May 20, 2012

How's It Hanging?

In the beginning, there was this:

Naked wall in the guest bathroom, at your service.

And then Etsy gave us this:

Visit the ellemoss etsy shop at

Dude, it is IMPOSSIBLE to find a matching set of crisp white picture frames that are matted with crisp white to 8x8 and 8x10.  In fact, it's nearly impossible to find a matching set of any color picture frames that are matted with any color to 8x8 and 8x10.  I have looked at Amazon, Lowe's, Fred Meyer, Target, Wal-Mart, JoAnn Fabric... nothing.  So yesterday I drug Steve to Michael's to look at frames.  And they were having a sale: buy one frame at regular price, get a second frame for a penny.  And then we found them.

The liger of picture frames.

Frame "D" is a 12x12 matted to 8x8.  Frame "C" is an 11x14 matted to 8x10.  What's that, you say?  They're black?  (Why's it gotta be black, man?)  Black frames wouldn't match the bathroom.  No problem.  I've got a handle on the situation.  And an excuse to break out my favorite DIY tool: spray paint!  So I undressed those puppies right down to the bare frames.

Lots of nudity in this blog post!

Then they were relegated to the garage and propped on gallon-size paint cans.  Glorious!

Evidence of early attempts at spray painting are visible beyond the cardboard.

At this point I ran into a little unexpected trouble.  I noticed that one of the frames had some weird buckling going on.  It was really visible in the exterior light out in the garage.  And when I ran my finger across it, it definitely felt raised.  I had to do something about it before spray painting, otherwise my frame would have the same "buckled" look at best and the paint would settle unevenly in the peaks and valleys at worst.

Wrinkles!  Time for some micro-abrasion.

So I grabbed some 220-grit sandpaper out of Steve's tool chest and went to town.  Basically I just sanded until I couldn't feel any ridges when I ran my finger down the frame.  Then I took a dry paintbrush and swept away all of the excess paint I had sanded off.  I figured that if I hadn't sanded well enough, I'd be able to tell after the first coat of spray.  The worst that could happen would be waiting for the spray to dry and then sanding again before giving it another go.


I already had some glossy white spray paint from an earlier project we did for our laundry room- Rustoleum's All Surface Gloss in Pure White.  Aww yeah.

Bling in a can.

So then I set to work.  Whenever you spray paint, make sure that you're wearing something you don't mind if it gets painty.  That goes for pedicures, too (oops).  Even if you're very careful, there's always over-spray.  Always read the directions on the can first and follow them as closely as you can.  Especially the part about thin and even coats.  I can tell you from personal experience that getting over-excited and spraying down a thick layer of paint will get you nothing but drips- and then you'll have to sand the drips down and start over again.  No bueno.

One coat of thin and even spray.

Four coats of thin and even spray later, you'd never be able to tell they were born a different color.

Identity issues?

 Then comes the part that is hardest for me: waiting for the paint to dry.  The can recommends 24 hours to fully cure.  I let them dry for 12 hours and then I couldn't stand the waiting anymore.  I gingerly carried the frames inside and then dressed them back up- glass, matting, photo print, and backing.

Ready to roll.

I am so excited with how the frames turned out!  Here's how they look with the prints.

With that little bit of satisfaction, I was able to wait for another 12 hours before I asked Steve to hang them.  And now for the grand finale!

The wall is naked no longer.

So much better, yes?  Wish I had a better camera so you could see all the colors working together.  Steve has already tested his "boys wouldn't mind looking at pictures of a girl in water while they pee" theory.  He has proved himself to be correct.  I am really happy with how they turned out and how they balance all of the crazy stuff happening on the floating shelves on the other side of the vanity.  Now I am really wanting to get to painting the vanity and framing out the mirror so that things start looking "done" in there!

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