Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Have Paint, Will Redecorate

Over the last few months I've painted the kitchen, and chosen a color scheme  for decorating the rest of the room.  Slowly but surely I'm making progress on the job.  With a bit of revamping, some of the artwork and knickknacks now fit the new look of the room.  All it took was some acrylic paint from the craft store.

This painting is one of my favorite pieces.  It's by Bro.Cletus Behlmann, a Marianist Brother who grew up here and went to college in the area. I bought the painting for a good price at a charity auction in the mid 1990s, probably because it was surrounded by an avocado-green mat that was't "in" at the time.

Back then my kitchen was country yellow and blue, so my first mat renovation was a medium blue which mirrored the color of the border.  Several years later when the walls became a soft peach, I repainted the mat the color you see here.  Doesn't it look out of place leaning against my new khaki walls?  It was time for another change.

Here's the same painting with a new mat color.  Ironically, now it's probably close to the original avocado!

The first step in picking a new shade was to take a photo of the painting with my cell phone camera.  At the craft store, I was able to compare that photo to the bottles of acrylic on the shelf.  Because the paint aisle was at the very back of the store, with no natural light available, I picked the two bottles that I thought were the closest in color.

Back home, I brushed out samples of both colors and chose the one that looked the best.  Carefully taking the picture out of the frame, I used a craft brush to apply a coat of paint to the mat.  After it dried I applied a second coat, let it dry again, and put everything back together.

Here's another example of what a difference a coat of paint can make.  The rattan mirror that Pepper is enjoying has also been in the kitchen for quite some time, leaning against the wall on top of the cabinets.   I believe it was white when I bought it at a garage sale. It got painted a bright blue, which really stood out against the light colored wall. In it's next incarnation, it changed to the light moss green color you see here.  Now that color is gone, too.

I think this basil color is much more sophisticated, don't you?  I used the bottle of acrylic paint that didn't make the cut for the mat project.  The frame was dirty from being above the cabinets, so I gave it a good wash and let it dry before I started painting. I didn't have to take anything apart for this job, but since I'm a messy painter I put a piece of blue painter's tape around the perimeter of the mirror to keep paint off of it.

Now that these projects are done, I can turn my attention to all the others that await.


  1. I really like the colors you have chosen. We are about to gut our bathroom and put in a new tub, toilet and vanity. Since the tub, sink and toilet will be white, I want to go with a color scheme similar to yours. As much as I love stark white towels, our hard water makes it hard tyo keep them white, so I am thinking I want towles in sage .........

  2. Kathy, fantastic ideas and colors. I love how you painted the matt, not changed the entire photo, awesome!

    Since I bought this house it's been renovations galore, my entire house WAS pink and not a nice pink neither.

    I've done my upstairs bathroom, office and hallway, my bedroom is a work in progress. The living room, dining area and kitchen are now done and it's sure feeling like home now, I just can't wait to get it done! If you want to take a peek my reons started in Aug. of last year. I'm pleased with my work! :-)

    Have a great day!

  3. It's great that you are totally unafraid to play with color. I always spend so much time trying to decide that I get frustrated. I think I'm afraid to make a mistake, but as you illustrate here - just paint it again!

  4. It is amazing what a difference those small changes made. It is totally inspiring :) And I've been eyeing a few things around my house that could use a different look (ever painted a light fixture?).

  5. Kristi, here's a link that'll take you to a site that walks you through painting a light fixture, you can google or YouTube this and I'm sure that you'll find something that'll work for what you have in mind.


    Kathy, I hope you don't mind me posting on your comments here. I was in the area! :-) I'd love to hear your experiences of painting light fixtures if you've done so as well. I've got a white ceiling fan that looks like I might attempt something like this someday.

    Have a fantastic day.

  6. I agree...that is such a pretty color!

  7. Color choices always make me crazy. It's amazing how a mat will change the whole look of a painting. I can see why you like that painting so much. It really raises your spirit.