How To Transform An Old Piece Of Art Into Something Modern

How  To Transform An Old Piece Of Art Into Something Modern

We finally moved into our new house in Houston, Texas and we spent most of the 4th of July weekend trying to settle in.  I can’t wait to make the house functional, to start the projects that are waiting in line, to get back to my cooking routine and, of course, start exploring the area and the beauties that Texas has to offer.

My very last project in San Francisco was so artistic and fun. A long time ago, I had spotted and pinned a photo found on Grey and Scout of a console table. I loved the art piece above it for its simplicity and for its white abundance & texture. Here is my inspiration:


For a while, I was looking for an old canvas/frame that I could use to reproduce it, and I finally found a square 47″x 47″piece at the thrift store that seemed perfect for this project. It was actually a piece of plywood with a poster glued on top and a thin wood-like border around. The poster was starting to loosen on the corners but I just glued it back on and sanded lightly those spots.

Art Before II - mydearirene.com_edited-1

Outdoors, I sprayed a few coats of white primer which made the old image disappear  ~ but not the surrounding dark “border” which I had covered with painter’s tape. Here, just after the first coat of spray paint:

Spraying Primer -

The next step was a lot of fun. I painted a grey circle with craft paint in the middle left part. Around it, I added strokes of white dimensional fabric paint. Dimensional fabric paint gives a 3D effect and remains thick after it is dry.  To make perfect concentric circles, I tied a cord around the paint bottle and held the other end of the cord in the middle of the circle, just as I would be using a geometry compass. I loosened and tightened the cord to make strokes of paint further away and closer to the grey circle.

Art Work In Progress -

I let the dimensional paint dry for 24 hours and painted the entire surface with white craft paint. The craft paint covered the shininess of the dimensional paint and turned the grey circle into a very pale grey.  My art got a matte finish, more like my inspiration.

The last step was to paint the border black (note: after the project was finished, and the photos were taken, I thickened the border even more). To make the borders straight I used removable tape, instead of the usual painters tape, because it’s not very sticky and doesn’t damage the white painted part when removing it. I used black glossy craft paint for this.

Art Detail -

Here, my piece of art in all of its glory! Quite similar to my inspiration.

Wall Art -

Alternatively to using a plywood board along with dimensional paint and craft paint, I could have used a real artist canvas along with oil paint.  However, a large square canvas would have to be custom made (not available at the craft store) and the oil paint is quite expensive. Although the result would had been more professional and the strokes of paint would be made from real paint, the cost would had increased significantly.

New Art Work -

The project was finished a few days before the move, while the house was in a chaotic state.The only place that seemed like a good spot to take the pictures was above my daughter’s desk. I will most probably find another spot for this art in the new house, I will mix it with more black and white, or maybe colorful art.

Modern Paiting in Daughter' Room

I quickly staged the desk with some items found around the house, but I especially liked how the elephant (a project of the past) has a new spot on the wooden globe.

Decorative Detail -

I’m now in the search for more modern art to replicate!


2 Responses to How To Transform An Old Piece Of Art Into Something Modern

  1. Angelika, congratulations on your move. Good luck in settling in! There is n othing like decorating a new house!

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Hi! I'm Angelica! For the last ten years I've been sharing my cooking, home projects and ideas with my sister Irene. "Once Again, My Dear Irene" is just an extension of our daily chats. Moreover "My Dear Irene" Continue Reading