Planting Sequoias

In which I blog about a life (hopefully) well lived.

On Using Oil Paints (in which I create a fancy interactive blog post to ask for help)


Last week got a little crazy around here: I channeled my inner art class nerd.

Normally I stick to Pinterest-level crafts (read: easy) but my recent love of oil paintings got me thinking.

Well that, and this $5 questionable thrift store find:

old artwork in antique frame

It was large and I loved the frame, but the (fake) picture inside was pretty gross looking.

So I broke out a Michael’s gift card I’ve been hoarding and purchased myself some oil paints. And a fancy brush, because I figured that would help, right?

Unfortunately, I purchased the wrong type of brush (blame my inner cheapskate). Apparently you’re supposed to get brushes with natural hair bristles for oil painting, not synthetic. Spoiler alert: The brush worked fine for this project. Probably because I am a mere beginner.

Oil painting supplies

I assembled my supplies, took the artwork out of the frame, and flipped it over. I’m not fancy enough for a real canvas…and this was very handy.

And then I got to work piling paint onto the cardboard. I sort of used this painting as a reference as I went along.

using oil paints

It was a bit rainy and cold outside, so this was the perfect activity.

Also, mixing paint is hard for me. I had to go back to the store and buy another whole tube of white because the painting was getting a bit murky and brownish by this point. White helped the situation immensely.

using oil paints

And then I waited. Apparently, oil paintings take FOR.EV.ER. to dry. My elementary school art class failed me a little on this project.

Getting impatient, I finally put the painting in the frame last night and ran into what could be classified as a problem. The painting has bright white tones in it, yet the frame (which dates to the ancient year of 1968) is decidedly NOT white.

framed oil painting

The “inner” creamy portion is velvet covered, but I have painted velvet on a frame before. The outside strip of cream would be quite easy to paint. The gold I love, so that is staying for sure.

Since I can’t decide, I made this fancy poll.


What are your thoughts? Anyone else embracing their inner fine artist lately?


13 thoughts on “On Using Oil Paints (in which I create a fancy interactive blog post to ask for help)

  1. ok so you are way talented! I love that painting!!!! it would look so good anywhere. You have to share a from far away picture when you are finished! 🙂

  2. Leave the fram as is….but is there any possibility of toning down the white used in the interior painting? Gray/cream over the white so the white isn’t so stark white? Just wondering. I’m sure you’ve thought of this. 🙂

  3. I’m all for painting the frame’s inset with a pop of color. I like all of your suggestions, but it would really depend upon the context. Where do you plan to hang this artwork? I would use the background color of the wall to dictate the inset color. If your wall is white, then go for the bold pop that makes sense with the furnishings/accents in the room.

  4. The painting looks awesome!! I love bright white and gold as a color combo, so I would definitely go with that for the frame.

  5. try spraying an anqitue white glaze over the entire picture – that will soften the white…pretty easy, a little bottle of the glaze, some white/ivory paint – a small plastic spray bottle and spritz away!

  6. Anne. Mind if I steal your idea? I love it!! It looks so great.

  7. Pingback: Transformed Thrift Store Artwork (in which painted velvet is actually a good thing) | Planting Sequoias

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