Saturday, April 13, 2013

Master Bedroom Headboard Make-Over

Quite a few years ago, we purchased a beautiful, flush-mounted, king-sized headboard from West Elm. It was thick and cushy, with gorgeous, chocolate brown velvet upholstery. It went perfectly in our bedroom, which we'd painted and designed to resemble a cozy, rusty-colored hibernation cave.


When we moved to our new home last September, I knew I wanted to lighten up a bit with my color palette. This house has so many windows, and so much light streaming in from all sides, that it screams its desire for bright, happy colors. In response, my muse settled on lime green with pops of other colors as our preferred decor palette.

So off came the chocolate brown cover, to be replaced with a piece I wanted to paint, myself.

I purchased a large piece of muslin and ironed it carefully, being sure to get out all the wrinkles. Failing in that step would have meant that any wrinkles left in the fabric would have remained after it had been painted, and they would have become impossible to remove! I chose muslin over a heavier fabric because I knew once it had several layers of paint on it, it needed to remain lightweight enough to still stretch and fold easily over the original headboard.


I broke out my supplies, having a pretty clear idea of exactly how I wanted to paint the piece.

I wanted to create large, variegated color blocks with opaque paint that I knew would soak into the fabric and behave as a resist to later layers. I went right to the big boys of paint, house paint and heavy-bodied artist acrylics.


I'd had the house paint left over from a previous project (which still hasn't gone up onto the wall yet, so I haven't been able to show it to you- but I will soon, I promise!) and it was in the perfect colors, so I used it.

For each color block, I chose randomly from my color palette and spread a few tablespoons worth of two to three colors onto a large sheet of plate glass.


Then, using a fluffy roller, picked up the paint.


I made sure then to roll out the paint enough to saturate the fibers of the roller, and to blend the colors together onto it.


Then I took it to the fabric.

 
 (This is just a sample of the fabric for blogging purposes- as I said, I ironed all the wrinkles out of the actual piece, first.)

As you can see in the sample above, the color blocks were imperfect, with raggedy edges, which is exactly the effect I wanted. I'll explain why in a moment.

I covered the entire piece in large color blocks, switching amongst the colors in my chosen palette freely. I wanted variation.



Then came the hard part: waiting for it to dry. For the next step, it was critical that the paint be fully set and bone dry, so I walked away and left the piece overnight.

The next day, it was time to bring out the beauty of those raggedy edges, this time with fluid acrylics that would find their ways into all the areas of the fabric that weren't fully saturated with dried paint. For this step, I used two of my favorite products- Golden Fluid Acrylics, and Dye-Na-Flow. Why two seperate products? Simply because those were the products I had on hand in the colors I wanted.


I poured the paints into squeezie bottles, careful to mix the appropriate amount of Airfix into the Dye-Na-Flow. Airfix removes the need to set the paint with heat, which is a requirement when working with Dye-Na-Flow. If you don't set it, it will "crock", or come off onto everything- hands, clothes, etc. The Golden artist colors didn't need a fixer, but if you were doing this and wanted to maintain a super soft hand to the fabric, you could mix it with a textile medium called GAC900

Then I took my squeezie bottles to the fabric. Spraying the fabric with water to saturate it, I squeezed all the various colors in between my color blocks. The paint spread beautifully, filling in all the fibers that were not filled with dried paint.


Like I had with the color blocks, I switched the fluid acrylics freely and allowed them to blend with one another on the fabric.


Then I let the piece dry once more. Because it was now saturated with fluid acrylics, it took about two days to fully dry and cure.


Here you can see the painted fabric after it was dried, draped over the headboard.

Next, I stapled the fabric to the headboard (sorry, I didn't get photos, but I used hospital corners and an electric staple gun) and today, we mounted it onto the wall.




We love it. It really brightens the room up, and is- so far- the first color that's gone into the space. The room will be completed over the next few months with a duvet cover and shams, an area rug, and some art. I'll show progress photos of the projects I have in mind as they are created and put into the room.

Coming up later this week, a giveaway, and a blog hop!! In the meantime, happy creating!

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