Saturday, November 3, 2012

Fast, Fun Frames

When I was in Boston recently, Lovely Daughter #2 and I did a fast, fun decorating project to cover a large expanse of bare wall in her bedroom. First, we scored some cute wooden frames for a mere $2 each at a weekly, outdoors flea market:

We gave them a light sanding, first with 80-grit, then 120-grit sandpaper:

We wanted paint that didn't require a separate primer because, well, we're impatient. At the local hardware store, we found the persimmon and glossy white shades we wanted right away. But no paint was the right shade of bright turquoise.

I finally found the perfect shade we wanted--on the outside of a paint can. So an employee sliced off a bit of the paper label, computer-scanned it, and made us a match. Perfect!:

Here's the persimmon color we chose:

After sanding the frames, we laid them out on her deck (the little frame under her arm is taped off with a grocery bag and blue painter's tape because it has a mirror in it):

Here's the arrangement we liked. Hint: To "remember" an arrangement like this, take a photo of it on your smart phone:

Then we got to work painting, on a patio table covered with a cheap sheet of plastic (and anchored down with canned beans):

We used little brushes that were only about a dollar a pop, because perfection wasn't our goal, here. More like shabby chic:

Never did use those stir sticks. Maybe they'll come in handy for some other project:

We painted the front and back of each frame with two coats. I sweet-talked a neighbor doing some construction out of a few scraps of wood so we could elevate the frames off our working surface:

And as the frames dried, we kept them elevated with wooden clothespins on top of another cut-up grocery bag:

The painted frames hung out on her deck for a while, drying:

And here they are, up on her wall! LD#2 will fill some of them with wire mesh to hold cards, jewelry, and mementos (she's begun on one frame, below left). She plans to fill the other frames with pretty fabric and may leave a few leave empty:

We only used a tiny bit of the paint. But LD#2 has plans for the leftovers. There's her second-hand wood desk and chair. Two large framed mirrors. And if there's still paint left, who knows what's next?

So, here's the breakdown:
o Eight frames, $16
o Three brushes, $3
o Plastic drop cloth, maybe $2
o Paint, $18 a can, for a total of $54--but we used maybe $6 worth for this project

Total cost: around $29. 

Not counting the drying time, this project took only a couple of hours spread over two days. And it netted her a large expanse of her bedroom wall covered in a cute, Anthropologie sort of look. Not bad, huh?

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