You want to add some flare to your apartment, but you just can’t find the perfect options. Truly unique pieces tend to be on the pricier side. And accessories from big box stores feel bland and overused.
Not to mention nothing comes in the right color! Stop fretting over the lack of pieces that fit your style and budget.
You can start making them yourself.
It’s kind of amazing the number of things you can completely recreate with something as simple as paint.
So, without further delay, here are 13 things you (probably) didn’t know you could paint to add to your apartment.
1. Upholstered Furniture
Changing the color of the upholstery is a big task, but it can be done without reupholstering. You have to dig down deep for that determination and grit you have inside of you.
This is best done with smaller pieces like chairs or benches that aren’t upholstered in fabric.
What you need to get the job going is latex paint, fabric medium, and water.
You’ll have to sand the upholstery between coats of paint to keep the fabric soft and comfortable. Set aside the time to get it done before you start.
Pretty patterned curtains can cost you a pretty penny. But plain white curtains probably won’t break the bank.
So why not paint your own pretty patterns?
Take your curtains from boring to fabulous in just a few hours by using a stencil to keep your pattern nice and even. If you can find a stencil of it, you can put it on your curtains.
You could even draw the pattern freehand if that’s more your style.
For something sleeker, grab a can of spray paint and make thick striped curtains that stand out.
Now you have perfectly matching curtains that are sure to win you all kinds of compliments.
3. An Area Rug
This is another big project, and we have to be honest — it’s one of those that is a bit more difficult to get right. Painting carpeting is bound to test your patience but it’s totally doable.
Sometimes, it’s a good idea to learn from others’ mistakes before you tackle a project, so you know what not to do.
The best kind of rug for painting is one with a low pile. If the rug fibers are too deep, the paint won’t penetrate them all the way. You’ll be left with bare spots when the fibers shift.
Spray paint is definitely the way to go for area rugs.
For patterned area rugs, like this chevron stripe one, you need to tape off the areas you don’t want to paint. You’ve really got to cover it well.
Overspray is no joke.
4. Throw Pillows and Pillowcases
Give your living room its own unique style by hand painting your throw pillows or their covers.
All you need to create DIY throw pillows is acrylic paint, fabric medium, and an idea. Your imagination only limits you.
This idea carries into the bedroom as well, where you can customize plain pillowcases on your bed.
Make things more appealing by finding a stencil to add an interesting pattern. Use as many unique colors as you like and give yourself a stylish place to lay your head at night.
5. A Duvet Cover
Need something to match your one of a kind pillowcases?
Don’t worry! You can paint your duvet cover as well!
You could use the same stencil and paint you used on your pillowcases to match things up perfectly.
Looking for something on a larger scale, such as this hand-painted world map duvet cover? Try hanging your cover on the wall and using a projector to overlay your pattern of choice for easy tracing.
Old, dingey, and just plain bland lampshades are a dime a dozen. They’re just begging for a little TLC to bring them back to life.
Find a lampshade in the shape you like and give it a makeover to fit your design sense. The material your lampshades are made of will determine what kind of paint you should use on it.
Fabric paint is a no brainer for cloth lampshades. However, spray paint makes everything quick and easy without any brush strokes.
If you have watercolors, you can create a beautiful effect on a paper lampshade. Or use them to make the existing pattern on your painted lampshade pop.
7. A Refrigerator
And from way out of the left-field, we toss you a big idea — painting an entire appliance.
It truly can be done and done well.
One popular option for painting your fridge is to use chalkboard paint in a nice green finish. It combines functionality with originality.
Just think: you can write your grocery list directly on the fridge or even cover it in art!
If you have an ugly old refrigerator that you’d like to modernize, opt for liquid stainless steel instead.
It will give your refrigerator that brushed stainless steel look that everyone loves. And it’s super durable to boot.
8. Trash Can
Your entire kitchen follows a carefully curated theme. Why shouldn’t your trash can be included?
Paint your trash can using combinations of spray paint and latex paint to marry it to the dishtowels you love. You can even use contact paper to add embellishments.
It’s a good idea to sand the trash can first to make sure the paint has as much gripping power as possible.
9. Mason Jars
There’s a reason mason jars are a Pinterest favorite. There are so many things you can do with them, even if you’re not necessarily going for southern charm.
Their versatility is mirrored in how easy it is to DIY them.
You can use just about any paint on mason jars — spray paint, acrylic paint, and chalk paint are all fair game. Krylon spray paints are especially suitable for glass surfaces.
If you want to glam things up a bit, try some metallic paint.
There are so many ideas you could try. You could just sit and paint mason jars forever if you wanted.
10. Artificial Flowers
Real flowers take a lot of upkeep and don’t end up lasting as long as you like. But finding fake flowers in the perfect style and color to match your decor can undoubtedly be a challenge.
Good thing you can do something about that!
Choose a type of artificial flower you like and some spray paint. You need the main color as well as a highlight color to add depth, such as white.
Painting artificial flowers is a project that won’t take you very long. And you’ll end up with some no-maintenance blooms to brighten up your apartment.
11. A Fan
Staying cool can look cool as well.
Upgrade an oscillating fan in a few simple steps. It can become a statement piece or something cute and functional.
Metallic spray paint in your favorite shade is the perfect way to make an old fan look like new. You can choose anything from silver to rose gold.
You can really paint it any color you like. If you want a teal fan, you do you.
12. Wicker Baskets
You can’t discount the importance of a good wicker basket. You can usually buy them pretty cheap, even if they don’t look the best.
That’s where the paint comes in.
Grab wicker baskets and the perfect spray paint to match your color scheme. You can turn them any color you like, from white to bubblegum pink.
If you want a classier finish, try using metallic spray paint to get a glossy effect. It will look nice no matter where you put it.
13. Christmas Decorations
Around the holidays, you don’t need to spend a fortune on new decorations. Get your hands on some old decorations by thrifting. Or ask family and friends for decorations they no longer want.
You can even change your decorations to a new theme.
Take old wreaths and mini trees to the next level using spray paint primer and any other spray paint. You’ll have a cohesive look throughout your apartment.
Make sure to cover lights if the decoration has them. Using cut up plastic straws is a great way to keep them protected from the paint.
Create the unique vibe you’ve been dreaming of without the pain of searching for hours on end. You can create the perfect pieces in just the right colors yourself.
It’s time to put your DIY chops to the test.
Now that you know you can paint these 13 things, you have some great ways to customize your apartment. It’s a lot more fun than merely painting the walls.
Angus Flynn is the Property Manager at Summerly at Zanjero with 5 years of property management experience and many more in Customer Service. He shares a passion for his community and looks forward to making Summerly at Zanjero the place to call home.