DIY Art – What to do w/ LOTS of Sample Pots

What don’t you expect when you buy your first home together? For my husband and I, we did not expect that we would battle as we have to find a design style we can both appreciate. I’m not sure its totally definable, but it is somewhere between mid-century modern and scandi. Our house has so many stories, many of which I plan to continue to share here on my blog, but one of my favourites is how long it took us to decide on the color for our living room! This wall color gave way to us creating this massive, beautiful piece of art for less than $50! If you’ve always wanted a large piece of art hanging in your home, but couldn’t afford to fork over a few thousand dollars, read on!


I’m sure that we are not alone in that most couples will fight about what color to paint their wall, and to ease tension, purchase sample pots to “try out a color”. We did this like… 6 times? What we ended up with was half a dozen sample pots, in varying colors that we liked (some which we even loved but didn’t make the compromise), and no place to put them but a strong desire to not just “throw them away”. My solution was to create a large feature painting for our living room wall using the back of a slice of canvas we painted on our first Wedding Anniversary (funnier story behind that one).

Isaac built the frame (which you can buy a prefinished canvas if you like!), whilst I went about finding inspirations for a painting style that matched my limited abilities. I think I landed somewhere between a Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothco – a mere cheap imitation to any of their masterpieces, mind you! 

I had a hard time priming the used canvas I chose (raw watercolor on canvas does not accept gesso over top well). I ended up spending a fortune in gesso, but it was worth it to keep our Anniversary Painting. So if you are considering reusing a canvas, maybe not one that is heavily stained with watercolor – hehe. Also, another tip, get a few different sized spackle knifes as they can be quite handy to create smooth blocks of color and mix on the canvas (creates sort of a marble effect).

Also, I wish I would have experimented more with watered down paints more on the first layer. I really like watercolors, and I would have liked to have created pools of gradations of color. I only figured it as I went. I would even suggest trying some different techniques on a smaller practice paper/canvas so you can get a feel for what you want. I’m not really a “look before you leap” type of person, so I am not sure I would have even taken this advice from myself. But if you have the time/patience/interest, I think the end piece would turn out better with a trial first, if you are new to painting. 🙂

So the end result is definitely ridiculously impressive! I am no artist when it comes to painting, but we constantly get compliments and people asking how much we paid for the painting. Its also super fun for us to see their astonishment, interest, and laughs when we tell them about our fights, and the stories behind making it! For something that reused things we were going to throw away, plus the gesso ($20), brackets to hang ($5), and wood to stretch the used canvas on ($15). Granted, if you factor in the cost of the reused initial materials, it cost us a bit more, but not much. It was a fun exercise to do as a couple, and I hope it inspires you to try something new! 

If you decide to do this, send me your photos!

Categories: FOR THE HOME