May 8, 2012

From Art Print to "Painting"

An art print in the clearance bin for $5 at Michael's
made me want to change out my living room
accessories from Spring-y to French-y.

It is a print of a painting done by Lorraine Christie
entitled "Paris Remembered".  I liked that it had a
very brush stroke look.  I have enjoyed the print of
has been above the mantle since January but I'm
ready for a change (now that I know how easy
and inexpensive it is to change out the artwork).

Although it could look a little winter-y, I like the pops of
orange and am going to use the orange in other areas of
the room.  I'm telling myself it is a May rain in Paris.
Here is the real weather forcast for Paris for the next few days:

"Open frames" (no glass) are easy to find at thrift stores,
yard sales, etc. Most arts and craft stores also carry
them and they are regularly on sale.
Art prints are also at the same stores or if you don't see what
you want there, the internet is a wonderful source.

When matching up the frame to the art print, make sure
that you will be able to cut off any writing on the bottom
of the print and the print still fill the opening of the frame.
For this print, I also had to cut off a couple of inches from the side too.

Although it is more money to spend than just
using the cardboard that comes with the print,
it is worth it to purchase foam core to mount
your print.  Mine was $6 at Hobby Lobby full
price (don't you hate to forget your 40% off coupon?)

Measure your foam core to the size of your 
print (which is the size that will fit your frame).
Mark and cut.  It is easy to cut with a
steak knife (or an exacto knife if you are 
an exacting person).  

This time I am springing for the proper
mounting spray instead of just adhesive spray.
This is from Michael's...$8 full price...bring your coupon.

Go outside (and away from the cars sez Tom Kat) to spray the adhesive
onto the foam core.  Try hard as you can to lay the
art print onto the foam core straight...if you don't
get it even, you can pull it up and try again if
you do it immediately.  Press the print with your
hands to try to get out any air bubbles and
adhere the print to the foam core all over.

After that dries, spray the print (now attached to
the foam core) with a clear acrylic sealer. 
 Let the sealer dry at least an hour.

The fun part is putting the gel medium onto
the print.  For the first coat, get an artsy layer of
the medium on the whole print.  You can use brushes
or palette knives or both.

Don't worry...the gel medium dries clear.

The artist gel medium comes in gloss and matte.  The gloss
gives you a more shiny and obvious looking brush stroke.
The matte version has no shine but takes more layers
to build up the brush stroke look.  Each has its own merits.
For my final coat, I actually mixed the two together in
equal parts and the "painting" has just a little shine. 
Just to save you "sticker shock" each of these jars was $13 at Hobby Lobby.  This product is not usually
 on sale so you could use a coupon to purchase it.   There are other brands of this same product.
There are other artist products that look similar on the shelf.  Just be sure you don't buy "gesso" or "modeling
paste" as those are NOT transparent.  I have not tried it but some people also use Mod Podge to achieve
a similar brush stroke look.  My stores do not carry any but there are products out there specifically
made for creating this look and have the words "brush stroke" in the title.

After the initial coat of gel medium dries, you can
add another layer of the gel, this time trying
to mimick the brush strokes on the original print.

How many layers of the gel medium you want to
add is up to you to build up the brush stroke look.
It helps in the illusion of making the print look
like a painting if you start with a print that
has obvious brush strokes.

Yikes! I did have some bubbling...I probably did not press
the print down all over enough when I adding it to
the foam core.  I pressed the bubbles down with a brush
that had gel medium on it and they went away
enough for them to not be noticeable. 
(If you are a perfectionist, this might not be a project that you would enjoy.)

After you have the look you want on the
print/painting, put it in the frame.  I used the
redneck technique of doing it with duct tape.

And as the French say, "La vous l'avez".
I tried to get photos of how the brush strokes look but they are hard to capture. 
This certainly looks and even feels like a painting up close and from a distance.

Here are some photos of Paris in/after the rain:

I am going add other elements to the living room
to French-i-fy it in the next few days. 


  1. Well, you have WOWED me too! This looks terrific. Who knew??? Tahnsk so much for your visit too. XO, Pinky

  2. I thought the FIRST one was amazing...this one is fabulous!

  3. Love the Frenchiness!
    And the technique.

  4. What a wonderful idea! This looks amazing!!! Very curious to see more of the 'frenchification' off your living room :-)

  5. ps: am following you around now

  6. This is very fascinating Ms. Kitty. Bookmarking it for future use. :)

  7. This is an awesome project! I can't wait to try it!

  8. Fabulous! Now I am on the search for a pretty print to do this. I love your new blog look.
    Hugs, Sherry

  9. Oh Miss Kitty this is a fabulous tip and tutorial! I will be featuring you Saturday on Facebook!

    Thanks so much for linking up at I Gotta Create! <3 Christina

  10. What a delightful Frenchy post... I love it! This is a beautiful tutorial and the picture looks fabulous on the wall... makes a lovely focal for the mantle vignette. I like the Frenchy details on your mantle:) Thanks for your lovely note,Miss kitty, it made my day!Happy Saturday!~Poppy

  11. Wow! I love this idea. Your vignette looks amazing! Fabulous frenchy goodness. I am now following and can't wait to see what other french touches you add.
    I'm also inviting you to link to our party as well, you are always welcome!

  12. Very interesting, I never saw that done before! Good job! :)

  13. How smart this is! Thank you for joining me at Home Sweet Home!

  14. Very cool, although I prefer to have mine printed right to the foam core. This protects from bubbles and stuff, so hard to lay it out perfectly straight! I found this website that can do it. Just thought I'd share my little trick for a perfect layout every time!

  15. Love this technique on this one and the birch trees print. What a great idea. Found you via Pinterest. You are so talented!


Thank you SO MUCH for taking the time to comment on my blog!

© Miss Kopy Kat. Design by FCD.