4 Easy Ways to Make Elegant Wall Art | ORC Week 3
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
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
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Remake Outdated Pieces
Maybe it’s the hoarder mentality in me, but when two 40-inch by 40-inch pieces of wall art went out-of-date, I just didn’t have the where-with-all to toss them away.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?
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.
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. 🙁
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.
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. 🙁 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).
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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 Weeks and Final Reveal
Click here for Week 1 – Great Room Plan
Click here for Week 2 – How to Make a Discount Rug Work Like a Boss
Week 3 – You are here
Click here for Week 4 – Mirror Makeover in 3 Easy Steps
Click here for Week 5 – How to Make Custom Sized Pillow Covers
Click here for Week 6 – Great Room Makeover Reveal
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!