Decorative painting projects

If you are looking decorating ideas to add some character to a space, decorative painting is a great option.  The term “decorative painting” can cover a lot of ground – but here are some recent projects that give some idea of what can be done.

The first example is a painted kitchen backsplash.  The goal with this project was to add more interest to the counter area and create a better visual flow between this open kitchen and the adjacent rooms.  To do this, we worked with the colors of the kitchen itself, but we also pulled in some of the warmer reds and a touch of mustard yellow from the dining room and living room on either end of this space.  The pattern also ties to the graphic feel of the living room carpet, and the staggering of the colors is purposely random to give it a looser, less formal look.  Working with paint saves money vs. tile, but also gives all the flexibility to do whatever you need to get the exact look you are going for – like we were able to do with this project.  Below are the before and after shots:

 Before

Before

 After

After

Decorative painting can also be used with furniture or even an accent piece.  For another recent project, I applied a painted and antiqued look to a small wooden stand.  The original stand was not in great shape and was finished in a standard mahogany-color stain that blended into the background of the room.  To transition this piece from bland to dynamic, we decided on this paint finish.  We wanted the end result to be a brighter color for some pop, so we went with a lighter blue color with a touch of grey to tone it down just a bit.  Part of the antique look was to do a “crackle” finish, which shows the color under the final coat.  To maximize this , we used an antique yellow color to contrast with blue while enhancing the aged effect.  I also did a little surface standing at the end to show some wear, so there is a coat of off-white under the yellow for a little more depth in those few places where this color shows through.  Finally, I used some stain that I quickly buffed off to replicate the affect of age and use.  The end result now adds the pop to the room that we were looking for, and is just a fun piece to look at!

Finally, decorative painting can be a great way to add some texture, depth and even color variation to a room.  The first example below is a wall opposite the backsplash.  Our goal was to keep the overall color in the same family as the other walls which we did not faux finish, but to also bring in some of the blue from the counter as well as some of the warm dark tan from the living room.  Adding texture enhances the warm feel of this nook and goes perfectly with the distressed look of the chairs. 

I also used similar finish technique for this bathroom project.  In this case, we wanted make this small, previously dull bathroom feel like a special place.  To do this, we pulled in some of the gray of the tiles together with two shades of green to create this rich but fun feel:

The last project was another bathroom, but in this case we were going for a different look. Here, we went with a glazing technique to add texture and give the room a subtle old-world feel:

Happy painting!