Tag Archives: How-To

Mixing Turquoise and Tangerine in a Poured Painting

Marjorie, my dear friend since childhood, bought her first home last year and began decorating it.

Her downstairs is a cozy lounge-type den with a fireplace, bar, and quiet mood lighting. The colors were all soft neutral browns and tans, so she wanted to put some punch in the space — specifically, turquoise and tangerine.

An afternoon’s worth of pillow shopping at Ross and Homegoods turned up this decent assortment for pretty cheap.

But a massive bare wall above the large sofa presented a challenge because the cost for very very large artwork is pretty high. AND, there wasn’t anything we liked that blended turquoise with tangerine.

Did I mention large? We needed 9 feet of artwork.

So we decided to make a poured painting and put these two colors together. (I posted about this technique here a few weeks ago when I created a poured painting for my master bedroom.) Unfortunately I don’t have any “before” shots of the sofa and empty wall, so following is a photo fest of what we did to put color into a cozy but neutral space.

We started with five 18″x24″ white canvases from AC Moore.

Then we picked a shade of turquoise and a shade of tangerine, put each color in a small paper cup to control the pour, and started working. We used indoor latex paint and a quart was plenty. In fact, a “color to go” size from Sherwin-Williams would have been just the right amount. Because you know I aDORE Sherwin-Williams paint.

Here’s Marjorie getting started…

We let the first color dry completely before adding the second one because we didn’t want the colors to mix together. If you wanted to have a color blend you wouldn’t have to wait until that first color dries.

It took overnight to set because we’d poured several layers of varying thicknesses. By morning it was dry and ready to hang.

You can see here that we intentionally separated the canvases by an inch or so to allow dribble in between the canvases. It looks SO good once these are on the wall, to have a wrap-around effect with the paint.

And here it is dry and hanging….

You can see how we pulled in the two accent colors using pillows and textures as well as the painting.

(Please don’t use these photos as a guide for placement of your artwork on the wall. The paintings should actually hang about 6 inches lower — as in closer to the sofa — instead of suspended equidistant between the ceiling and the sofa top. Small distinction yes, but it makes a big difference in visually connecting the painting to the sofa, creating flow, and eliminating that awkward white space that halts your eye on the wall.) 


We were so pleased with how this turned out, especially considering that the cost is $5 per canvas (get them on sale!) plus two quarts of paint. Total cost was about $50, and for a 9 foot custom art installation, pretty doggone cheap.

And now Marjorie gets to tell all her friends that she made this her very own self.

Because she did.

I think this would be great fun to do at a crafting party. Yes?





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Make Your Own Poured Painting

As part of our master bedroom makeover I needed a piece of art to go over the bed. The picture doesn’t give you the immensity of this 6-foot wide king bed, but there was a pretty big blank wall above it. I wanted something that would pull together the two main colors of this room — greenish gray with brownish plum. I looked for several weeks and found no fabric or art or anything that could work. So I had to get creative.

I bought four 18″x24″ paint canvases at A.C. Moore on sale for $5 each. Then I took the paint I’d used on the walls of this room (Sherwin-Williams’ Comfort Gray—a fabulous color I must credit my clients the Sacks for turning me on to) and a sample container I’d bought months ago (Sherwin-Williams’ Socialite) and put them together for some poured art.

I arranged the canvases on a drop cloth on my screened porch. (Note: a screened porch is ideal for any of your painting/gluing projects because it allows the airflow without the rain or bugs or pollen or whatever else flies around your yard.)

I poured with the Comfort Gray color first and then let it dry about 2 hours before adding the next color.

I didn’t take any in-process pictures because it’s kind of impossible to be pouring paint in somewhat straight lines and also taking pictures of yourself doing it. I put the paint in a small paper cup so I could control it better, and then just poured on the lines as I liked.

The end result is this abstract piece which reminds me of Aspen trees.

I hung the canvases with two in the middle a little higher than the others because I wanted a headboard-style arrangement. It actually does make you “sink” a little lower in the bed to have them hung this way.

Here’s a shot of the room with the paintings and the DIY painted drapes that integrate the same “Socialite” plum color into the room.

I added a plummy chair we had upstairs previously with a green parrot pillow to connect those two colors a little more intentionally.

Next I’m going to add a pop of plum somewhere in this bedding. I am obSESSed with folding down my sheets and layering the bedding. 

So that’s my $20 + leftover paint project. It is ridiculously easy and you could also do it with different designs like this one I did for my living room.

I’m happy with how this one turned out and I hope you’ll try it and send me a picture! It is SO SO easy and you don’t have to have any artistic skills to do it. And did I mention the $20 total tab?

Okay, now I need to get back to this guy, waiting for me to finish my picture taking…and trying to pull himself up with my drapes.

I know. Tiny ball of gooey, squishy LOVE…this little one.

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How To Make Designer Window Panels with a Cake Stand

Soooo, my master bedroom is undergoing a makeover that resulted in a need for new window panels.

Having no inclination or budget for $100+ apiece designer panels, I went shopping in my house for something that could work.

I found a ceramic pie plate, a glass 10-inch pedestal cake stand, a sample-size of Sherwin-Williams “Socialite” plum paint, and two white queen flat sheets.

Yes, that IS a pacifier. It’s a multi-purpose life people.

After filling the pie plate with paint and turning the cake stand upside down in it, the work began.

It took multiple sessions and a fan blowing on each section of the fabric for hours at a time until everything was complete. (My 3-year-old is still trying to figure out why he was cast off to the picnic table outside for days on end.)

After many many MANY circle-stamps with the cake stand, the finished product is now my favorite DIY of all time.

First, here’s the only “Before” photo of the room I could find, taken when we’d first moved in.

And NOW, here it is.

If you look closely, you can see variations in the line width and paint coverage. That’s what I love about these. They’re obviously not machine-made, and the dribbles, dots and imperfections lend a truly artistic quality.

I’m in love.

No, lust.

No, complete infatuation!



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Easy Bathroom Facelift

You may remember that we took down the giant glass-plate mirror that was in our master bathroom and replaced it with two framed mirrors. (Read about it here.)

Well, improvements are contagious in our house and shortly after the master bathroom upgrade we started sideways glancing at the plain ole builder-grade mirror in the guest bathroom upstairs.

Yep. That’s the one. (Extra credit if you can spot the dirty hand towel. Hey, that’s a Pottery Barn towel I’ve had for 11 YEARS and it’s still holding up great.)

Well, I was only days away from delivering a baby, so my sweet hubs took on this project entirely. He had replaced the light fixture from the original builder’s bulb strip a few months back, but we hadn’t painted yet.

Next, he spackled some dings in the wall.

And THEN came the painful part. Hubs and my dad were in the process of hanging the mirror with the original wire backing that had already held this mirror for several years in other places in the house. Well that wire (thick sturdy stuff) BROKE right in the middle and my hubs’ finger was crushed between the very heavy mirror and the porcelain countertop. (I didn’t think to take a picture of it at the time. I’ll kindly spare you the photo.) A few x-rays later confirmed his finger was broken.

Undaunted, he painted the wall and hung a new bracket to secure the mirror, not trusting the wire again.

Then he installed a new faucet and….voila!

Do you recognize the mirror? It was originally in the dining room, then moved to our mantel for the holidays. Now it’s spray painted white and fits the bathroom vanity space perfectly.

The faucet upgrade makes a big difference.


I’m a sucker for crisp white linens in a bathroom.

Here’s a last look at Before …

And After…

I love using pieces we already have and just moving them around the house to upcycle into other spaces!

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