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Home decoration: Choosing Your Materials

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Painting effects, assorted papers, fabrics, strange objects:  Home décor allows for infinite variety.  Let your imagination run wild … and admire the result!

1. The frame

Home décor paintings are done on stretched canvases of linen or cotton.  They come in different sizes and shapes:  square and rectangular, but also round and even triangular.

You have the choice of classic frames (18mm thick) or “3D” (35mm).  3D frames do not need any framing and create, on the whole, perceptible raised areas.  You can combine the two models in a single composition.

You may prefer to staple pre-primed canvases onto the back of the frame (rather than glue them on the sides), which would allow you to avoid having to prime them before starting to work.

Trick of the Trade: Original Media

As long as they are primed with the aid of an “adhesive” medium specially designed for use in home décor, many surfaces are capable of being painted.  Such is the case with wood (simple soft planks, but also duckboard, and even strips from blinds), metal, or various fabrics with which you wish to exploit motifs or textures.

2. Painting

For the background, it’s best to use very quick-drying acrylic paint, which can later be blended with another medium to modify the effect.

Paint that is already textured (containing earth, sand, or even metal particles) can be used as is, and is readily available.

“3D” paint is a thick variety of acrylic applied with a knife, spatula, comb, or with the aid of specific instruments to produce various effects.

3. Decorative Paper

Cut, glued, or crumpled, paper is an inexhaustible source of inspiration because of its matter, texture, motifs … or all that at once!

  • Colored:  smooth or grained, drawing paper comes in a number of shades.  You can cut, glue, and also fold them.  In this fashion, you can create small subjects, origami-style.
  • Tracing paper or stained glass:  Available in many colors, they are are easily adapted to become leaves, windows, butterfly wings…
  • Silk or crêpe paper:  Rolled, folded, or crumpled, they easily create raised areas to dress a silhouette or transform into flowers. (homedeco-002-C)
  • Metallics:  Play on their reflections, in conjunction with small mirrors or even sequins.
  • Leather or parchment:  A real trompe-l’oeil, they easily find their place in a composition honoring a writer, for example.
  • Craft or natural:  incrusted with flower petals or leaves, highly textured, it adapts seamlessly to ethnic, retro, and romantic environments.
  • Dyed foam:  Cut and glued, it becomes a two-dimensional object.
  • Paper napkins, wallpaper:  Take advantage of their décor!  Glue them on your frames or trace the motifs.

4. Materials to Include in your Paintings

  • Fabric, lace, ribbons, wool, cotton canvases, and/or upholstery binding.
  • Pearls, broken jewelry, small chains, feathers, sequins, and/or metallic thread.
  • String, raffia, spices, and/or grains.
  • Sand, stones, and pebbles, shells, twigs, tree bark, and/or dried moss.
  • Photos, images and motifs found in magazines, postcards, books, musical scores, address labels, and/or small film posters.
  • Precut shapes in cardboard or plywood (to reproduce the outline or glue onto your frame after having been painted and decorated), stencils, and/or ink stamps.
  • Modeling clay (to be fired or not), to cut shapes with a choice of pastry cutters, molds, and/or stamp tips.
  • Mirrors, small frames within which you will create a décor.
  • Small objects:  miniature toys, subjects created with cooked modeling clay, lustrous tassels, and/or springs, etc.

5. Indispensable Accessories

  • Scissors, utility knife, ruler, pencil, and eventually color pencils to discretely trace outlines.
  • A selection of rollers and brushes (round, brush, stencil brushes, dry brushes, stencil brushes), preferably synthetic hair brushes.
  • Spatula, painter’s knife, comb, and even a toothbrush for painting effects.
  • Masking tape to define clear margins.
  • Vinyl glue in a tube or spray, designed for the materials that you intend to use.   Varnish glue can also prove very practical to set and protect paper in a single operation.
  • Finishing varnish (mat, satin, or brilliant) compatible with acrylic paint.