Homes & Design Photo Credit: Leigh-Ann Allaire Perrault

Spring DIY Ideas to Brighten Up Your Space

DIY aficionado Leigh-Ann Allaire Perrault shares her top 3 tips for using paint to spruce up your home this Spring.

Spring is the ideal time to breathe new life into your home and revive those drab corners of the room you’ve been trying to ignore all winter. DIY aficionado Leigh-Ann Allaire Perrault knows a thing or two about bringing fresh change to a space without the hassle or expense of a full blown renovation. Here are her top three tips for embracing the power of paint to create rooms you will love coming home to.

1. Shop your own space.

There are so many places beyond your walls to use paint, so step back and look at the furniture you already own. Does your grandma’s old hutch work in your space, but you aren’t a fan of dark wood? Paint it! Almost any wood can be reinvented in a way that can drastically change the mood of a room, all while being efficient and affordable. Perrault is a big advocate of up-cycling, calling it the ultimate expression of creativity. “If you can work with what you have, especially if there is a story behind certain pieces, that’s what will make your space unique,” she says, “It’s easy to go out and just buy stuff to fill our space but it’s much less rewarding.”

Perrault notes that white is perfect for spring and a great way to lighten and freshen up a space, but there are also exciting colours coming up on trend like eggplant or burgundy to consider if you’re looking for something a little bolder. “Adapt to the colours that appeal to you, don’t get caught up worrying about the colour of the season.”

whiteboard table
Leigh-Ann Allaire Perrault unwinds with a little colouring at her handpainted whiteboard table.

2. Know your options.

Look for products that will tide you over when full renovations aren’t an option. “You shouldn’t sacrifice your vision in the short term to save up for the long term”. There are new varieties of paint on the market (Perrault likes Rust-Oleum’s ‘Transformation’ line) specifically designed for cabinets, laminate countertops, even tile backsplashes—areas that people may not consider taking a paintbrush to. The process is simple and the result is a huge return on investment.

Perrault suggests making a wish list for each room and then prioritizing the items from high to low. “Where are you ok with sacrificing the splurge? If it’s purely a cosmetic aspect of something like kitchen cabinets that you’re not a fan of and you can change the colour very easily, why not save some money instead of sending things to the landfill?” Consider how paint can work on the small details too. Spray-painting your existing hardware can usually be done for less than $20, rather than replacing all your cabinet knobs or drawer pulls.

Bright and beautiful before & after results
Bright and beautiful before & after results

3. Plan your time!

Going into a project unprepared for the actual time required for each step will run you into trouble and leave you feeling deflated. Perrault compares the slew of unfinished projects she’s seen in people’s homes to having eyes bigger than your stomach at a buffet. She stresses that planning your time is as fundamentally important as determining your budget: “The paint doesn’t just get on the wall by itself, there’s preparation, moving furniture, priming, cleaning—there’s a lot involved. Unfinished projects very rarely have to do with money; they’re mostly to do with time. If you’re planning for your project effectively, you’re pretty much guaranteed success.”

That being said, know your limit, DIY within it. “For the most part your only limitations are creativity and confidence. DIY projects are experiments and sometimes they may fail, but that is ok!” Practice makes perfect. However, if the thought of using power tools or dealing with rewiring makes you nervous, call in the professionals.

 

Catch Perrault in person this weekend at the Edmonton Renovation Show or next month at the BC Home + Garden Show and at the Calgary Home + Garden Show for more Spring DIY inspiration.

 

 

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