David and I have been working on small and medium sized projects around the house. Of course, I take on too many at once, so they're all coming slowly. I'm just focusing on getting a little done on each one every week.
One solution that I've been thinking about for quite awhile was how to break up this expanse of brick wall in our family room. It's beautiful but I really felt like it overpowered the room, but didn't want to spend a lot of money on art. And I didn't want to paint it.
One project that I read about on Stephanie's blog and on Erin's blog seemed like a great solution for this spot. Right now I'm really happy with it. We'll see in a few months if I'm not ready to try something else.
I started with 2 foot by 4 foot thin boards that I got at Lowe's. A friend with a table saw (thanks Mike!) cut them for me to 2x3 feet.
Then I stained them with Minwax until I got the color I was going for. This took no time at all. I left them to dry for several days, but really it probably only needed a few hours.
I bought a rubber door mat at Lowe's that I really liked. I spent a little bit of time pulling off the stray pieces of rubber that didn't come all the way off when the mat was made.
Because my mat was (intentionally) smaller than my boards, I used painters tape to tape off the area where the mat would be and covered those outside edges with newspaper. This was the most time consuming step. I could have had the boards cut to the size of the mat, but I was looking for a larger piece of art, and couldn't find a mat any larger. It ended up working though.
I finally made the time to spray paint on the windiest day conceivable. It worked though. Once I sprayed on 2 or 3 coats of spray paint, I pulled the mat and tape right off. I didn't let it sit and dry.
You can see at the bottoms I somehow got spray paint where the newspaper should have been. I'm assuming that's because of the wind and the paper flying everywhere. David got me the right sandpaper and I sanded off the spray paint and then re-stained the small areas where it happened.
The hardest part was probably putting in the masonry screws to hang the art (thanks David!). I chose the stain to compliment the bricks but I think you could go with brighter colors and it would look great as well.
Another angle of the room. So what do you think?
Boards - $8 each
Stain - $4 (used less than half)
Spray Paint - $3 (used less than half)
Mat - $20 (hoping to use again)
Friend to cut your board to size - Priceless