Remember that everyone's inner artist is not the same, so decorate within your artistic means. Sometimes the most basic touch ups to these pieces are the most meaningful. A little paint and some very simple decorations can go a long way.
A great source for ideas are children's books because their illustrations are often simple, yet effective. For additional inspiration though, look everywhere-a scrap of fabric, a swatch of wallpaper, books, magazines. Whatever catches your eye can be an source of creativity now-or later.
- Clean the item. Steel wool is good. Limit sanding if at all possible, since there's no way of knowing what type of paint was used before.
- Patch the holes, if necessary, with plastic wood or wood filler, similar to patching a plaster wall. Simply smooth it with your finger.
- Paint with an all-purpose primer. Follow label instructions.
- Paint as desired. Basic paint from the craft store works well.
- Decorate if desired. Use stamps, available at most craft stores, as a quick and easy way to add some fun to your project. Try practicing on a paper bag until you feel comfortable with your design or use dots made with a large brush. Stencils or freehand can also be used.
- Protect the item by spraying it with sprayable polyurethane, varnish, or sealer.