I just completed a series of three pieces of art for my master bedroom. They are the symbols @, & and *. It took me about 5-6 hours for each painting.
About 6 weeks ago, I saw an ad on Craigslist for a bunch of old Pei Wei table tops for $10 each. The owner was replacing them all. I bought 8 of them. I knew I could do some sort of art on them.
Some of them even had gum stuck to the bottom! Gross.
So, I decided to make my first table top paintings for my master bedroom wall.
The original inspiration, which can be found in the master bedroom story board, was:
The inspirational aspect is the general blue color, off-white contrasting elements and the graphic nature.
I wanted something a bit more contemporary for the room, though. So, I drew up a plan on Photoshop. I wanted the series of three paintings that will go over the sofa in my master bedroom to look something like this.
I went with a deep teal color in the end (mixed my own color) because I wanted the painted chair to stand out and nothing else to be as bright in the room.
I am sure there must be some short cuts or better ways to do this, but here is how I created the art. Mistakes and all!
- Canvas or wood. (The tutorial will be about using wood, as I used old Pei Wei table tops that were 2 feet x 3 feet.)
- Paint brushes (I used several sizes including 1 inch, 3 inch and craft size.).
- Paint. (I used Valspar sample sizes from Lowe’s as well as acrylic craft paints.)
- A drawing or plan of what you want to create.
- Paper towels.
- Sand paper if you are using wood that has a finish on it like I did.
- Paint pen for outlining the symbols.
- Optional: pencil or tracing paper.
1. Prepare the surface of the wood. Sand down any clear coat finish that is present. I used 200 grit sand paper. Then, wipe off the dust you created from sanding.
2. I wasn’t sure how to create a template large enough for my art. Ideally, you can print out an image and trace it with tracing paper onto the wood, but my printer cannot handle such a large image. Rather than send it to a professional printer for printing or to prepare and print it on nine separate sheets of paper, I decided to freehand draw each image.
I started out trying to use a pencil. It didn’t show well on the wood. I then went to tracing paper. Without an image to trace, you’re pretty blind while going at it that way. So, I ended up just using a paint pen and drawing, knowing I could correct any messed up lines. And, believe me, there were messed up lines. The worst was the ampersand. I’ll show it here.
It’s pretty messed up, but work at it, it WILL get better.
3. Start to paint inside your lines (if you know which ones are the right ones).
I painted the white inside first.
On the ampersand, my technique was to do well within the lines and then come back and do the edges.
You can see the little drawing next to it. That was the only thing I had to base it on. So, I just drew and painted as I looked at it. You can see all of the oopsy lines left over.
4. Then, paint the blue.
Again, I started in the middle first and then did the edges carefully.
Notice the Jersey Shore painting in the background of the photo above. My “little sister” was painting that one. Her idea.
5. Obviously, this isn’t a step that you want to take, but once I finished the first coat of the blue, I changed my mind on the color. I decided to tone it down. I loved the original color, but I didn’t want anything in the room competing with my painted chair. I just got messy and went over the white some, knowing I could fix it later.
But alas, it still wasn’t the right color for the room. So, we decided to do a deep teal.
5. It took two coats of blue and two coats of white in the end. As you go, just keep correcting any issues that you notice with the shape.
6. Paint the sides black in order to make it look more finished and to cover up any paint that dripped over the edge.
7. Touch up, touch up, touch up. Keep touching it up until you get it just right.
I used a paint pen for some of my touch ups, but a brush was really just as easy.
8. Add a clear coat to seal it. I used a glossy brush on lacquer coat just to make it look more finished.
My husband did the clear coat for us. We chose to do it in the garage due to the strong smell.
9. Congrats you have a new piece of art!
Mistakes/ Things to Note:
On the asterisk, the tracing paper marks showed through AFTER we put the clear coat on. Not sure why.
So, we taped it off with the green frog tape (I recommend that specifically). Then, sanded just the white part. Repainted. Resealed.
Stay tuned to see them in the master bedroom! Let me know if you make this art for your home!