You can paint your way to a fresh, new dé­cor

Winnipeg Free Press - Section F - - HOMES - CON­NIE OLIVER

IF your decor is in need of a change but you can’t af­ford to buy all new fur­ni­ture, con­sider paint­ing your wooden pieces to cre­ate a whole new look. Sav­ing money usu­ally means you have to put in a lit­tle el­bow grease but it can be worth your time in the end.

As you can see in our fea­ture pho­to­graph, cour­tesy of Du­lux Aus­tralia, the off-white fur­ni­ture and light blue wall colour make this an el­e­gant but cheery room. If you can imag­ine the cof­fee ta­ble and ac­cent ta­bles in a dark fin­ish, you’ll see that the room would take on a dif­fer­ent mood. If you have wooden fur­ni­ture pieces, con­sider up­dat­ing them by paint­ing them in a fresh, lighter colour.

Paint­ing fur­ni­ture can seem daunt­ing de­pend­ing upon your skill level and the piece it­self. Do some re­search on prod­ucts and fin­ishes avail­able and start with a small test piece be­fore you dive into larger group­ings. Don’t for­get to up­date the hard­ware as well. One great drawer pull on a cre­denza can make a world of dif­fer­ence in your new space.

A slightly dis­tressed paint fin­ish, sim­i­lar to the pieces in our fea­ture room, can be for­giv­ing for the novice so con­sider us­ing this tech­nique to gain some lee­way. Once you’ve mas­tered your tech­nique and ce­mented your colour choices you can move on to larger fur­ni­ture pieces.

As was done in our fea­ture liv­ing room, dark fea­tures such as base­boards, doors and win­dow trim may need to be light­ened up as well. Start with one or two fur­ni­ture items then see if the trim needs an up­date. You may find the lighter fur­ni­ture and a few lighter linens may be just enough to up­date the look of your room and the trim can be left as is.

A new sofa slip­cover can cover dark up­hol­stery and sim­ple cush­ion cov­ers can be used on toss cush­ions to add lighter ac­cents to the room. Throw in a new area rug in lighter tones and voila, your decor is new again!

There are so many great prod­ucts out there than can be used to prime and cover just about any type of sur­face so don’t be dis­suaded by think­ing that you have to strip fur­ni­ture be­fore you can even be­gin. If you have a valu­able an- tique then don’t touch it but if you have av­er­age wooden pieces that you’re tired of look­ing at then have at it. Ask your paint sup­plier to rec­om­mend paint and primer for your spe­cific needs. The right prod­uct will make all the dif­fer­ence.

In the bed­room a dark head­board and dresser can make the room feel cramped and gloomy. You can achieve a fresh look for a rea­son­able price just by paint­ing the dark fur­ni­ture in a neu­tral paint colour and up­dat­ing the linens.

If you don’t want to re­place the bed quilt, just buy a du­vet cover in a lighter, co-or­di­nat­ing colour and pat­tern. Con­sider us­ing colour­ful bed sheets to cre­ate new cur­tains and match­ing du­vet cover to save money and cre­ate a truly unique space. The great thing about us­ing sheets for projects like this is that they have fin­ished edges. If you’re mak­ing rod pocket pan­els from sheets all you have to do is run a rod through the end hem (or use cur­tain clips and rings to hang the sheets) and you’re done.

A du­vet cover is re­ally just a big pil­low case with a clo­sure on the end. Sew two sheets to­gether and use Vel­cro to close the end once the quilt has been in­serted. It ain’t rocket science. If you can sew a seam you’re good to go.

If you can’t find two match­ing flat sheets on sale, buy two co-or­di­nat­ing sheets and you’ll have a dual pat­tern/ colour du­vet cover that you can turn over when de­sired for a new look. Buy match­ing open stock pil­low cases and sew sim­ple cov­ers for the dec­o­ra­tive pil­lows on the bed. But I di­gress; back to the fur­ni­ture paint­ing.

Dated, dark kitchen cab­i­nets can def­i­nitely ben­e­fit from a fresh, lighter paint colour. I painted my cab­i­nets last year and it was a lot of work but worth it in the end. If you can get away with just paint­ing the doors and drawer fronts, I’d try that first. If the whole works needs paint­ing in­side and out then I salute you for tack­ling the job.

Again, new hard­ware will make a world of dif­fer­ence. It’s eas­ier to try and match the size of the new hard­ware with the old hard­ware so that you don’t have to drill new holes and fill in old holes. If you’re not sure what sizes to buy, take one piece to the store with you so they can as­sist you with your pur­chase. I found great deals on hard­ware at Win­nipeg Sup­ply and Lee Val­ley Tools.

In any room where you’re con­sid­er­ing a change re­mem­ber to paint wooden ac­ces­sories like photo frames, mir­ror frames, dec­o­ra­tive shelves and so forth to com­plete the tran­si­tion.

Paint can be used to up­date your decor in so many ways and for a rea­son­able price. It’s re­ally worth the time and ef­fort when a pro­ject turns out well. If it doesn’t, you can just paint it again, which is a won­der­ful op­tion for the DIY dec­o­ra­tor.

The off-white fur­ni­ture and light blue wall colour make this an el­e­gant but cheery room.

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