Hammers, screws, and tape measures are handy, sure, but if your house needs a face-lift, you need specialty spray paints. Able to mimic the look of everything from stainless steel to stained glass-and formulated for all types of surfaces, including plastic and metal-these high-impact, long-lasting finishes offer an easy fix for a slew of household objects. And at around $5 to $10 a can, you can afford to make over every beat-up, outmoded item you own. Need proof? Check out these examples.
Before: A Window That Leaves You Exposed
Installed in a bathroom, this window revealed too much...
After: Privacy Panes
...until we sprayed the panes with Krylon's Stained Glass Color. Available in red, yellow, and blue, the translucent formula lets in light while shading details from prying eyes.
About $9.50 each; Krylon
Tip: Layer splotches of color over one another to give your window the look of art glass.
Before: Mismatched Candlesticks
Thanks to their varying heights and shapes and worn-off finishes, these tarnished brass candlesticks looked better suited to a flea-market stall than a dining table.
After: Modern Makeover
All it took was a couple of coats of Valspar Lacquer Hi-Gloss in white to turn them into a cohesive collection with a smooth coating.
About $6; Valspar
Tip: To ensure vibrant, even pigment, apply a primer to metal objects before painting.
Before: Low-Budget Toaster
While it worked perfectly, this plastic appliance lacked the sleekness of its newer stainless-steel counterparts.
After: Maybe Metal
To bring it into the modern age, we coated it with Thomas's Liquid Stainless Steel, which offers a brushed metallic look and can withstand temperatures of up to 200 degrees F.
About $4; Thomas' Liquid Stainless Steel
Tip: Scuff glossy surfaces, such as plastic or brass, with fine-grit sandpaper before painting to make sure the metal-based formula adheres well.