My taste in art has really changed over the last few years. I used to be content with whatever was on display at Kirkland’s but eventually I got tired of seeing the same prints over and over, just in different frames. I think it’s the personal things that make any house a home. So today I’ll show you how to paint art you’ll love. Or at least you can take the idea and run with it. I got the idea from, Lowe’s Creative Ideas Magazine, that anyone can sign up for and it’s free! This particular issue had a nice tree painting that I did my own version of. They used a board cut to size, stain, painters tape and paint and cost $33 dollars plus paint. For mine I used things I had on hand and it was free!

Update: I found the directions here.

Here’s my inspiration:

I started by pulling out all of the paint samples that I currently have. This is a great place to start because paint samples are probably going to be from painting you’ve already done or colors you really like.

Isn’t it nice when a  project starts like this?

Then I did some testing. Be careful to not leave the paint thick in spots, if you do (like I did) you’ll end up with a gloppy texture under your paint when you paint it for real.

I initially thought I’d go with Martha Stewart’s Sea Glass and a sample I had color matched to Restoration Hardware’s Silver Sage. That combo felt much too cold so I decided to start with Sea Glass and figure it out as I went along.

This vase (actually I’m not sure what this is, a friend of mine called it an urn) was my inspiration color. My friend, Mary, let me know it was on super-clearance at JoAnn for $12. I love it.

I used a small roller to roll the paint on. I don’t recommend a brush for this because it leaves brush strokes, which I usually like but not this time. A smooth surface is ideal.

Here’s my art arsenal. Yes, it’s a bit, um, ghetto but I couldn’t find our utility knife. Plus all the blades are dull from cutting drywall so this pocket knife worked fine. It’s a miracle that I didn’t cut myself. You should use a utility knife, it will make me feel better.

Now, it’s time for taping. I used scissors to round the tape just a little on the bottom. I didn’t want the bottom of the trees to look completely square.

Then I used the knife to take a little off the top. Carefully score the tape, not cutting too deep.

Then peel carefully.

Once you like the look it’s time for a top coat. Imagining what the painting was going to look like once it was finished was the most difficult part. Well, besides figuring out what color to paint on top. Initially I thought I’d add some white paint to the Sea Glass and have a tone on tone thing going on. Similar to one I already have in the living room.

Then I had an idea. What about a brown glaze? It would give it a little more depth and I’d either love it or hate it. I decided to risk ruining it because, well, that’s usually how I do things. It doesn’t always work but I figured it was worth it.

So I broke out my art supplies. I used burnt umber and Liquitex’s Slow Dry Blending Medium. It thins the paint out, gives it a nice gloss and slows down the drying process. I mixed the paint with a generous amount of blending medium into a cup until it had a consistency a little thicker than hot fudge ice cream topping.

Then I started brushing…and was afraid I’d ruined it.

I let that dry and did another coat. It took several hours to dry because of the blending medium. Then I really carefully peeled off the paint and this is the finished product.

I like the glazed look from the artist acrylic that I used but you could use regular latex paint like the one in the magazine and get a perfectly lovely painting. It would have been much more subtle if I’d used white. My living room is already really subtle though and in the end I wanted something much more bold. The important thing to remember is that if you use colors you love then you’ll most likely love the finished project. All-in-all this project was easy but with drying time it took two days. I really had a lot of fun with it and I’m looking forward to doing other painting projects. I’d love to see photos if any of you decide to do this project or one like it.  Just “like” The Button Casa on Facebook and you can upload photos directly to the page. Happy painting!