• a white plastic toaster before and after a spray paint makeover

    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.

  • window panes before a spray paint makeover

    Before: A Window That Leaves You Exposed

    Installed in a bathroom, this window revealed too much...

  • window panes after a spray paint makeover

    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.

  • exterior sconce before a spray paint makeover

    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.

  • exterior sconce after a spray paint makeover

    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.

  • plastic urn before a spray paint makeover

    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.

  • plastic urn after a spray paint makeover

    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.

  • white plastic toaster before a spray paint makeover

    Before: Low-Budget Toaster

    While it worked perfectly, this plastic appliance lacked the sleekness of its newer stainless-steel counterparts.

  • white plastic toaster after a spray paint makeover

    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.

  • different types of brass candlesticks before a spray paint makeover

    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.

  • different style brass candlesticks after a spray paint makeover

    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.

  • a can of Design Master Home Decor Stain spray paint

    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

  • a can of Krylon's Non-Skid Coating spray paint

    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

  • a can of Valspar's Metal spray paint

    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

  • a can of Rust-Oleum's High Heat spray paint

    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

  • a can of Simply Spray's Upholstery Paint spray paint

    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