Paint is all around us, but how much do you really think about it? OK, thinking or talking about paint sounds, well, just about as exciting as watching it dry. But there are actually some cool things to know about what you can paint and how to paint it.

So whether you’re just freshening up your white walls or trying something new with an accent color, you should check out these bright tips. We guarantee that after you read this, you won’t think about paint (or painting) the same way again.

1. Smart paint

A lot of institutions, like high schools and prisons, use colors such as taupe for their hallways because it’s known to be soothing (as is a certain shade of pink)—but did you know that some colors are thought to make you smarter? It has been hotly debated whether red and blue can actually affect your ability to take tests. A study from the Journal of Experimental Psychology showed that red has an adverse effect on, say, SAT performance because it tends to make people anxious and more likely to second-guess themselves. Blue, on the other hand, inspires creative thought, because it’s relaxing and cooling and makes you more attentive to details.

2. How to paint without removing the hardware

If you’re spray-painting a piece of furniture, it’s kind of tricky to avoid the hinges and locks. Here’s a great hack: Simply cover anything you don’t want to be painted with a generous layer of petroleum jelly, and spray-paint away. When you’re done, simply rub the coated areas with a paper towel and the paint will come right off.

3. Chair lift

Did you know you can paint upholstered chairs? All you need is acrylic or latex paint, fabric medium, and a few more supplies to transform you latest thrift store find into a one-of-a-kind, statement-making piece of furniture. The miracle material is fabric medium, which keeps the paint from drying stiff. For a thorough breakdown of this project, we love this tutorial from DIY Network. Now nothing is stopping you from having that canary-yellow armchair you’ve always wanted!

4. Mind the sun

When deciding on a paint type, consider how much natural light the room you’re painting is going to experience. The more light a wall gets, the quicker the paint color is going to fade. If you can’t find a UV-resistant paint (these are mostly for exteriors), it’s best to go with the generally more durable oil-based paint.

5. How to reduce drying time

As previously mentioned, few things are more boring than watching paint dry—but what if you could speed up the process? Paint dries quickest at 70 degrees Fahrenheit, so if you have to paint when temperatures are less than ideal, it’s a good idea to set your thermostat. Be warned that while higher temps can help paint dry, humidity can undo all that work and actually slow down the process, so check the weather report and plan accordingly.