Five Affordable Painting Ideas: Refresh Your Home’s Design Without Breaking the Bank


Affordable Tnterior Painting and Decorating Ideas from CraftPro Home ImprovementsBelow is a detailed and elaborate list of affordable interior painting ideas to renew and refresh your home. If you’re an avid do-it-yourself house painter you may be able to tackle one or more of the following interior painting ideas yourself for your next DIY home improvement. Or you can take these ideas a step further by consulting with a color expert and hiring a professional painter.


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Are you tired of your home’s paint job? Bored with the colors? Ready to spruce things up? Below are tips for interior painting ideas that can have a dramatic impact on your home’s look and feel, without a dramatic impact on your wallet.

Tip for these Painting Ideas: The best painting ideas always start with you, the homeowner, and your decision to breathe new life into your home with interior painting. The best way to have it done right is to have a color expert help you with paint color choices and to have a professional painting contractor perform the work. We recommend two very knowledgeable color experts who offer different services. Click here to learn more about them below

    Painting Idea #1: Accent Walls

accent wall painting in this home separates an open floor-plan living-dining roomOne of the quickest and easiest ways to liven your home and add to its design is by painting an accent wall in one (or more) rooms. You can choose a bold, bright, and exciting color to use as the accent wall. Whatever paint color you choose, make sure it accentuates the room without overpowering it, and the best way to get the most out of your color selections is to use an interior designer or color expert. Benjamin Moore provides more accent wall painting ideas on their website:

“Whether you’d like to define a living space or spotlight a treasured piece of artwork or architectural feature, an accent wall can create a striking, unique design element.
Accent walls can also help you create color flow. By using the same color in fabrics, finishes, accessories, and furnishings in adjoining rooms, you can create a seamless transition from space to space.” – Benjamin Moore “Ideas for Creating Beautiful Accent Walls”

This can be done in your bedroom, your kid’s room, the living room, or dining room. There is no limit to this versatile painting idea! You can leave the other walls a neutral shade of white or cream, or choose a room that is already lively with blues or reds, highlighting one wall with a deeper, darker shade of that same color.

Chair-Rail Molding “Accent Wall” Painting

If one or more rooms has chair-rail molding installed (the kind that runs along the length of the wall) then you’re lucky, because this provides a lot of options. Again, bringing in a color expert is a really good idea. You can choose a two-tone color scheme (pictured below in a Madison, NJ paint job we performed) or you can choose one bold color and one “neutral” color (also pictured below, in a CraftPro paint job in Morristown, NJ). There are many ways to paint walls with chair-rail molding – these are just a couple.

Choosing the Paint Color for Your Accent Wall

Again, we recommend hiring a paint color expert. There’s a lot more to color than meets the eye (get it?) and color experts have an incredible amount of knowledge when it comes to the science behind paint colors. Their fees are reasonable, and it is money well-spent. But if you decide to go it alone, make sure to select a color that speaks to you, that reflects something about yourself. After all, you’re the one who will have to look at it every day! So pick a color that resonates with you. Have a favorite lamp in your dining room? A beautifully upholstered armchair in your living room? Choose a color that highlights the furniture or accessories throughout the room, or even the entire house. You may want to use the accent wall to create a color flow from one room to the next, catching the eye of your guest as you give her a tour of your newly painted home!

    Painting Idea #2: Ceiling Paint Color

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Ideas for painting ceilings to add color like in this photoThe ceiling is one aspect of a room that is often neglected by homeowners because, let’s face it, who thinks to look up? Standard ceiling white is the norm, but adding color to a room by painting a ceiling is a great idea. The ceiling, like any other wall in the house, can be used to make a significant impact on the paint design of your home. Often called “the 5th wall”, the ceiling is the “largest uninterrupted space” in the room, so use it wisely! We recommend choosing a color that minimizes glare and is easy to work with.

If you’re looking for a change but aren’t sure where to start, the ceiling could be your answer. If you’re not typically one to experiment, and are hesitant to start with such a big space, choose a solid, subtle color. You will soon realize what a big impact that 5th wall can make, and you’ll feel comfortable moving on to patterns or designs. These are a good way to personalize a room, especially one with higher ceilings. You may even choose to make the ceiling your accent wall! How’s that for killing two birds with one stone?

Ceiling Paint Color Selection from a Color Expert

Get some painting ideas from color expert Donna Frasca by checking out her two-part article on ceiling painting: “What Color Should I Paint My Ceiling?”

    Painting Idea #3: Chalkboard Paint

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chalkboard painting idea to add function to your home, like a using the chalkboard for a shopping listNow here’s an ingenious painting idea that’ll add function an creativity to your home. Chalkboard paint can be extremely useful, and you can get really creative with it. You can paint an entire wall, or just a section of it, creating an actual, functional blackboard. You may want one in your kitchen to keep track of your growing grocery list – you could even paint the door of the pantry, so every time the kids finish a box of cereal they can add it to the list themselves! Or maybe your kids are always writing on walls and furniture? Well don’t worry, we have an idea fix that, and all it involves is painting. Just have a wall in their room or playroom painted with chalkboard paint, and now they can write on the walls without getting in trouble! It can be easily wiped clean, just like a chalkboard in their teacher’s room.

Don’t want a whole wall painted black? No problem! Paint a small square in your study for a to-do list, or by the landline for a message board. Use it to make labels on cabinets or drawers, or in a common area for a calendar to keep all your family’s busy schedules straight. You may even want to use it near the front door as a welcome board for your guests when you’re entertaining or as a reminder to yourself (“Turn off coffee pot”). Chalkboard paint is quick, easy, and multifunctional (Whiteboard paint is also available) Using Chalkboard/Whiteboard paint is a useful painting idea that can make life easier, help you get organized, and can add to the functionality of your home.

    Painting Idea #4: Furniture Painting

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tips for correct furniture painting ideas and techniquesHave an old table sitting in the corner of the room, neglected? Or an antique dresser stored away in the attic that you’re just dying to bring back to life? Well, CraftPro has just the way to salvage that piece of furniture: paint it!

This project is slightly more involved than the others on this list, and should probably be handled by a professional. But there are a lot of DIY how-to articles out there (click the image for our favorite – the tutorial suggest Benjamin Moore’s “Advance” paint, our favorite product for furniture and kitchen cabinets), so you may want to try it yourself.

Choose your color based on the unique characteristic of the room in which it will be placed. Dark colors will make even the smallest side table seem larger – so be careful picking browns and charcoals if the furniture’s new home will be a small room.

Bright colors, on the other hand, will make a bold statement, and will demand the attention of you and your guests upon entering the room. So leave the fuchsias and other bright/saturated colors for rooms that are lacking any other dramatic furniture pieces or accessories that you may want guests to notice immediately. Then, of course, you have your neutral creams and lighter shades for furniture you aren’t looking to make a statement with, but want to simply bring back to use.

Some Tips for Painting Your Old Furniture

Seek a more comprehensive furniture painting DIY tutorial (like in the image), but here are some tips. When painting your chosen piece of furniture, remember to start with larger surfaces, moving from the corners outward, and brushing with the grain. Be careful not to use too much paint on that first coat, so as to avoid clumps and dripping. Two thin coats is almost always better than one thick coat. After the large surfaces, move on to the edges and the trim. Again, you want to be careful here not to let the paint drip or run over the edges!

Furniture Painting isn’t Limited to Old Furniture

Certainly keep this idea in mind for any old furniture you may be storing or not getting a lot of use out of. But don’t forget about the pieces you use every day! You may want to paint the kids’ bookshelf to add a little color to their room, or the kitchen table to bring some brightness to your family dinners. Keep an open mind! This is a great way to make a piece of furniture unique.

    Painting Idea #5: Decorative Painting

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interior wall painting ideas for decorative finishesere’s another fun way to liven up your home! It’s similar to accent walls, but allows your creativity to run a little wild. If you’re not going to hire a professional painter, then grab a couple cans of paint and some stencils and/or painter’s tape, pick a wall and get to “work”!

Paint patterns of stripes, either vertical or horizontal. Vary the color and width to make it interesting. Use bolder, darker colors less frequently than the milder shades. In rooms with a low ceiling, paint horizontal stripes to give the room some height. You may want to balance these stripes with other vertical elements in the room, such as a lamp. Choose colors that will accentuate the furniture, or tie in the accessories throughout the room.

Not a fan of stripes? Here’s where those stencils come in handy. Get creative with these decorative paint finishes and create a border around the wall or around the entire room. Make a pattern with the stencils, or cover the full wall. Use textural designs, or even create a headboard above your bed with painted canvases.

There’s no limit to how creative you can get with these designs. A single wall with a little decoration will bring a lot of life to your home. The best part is that this painting ideas is a great alternative to wallpaper.

    The Best Painting Idea: Interior Designers & Color Experts

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Color Experts understand the science behind color, the importance of lighting, how colors work together and flow throughout a home and other color details that are lost on even the most experienced painters. We always recommend our two favorite Color Experts:
An entire blog post could be dedicated to their awards and accolades. Below are links to learn more about these highly certified color experts:
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Amy Wax is an acclaimed and award-winning color expert. Her book “Can’t Fail Color Schemes” has won several awards, and she is the creator of the award-winning Color911 app. She is located here in New Jersey and is available to our customers for in-person color consultations. Learn more about her at Your Color Source.
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Donna Frasca is a highly specified color expert with many accolades and awards. An avid writer with many publications, she publishes her own wildly informative blog: Decorating By Donna. Although she is located and works in North Carolina, she is available to our customers through her Virtual Color Consultation service.


This article was written by my sister: Arianna D’Angelo, MPH and edited/co-authored/published by me, Richard D’Angelo – founding owner-operator of CraftPro Contracting. We hope these painting ideas inspire you!

Comment: Let Us & Our Readers Know What You Think...

3 thoughts on “Five Affordable Painting Ideas: Refresh Your Home’s Design Without Breaking the Bank

  • Stephan Bashkir

    I never considered that painting or re-staining older furniture would be a good way to inexpensively alter the feel of a room. The walls of my apartment are beige and white and dull. I can’t afford to repaint the house, both in terms of time and money, but this seems like a great way to add a little flavor to my home.

  • Miriam Stern

    Your idea about painting accent walls is right on. But determining which wall or walls should be chosen can be a challenge for most people. Using a color expert for that as well as help with choosing the right color is the way to go. Accents can be bold as pictured above or subtle for a different effect.

    • Richard J. D'Angelo Post author

      You’re absolutely right: the nuances of paint color design, especially when it comes to accent walls, are lost on a lot of people (professional painters, too!) and it is best left to color experts. We always recommend our interior designer color expert for jobs like that.