• JUST Breathe

TRES CHIC IN A CAN

Vanessa Middlewick



I’ve been in need of a little pick-me-up recently. In usual conditions this could easily be met with a freshly brewed cappuccino, an impromptu paid for blow dry as I hate nothing more than doing my own hair, or a dreamy browse through a home décor store. Yes, simple pleasures are real, however in our current pandemic crisis I’ve had to relook my indulgent triggers. In all honestly, I’m an unpretentious soul and find complete ecstasy in the form of DIY décor reinvention and tidiness. Sad to some yes I know, my husband doesn’t get it, but my happy juices overflow when I successfully create a fresh space from old thingamajigs that are crying out for reinvention. I’ll save the tidiness obsession for another blog. Forewarning though, that write up will come across as obsessive.


The most golden item that I longed for during our first level 5 COVID lockdown came in the form of a can, a can of spray paint. I would have happily traded any beloved item for a chance to get my hands on this wizard’s tool that practically owns décor reinvention. So please, for a moment let me indulge this unreachable pleasure and play pretend. Ladies…. spray paint is a game changer in the form of home tres chic. The key however is not to get obsessive and begin a Wizard of Oz, tornado domino effect, spraying every item in the house that your eyes connect with. Prime example… my husband laid eyes on our one and only black spray paint can and no sooner had he spray painted football boots, an Italian branded cycling helmet that could have bought me a leather couch it cost so much, and my sons favourite rugby ball. Needless to say the boots will chip the first time worn, the helmet devalued completely after one spray, and the ball… well it looks like a lump of black volcanic rock. The key is to find the right type of item in terms of texture and size that lends itself to a spray, and the right amount of items to spray which collectively will complete that “look” you’re after. Non glossy, thirsty type surfaces are best…. don’t leave out wood or cane in the mix, and a few medium to large sized pieces will create the impact you’re looking for. I will cover how best to group décor items in a future styling piece, but for now the usual less-is-more works best! For example, spraying a glossy ceramic is no goer, the colour is going to run and its small size will diminish the impact you’re looking for. Spraying a wooden lantern, fake antlers, or clay type pots are game changers. The size is right and the texture of the canvas en pointe!  BEFORE… It’s all in the motion of the spray, that kind of Karate Kid, wax on wax off effect. No strong, short bursts of spraying, this will result in over doing one area, that then causes the colour to run, dripping pools of paint and ultimately ending in utter disappointment.  A soft and long spray at least 20 centimetres away from the item is the better approach. Not to forget…




AFTER…. 


Not so long ago, I had an obsession with rose gold, spraying my key items in this luxurious pink hued frosting, and now, well I’m totally over rose gold. During the more recent lockdown days when spray paint could be purchased (this was a life changing moment for me), my gold items have been sprayed a matt black and I’ve instantly transformed a more lavish type mood board into a stark and elegant finishing touch to our living room space.  

There are many different effects to master with spraying too. From creating aged pieces by simply adding some dirt in between sprays (I kid you not),to ombre, marble and retro  looks.

Best you get out your beret, and find your inner artist. With a can of spray paint in hand, home décor wonders are easily created and so rewarding. A corner of your home can undergo a complete transformation in a matter of minutes. I’d love to see your before and after pics. Please share with us on hello@just_breathe.biz

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August