Tuesday, July 16

diy colorblock painting

My dear spotted some paintings at a certain department store the other day while shopping for furniture. He came home and told me how cool they were, and how awesome one would look over the fireplace. I had the chance to see them for myself later that week when we went furniture shopping together.
The first thing I thought when I saw the paintings was, "I could do that". I can't explain how often this happens to me. I loved the contrast of the natural wood grain peeking through the bright colors. I didn't see a price tag on these, but I was sure I could accomplish the task for under $50. And I did.

Here's what you'll need to DIY -
  • piece of plywood measured to your desired dimensions - I used a 4'x5' piece that was 1/4" thick, I believe it was birch, because I really liked the color
  • 1x2" boards - I purchased (3) 4' pieces and (2) 6' pieces, and they were just a few dollars each
  • wide painter's tape
  • paint (two colors) - I already had the grellow paint from the laundry room makeover, and just purchased a quart of the blue in satin latex
  • wood glue
  • nail gun and finish nails
  • sandpaper 
  • brushes
Step 1 Cut the wood to size, and frame it out. 
We measured the space within the moulding above the fireplace and needed a 4'x5' piece to fit it nicely. Unfortunately, plywood only comes in 4'x4' sheets or 4'x8' sheets, so I had to purchase a larger one and have them cut it down to fit (which they do for free). Getting this thing in the back of my SUV is another hilarious story for another time. 

I took the 6 foot 1x2" pieces and cut them down to 5', to brace the long (vertical) ends of my surface. 
Then, we trimmed down the 4 foot pieces to fit horizontally, between the vertical braces (so they wound up being 4 feet - 1 inch on each side = 46"). We bought 3 pieces this length, two for the edges and one to go across the middle for stability.

Next we attached the pieces to the back of our 4x5 board with glue and a nail gun. Then I filled the holes on the front side and sanded them down, along with the edges & corners. I'm sorry I don't have any photos of this process to show you! But you want to create a framing "skeleton" for the back of the plywood. We stood the pieces up on their skinny sides, so it created a 2" depth to the back of the plywood. We lined up the pieces behind/along the edges of my surface, and used some clamps to hold the pieces in place while we glued and nailed. You'll be able to see the edges more closely in some of the next few photographs. 

Forgive the iPhone photo quality and cat photobombing.
Step 2 Place your tape
After sanding all my edges & corners, I stood the piece up in my studio and played around a bit with where I was going to put my tape. I planned all but one stripe to be bare wood, so before I put all my tape down, I chose where my grellow stripe would go, and painted it, along with the sides. Once it was dry, I put my tape over the painted area.
Some of this was done one night, the rest was done the next day, once the grellow was dry.
Step 3 Paint your main color
This took me three coats because I wanted to get rid of the wood grain texture that kept creeping through my layers of paint. Always paint with the wood grain, and let it dry before you remove your tape. Like I mentioned before, I painted my edges/sides the contrasting grellow color, so I brushed carefully along the edges to create nice, clean lines. 
Step 4 Pull off your tape, and admire your work!
The "reveal" step is the most exciting. There were just a few places where the paint leaked through the edges of the tape, so I just sanded that off and touched up where I needed. Overall, though, our tape lines were pretty crisp. 
Step 5 Hang
I definitely recommend hanging anything large on a stud. Just use your stud (hubby) and your stud finder to locate the stud(s) in the area where you want to hang your piece, and please measure carefully and always use a LEVEL. Since our piece was so large, we screwed a 1x2" piece about 2.5 feet long into the studs in two places, wide side against the wall. Then we slipped the top lip of the painting over the 1x2" in the wall, and screwed the painting into IT from the top side, where you can't see it. So the painting is screwed into a level wood piece which is screwed into the wall into a stud - THAT's what I call super secure and level! 
We love it! It adds a ton of color, energy, and personality into our space. Bit by bit, each room is transforming into a more put-together, finalized state.

What do you think? Are you brave enough to try something like this on your own?

1 comment:

Thanks for visiting my blog today!