The $3 Makeover

(Hello again to Sarah from Kansas City, one of the four bloggers trying out for a spot on the AT: Chicago editorial team. Her first post is here. Comments are welcome!)

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How long have you been pining over that lamp, or ceramic squirrel statue in the design blogs? Too long? Does it seem out of reach? Well get off the couch and put those sad mopey eyes away. Summer is here, garage sales and tag sales are in abundance and you can whip up some unique furnishings for your home... for less than $3! One man's flying ceramic duck figurine is another man's treasure... really!

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Looking at typically "junky" items through monochromatic glasses is a great way to give your home a pop of color without adding clutter to your shelves and tables.

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A simple can of spray paint is all you need. Keeping a treasure a single color will allow a normally busy figurine or vase to add a texture and accent color to your room that wouldn't have been possible without painting. Don't be afraid of going bold or bland, sometimes a lime green or a bright white is just what the doctor ordered!

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There is no need to sand, but you will want to double check that your item is clean and dust free. Using light, thin coats of a high gloss spray paint that are allowed to fully dry in between are the key. Heavy coats will get stuck in grooves and cause dripping... so no heavy trigger fingers allowed.

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For small items, an office box works well to paint in, allowing your item to be easily transported in case you don't have a backyard to set up shop in. Spreading out newspapers works if you find something larger (furniture, lamps, exc) to paint, just make sure the corners are weighted down.

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For the price of a can of spray paint and an afternoon you can have an inexpensive way to brighten up your house and add a touch of personality to it. They are sure to be conversation starters that friends will think you paid a fortune for. (Plus for that price it doesn't matter if they break, crack, or get replaced by the next best find!)

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So don't forget to keep an eye out for the unsuspecting gorilla statue at the end of the auction table, or the old beat up trash can that is just dying for some white lacquer to look like it walked out of the pages of Brocade Home.

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