Do you have a cabinet full of clear glass vases or home decor and accessories that you would love to change the color but you’re not sure what to do or what type of paint will not scratch? If so, then today’s post is just for you! I’m going to show you some super easy paint hacks for instantly updating home decor that are such a great way to refresh the old tired stuff into something amazing!
Today’s post is brought to you by Testors paints. All opinions are my own.
For today’s post, I’m going to go down the list of different types of home decor/accessories that you may want to change the color or turn into something completely different with paint. I will also give you some easy tips for painting and tell you exactly what type of paint you’ll need for the material (metal, glass, wood, etc..).
I am in the process of finishing up our remodel in our living room and I’m completely changing colors in that space. Instead of getting rid of accessories that are not the right colors, I have been painting them. Most people would never dream about painting home decor pieces like glass, ceramics, metal, resin, etc.., because they worry the finish would look painted. However, if you use oil-based enamels to paint most of these materials, you can get a beautiful finish that doesn’t look painted and the paint will not scratch and actually last.
The great news is that you don’t need a big quart size of enamel paint for these items. All you need are little enamel craft paints made by Testors that are about $2.00 at your local craft store and online at Amazon that work beautifully and will give you a durable finish that will last forever. If you’re not familiar with Testors paints, you will find them in the model car/airplane crafts section at your craft store on a display that looks like this (just look at all the gorgeous color possibilities):
Testors paints come in both enamel (oil-based) and acrylic (water-based), so be sure and read the labels and choose the right paint for the material you’re painting that I am explaining below.
So let me show you what you can do with these little magic paints!
Paints For Ceramics
Most people think that you could never paint shiny glazed ceramic home decor and have it look like it’s not painted. While there are some pretty expensive paints out there for specifically painting ceramics, all you need is a little $2.00 bottle of Testors enamel paint (no primer needed), which will give an amazing finish that looks like glazed ceramics and not painted.
I wanted to add a matte black ceramic pot in my living room that I could add a moss ball to for greenery and instead of buying a new pot, I painted an old red one that was collecting dust in my junk closet for more than 10 years.
Because I wanted the pot to look matte black and not shiny like glaze, I used Testors Enamel in semi-gloss. Below is how the pot turned out after painting only one coat:
If I wanted the pot to be shinier, I would have used the Testors enamel gloss in black for that shiny glazed look. I really wanted more of matte look and the semi-gloss was perfect!
All I had to do was clean the pot really well with alcohol and then paint with a foam brush. Testors paint goes on like butter and you can stop and start without any brush marks.
The semi-gloss goes on like a gloss but when it dries, it goes more matte. Just look at how even and beautiful that finish is going on. Can you believe it?! It’s really great stuff!
Again, all I did was brush the enamel on with a foam brush and I only needed one coat. Because the Testors paints are enamel and oil-based, no primer is needed and the paint will harden after a few days just like the glaze. Keep in mind that oil-based paints take several days to fully cure and harden and once the finish dries, it won’t scratch and the finish will last forever and you do not need to spray a top coat. You can still lightly use pieces 24 hours after painting but just know that enamels take at least 7-10 days to fully harden and cure, so light wear is ok but anything else during that time could scratch.
Paints For Glass
If you’re like me and have a big surplus of clear glass vases from getting flowers or just buying different sizes over the years, Testors enamels are awesome for painting or swirling paints in glass. Again, because these paints are oil-based enamels, they are ideal for painting glass and they will not look painted with brush marks. Better yet, once the paint hardens, it won’t scratch and the finish will last forever!
Pouring or painting Testors enamels on glass (or in glass) is a fantastic way of incorporating a pop of a specific color to your decor. With my living room remodel, I have been looking for ways to work in pops of white and black to my decor and I simply poured Testors flat white (enamel) into a clear class jar, swirled it to cover all the glass and I have an instant pop of white.
If you want a solid color, pour the paint into the glass and swirl to cover all the glass. After about 10 minutes, swirl one more time because the excess paint will slide to bottom just to make sure you have a good even coat.
If you want to create a marble or swirl vase by pouring different paints in, you can also easily do that with Testors enamels. Some of you guys may recall that during Christmas this last year, I used Testors Craft Paints in clear ornaments to make ornaments that look just like marble.
To get the same marble look in a glass vase or jug, you will need to use oil-based enamels like Testors (so you can add water to the vase after) and slowly pour 3-4 different colors into your vase (I used white, black and gold below). Next, use a skewer to very slowly swirl for a marble look like this:
Next, begin moving the vase around to swirl and get paint up on the sides:
After you have swirled and covered most of the vase with paint, turn your vase over onto thick newspaper to allow for the excess paint to come out onto the newspaper.
Don’t worry if you get paint on the outside of the vase, just make sure you pick up Testors Enamel Thinner (also in a little bottle) to wipe away any excess paint that gets on your fingers or outside of the vase. You will need to allow the vase to dry overnight and when you’re done, it will look something like this:
You will need to let your vase dry for at least 24-36 hours before adding water and flowers. You do not have to seal the inside since it’s oil-based enamel.
I also made another marble swirl vase with less white and more black for my living shelves for that pop of black and white. I just loved how pretty it turned out!
For larger (wider vases), I brushed on paint swipes on the inside of the vase and waited a couple minutes and then swirled more paint to create a modern art type vase that I love for my shelves.
By the way, if you want to paint the outside of glass, you will need to use an oil-based enamel like Testors to make sure it sticks and won’t scratch. Last year, I shared a tutorial for spray painting a clear glass vase with Testors CreateFX Chalkboard Paint that turned out so pretty!
Paints For Frames
Whether you want to paint picture frames, art frames or frames on mirrors, if you prime first, you can use water-based acrylic paints. However, I still prefer to use enamel because I don’t have to prime and I get a beautiful finish that looks factory-finished without brush marks. I painted the mirror frames below with Testors Enamel Flat Black finish to get rid of the silver frame color.
Below is what the frame looked like before I painted it:
I just used a large water color brush to paint one coat on the frames and the results are gorgeous and exactly what I wanted for the space.
If you are painting a frame that you cannot remove the mirror or glass, you don’t have to tape off anything, just use a razor to quickly remove dried paint instantly!
Paints For Metal
While you can use water-based paint on some metals by priming first, again, I prefer to save time and use enamels on metal because I don’t have to prime (just clean material with alcohol first) and the finish looks more realistic and less painted with enamel. This is great if you want to change to color of metal accessories, trays, cabinet hardware and decorative pieces.
Below I painted a gold tray black that turned out perfect with Testors enamel in flat black.
Paints For Resin or Plastics
So many of the decorative home accessories these days are made out of a resin material that is like a plastic type compound. Because resin pieces are more like plastic, water-based paints will not stick at all. Again, Testors enamel paints will do the trick in only one coat and it won’t like the material has been painted.
I had this gold decorative candle holder for many years in my junk closet and I thought it would be the perfect pop of gloss black in my living room shelves. While the gold is pretty, I’m just not using gold in my home anymore.
I used a small foam brush to apply the Testors Enamel Gloss Black and in one fast coat, the finish was flawless! Keep in mind that a little of this paint goes a very long way, which is another reason I love Testors so much.
Paint Outdoor Accessories
If you’re curious about painting outdoor accessories, I revamped my patio last year with several outdoor paint projects that I sprayed using Testors CreateFX paint (black matte chalkboard spray). Check out that post for step-by step techniques and projects. I continue to be amazed that even after a year of East Texas extreme weather, all the finishes look as good as the day I painted them.
Have I convinced you yet that you can paint outdated home decor and get a gorgeous factory-finish using Testors enamels? They are so easy and fun to use and they go on like butter and dry hard as a rock. I encourage you guys to give it a try because the results are so good!
A huge thank you to Testors for creating such amazing paints and partnering up with me today on these projects. You can check out all of Testors paint products on their website here.
Thanks for stopping by today!
Nancy Kinkead says
You are so creative!!
Amazing totally love the marble look !
I to am doing blacks and white …
You amaze me !
I need you got a neighbor !!
Great post !
Thanks so much Nancy and yes, we would have so much color fun if we were neighbors!! How is the house going?
Holy Cow!! This is a game changer for sure!!! I’ll be buying some paint very soon!
I do have one question, when something has a wax on it, how do I prepare it for paint? Would i just wipe it with alcohol?
If you want to paint something that has wax on it, I wipe down (multiple times) with mineral spirits and do a light sanding. Mineral spirits will lift the wax better than regular alcohol. If you’re paint a piece of furniture, your safest best is to prime with a stain blocking primer after using mineral spirits and light sanding. That way, the wax won’t seep/stain through the new paint finish over time, which is often what can happen even after using mineral spirits and sanding. Wax can go deep into the wood over time and come to the surface after a new paint finish. I painted a piece for a client that she neglected to tell me she waxed weekly with Pledge over a 10 year period of time. We had strange stains on the surface after the fresh coat of paint (I didn’t use a stain blocking primer) and I suspected she had been using Pledge. When I asked her, she said that yes, she used it weekly! Ugh! It was a mess to re-do! Thanks for your note Debbie!
Thank you for your email, fortunately, its not a piece of furniture but rather a ceramic piece. So I’m thinking mineral spirits should do the trick.
Thanks again for the reply:)
Paint It White says
Amazing job on all of them but my favourite has to be the mirrors!!! Everything looks so contemporary. I love it. .
Have a great weekend
Holly Bullard says
I have a photo wall grouping of my kids and I am wondering if it would be possible to use paint to update them. I would really like to have them have a brushed nickel look. What do you suggest?
Thank you for all of your wonderful ideas and advice
Thanks for this Post.. How much does that small container of paint cover?
Marilyn Kirby says
I immediately went to Amazon to check on this paint! Is it the .25 oz size you’re talking about?
Your ideas are amazing. With all the bloggers out there, you take the cake. Thank you for a fantastic idea, clearly explained and beautifully photographed. I’m ready to start. And FYI I pinned a photos of your living room and it’s downloaded constantly. Be well.
Wow Abby! You made my day with such kind words! Thank you so much for following along and leaving me such a sweet note! I can’t thank you enough! 🙂