Monday, February 6, 2017

Colour project

I was inspired recently, to brighten up a few areas in our home. We have a blank canvas with slightly off-white, walls. I've never been one for bright colours in large quantities, but am partial to splashes of colour in the right place.

They're referred to as accents, and that was the focus of my room makeover. This post is not about the entire room - just a particular aspect I'm adding to it. I needed something to fit a narrow section of wall. So what about a simple picture?

Click image to enlarge

I went through my framing supplies, and discovered a picture either my mum found, (or I did) at a second-hand shop. It had $3 written on the back. It doesn't have any glass, and the frame isn't designed to include glass anyway. It would suffice for the project I had in mind.

But I needed to change a few things about it first...

Two pieces

I needed to paint both the frame and the backing board, white. For reasons, which will become clearer, later. The little metal latches at the back, simply pulled back with a butter knife, allowing me to remove the backing board entirely. Goodbye - "afternoon at the beach", and hello new.


Newspaper was mandatory, as a splash cover on the bench. I could get as messy as I liked, without worrying about it. The tools were simple. A paintbrush, a roller and a flat-head screwdriver.

That roller has been with me for well over a decade. It helped paint some of our former house, before this one. It's great for getting around tight spaces, where a big roller would just be too cumbersome. Only I discovered recently, the foam roller had disintegrated. Fortunately, a trip to my hardware store, found replacement foam rollers - much to my delight! I love that little roller and glad to have it back in action.

White paint?

The flat-head screwdriver, was for lifting the lid off an ancient can of paint. It's lasted many years. But it was in a poor state, when I finally broke through the rusted seal. It was more like putty, than paint. There was a rubbery skin on the top I had to break through too, but inside I found a workable medium.

I scooped what I needed into a spare glass jar, added water, and stirred well!

First coat

The paint went on smoothly, if only a little thinner. The first coat went on but actually took four coats, in total. And two of those were white gesso from my art supplies cupboard. It's thicker and has more tooth for paint to grip on.

But I had my background and frame done within the day. Which allowed me to move onto the next step:

Taping over

I wanted something very simple in this room. The feature was going to be the colour, not so much what the image was meant to represent. So I took some masking tap, and put it down on the board, to cover the areas I wanted to stay white.

I found a picture online, of a Monstera deliciosa, or fruit salad plant. I used it as inspiration (you can see it in the background) for my taped experiment.

Ready to roll

Once I was happy with the design, I poured the paint into my rolling pan. Isn't it a beautiful colour? It's called Cool Aloe, and is from the Accent range at Mitre 10. I've used this colour elsewhere in the same room, and I needed to carry some of it over to a different wall - hence the picture idea. This is a sample pot, so very inexpensive - under $10

First coat

Then it was just a matter of rolling the colour, over the board. I needed two coats, with two hours for the coat to dry in between. Luckily, I had a busy day that day, or I would have been highly impatient, to start removing that masking tape!

Partial reveal

The tape did it's job well. Almost too well. It was a little challenging to pull some of it away. To get the shapes I did, I had to tear the tape and place it on, several layers think. I wanted that ragged edge look, which I achieved, but it was a little fidgety to get it all off.

Then it was just a matter of fitting new hooks to the picture frame, so I could hang it portrait style - instead of landscape.

Done and hung

It fitted perfectly, into that narrow space on the wall. I didn't mind how it looked rustic or imperfect either. That was the whole point. It was introducing colour, more than it was introducing shapes. It made the plain walls a little more interesting to look at.

For this project, I paid under $10 for the paint, and replacement foam rollers. The room I'm doing up, also has other equally, inexpensive updates. I wanted a change after 10 years of blank canvas walls, and this was fun to create. It also used up supplies I had in storage and put them to good use.

I look forward to doing a full room reveal in the near future.


  1. Gee Chris, that looks mighty professional. Looking forward to seeing the room too.

  2. That looks great! Very creative! Meg:)

  3. Chris, that is interesting the way you have done that. The end result looks great.

  4. Thanks for all the positive feedback. Now I just gotta finish the rest of the room. ;)

  5. What a nice result, you never know what will eventuate when you embrace your creativity.
    I have one of those plants if you ever need to stencil or copy an actual leaf, I have drawn around one and reduced the size with photocopying with interesting results.
    I have seen the actual leaves used to stamp the shape into cement stepping stones in a garden, looked great.

    1. Those leafs would make great imprints in concrete. Its nice to accentuate nature in our homes, whether indoors our out.

  6. Wow Chris! I really love it! You sure are clever, thanks for the inspiration. :)

  7. What an interesting idea! I would never have thought of masking tape. I did something similar once. I cut a piece off a frond of bracken and glued it to a sheet of cardboard then painted over the lot so that the bracken stood out in relief like a carving. It would have been good to have it in another colour but painting it first and glueing each little frondy bit without it all curling up, would have been a nightmare. I bet you could think of a way though ;-)

  8. Thank you Sally and Bev. I'm sure there is a way to stick down the fern fronds Bev, I just haven't looked into it. Yet. ;) The products they have available nowadays, is amazing!


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