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Sometimes, just changing the color of your room doesn’t seem to dress it up quite enough.
When you get a bug for something different, consider using a specialty paint or finish, from a shiny metallic to an easy-to-master faux paint product to a “dry” paint. Here are a few to take a look at:

  • “Dry” paint. This comes from a company called Bella & Birch, which has come up with wallpaper-like patterned strips that are made from coats of paint, adhere to the wall without paste or water and eventually cure to the wall. You can paint right over them when you get tired of the color.
  •  Metallic paint. Add some shimmer to your trim or blast a wall with shine. Metallic paints come in colors like gold and silver, but you also can find pearly finishes in black, blue, beige, white, green and red. A tip: Read the label carefully before you invest in these paints, which cost a bit more than traditional colors. Some manufacturers recommend that you apply them with a paint sprayer—a technique that’s not so simple to master—because rollers and brushes will leave marks in the finish.
  •  Textured paint. A stroll down the paint aisle will turn up paint that rolls on with the sheen of flickering candlelight, the random pattern of a pebble-strewn beach, the soft feel of suede  or any number of other textures. Suede-look paints are popular, and they’re great for covering up imperfections in walls. A tip: Suede paint can scratch easily, so keep it out of high-traffic areas like hallways and the kitchen.
  • Faux finish. Faux finishing is a painting and glazing technique that replicates the look of another material, like Venetian plaster, marble or antique wood. A fun, creative do-it-yourself project, faux finishing begins with a base coat of paint and a topcoat of tinted glaze, applied with a sponge, rag or textured roller. 
  • Chalkboard paint. You can turn any previously painted interior wall into a chalkboard with this durable, washable topcoat. Most manufacturers limit colors to dark green or black. Tip: Wait a few days after painting before writing on the surface with chalk.
  • Magnetic paint. Skip the nails and picture hangers—paint a coat of magnetic paint onto a wall in your children’s bedroom and they can hang magnets and magnetic photo frames without damaging the drywall. Apply the magnetic finish underneath your regular, colored paint. A tip: Apply three or four coats of the magnetic paint or magnets won’t “stick.”
  • Murals. Ask your house painter to recommend an artist who paints murals on the walls of homes. Kids love pictures of castles, cars, animals and princesses on their bedroom walls, so the practice is becoming more popular.
  • Vinyl letters. They’re not painted on, but vinyl adhesive letters spelling out your child’s name or a favorite saying are among the latest trends in decorating the walls. You’ll find inspirational and whimsical phrases in craft stores and can apply them in the kitchen, over a headboard or in your child’s bedroom.
  • Wallpaper. My interior designer friends tell me it’s making a comeback, but it’s not your grandmother’s wallpaper. Used on accent walls rather than all over a room, new wallpaper patters feature texture, metallic sheens and unique colors. You can even custom-order wallpaper that displays a giant photo of a favorite vacation spot or your family’s portrait.


  • Sanderson Ford

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