Monday, July 6, 2015

How to refresh your artwork

I have some equestrian posters that mean alot to me and I wanted to use them in my updated family room, but they were the wrong color frame and the wrong color mats.

Have you priced custom mats lately? Insane.  Even though I can cut my own, my equipment didn't lend itself to this large custom size, so I searched online for alternatives and didn't find any for less than $120.00 per mat.  (I'm saving for some new chairs!)

For starters, I disassembled the prints and spray painted the frames gold. I used Rustoleum satin gold.

The simplest solution to lightening your mats without having a new mat cut, is to cover them in a linen or muslin fabric.  I wanted to use linen but didn't want to wait for an online order, so I headed to the local fabric store and selected 2 yards of unbleached muslin, at a whopping $2.99 a yard.
[I had to dig in the archives to find a 'before' picture, and this is a rude reminder of how gawd awful those walls used to be!]

I turned the navy mat over so it was white on the other side.  This was a single mat, and I made sure I erased any former pencil marks on the back, as it would show through the muslin covering.  

I cut the fabric about 1 inch larger than the mats .  Then I took spray adhesive and sprayed the mats and placed the fabric over the glue and smoothed it with my hands.

Then I trimmed the inside to about 1" as well. [Make sure your razor or scissors are extremely sharp or the corner cuts will be messy.]

Turn the secured fabric covered mat over to make angled cuts in the corner to turn back the fabric.

The other poster had a double mat, but I just stretched the fabric over both mats and didn't worry about it. I experimented with putting the muslin over the colored double mat, and even though its not the same ivory color as the other matted poster, it is grayed a bit and matches that poster better....a happy accident.

It's really easy and try it on a small piece first if you need to build your confidence.  All you need is fabric, spray adhesive and a sharp cutting utensil.  [ I used a single edge razor.]

I love the fabric covered mat look.  I hope this offers an easy solution to update your matted art!

P.S.  Since launching our website on it seems many of you are having issues finding us.  We apologize for any inconvenience.  You will need to update your link to our blog with:
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  1. Your site isn't updating on my blog, but I'm having problems with others too..but I did find you!

  2. Great job Nancy, I love how you updated the artwork! I used to be Marketing Director at a gallery and we did custom framing so I know how expensive it is!! Thanks so much for visiting!

    The Arts by Karena
    Stems Soiree

  3. What is better than a fabric covered mat - I love that very subtle texture! Thanks for sharing this great DIY!

  4. Good morning Nancy! I just saw your kind words on my blog and wanted to thank you for coming to visit. YES, our vacation in Carmel was unforgettable, and it was a sweet return to our original honeymoon site 33 years ago. We are enjoying our oils that we purchased, and even the acquiring of these was a memorable adventure, walking from one gallery to another, meeting lovely artists and gallery owners, and even their DOGS!

    I am intrigued by your THOMAS the Pony! teeehehehe.....I am enjoying Instagram and I hope to see more of him soon! I like what you did with these equestrian pieces of art by giving them a fresh, new bright look.

    Enjoy your Sunday, Nancy! Anita

  5. This is great Nancy! I too don't want to pay too much for the framing, the 50% sales they give are really not as inexpensive as it seems! Love what you did and glad that you get to enjoy your art for many more years to come in a new way!

  6. I can do that - cool!!! Thanks for sharing this easy and stylish project! Nancy, your blog is not updating on my blogroll. I posted the link. Maybe it's my settings in Maine....will try again when I'm back in DC. Cheers


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