Ok. Before you think I’ve totally gone off the rails, just hear me out.
It’s true. I painted a symphony.
And, it’s also true that it was my first collaboration with Mozart.
But, I had a really good reason. Really……I had this big empty wall that faces the dining room. So naturally, I dug through my stash of outdated accessories until I pieced together a unit of “wall art” that worked for scale and size. But, oh my goodness, everything was…sooooo dark and sooo outdated.
But, since I was actually going for texture and not “wall art,” I needed to find a way to make these pieces go all David Copperfield. They didn’t need to totally disappear, but they really needed to create the illusion of disappearing….and…. at the very least… fade into the wall.
The only problem was how to save all of this cracking and chipping goodness that was buried underneath all that brown. What I had to do was find a way to lighten and brighten the piece (and the other accessories) without losing the original character. #tallorder
STEP 1: Get in the Groove
First, I found a great recording of the music score that is painted on the canvas. The canvas is actually just a tiny snip of Mozart’s Symphony #40 in G Minor, K 550 – 1. Molto Allegro, but it’s such a great snip. Ironically, this symphony was known as one of Mozart’s “dark” pieces, presumably because it wasn’t written in a “happy” key.
I gotta tell ya, when I was in music school, I must have heard this piece a thousand times. It was a staple of learning. Like oils for the artist or words for the writer. We dove into the nooks and crannies of this work in order to better understand its genius. How fitting that I am once again looking at the nooks and crannies….and trying to understand them….so they can be saved. #againwiththeirony
STEP 2: Add Primer
To start, regular old block-out primer (in latex) was added to the sides of the canvas and around the musical score. No matter what, I did not want the brown to bleed through. The same primer was also applied to the other accessories.
STEP 2: Create a Cloud
Then chalk paint was made from Sherwin Williams Dover White and a chalk paint additive. Click here for information about the additive.
Once it was mixed, a portion of the paint was subsequently turned into a milky solution.
Then a very thin layer of the chalk paint and the solution was applied to the canvas to create a cloudy look.
STEP 3: Distress the Edges
The canvas was scratched with a toothbrush to create a worn and torn appearance. Sandpaper was used around the outer edges, but really didn’t work as well as the toothbrush.
STEP 4: Apply Glaze
Then a diluted tobacco-colored glazed was brushed over the entire canvas and wiped off with a damp cloth while the glaze was still wet. Care was taken to make sure that the glaze remained in the nooks and crannies. Click here for info about using glaze.
STEP 5: Layer Paint and Glaze
After the glaze dried, it looked a little dark so another dilute solution of the creamy white chalk paint was washed over the canvas and wiped with a damp cloth. This time, when the canvas dried, it looked pasty so a solution of aqua-colored paint was worked into some areas of the canvas. I just kept washing paint and glaze in various areas of the canvas (and wiping with a damp cloth) until I got the look I wanted.
STEP 6: Add Accessories
Then the other wall accessories, which had been refinished using the same technique as the canvas, were added to the wall.
One layer of primer and then several layers of chalk paint and glaze.
To create a focal point, an over-sized vase filled with branches and forsythia stems was placed in front of the canvas.
And, the table, which was also refinished for the space, provides added dimension and color.
The result is layers of texture and chippy goodness that frames the flower stems, but does not detract from the focal point.
And so it is with Mozart’s masterpiece symphony, now lightened and brightened as a background textural element. Muted by layers of paint and glaze, but retaining the characteristics of the original piece.
If you have a canvas that you’d like to lighten and brighten, please test the paint’s ability to handle the addition of chalk paint and glaze in an inconspicuous spot before moving on to the main part of the piece. I knew before I started that I wanted this canvas to look worn, torn, faded, and brimming with chippy goodness. This meant there was less pressure on the original paint to adhere to the canvas.
If you have any questions, please message me in the comment section (below).
If you have enjoyed this makeover, I do hope you will share it with your friends.
And, as always, it is a pleasure to share this project with you.
Shared at these great parties:
Sweet Inspiration via My Sweet Things