5 Tips for a Spray-Paint Makeover


Color’s a powerful thing. Our moods are tied in with the colors of the seasons – and that’s why I’m a fan of seasonal redecorating (as Tina is, here). Does the hue of your room suddenly feel out of place? A lick of paint is the quickest of makeovers.

Except there’s an even quicker method – spray-painting. Now, you may remember a few issues around the word "aerosol" – namely, the volatile organic compounds that are equally good at coating walls and the inside of lungs. Happily, the industry has innovated itself out of a corner, and much lower-toxicity paint (not zero, not yet) is available in the form of the Krylon 21-colour range of latex sprays. Get some on the carpet by accident? Soap and water is all you need.

If your trigger finger is itching to begin, here are a few suggestions:

Start looking at second-hand furniture not for what it looks like – but what it could look like. It’s a whole new spectrum of recycling.

Remember: the color wheel is your friend. You can download a variety of them in different shades from TigerColor here.

Get some nice wide Sellotape (it’s compostable – which is why the WWF happily sells it). Use the tape to create those arresting borders between colours, and protect the furniture. And don’t forget to put papers down – spray paint drifts in the air!

Keep that mask on! Eco-friendly sprays are more eco-friendly, not totally so. Ventilate the room as best you can, creating through-draughts between back and front door. Play it super safe.

Read twice, spray once. Look at the work of others, such as this resprayed lantern over at Dose of Design. Hunt down a book or two (say, this one). Don’t spray a drop of paint until you know exactly what you’re making. Imagining is half the fun, like a kind of window-shopping – so have fun.

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Image: sarae

Mike Sowden

Mike Sowden is a freelance writer based in the north of England, obsessed with travel, storytelling and terrifyingly strong coffee. He has written for online & offline publications including Mashable, Matador Network and the San Francisco Chronicle, and his work has been linked to by Lonely Planet, World Hum and Lifehacker. If all the world is a stage, he keeps tripping over scenery & getting tangled in the curtain - but he's just fine with that.