I use water base paint that can be found at any craft store and is usually less than $2 dollars a bottle.
When I have finished painting the houses, I bling them up with trims that I find at craft stores and yard sales.
At first I only used my houses in Christmas villages....then I started using them at Easter and Valentines Day Really, you are only limited by your imagination for ways to use them year round.
I have displayed my houses several ways over the years, but my favorite way is to put them on a milk glass cake plate. I would love to hear ideas from you guys sharing how you display your houses!