8 Ways to Update Your Space With Paint

Stripes of multi-colored paint.

Sure, we've all used paint to give a room a fresh look. But it's capable of much more than covering a wall. Make the most of this budget-friendly material with our ideas listed below.

1. Color the Ceiling

A ceiling with color paint

Ceilings should be treated like a fifth wall. Consider a tone to compliment the walls instead of the old standby of white. Patterns or stencils can be used on a ceiling as well.

2. Stripe the Walls

A wall with stripes

Use two different colors (even if one is white) to create a striped wall or two in a room. (Just don’t stripe the whole room or you might feel a little claustrophobic.) Mark off the stripes using painter's tape and wait until the paint is completely dry before removing the tape.

3. Give Your Ceiling Fan A New Look

painted celing fan

If you are still not ready to take the leap and paint your ceiling something other than white, think about how you can accent it by painting the ceiling fan. This idea can also be good if you have an outdated 1980s-era brass fan that you're tired of looking at, but don't have the cash to replace. Remove the light bulbs, and simply spray paint the entire thing. You can can get a whole new look with just the price of a can of spray paint.

4. Design a New Headboard -- On the Wall

Sure, we've all used paint to give a room a fresh look. But it's capable of much

Don’t have money for a fancy headboard? Use paint to make a new one by simply drawing a design on the wall and filling it in (or painting the outline). You get the look of a new headboard, but can always paint over it! (And the price is right.)

5. Create a Gallery Wall -- Without Photos

Create a gallery wall.

Have no pictures to put on your wall or don't want the hassle of drilling holes there? Paint your own frames on the walls! You don’t have to put anything inside them -- they are a decoration all by themselves! Make them different sizes and shapes for fun.

6. Make Old Furniture New

Restoring an old chair

There are plenty of unwanted furniture pieces out there that could use some sprucing up, and you can usually score them for a low price or even free if you keep your eyes open. If you use chalk paint, you won't have to sand or prime the furniture. Otherwise, invest some time in smoothing out any imperfections and making the whole surface a bit rough so the paint will adhere.

7. Create a Design on Fabric

A painted pillow

Did you know you can paint on the surface of fabric? This is a money-saving solution for those who see a design on upscale pillows or curtains they can't afford -- or if you're just feeling crafty. You can use specific fabric paint, or go with something more industrial. The good thing is that curtains and throw pillows aren't handled much so the design should last a long time.

8. Stencil a Wood or Concrete Floor

Stencil on a wood floor

Paint is the least expensive way to update your flooring, and using a stenciled design will take the entire room to the next level. You can employ this technique on concrete or wood flooring.

You have a couple different options for this project -- you can paint the entire floor with a base color first, or you can leave it as-is and paint the stencil directly over the existing floor. To create less work for yourself, the stencil should be about 1 foot square. If you have never stenciled before, be sure to practice on a piece of cardboard. Stenciling is done by dry brushing over the stencil -- never use a fully loaded paint brush. For more information on this project, visit our tutorial on "How to Stencil a Wood Floor."