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Say It With Spray Paint

 

The joys of adding quick and easy coats of spray paint are expanding into the world of artsy decorating trends

Many can remember the days when a can of spray paint was used mainly for grade school art projects or to cover up plywood. You could usually expect a few runs and uneven spots, plus fumes that probably adhered directly to brain matter, but that mattered little. It was the cool, but limited, selection of colors and they surely beat opening a can of paint and messing up a paintbrush.

If you haven't noticed, spray paint has upgraded itself to a level that is acceptable to decorators and is even allowed on integral home furnishings - even upholstery.

Many spray paints on the market offer the same two- or three-layer process used by master crafters and faux painting whizzes. You can create a variety of finishes in much less time. For kids, you can create an entire chalkboard wall or use a special spray with metal flake on furniture and they'll have a place for their magnet collection.

Possibilities are limitless for updating your home's decor. You can use specially formulated plastic paint for outdoor furniture. Turn those cheap, tacky flower pots into glazed wonders. Glass paint can transform an old clear vase into a silver showpiece and odd containers can go from plain to spiffy in a wide range of colors.

Don't spend money on new knobs and handles for bathroom or kitchen cabinetry. Antique them or give them a pewter patina. You can create matching finishes on most any type of furniture as well.

You'll even find appliance paint that goes well beyond the black stuff that works on barbecue grills and fireplaces. About the only thing you can't paint is the grill or, in fact, any object that you would cook or serve food in or on. Most spray paints are nontoxic, but the FDA has not labeled any as food-safe, yet.

If you're unsure about the final look, practice on an old piece of wood or cardboard first. If working on glass or plastic, pick up a small plate or bowl in the appropriate material at the dollar store and give it a trial run.

Cleanup is easy with most of the new paints - soap and water are it. Some objects may require a little sanding first, especially if the surface is cracking or rusted. However, most paints can be applied with little or no prep work.

As with any application, always start with a clean surface. Be sure to follow manufacturer instructions - most spray paints will still run if used too heavily or at close range. The smells have decreased over the years, but you still have to deal with overspray. Tape newspapers to a wall and the surrounding floor area and try to work in the garage if possible. No breezes and less damage if a stray speck of color gets on the floor.

Now, it's time to look around your home, make a huge list of things that can be painted, and head to the home improvement store.

 

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