Even leftover wall paint can be transformed into a work of art

We all have all at one point ended up with more paint than we needed. The bigger the project, the harder it is to estimate how much paint is really required. It often happens that after a job is done, we’re left with half a can of paint – this is actually an excellent opportunity to roll up your sleeves and get creative. 

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Leftover paint, varnishes and solvents must not be thrown into general household waste or down the drain, as this can lead to the hazardous contamination of soil and groundwater. So they often get stored in a pantry, garage or basement and forgotten about. After each finished project, we recommend saving a small amount of paint and pouring it into a glass storage jar, to be used in the future on small repairs. The rest of the paint can be used to inspire your next creative project.

Allow leftover paint to inspire the artist in you

Leftover wall paint is less suitable for application on an artist’s canvas. As the paint on the canvas dries, it can crack and crumble off, due to the different composition of the paint intended for such use. However, wall paint can be applied in a thin layer on another more absorbent surface, such as thicker drawing paper. Just a little leftover paint is enough to create brilliant geometric patterns with a modern touch, without any special drawing skills. 


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A ruler and protective tape are your two best friends for drawing geometric patterns. This is especially true for drawing perfectly straight and sharp lines. Lines drawn in pencil should be almost completely erased before applying paint. This is particularly the case when using light shades, where traces of pencil can remain visible under the paint. We recommend avoiding the use of any other pens, as the paint can bring stains back to the surface during the drying phase. 


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Perseverance is of course required. Smaller geometric shapes will require more precision and patience. When creating patterns with the help of protective tape, you will need to divide the work into several phases, as not all the figures can be painted in one go. Start with every other field; after painting carefully remove the protective tape, wait for the paint to dry well, and then continue. Apply the paint in thin layers, with the help of a small brush or roller, which will allow sufficient precision. You may even need to divide the work into three or four phases, depending on the size and shape of the figures. Before each application, check that the paint is completely dry.


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Remove the protective tape with care. Peel off the protective tape from the surface slowly, at an angle, and before the paint dries completely.

Since a larger number of different shades are usually needed for more elaborate works of art, shading can be a helpful technique. Whitewashing often leaves the perfect white for shading. It can be mixed with any leftover water-based wall paint, or with ordinary acrylic tempera paint found in school supplies. If necessary, the existing colour palette can also be supplemented with colour samples.


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When choosing your colour palette, consider the existing colours in the room where the picture will be hung. There may be a creative way to connect all the colours that already appear in the small details of the furniture or decorative elements in one picture, and create a work of art that seamlessly becomes part of the room. On the other hand, use strong contrasts and complementary colours to achieve more striking and bold effects. The timeless combination that suits almost any space is, of course, black and white. Ensure that the brush or tool used to apply the paint is thoroughly cleaned during each application; in any case, we recommend starting with black and finishing with white. 


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Creativity knows no bounds. The paint can be applied with a sponge or crumpled piece of textile connected with an elastic band to form interesting textures. Sharp and clean lines can be turned into soft and flowing transitions, or you can opt for a combination of both. You can also play with photography, which uses a computer programme for photo processing to reduce the number of pixels, and try to imitate this pattern. Larger elements in the pattern will create a more abstract and serene look. Conversely, a smaller pattern will create more detail and dynamism. Interesting visual effects can also be achieved by combining monochrome fields and newspaper clippings. In combination with TESSAROL universal coatings, you can also use magazine clippings, which are usually printed on smoother paper. 


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Of course, you are not limited to wall paints. A similar approach can also be used with leftover wood stain coatings. And the cherry on top is the opportunity to form the base yourself using discarded pieces of wood, which are first sanded and cleaned well. Transparent wood stains will ensure that the natural texture of the wood remains visible. Different colour tones for stains can also be created with a different number of layers; another option is to paint fields with transparent stains combined with fields painted with a top coat. This is a great solution even for a piece of wood in worse condition with more knots or unappealing marks. Remember that according to Wabi sabi philosophy, the magic lies in the small imperfections. 


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How to store leftover paint properly

To ensure paint leftover from whitewashing can be used to create new art later, make sure it is properly stored. Otherwise, the paint can very quickly go bad, dry out, become lumpy or start to smell. Before starting the work, remember to make sure that the paint is still usable after having sat in storage for a while. How? Browse for useful tricks and tips for storing paint


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