5 High Impact Afternoon Painting Projects

By Rachel Castro /

It’s no secret that you can dramatically change the look and feel of an entire room with a can (or two) of paint, a roller and your bare walls. But what about a quick painting project that’ll conquer your craving for change without needing to cover your sofa in a drop cloth? Throw on your DIY tee; here’s a round up of painting projects that’ll give your home a high impact punch with minimal effort – dare I say, projects you can complete in an afternoon? Let’s welcome spring with a fresh dose of color, the simplified way.


I’m what they would call a bona fide frame hoarder. I have many, and I don’t discriminate, whether they’re store bought, thrifted or saved from the dumpster. Much like many others right now, I love a good gallery wall, and to do so, I also love that I can pick through my many frames to get the look I like – and a can of quality spray is all I need to keep my art looking polished. Below, I mixed and matched salvaged frames for my old home’s studio, using white spray paint on a few of them to keep the overall look collected yet cohesive. (Bonus: Makeover an ornate thrifted mirror with a spray coat of a vibrant color. Hang in your entryway where you can’t miss it, and smile!)


We’ve been told by friends and readers that they admire our fearless approach to color. “I wouldn’t have the guts,” we hear. Then may I suggest a splash of color where you’d least expect it – and in a place that won’t smack you in the face? We painted our coat closet interior a fun minty green (Clark + Kensington’s Bow Island), and our houseguests have been enjoying a good laugh with every swing of the door. Us, too.


We took a sad thrifted end table and gave it a whole new look by simply painting only the edge (below). The thin strip of saturated color was all it needed to make it a knock out piece for the living room! Other accents to paint? Try painting just the legs, just the top or using a small paintbrush to highlight intricate details in a more ornate piece of furniture.


This one is certainly tried and true, but for good reason! Starting in the morning, apply a quality adhesion promotor and follow that up with your first coat of an exterior-grade paint color (I encourage you to go outside your comfort zone). By lunchtime, you’ll be ready for coat two, and by the evening, the paint will be dry enough to close your door for the night. Looking to really make a statement – inside and out? Wrap your new color around to your door’s interior, too!

Photos: Hiya Papaya

Transforming the items in and around your home with paint are limitless, this we know. (If you’re the gutsy kind, how about your ceiling?) Feeling intimidated by the change? As my husband Scott would say, “if you don’t like it, you can always paint it back. It’s just paint!” Have fun, explore and go for it!

How have you used paint to breathe new life into your home lately?

Rachel Castro

About the Author

A self-proclaimed New Yorker from the Midwest, Rachel Castro lets design and color inspire her everyday life. Designer by day and DIYer by night, you can follow all of her latest projects on Digs & DIY, where she documents her favorites from recipes to redesign.

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