10 Tiny Paint Jobs That Make a Big Impact

Try these quickie projects to highlight little details all around your home—they’re sure to make a huge difference.

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  1. It's all in the details.

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    It's all in the details.

    That adage is especially true when it comes to painting projects. Sure, all homeowners will occasionally grapple with a major interior or exterior paint job, but there are lots of smaller projects you can do with paint that can really spruce up your space, inside and out. And those tiny tasks will be even easier when you work with smartly designed, well-crafted tools like those by Hyde Tools, the expert housepainters’ trade secret for flawless results. Browse the cool, clever, colorful ideas here and get busy—you know, just not too busy. These low-effort, big-impact projects will have you relaxing and admiring your handiwork in no time.

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  2. Make over metal hardware.

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    Make over metal hardware.

    The metal pulls, handles, and hinges around the house really do factor into your decor. So, if they’re dingy or were painted by accident in the first place, now’s the time to get them in sharp shape. After unscrewing the hardware, loosen old paint—using a chemical stripper, heat gun, or boiling water—and then remove it with a wire brush. Of the trio of MAXXGRIP PRO Mini Brushes ($8.02 for the set; hydestore.com ), the brass option has plentiful bristles and an ergonomic soft-grip handle to ensure that you can get into all the nooks and crannies. Then, either spray-paint the hardware a new shade or go with the restored original metal.

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  3. Redo a door.

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    Redo a door.

    Your front door probably looks great from the outside—it’s crucial to curb appeal, after all. But if it’s basic blah on the inside, why not liven things up by painting the panels or contoured areas. The key to great results is proper surface prep, so step one is removing the old finish cleanly and completely with Hyde Tools' professional-grade stainless steel Quick-Release Contour Scraper ($17.95; hydestore.com ). It features six changeable specialized blades to fit into corners, curves, and small channels. Once the surface is sanded smooth and dust-free, prime and paint. Whether you go for a bold contrasting color or a subtle complementary shade, you’ll achieve an entryway that wows.

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  4. Try a trendy dip-dye effect.

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    Try a trendy dip-dye effect.

    If your table and chairs have lost their charm, give them a leg up with dip-dye—a tweak on color-blocking that’s caught on big with designers lately. First, prep the legs by removing the old finish. Tool tip: Use a 8¾-inch MAXXGRIP PRO High-Carbon Steel Wire Brush ($5.98; hydestore.com ) to rough up either wooden or metal furniture. Then, decide how far up the leg you’d like the accent color to reach, tape it off, and paint with a brush using vertical strokes. With this technique, it will look like you dipped the legs into their new hue.

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  5. Refine some picture frames.

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    Refine some picture frames.

    Picture frames must look great from all angles—which could make painting them a hassle. Not so with Painter’s Pyramids from Hyde Tools ($9.26; hydestore.com ). Use these clever plastic perches to hold the frame above your work surface on nonstick contact points. Paint one side, flip it over and rest it on the set of pyramids, then paint the rest—and move on to the next item. You'll probably find plenty of things you want to paint! In fact, Painter’s Pyramids are bound to have you adding fresh coats to removable shelves, cabinet doors, craft projects, and heavier pieces, too—these great pyramids can hold up to 200 pounds.

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  6. Trick out some trim.

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    Trick out some trim.

    If you think nobody notices baseboards, think again! Treating that bottom trim to a fresh coat of color will attract attention and give the whole room a new vibe. To minimize messes and pesky retouches to the walls, you could painstakingly tape off the entire area where baseboard and wall meet—or take the pro approach and use Hyde Tools' 11½-inch Mini Guide™ Paint Shield & Smoothing Tool ($4.38; hydestore.com ). Its stainless steel blade extends beyond the handle to reach corners, and the 11½-inch size is by no means random: Pro painters will tell you that’s the length of the perfect stroke.

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  7. Spiff up your stairs.

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    Spiff up your stairs.

    Say goodbye to same-old stairs! Bold-colored risers will make your place pop, or simply paint them white to highlight the wood treads and lend a more spacious appearance to the surrounding room. To get started, prep the risers and then protect the treads, making sure that the newspaper or plastic sheeting you put down extends from the base of the riser and fully covers the tread's nose (the protruding edge). If painting the risers feels awkward, try the Richard 3-inch Angular Goose Neck Brush ($25.87; hydestore.com ). It extends your reach and has angled filaments help you get into tight places with ease. Just be sure to plan your painting so you wind up on the right floor of the house while you're waiting for the paint to dry.

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  8. Update your crown molding.

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    Update your crown molding.

    In a room where walls, ceiling, and crown molding are all the same color, painting that top trim a different shade can really liven things up. After prepping and priming, use caulk to correct any imperfections in the joint where the trim meets the wall and ceiling, smoothing with your finger. Then, to make short work of painting, employ Hyde Tools' handy Painter’s Assistant™ ($5.95; hydestore.com ). This multipurpose accessory functions as a carrying handle for one- and two-quart containers and a helpful hook when you're climbing ladders—and it's also a convenient magnetized surface that serves as a brush holder. And then, when the job is done, you’ll love how quickly and effectively the Painter’s Assistant™ cleans your brush and roller.

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  9. Colorize a cabinet interior.

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    Colorize a cabinet interior.

    To display collectibles even more dramatically, transform the interiors of glass-fronted cabinets to create a beautiful backdrop. In choosing a shade, consider the colors of your favorite things: White and light paint will make dark pieces pop, while deeper hues let pale items stand out. For a quick, clean paint job, reach for the Hyde Tools' Corner Ease Combo Pack ($29.57; hydestore.com ), a slim, nifty roller designed for awkward jobs, especially tight corners. The 100 percent lambswool cover means no edge marks, drips, or sloppy edges. When you're done, the inside of your cabinet will look as good as the pieces you show off in there!

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  10. Shape up your shutters.

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    Shape up your shutters.

    To give shutters a refresh, take them down (stashing the hardware somewhere safe) and then scrape off flaking, chipping paint using Hyde Tools' Quick-Release Contour Scraper ($17.95; hydestore.com ) on wood shutters or the 3¼-inch MAXXGRIP PRO High-Carbon Steel Wire Brush with Scraper ($8.98; hydestore.com ) on metal ones. Place prepped shutters on sawhorses or another work surface set with a 10-pack of Painter’s Pyramids ($9.26; hydestore.com ). With the slats pointed toward you, start painting, applying two coats of primer and two coats of paint. Wait for each coat to dry thoroughly in between. Then, rehang the shutters—and check out your spiffy exterior.

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  11. Show lanterns some love.

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    Show lanterns some love.

    Exterior lanterns add illumination and distinction to the facade of your home, but they take a lot of abuse out there. To restore them to their former glory, scrape off any chipped, flaking paint with Hyde Tools' 8¾-inch MAXXGRIP PRO High-Carbon Steel Wire Brush ($5.98; hydestore.com ), then scrub the metal surface clean with a soft-bristle brush and a bit of soap and water. Hose the lantern off, dry with a towel, then wipe with alcohol on a paper towel. Once the lantern is dry, apply acrylic exterior paint using a small brush, starting at the top of the lantern and working your way down. Talk about brilliant!

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  12. See the House of the Week

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    Discover and admire beautiful and innovative home architecture, from grand Victorians to quaint cabins and all the styles in between. Take a look at the latest images and inspiration!