Why not overcome the stuck-indoors blues with a home-improvement project?

A rainy day doesn’t have to be a total washout (pun intended). Since you’re stuck indoors, you might as well do something fun. For me, that would be some type of a decorating project.

WINNIPEG — A rainy day doesn’t have to be a total washout (pun intended). Since you’re stuck indoors, you might as well do something fun. For me, that would be some type of a decorating project.

At the cottage last year, I painted a faux area rug on our unfinished plywood floor. It looks quite real and adds a ton of personality to the room. Using simple acrylic craft paints, you, too, could paint a number of decorative elements in your home or cottage. All you need is a paintable surface and a little imagination.

Rugs and Quilts

Painted area rugs can be a great decorative asset to wooden floors, porch floors and even outdoor decks. A painted wall quilt is basically the same thing, just on the wall instead of on the floor. In a nursery, you might design a quilt for the wall above the crib and perhaps even personalize it with the baby’s name. You could also paint a wall quilt and use it as a headboard or as decoration over the head of the bed.

In any of these projects all you need is some sort of a design and a little patience. Once you map out the project design in pencil, you can go to town filling in the colours.

Finding a pattern is something you’ll want to do ahead of time unless you’re good with free-hand painting. I am not that clever with a paint brush so I use simple designs I can create with a pencil and ruler.

I’ve even painted designs on cotton or natural fibre scatter mats I felt needed a decorative boost. Yes, the paint wears after a few washings, but I think that gives the rug even more character. When it got too faded, I just repainted over the old design in fresh paint.

Borders and Trim

Floor borders can also be added to a wooden floor using paint or stain, depending upon the surface. A hardwood floor that has seen better days may benefit from a decorative border around the room in a co-ordinating stain or paint colour.

Hardwood floors tend to get worn at the door entrance of the room.

This problem might be disguised with a painted or stained threshold in a decorative design. It will add pizzazz to the room and save you from having to have the entire floor redone, at least for the time being.

Doors and Drawers

Most cabinet doors can be updated with a little paint. In the kitchen, you might choose to stencil a design on each door and drawer, for example. A decorative touch to a plain bathroom vanity will liven up the powder room. Even a bedroom dresser that may need a lift can benefit from all sorts of paint treatments. Use letter stencils to add words like “pantry” to a pantry door or “bistro” to a focal area in the kitchen, for example.

Backsplash

There’s always my standard favourite as well: the painted faux tile backsplash. It’s a simple and fun way to brighten up a kitchen.

This particular technique does not have to be limited to a backsplash.

You can sponge on a faux tile wall in a boring bathroom as well. I’d probably paint a small area so that the design doesn’t overwhelm.

The Little Things

If you’re not brave enough to paint on a fixed surface like the floor, you can certainly paint a number of accessories to add your unique touch to your decor.

Picture frames, decorative bird houses, plain wooden serving trays, small furniture items, toss cushion covers, window shades, small decorative boxes, wooden letters and so on are all items I have added my personal touch to over the years.

You can find tons of unfinished, paintable items at dollar stores and craft stores. The items are inexpensive and a great way to practise your technique.

Connie Oliver writes for the Winnipeg Free Press.

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