There’s no doubt that new furniture and accessories can enhance the décor of any room in your home. Unfortunately, they can easily cost hundreds, even thousands of dollars. Instead of purchasing something new, why not upcycle the things you already have? 

It’s completely possible to transform a garage sale chandelier into the centerpiece of your dining room, or turn a piece of furniture that’s been stored in the attic into something truly spectacular. All you need is some paint and a little imagination to redecorate your home on a “real world budget.”

Here are a few decorating ideas from the color experts at Rust-Oleum®:

Refinish and Recycle Old Furniture

Breathing new life into old furniture with a fresh coat of paint is one of the easiest and most budget-friendly ways to update the look of any room. With some sanding, priming, and paint, you can give tired furniture new life.

Home trends come and go, but giving chairs, tables, bookshelves, and other furniture a new finish is an easy way to make them stylish for years to come. Why not double your decorating dollars by using Rust-Oleum® Ultra Cover 2X spray paint? It has double the coverage of other general purpose spray paints, so you can complete twice the number of projects. 

Tap into the latest home decorating trends by incorporating bright, rich colors such as Eden or Lagoon. You can also go bold with a trendy hue like Emerald Green or Burnt Orange. Or, try neutral tones like Blossom White, Black, Dark Walnut, or Nutmeg for a traditional yet classic look. Ultra Cover 2X is available in over 70 different colors to suit any décor and allows you to achieve a high-end look on a low-end budget.

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You can also consider painted accents, like legs or drawer fronts. Almost anything is possible with spray paint and imagination. Breathe new life into flea market finds, family hand-me-downs, or your own vintage pieces. If refinishing vintage furniture, be aware of potential lead paint and take proper safety precautions.

Light Up Your Life with Color

Lighting fixtures like lamps, pendants, and chandeliers are the perfect accessories to paint and refresh for an instant room makeover.

Painting lamps and chandeliers, and refinishing those outdated contractor grade brass fixtures, is a great way to add a touch of the unexpected to any room without spending a small fortune. Try one of Rust-Oleum Stops Rust® new Textured Metallic spray paints, like Moonlit Copper or Metallic Silver, on your existing lamps or lighting fixtures to transform a bland, out-of-date room into a stylish, contemporary space. The new hammered, multicolor, textured, and metallic finishes in the Stops Rust line add depth, elegance, and unmatched protection to any project inside and outside your home.

Again, spray paint allows you to easily update lighting fixtures of all kinds on a budget. Before you start, carefully remove globes, lampshades, or other components and thoroughly clean the fixture. Apply primer if needed, then spray several light coats of paint, allowing proper dry time between coats. 

Reassemble the fixture and you’ll have dramatic “new” lighting. For metal fixtures, use a spray paint formulated for metal that resists rust and corrosion. Follow all safety precautions when working with electrical components.

Liven Up Interiors with Accent Pieces

Look around your home for small accent pieces like shelves, stools, baskets, and vases that could use a colorful makeover. Adding color to these items is a great way to add energy to any room.

Try spray painting the things you have around the house with Rust-Oleum Universal®. It works on any surface — wood, plastic, vinyl, wicker, glass, concrete, metal and more — making your decorating options endless. It’s available in many of today’s hottest colors and on-trend finishes. 

For an unexpected burst of color, try using bright, bold colors like Canary Yellow, Cardinal Red, or Sunset Orange.

For a classic look, go with one of the new Universal finishes like Hammered Copper or Oil Rubbed Bronze. Plus, with Universal’s revolutionary any-angle spray technology and comfort grip, spray painting is easier than ever before. 

fuschia painted wall

Before you begin, clean surfaces thoroughly and lightly sand to help paint adhere. Use primer if needed on bare wood or metal. Then, apply spray paint in smooth, even coats. 

So, Is Upcycling and Repainting Your Home Décor Worth It?

Upcycling and repainting furniture, lighting, accessories, and other items around your home is an extremely budget-friendly way to redecorate. With some creativity and elbow grease, you can give tired furnishings and objects new life with a fresh coat of paint. 

Opt for all-surface spray paint in colors and finishes that complement your existing style. Distressed, metallic, and ombre techniques open up even more affordable possibilities. While upcycling takes more time and effort than buying new, the cost savings are tremendous. 

Breathing new life into items you already own is also eco-friendly. With the right prep work, paints, and techniques, upcycling allows you to transform your home’s look for a fraction of the cost of buying new furnishings and accessories.

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FAQs About Upcycling and Repainting Home Décor

What kinds of items can I upcycle with spray paint?

You can upcycle and repaint almost anything — furniture, lighting, accent pieces, storage solutions, frames, vases, baskets, and more. Good surfaces include — but are not limited to — wood, plastic, metal, wicker, glass, concrete, canvas, and laminate.

How do I prepare surfaces for painting?

Proper prep work ensures better paint adhesion. Clean thoroughly and sand glossy surfaces to rough them up. Use primer on bare wood, metal, laminate, and other slick surfaces so paint sticks better. If you are refinishing vintage furniture or items, be aware of potential lead paint and take proper safety precautions.

What safety precautions should I take?

Work in a well-ventilated area and wear a respirator mask. Follow all manufacturer directions for spray paints. Take extra care when painting lighting fixtures — turn off power and follow electrical safety guidelines.

What are some popular paint techniques?

Distressing involves lightly sanding edges and areas that would naturally wear to achieve a vintage look. A crackle effect can be achieved by layering paints. Ombre is blending two colors in a graduated effect. Stenciling uses a template to create patterned designs. Dry brushing involves applying thin layers of paint for texture. Chalkboard paint allows you to turn a surface into a writable chalkboard. Metallic, hammered, and textured finishes are very trendy too.

How do I get an antique or distressed look?

After painting, lightly sand edges and areas that would naturally wear over time. Use fine grit sandpaper. Apply glaze or antique gel over the top of the paint and wipe off excess to achieve an aged, timeworn look.

What colors and finishes are in style?

Bold brights, deep tones like navy and emerald, white and black, metallics like gold and rose gold, and neutrals like gray and tan are popular.

How long does spray paint last?

It varies based on usage and environment. Most quality all-surface spray paints last one to three years or longer before needing touch ups, especially when used indoors. Properly prep and apply paint according to the manufacturer’s directions for maximum durability.

Editorial Contributors
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Elise LaChapelle


Elise LaChapelle is a copywriter with over a decade's experience in the digital space. She specializes in blogging, website content, social media, and e-mail marketing across a diverse array of clients, helping them to connect with their target audience through concise, compelling messaging. When she's not crafting copy, Elise enjoys working out, cooking, and spending time with her husband and two daughters.

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Jeff Zoldy

Jeff is a writer, editor, and marketer based in Charlotte, North Carolina. He has been editing on the Home Solutions team for over a year and is passionate about getting homeowners the information they need when they need it most. When he’s not working, Jeff can be found at baseball games, golfing, going to the gym, reading, watching movies, and playing video games.

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