Easy DIY home decor tricks for furniture and walls

June 30, 2015

From distressing furniture, to toning down walllpaper and repurposing old pieces, DIY decorating has never been more popular. Here's a few how-tos to get you started.

Easy DIY home decor tricks for furniture and walls

Age furniture with candles

Do you like the worn, "shabby chic" look that's all the rage but you can't afford to purchase that stye of furniture? Use a common household candle to reproduce the look on any wooden piece of furniture (new or old) that you plan to paint.

  1. First, prime the piece with an under-colour primer (as though the furniture had been painted this colour previously) and allow the prime coat to dry thoroughly.
  2. Rub a white candle along edges and corners, around knobs and pulls, randomly over chair arms — wherever the furniture finish would be worn away by frequent use. Be generous with the wax but brush away any flaky bits.
  3. Now paint the piece with a coat of the main colour, which won't adhere to the wax. If you need another coat of the top colour — a possibility if you're painting a light colour over a darker one — rub a little more wax over the exposed places.
  4. When the piece is completely dry, just rub away the wax with a soft cotton cloth dipped in warm water.

Don't strip that wallpaper; glaze it!

If your wallpaper has fallen out of style but you dread the hideous job of stripping it, apply a glaze to soften colours and tone down patterns. Far less mess, much less time — and with luck, you already have the key ingredients: white latex interior paint, latex glazing liquid, water and a small amount of coloured latex for tinting the wash. This is a great two-person project — the application requires coordination but goes very quickly.

  1. Mix one part white latex paint to one part white glaze. Add water to thin. As you add the water, test the mix on a paper remnant or a small, out-of-the-way patch of wall. If the wash is too strong, add more water and test again. (Water can account for up to half of the finished product).
  2. Once you're happy with the look, wash the mix over the paper with a lint-free cloth, using a swirling motion as if you were cleaning the wall. Work in sections and work fast, because glaze dries rapidly.
  3. Use a brush to apply the glaze wash at corners and edges, tamping with a cloth to remove brush strokes. Then, step back and pat yourself on the back for having chosen such a clever and attractive solution.

Give your old ladder a new lease on life

It may be too wobbly to stand on, but an aged wooden ladder — with its many nicks, paint splatters and worn-down rungs — has character.

  • Prop it against an outside wall and use the rungs to display plants.
  • Add some heavy-duty hooks and hang the ladder horizontally on a mudroom or porch wall to make a handy catchall for coats, hats, gloves, wet swimsuits and towels, and whatever else your family usually dumps on the floor.
  • Suspend an old but still-sturdy ladder from the kitchen ceiling and equip it with metal S-hooks for a unique, cost-free pot rack. Point is, that ladder may not be ready for retirement yet — just a change of career.

These creative DIY home decor tricks will help you transform items you may have wanted to get rid of into attractive additions to a room — and a great conversation piece to boot!

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