Revamp Old Artwork

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Introduction: Revamp Old Artwork

Hey everyone!

This was just a little project I've been wanting to do for awhile and finally had a chance to get around to it today. You can take old artwork and revamp it with your favourite quote or a word or whatever you like!

This project took me 3 hours to make and cost me $6.75. It would take less time if you had a shorter quote, though.

Step 1: Find Your Art

This was a painting that I found at a garage sale for $1. I liked it but I didn't know if I LOVED it. I bought it anyway with this project idea in mind. I figured if I decided I didn't want it as artwork I could always paint over it with a quote.

If you have old art lying around, this may be the project for you! If you don't, perhaps you can find something cheap at a thrift store or a garage sale.

Step 2: Get Your Materials Ready

Now it's time to get all your supplies ready!

The materials you need:

~A piece of art

~Spray paint (I used white)

~Stick-on letters (I bought these at a craft store called Michaels. Michaels usually has some coupons on their website that you can print off. With my 40% off coupon, these stickers cost me $5.75).

~A quote or word you want to use. The quote I picked was from an online poet named Erin Hanson (e.h). You can check her work out online by googling "The Poetic Underground". The poem I chose to use was this:

There is freedom waiting for you

On the breezes of the sky,

And you ask "What if I fall?"

Oh but my darling,

What if you fly?

Step 3: Apologize to Barry

Sorry Barry! I'm sure you're a nice guy and all, but I'm painting over your art.

Step 4: Space Out Your Letters

Once you decide on a quote, it's time to get the letters all spaced out.

As you can see, I did not have enough letters to do the entire quote. I decided to paint the art piece by piece, instead of painting it all at once. This way, I could keep moving letters down that I needed to use after I already painted the top part. Yes, I know this is more work and there is an easier way to do this (buy more letters) but I was trying to make this project on a budget. If you want to spend more money for more letters you can do this in one go. If not, you have to do it in pieces. Another solution would be to have a smaller quote or poem or even just one word and then you wouldn't need to use up so many letters.

I laid down all my words and then used a black marker to mark small dots where the sentences would start and finish.

Step 5: Start Painting

Like I said in the previous step, this would be much easier with a shorter quote or more letters to use. If you can paint it all at one time, I would recommend it. I want to try this art again but maybe next time I will pick a shorter quote or a single word. It all depends on the size of the canvas and the quote you want to use (I had my heart set on using this poem).

Since I painted it in steps, I had to keep covering the previous letters and spaces that weren't ready to paint yet. If you're painting this all in one go, it wouldn't be an issue.

Step 6: Peel Off Your Letters

Once the paint is dry and everything is finished, you can start peeling off your letters.

Make sure you buy letters that peel off easily and not stickers that will tear your painting or make a mess.

I want to re-use these letters in the future so I saved them on a piece of parchment paper.

I also saved the already peeled outlines of the stickers as they may be useful for lettering another project later.

Step 7: Enjoy Your New Art!

Once you're finished, it's time to hang your painting! I just hung this for the picture, it won't be staying in this spot.

I realize that some of the words aren't exactly straight, but I didn't use anything to keep my sentences in line. If I did this project again I would definitely recommend using a ruler or something straight to keep everything lined up and nice.

I also realized after the fact that I forgot a question mark and one comma. Oops! Let's just ignore that...

Thank you for checking out my instructable and have a great day! :)

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    48 Comments

    I'm not sure for US, but do that in France and you can go to jail. It's illegal to destroy or «modify» an other one artwork without is knowledge or is consent.

    Be warned.

    Good thing we are not in France! lol

    I'm actually in Canada but thanks for the info! I don't think we have that same law here (although I could be wrong) but thanks for the tip anyway! :)

    I just want to say that i think this is a very cool 'ible. Don't get me wrong, everyone is entitled to their opinions, but damn, i just don't get it why people are so critical of this? Why can't people just recognize this as someones hard work and creativity?

    Thank you :)

    I like this! I think I might try something like this with most of the spray concentrating around the edges of the letters and less spray as you move away from the letters, letting a little more of the picture shine through. I also think maybe a metallic paint would look good too. Oh, and awesome choice of quotes.

    Thank you! I'd be interested in seeing how your piece turns out! :)

    I saw someone doing this but I will stress this. Please be careful just getting random art for cheap at yard sales, etc. You never know when something might really be worth a lot of money, even in the future. You sure don't want to accidentally destroy some work of art someone else might be willing to pay a fortune for.

    That's a good point, thanks for mentioning that!

    If someone is looking to make art this way but is worried about painting over an old canvas painting there are other solutions as well. You could always paint over a "paint by numbers" painting or some other piece of artwork that's not an actual hand painted piece on canvas. If you do paint on some random artwork you found it would be best to google it first and see if it's worth anything. You can even take a picture of it and then press the "search google for this image" button to see if anything comes up.

    Thank you clewis21 for bringing up a good point and if people are painting over art, just be careful it's not an important piece! Have a great day! :):)

    A more creative thing to do is to apply this to the back side of the artwork filling in the letters and leaving the rest clear. Then build it into a light box, when the light is applied from behind the lettering will become more dominant but you will still see the painting. Even if it was mass produced, and you may call me a simpleton if you wish, I liked the picture and I thought the end result was less than desirable.

    Let's not disregard the fact that no matter how this painting was created it was a part of someones livelihood. So we may disrespect the process, but I find destroying the result of someones effort to provide food and shelter (and some of the opinions about posted above) distasteful. Don't forget cars are made the very same way, we applaud that because it makes them affordable to the common folk, just as these paintings are affordable to someone without means to display a Van Gough.

    It is a good start to augmenting a less than spectacular picture.