7 Designer-Approved Features To Paint Other Than Your Walls

Time Several Hours

Budget $ $$$

Skill Level

WORDS BY Kelsey Clark

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Published on August 30, 2022

As designers, we’re endlessly fascinated with paint (yes, even various shades of white). We’ve waxed poetic about our all-time favorite hues (like Swiss Coffee and Hale Navy), created dreamy seasonal color palettes, and regularly report on paint trends (like the cozy monochrome look).

Unsurprisingly, we also love the idea of using paint anywhere but the actual walls. There’s something creative and liberating about highlighting architectural features and adding unexpected pops of color throughout a home via paint (exhibit A: this fireplace mural).

Ahead, Havenly lead designer Melissa Wagner shares seven unexpected surfaces to paint other than your walls. Keep scrolling for your next weekend paint DIY:

1. The Fireplace

Why not add a little extra design love to a living room’s natural focal paint? For an unexpected modern touch, paint your fireplace mantel and surrounding wall a bold black, navy, or emerald green. This looks especially beautiful when set against crisp white walls, and brings major Austin Modern rustic vibes.

2. Built-In Bookcases

Highlight decades-worth of collected books and heirlooms by painting your built-in cabinets or bookcases the same color as the rest of the room. This monochrome look will make the actual shelves fade into the background, putting your cherished tomes and knick-knacks on full display. 

3. Window Trim

For a little drama that goes a long way, paint your window trim a contrasting color! This creative treatment adds a custom feel to any home or apartment with minimal effort on your part. If you’re not ready to commit to a different paint color, go in the complete opposite direction and embrace the cozy monochrome look.

4. Interior Doors

If you want to add a hint of color and drama to your space without going wall-to-wall, paint your doors! We love the idea of going a shade or two darker for subtle warmth and visual interest, or going bold and adding a vibrant pop of color (like the above sky blue). You can even stick to a specific shade for all of the doors in your home for a cohesive look.

5. The Floors

blue and white painted floor

If your flooring could use a little TLC, but you’re not ready to refinish hardwood or install something brand-new, turn your attention to a can of paint. A fresh coat over tile or hardwood can be just the thing to tide the space over, or give it a second lease on life. You can even paint a rustic checkerboard print like we did in the sunroom above (inspired by the one and only Leanne Ford).

6. The Ceiling

When in doubt, look up. Painting the ceiling adds instant warmth, depth, and visual interest, especially when highlighting interesting architectural features, like crown moulding or a tray ceiling. Try a subtle ombre, or a single bold color to keep things exciting!

7. Stair Risers (or Railings)

Give your home a lighter and brighter look by taking a brush to the wooden risers (when in doubt, go for a timeless white). It’s an instant makeover moment. Or try a bold color railing (cobalt blue, anyone?) to add an unexpected hint of color to a room — then swoon. We promise, your entryway will never be the same!

Looking for a way to overcome your unique home dilemmas? Work one-on-one with our expert interior designers for just $129 per room. Get started today with our style quiz.

Words by Kelsey Clark