Thursday, June 25, 2015

Revitalize Your Old Art Prints

As a painter myself, I take special care when selecting artwork for my home. I don't go home with an item unless it truly speaks to me. Most often, I purchase antique architectural pieces-- like old windows or gates-- to hang around the house, or I just paint my own pieces. When decorating, I much prefer to use quirky vintage items or original artwork over generic store-bought items. Not that anything is wrong with buying cheap art. You can really get some lovely art at great deals, don't get me wrong!  There's absolutely nothing wrong with that route. I personally just prefer items which possess more of a story or a one-of-a-kind quality, items that you may not see in someone else's house.

Over time, my decorating style has certainly evolved. In fact, I feel that it has tremendously evolved even since my wedding day almost 3 years ago now. Previously, I used a lot of crimson and golds when decorating. I tended to gravitate toward carnival-y, baroque-ish pieces. I loved rich, gemstone hues, bling, and texture. Case in point: this large art print from World Market that hung over my bedroom dresser for years. 

Pretty, right? But quite busy and yes, somewhat carnival-esque. This art print was a Christmas gift from my parents when I was about sixteen. While I adored the print back then, I suddenly found that its swirls and kaleidoscope colors no longer jived with my style. I caught myself staring at it every night before bed and thinking... Wow, that thing really sticks out. 

I fantasized about replacing it. But the hefty pricetag attached to large artwork gave me pause, especially in the midst of our recent kitchen renovation. I mentioned my art-woes to Mark one night who shrugged and said "Why don't you just paint over it?"

Ohhhhhh, duh! And thus, a DIY was born.

- an art print you've "fallen out of love with" 
- glossy white paint
- grey acrylic paint
- blue acrylic paint
- gold craft paint, Martha Stewart brand
- a variety of paint brushes
- papertowels
- water for cleaning brushes

My first step was to simply cover the entire canvas with the white glossy paint. To be honest, just this step alone produced a lovely result. The texture of the original print peeked through the white paint. If you're into minimalist design, simply painting a textured art print white would give you a unique piece of art. But we all know I'm no minimalist, right? 

I went on to paint the remainder of the abstract design, sticking to blue, grey, and gold hues. I had so much fun layering the colors and splattering paint every which-away. If you're undertaking your own abstract painting project, the best advice I can offer is to choose coordinating colors that suit your decor style and to be sure to allow time for the individual paint layers to dry.

The end result of this spontaneous project was a piece of modern abstract artwork that not only matched my bedroom color scheme but also was a bit easier on the eyes (aka less busy). The white background illuminates the space and really pops against the charcoal grey wall. Sometimes it pays to just flex your DIY muscles and give new life to a piece rather than going out to buy new. 

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