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How To Paint Furniture Like A Pro

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    Photographed by Richie Talboy.

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    When it comes to home-improvement projects, we'll try anything once. And, if it gives us an excuse to get a little messy, we're that much more eager. But, the inherent joy of a paint-splattered afternoon and the Zen feeling we get from creating perfectly symmetrical stripes can get lost in the stress of prepping for a project. Who has a roller lying around? A gallon of paint costs how much? Five, six, SEVEN trips to the hardware store later, and our accent-wall project seems like a chore.

    Fortunately, the pros at Benjamin Moore think painting should be fun — and easy (did we mention easy?). They bundled a brush, roller, drop cloth, paint coupons, and all the other stuff we'd definitely have forgotten into the ben® & Me starter kit. We put this magic bullet to the test by upgrading five flea-market finds with a few fresh painting tricks. And, we don't mind telling you, the results are pretty awesome. So, get inspired here. Who knows? Your DIY phase could be right around the corner.


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    The Tools
    The secret to completing any/all of these projects without having a breakdown is the ben® & Me starter kit. Check out the roller, painter's tape, drop cloth, paint coupons, brushes, and paint tray. Banging on our neighbors' doors begging for semi-gloss at the 11th hour? Not this time.

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    The Graphic Stool
    Difficulty level: Medium
    Time commitment: 3 to 4 hours

    This basic brown stool will be a modern showpiece by the time you're through. You'll need your paintbrush, painter's tape, two paint colors (we're using black and white), and a drop cloth.

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    The Graphic Stool
    We painted the entire stool white, using two coats of paint, and waited about an hour between coats. This is key: Before moving on, the stool should be TOTALLY dry. So, have a friend over, watch a movie, and then come back with your painter's tape and accent color. For an optical illusion, tape off even stripes; or vary them a bit if you want a less intense look. Then, use your brush to paint the visible portions of the stool (we recommend two coats here, too), and let it dry.

    The finished product is this Warhol-esque stool that feels modern and totally punches up any space.

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    Industrial Lighting
    Difficulty level: Easy
    Time commitment: 30 minutes to 1 hour

    Lighting is one of the easiest ways to brighten up a room without a lot of time or work. For this project, you'll need paint, the paint tray, and the drop cloth.

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    Industrial Lighting
    For small fixtures like these, you don't even need a brush. Just put about two inches of paint in the tray, and dip the lights directly in your tray. Then, hang the painted fixtures to dry on a clothesline or anywhere you can hang a paper clip. You could do this with any color, but we chose a dusty violet and some brighter hues — they're on trend yet calming.

    Small, colorful accents like these are a great way to ease into a more modern look for your home without totally changing your space.