Remember when I shared our
possessed painting that jumped off the wall cheap painting that we got for $20 at a yard sale…
… and mentioned that we:
- mostly liked the size of it and the chunky frame (which actually came with a little dent in it – a total sign that this guy was a trouble-maker)
- weren’t in love with the art itself (it just felt sort of generic and hotel-ish in person)
Yes? Me too.
And then remember when a bunch of you (seriously, like at least a dozen of you guys) recommended that we do some sort of letter stenciling over it like this genius creation by Emily Von Henderson or this masterpiece by A Beautiful Mess (psst – you can check out other awesome painting-words-over-things art projects here, here, and here).
Yes? Me too.
Well… we were sold. And the deed is DONE!
We debated just leaving the letters unpainted and covering the rest of the canvas with white paint, but actually liked the idea of white letters with the painting as the background. And it was actually really simple. Seriously, the hardest thing was deciding what we wanted our dining room wall to be saying to us every day. But we finally landed on an oldie but a goodie: All You Need Is Love. Ain’t that the truth? It somehow has:
- an ode to one of my favorite bands (my dad and I know nearly every word to every album & even watch old Beatles movies together)
- part of our blog name (same last name, haha)
- a positive general message (it’s not a bad reminder for any of us)
- a classic feeling that we hope is timeless (it shouldn’t feel “so last year” like Lady Gaga’s meat dress or The Bieb’s old haircut)
So for all of the above reasons, we went for it. The next step was faking this baby in photoshop first, just to help us picture it. Here’s a quick photoshop rendering that I threw together to see what we liked:
I definitely don’t think you need photoshop to visualize this though. We just had it on hand, but if you don’t I think a free program like gimp could work equally well just for laying type over a basic image and seeing what fries your bacon. Aaaand we’re back to meat.
Anyway, we realized that we wanted each letter to be about 5″ tall and the typeface we preferred was Optima Bold (with a point size of 507 which got it to be exactly 5″ tall). How did we know we needed the letters to be 5″ tall? I just noticed in the rendering above that the stripe of green in the middle of the painting was about the height of those letters on top of it. So I walked over to the painting, asked it not to jump off the wall on me, and very gingerly measured that green stripe. Five inches tall = the answer.
Then I printed each letter out in a very light grayscale ink (to save money/ink) on card stock (only one letter fit on each page, but I saved all my leftover cuttings for Clara-projects so it wasn’t too bad) and I was left with this:
After I cut them each out carefully with a scissors (and an x-acto knife when they had interior sections to cut like the O and the D), they looked like this:
Then I placed them all on my painting so I could figure out the spacing…
… and used a light pencil line traced around each one directly onto the painted canvas.
That way when I lifted them off it was literally just a good old fashioned game of fill-in-the-lines, which I did with white acrylic paint and a small craft brush.
It only took one coat, and that’s all she wrote.
The result = something that feels modern but still has those soft tones and texture behind it. It really is a fun way to update a piece that kinda feels hotel-ish and mass produced. All of a sudden it’s all yours (picking what it says, and even choosing things like the size, the color, and the typeface suddenly makes you feel like it’s sweet and personal).
Oh and I had originally planned to paint the frame white but the wood tones in the frame tie into the exact warm oak-y color of the buffet where the paint is chipping off, so there’s something kind of sweet about leaving him naked. And John was on the No-Paint Frame Train (choo choo) so he further convinced me to leave it be for now. I’m actually loving it as-is.
As for the cost, this update was free (since we just used what we had on hand like existing printer ink, white acrylic paint, and card stock from our stash) and the actual project total was $20 if you include the loot we doled out at that yard sale for the art itself. Not bad for a personalized painting that’s over three feet wide, right? Now let’s just hope this guy doesn’t dive off the wall again anytime soon. I like to think he did that out of boredom but now that he’s more entertained by his outfit it’ll be cool from now on.
This really was an easy, cheap, and satisfying project. So if you have an old canvas, print, photo, or poster that you’re feeling meh about (or you find something ok-but-not-amazing at a thrift store) a $2 tube of white acrylic paint, a small paint brush, and a printer might be all you need to fall in love with the guy. Oh yeah and a scissors. You need those too. And you need a sentence that you like enough to stare at for a while. But that’s the fun part!
What did you guys do this weekend? Is anyone else painting over art? Were you all out yard sale-ing? It rained for about 70% of our weekend, so I totally want a do-over. Who’s with me?
Psst- Wanna know where we got something in our house or what paint color we used? Just click on this button:
andrea @ my kinda perfect says
looks awesome! love the message and the ease of creating! =)
Seriously Sassy Mama says
Too funny. I am working on just the same thing, but with a different saying.
Charming and ties in well with the Moby globe!
Love it! It seems like the perfect fix. I really love how modern the letters look on top of that plain jane beach scene. It’s great!
What a great idea for getting use out of a painting you don’t really like. Love stencilled letters. Am in the planning stage of doing some inside some wardrobe doors at the moment. Something to bring a smile every time you open the door.
That’s really fun!
Amanda G says
Um…well…what can I say…THIS IS MY FAVORITE THING EVER! It looks beautiful and just perfect for that location. A-MAZ-ING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Looks great! Totally an easy way to personalize and update a piece of art! :)
I vote for a weekend do-over also. I live in Tampa, Florida and my good pal Isaac is still crampin’ my style!
Aw man, hope you’re staying dry!
All we did in our house this weekend was celebrate birthdays. Seriously — three birthdays three days in a row! So the weekend was full of wrapping paper, cupcakes, cards, banners, and so much happiness. :-)
Erin @ WriteTasty says
Love that idea for updating an otherwise generic painting! And absolutely love the sentiment behind it!
Kelly M says
Way, way, way better! Isn’t it amazing what a person can do with some garage sale art? I don’t think I will ever buy super expensive canvases at the craft store again. I recently made some huge ombre art for our basement out of a garage sale find. One super ugly painting sanded with the palm sander and then smooshed with paint = free art for our basement (bonus that it covers up the electrical box!).
Awesome! Ten bucks is a steal!
Julie (from Pocketful of Joules) says
Love this project and also love the whole immediate gratification of getting a whole project done in a short amount of time (I currently have mini projects living in various areas of my house).
I also vote for a weekend do-over. I was supposed to go to a wine festival with a friend on a girls day with no babies and it totally got rained out. BOO!
The rainy weekend in RVA was just what we needed to finally work on house projects. Nice sneak preview of fall!
I LOVE this! I’m feeling so inspired! Thanks for sharing this idea because it seems so accessible to most people.Good work, Lovers :)
Robin @ our semi organic life says
I love this idea! So fresh and easy. Great way to use what you got but make a great upgrade! Love it!
That turned out so cool! I love it! What a great idea for updating art that you’re not emotionally tied to.
Love it! Will definitely try this!
I took care of my husband and twin boys all weekend… Man colds galore!! Ruined the whole weekend!
Long time reader, but not much of a commenter… but today I had to make an exception… this is a great afternoon project! I am so super impressed, and am going to be on the lookout for cheap yard sale art I can transform in a similar way. Thanks for being awesome
John @ Our Home From Scratch says
and donuts. Love and donuts.
Looks beautiful!! Nice project.
Haha and Oreos!
Love this! I actually liked the painting to begin with, so I’m glad you didn’t completely paint over it. Great job!
Julia @ Chris Loves Julia says
How cool! I had to scroll back up to make sure it was the same painting in the background because it suddenly looks so fresh!
This weekend, Chris and I escaped for an overnighter and saw WICKED!!
It was fabulous on so many levels.
Rebecca @This Nest is Best says
Oh. Em. Gee. I LOOOOVE it! What a fantastic update!
We were at an outdoor wedding this weekend where it POURED rain for the first 15 minutes. I held an umbrella over the reader’s podium so the microphone didn’t die. But it was a beautiful ceremony and they’re married, so it was successful!
Are you guys aware that Joss and Main is selling this very same piece in its Virgo Collection for $319.95? It’s called Shoreline Framed Wall Art.
After you guys got it for $20 and called it ‘hotel-ish” on your blog, I’m sure everyone’s just jumping to buy the $300 verion of it ;)
BTW – love what you guys did here!
No way! Is it exactly the same with the frame and everything? Off to check it out. Art is definitely “in the eye of the beholder” – haha. So I bet folks love it as-is too. I had seen some un-framed ones that looked like it but nothing framed.
Stephanie Phillips says
Shut the front door! Here it is:
Too, too funny!!
OMG you’re so right, it’s the exact same!
I found it for you, Sherry. It looks pretty darn similar. How crazy is that? Unless Joss and Main acquired it after your post about it? You guys are such trendsetters! ; ) https://www.jossandmain.com/Zodiac-Virgo-Shoreline-Framed-Wall-Art~HKH1037~E1886.html
Wow that’s crazy! It looks identical! I always assumed the yard sale couple bought it a while ago, but maybe since places like HomeGoods and Joss&Main sometimes sell overstock items at a discount, maybe there’s a crate full of them from a while back that’s now for sale? No idea!
[email protected] Decor Scene says
holy cow, I just looked at them side by side and it’s the same painting. Aren’t you guys cool!!! Score of YHL!!!
All I can say is WOW WOW WOW!
Even the unframed canvas is selling for over $200 on Overstock. So funny! http://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/Caroline-Gold-Shoreline-Unframed-Canvas-Art/4745952/product.html
That’s so crazy!
Stephanie N says
You guys are like the master bargain finders!!!
Between your rug in the bedroom and this painting that is CRAZY! and FUN!!
Kristen | Popcorn on the Stove says
Clever fix to the painting! I like that the words are white instead of the background (which I’ve seen a lot of).
So cool! I would have never thought of that! Awesome :)
Ellen C says
Laura Broder says
LOVE it! One of my favorite quotes of all time.
I did a bunch of home projects this weekend, including finishing up our master bathroom, which I’m in love with:
You definitely need a do-over from a rainy weekend!!!
So sweet!! Lova that quote!
Wow, what a fix! I really like this idea… guess I’ll have to keep my eyes peeled for yard sale art :)
Looks great, really fun! I am on team paint-the-frame-white though!
Love it! I was never a huge Beatles fan until our trip to Maui where our good friends were caretakers for one of the band members estate. That’s right! We even got to stay there.. in the guest house. Mums the word though… I don’t think we were technically supposed to be there. Now I am a HUGE Beatles fan. :)
Ahhhhhh! That’s amazing! My dad and aunt went to a concert and my aunt actually touched them when they walked by. I always hold her hands and say “I’m touching the Beatles.” Haha.
That looks so great! It’s such a simple update, but it makes a huge difference! Well done!
Jess @ Little House. Big Heart. says
All you need is love… And ice cream!
I love how it turned out! I’ve been Considering something similar for a painting in our bedroom but I have no idea what phrase to put on it!
Lynn @ Our Useful Hands says
That looks so nice. It large scale demands your eye to notice it once you step in the room. It warms up a room in an instant with just it’s words. Great job Sherry.
My best, Lynn
My hubby and I did a free project this weekend also. We made a side table out of old metal milk crates! It turned out awesome! You can see it on our blog here: http://www.tudorsdownblog.com/2012/08/milk-crate-table.html
So much fun!
Wow! I think you may need an alternate nickname – steady-hand Sherry. Your white letters are perfect! Those letters would look totally different it I attempted to do them (they would look awful). Well done!
Aw thanks! My tip is a tiny craft brush. Much easier to control.
Wow, I love simple cool projects! I made easy margaritas this weekend if that counts for a cool project? I think the fact they involved Popsicles and were in mason jars makes them cool. http://thefirstapartment.blogspot.com/2012/08/easy-margaritas.html
I love all the weekend updates and projects everyone is sharing! Such fun.
Christina @ Homemade Ocean says
Oh I love it so much! It is just so charming and simple, and of course one of the best songs ever.
I would have never thought to paint over the existing painting!!!!
Stephanie Trick says
It looks awesome! And agreed, loving the natural wood frame with the buffet (and the globe).
It really turned out great! Looks easy enough ;)
erica | wicked bride says
This is genius. I have so much artwork hanging around waiting to go into the yard sale pile – this is a perfect way to update it economically with a whole new look.
Amelia Walton says
This is great! I am also a born and raised Beatles fan, and ‘All You Need is Love’ figured prominently in our wedding. We’re putting together a new bedroom right now (you’ll approve, we transformed a den into a master) and I have been trying to think of something sweet and simple for over the bed…I think this is just the ticket! xo
Michele Daggar says
Sherry it’s fantastic!!! I love the Beatles. We danced to “My Life” at our wedding.
I love how the colors of the painting tie in with the globe. When I first saw it I thought you just put some vinyl letters on your painting. I should have known you would paint them on. Silly me!
I spent this weekend organizing the crap out of my house before school starts (for me and my babies, I’m a kindergarten aide.) Lots of labeling and de-cluttering. I actually love doing it. It makes me feel ready to face 10 months of crazy!
Again great job.
What an awesome transformation! You took a total doctors waiting room painting and made it YOU!! I can’t believe that canvas is 3 feet wide! Will you be doing another video house tour soon? I’d like to see how big it looks on film.
You mentioned doing this on photos…what would you use to paint it though? I feel like acrylic paint wouldn’t work well on a photo?
Hmm I would actually give acrylic or wall paint a try on a test photo. It won’t be as thick as oil and hopefully will cover well.
Oh and as for a video tour, it’s totally on my list! Can’t wait!
You know what is weird! That painting that you have is the same one they were selling on Joss and Main a few days ago for like 300 bucks! Same frame and everything! Yours looks so much better (and Cheaper :) )
That’s so crazy isn’t it?! Someone else told us that and we couldn’t believe it because we assumed it was old from the yard sale!
Adrienne J says
What a great idea!! I’m now already going through my head and searching for paintings in the house that need updating. Very cool.
Sherry your sense of style is enviable! I love your home! Is your front door yellow on the inside too? Love it! I’ll send you a pic after I paint mine yellow too! I also have red brick, so I know it’ll be too cute!
xoxo, Jude :)
It’s white on the inside but I’m thinking about going yellow. Will keep you posted!
I actually liked the painting before…but now I love it! So clever to leave the original behind it and just make it better!
OMG! It couldn’t be any more perfect. I love it and it makes the painting look so much better…the ANGELS are singing!! You really got this right!
A little FYI….BIG Beatle fan myself. Saw the Beatles when I lived in Chicago and was in the 11th row. How cool is that. Still have the program from it and it is I pristine condition….I might mention it is O.L.D!!!
Painting this weekend?? You bet! I painted the bulkhead on our house. Nothing glamorous…just on the TO-DO list. So nice to cross something off my list. Next….
Loved the pic of Clara watching Barney, the clothing article was brilliant. So nice to hear someone who is level headed on dressing a child. Bravo, Sherry and John.
Have a great day. Dinner on the deck tonight?!!
Wow I love that Beatles story!!