Planting Sequoias

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


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Transformed Thrift Store Artwork (in which painted velvet is actually a good thing)

So. You remember this ugly piece of thrift store artwork I picked up for $5 here, right? I know, I know, how could you forget this nightmarish painting? It’s downright scary. My apologies. Ken shrieked when I brought it home, poor guy.
old artwork in antique frame

But no worries. I used oil paints for the first time and it actually turned out pretty cool-looking. Except for the frame.

framed oil painting

So I polled you guys since I was sincerely bamboozled. Many chimed in with GREAT ideas, so click over to that post if you are ever in a dire situation like this. (HA). Pretty sure no one’s had this problem ever.

I ended up diving in headfirst by painting the velvet-y strip of the frame navy. I’ve done this before, on this frame, and it worked out well then. It does get stiffer, but after 50ish years, these velvet bits aren’t exactly something you want to rub your face on anyway.

Paint a thrift store frame's velvet section with craft paint.

It dried SUPER quickly (YAY) so I flipped the frame over and secured the oil painting in its grasp. Also–I painted on the backside of the painting if, justincase I ever wanted to, I don’t know? flip it over and use the original gross side? Completely unnecessary, now that I think about it.

old artwork preserved! just in case.

I’m in love with the painting and how easy it was. KEY: use lots of white. When I didn’t, things got murky FAST.

Oil painting for beginners! Super easy.

It now hangs in the 12 square feet that is our hallway, between our bedroom on the left and bathroom on the right.

Ugly thrifted artwork turned beautiful!

I left the outer creamy portion of the frame as is for now. I’m still mulling over whether or not I want to paint it. It’s currently acting as a nice bridge color between our creamy walls and the bright white in the painting.

Oh, and I made a nice (PINNABLE, hint) before and after image so you could see the contrast without scrolling up.

Transform old thrift store art!

So, for $5 and the cost of paint (maybe $6? I had a giftcard), we now have a sweet custom piece of artwork.

Moral of the story: don’t pass up ugly pieces of art in the thrift store, but don’t show it to your husband before you transform it. Things go much better that way.

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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?