Before you refurbish your decor you should choose a spot to set up your craft area. This space should be well lit, have plenty of space for your project, and easy to clean up.
I use my stove top because I’m not cooking on it much in the summer time and I have plenty of counter space for my paints, brushes, water cup, etc. The stove is a great place because most people have a microwave light, which really helps when you’re doing DIY projects!
If you want clean up to be easier you can lay down a few sheets of wax paper. I usually tape them together so everything stays in place as I work.
*I’ve received several e-mails asking about the wax warmer and salt & pepper shakers in the photo! The warmer and warmer stand are from scentsy(red poppies model), and the salt & pepper shakers were from a paint your own pottery workshop at a nearby art studio.
Refurbish Your Decor
Step 1: Choose a piece of wall art that you already have and would like to make it look like something new.
This wooden wall art matched the color scheme at my old apartment. After several attempts at trying to incorporate it into our new home decor….I decided it’s time to DIY it into something new!
Originally, this wooden wall decor was a natural dark brown(just wood with a nice finish). It was pretty but I got tired of brown, so I decided to paint it.
For that DIY project I used spray paints only.
Using spray paint is faster and can be easier if you have the right shades and know what you’re doing. I used a deep teal, champagne metallic, and a matte clear coat for finishing the look.
The picture to the left is of the back of my wall decor piece. I didn’t have a photo of the front before the first time I painted it, so luckily the back was untouched!
As you can see, it was beautiful as-is but sometimes you just need a little changed!
Step 2: Choose a color scheme object(piece of inspiration) from the room you’re going to hang your wall art in.
This is SO important(especially if you don’t have an eye for choosing colors or putting a room together).
I got lucky and had a colorful glass coaster that I use for my dish soap.
My bathroom is kinda plain except for the accessories, so if you have a fun shower curtain or towel set you can use that as your inspiration!
*TIP: If you don’t have anything in the room you’re decorating then choose something. The glass coaster in my bathroom isn’t meant to go in a bathroom…it’s part of a tropical drink set….but that doesn’t matter. It’s pretty, it adds a little pop of color, and it’s perfect for matching with other decor.
Step 3: Choose your medium and colors. Match them to your color scheme object and keep it all together as you paint.
I grabbed more paint colors than I needed because sometimes the colors I choose don’t work out as well as I imagined they would.
I pick my favorites and squirt a little dab of the other shades next to each other and my color scheme object. This makes it so much easier to choose the best paints(looking at the bottle just isn’t enough sometimes!
*TIP: In my opinion, acrylic paints are easiest to work with. Of course, the type of paint or medium you choose will depend on what type of surface you’re painting.
Step 4: Start simple. Depending on your skills….you can be creative with this part!
I usually start with choosing the accent color.
This should be a color that compliments your color scheme object, but will not be the dominant color for your wall art.
Step 5: Paint your accent areas and make sure you don’t apply too much paint.
It’s best to do two thin coats rather than one thick coat for most DIY projects.
Step 6: Choose a paint pattern or technique that will compliment the shape, size, and colors of your DIY wall art.
If you can’t decide or you’re not sure where to start you may want to do a quick sketch with colored pencils to get an idea of what your finished wall art will look like.
*TIP: I’m definitely guilty of thinking too much about a DIY project! Try not to overthink it because if you do that…..you’ll literally never finish…literally!
A quick sketch is a great idea, but if you are able to visualize your ideas then I say go for it! Just do it…if you mess up it doesn’t really matter because you can just try again. There’s no such thing as “messing up” when it comes to DIY….in my opinion 🙂 .
Step 7: Paint your wall art one color at a time unless you plan to do some wet blending.
If you choose spray paint as your medium…paint with one color at a time and let each coat dry completely before spraying the next coat or color!
I get most of my spray paint at ACE Hardware, Wal-Mart, and sometimes Lowe’s(but they are a little more expensive). Choose brands that have the classic style sprayer…those rarely break and I’ve had a lot of trouble with the other type of sprayers(on most Krylon brand spray paints).
There’s also a really neat spray paint blender. You have to work quickly, but it looks awesome! It’s called “Reflections” and it comes in a slightly smaller can than the regular shades.
Step 8: More painting!
Refine the areas that you like and change the ones you don’t like. If you’re having trouble blending colors or you feel that your design needs a little softening….use a small, feathery paint brush to bring together harsh transitions with some light glittery paint/metallics/etc.
At this point I’m hoping I can fix this disaster of light green streaks without having to start completely over!
“The second I added the light green in the “cracks” of the wood, I regretted it.”
Instead of stopping and trying to cover it up…I decided to keep going with my original idea. In my opinion, you might as well go all the way if you’re going to do it!
Eventually, the design started to grow on me and I told myself that I would make it look good with the next color/step.
*TIP: When painting with layers don’t worry about the layers that you feel “mess it up” or just don’t look right. Not every layer is going to look great, but they have a purpose! The end result is what matters, so don’t dwell on it and keep painting!
Step 9: Get a visual by putting your decor in the room you plan to hang it in(don’t forget your color scheme/inspirational object)!
This is a step that some of you need, and some of you can skip. Personally, I don’t do this because if I’m close to being done then I’m probably more than ready to finish it and move on. Another reason why I don’t try it out before I finish is because I always spend a lot of time on my DIY projects and starting would literally drive me crazy.
For those of you that are”quick crafters”….you probably have time to check it because making a few changes isn’t going to take long. Not only that, but you’ve only spent 30 minutes-1 hour on your DIY project where I’ve spent 5 hours on the same thing. You’re not a perfectionist, but in my opinion that’s much better than spending too long on something!
Lastly, if you took your time choosing your color scheme, paints, etc. then you already know it’s going to look good! It’s also important that the room is already somewhat put together. For example, your walls should already be painted to your liking and things like furniture or large wall decor & art/shower curtains & rugs should already be in place(and complimentary to your color scheme, of course)!
“So…I took my own advice and tried out my DIY wall art before considering it finished. I’m glad I did because I don’t like it that much. Even though it’s not perfect….I’ve decided to leave it up and seal/finish it later. This is a serious problem I have with craft projects, but it works for me! Remember to do what works for you too!”
Step 10: You’re ready to seal and hang your DIY work of art!
There are a few different ways you can seal your project. My favorites are mod podge, clear spray paint(matte, gloss, or UV for outdoor projects), other sealers(varnish, crackle, satin, etc.) made by mod podge and other brands.
Even if you don’t use spray paint as your medium….you can still use a spray sealer to finish it off. I love spray sealing projects because it’s quick and easy!
If you don’t want to refurbish your decor…
Just stop by your local thrift store and pick out something to paint! When shopping at thrift stores remember to think about the potential that an item has. Most people overlook beautiful decor because it’s the wrong color or it looks too worn. With a little DIY magic you can literally transform anything! So save some dollars and turn something old into something new again!
Here are a few thrift store finds that I’m currently working on:
Coming Soon: 5 More Ways to Refurbish Your Decor!
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