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a home + living guide for the post-college, pre-parenthood, quasi-adult generation

08.27.2001

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big decorating dreams. tiny little budget. don't be a wallflower! jump on over to the discussion boards and get decorating help.
 
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other recent LOUNGE articles:
o Painting 101
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Make it Mosaic!
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Estate Sales 
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Open House 
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Hammock Heaven 
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Makeshift Vases 
o Newlyweds' Nest 
o Variations on a Theme 
o Hanging by a Wire
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travel decorating on the cheap 
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what goes where?  
furniture arranging 101 
o Easy Corner Shelves
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Stain Rx
o Hang-up Help
Cluttered place/ Spartan Space
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Make a Duvet Cover
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Roommates from Hell
o Build a Bookcase

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say it with Spraypaint 
by Gretchen Schaefer |
1 2 3 4 
continued from page 2

Prep it for paint!
For this article, I used frames from a discount store that cost just two bucks a piece. One of these frames is even plastic. Spray paint is remarkably adhesive, especially when you use a primer first. In some instances, depending on the finish of the frame, primer isnít mandatory. To be on the safe side, though, priming is recommended on any project. Primer will help with applying the finish coat in two ways: it provides a flat surface for the finish layer to adhere to, and it also takes out the shine from the frame, making it easier to see where youíve already painted, or where you need more. This is especially helpful when working with metallics. I chose gray automobile primer as it has a high grip and is the best neutral color for the colors Iíve used here.

On frames like these, sanding is unnecessary, due to the cheap finishes already on them. If you were redoing a more expensive frame with a very slick finish, you would want to sand it lightly with steel wool (to get in the details) or for larger, flatter surfaces, regular sandpaper. If youíre in doubt, test it out. If the primer pools or separates from the finish, rough up the surface with a little sanding first. Once the primer has dried on the frames, youíre ready to Ö

Get creative.
The aerosol nature of spray paint allows you to work with it differently than youíd work with traditional brush paint. The farther away you hold the nozzle from the frame, the lighter the coat. A light sweep of silver over a base color will add just a little sparkle (think hair glitter from eighth grade), while moving the can closer as you spray will produce a full metallic finish. For specialty paints (chalkboard, hammered metals, frosted glass) follow the instructions on the can if you want the results promised by the label, but donít feel limited. Experiment a little, and youíll quickly discover what works, and what just doesnít. The green background reverse-mat paint that you see in the blue frame, for instance, is chalkboard paint that I never "activated" with chalk.

don't stop! more fun spraypainted frame projects ...

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Silver photo frame: The easel back was painted with metallic cobalt, and the frame in silver hammered metal. The glass I painted with a frosting paint. To leave the center clear for the photo, I taped a junk 4x6 photo in the center before spraying. Window cleaner WILL affect the frost texture, so I used window cleaner to roughen the edge of the clear window. To that effect, I put in the glass with the frosting to the inside, so that it can be cleaned of dust easily without damaging the frosting.

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