Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Distressed? Not Me!

This beautiful reproduction framed map has been taking up space behind a sofa for quite sometime in our bonus room.  I had to have it when I saw it on Craigslist and just couldn't decide where to hang the poor thing so it got stashed until I could figure it out--not the best way to showcase a piece you love!  It would have worked in the master bedroom, dining room, or living room.  Pieces that can be moved from room to room when you get bored with your house equals free redecorating, which is always fun!
I finally decided that it needed to fill the space above our TV in the living room.  We have a crazy high ceiling and it's big enough to stand out on the wall without being too ostentatious.  The only issue was that the frame was black and that didn't match the earth tones in the room.
This is the only picture I have of the "before"
Most of the room is brown with splashes of distressed ivory and green so I thought that painting the frame to look like old driftwood would work.  Here's how:

First, figure out which two colors will work best with your room.  Taupe/mushroom and ivory were what I picked first (more on this later).  Tape the glass portion to avoid painting it because you won't want to have to clean spills from the glass later--just don't do that to yourself.
Paint the frame solid, allow it to dry, and then for the "distressing" you'll want to use a dry brush and barely dip it into the next paint color. Working quickly, lightly paint over the basecoat until you have streaks.  Then you'll want to use long, broad strokes to work the top color in, blending it as much or as little as you want adding more paint little by little.  I worked in increments of about 2 feet before moving to the next section.
Here's how it ended up:

I loved it!  The problem was, as I soon discovered, that it didn't work with the room once I hung it up, no matter how hard I squinted at it.  Sometimes you have ideas that just don't work with reality (please tell me I'm not the only one!).  So I had to quickly formulate a Plan B which meant choosing completely different colors.  Darker was definitely going to be better in this case.

Following the same technique, I repainted the frame a sage color and let it dry:

Then, using a raw umber for my top color, I painted some more:


My paintbrush after

For projects like this, I use cheap chipboard brushes you can find at any hardware or craft store.  Use them once, then you can throw them away and not worry about ruining a more expensive brush.

Here's how it looks in its new space--please ignore the lack of symmetry, the TV will be moved soon.  Thank you ; )

Let's pause a moment and talk about the merits of Craigslist.  There are so many items in my home now that I found from the site, and several are pictured here.  The map, distressed white chair (also refinished), TV console, and the rug were all Craigslist finds.  Don't be afraid to try it--you can redecorate on a budget and get the look you want!  You may have to refinish it or repurpose it, but it's worth it.  One of my next projects will be refinishing the glaringly obvious coffee table that doesn't match anything.  The shape works, though.  Let's hope I can get it right on the first shot ; )


  1. Hi,

    I recently saw an older post on your blog about fabric for you master bedroom. I love the floral fabric and believe it is called Ansley Park in Latte. Have you found a place to purchese this? I have been looking forever with no luck.



    1. Hi Kyla, that is Ansley Park Latte. I also fell in love with it, and purchased a bolt last year from fabric.com for my bedroom projects. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find more, but sometimes patterns can show up on ebay. Thanks for reading, and come back soon!

    2. Have you shown your bedroom on here? I would love to see finished pics.

    3. Not yet, I'm still finishing a few projects. I have a lot going on but should get the room posted within the next month. Please check back.


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