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Attempting Aloha: Apr 13, 2011

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Three Board Coral Wall Art - Take Two

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This project is not for the impatient. Unless you're really trying to learn patience... 

"So why did you try another one of those if the last one took so dang long, and you're really impatient, Charlie?"  Is that what you're asking yourself?  You're probably remembering my P.S. I Love You sign and how it took for-freaking-ever.  Truth is, I LOVE IT.  It took me a really long time, took lots of planning and then painstaking cutting and then painting, but I adore it. Every. Single. Day. 

If you read about my Ballard-inspired beachy shadow boxes, you know that I had originally put boring old photo prints on the walls, and they mostly just made me yawn when I went in the room (despite my attempts to find fun and bold colors). I don't know when or how the idea for the three-board-coral pic popped into my head, but it was originally colorless. I had no idea what color to do it in, but I went ahead and cut my boards out of a scrap piece of wood found in the free bin at Re-Use Hawaii.

Then I sanded 'em down, primed with some Zinsser water-based primer, and painted with some white acrylic craft paint.

I'm no artist. My kids ask me to draw animals all the time, and I get a lot of, "MOM!! That's not a lion! That looks like a horse!" ((child stomps off in disgust...I hang head in shame and go to YouTube to see if I can find a tutorial on "how to draw lions for dummies"))   My maternal grandmother is an amazing artist. Yeah...definitely not genetic. I'm also here to tell you that my mom's mad cooking skills are not genetic, but we'll save that for another day.

BUT...I can look at basic pics and pencil them out (and erase and pencil and erase and pencil and erase and erase and erase).  I took my inspiration from my sweet friend, Ashley over at A Blonde's DIY Life and her amazing pillows.

I set the boards down how they would be on the wall, and did my best to pencil them out. Kinda took a long time, but I finally got it to look decent.

((WARNING--Crappy picture ahead--My bad))

((Pretend you can actual see the pencil marks in that pic and that my lighting isn't just heinous, k?))

Then it was time to decide on a color. I tried to mix my own coral color (say that 5 times fast!), but each one just looked a little off. I thought of browns or tans or beige, but as much as I love Ballard, I need a little color in my life. Maybe yellow?

It was okay, but I still just didn't love it. I took it down to show my neighbor/Hawaii bff, and she wasn't feeling the love either. Hmmm...  So I quit for the evening 'cause I had to go to the DMV and register my car. With three kids. Boo.  But there's a bright side!  I went to a DMV in the mall and walked through Sears to get there. As I was passing through, I saw some towels in the perfect shade! I bought two hand towels for $4 and skipped through the mall and smiled all the way through the DMV. :) 

Then I mixed my own colors at home until it matched the hand towels just using my collection of craft paints. Awesome. Love me some grade-school thinking  and color-matching. "Little bit of orange...little bit of pink...maybe some red...OOPS...too much red...little bit of white..."
I ended up doing two coats, so I painted this beast a total of three times. Barf.

To save you some time, I've found a coral acrylic craft paint on Amazon that matches my final color to a tee.

Then I distressed it with my sander and gave it a coat of Minwax Polyurethane. I knew it would yellow the white paint, and that's what I wanted in order to give it a good aged look. If you don't want the yellowing, go for Minwax Polycrylic instead.

I'd let this dry overnight if you can. If you're impatient, take the hair dryer to it. ;) 

I kept a slight gap between mine and connected these ones with paint sticks and screws! Cheap and sturdy.

I think it turned out quite lovely! My bathroom is no longer a boring, ho-hum half bath! It's a shabby chic, beachy but fun bathroom! Yippee!!!

Ready to get your paint on?  You can do it!



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