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Why, Thank You

As much as Scott loves any excuse to use his power tools (to clarify, we’ll call it a love / hate relationship, since it usually means I’ve dreamed up a new project and his weekends suddenly become more labor intensive than he’d like), we agree that easy upgrades are every bit as satisfying and enjoyable as the time suckers.

In this case, spray paint satisfied my crafty urge (surprise, surprise), and our “thank you” art in the living room got the makeover.

Some of you have asked us via email and comments about this ridiculous piece, and the answer never gets less embarrassing. Because, you guys, it’s the flap from a public trash bin. While it’s funnier to imagine us prying the plank from an in-use can, I’d like to somewhat redeem our dignity by saying that Scott found it in the trash (ironic, actually), and we saved it with a bleach bath and have been honoring it as an art display ever since.

Yeah, total weirdos.

We’ve had it for a few years now, and at the time, Scott suggested we give it a fresh coat of paint. Aside from the minty blue walls in our living room, we don’t actually use baby blue as an accent anywhere, but I insisted it was beautiful as-is.

Well, until I changed my mind (I’m a complex woman, after all), and we quickly agreed on black words with a clean, white background – sort of like text on paper. After a coat of spray primer, I used black spray paint to cover our thank you

And once that was dry, I used a foam roller to go over the rest of the board with a glossy white paint we had on hand.

Because the letters are lowered into our fancy pantsy art, my hope was that the white paint would glide right over the words, but after several coats, it seeped into the black spray anyway.

Somewhere along the way (and yes, I mean life in general), I remembered this tip for touching up spray paint in small areas: Just spray your original color right into the lid, then use an appropriately sized craft brush to paint over any errors.

I let our trash lid (it’s still weird, although we’ve been living with it for years now) dry overnight, then propped it back into place the next morning.

I’m not missing the speckled baby blue, and I’m thinking that Scott had the right idea from the beginning (it’s just too bad I didn’t listen years ago). The fresh paint plays off of our pillows – which is obviously how Scott should have spun the idea back then, right?

After the fact, we dabbled in the idea of using chalkboard paint as the background and white text. It would have been pretty nifty and sweet to write sentiments and thank yous, but until we have a more appropriate landing zone, we’d rather deal without the colored dust in our living room. (Hey, that’s what the kitchen back splash is for.)

We shared ours, now how about you? Any instantly gratifying upgrades around your home? Paint, curtains, a new throw for fall? Or… Any unique dumpster finds you’ve salvaged as art?


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  • Katie @ Making This Home9.28.11 - 9:01 AM

    ahhh I love this! Using what you’ve got.ReplyCancel

  • Susan @ Jubilee Furniture9.28.11 - 9:28 AM

    We have a “$100 fine” sign hanging in the game room (where the kids – when they’re home – hang out) which I found by the side of the road on a walk. Love your “thank you” and the story behind it (don’t remember hearing it before)!

    Most people fear driving with me because I’m known for stopping and picking up anything good I see left out for trash pickup (but doing so is actually in my job description – I believe).

    Ahh, Kim – you do make me laugh with your ways!ReplyCancel

  • Kate9.28.11 - 9:55 AM

    haha, that’s awesome that it’s a trash lid. I wish we found things like that in the garbage!ReplyCancel

  • Lauren L.9.28.11 - 10:42 AM

    That’s awesome! It’s a great conversation piece!ReplyCancel

  • Kim9.28.11 - 10:48 AM

    Susan – I agree that it is certainly part of your job description! I wish we had an excuse to get back out to Jubilee. I will have to think of something, yes? (There’s always something!)ReplyCancel

  • Ahh, I love that it’s part of a garbage can. And the mental image of you prying the flap off one at McDonalds. Hahaha. Love the changes, too. :)ReplyCancel

  • CourtneyOutLoud9.28.11 - 11:22 AM

    One man’s trash is another man’s artwork……ReplyCancel

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We’re Kim + Scott, Chicago based content creators behind the Home + Lifestyle brand Yellow Brick Home.

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