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Around the house with Julia
Spray paint for a change: Transform street finds to decorator finds
By Julia Strzesieski

An inexpensive can of spray paint is one of the most versatile design tools for endless projects around the house. Use it to freshen up an old wicker furniture set or to create a set of chairs from mismatched pieces. Spray paint is also a good alternative to using a paintbrush for items with a lot of crevices. In addition to home improvement projects, spray paint can be used for many arts and craft projects, such as stenciling or creating custom t-shirts. 

Spray paints are available now in a variety of finishes. A can of glitter or glow-in-the-dark spray paint can help you craft the perfect Halloween costume. Stain finishes can be used for furniture that needs to be stained often. Chalkboard finishes will convert just about any surface to a blackboard. There are even rust converters that will transform a rusty piece of furniture into a paintable surface.   

Spray painting a project does not require a lot of other tools, either. Just spray paint in a well-ventilated area, preferably outdoors, and use old newspaper as a drop cloth. Wear a dust mask to avoid breathing the fumes. Just like painting with a brush, the surface you are painting should be clean and sanded down if the finish is uneven or if the old paint is chipped.
Keep these tips in mind before starting your project:
• Spray painting is not recommended for large, flat surfaces
• Hold the can vertically for best spray
• Spray from an even distance for a consistent finish
• The closer the can is held while spraying, the denser the finish

My projects: Metal planter and wicker basket
Both of these items were street finds that I decided to spruce up with a new finish. I chose a metallic finish spray paint from Krylon. Almost any nonmetal surface, such as the wicker basket, can be sprayed with a primer beforehand for a metallic finish.

Because of all of the nooks and crannies in the basket, it had to be turned over and sprayed from several angles a few times to apply both the primer and paint. The once-boring basket is now a porch-perfect basket to welcome guests from autumn right through the holidays.

The planter is made of metal, but the finish was old and tattered, so I applied the primer before the paint for a better finish. Bills will look even better in this attractive mail holder!

See you around the house!

Julia Strzesieski is the marketing coordinator at Cole Hardware. E-mail:

September 2011 Issue


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