White Painting

I have a rule in my house: I don’t hang anything on my walls that isn’t personal. Your walls and personal space are a direct reflection of who you are, so why would you hang something someone else made? Why would you frame photos someone else took? The personal satisfaction and gratification of admiring a job well done while relaxing on the sofa or remembering that amazing trip to Bali are all part of the fun.

In an effort to cover the walls, some inspiration and ingenuity is required. Sometimes it’s in the form of a direct rip-off, other times it’s just an idea…

During a shopping trip to Z Gallerie, I stumbled upon an odd painting and immediately fell in love with the concept. It was all one color, white, on white canvas. All it was white paint textured across the surface of the canvas at a whopping price tag of $499.95. This piece was perfect to hang above my brand new bed, matching my textured white linens, but $500 for some paint scratched across the canvas, really?

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So my brain went to work. How could I create something similar?

So a trip to Joann’s later, armed with a 50% off coupon, I purchased a large 30” x 40” stretched canvas for $24 and several different variations of white acrylic paint, at $1.42/each went home and went to town.

I started by laying the canvas across two plastic containers so that the edges would sit up above the table and then laid down foil around the edges to catch the drips. I started layering the different shades of white and covering the entire surface with paint – vertically only and blending the varying shades together.

Once the entire canvas was filled, I started making vertical streaks straight out of the paint bottle from one end to the other – creating a raised ‘line’ of paint from top to bottom, going over both edges of the canvas. I repeated this all across the canvas, crossing some lines, etc. I then used a paintbrush to smooth and adjust the lines – making sure there was definition between each.

Once I had dripped to my heart’s content, I let the piece dry and dried with a household hairdryer, on hot at low speed until it was tacky enough to pickup and set aside for final drying.

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What I was left with was a large beautiful piece that sets off and completes my bedroom nicely. It’s a quiet statement that is both conservative and modern.

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I loved the idea of a painting with the absence of color, as my walls were painted with a bold pattern. It was kind of a reverse effect. It created a visual break in the wall with an absence of color, rather than a pop.

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I originally planned to hang just the canvas, but ultimately decided to frame it. They used to have these great sectional frames at Michael’s that you could just build yourself. You pick out a pair of 30” and a pair of 40” sections and build the frame yourself with fasteners. It doesn’t look like they sell them anymore, but they have something similar in a metal version at Hobby Lobby.

This piece was actually featured in a company employee art show for several months. I received a couple of offers for the painting, but I just love it so much, I couldn’t let it go.

Michelle South_3748


30 x 40” Canvas – $47.99/each = $24.00 with 50% Coupon

White Acrylic Paints – $1.42/each x 10 = $14.20

Wood Frame – $15/30” pair, $20/40” pair

Total: $73.20

(Savings: $426.75)

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