{diy with style} Framed Paint Brush Art

Every garage needs art, right?! Ok, maybe need isn't the right word. But the framed paint brushes in my garage sure do make me happy, and this garage art was pretty easy to make! Last week I showed you all the organized garage details, and today I wanted to share this easy paint brush art tutorial. This would also make the perfect display for a craft room, art studio, or in the bedroom of a really creative kiddo!

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I started by heading to Michael's and buying a frame the size I wanted. They have an aisle of open back frames that you buy without glass, which was perfect for my needs, and saved us a little money. I decided I wanted a really intricate frame, because I wanted that juxtaposition of a fancy frame in a the garage, just for fun. Then we bought a piece of birch plywood and cut it to fit inside the frame.

I bought a package of inexpensive, wood handled chip brushes and laid them out in different configurations. I decided I liked the v-shaped layout the best, so measured to space them evenly, and then used a pencil to mark the location of the wholes in the top of each paintbrush on the birch plywood.

We have quite the collection of extra screws, so we tested out a few sizes until we found one just small enough for the paint brushes to hang on them. Scott drilled small pilot holes at each pencil mark, to ensure the plywood wouldn't crack, and then put in the screws, leaving them sitting out about the same distance as the depth of the paint brush handles.

With all the screws installed, I was ready to paint the plywood. I wanted a black background for my art so that the paint on the paint brushes would really pop. I used my favorite Rust-Oleum satin paint and primer.

Then I painted the frame using Rust-Oleum Pearl Metallic Sea Mist - the same color that I used for the pegboard on the workbench below the art.

I love the way the light bounces off of the metallic spray paint, which really accentuates the intricate details on the picture frame.

Once the paint was dry on the frame and the front of the plywood, we put the plywood in the frame and used simple L-brackets to hold the wood in place. We also installed a D-ring picture hanger at the top center of the back of the frame. 

Now that the frame was ready, I moved on to the paint brushes. I started by staining the handles to match the Rust-Oleum Summer Oak wood stain that we used on the top of our workbench. I've always just used rags to stain before, but when working on the garage I tried out some new staining pads that I really loved. They hold more stain than a rag, making it easier to stain faster.

Once the stain on the paint brush handles was dry, I was ready to dip the brushes in paint. I wanted to use latex paint rather than acrylic craft paint, so I bought a bunch of mini Benjamin Moore paint sample bottles from my favorite paint store.

I poured a little of each color into the bottom of short, plastic cups with a wide enough bases for the paint brushes to fit easily inside.

I dipped each paint brush into a different color of paint, pressing down and bending the bristles from side to side to cover all but the very top of the bristles.

The biggest challenge of this entire art project was finding a way for the paint brushes to dry. I tried just sitting them on the edge of a counter with the bristles hanging off... but they were too top heavy. Instead, I grabbed a piece of Styrofoam from a recent delivery, and inserted extra pegs from our workbench pegboard. I angled them into the Styrofoam so that the paint brush hung at an outward angle which {mostly} prevented the wet paint from touching the Styrofoam.

When all of the brushes here dry, I started playing around with color arrangements.

Once I came up with a color combo I liked (and made sure that the writing on each paint brush handle was turned back, I hung the paint brushes from the screws in the plywood, and hung the art on the wall above the work bench.

I absolutely love how my paint brush art turned out! This garage artwork ties in perfectly with all of the paint chip details that we used to add color though out the garage, including the paint chip labels on the bins, and the paint swatch covered fridge and freezer!

Framed Paint Brushes Garage Art

Ready to check out the rest of my garage?!
You'll find all of the organizational details in the first post below, as well as tutorials for all of the other projects in the links below.

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