Tuesday, September 9, 2008

a word on spray paint

embrace it. It's the best thing to come out of a can to date.

In my youth, I thought it was only used by delinquents looking to deface public property. In recent years though, my lack of patience and our grad school budget have lead me to it many a time, and we have yet to be disappointed--especially with the dawn of spray paint primer. Instant gratification at it's best!

My dear college companion, Molly, turned me onto it when we decided to give new life to this Salvation Army purchase. Little to no sanding, a coat of primer from a can, and this fabulous green. I also recovered the seat with left over upholstery fabric-- a nice change from purple pleather. Now it's my desk chair.

We are planning on painting our front door black and have been searching for the perfect door knocker. My sister and brother-in-law found this for us. It was originally a very cool cast iron, but it wouldn't really have stood out against the black door, so I gave it a coat of metallic brass spray paint, then sanded some of it off so some iron showed through. Then I sprayed it with matte black spray paint and immediately wiped off most of the black so that it only remained in the crevices, giving it a kind of aged-bronze look. I'm really happy with how it turned out. Can't wait to have a finished front door to hang it on.

I also updated a cast off chandelier from my in-laws by spray painting it matte black and putting on mini silk shades. It was brass but didn't fit our decor, however now that it's a clean, simple black we love it for our dining room.

The lady who sold me our mantel surround headboard also gave me this pretty little bench.

It's suprisingly sturdy and comfortable, but the upholstered seat and mahogany finish had seen better days. so with a coat of spray primer, another coat of brushed on "Tidewater" paint, and a newly upholstered seat withg silver nailhead trim, it fits perfectly in our living room.

One of the best things about spray paint is it's durability. Most types are suited to adhere to metal and plastic, which aren't usually up for hosting regular wall paint long term. That being said, I've found that all spray paints aren't created equal. RustOleum definitely makes the best paint, and I've had the best luck with their Universal Spray Paint, which sprays evenly at any angle. You can buy at it at any hardware store.


*special thanks to Kathleen for inspiring this post. Good luck with your projects!


  1. Leah, I am in awe of your craftiness! I love you bench! sooo jealous.

  2. This is so funny that you posted today. I attempted to spray paint our lamps a calming creme color... they were a cheesy 90s floral pattern. It looks ok in a "we let our preschooler paint our nice lamps" kind of way. My husband hasn't seen this yet, but I remain hopeful that a second coat might save these poor lamps before he sees what I did. Next time I'll try the brand you recommended or maybe just stick to wood furniture, which I've had success with in the past.

  3. that door knocker is absolutely rad. its so Aslan and Narnia-esque. I'm going to look into getting you guys a wardrobe...

  4. Leah, you're amazing! I too have embraced the magic of spray paint on several metal objects in our home...your new and improved chandelier is giving me ideas, though... :)

    It was so good to see you and Rich this weekend!


  5. Oh Leah... the bench is just perfect. You are amazing!! Love it all!!

  6. how incredibly crafty are you!? love it all! and I'm only slightly offended that you came to ND and didn't give us a call. It's a good thing I know you all are the type to come back again. We were just chatting last week about how empty the game feels without hearing Mads sing the victory march. =)

  7. Leah, just saw this post yesterday and i love it. We just spray painted the old bookshelf we got at the Moreau Seminary yardsale a few years ago and it looks 100x better in our living room now. So, i LOVED this post, which has given me more ideas and inspiration on our spray-paint budget. I forwarded your blog to my sister too b/c of all the great ideas! keep em coming!

  8. Leah, I am just checking out your blog for the first time since you started it. It is awesome. My sister has been telling me to start a blog for awhile, but the thought has been daunting. You and Emily give me a lot to live up to. I will let you know when I get around to it.

  9. I absolutely love this. I found your blog while goggling ways to update with spray paint. May I feature the bench on my blog?


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