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Originally published February 28, 2014 at 8:01 PM | Page modified March 8, 2014 at 9:14 AM

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Paint has the power to transform a room

Here are four ways to unleash the power of paint in your home.


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Want some instant decorating gratification? Pop open a can of paint.

Inside this little silver treasure box is the power to transform a room. Dollar for dollar, there is no more cost-effective decorating tool, and with a few swipes of a brush in some strategic spots, you can give a room new life.

Here are four ways to unleash the power of paint in your home.

Paint your ceiling. When I was growing up, my mom made our kitchen groovy by hanging funky flower-power wallpaper emblazoned with avocado and gold daisies on our ceiling.

While I’m not suggesting you turn your kitchen ceiling into a ’70s throwback, it is true that your ceiling is an often-overlooked but powerful place to add a jolt of color. Keeping the walls white calms the room, then — ka-pow! — a colorful ceiling gives the room its personality.

Paint your furniture. Are you a do-it-yourselfer? Do you spend your free time (and then some) on Pinterest? Then you probably already know how much fun it is to give tired furniture a new look. If you have a vintage or antique piece of furniture that has seen better days, you can give it a new lease on life with a coat of paint.

A friend protected her wooden coffee table with a coat of paint so it could weather the elements on her covered patio. Ask the folks at your local paint store for recommendations.

Paint your walls. If you want to give a room a complete personality change, cover the walls in a vibrant new color. Or make it moody and dramatic by choosing a warm shade of gray.

The walls don’t always have to be the star of the show. If the focal point of your home is the furnishings, try painting the walls in a light cream color. This will provide a warm backdrop for the room’s architecture, artwork and furnishings.

Paint a door. A few years ago, while I was staying at The Peninsula hotel in Chicago, I was swept away by the sophisticated look of the grand-piano-black guest-room doors against the creamy white trim. I came home and started painting all of the doors in my home black.

This high-contrast effect turns doors into focal points. If black isn’t your thing, consider taupe or a muted light green, which can be see in many historical homes.

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