I have been really busy recently redecorating the house, and have not been running stalls at Artisan or Craft Markets for over a year. The last one I did was great, and I totally sold out and also took extra orders for my paper wreaths… but WOW was I knackered at the end! Christmas is a time when people want the paper wreaths, so I need to prepare them early so I have enough, I definitely learned that last time. However, the advance orders are also good as people can choose their colours to match their Xmas decorations.
The Husband likes to attend car boot sales… Bit too early for my own tastes, although he does bring home some nice old saws for me to upcyle now that he is trained… and I get a lie-in, a wake up coffee and the Sunday papers along with his latest proffering at a civilized hour too, so all is well.
However, yesterday he appeared with some HIDEOUS pictures!!!!! They are nautical oil paintings in gnarly frames, but a bargain at £1 each. He was very pleased with his purchase, and wants them up in the house somewhere, (not that we have much wall space going, and they are not really going to sit alongside the Tracey Emin or Julyan Davis pictures that well…).
So an upcycle was in order after a lengthy discussion that went somewhere along the lines of:
HUSBAND: “Look! These are quality! They will look great hung up, I love them…”
WIFE: “Over my dead body matey…”
And so on and so on. We needed to reach some sort of compromise so I decided to at least have a go at making them look better.
The actual oil paintings are not too bad when out of the frames so I tried to find paint for the existing frames to bring out the colours in the scenes. I found some duck egg blue and taupe chalk paint in a cupboard, (yes, it’s an Annie Sloane moment again), to compliment the tones in the oils, then applied two different shades of wax to tone down the colours, and actually they now look much better. It took all of an hour, and equilibrium now applies to marital bliss.
1. Remove oils from frames
2. Sand down frames if they have any lacquer on (the inner frames did on these ones)
3. Apply a couple of coats of Chalk Paint (although I think any paint will suffice), and find colours to bring out the tones of the painting as well as to compliment your decor scheme.
4. When the paint is dry, first apply a coat of clear wax. Then add a smidgeon of darker wax straight away and blend in to create an overall darker tone/patina. Don’t overload the rag or it will end up looking very french shabby chic as the dark wax will get stuck in any crevices.
5. Buff to a soft sheen. Replace pictures in the frames and stand back to admire your amazing handiwork!
I love botanical prints, and have many old ones over the house. However, I had a space for some artwork and some box frames lying about, so decided to make my own modern version of botanical prints. They looked great, and I sell mine a lot, they can even be customised for clients with text:
Using royalty free images found on-line, I pick one image and then print it up either on aged paper or pages from old books, in varying scales of size, about 5 copies per image. It needs to be strongly coloured to work well. Then I cut them out carefully with a scalpel. Mounting them is trial and error, starting with the biggest at the rear and then building them up. Pinching and curling some leaves etc added to the 3D effect. Using small pieces of sponge cut to size and a glue gun, you attach each layer so it protrudes.
You can also print straight onto old pages if you do not want to do a 3D effect. I used old encyclopedia pages, and printed the botanicals straight on top of them:
I have now started on birds and trees: