9 Things You Never Thought to Paint—But Should

When you're picking up a can of paint in your favorite color, 9 times out of 10 it's destined to land on a wall. But there are so many other surprising accents and fixtures around the house that could also benefit from a fresh coat of paint. Got an appliance that's becoming an eyesore? Paint it! Your wooden floors are a bit worse for wear? Cover them up! This makeover in a can works on so many more surfaces than you've ever imagined. Here, 9 creative paint jobs to inspire your own colorful masterpiece.

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  1. Eat Your Words


    Even if we're truly hungry for a paint project, the fridge usually isn't the first thing to come to mind. But it should! With only a little work, your efforts can completely transform the look of your kitchen. Plus, with a few coats of chalkboard paint, your appliance can do double duty as a family message board.


  2. Perfectly Radiant


    Painting a home radiator can help blend the eyesore in with its surroundings. Before you start, just make sure the radiator is turned off and has cooled completely. Remove surface dust and dirt, and use a wire brush to remove any loose rust. As for the paint itself, opt for a good-quality interior latex paint that can take the heat.


  3. A Home Run


    By painting just the center of your staircase, you can create a striking custom "runner" that will never cause anyone to trip. Keep lines clean with painter's tape, and use an enamel paint made for porch and patio to withstand the wear and tear of everyday use.


  4. Things Are Looking Up


    Our ceilings are usually painted to blend in, not stand out. But painting your ceiling in a contrasting color can add light and interest to a contemporary kitchen or common room. When you're ready to roll, choose a a flat finish; it will show fewer imperfections.


  5. You've Got the Floor


    You might think painting something as high-traffic as a floor is an exercise in futility. But on the contrary, painted floors can actually do more than make a design statement—they also help protect softer woods like pine. The key is to resist painting it on too thick; thinner coats will actually dry harder.


  6. Inner Beauty


    If you have open cabinetry or glass doors, consider painting the inside of your kitchen cabinets to create more depth in the room. The painting itself will go quickly, and you don't even need to paint the shelves—keeping them white or natural will help show off your handiwork. 


  7. Window of Opportunity


    Who says window trim has to be white? Think outside the frame by using a bold color to set off an all-white wall or otherwise monochromatic room. If you are painting an artist's loft like this one, a colorful window will lend even more creative inspiration to the day.

    Styled by vintagerenewal.com, photo by Christine Dirkschneider Ballard

  8. New Frame of Mind


    With a freshly painted bed frame front and center, you'll feel like you've redone the whole room. Approach the frame as you would any other wooden surface; sand and prime before painting for the best results. A final coat of clear polyurethane will help protect from scuffs and chips.


  9. Accentuate the Accents


    White, black, bronze, silver, and gold—in most cases, these are the finishes to choose from if you're buying home hardware off the rack. But if you do it yourself, you're not restricted in your color choices. All it takes to brighten up a set of metal curtain rods is a coat of primer and a coat or two of spray paint.


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