What do these three spaces have in common besides the fact that they are all in my house? They all required paint; paint that we didn’t use up! Of course, where things like trim and walls are concerned, you definitely want to have some extra paint for touch ups. However, sometimes it’s best to use up open cans that aren’t too full. Do you have tons of extra paint laying around? Small sample cans from when you were trying to pick out the best color for your dining room, spray paint from updating your patio furniture, craft paints from kids’ school projects? You get the idea! Read on for some simple ideas that will make use of those forgotten paints and update your decor in the process!
No judgement! This is the state of our supply area (sigh of shame and despair) Believe it or not, this is actually more tidy than in the past. We have been slowly trying to clean up our basement, which is where all the tools and project materials are currently stored. In an effort to clean up, but not waste, I have started to use up partially used paints before they dry up.
The closet shown in the picture above is our entry closet. This blue was meant to be used in a nook in our son’s room, but we ran out of steam after finishing up all the other remodel work. One night when my husband was traveling for work and little guy was down for the night, I decided I wanted to spruce up this entry closet. The only paint I had on hand, besides the white we used throughout the house, was this blue. After painting, I had a ton left over. Fast forward a couple years and we still had leftover blue paint just sitting in that shelf. I picked up a free locker that was scratched and paint had seen better days. It was the perfect candidate for the blue paint! I still managed to work the blue into the room like I had originally wanted. We still plan to make a desk/counter to mount the locker on or leave the locker on the ground and place the counter directly above it. For now it sits on the floor and stores small toys.
Once I finished up the locker, I couldn’t wait to paint something else! The photo below shows our back entrance that we finished up this summer. If any of my Instagram followers are reading this, they may remember that the black trim was an accident. We had hired a paint company to do some trim work for us. The back entrance wasn’t complete and we asked that they only paint the door since we still had to finish electrical, patch some drywall, install flooring etc. Somehow wires were crossed and we came home to see the door and window trim black. It looked really great with the brass hardware, so we rolled with it and ended up doing the floorboards, stairs and cabinet, both of which are out of frame.
Guess what supplies we had left over after completing the back landing? If black trim paint was among your guesses, you are correct! Unlike the blue paint, however this left over paint went into use way faster. On the bottom left is a painting I purchased a while back. We hung it in our hallway, where we have been slowly creating a gallery wall. The greenish gold of the frame always threw me off. Initially I thought I would paint the frame a gold with a vintage gilded look, but as I was looking at our paint shelf of despair ha ha, it hit me that the black trim paint could look very cool. I figured if it looked awful, I could always paint over it. I love the moodiness of the black frame and background and how it works with our light fixture. You can see some process in my process in my stories. What do you think? Does the black work for you? Would you have left it as-is? What would you have done?
What article about using leftover paint would be complete without mentioning spray paint? Is spray paint a DIYer’s best friend? It’s just so easy and versatile. When I was at plant nursery earlier this spring I came across two identical pots that were deeply discounted. They were white and scuffed, but I thought a magic eraser would spiff them up. When the scuffs proved too tough, I moved on to paint. I have a metallic gold crackled pot from Anthropologie that I used as inspiration. What should have been a very simple spray paint project turned into a long drawn project that I abandoned out of irritation and then returned to. It happens. If you feel like watching a mini-series, you can catch the pot saga in my stories.
The thing about those pots, is I was trying so hard to mimic the crackle and color of my Anthropologie pot. It’s also tricky to find the right gold sometimes. At the end of the project I had (and still have) so much spray paint left. One of the colors I tried was Satin Bronze, and while I didn’t like it on my pots, I thought it would look great on my floor vents! I wasn’t able to find a “before” photo of the living room from the same angle; I just had a close up of the white vent. These were just the standard vents that came with our new duct work. We talked about buying new ones that would blend into the wood more, but it was never high priority. On a whim I tried the satin bronze. The painted vent is pictured on the lower right, close to the snake plant leaf. There is a second vent not pictured, and they both blend in so much better.
I have so many other paints left, I may give some away. In the meantime, I’m certain there are other projects I can muster up. With paint projects still on my mind, I am on high alert when a new idea comes my way. Take a look below to see how some friends have used paint in fun ways! Make sure to click on the photos to see the full tutorials.
KariAnne of Thistlewood Farm transformed this thrifted dresser with new paint and pretty hardware. It is so pretty and feminine. Leftover paint would be perfect for a stencil project like this!
Gosh, I really want to try this project. Tasha of Rufus & Henrietta Interiors used left over paint to create abstract artwork seen above. Her interpretation is spot on! Click on the photo above to see her inspo and the full tutorial. Also, I love the table, tile floor and everything in this room!
Last but not least is Laurie’s cheerful accent wall. Over on her Poplolly Co. blog she shows how she used leftover paint as the jumping off point for a bathroom makeover. This project really got me thinking about using up all that left over paint sitting in the basement! Thanks Laurie!
There you have it- 6 easy ways to use up extra paint! I had some more, but thought I would keep the list short. As I write this I can’t help think of even more uses! My basement paint shelf is a bit more cleaned up, but there is more to be used! Happy painting!