Essence of DIY: Updating the Old (with spray paint)

I have this thing with gold … spray paint.

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So much ugly happening here.

Spray paint is the most magical tool. When I first began cleaning out for the home office makeover, I realized I had lots of office things, they were just kind of blah and needed a refresh. 

I had trays, paper clip holders, jars — they were all just tired — and most of them had car-related logos and things on them because they were all from my dad’s collection (he’s an insurance appraiser). So rather than buy all new things, I decided to update things to match the room I was designing …  with gilded gold spray paint.


While I think all of the golds do a great job, my favorite is the gold Rust-O-Leum Metallic spray paint. It’s extra gold. 

Some of the first things I worked on were those Jell-O paper clips holders, the jar with the wood top (seen above) and the plastic trays. The only trick to spray painting plastic is to *sand* before you start! Otherwise, it will likely chip.


  • I used 120 grit sandpaper just to rough things up a little. I completely removed the Jell-O logos with the sandpaper. Everything else I just kind of roughed up. 
  • In a well-ventilated area, be sure to wear gloves, and a mask before you spray. 
  • Shake the can really well.
  • I applied 2 coats to each of these pieces and …..


The trays have folders! Wahoo!


The golden jar has matching thumbtacks, and the clip holders have golden paper clips and binder clips. (more on this chair later)


Gold paper clips, gold thumb tacks, gold binder clips (pink + blue clips and their containers, both Target)

See, I told you. Spray paint is magical!

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