Dining Room Rehab - Lighten Up

The dark and dreary corner of our dining room is a holdover from my last apartment, where all the woods were dark and I was going for the "urban sophisticate" look. Well now that I'm more concerned with making my house a home and embracing the big window and the wonderful natural sunshine we get in the dining room, it's time to lighten up - literally! All the frames were purchased in black specifically to be grouped together.  And for the most part, I was liking it - but the corner felt dark and heavy in comparison to the light walls and floors - especially next to the two bookshelves that are on the adjacent wall. So the frames came down and the glass and art came out.

To paint the frames, I had to wait for a couple good-weather days in a row, since I knew that the black paint would take many coats of white to be fully covered. I used old cardboard as my "work area" - it's been used before as my spray-paint station!

First up, a nice even coat of primer. Doesn't have to hide all the black (and it won't) but it needs to be evenly applied because that's what the white paint will stick to. This way I didn't have to do any sanding (and since I wasn't sure how all the frames were constructed, I wouldn't risk damaging them with sanding).

The primer was followed up with four coats of white spray paint, which I spaced out between two days. I used a satin finish because I couldn't decide between glossy and flat! Note: if you don't get spray-painter's hand-cramp after this, you are super-human. Ow!

I hung the pieces back up in the same basic configuration - but once I had the old prints in the new white frames, some of the black and white (read: mostly black) photographs looked too dark for the frames. So they went to live in my "art that needs framing" file and the white frames got some more colorful pieces that I already had.

One frame just wasn't up for the makeover (the little one in the corner with the lady holding her rosary. I thought it would look weird with a white frame) so that got set aside. To fill the blank space, I pulled out a little 8x10 canvas (got it a while ago at an arts supply store) and some acrylic paints. I'm no pro, but some swirled paints got me a little piece of custom art for next to nothing and filled out my gallery wall. No framing necessary!

This is project #2 for our dining room rehab! More to come.