Trash to Treasure: $6 Wall Art

As you may know if you’re active readers, we recently decided to really shake things up in the living room. We went from starting out like this:

And ended up moving more in this direction:

No more crazy rainbow of colors! Just a simple deep grey, white, mustardy yellow and teal color scheme. But when the colorful framed records came down, the big wall became rather bare…After staring at it from the couch for a few minutes, I started to envision a collection of tall canvases painted in our colors. Yet I dreaded the price tag of said canvases – Those babies aren’t cheap!

Luckily, about a day after I started pining after the canvases (which generally means I’ll be able to wait approximately two days before my need to fill the space “justifies” the cost),  my dad came to the rescue!

He recently saved some framed posters from his workplace that someone was about to trash – The images are not at all of interest to me (some kind of nuclear reactor), but the sleek metal frames and the proportion of each are juuuussstttt right 🙂

There’s no glass over the poster, but it’s printed on a very sturdy wood-like cardboard  so it could take a painted finish almost like a canvas. Works for me!

All it took to start making my once-expensive vision a VERY cheap reality, was to head out to Lowe’s and pick up some samples of our colors. We took the inspiration pillows…

…and, holding them up to the wall of paint chips (this trip was pre-DIYed-paint-chip-book project), we picked up the exact shades of dark grey, light grey, dark yellow and light yellow. We took them up to the paint guy and purchased four little sample cups of the paint (in flat finish) for about $2 each.

Sidenote: The other good thing about having the paint chips of our colors (which we starred with a pen and held onto) is that I no longer have to carry the pillow cases in my purse when we go out in search of color-coordinated accents. The very-portable paint chips are a MUCH better alternative.

Once home, I laid the first framed poster out on the floor and decided to go about painting it by doing this:

Yup. That’s right – I just poured a huge dollop of paint in the middle of the poster board. This is a good idea in THEORY, but I overestimated my dollop…Once I started spreading it around, I realized that there was more paint then needed. But because of this, I only had to do one coat since it was so thick!

Oh and the frames…Yeah, this is when my impatience is detrimental. John came downstairs to the garage and saw that I hadn’t masked the frames before starting to paint (I guess I figured I could just be careful around the edges) and said “Wow. You’re brave…You could probably just paint into the edges and I can spray paint the frames back to black later.”

Did I mention that my boyfriend is a genius? Why didn’t I think of that?! Or, better yet, why didn’t I think to remove the frames, paint the board and then put the frames back together? Answer with me, I know you can: Because I’m impatient…

The good part was that I got to gleefully make a huge mess of the frames knowing that they would be taken care of later 🙂

Yellow done – Now for the dark grey! (this time I put a more reasonably sized dollop of paint on the poster board)

And then the light grey:

All done! We had to let them dry for several days because of the thick coat of paint I did to avoid having to do more than one coat. I guess being impatient backfired this time (I’m sensing a trend here…)

Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait (like us) to see the big reveal – John put one coat of the black spray paint on the frames but had to flip them and do another last night. Hope we have something to show off tomorrow!

Now in case you’re wondering about the plain rectangles of color and how boring they are, I would have to agree with you. I think they will be the correct punch of color we need for now, but later I’m planning on giving them a little interest by painting the bird pattern from the pillow fabric onto the solid color background. The plain colors will be a place holder for now until I have time to be artistic 🙂

Cross your fingers that we have the big reveal ready for you tomorrow!

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