Have you painted your home and are wondering what to do with the leftover paint? Do not discard it, because even the smallest amount of paint can be used to freshen up or change the look of your furniture, home accessories or walls.

Keep the creative momentum going and rummage through the shelves in your basement, storage room or garage – you might find more forgotten leftovers. Some paints can be mixed together to create a whole new range of hues. Clearly this only applies to paints of the same type: water-based coatings cannot be mixed with solvent-based coatings. Frequently, there is also some white paint left from a wall painting job, and white paint is a great base for tinting. It can be mixed with leftovers from any water-based wall paint or with regular acrylic tempera paints, which can be found among school supplies.

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    The stairs can be one of the loveliest yet one of the most challenging interiors to furnish and decorate. Their design should be in keeping with the other elements in the interior to achieve a perfect symbiosis between architecture, colours and decoration. Family photos are an always welcome if not quite unexpected element in any staircase. For a slightly different approach, you can decide to paint the vertical sections of the stairs. Paint each step in its own colour to create a colourful rainbow, progress from a darker to a lighter shade for a soft flowing effect, or follow your very own, unique approach. And don’t worry, as long as the horizontal parts of steps or treads remain unpainted, you can allow yourself full freedom on the vertical surfaces, because even the wildest patterns will not make you dizzy as you walk the stairs.

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    All too often do we wander around furniture shops, looking for exactly the piece of furniture that we envisioned in our minds and shaking our heads at the high price tags. We forget that simple pieces of furniture can easily be built by ourselves instead of rushing from shop to shop and draining our wallets. The basic element can be a simple ladder. A ladder is strong enough to hold the weight of a person, so it will serve as an excellent basic element. Add some wooden boards for shelves, some boxes and small drawers, and you can quickly create a whole range of furniture pieces, such as bedside tables, sideboards, shelves or shelving units. You can also use old pieces of furniture that you might find in your own attic – dust them off carefully, repair minor flaws with some wood putty and sandpaper and give them a fresh coat of paint. What is left of the paint can be used to enhance some decorative elements.

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    Who didn’t want to jump on the bed, draw on the walls or even swing in their own room as a child? By setting up a children’s swing you can move some of the outdoor fun indoors and provide a fun activity for the whole family even on rainy days. Make sure that making the swing will be a family project that will involve an effort from everybody. Each family member should have a task and help to the best of their abilities, whether it’s hunting for paint leftovers, wooden boards and a length of rope in the storage room, or drawing up a family schedule that indicates clearly whose turn it is to swing and whose turn it is to push. Another highly important and responsible task is to choose the colour. As adults, we sometimes fail to understand that it is crucial whether the swing is yellow, blue or white.

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    Trends in interior design show that a matching set of dining chairs is no longer a steadfast rule. No more tough decisions between the chair you saw at the shop, in the attic or at the flea market. Or, what a shame, we need six chairs but they only have four. Well, you can have all three, and a fourth and a fifth. Then you can easily connect them with a few interesting colour accents into a single story – paint only the backrest on one chair, only the legs on the second chair and a different element on the third one. An eclectic style is wide open to all approaches, all shapes and all colours and colour combinations. While you’re still equipped with paintbrushes, you could use the leftovers also to paint the picture frames, dining table lamp, wooden shelves or other decorative features in your dining table.

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    With a pinch of creativity, wooden boxes can have many uses besides storage for fruit and vegetables. They can be easily changed into hanging shelves, a herb garden or tipped on their sides and assembled into a cupboard. Another popular way to use them is on balconies and for attractive organisation in the pantry or cellar. Here, colour-coding can be a helpful way to organise storage. Keep your gardening tools and utensils in the green boxes, old paintbrushes, rollers and painting equipment in the blue boxes, and children’s toys for the sandbox or other small items in the yellow boxes. Finally, to encourage a healthy diet – the more fruit and vegetables you eat, the more opportunities you will have to get creative with your wooden boxes.

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    Are you the proud owner of a vegetable patch or raised bed? Then you must know that gardening tools are essential for work in the garden. You can give your rakes, trowels, hoes and watering cans a fresh coat of paint to prepare yourself for colourful spring. Look around for some paint leftovers and let your gardening tools take on a fresh look and start a new story. Some attractive dots or minor colour accents on your trusty watering can may be enough to spark your enthusiasm. Before painting, clean its surface of rust and dirt, then let it dry completely. We recommend applying several thin coats to achieve thorough dryness with the best mechanical properties. Until the paint is completely dry don’t expose it to the sunlight and let all the items dry in the air. Happy gardening!

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    Curtains are an important decorative element; various colours, patterns and styles can be used to achieve oceans of effects in an interior. What about the rods they hang from? They tend to be overlooked. During all that time you’ve shared your room with the rods, the curtains may have changed, but you’ve somehow grown to accept the rods as they are – who has the time to be bothered? And yet it only takes a tiny effort to turn your rods into the perfect decorative element that will look as though they were custom made for your curtains and room. The next time you embark on spring cleaning and decide to take down and wash your curtains, use this opportunity to consider the idea of refreshing the colour of your trusty rods.

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    It’s time to give your shelves a makeover! Not many home improvement projects are as simple as painting your shelves. The smaller they are, the more interesting colours and varied colour combinations you can get away with, with strong and intense colours creating the best contrasts on white walls. If you haven’t made up your mind about the colours yet, look around for any leftovers that may be found in your home. Perhaps they will inspire an interesting colour combination that would otherwise never have entered your mind. A little reminder for all fans of a monochromatic look: while white shelves on white walls tend to blend with the interior, they will provide a striking detail on walls with an intense colour, which is sure to be noticed owing to the strong colour contrast.

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    Looking at drops of paint on flowerpots is almost as fun as making them. Look around for any leftover paints that may be hiding in your home and remember that leftover paints can also be mixed if based on the same medium – you can mix together several water-based paints or several solvent-based paints. When using leftover paints, remember to be careful and always stir the paint thoroughly before use and check for an unpleasant smell. To create a dripping effect, pour the paint into a wide container that allows you to dip the pot upside down into the paint and wait, then turn it back up and let the paint run down. You can also use a paintbrush: dip generously into the paint, apply to the edge of the pot and let the paint run down.

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    Would you like to spice up your home but you’re not a fan of strong and bold colours? Terrazzo is currently a very popular decorative technique, which can be applied in various patterns and colour combinations to suit all tastes and interiors, and at the same time it is a technique with a rather understated effect. Paint leftovers, foam brushes or an old cloth tied with a rubber band, a free afternoon and, most importantly, some music in the background is all you need to bring a touch of fresh creativity to your interior. Dip your foam brush or cloth tied with an elastic band – depending on the design you’re aiming for – in some paint and press it against the wall. Start with large geometrical shapes, spacing them evenly all over the wall, then complete the pattern with smaller shapes in other colours. Be careful not to get too much paint on the brush or cloth to avoid dripping down the wall.

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    While a wood-burning fireplace makes an interior feel cosy and warm, you can achieve this atmosphere with a mock fireplace, for a slightly different effect. You will be surprised how a single element can change the way your home looks and feels, especially when accessorised with seasonal decoration. If you don’t have an old frame that could serve as the mantelpiece, you are likely to find one at the local flea market, or you can make it yourself. The advantage of a mock mantelpiece is that you’re not limited in terms of material since it poses no fire hazard and you can move it around as preferred. Everything has its advantages and drawbacks. However, you can rest assured that a mock fireplace is a feature that will not go unnoticed.

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    Doors are often an overlooked element of interiors, but it only takes a little imagination and a touch of boldness to turn them into works of art. Remove the door handle and lock, gently sand the surface, fill in any minor flaws with putty if necessary and start painting. You can combine various colour hues or choose to paint only one side or section of the door. Here it is advisable to paint the bottom section of the door with a darker colour, which appears heavier, and save the lighter hue for the top section. When selecting colours, you can follow the existing colour scheme of your furniture and use up any paint leftovers from the last makeover or opt for a completely new scheme – a bold approach justifies choosing the boldest colours.

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    Even flowerpots can have their happy and moody days. Who wouldn’t be moody when having a bad hair day? Flowerpots with little faces are an absolutely adorable way of making your home more playful. You will need a few paint leftovers and small paintbrushes, and the little legs and ears can be made with clay. Paint different faces on each pot and then turn them around depending on how each plant feels. When painting clay pots it is advisable to also paint the inside to prevent moisture from cracking the paint as it may penetrate the clay from the inside. You could make a whole merry band which will bring a smile to your face every time you walk by. To avoid too many moody days don’t forget to water their hair!

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    Are you tired of how your furniture looks? Then it’s time to freshen it up again. Renewing a piece of furniture can be much more than a change of colour. You can combine various patterns, textures, colours and shapes. Before starting work, it is best to set down all your creative ideas on paper. Cut out shapes and patterns from construction paper, old magazines or newspapers, explore various combinations and prepare a collage of your favourite ideas before you get started. Your essential painting tools ought to include masking tape and small paintbrushes that will help you create small patterns. For those finest dots you can also use cotton buds. Look around for some paint leftovers, old magazines and other useful tools, and get creative. Let your unique furniture reflect your personality.

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    You don’t need a whole palette of colours to create a mountainous landscape. All you need is a small amount of paint in the selected hue, which you can gradually lighten with some white paint that may be left over from your last wall painting job. Begin with the most distant mountains, which should be the palest, wait for the coat to dry and continue with the next line of mountains. As a finishing touch, you can add snow-capped peaks. Make the job easier by using masking tape, which should be firmly attached to the surface so than no paint runs under the edges and removed before the paint is completely dry. Always pull the tape off the wall at an obtuse angle, as close to the wall as possible and not away from it. Your patience as you wait for each coat of paint to dry is sure to be rewarded when your little ones take a dreamy trip across the mountainous landscape.

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    Generally, levelling compounds are designed for levelling uneven wall surfaces, covering minor cracks and prepping the wall for the application of finishing wall paints. However, after finishing some small jobs there’s likely to be some levelling compound left over, and these leftovers can also be used for creating various decorative effects. The easiest way to give a wall texture is with a roller or palette knife, but you could also use an old magazine scrunched up in a ball and press patterns with it on the wall. The process should be repeated until you’re fully satisfied with the end result. Small imperfections will add charm to your wall, but make sure the texture is even. Once finished, protect the wall with a finishing coat of wall paint in your preferred hue to prevent it from collecting dirt.

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    Are you struggling with the challenges of optimum space use? If the answer is yes, you should know you are not alone. Whether you are a fan of modern, classic or rustic style, you can completely change the appearance of seemingly the most ordinary spaces with the use of wall panelling and decorative trims. Unlike other decorative elements, wall panelling will not get in your way, so it is also a suitable choice for the smallest rooms besides being a beautiful complement to large empty walls. As for the colours, you can either go for strong colour accents or follow the existing wall colour for an understated effect – if you still have some of the wall paint at home, this will save you the trouble of having to find an identical hue.

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    When remodelling a room or furnishing a new home, one can quickly end up wandering from store to store in an endless search for that perfect piece of furniture. Next time you could simply forage for a bookcase, sideboard or club table at the flea market or rummage around your old auntie’s attic. Mixing a contemporary interior with vintage furniture is a great way to achieve a modern and dynamic look – in case you haven’t noticed, the retro fever is back. Strong colours, repeat patterns, sharp contours and symmetry. A few paint leftovers may be all you need to pull off retro refreshment of a piece furniture no matter how shabby it is.

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    Various items of multifarious origin that have accumulated in your home over time can be tied up into a single story with some paint. There is no need for new purchases or great expense. Regardless of their style or state of wear, a fresh coat of paint is an excellent solution that will not only protect a surface but also accomplish colour matching in your room, whether it is a bedside table, toy box, night lamp or wooden shelving. Once the makeover is finished, you can use the remaining paints to make a large, colourful clock that will further link up all the elements in a shared colour scheme.

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    If you come across some old wooden shutters, do not discard them! With a little skill, they can be transformed into a new piece of furniture or decorative item that will create a cosy and rustic ambiance in your home. Shutters can be reworked into a table, bench, shelves, partition walls or a charming bed headboard. Wooden shutters can be painted either with BORI wood stains to preserve the natural grain of the wood, or with TESSAROL top coatings for wood to give the surface a uniform colour finish. If this is an option, use the leftover paints that you already have at home to carry out a makeover that is not only kind to your wallet but also to the environment.