Five Unusual Paint Tools

Learn how to use these unusual tools to create decorative paint treatments for your home.

You probably have some decorative painting tools in your house and you don't even know it – and we're not talking about paintbrushes and rollers. Here are five common tools that can be used in uncommon ways to add a decorative paint treatment to your home.


Squeegees are great tools for adding texture. Keep the edge flat and then lift and move the squeegee through the paint to create a fan effect. Or notch your squeegee: just use scissors or a razor knife to cut notches into the rubber. There's no need to be uniform – uneven notches add to the character of the paint effect. Now pull the notched squeegee through wet paint to create a combed look. You can even twist your hand a little to create a different look with this technique.

Wallpaper Finishing Brush

A wallpaper finishing brush also makes a striated pattern when you drag it through paint. The brush has coarse bristles that produce a great textured look.

Cake Decorator Bag

You probably haven't thought of using this tool with paint: a cake decorator bag and tip. You use it just as you do when decorating a cake, but instead use a very heavy paint such as Venetian plaster. Fill the decorator bag, then squeeze out the paint to create scrolls and flowers. It's a great dimensional texture that's sure to add some pizzazz to a room, molding, even furniture.

School Eraser

A regular school eraser is the perfect tool for creating the veins you need when marbling. Just drag the eraser through wet paint. To make the faux veins look more authentic, turn the eraser in the paint. Remember: you don't want straight lines. You can also twist the eraser while you're working to vary the thickness of the lines. This is probably the easiest way to create a marbled look.

Old Keys on a Ring

Keep some old keys on a ring to beat out your frustrations and distress some wood at the same time. This is a great way to make new wood look like it's been around for years. Add a tinted glaze to highlight the marks you've made.

You probably have other items around your house that could be used to apply paint in an interesting and unique way. After all, it's just paint! If you don't like it – paint over it.

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