For a long time I’ve wanted to mount a hinged canvas on the wall in our hallway to cover the eyesore that is our crooked electrical panel.
But a a 16×20 canvas photo print wasn’t in our budget, so this week I painted and hung a canvas of my own. The whole project cost less than $15 and took about an hour. Here’s the rundown, in case you want to try it yourself.
16×20 canvas from Walmart, $7.97 for two
Green and gold acrylic craft paint (I already had white) from Walmart, 50¢ each
Gold leaf spray paint from Walmart, $2.77
Narrow utility hinges from Home Depot, $1.97 for a package of two (screws included)
Leaves and branches from the yard
Total cost: $13.71
Painting the canvas
Paint the canvas, layering and mixing the colors for a marbled effect. Don’t worry about being too precise. The dappled, variegated look is the whole point. I chose green and gold, but any colors would be pretty. Maybe I’ll try red and purple next?
Spray-painting the leaf design
Gather some leaves and branches. Be sure to choose ones that lay flat well. Affixing the leaves to the canvas is a must. Adhesive spray would probably be ideal, but I used Scotch tape because it’s what I had on hand. It left little tape marks where the spray paint didn’t reach, but they don’t bother me. All part of the charm. Once you’ve thoroughly spray-painted over the leaves, you can remove them. I used a paint brush to touch up the stems.
Hanging the canvas
Screw the hinges first into the wood frame of the canvas, and then into the drywall.
And that’s it! No more ugly electrical panel!
For all of our growing-up years, my younger sister and I shared a bedroom. We painted two of the walls apple green and two of them buttery yellow. We slept on sturdy old metal army bunk beds, which we spray-painted sunshiny yellow and alternately bunked or un-bunked throughout the years as we rearranged furniture to try to squeeze more real estate out of our tiny room.
Thrift store scavenging and one-of-a-kind flea market finds were family obsessions, so when I was in high school and I found an old metal typewriter table at a yard sale for less than $20, I was stoked. I spray-painted it pink, and together with a print of my favorite Claude Monet painting, it perfectly accented our little green-and-yellow room.
When Mark and I moved into our house, I dug the beloved typewriter table out of my parents’ garage and brought it with me. But the pink color didn’t work with the orange and blue color scheme that carries through our kitchen, dining room, and family room, so I knew that I needed to re-paint it. I decided on a deep, dark, jewel-toned blue.
When I carried the table out to the backyard to spray-paint it, I was hit with a wave of nostalgia for years and years sharing clothes and pedicures and silly dance parties with my sister in our little green and yellow room. I almost couldn’t bring myself to paint over the pink.
But it had to be done, so I sanded the table, wiped it down thoroughly, covered the casters with painter’s tape, and set it on a plastic drop cloth on the grass.
After applying one thin coat of paint, the table looked…like an Easter egg. By the second coat it looked more navy blue, solid, and industrial. The way a typewriter table should look. Not like an Easter egg. You know?
All finished, the jewel-toned blue of the table complemented perfectly the bold orange accessories in the room.
I even got around to cutting foam board, ordering glass, and hanging up the vintage 1936 “Visit Palestine” poster I bought in Jerusalem six years ago.
And the best part is that on evenings when Mark and I are both writing, we can drag the typewriter table anywhere in the house, perch a laptop on it, and…type on it. That’s what it’s for, after all.