Saturday, September 6, 2014

"Antique" platter gallery wall

I used to worry that I had too much art for my walls. In a little apartment with only 8 walls, I did. But now, in a great big house with many more surfaces to fill, I find that I don't have enough good, grown up art to decorate my new house. So, I found myself in a position I never thought I would, looking for cheap classy art to hang in the guest room above the bed. 

My color palate in the room had already wandered a little farther than I'd wanted it to, and I'd already decorated one wall with old art from past homes, so I was looking for something neutral and simple, but not too modern. 

My original instinct was to hang a big decorative metal mirror, like I'm always seeing in pretty magazine bedroom-scapes. But, big decorative metal mirrors cost upwards of $100 even at inexpensive stores, and I didn't even spend that on a bed. So, that was off the list. 

Next, I started thinking about using multiple little metal mirrors, inspired by this relatively inexpensive set at Target. But, I was afraid with so much wall, they wouldn't quite fit the space. I would need more. 
While wandering the Goodwill in search of round mirrors to cobble together to make mirror collage, I found the section full of old discarded silver and aluminum trays. Having seen the silver gallery wall online before, I decided this might just be the ticket. So, I bought about 8 from two different thrift shops and went home to play with them. 
My intial plan was to spray paint them copper to match the colors I was already using in the room. But, I was scared to ruin something. So, I started with the three I deemed most ugly (and cheapest) and gave them a good coating with the same cheap copper spray paint I've used on other surfaces in the room already. Then, after 45 minutes of moving the collection of trays around on the floor and a good amount of guilt, I decided not to spray paint the real silver. It already had kind of a nice patina to it. Finally I decided return a handful of the (not painted) trays, realizing 8 may have been overkill in the space. 

My total cost at this point was about $9 (seeing as that the spray paint was already kicking around). 

I read online that 3M command strips worked well for these types of jobs, and I'd used them in the past, so I went and bought a package of command velcro strips and set to work. After carefully following the instructions tray after tray came crashing down onto the floor. Eventually, once the cat was scared to death and I had lost my patience, I came to the conclusion that they were not going to work. The stick-em was working just fine on the metal trays, but for one reason or another was having no part in sticking to my walls (this room, but the way, I didn't paint. I'm just going to let it be brown. So, perhaps the Command strips were trying to send me a message?)

Luckily, Amazon had the answer. For about $18 I got five plate hanging disks delivered to my house and affixed them to the platters. 
The end result, definitely worth the $25.

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