Spray On a Fast Facelift
Hammers, screws, and tape measures are handy, sure, but if your house needs a face-lift, you need specialty spray paints. Able to mimic the look of everything from stainless steel to stained glass—and formulated for all types of surfaces, including plastic and metal—these high-impact, long-lasting finishes offer an easy fix for a slew of household objects. And at around $5 to $10 a can, you can afford to make over every beat-up, outmoded item you own. Need proof? Check out these examples.
Before: A Window That Leaves You Exposed
Installed in a bathroom, this window revealed too much...
After: Privacy Panes
...until we sprayed the panes with Krylon's Stained Glass Color. Available in red, yellow, and blue, the translucent formula lets in light while shading details from prying eyes.
About $9.50 each; Krylon
Tip: Layer splotches of color over one another to give your window the look of art glass.
Before: Scratched, Weatherworn Outdoor Sconce
This fixture had suffered through countless storms and exterior paint jobs—and it showed. Battered, paint-splattered, and even a bit rusty, it desperately needed a new finish.
After: Light Bright
To mask the damage, we used Rust-Oleum's Hammered finish in Verde Green, which gives the appearance of hand-hammered metal with a verdigris patina.
About $6; Rust-Oleum
Tip: Apply at least three coats of paint to get the full effect of its rustic mottled finish.
Before: Cheap-Looking Plastic Urn
At less than $6, this planter left our wallets happy, but the bland plastic stood out like a sore thumb when placed next to elegant terra-cotta and ceramic pots.
After: Faux-Stone Finish
It needed a dose of authenticity, so we coated it with American Accents Stone spray in Pebble, a textured finish that looks and feels like the real thing.
About $9.50; Rust-Oleum
Tip: This paint is meant only for indoor use. To make it suitable for the outdoors, let dry, then coat the entire piece with a moisture-resistant clear top coat.
Before: Low-Budget Toaster
While it worked perfectly, this plastic appliance lacked the sleekness of its newer stainless-steel counterparts.
After: Maybe Metal
To bring it into the modern age, we coated it with Thomas's Liquid Stainless Steel, which offers a brushed metallic look and can withstand temperatures of up to 200 degrees F.
About $4; Thomas' Liquid Stainless Steel
Tip: Scuff glossy surfaces, such as plastic or brass, with fine-grit sandpaper before painting to make sure the metal-based formula adheres well.
Before: Mismatched Candlesticks
Thanks to their varying heights and shapes and worn-off finishes, these tarnished brass candlesticks looked better suited to a flea-market stall than a dining table.
After: Modern Makeover
All it took was a couple of coats of Valspar Lacquer Hi-Gloss in white to turn them into a cohesive collection with a smooth coating.
About $6; Valspar
Tip: To ensure vibrant, even pigment, apply a primer to metal objects before painting.
But That's Not All, Folks...
Here, five more point-and-spray projects that prove you can make huge changes with just one little can.
Problem: Stained Wood Furniture
Revive the look of finished tables, chairs, and more with a translucent lacquer-based spray stain. One to try: Design Master Home Decor Stain, which comes in various wood finishes and creates a scratch- and water-resistant top coat.
About $7; Create For Less
Problem: Slippery Stairs
Add extra traction to dangerously slick porch, stool, or ladder steps by spraying them with a durable, texturized finish made from epoxy resins, like Krylon’s Non-Skid Coating.
About $6; TCP Global
Problem: Hardware That's Lost Its Finish
If too much hand traffic has doorknobs, cabinet pulls, and switch plates looking worn, coat them with a rich metallic paint. Valspar's Metal dries completely in 1 hour and comes in shades from pewter to copper.
About $7; Do it Best
Problem: Chipped, Flaking Radiator
For many homeowners, displaying the heavy iron or steel pipes of a radiator is a necessary evil. To warm up its look, paint the metal with a rust-resistant, high-heat enamel. For colors from black and copper to more traditional silver and white, try Rust-Oleum's High Heat or High Heat Ultra.
About $9-$12; Big Paint Store
Problem: Faded Curtains, Tablecloths, and Upholstery
Believe it or not, you can even spray-paint fabric. So instead of forking out extra cash to replace washed-out textiles or upholstered furniture, try coating them with a product such as Simply Spray's Upholstery paint. Just test in an inconspicuous area first to ensure you get the look you want.
About $12; Amazon