DIY Paint Sample Art

DIY Paint Sample Art

As my husband and I decorate and remodel our home, we have discovered something about our design aesthetic: We are primarily boring!  We shy away from most bold statements.  And we would pick a solid over a pattern almost every time.  We like grey (a LOT) and we like wood (a LOT).  At the same time, we realize that we need to infuse our home with some color and some character.  So we are slowly throwing in pops of color where we can and I am really pleased with the choices we have made, so far.  I decided to take on a DIY art project to infuse a little more color in our entryway.  And once I put it up, everyone, EVERYone who walks into our home make some comment about it.

I realize now that I have done this DIY art project that it is not a new idea (are any ideas? really?).  Nonetheless, I am exceedingly proud of how it turned out and what it does for our little entry way.  And my DIY art project met the requirements I have for a DIY project: achievability (new word) and interest for our home.  Oh, and I am by no means artistic (I cannot draw, paint, or otherwise craft true art pieces), so this is right up my alley!

You want to hear about it?

I got this idea in my head a LONG time ago to do a piece of art just to the left of our front door that looked exactly like a paint sample.  I thought it was such a new, fresh and bold idea.  And I thought yellow would be the perfect color to choose (I am kind of on a yellow kick lately).  So we went to the paint section of Lowe’s and Home Depot to check out what they had in yellow.

I brought home a TON of swatches and picked four.  I taped them to the wall in that space to try to decide which colors would work best in our home.  And they just sat there for a LONG, long time.

People would walk in and say, “Oh!  Are you painting this room?”  I would reply, “No.  I am picking colors for an art project.”

My youngest learned to say, “Yellow!”  from the paint swatches.

I’m talking months.

And part of the reason why it took so long is because I was working my way up to spending what I needed to spend to get the wood canvas to do the project.  I knew I wanted a custom sized canvas and, if you don’t do art (like me), you wouldn’t believe how pricey they can be.  And to add to the price, which I found a most reasonable place to purchase canvases on the internet; the shipping was almost as much as the canvas.  It took me a while to suck it up and pay the price.

But I did.

I bought a wood canvas (like the old masters used to use) to create my DIY art project.  And I had it custom made to measure 20 inches x 59 inches.

While I waited for it to get here, I went to Home Depot and had the guy at the paint department make up the sample size of 4 yellows off the chosen paint swatch.

DIY Paint Sample Art - colors

And when it got here, I started on the project by laying out a drop cloth and priming the surface of the wood.  After I primed the wood, I painted the entire surface with white paint (we have a bunch of white paint samples because we were trying to find just the right white for another project in our home, so I just picked one).

The next night, I had my husband help me tape off lines with Frog Tape.  I say I had him help me because he is always the more logical thinker when it comes to projects.  I always do more steps than necessary, and he is like my critical thinking editor.  He pares it down to the most basic solution and amazes me with his critical thinking succint-ness (another new word).

DIY Paint Sample Art - prep

I had to apply a couple coats of each yellow, but it dried very fast in our dessert climate.  So I did it while we were watching Big Brother.

Once I had each of the yellow portions of the canvas painted, it was time to see just how good Frog Tape is at creating lines.  It is pretty good.  There were a few spots that needed to be touched up.  I took a cotton-tipped swab and dipped it in acetone and gently removed the yellow spots (in the white lines).  I wrapped the paint around the sides of the canvas, and the Frog Tape missed a couple of the turns along the way (or maybe I didn’t press it down enough.

And now I needed to put the color names on the canvas.  I found a stencil on clearance at Michael’s and found some transfer paper to help me put it on the canvas.  Here again, I over-thought this and could have accomplished the same result a lot easier, but I am still learning how to do this DIY thing.  The stencil I found did not have numbers on it, so I am still trying to decide if I am going to put the designated numbers of the colors on the canvas or not.

DIY Paint Sample Art  - stencil

I wrote out the names of each color on a piece of paper, using the stencil.  Then I cut the paper down to size and then cut out pieces of the transfer paper to the same size.  I taped them down with Frog Tape (because I didn’t want to pull up any of the paint and have to do touch up).  I used the tip of a mechanical pencil (with the lead withdrawn) to press down on each letter of each word.  ( I know what you are thinking…yes, I could have done this much easier in probably a million ways).  Also, the colors of the pictures are not true to actual colors because the lighting in our living room is less than ideal at night!

DIY Paint Sample art - almost finished!

I cleaned up the spots where the transfer paper smudged onto the canvas with a cotton-tipped swap dipped in water.

We found a bracket to hang the art piece and it it now adorning our entry way!  I love it!

DIY Paint Sample Art - hung


Here is a glimpse at our entry way looking toward the front door:



What do you think?  Not that original, but I am pleased with it!  On to the next DIY project!  What are you doing around your house lately?  Make sure to share it over at my 7 Year Itch link up.

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. conni

    I love it. It looks like a wonderful Christmas present for your mother-in-law. Original or not, it makes a statement.

  2. Tricia

    This is gorgeous! I love it. Such a great idea. Thinking now about what colors I’d use and where I’d put such a piece in my own house.

  3. Leslie

    I love it! What a great idea. I may do a few of these for aroud my room. I’m stopping by from SITS. When I decide to do my project I’ll link back to you. Thanks for sharing!

    1. ussleah

      Thanks, Leslie! We did a similar project at our last house. We took some small canvasses and slapped some drywall mud on them. Then we took the colors off of a paint sample and painted them. They were always one of the most talked about pieces in our old home. Have fun in your room!

  4. I love this idea! I have always been drawn to these paint chip samples…now I know what I can do with them! stopping by from the SITS Sharefest 🙂

    1. ussleah

      Oh, and there are some clever names out there, Melissa! We really like it and I had a friend over yesterday and she stopped on her way out just to talk about it. Made me feel crafty and smart! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

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