9 Easy DIY Spray Paint Ideas Even Beginners Can Do

Kristin Luna
Written by Kristin Luna
Updated January 31, 2022
A woman painting the old picture frame
Photo: AleksandarNakic / E+ / Getty Images

A little paint can go a long way to add pizzazz to any space

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Painting an entire room can be intimidating, but if you're looking to make a big upgrade to your home with just a little bit of work, you should consider using spray paint. If you’re stumped on where to start, you can try some of these easy spray paint ideas, tricks, and projects. 

All you’ll need is a couple of cans of spray paint, a respirator, some gloves, and an outdoor or ventilated space…oh and a little bit of creativity. 

1. Update Accessories With a Coat of Gold

A golden reindeer decorating festive table
Photo: Isabel Pavia / Moment / Getty Images

Have a hutch, bookshelf, coffee table, or other surfaces that are filled with decorative trinkets and knick-knacks you’ve collected over the years? Give them an elevated look with a coat of gold (or white, if you prefer). Painting most of a room’s accents in the same solid hue or combination of colors will give the room a cohesive look.

Before spraying, you’ll want to adequately wipe each item down first and fill in any cracks or gaps with caulk. Once you’ve added your primer, you can finish each piece with a coat or two of glossy spray paint.

2. Paint a Chalkboard Wall

A brother and sister drawing on the blackboard
Photo: Jokic / E+ / Getty Images

Have kids who like to “decorate” the walls and want to give them a safe (for you) place to practice their art? Or do you simply want to have a wall in the kitchen you can write to-do lists, weekly menus, or other tasks on? Chalkboard spray paint converts any paintable surface to a usable chalkboard wall, making this a useful and stylish project.

3. Free-Hand an Accent Wall

Folek painting a mural
Photo: Courtesy of Odinn Media

If you want to create a splash in a bedroom, living room, or other areas of your house, you can design an artistic focal point via a spray-painted wall mural. Professional muralist Kyle “Folek” Barton suggests buying a few colors you like and going wild with your own brand of abstract design:

“There’s really no wrong way to paint an accent wall in your house—just mask off areas that you don’t want the paint applied on and make sure you don’t let the paint drip everywhere,” the Nashville-based spray paint artist says. “Always wear a respirator. When you paint a wall in your house, keep airflow throughout the space and let your creativity flow. And—remember to have fun!”

Don’t feel confident in your artistic ability? It’s easy enough to find a professional muralist near you to handle the job.

4. Repaint an Old Dresser or Vanity

A white vanity  with gold drawer pulls
Photo: Courtesy of Laura Gummerman

Blogger Laura Gummerman of A Beautiful Mess used spray paint to revive a dresser that was almost a decade old. It was a solid piece of furniture, but the dark color wasn’t doing the small room it was in any favors.

Gummerman removed all the drawers, sanded the dresser, added a few coats of paint, then—here’s the kicker—spray-painted the hardware and added unique details that she made from wood and painted to match the pulls.

With this in mind, you can take some similar steps to convert your current dresser, or even a new thrift-store find, into something totally new.

5. Breathe New Life Into Old Furniture

A woman painting furniture in backyard of her home
Photo: StefaNikolic / E+ / Getty Images

Have a set of chairs that have seen better days, but that you’d like to preserve? If you choose not to hire a local upholstery company, you can try your hand at painting the upholstery with spray paint instead. Choose a fabric that is a smooth cotton or poly blend rather than velvet or thick woven fabric, which is much more challenging to paint over. 

Do a test swatch before you paint the entire piece, then tape off any non-fabric areas like wood legs or brash embellishments (unless you want to spray those too!). Keeping the fabric damp as you go will help the furniture soak up more paint. If you’re painting a chair with folds or tufts, you’ll also want to use a brush to get into the grooves.

And it doesn’t have to be fabric furniture: You can use spray paint on anything from metal patio furniture to wood chairs, as long as the formula you use is appropriate for the material. 

6. Paint a Canvas for Your Wall

Folek painting a canvas
Photo: Courtesy of Odinn Media

Not ready to try your hand at painting an entire accent wall? Barton says you can learn your way around a spray can by first buying a canvas or birch panel at your local art supply house and creating an abstract design that can live in any room in your house. 

First, you should prime the surface, he says, before adding spray paint, especially if you’re using a panel that isn’t pre-primed. “The hardest part is the prep work. The easiest part is letting your mind loose on the canvas,” he says. 

7. Change the Color of Bar Stools

Green bar stools
Photo: Amy Boyle / EyeEm / Getty Images

One way to immediately change the vibe of an island seating area or a home bar is to repaint your stools. Whether you inherited tired-looking barstools from a family member or picked up a second-hand piece you want to restore, you can tackle this project easily. 

Start by unscrewing the tops (if the stools aren’t all one-pieces), spray-painting the bases a bold color, then recovering the seats with a fabric that is better suited to your home and your style.

8. Bring Glitz to Your Sunroom

A home garden with different plants
Photo: FollowTheFlow / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

Fancy yourself a green thumb? Then it’s likely you have plenty of natural greenery and plants adorning your sunroom or general living space. You can take any old planter or pot up a notch by adding a coat or two of spray paint. Better yet, paint all the pots in your room in the same color palette (shades of metallic are always a good idea) to really elevate your space.

9. Update Any Hardware With a Coat of Paint

A closet with gold bars
Photo: Courtesy of Elsie Larson

A spray paint project doesn’t have to be as over-the-top as repainting an entire piece of furniture—sometimes a little bit can go a long way, as A Beautiful Mess co-founder Elsie Larson showed. After successfully painting her daughter’s closet hanging bars gold, Larson did the same for her own room.

Her pro tip on painting a bar that won’t scratch off? Let the bars cure before hanging anything on them. “I [hung the bars in my closet] with no clothing on them for one full week,” she writes. “I know that may seem like a long time to wait, but after a week the difference is incredible.”

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