How to Paint (Almost) Anything

It’s no secret that paint is the number one weapon in any DIY’ers arsenal, I’ve been saying it for 15+ years to readers, clients and loved ones. But did you know that today, it’s possible to paint, and therefore remake, almost anything? So I decided to do a quick primer on how to paint almost anything, to get you all thinking about the possibilities here. After your done, hopefully you won’t see anything in your home as boring again! (Cause now you can spice it up, disguise it, or change it’s feel!) Photo by ‘House Beautiful‘.




How to Paint Walls

So unless you are a really new DIY’er, you have probably tackled a wall or two, so Ill just drop a couple of quick tips.

  • If your walls were previously gloss or semi gloss, you need to paint, use liquid sandpaper and/or prime.
  • When taping off your edges to cut in, try this tip. Tape the edges and press tape down firmly. Now cut in first with the ceiling or adjoining wall paint color…thats right, the old one! Let it dry, then paint over with the new paint. This fills the gaps between the tape and the wall with the old paint, so the new paint goes on perfectly neat!  Trust me, it works! Don’t want to go to all that? Use the back of a spoon to press the edging tape down really firmly.
  • Don’t do thick coats…do several thin ones.
  • Remember, paint always dries a little darker, so don’t panic if it goes on and doesn’t look quite right.
  • Richer colors require more coats.

How to Paint Wood Floors


Yes, you can paint your floors… and it’s become a favorite trick of high end designers. (You can even stencil on a design, but thats another post!)

  • Sand it. That’s right, the whole floor. You can use a power sander for this!
  • Prime with BIN or Kilz primer in high traffic areas.
  • Use a porch and floor paint, or you will have to seal your floor with polyurethane. I use water based because it doesn’t yellow.
  • Cut in the edges with a brush.
  • Start in the farthest corner from the doorway, and roll on in thin coats. Yes, I don’t want you painting yourself into a corner. Repeat coats as necessary.
  • Turn up the heat, add a fan, and make sure the dog is far, far away. It takes several days for paint to cure hard, so make sure it gets no heavy traffic until then.

How to Paint Furniture and Woodwork

Before and after photos from Live Love DIY.

how to paint furniture (2)

how to paint furniture (11)

So you hate your furniture, and you want to update it? Paint is a good choice. If it’s wood furniture, keep reading. If it’s metal, use a spray paint made for metal surfaces. Use several light coats. (Do you see a theme there?) Back to the wood furniture.

  • Remove doors or drawers if you prefer.
  • Sand. Wipe away the dust with a  barely damp cloth.
  • Prime if it’s bare wood, or if you had to patch it.
  • Paint thin coats, brushing witht he grain just enough to spread the paint. The paint will level out some after you stop brushing. Use a small foam roller to smooth out the flat surfaces.

How to Paint Plastic


Painting plastic is easy, and all it requires is spray paint made specifically for plastic. Krylon makes one called Fusion…there are others. Follow the directions on the can for prepping. Especially good for those plastic patio chairs!

How to Paint Appliances


You can actually paint your old appliances. Since this is a tougher one, I am linking to a couple tutorials… The First, how to paint your appliances with a stainless steel finish. The second, How to paint your appliances a color, with appliance paint. My two cents? Worth it if your appliances are fairly modern or if you can’t afford to replace at any cost… but lots of work! Frig is the easiest!

How to Paint Laminate (Counters, floors, or that ugly old bookcase!)


Three steps to painting laminate anything with regular household paint.

  1. Clean and prime with a specialty primer, like BIN or KILZ.
  2. Paint with a brush and foam roller.
  3. Seal with a water based polyurethane such as Polycrylic.

Read how to paint laminate counters at DIY Network.

How to Paint Accessories


Spray prime. Spray paint. There are even spray paints with metallic or stone texture finishes. Have a blast.

My number one tip? If in doubt, BIN or KILZ primer will seal almost anything and make it paintable.

Have any painting tricks you want to share? Comment away!

How to Paint (Almost) Anything

Image Credits: Zinsser, House Beautiful , This Old House, Hometalk, DIY Network/Liquid Steel, DIY Network, House of Hepworths


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Kathy Bates

Kathy Bates & Steve Bates (co-owners) – Woodard Bates Media LLC consisting of three blogs:, and

Kathy Bates’ previous writing credits include:

Former home decorating expert for Lifetime TV, Galtime and Country Woman Magazine.

Her book spent time at #1 on Amazon’s Home & Garden Topseller List in 2002.

Published or featured in numerous national publications, including:

Country Sampler’s Decorating Ideas magazine, Woman’s Day magazine, HGTV, The Wall Street Journal, CBS Marketwatch, Decorating Solutions magazine, Decorating Ideas magazine, The Seattle Times, Chicago Tribune, Kansas City News, The Oklahoman, Akron Beacon Journal, Pensacola News Journal and The Telegraph.

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