Quick Project: Striped Frames

striped_framesI found the picture frame at the left when I was cruising around the internet.  It was pretty much the type of frame I needed for a particular project I had in mind.

However, there were two problems:  first off, the frame I found, the one in the picture here, came in that color green.  And that’s the wrong color green.  I needed a slightly darker, less olive green than what’s pictured here.

But that’s not important.  Color’s not important, because the second problem with this frame was that the asking price was . . . wait for it . . . $120.  Yes.  Apparently, the child in the photo comes with the frame.

Needless to say, when I saw the $120 price tag, I quite naturally backed off and closed the computer down for fear that I might mistakenly bump a couple of keys and put that obscenely-expensive frame into “my cart.”

A couple days later, I was back, looking for more frames.  And I found them.  And this time, they were a real bargain:  only $40.  They looked nice and were mostly (again) what I wanted . . . though the colors weren’t perfect and the price was still (in my opinion) high.

I was just about to toss them into “my cart” when inspiration hit me:  I work at RepcoLite.  I deal with paint all day long.  Why in the world would I buy a frame like that for $120 or even for $40 when I could turn a frame I already own into the same thing for free?

See, I’ve got the perfect frame at home–it’s just got a gold-leaf look to it and I don’t want that anymore.  I also have a couple quarts of two different greens at home because I painted a dresser earlier this year for the same room.  From there, I put it all together and came up with a great, quick, simple, money-saving project that I’m going to pass along to you as today’s “Quick Hitter.”

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 quarts Hallmark Ceramic paint in your desired colors (check your basement shelves or stop out at RepcoLite!)
  • 1 can of flat black spray paint
  • 1 picture frame
  • Sandpaper
  • Brush
  • 3M Safety Release Blue Painter’s Tape
  • Old newspaper or a plastic dropcloth to protect your work area.

How to Do It:

This project is about as simple as it gets.  Just start by doing a light scuff sanding of your picture frame (with the glass removed, of course).  Just dust over it to take some of the shine down–you’re not trying to bring it down to bare wood!

Once you’ve done that, wipe it clean with a dry rag.

After wiping it down, place the frame on a large sheet of plastic and spray paint it lightly with your FLAT black spray paint.  Don’t try to make the first coat cover if it doesn’t seem to want to.  Multiple light coats are much better than a single heavy coat.

Once the frame is coated solidly black and is completely dry, take your lighter color of Hallmark paint and apply it to the entire frame.  If you need a second coat, apply it when the first coat has finished.

Now, once that initial color has dried (overnight to be safe), take your special 1″ Safe Release 3M Painter’s Tape (you’ll notice it should have an ORANGE cardboard core) and apply it in straight lines down your frame.

To mimic the look of the frame above, just run the tape down the parts or areas of the frame where you want the original color–the lighter color you first painted–to show through.  Leave the other areas untaped and  paint over them with your darker color.  As soon as you’ve finished, carefully remove the tape.  You don’t want to pull it too quickly or it could lift your original coat of paint off.  (And, just a quick note:  that’s why we recommend using 3M’s Safe Release Blue Tape.  Any other tape is lightly going to cause problems).

Once you’ve removed your tape (and have let the frame dry), you should have a chic, hip and happening striped frame that you can incorporate into your decorating.  If you want to get fancier yet, go ahead and scuff the frame slightly to distress it, bringing out the undercoat of black along the edges.

Conclusion and Suggestions

Now, possibly, this project sounds complicated and long, but let me assure you:  it’s not.  You should be able to easily accomplish it with a total work time of about 1 hour per frame (at the very most).  Doing multiple frames at the same times will also save you a fair amount of time.

And finally, if you decide to give this project a try, go ahead and get creative beyond the scope that I’ve already described: Alternate the color patterns on multiple frames, vary the sizes of the stripes.  Run the stripes up and down on some frames and side to side on others.   Overall, just have fun with it and realize that with the right paint and a little creativity and energy, you can duplicate almost anything you see at a home decor store–for pennies on the dollar!

Quick Project: Framed Handprints

blueframe_handprint

If you’re looking for a quick project that can make a huge impact in a room, check this one out!

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 Quart Hallmark Ceramic Matte Paint from RepcoLite (it’s the best, afterall!)
  • 1 Quart RepcoLite’s Prime-All Waterbased Primer
  • 1 picture frame
  • 1 scrap of wallpaper (or decorative paper) big enough to fit in frame
  • A few sheets of heavy-duty artist paper
  • Some old newspapers (to protect your work area)
  • An old paper grocery bag
  • Double-sided tape or photo adhesive

How to Do It:

This is a great project that will take you very little time, but that will pay off big in terms of visual “pop” in your home.

Just start with a standard picture frame. If it’s already stained and finished, then do a light sanding with some 150 grit paper and prime with RepcoLite’s Waterbased Prime-All primer. Once it’s dry, apply the Hallmark Ceramic Matte finish paint in whatever color you selected using either a roller or a brush.

Set the frame aside to dry (with Hallmark, it will only take about 30 minutes or so to dry).

While the frame is drying, take your scrap of wallpaper or your decorative paper (picked up cheaply at any hobby store with scrapbooking supplies) and cut it to fit inside the frame.  (A simple way to do this is to save the paper insert that came with your frame.  Use this as a template).

Anyway, cut the wallpaper or decorative paper to fit the frame and set it aside.

Once you’ve got these things accomplisblackframe_handprint2hed, it’s time to create the handprint in the center.  Now, this is not a difficult process, but there are a few things to know that will make your results turn out well.  First, you’ve probably seen this done before (at school) where the handprint is “globby” and, well, for lack of a better word…ugly.  The reason this happens is because kids usually mash their hands down on the paper while they’re covered with way, way, WAY too much paint.

The easy way to fix that is this:  carefully brush the paint you used to paint the picture frame onto your child’s hand (if you’ve used Hallmark Ceramic, it’s perfectly harmless–though you will want to supervise for obvious reasons).  Making sure your child doesn’t touch everything in site or eat the paint, help your child press his or her hand onto a paper grocery bag.  Do this a number of times until you start to see a clearly defined handprint.  Once you get to that point, shift from the paper bag to the sheets of heavy duty white artist’s paper.  Help them firmly press their hand onto the paper and then help them lift their hand off without smudging the print.

Maybe make a couple just to be sure you get a good one and, while those are drying, wash your hands and clean up your supplies.

When everything’s dry, cut the handprint paper down and tape it or affix it using photo adhesive to the center of the wallpaper scrap.  Mount everything in your frame, hang it up and there you go:  something cool, something unique, something that will serve as a great memory and something that will add some visual pop and interest to your room!

Meet Michael Mayosky, ArtPrize Artist

mayosky_5This week, I’ve been spotlighting some of the ArtPrize artists who RepcoLite was fortunate enough to work with during this year’s contest.  Today, I want to show you some of the work done by Michael Mayosky.

Michael’s from Illinois and he’s tackled one of the most ambitious ArtPrize projects I’ve seen:  a 5-story mural on the side of the Goodspeed Lofts building on Grandville Ave. in Grand Rapids.

I stopped by and spoke with Michael yesterday and was surprised to hear that none of this painting was worked out ahead of time–none of it.  He simply pulled into Grand Rapids a couple weeks ago, took a long look at the side of the building and started painting what came to mind.

It’s an amazing piece and it’s easily going to be one of the highlights of ArtPrize this year.  Be sure to get there and check it out in person.  But, in case you can’t make it . . . or to whet your appetite . . . here are some shots of the work in progress.

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Meet Dan Fenelon, Art Prize Artist

danfenelonArtPrize starts tomorrow–it’s a huge art competition in Grand Rapids involving, among other things, a Grand Prize of $250,000.

It’s an amazing event that will draw thousands and thousands of visitors from all over West Michigan and beyond to see the works of over 1,700 artists from all over the world.

Today I want to briefly introduce you to one of these artists, Dan Fenelon.

Dan’s a mural artist (among other things) who’s created a huge, 30′ x 120′ mural on the side of the Witters building in Grand Rapids. This building houses The Dwelling Place and Ferguson Dental Center and is now home to an enormous, colorful mural painted entirely with RepcoLite Paints.

Early this summer, Dan contacted RepcoLite and made arrangements for us to supply all of the paint he’d need for this bold, bright and colorful mural. We were happy to comply and, after seeing the results, we’re thrilled to be associated with Dan’s work.

So often, our exterior paint is made up in the colors of the day: clays, taupes, greys, forest greens . . . and occasional burgundy for a front door . . . you get the idea. It’s not often that we get to go nuts and show people that our paint can be as bold and bright and powerful as they can imagine. It just takes some creativity and you can do wonders!

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And that’s not just true in the art world. I’m hoping people will see Dan’s work for Art Prize and will start to realize that they can make a powerful statement in (and on) their own homes. Oh, maybe not as bold or crazy as Dan’s work–but still, something that stands head and shoulders above the crowd.

Anyway, check out Dan’s mural during Art Prize and be sure to cast your vote for him!