends seen across interior design over the last few years is painted trim and woodwork. This use of paint can create a beautiful design feature and a stylish injection of color into a room, as shown by the eye-catching, green-painted arch window frames in this modern kitchen by Naked Kitchens.
Ruth Mottershead is the creative director of the family-run paint and wallpaper businesses Little Greene and Paint & Paper Library, which specialize in creating luxurious paint and wallpaper that represent 300 years of decorative history.
2. Use paint to zone and divide spaces
A development to the idea of painting trim around windows, painting trim that sits at the division between two rooms is the perfect way to zone a space subtly, while adding a bright, sunny hint of color that can act as an accent to unite the two spaces.
It's been achieved masterfully by interior designer Suzy Hoodless, above.
3. Uplift your furniture with color
One of the easiest and most popular paint projects to embrace in the home is painted furniture ideas.
A great way to upcycle a tired, old piece of furniture, the addition of paint can give it a new lease of life.
UK-based interior designer, Birdie Fortescue says, 'This striking blue dining room makes the most of the dramatic potential of paint; using matte and gloss paint finishes to great effect. The unexpected addition of the contemporary painted pedestal table and mid-century polished chairs make this scheme sing. The most visually appealing interior designs mix painted and polished furniture from different eras with balance and flair.'
We love the eclectic contrast that is formed between the bright blue painted dining table and traditional wooden dining chairs, and how the space establishes a stylish blend of the old and new.
We explore how to paint wood furniture in more depth in our dedicated feature.
Birdie Fortescue is an interior designer with an eye for combining contemporary and antique furniture. She is a contributing editor to Homes & Gardens.
4. Paint a nook
Looking for fresh alcove ideas? Here, designer and hotelier Kit Kemp's simple adjustment in the tone of the green used picks out the architecture and highlights the artwork within it. It's a great way to make awkward features feel purposeful.
5. Decorate a headboard or bed frame
Headboard ideas do not always have to revolve around plush fabric upholstery or investing in a completely new design. Why not get creative with an existing, plain wooden headboard and let your artistic flair run wild?
This cozy nook bed has been adorned with a beautiful painted design inspired by the Bloomsbury Set and the Arts & Crafts movement. A sleep space layered with a stylish medley of color and texture, the artistic use of paint gives the bed frame a truly luxurious, almost regal feel.
If an intricate painted design feels too far out of your comfort zone, simply refreshing a bedframe with a wash of one color will do; a great way to add a striking, colorful accent to the space for your bedroom color ideas.
6. Add pretty painted detail to a fireplace
British printmaker and designer, Molly Mahon is renowned for her vibrant and playful use of color and pattern across her wallpaper and fabric designs.
She says of her design process, 'I find a room full of textures, layers and colors exciting and uplifting. I am inspired by nature, my travels to India and things that I notice in my daily life, I then turn these images into repeat designs and carve them into a block.'
This colorful style is prevalent throughout her own home – with her signature, hand-block patterned designs making it all the way to her fireplace. Hand-painted by Molly herself, this stone surround (above) has been embellished with a joyful pattern, adding beautiful detail and contrasting color – a whole new, colorful take on fireplace ideas.
7. Get creative with a colorful accent wall
'If you don’t have anything to upcycle then painting a single wall or updating all the woodwork in your room is a perfect technique for creating zones or highlighting a specific area,' says Helen Shaw from Benjamin Moore.
Instead of painting a whole room, bring in a new, colorful aspect through a painted accent wall. Living room feature wall ideas are most common, but this dining room has been effectively decorated with a colorful panels of Shepherd's Green paint by Valspar, creating a more modern take on wall paneling ideas that introduces striking shape and contemporary character to the space.
We love the bold and bright use of color in this dining room, and how the painted furniture beckons you to be seated in the space.
8. Freshen up your picture frames
'When it comes to artwork, we love a wonderful unique frame. Throughout our hotels you will spot thousands of different ways to frame and display artwork, from a simple Perspex box, to driftwood, or just painted in a wacky form,' says interior designer and founder of Firmdale Hotels, Kit Kemp.
'Our clever framer has reinvented the art of framing and makes the frame an art form in itself. I like to frame things in such a way that the artwork looks more striking and stands its ground in a room. Not only would you be creating something vibrant for your house, you will be making something completely unique.'
Take the lead from the palette of a painting and decorate the frame with a unique patterned design. From abstract shapes to checks and stripes, enhancing artwork with a hand-painted frame will only make the view more special.
Renowned British interior designer and founder of the hotel chain, Firmdale Hotels, Kit Kemp has been creating and designing beautiful interior spaces for over 3 decades.
9. Add color to a bathroom with a painted bathtub
Looking to refresh your bathroom color ideas? Adding a coat of paint to your bathtub can be a quick and easy paint job – with a beautiful end result.
'From walls to floors to the tub itself, repainting is the quickest, most cost-effective way to refresh your bathroom. Layering color and texture is key to keeping pale rooms interesting – particularly so bathrooms, which can look cold and unwelcoming with the prevalence of white sanitaryware and tiles,' says artist and paint expert, Annie Sloan.
A bathtub often sits at the center of a bathroom's design, so enriching it with color and character will make a more attractive focal point of this fixture for your bathroom ideas.
Annie shares more tips in her dedicated piece, 5 ways to transform your home with paint in a weekend.
Annie Sloan is an artist and business woman behind her own paint brand. She invented her revolutionary furniture paint, Chalk Paint, in 1990 and hasn’t stopped refining and improving her formula since. She is widely considered one of the world’s leading authorities in paint, color and style.
10. Dress up your doors
Don't forget your doors! Many of us embrace colorful front door ideas so why not spruce up your internal doors with color, too.
Similar to trim, our doors are often left white or the natural color of wood. Of course, these finishes fit in seamlessly with the majority of interior designs, but if you're looking into how you can add color to a room, then painting the door can add an uplifting decoration.
In this colorful bedroom, rather than painting the whole door, a sleek, stripe of Coral Gables paint by Benjamin Moore creates a colorful surprise and stylish design detail on the door edge; a simple yet luxurious touch.
We also love the Blue Danube circle painted around the wall light, grounding the fixture to the space and adding a playful, unique design detail to the space.
How do you choose the right colors for quick paint projects?
If you're using up old paint then you will be limited to what colors you can use, but when starting on any quick paint project in the home, think about how your chosen painted design can beautifully complement your existing room color ideas.
From bringing in a beautiful accent color to create a sense of contrast and balance, to mirroring the colors on the walls for a cohesive and united feel, think about the overall look you are wanting to create before you begin.
Helen Shaw from Benjamin Moore advises, 'pick a shade to match the main accent color in the room to inject personality to the space. Alternatively, for a more subtle look, choose a tonal color for a low-key restoration project which will work to create a balanced, harmonious space. A good option is to paint architectural features such a picture rails and cornices in a darker shade which will bring out a smart, tailored look.'
We explore further color pairings and decorating with color in our dedicated feature, how to use a color wheel for interior design.
Getting creative with paint in your home doesn't always have to revolve around painting a whole room. Our collection of paint projects show that even small and simple paint updates can have a truly transformative effect; enriching spaces with unique character and beautiful decorative detail.
Zara joined Homes & Gardens in February 2022 as a Content Editor. After studying English Literature at University, she worked as an Ecommerce Website Editor, Content Writer and Buying Intern at multiple independent businesses within the luxury retail and lifestyle sectors. Her role at Homes & Gardens unites her love, experience and passion for the world of design and desire to create inspiring written content. She enjoys nothing more than discovering new trends, brands and products, whether that be in fashion, interior design or lifestyle.
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