A little paint can go a long way in addressing decorating woes, adding an impactful dose of color–even in small quantities.  Here are 3 tips for painting projects that minimize time and expense, but pack a punch in the end.

1.  Remember: It’s What’s Inside that Counts

Painting the interior of a cabinet, bookshelf or built-in storage unit is a decorating device that never fails to impress.  Not only can it provide a pop of color, but it’s also an opportunity to offset the books, vases, and decorative objects therein.  Here are some stellar examples…

Gray built-ins with pink interiors

This wonderfully eclectic room in the Hôtel La Belle Juliette features chic gray built-ins with lovely pink interiors, as seen on Casa Vogue.

painted green shelf interior

Designer Mary McDonald used a citrusy green paint to line the hutch of this breakfast nook.

paint the interior of your shelves

Photographer Richard Powers captured this white dining room with bookshelves painted black inside, creating a dramatic backdrop for the collection of colorful books.

2.  Show Off Your Shape

Covering a shapely or intricate piece of furniture in color is another great use of paint.  The new hue will accentuate the beauty of the piece–especially if the rest of the space is streamlined and/or more subdued in color.  Just look at what a little paint did for the furnishings in these rooms…

Louis Vuitton turquoise planters

Louis Vuitton’s historic home–now La Galerie–boasts a pair of exquisite seahorse planters coated in vibrant turquoise.

red lacquer paint

This Victorian hat rack radiates character in red lacquer, pictured in House Beautiful.

Abigail Ahern's teal table

Interior Designer Abigail Ahern is noted for her moody interiors, but this ornately carved teal table demonstrates her more playful side. From PopSugar

3.  Don’t Forget “All the Trimmings”

White and ivory are pretty much the standard when it comes to trim in home interiors.  It’s so common that we expect to see floors and doors outlined in “default” white.  On the flip side, when a decorator deviates from the norm and paints trim in virtually any other shade, the results catch us off guard and leave a lasting impression.  Admittedly, painting trim is a larger endeavor than the previous two recommendation in this post, but it’s so worth it.  (I painted my trim black a couple of years and am glad of it everyday.)  But see for yourself…

turquoise trim

This snazzy kitchen, featured by AD Russia, is largely neutral with jolts of turquoise in the banquet and cabinetry that is echoed in the trim.

black trim by Kelly Wearstler

Kelly Wearstler outlined this bar with black trim, lending it a more sophisticated and moody vibe. via MyDomaine

blush trim instead of white or ivory

Incredible wallpaper by Timorous Beasties is shown here with on-trend, blush-colored trim.

Happy painting if you’re so inclined!