Wood, Metal, or Plastic Curtain Rods 

By Sarah Engler and Alexis Givens
Painted curtain rodMark Lund

What You'll Need

  • One can Rust-Oleum Lacquer Gloss White Spray Paint ($5, rustoleum.com for store locations). Or one can Krylon Fusion ($7, krylon.com for store locations). For wood or metal, a lacquer paint’s hard, glossy finish will withstand the abuse of sliding curtain rings. For plastic, you’ll need Krylon Fusion.
  • One pack 220-grit sandpaper (about $4 at hardware stores).

How to Do It

Step 1: Remove the finials. If the rods are finished or painted, sand them lightly first. If they’re unfinished wood, prime as explained in Unfinished Wood Furniture; for plastic or metal, skip this step.

 Step 2: In a well-ventilated space, set down a piece of cardboard (that enormous box your computer came in, unfolded, will do nicely) at a 90-degree angle, with half on the floor or ground and half against a wall or fence. Leave about a foot of cardboard around the rod on every side to catch flying spray. To keep the rod from sticking to surfaces as you paint, lean it against the cardboard on the diagonal, so only the edge of the rod is touching the cardboard. Spray, then rotate and spray again.

 Step 3: Remove the wall mounts from the wall and give them and the finials a coat or two of paint, as needed, on both sides, letting the pieces dry completely in between.

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