Alley Art Update: A Cool Hipster DIY Word-Art Street-Art from Thrift-Store/Found Painting


Another project for the Chic Rock Star Glam Bedroom make-over…This was a fun one. I was inspired by this blog post on Apartment Therapy, “5 Ways to Update Thrift Store Art”

A couple weeks after seeing this blog, I spied this “beauty” in an alley near my house and knew it would be perfect:


It was solid and the canvas was in good shape, it was big (32″ x 36″), and best of all, it was FREE. (I see paintings at the thrift store every week that would be great for a project like this for $5-10) I had a bunch of old vinyl lettering to use to mask out the letters in my stacks of art supplies, so I gathered up my supplies and started playing with the layout. (FYI: I “stole” the phrase from a Google search of “Word Art”) You can find these stick-on letters at office supply stores in several sizes.

paintingprogress1   paintingprogress2

I didn’t have quite enough letters for the whole phrase, so I used the “blanks” left on the backing paper, cut them out with an exacto knife, and attached them to the canvas with spray adhesive. I used painter’s tape to space out the letters, and then it was time to paint the top half with gloss white spray paint.


(Note: I pulled off the letters that were attached with the spray adhesive right away, before they dried permanently) After the white dried, I taped off to paint the bottom half, which I painted with black gloss spray paint. NOTE: Learn from my mistakes! Cover the whole top half thoroughly! I had to go back and touch-up the white where the black paint over-sprayed)


When the black was dry, I removed all the tape and all the vinyl letters.

paintingprogress5   paintingprogress6

At this point I felt the letters were a little too sharp, and I wanted to add a little dimension to the white area. I mixed up a very watery translucent pale gray with leftover white wall paint and a drop each of Mars Black and Ultramarine Blue acrylic paint. I very lightly brushed this over the top area in a sort-of “x” pattern, and had a damp sponge on hand to catch drips and smooth out where needed.


And here is the final result! While it is not perfect (some of the letters are a tad off, but think that adds to the “street-art” feel) I am very pleased with it, and it looks great in the Chic Rock Star Glam Bedroom. The whole project took less than 2 hours, and all it cost me was about $4 in paint (I had the rest of the materials on-hand) More bedroom projects coming soon! Just a few more to go before it’s complete.

paintingdone1   paintingdone2

Share your updated” Art projects in the comments section. I’d love to hear about them!

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One thought on “Alley Art Update: A Cool Hipster DIY Word-Art Street-Art from Thrift-Store/Found Painting

  1. Pingback: Cheap Mirror Make-over for the Rock Star Glam Bedroom (or, What a Difference Some Paint Makes, Part 2) | the Year of Living Fabulously

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