Painted Art
Adds Pizzazz To Your Walls

Painted Art is another option to consider when decorating your walls. Just like some of the framed art ideas I've shared, painted art is another project you can personally do to develop a custom look for your room.

"Restore, Reuse, Reinvent" really comes into play with some of these projects. You will see how easy it is to create some unique, custom art for free with items you may already have in your home.

I love using leftover wall paint to create artwork for my rooms. By using the same color palette for the art as used for the walls, you create instant cohesion. If you've been reading through this site, you will notice that I use the word "cohesion" quite often. It is something you want to achieve when pulling a room's entire theme or design plan together.

Wall paint, which is typically latex, is a very easy medium to work with rather than oil or acrylic paint. It dries fairly quickly and cleans up easily with soap and water. It can also be applied to many surfaces. Try painting on cardboard instead of canvas. A heavier weight cardboard works best as it resists warping as the paint dries.

Frugal Tip Look for free cardboard around your home. It may have been used as reinforced packing in a product you recently bought (such as a large flat panel LCD T.V. or a refrigerator). These inner cardboard pieces are typically cut into nicely shaped squares or rectangles. You can also cut them with a sharp X-Acto or utility knife to a specific size or shape for your painted art projects.
Wall Art Cut Cardboard

The modern artwork in this stairway was originally a large cardboard box that a coffeetable arrived in. Note how the artwork is hung to reflect the changing level of the staircase. It is attached by nails hammered directly though it into the wall. The edges slightly curl away from the wall giving the illusion of floating art.

The above example shows a diagonal arrangement appropriate for a stairwell. The composition is large enough to appropriately fill the vertical and horizontal space of the wall. This artwork also provides some bold impact in a location devoid of any other visual interest.

The following examples again use cardboard inserts from some packaging. In both examples, interior wall or trim paint was used. Both are connected with jute twine to infuse an organic element.

Wall Art from Cardboard

A closer look.

Wall Art from Cardboard

Frugal Tip This artwork uses both flat, semi-gloss and gloss paint from leftover wall and trim projects. The different paint finishes provide depth and dimension. The same image was replicated three times and rotated at 90 degree intervals from one to the next.

The other neat thing about this artwork is that it was painted with small wooden pieces left over from floor trim cuts. Some of the pieces (or blocks) were simply dipped into a shallow amount of paint and then "stamped" onto the cardboard. No money spent on paintbrushes here.

Wall Art from Cardboard

More similarly composed artwork.
Variation of a theme.

Wall Art from Cardboard

In the following example, I purchased three silver frames as I wanted a modern feel with this art. A foot tall statue became the inspiration piece for this artwork which was painted at three different angles.

I again painted on cardboard. In this case, the cardboard that came as the inner backfill for these picture frames. Leftover wall paint was used to create these images.

Painted and Framed Art

People frequently comment positively on this particular grouping of artwork.

A grouping of three additionally lends itself well to contemporary and modern styling. Note the spacing of the artwork in relation to the sconces and how this entire area of wall art falls within the boundaries of the sofa's width.

It's best to keep artwork (or wall art) within the width of any furniture piece it's displayed above.

Art Inspiration Piece
This sculpture not only inspired the subject for the painted art above, but it inspired a modern-African theme for this family room. All of the artwork above, with the exception of that in the stairwell, is located in the same family room. You can see how these pieces combined develop the "tribal feel" I wanted to achieve.

I do actually paint on canvas and use acrylic or oil paint from time to time. These products along with paintbrushes can all be purchased at local or online arts and crafts stores. One I recommend is MisterArt.

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The following are each painted on a 16-inch x 20-inch pre-stretched canvas. Both are painted with acrylic paint.

Painted Canvas Art
Dark and Moody

Painted Canvas Art
The flat black background on this canvas is leftover accent wall paint used in this room. I love how the dull finish mimics chalkboard. The "sign" is a whimsical nod at the coffeeshop/bistro vibe I have going on in this modern, fun kitchen.

Just as I recommended looking for old frames at thrift stores to update with your own artwork, look for old canvases. This large wood framed canvas was found at an estate sale but had some circa-1970's look to it. I painted the frame and canvas the same neutral as the walls in this dining room and used leftover wall and trim paint from throughout this home to create a bold, modern art piece.

Reused Canvas Painted Art
Some great earthy colors were used throughout this home which tie together nicely in this particular painted art piece.

Don't be afraid to experiment. Since you will be reusing paint and repurposing cardboard or other materials such as old canvases, you have little to worry about if you make a mistake. And just remember, you can paint over your mistake and begin again.

Personalized, painted art always wins design points over store bought artwork. So, GET BUSY!

When you are ready to hang your painted art, visit the Hanging Art section for some helpful tips.

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