8 DIY Projects You Can Pull Off With Sample Cans of Paint

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Homestyle)

A typical sample can of wall paint—the kind you buy to test out colors before committing—is 8 ounces, can cover up to 16 square feet, and costs just a few bucks. Small but mighty, these little sample jars hold big possibility. If you have cans left over from your last project, or if you don’t mind spending a few extra bucks on your next trip to Home Depot, you can tackle one of these small-space, big-impact projects.

Turns out that the hue you loved in the store is a little too bright to cover an entire wall? No worries—paint this vibrant color along the edge of a door for an unexpected surprise.

(Image credit: Justina Blakeney)

Inside the whimsical studio of The Jungalow‘s Justina Blakeney, featured on Front + Main, we spotted this playful trick to make a small shelf stand out. By painting a circle on the wall and brushing the shelf to match, a small detail turns into a focal point.

(Image credit: House and Home)

Purchase sample jars of paints in a few different shades of the same hue (mixing white into the deepest shade should also do the trick). Use the samples to create an ombre dresser, like the pretty one above from Livet Hemma.

One 8-ounce can isn’t nearly enough for an entire wall, but you can use the color to visually delineate an area with a specific purpose, such as the desk in the woodworker’s studio above.

When you don’t have enough paint to refresh all of the kitchen cabinets, simply tape off triangular sections for a bold geometric look, as shown in this Oakland loft.

(Image credit: Livet Hemma)

To update a vintage wooden sideboard, the stylists at Livet Hemma painted just some of the drawer fronts, and left others unembellished.

(Image credit: This Old House)

Pick up several sample cans of paint in shades of blue to give stair risers a sea-inspired makeover, as This Old House did.

(Image credit: Homestyle)

If your bed isn’t too high off the ground, you should have just enough paint to brush on a colorful headboard. Get inspired by Homestyle’s, above.

Re-edited from a post originally published on 048.17 – AL