I have discovered the transformative powers of spray paint and the plethora of choices in colors and finishes! Spray paint fits right in with my desire to use what I have, recycle that which may be destined for trash, and create something that looks expensive or custom for very little money.
Today, I am going to attempt to do more of a photo montage of some of the many things I have transformed with spray paint. Preparation and patience are the keys to success with spray paint. I follow the directions for cleaning and prepping each piece, as given on the can. That usually involves a thorough cleaning with dish soap and water, sometimes alcohol, and sometimes sanding. It all depends on the object you are painting. Patience is key. Doing a few light coats helps achieve a smooth drip free finish. Then, follow the recommended drying times on the can. Most times you can give a second coat within an hour.
I gathered a variety of jars from the recycling bin to transform into bright and happy colored jars for the centerpieces of the baby shower. I had an assortment of jars from pickle jars, spaghetti sauce jars, to regular Mason jars. Left over fabric strips from a sewing project were cut with a rotary cutter with a pinking blade, and bright colored buttons were hot glued onto the jars.
My first attempt at using spray paint was in making centerpieces for a baby shower of two colleagues at school. One was having a boy and one was having a girl. The women were best friends and of course, loved books! The theme for this shower was "The Very Happy Baby Shower", after Eric Carle's "Very Happy" series of books. We decided to go with a bright and colorful theme, so I chose paints in apple green, happy yellow, turquoise blue, and shocking pink. (These are my names for the colors. Just peruse the paint aisle in your local hardware store and just see if all the beautiful colors don't entice you to spray paint "something!")
I don't have any photos to share of the jars at the baby shower. I am happy to say, that they are functional, decor pieces at my nail technician's station. Michelle had recently changed shops and was decorating her room. One day, I noticed that the colors in her curtains were the same colors as my jars. I offered some to her, and now my pickle jars and pizza sauce jars have a new life in her workplace. (A few that were left are now storing scouring pads under the kitchen sink and craft foam brushes in my craft closet. They were much to pretty to just throw away.)
The cute little table was a found piece that Robert, the shop owner, offered to Michelle. He told her she could paint it. (It was originally white, with a chippy top.) I gave her the rest of my lime green spray paint. Michelle's son came upon her spraying the table and wanted to know if he could get in on the fun. He finished it, and it is a fun, functional, sweet table!
Our theme for this wedding shower was: "Something old and something new, something borrowed and something new. The bride is ready to say 'I do'". I spray painted wine bottles in this beautiful shade of blue. Then I added the silver, glitter paper, lace, and Mr. and Mrs. (The glitter paper is actually covering the labels that we couldn't remove from the bottles. Since then, I have discovered the trick of pouring almost boiling water into a wine bottle, letting it sit a few minutes, and carefully peeling off the label. Sometimes, the label will come off completely intact.)
We had such success with the spray paint for the baby shower, that when the third grade team was planning a wedding shower and had determined our theme, I offered to spray paint empty wine bottles a beautiful shade of turquoise blue. We wanted the bottles to look like celebratory bottles of champagne.
I found spray painting mason jars, spaghetti jars, and wine bottles easy and the outcome was so fun, I moved on to other things.
The Hammered Black Spray Paint created quite a transformation after only two coats of paint. The preparation was minimal. I washed the lamp base in soapy water and let it dry. Then, it was outdoors to spray the lamp.
The first lamp turned out so well, I went hunting at the thrift stores for another lamp with a pleasing shape. I found a ceramic lamp for $3.00. It was originally cream colored with a stenciled mauve heart and blue accents on it--think Pennsylvania Dutch decor. I did replace the lighting socket with a new one using a kit from the hardware store. There really is nothing to it. I used the same Rustoleum Paint and Primer All-in-One Spray Paine in Hammered Black. The original surface of this lamp was a very smooth ceramic. The hammered paint gave it an additional texture. I purchased a burlap shade at Tuesday Morning and for very little money had a second living room lamp!
I bought two more thrift store lamps for less than $5.00. I loved the shape of this one. I also got to use the Rust-oleum Universal Advanced Formula Spray Paint in Hammered Paint & Primer in One in Rosemary. It was perfect for our bedroom.
This sweet, little beauty sits on top of a stack of books on our "telephone" table in the master bedroom. I purchased the matching shades with the geometric print at Target.
I even spray painted a plastic tissue holder and wastebasket in the master bathroom Hammered Rosemary. Once again, I was looking for a decorative tissue holder. I wasn't finding what I wanted and many were very pricey. I purchased this plastic one for a few dollars and spray painted it! I am very pleased with it.
I painted this blonde stained magazine rack black.
The painted, red, milk jug required a little more preparation. It had been sitting outside and was a little rusty. I gave it a good scrub and then applied naval jelly to it twice. I followed the directions on the bottle of naval jelly, including wearing gloves, safety goggles, and old clothes. The painting of the jug was so satisfying. Spray paint transforms a piece in a matter of minutes! My jug was missing it's lid. I decided to use it as an arrangement piece. I spray painted a medium, sized, plastic pot (from the recycling bin) to match the jug. The pot fit perfectly in the top of the milk jug and it blends right in with it.
One of my favorite projects was spray painting my childhood, Tonka truck red. Once again, I gave it a good cleaning, covered the wheels in plastic wrap and painter's tape. I covered the fender, lights, and Tonka logo in painters tape, too. Lastly, I painted it red.
I've painted jars for almost every season to hold kitchen utensils on top of the refrigerator. Most of the jars are recycled from spaghetti sauce, salsa, and pickles.
It wasn't long before I graduated to larger, furniture projects. We had a cedar chest that had been passed around Bob's family. You know the piece, the one that one aunt passes to her children, and they use it for a few years, until they can afford real furniture. It then gets offered to another cousin, and so on. We were using it as a coffee table in our family room. It was a pretty simple, straightforward design. It was perfect for our decor, but it had some gouges and dings. It looked like someone had tried to restrain it at some point. Tucker, our bichon maltese, had channeled his inner kitten as a puppy and had scratched at it, leaving his own special patina. I decided to sand it down, paint the bottom black and stain the top a rich, warm brown. I did the grunt work for this project, and my husband did the spray painting and staining of the top.
We were thrilled with the results. The piece is solid wood. The bottom box is cedar and smelled so good when I was sanding in preparation for painting. The top ended up being ash, and had beautiful graining and coloring.
I really regret not having before and during photos to show you. I did this before I started blogging and I hadn't gotten into any habit of photographing my daily escapades. Trust me, it was an amazing transformation!
The cedar chest coffee table turned out so well, we decided to do a similar staining/paint job on the dry sink in the living room. This dry sink had gone through many transformations. My friend's uncle originally made the dry sink from pieces of scrap wood. It was refinished by her mother at least once. I think Drue might have painted it. Eventually she offered it to me. I painted it again. Later, I gave it back to Drue. I got the dry sink back, when she got married and moved. I painted it a colonial golden yellow after we moved into our house. Many years later, Bob and I were painting and staining it again. I think this is its final transformation. We are so very pleased with the outcome.
After sanding this piece, removing a scalloped edging from the top shelf portion, and sanding some more, we put the first coat of spray paint on it. Once again, I do not have photos to show the progress. After the first coat of paint, the piece looked horrible. The paint was streaky and seemed to be absorbing unevenly. I was concerned that we had invested hours into prepping the piece and it was looking like an epic fail. (Oh, me, of little faith!) My fears were all for nought. The second coat went on and transformed the piece into a beautiful piece of furniture.
When spring rolled around, I wanted a few cake plates. I visited the local thrift store and purchased some candlesticks and plates for a few dollars.
I spray painted them in white and then gave them another coat of Pearl Mist on a mild spring day. (Pearl Mist spray paint and finish is another color choice of Rust-oleum Paints.)
There are days, my husband is concerned that the dog and he might get spray painted. No worries there, but as you can see, I have embraced the power of paint in home decor. It fits well with my philosophy of use what you have available, and reuse and upcycle the old into something new a amazing! I've painted everything from pickle jars, Tonka trucks, tissue boxes, lamps, and furniture. I've even begun to spray paint the heat registers in our home. They are the standard putty color and are 20 years old. A little Rust-oleum Universal Advanced Formula Spray Paint in Hammered Paint & Primer in One in Dark Bronze, and they look like new and have a lot more class.
I encourage you to take a gander down the spray paint aisle of your local hardware or big box store. All of the beautiful colors and finishes are so-o-o-o enticing. With very little preparation and time, you can transform many items into beautiful, functional pieces with a can of spray paint. Have you tried spray painting something? How did it turn out? I'd love to hear about your spray painting escapades and successes!