EDIT – 2/4/2012 – If you are interested in purchasing a print of this artwork, please visit my new Etsy shop!
Our second bedroom had finally been getting a little love after being a storage room for boxes for about 6 months. We recently purchased this West Elm Desk and have unpacked the majority of our boxes. In the process of unpacking I came across some old Ikea frames that I bought when I had just graduated from college. I was in the purging mood so I was about to throw them away when Joe stopped me. He hates being wasteful and he was right, there was still life in them yet.
I love how colorful they are now! Here’s what the room looked like after we bought the desk, but BEFORE we added the frames:
Nothing wrong with this room, but it just felt empty and dark to me.
First I took the frames apart. I removed the photos, the mat, the glass, and the backing. Next I lightly sanded it down to rough up the surface for painting.
Next I painted a coat of primer meant for glossy and previously painted surfaces. Its the same stuff I used on my kitchen cabinets!
After the primer dried, I painted on a thin but solid layer of opaque tan paint. I’m using this as a base because metallic paints can sometimes go on a little translucent. This way I don’t have to paint quite as many layers.
Once this layer dried I used a thin layer metallic gold acrylic paint. Its very important to paint all layers of paint as thinly as possible to avoid ugly brush strokes. Its better to have more thin layers than a couple thick layers. So I actually thinned out my paint with some acrylic gloss medium and a little water. I probably ended up painted about 5 layers in the end when I felt like I had good coverage.
At this point I already had an idea of what type of art I wanted to frame. Since the second bedroom has those dark blue-grey walls, I decided I needed to infuse some lighter brighter color. I’ve been on a watercolor kick so I decided to invest in a tube of Opera Pink paint. This is a special water color that has a fluorescent pink pigment. A little pricey for a single tiny tube, but it mixes some of the most beautiful, vibrant purples and oranges and range of reds and pinks between.
I decided I didn’t want to do anything too ambitious and chose to do more of a color study. I’d like to think it evokes a herring bone or a knit fabric or something. I kind of think its perfect for a room that will be my sewing/painting studio and work space.
Now how to hang them… When we moved that large brown bookshelf into the room, it was always my intention to hang two smaller frames onto the side of it. However, I definitely don’t want to hammer nails into the wood so I turn once again to my trusty 3M command strip hooks!
I love these things!! They are strong and do not damage your surface at all! TIP: If you use them, be sure to let them set for a few hours before you hang anything on them. It really makes a difference in how well they stick to the surface.
So here is what everything looks like after mounting and hanging! I love how colorful it looks next to our NYC map print which was a wedding gift from my good friend Jenni =)