Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Paint Chip Patchwork

I could spend hours in the hardware store almost hypnotised by the range of lovely coloured paint chips all in harmonious arrangements, stretching across a whole wall.  It seems there are quite a few people out there who share this madness, and have found many ways to produce artworks and crafts from them.  Just go to Pinterest or Google and do a search.  My Pinterest board can be found at http://pinterest.com/bluemeg/paint-chip-heaven/ but there are many out there.

Inspired by this paint chip mosaic here and some quilting designs, I made this:

I bounced around the web for some time tracing links and viewing versions of this project and I think the original tutorial is at hopestudios.blogspot.com - my apologies if I am wrong. I won't repeat the well written tutorials out there made but I will tell you what I learned from the experience.

I divided the board into 35 6cm squares.  Then I cut the chips into shapes with sides of multiples of 2cm. 

I arranged the shapes to make squares with 6cm sides.   I put a piece of clear plastic over the board (sorry no photo) and arranged the squares on top of the plastic, holding them in place with tiny lumps of blu-tack. Then I could slide the plastic aside and transfer the pieces one by one onto the board as they were glued.

I did not have any Modge Podge, which is expensive in Australia anyway, so I used a mixture of water and PVA in approximately 50/50 proportions which worked very well. (PVA is polyvinyl acetate, which is white wood glue that dries clear. I think it is the same as Elmers school glue in the US)  I used it to glue down the chips and numerous layers over the top as a finish. 

To adhere the chips to the board I painted on the mixture in sections and let it dry a bit so that it was more tacky before placing the chips on top.  Some chips that I put over wetter or too much glue curled upwards at the edges.  Spray adhesive would probably have been easier.

Note how some of the edges of the chips have lifted. There is also grit caught in the finish.  Both of these problems could have been avoided if I had been working in better light and had fixed them before it dried. It looks OK from a distance and I like a less than perfect arrangement. If I did it again, I would cut more of the patches slightly less accurately, and let some more slivers of background show through.
I painted the board underneath black all over and didn't apply any stain or colour over the top of the mosaic as the black showing through the gaps was enough for me.

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