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4 Easy Ways to Make Elegant Wall Art | ORC Week 3

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4 Easy Ways to Make Elegant Wall Art | ORC Week 3

Hello Friends,

Last fall, I attended a gathering that focused on building and decorating trends for 2017. The presenters, who were expert decorators, filled the hour with so many wonderful thoughts and ideas. But in the end, the decorating part boiled down to three main points. In 2017, forward-thinking decorating would include:

  •  Dark furniture against light walls

  • Oversized accessories, as in nothing smaller than a basketball

  • Gallery art

Ordinarily, these would make me take a step back, especially the part about the accessories being as big as a basketball. But in remaking a room with two-story walls, this advice was actually very timely.

Let’s start with the gallery art.

 

4 Easy Ways to Make Elegant Wall Art |

ORC Week 3

Outdated wall art is updated with a few easy steps | Eclectic traditional | #ORC One Room Challenge | #spon Fusion Mineral Paint | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Fusion Mineral Paint, but all projects and opinions are 100% my own.

Remake Outdated Pieces

Maybe it’s the hoarder mentality in me, but when two 40-inch by 40-inch pieces of wall art went out-of-date, I just didn’t have the where-with-all to toss them away. After all, I love the pieces, just not the colors. So last year, I finally bit-the-bullet and started trying to figure out how to bring the wall art forward.

If you’ve been following, you may remember this BEFORE photo. Oh my goodness, isn’t it just awful? 

Before photo: This outdated brown piece of wall art gets lightened with a few easy DIY steps| Eclectic traditional | #ORC One Room Challenge | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

The goal was to lighten, lighten, lighten, and age, age, age.  The process about how the piece goes from icky dark brown to lightened and faded is explained in an earlier post. Please click here to view the post.

Wall art during makeover photo: Close-up of the patina created by layers of paint and glaze aimed at making the canvas look older and lighter | Eclectic traditional | #ORC One Room Challenge | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

But I still wasn’t satisfied with the final product. The canvas just wasn’t light enough and it needed a frame –which brings up a whole other question. Do you know how much gallery frames cost for a 40-by-40? The Hubs said, “If you have to ask, then you can’t afford it.”

After I got an estimate, I realized he had a point. πŸ™

So here’s what I did instead. 

First, Homestead House, the parent company of Fusion Mineral Paint, White Wax was added to fade the canvas even more. For most of the piece, I didn’t really mind if this included the score. So the white wax was added and then was lifted off in certain places with the clear wax. Overall, this worked very well, but somewhere, in all of the faded goodness, the piece lost its focal point.

Learn how to achieve an aged look on outdated wall art using a few simple steps | Eclectic traditional | #ORC One Room Challenge | #spon Fusion Mineral Paint | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

I tried to restore the pop of the title and some of the score by adding clear wax to a Q-tip and then carefully lifting the white wax off of the letters and score. Well, let me just say that it took no longer than a minute to realize that this. wasn’t. working. Grrrr!

So on to Plan B. 

I used a Sharpie and colored the red letters and the black score here and there. I did! Right over the dry wax!

Now before you shriek in horror, please note that I honestly wouldn’t recommend it. This is because with all of the crackle on the canvas, it was like trying to color letters while riding on a gravel road —in the back of a pick up truck —while balancing on a unicycle. πŸ™  Seriously, all that saved me was that I wanted the score to look hand painted and not printed, so all of the jostling wasn’t so much of a big deal. 

The last step was to tape off the canvas with painter’s tape and paint on a frame using Fusion Mineral Paint’s Charbon (black).

After photo: Outdated wall art is lightened and aged with a few simple tricks | Eclectic traditional | #ORC One Room Challenge | #spon Fusion Mineral Paint | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

In contrast, the other 40-by-40 was completely repainted to change the colors. If you ever did the paint-by-numbers crafts as a kid, then you’ll totally flashback with this project.

And the directions are simple. Just grab some left-over sample paints, mix them together for a custom color, and go for it.

I did do a sample spot to make sure that the original paint wouldn’t come off with the addition of the new paint. This is always suggested as a precaution.

BEFORE photo: An outdated piece of wall art art is updated by changing the colors | Eclectic traditional | #ORC One Room Challenge | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

After the paint was dry, white wax was added to enhance the crackle in the canvas and a faux black frame was painted on the edges.

Wall art after photo: A canvas with outdated colors is refreshed with new colors and a faux frame | Eclectic traditional | #ORC One Room Challenge | #spon Fusion Mineral Paint | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

Create an Original Painting

If, when you come into the great room, you look up to the catwalk on the second floor, you’ll see this piece hanging between two bedroom doors. As the great room makeover swings up to the second floor, I’m not sure if it will stay in this place, but for now, it is part of the great room landscape.

I bring it up now because this wall art is so easy and inexpensive. The canvas is made from recycled drapery liner, the pattern is stencilled using leftover paints, and a surprise gallery frame is made from stock molding. Please click here for all of the details.

DIY Wall Art: Learn the easy steps to make a Canvas, Painting, and Frame | Eclectic traditional | #ORC One Room Challenge | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

Use Photos and Off-the-Rack Frames

At the point where the great room transitions to the kitchen nook, two photos with thick black frames are on display. The frames came with the mats and are a clearance rack score. And the photos, which were taken by my son, are sized to fill the open space in the mat and printed at Kinko’s/FedEx. I think the pair of frames and prints clock in at around $18 total.

Seriously. Am I the only one who just discovered this little jewel?

An easy and inexpensive way to create gallery wall art | Eclectic traditional | #ORC One Room Challenge | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

Buy and Embellish

On another outing, I found the perfect piece of wall art for the mantel. It is contemporary and has all of the right colors. If all of my moons are in order, I should be able to bring it home and just pop it up on the mantel. Right?

Huuum. Not so fast. 

At face value, the piece (on the right) is almost perfect, but loses ground when added to the mantel alongside the other accessories. The main reason for this is that the frame is so very flat —and could be a better color. Ok, the frame color I can work around. But the flat frame, not so much.

To remedy the situation, a thrift frame was painted in black (chalky-type paint) and dry-brushed with brown (Fusion’s Chocolate). After the paint was dry, a piece of 240-grit sandpaper was used to scuff up the finish. The last step was to attach the thrift frame to the artwork’s frame using Command strips.

Wall art BEFORE photo: If a frame doesn't work because it is too flat, make an easy and inexpensive change by adding a second frame on top | Eclectic traditional | #ORC One Room Challenge | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

Now the piece is back to being perfect. Well almost, anyway. I still think the finish on the black frame needs a bit of a boost. So, before the reveal, I will apply Fusion’s Clear Tough Coat, a wipe-on matte poly, to pop the color a bit. Fusion paint doesn’t need a poly, even after distressing, but I love that sometimes this poly just adds a little something extra —especially on distressed black chalky-type paint.

Wall art AFTER photo: A flat, contemporary frame is embellished with a thrifted frame to add depth and to connect the piece with adjacent accessories | Eclectic traditional | #ORC One Room Challenge | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

End of Week 3 Progress

At the end of Week 3:

  • Dark furniture against light walls. Check.

  • Accessories larger than a basketball. Check.

  • Gallery art. Check.

Sounds totally masculine, doesn’t it? Not to worry, the feminine balance is on the way!

Progress from Previous Weeks

Click here for Week 1

Click here for Week 2

Coming Attractions

Next week, this huge mirror gets the makeover of a lifetime. Say buh-bye to 1990’s gaudy gold with a few easy steps and more Fusion Mineral Paint products.

Wall art BEFORE photo: Say good-bye to 1990's orange gold with a few easy makeover steps | Eclectic traditional | #ORC One Room Challenge | #spon Fusion Mineral Paint | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

And in Week 5, it’s all about the fabric. That’s right! It’s sew-time! #easypeasy

See how an outdated sofa is refreshed with fabric and accessories | Eclectic traditional | #ORC One Room Challenge | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

Hosts

As always, many thanks to Linda from Calling It Home for hosting this event on her blog. Please stop by to see all of the work-in-progress. At last count, there are 250+ bloggers sharing ideas for every room in the house.

Thanks also to the ORC media partner, House Beautiful and to all of the wonderful sponsors. We are thrilled to share this journey with you!

But –for now–thanks so much for visiting!

 

Wall art can be expensive and not really sized to fit a space | Learn 4 ways to remedy such a dilemma | Eclectic traditional | #ORC One Room Challenge | #spon Fusion Mineral Paint | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

 

 

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36 Comments

  • Reply Debbie April 19, 2017 at 6:28 pm

    Love these ideas and the way you use layering. Can’t wait to see the mirror transformation!

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 19, 2017 at 6:55 pm

      Hi Debbie and thanks! As a Southerner, I tend to layer everything. Casseroles. Picture frames. Paint. LOL.. But it does seem to work for my little eclectic traditional style. So happy you could stop by!

  • Reply Carolann April 19, 2017 at 6:44 pm

    Beautiful Susie! I love the music notes they are truly beautiful. I also love the musicians names. What a beautiful way to pay homage to them! You have done an amazing job with your artwork.

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 19, 2017 at 6:59 pm

      Hi CArolann and thanks! I just counted that I have remade 16 pieces of wall art in the last few weeks. Most pieces are going in the kitchen nook so it will be awhile before they are on the blog. But — -it’s good to have it done. LOL.. Always wonderful to have you visit!

  • Reply maureenreynolds April 19, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    So gorgeous! I just noticed a local retailer is now selling Fusion paint and offering classes. I will definitely have to sign up for one soon. I cannot wait to see it all together. I agree the music notes are a showstopper!

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 19, 2017 at 9:08 pm

      Hi Maureen and thanks! Oh I love Fusion paint and will be anxious to hear how you like it. I refinished 13 pieces for the great room. Yowers! I know, but some were just little things. Wonderful to have you stop by! πŸ™‚

  • Reply Nancy @ Slightly Coastal April 19, 2017 at 10:26 pm

    Such fabulous ideas! I love the musical art piece you did! I’m so obsessed with it. You are so clever popping one frame on top of another to give it some umph. I just pinned a photo the other day where someone took a frame and popped it onto a piece of plywood for a layered effect, but I think I like your idea even more. Great job! I can’t wait to see it all come together at the reveal.

    Nancy

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 19, 2017 at 10:32 pm

      Hi Nancy and thanks! I’m so glad you found the tips helpful. Always such a joy to have you stop in for a visit!

  • Reply Cassie Bustamante April 20, 2017 at 8:23 am

    that music piece is stunning- love the scale and vibe!

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 20, 2017 at 8:37 am

      Thanks Cassie. I was thrilled to save it so it could work in the makeover room.

  • Reply thecrownedgoat April 20, 2017 at 9:00 am

    Such great ideas, Susie! I love the musical art piece you did – that is so creative! I’m so excited to see how everything is going to come together with your space. it’s going to be so fabulous. I love everything you’ve done already. Hugs, CoCo

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 20, 2017 at 9:21 am

      Hi Coco and thanks! I love the music piece, too. Fun fact. My first college degree is a BMED in Instrumental Music. I know! Right? Hence, the extreme emotional attachment to the outdated canvas….. The things you learn during the One Room Challenge. LOL…

  • Reply Emy April 20, 2017 at 10:14 am

    I love that you reused so many pieces! The layering looks very cool!

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 20, 2017 at 11:02 am

      Thanks Emy! I do love the layers. πŸ™‚

  • Reply Tee April 20, 2017 at 10:50 am

    This came out so pretty! I can’t wait to see this room come together

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 20, 2017 at 11:03 am

      Thanks Tee! I’m excited to share and move on to the next room. LOL….

  • Reply Kate Smith April 20, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    SUCH great ideas! Love these!

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 20, 2017 at 4:05 pm

      Hi Kate and thanks so much!

  • Reply apurdylittlehouse April 20, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    Your room choices are spectacular. I LOVE the oversized sheet music art and how you aged it, and the sneak peek of your fabric is amazing. I’m loving this room so far.

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 20, 2017 at 8:17 pm

      Hi Sue and thanks! The music canvas is very near and dear to me for several reasons. One — which may surprise you — is that my first college degree is in music. Back in the day, I spent a lot of time with good old Mozzie and his Symphony in G minor. LOL.

  • Reply Mary April 20, 2017 at 11:43 pm

    I love the music piece, Susie. A true work of art!

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 20, 2017 at 11:48 pm

      Hi Mary and thanks so much! I’ll make sure to get you the link for the room reveal on May 11 so you can see it in place. Always wonderful to have you stop by! Thanks again.

  • Reply Andrea April 21, 2017 at 12:33 am

    Great DIY ideas! What was the event you attended?

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 21, 2017 at 8:44 am

      Hi Andrea and thanks! It was just a local event sponsored by local contractors and realtors.

  • Reply Debrashoppeno5 April 21, 2017 at 9:35 am

    The artwork looks wonderful. I always prefer orginal art work because it gives the decor a more athentic look. The room is going to be a show stopper.

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 21, 2017 at 9:48 am

      Hi Debra and thanks so much! You are one of my fav cheerleaders! Thanks for your visit and encouraging words.

  • Reply April R - Uncookie Cutter April 21, 2017 at 8:42 pm

    These are all great ideas Susie! I love the wall art you did with the stencils!

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 21, 2017 at 10:22 pm

      Hi April and thanks! Good to have you stop by!

  • Reply Jessica | Petal + Ply April 22, 2017 at 11:33 pm

    Looks like you’ve been hard at work! Such pretty art pieces.

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 23, 2017 at 9:24 am

      Hi Jessica and thanks! Yes! I have been hard at work. So happy to have the room complete.

  • Reply rachel621 April 23, 2017 at 8:46 am

    I wouldn’t have thought of the wax to lighten it. That’s a good idea and I like the handpainted letter look. Great work on all of them!

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 23, 2017 at 9:26 am

      Hi Rachel and thanks!

  • Reply The Red Painted Cottage April 23, 2017 at 6:40 pm

    Susie, I love the idea of using the wax for lightening your project, as well as all the other ideas you shared. You’re really more organized than I am, because I have no idea what I’ll be sharing for week 5 yet!

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 24, 2017 at 3:51 pm

      Hi Carol and thanks! Well, because the painting was completed at the end of January, I could work ahead. This has helped so much. I don’t think I could handle doing an entire room in real time. You are braver than me. Kudos!!

  • Reply ashley@biggerthanthethreeofus April 24, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    What a fantastic idea! Wax – brilliant!

    • Reply theChelseaProject April 24, 2017 at 3:47 pm

      Hi Ashley and thanks! I love to experiment! πŸ™‚

    Hello -- Welcome -- and thanks for your comments!