bright blue wood graining painted wall, easy upgrades around the home for the whole year
Photo: Trevor Richards/IPC + Syndication
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September: Give a Plain Wall a Whimsical Face-Lift

Got a so-so space that could use this witty take on wood paneling? Hit the home center for supplies: sheet beadboard, Shaker peg rail, a wood-graining tool kit, and some paint and glaze. Lay cut-to-size beadboard flat, and roll on a coat of equal parts glaze and colorful paint (we like this rich teal). Drag a paint comb through it from top to bottom, then make a second pass with the curved tool, rocking it as you go to create "planks." Once dry, put up the beadboard, add the top rail, stand back, and smile: This is one frankly faux look that's a real mood booster.

Essential tools
Look for a wood-graining kit that combines different heads as well as a comb so that you can vary the appearance of your planks for a more detailed look. Find kits at home centers for about $4 each.
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