New Life for Old Art

Simple and inexpensive changes can really update a piece.
This cross-stitched scene of cows in a field has always been a favourite of mine but was neglected to a spot behind the TV because of the dated frame and mat. A few coats of crisp black spray paint updated the green and gold frame.
I used BEHR Premium Plus Ultra Exterior Satin Enamel to change the green mat to a crisp white (I had the paint out to work on a little bench.) I just used thin coats and it covered well. A no cost update as we already had both paints.
This stitching is now hanging in our family room above the fireplace. It is a nice 16" x 20" overall. We still have plans to add trim to spruce up the fireplace/TV wall but I'm really enjoying having this here. I think it adds a nice touch to the farmhouse/lakeside feel we are going for.
I have been happy with only one half of our family room for the last while. I'll make a few changes here and there but it is comfortable and working.
But the other side of the room is more of a challenge because of an off center fireplace, lack of mantel and huge older TV. We got rid of the dated TV/stereo stand and added our antique sideboard with future plans of a flat screen TV. I love wood tones so I don't think we will be painting this piece. Maybe stripping off the finish. I was still frustrated and I didn't even finish the paint in the TV nook (still yellow.) And there's a peek of the stitching hiding behind the TV.

Then I read Donna at Funky Junk Interior's post 'Gitter Done!'. I know it is summer and we are super busy with family things but I realized that I have been spending too much time blog surfing and not enough time on projects here. I decided then that one project at a time was better than being frustrated. Donna encouraged us to:
"1. Make a goal. It can be anything YOU need/want to get done - big or small, DIY or not DIY related.

2. Take a before and after pic. No need to make it a huge production unless that's what you wish to do. Simple is good too! Remember, you have stuff to do! :)"

I bought the linen tablecloths and made curtains to tie all the windows together. I sold the antique secretary that just didn't hold enough and that I had trouble finding a spot for.
Then I sat down and stared at the TV wall to pick one thing I could do to improve that area. The cow stitching was the project I chose. I'm really glad I did! Thanks Donna, for the encouragement to walk away from all the eye candy on the computer and 'Gitter Done'. It is easy to get caught up in other's projects and neglect a few simple ones of our own. I hope to get more done soon. Stop by Funky Junk Interiors Gitter Done Volume 3  or Funky Junk's SNS #52 Frames special, to see what everyone else is up to.

Hoping you are enjoying your week!


  1. That looks so good. You were so smart to paint the mat and frame for an updated look. laurie

  2. So adorable, what a great idea! I use to collect cows a few years back, still have a soft spot for them. :-) Have a great evening!

  3. Thank you for stopping by my blog, and the lovely comment! Looking forward to getting to know you better!


  4. It's funny, I've heard of other people painting their mat, and I have to say it never would have occured to me without inspiration. I think it is such a fantastic way to up-date a picture. Looks lovely.

  5. How funny just yesterday I was looking at a framed piece of artwork my mom made and thinking that I should really update the framing. You have inspired me to get going on that one! Thanks. Your stitching piece looks great!

  6. Elizabeth -

    So funny how tweaking something just a bit can make such a dramatic change. You are really gettin' 'er done! The slipcovers are fantastic. Like the ottoman complimenting the pillows.

    Your Friend,

  7. That's a great tip. I think of a lot of things, but not sure I would've thought to paint my mat. I love the subject matter too!

  8. YOU are to be commended! You didn't let the big scope of the project overwhelm you. All it takes is one thing at a time. And yeah, unfortunately, that means getting off the net in order to do it too. :) Nicely done! I'm going to take your/my own advice and do more of my own stuff too.

    The cow picture has a totally different vibe. Love it with your decor!


  9. Everything looks so nice. I love that you restored the cross stitch to its rightful place of glory. I love the white. Lisa~

  10. That simple change really changed the look of your picture. Good job.

  11. That looks great Elizabeth. I never thought of painting the mat. I love that cow cross stitching art piece. Thanks so much for linking up.

  12. Stopping by from Kim's Boring to Better party! This turned out great which is good because I came across three beautiful cross stitch pictures my SIL gave me for Christmas 20 years ago. I decided I was going to paint the mats and frames to update for now! Great minds!

  13. I have several frames in the loft because they are decorative but not quite right so this has inspired me to get out the brushes & change them to fit in .... as soon as I can step away from all the lovely blogs!


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