There are multiple ways of reading that title. It’s not dumpster-texture art. I don’t know if dumpster-texture is a thing. Unless your name is Laney Boggs and you are one pair of glasses away from winning over Freddie Prinze Jr.
I really should have named this Textured Dumpster Art. Or Texture Art from the Dump. Or Old Art from the Trash that I Texturized and then Painted. too far? accurate though.
So here’s what happened. About a little over a year ago I was pregnant with Weston and driving home from the grocery store. You know…melting ice cream in the hot southern sun in the back and a cranky kid in the carseat. And then I saw it….the holy grail of DIYers….a trash pile.
I pulled over into the grassy median and crossed two lanes of traffic to inspect the freebies. In it…one giant canvas. I don’t know much but I do know that canvases this size run close to $80 if you hit an awesome sale with a great coupon.
But I also know one other thing…art is a touchy subject. I did a lot of research on protected images when I started doing photography and I know that a lot of certain art falls under copyright guidelines for protection. It’s so that galleried or exhibited art or artists don’t find their pieces altered or some masterpiece is forever destroyed. It’s a very confusing and convoluted law (what is protected? what isn’t? what do I have?) and I wanted to be more safe than sorry. So I listed this piece on Craigslist first.
Fast forward one year. No bites. No offers even with my $80 OBO listing. I was fairly certain that that would happen but I figured that someone out there might feel like this just what they were looking for…and worth the drive out to my neck of the woods. But alas…no dice.
The other thing that made me believe that this was not a piece that fell under the ‘protection’ laws was that it did not have a signature or number anywhere. The art actually appeared to be painted and then had a ‘faux finish’ applied to it…very similar to what you would see in mass produced pieces (what I call hotel-art). But I wanted to clear my conscience first before putting anything over the art or just as reusing the canvas for it’s raw material status.
Speaking of putting something on it…I pulled out my thinking cap to get more texture on the surface. The original canvas was very textured on the flowers. You can kind of see where the edges of the petals stand out a little. So I went into our ridiculously junked up workroom and dug out a tiling trowel and some all purpose joint compound (the stuff you use when you punch a hole in the wall…I mean…accidently knock a hole in the wall never in anger).
And then I just troweled it on over the surface.
This is really really easy. Even a three year old can do it…and did. First you get a big dollop and push it onto the canvas trying to keep the tool as flat as possible.
Then you hold the trowel at an angle and scrap lightly the excess off in long straightish strokes.
After you get your lines all done, it’s time to let it harden and dry. Mine took about two days to fully harden but I waited four till I had to paint because I’m lazy like that.
For the excess on the edges, use a rough grit sandpaper to clean it off easily.
I then took a dust brush and cleaned the entire surface because I wanted to be sure no dust was in the crevices.
And it’s not crucial that those crevices are perfect. Mine was far from it. I had a ton of spots like this…(where there were drips or weird variations)…
Since this project was already running me $0…I decided to keep with that theme and run to my paint supply to finish it up. Remember when I tested a TON of options on the exterior of our house before choosing? All those Sherwin Williams samples were still sitting in my office so I just grabbed the whitest one and ran with it.
I did two coats (paint with the grain) and it was immediately talking sweet nothings to me.
My drying station…away from little fingers.
The texture really has a chance to stand out here.
Then came time for more paint. At first I was gonna do drippy art…like watered down colors that flowed down the valleys and blended all together. But in the end, I wanted something a little more bold (and little colors all blended together would still be cool but not as high impact as what I imagined).
Then I just took another sample and painted a band in the middle. I didn’t want it to look perfect or super straight…something more ‘painterly’ in style.
I hung it over the couch in our sitting room off our bedroom. The walls in there are muted turquoise and so the brownish-gray band really goes well with the whole muted look in there. And the texture really makes the whole thing pop. I think overall it is a huge improvement over the waterfall flower art. And for $0? yeah….#winning.
Update : Looking for more info on something you see in our house? We have a Shop the Bower House page with paint colors and links to accessories, furniture and decor!