Whether you want to repurpose or simply reuse home furnishings, spray paint offers a big impact for little expense. Projects can include stenciling a rug, striping a chair or sprucing up a mailbox.

5 unusual uses for spray paint

Today, spray paints are designed for an unimaginable array of purposes. Fans say it’s an economical way to create big, beautiful impacts within living spaces. Here are five kinds of projects you might not think to carry out with spray paint.Upholstered furniture: Simply Spray Upholstery Fabric’s aerosol paint, in 14 colors, is for painting indoor furnishings and car seats. Valspar Premium and some other high quality multipurpose spray paints can be used to color fabric as well. Plastic furniture: Krylon Fusion, in 29 colors, is designed to adhere to plastics and can be used on many surfaces. Rust-Oleum Plastic, in 11 colors, is another paint marketed to color plastics. Glass: Krylon Looking Glass Mirror-Like Paint changes glass into mirrors; Rust-Oleum Frosted Glass Paint can be used to add privacy and a decorative touch; and Krylon also makes Stained Glass Color in blue, red and yellow.Hardware: Hammerite, a hammered metal spray paint used to change hardware texture, comes in five colors. Rust-Oleum Universal Metallic Spray Paint in seven colors, including oil-rubbed bronze and dark steel, can be used to touch up or change the color of faucets.Stoves, grills and fire pits: Krylon High Heat & Radiator Paint in white, aluminum black; Rust-Oleum Stove & BBQ Enamel in black or silver; and Valspar Woodstove Spray Paint in black withstand temperatures of up to 1,200 degrees.Wevonneda Minis

Those who swear by spray paint say there are endless possibilities for creative homeowners to change the feel of their spaces. The fact that a 12-ounce can costing about $6 will cover a surface equal to an 8-by-10-foot floor is a plus.

A look at the paints being sold shows they are available in a range of finishes, including textured, glitter and metallic. Also, there is spray paint available for about every type of surface, including glass, metal, plastic and stone as well as high-heat objects such as wood stoves. And the number of hues is unimaginable.

Sean Mueller, College of Charleston sophomore studio art student, began dabbling in spray paint after writing a research paper on it in art history class a few months ago. Mueller chose the research topic after being inspired by street art he sees around the Holy City, he says.

“So far, it’s just stencils,” Mueller says. “I don’t feel comfortable with free-handing. I like stencils because I have an idea of where the color is going to go.”

Mueller uses a brand called Montana Gold, an acrylic spray paint marketed to professionals and sold locally by Artist & Craftsman supply, he says. While artists using spray paint give up some of the control they have painting with a brush, they do get a consistent spray that can be applied with a variety of nozzles, he says.

“I have been trying to find a broken surfboard (to paint),” Mueller says. “I think you can make something really interesting with it, like a wall piece. You can spray on anything. You can take everyday objects that people might not think of as an art piece and use spray paint to change how people really think of that.”

Mueller says spray painting is something that a specific niche of artists enjoy. But many people think of spray painting as taking a shortcut. Those, he says, don’t know what they are missing or how challenging and satisfying spray painting can be.

Colorful repurposing

Melody Bailey is a recycler who needed an attractive place for her trash bins and recycled waste. Her rescued gate from a picket fence, warped scrap wood, bicycle with a rusted front wheel and fan blade make a whimsical but functional enclosure for discarded items in her yard.

But it’s the spray paint that she and children in her neighborhood applied to color the collection that makes it cohesive and brings the piece to life, says Bailey, manager at the Sea Island Habitat ReStore on Johns Island.

“Everything you see there is recycled,” Bailey says. “The flower is from a box fan. The signage is a piece of warped wood. The bicycle was one we had used on the beach and the front spokes had rusted. Most people love it, but I have one neighbor who hates it.”

Her other spray painting projects have turned clothing racks into flower basket holders, parrot cages into a home for Halloween spiders and ghouls, and sea shells to colorful additions to her garden.

“We are halfway through painting a bowling ball that will become a lady bug (for the garden),” says Bailey, whose idea came from Pinterest, http://pinterest.com/pin/275282595943349935. “It gives all the parents a break and the kids love it.”

On a budget

Donna Hicks was determined not to pay $600 each for two night stands she needed. While looking for preowned pieces she could reuse, repurpose or both, she spotted two 1960s-era school desks at the Goose Creek Habitat ReStore.

“They are the ones that have the cubbies where you can keep your books and magazines, and the tops are clutter free,” says Hicks, who calls her style minimalist. She sprayed the beige/tan desks a glossy black. She also took them to a glass shop and had tops cut for them. Then she added felt floor protectors under the legs and painted those black to make them unnoticeable.

Among the objects she’s had the most fun painting are a plastic bird bath she sprayed with textured paint to give it the look of stone, an old sewing machine desk she painted a vibrant purple and green, and a fleur-de-lis that was white and now is hammered silver and black.

While Hicks preps and cleans up with tools, such as her mouse sander and shop vacuum, what she likes most about spray painting is that it does not require many time-consuming steps.

Her next project will be painting her mailbox Charleston green, a color manufactured by Rust-Oleum, she says.

Anyone in need of ideas can search Pinterest, pinterest.com, or websites of craft stores such as A.C. Moore, acmoore.com, or Michael’s, michaels.com, for inspiration and guidance. Among the three sites are projects posted both by crafters and manufacturers.

Reach Wevonneda Minis at 937-5705.