Painting

Painting is one of the best bets for a budget makeover for any room.  Most of your interior design projects will involve painting in some form - it creates instant impact for under $100 for a room, so it's no wonder it's one of the most popular home improvement and redecorating projects. If you do not have time for DIY, commercial painting companies can help you get the job done quickly and professionally. 

And you don't have to limit your painting to just walls to get that instant budget makeover.  Try other painting projects when redecorating - it's the perfect fit for any budget.

Furniture

For goodness sakes, don't paint your heirloom furniture.  Haven't you ever watched Antiques Roadshow and seen a beautiful federal chair have its value cut in half because it was refinished?  Don't do it, make sure you are not painting a valuable antique or beloved heirloom.  In some cases, with old, country furniture, the value can be in the original paint.  If you have any doubts, check with someone who knows antiques, perhaps a dealer in your local antiques shop.

Once you determine it's paintable, all bets are off.  You can faux paint, use a bold color to make it an accent piece or just paint it plain old white and use a floral cushion for impact.  

Cabinetry

If you can t afford to install all new cabinetry in your kitchen, a fresh coat of paint can do wonders. Give all the pieces a thorough cleaning and sanding.  Apply two or three coats of primer, it helps hold the paint and gives it a better finish. Apply a few coats of your paint color with a foam roller and then use a paint brush to spread the paint and give your cupboards an even finish.

Now is the perfect itme to update your cabinet's hardware.  Nickel hardware is the hottest trend right now, and looks particularly nice if you have stainless steel appliances.

Stencils

Stencils fell out of favor after being overused in the 80's.   I think people just got sick of seeing stenciled ivy winding around everything and floral borders were painted over by the thousands during the down to earth 90's.  But there are some really nice, new stencil designs out there and you can really get creative with stencils in a decorating project.

  • Instead of replacing your plain white bathroom tile, try stenciled designs on the tile instead.  You don't need to do every piece to create a custom tiled look.
  • Give furniture a custom painted look by adding a stenciled design to pull together a decorating theme.
  • Stencil decorative lettering on your wall - try something in the kitchen - something simple like "Eat, drink and be merry" - you can always paint over it if you don't like it. 

Floors

Have an old hardwood floor that's not fit for refinishing?  Try painting it.  There are plenty of specialty floor paints to use, and they dry fairly quickly.  You don't need to stick with one color either.  Try painting a black and white tile affect.

Get creative with paint during your next decorating project whether it be the walls, floors, accent touches or furniture.  It's the cheap thrill of the decorating world.  If you don't like it, you don't have to live with it.  Just paint over it!