My Family Gallery Wall Makeover
Hi, there! Today, I want to share my family gallery wall makeover. I just completed it yesterday.
Before – The Old Gallery Wall
We have a small desk facing one wall in our living room. My gallery of family pictures is positioned on that wall.
When we moved into our house almost seven years ago, Mr. B. hung the picture ledges and the matching mirror for me. They came from L.L. Bean Home.
I hung family pictures randomly, without measuring. I just “eyeballed” it. As the years go by, I keep adding pics.
The result is that the gallery wall was looking crowded and jumbled.
Also, I was not liking the honey maple color of the picture ledges and the mirror frame.
Materials for the Makeover
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- Annie Sloan chalk paint in Napoleonic Blue
- Annie Sloan soft wax in “Dark”
- Handy Paint Pail with disposable inner liner (available at the Home Depot)
- 2″ angled paint brush
- Painters tape
- Roll of craft paper
- Yard stick
- Measuring tape
- Pencil and black marker
- Right angle measuring tool
- Lint-free cloth for applying the dark wax (I used a microfiber cloth). Not pictured.
- Lint-free cloth for buffing the dried wax. Not pictured.
- Tack hammer. Not pictured.
- Picture hooks. Not pictured.
Painting the Picture Ledges and Mirror Frame
After the first coat of Annie Sloan Napoleonic Blue chalk paint, the color was too bright, and brush strokes were evident.
I didn’t freak out, though, because the Annie Sloan stockist told me to expect this effect . Just wait . . .
After the second coat of paint, I could not see the brush strokes anymore.
The color was much smoother but still, way too bright. (It’s the dark wax that does the trick).
You see, I wanted a navy blue color for the picture ledges and the mirror frame because I was trying to match the navy blue background of my living room rug. You can see that color in the photo above.
Do you see how applying the Annie Sloan dark wax over the Napoleonic Blue chalk paint makes it navy blue?
After letting the dark wax set for about 20 hours, I came back and buffed it with a soft cloth.
The picture above shows the nice luster of the finish after buffing.
Arranging and Hanging the Gallery
To create my gallery, I laid out the mirror and pictures on the floor to find my favorite arrangement.
Working in 3 separate areas, I measured and drew outlines of my pieces on craft paper.
In the photos above, you can see how I hung the craft paper on the wall after drawing outlines of the pictures.
I centered the pictures along grid lines that I drew on the paper and then traced around the pictures.
The photo above shows how I mounted the picture hooks to the wall right through the craft paper.
Also, you can see how I labeled the spaces outlined on craft paper with family names to remind myself of which picture should hang in each spot.
I hung my pictures right over the craft paper. My reason for doing this was to make sure that I had everything straight and aligned before removing the craft paper.
Unfortunately, I needed to re-position one of my pictures a couple of times to get it in alignment with others in the grouping. Thank goodness I still had the craft paper there with the grid lines drawn on it. This was a big help.
Once I knew that all of the pictures were arranged and aligned as I wanted them to be, I was ready to get rid of the craft paper.
I took the pictures down and tore the craft paper off the wall. It tears off easily around the mounted picture hooks.
Then, I was ready to re-hang the pictures and admire my finished gallery wall.
After – The Finished Gallery Wall
I re-used some of the family pictures from before. But, I added 8 new family photos that were taken during a beach vacation last summer.
For my 8 new photos, I chose frames in gold tones with off-white matting.
The new frames came from Michaels. I got them on sale, and the staff at Michaels did an excellent job of matting and framing the photos.
Takeaways from this Project
- Measuring and drawing outlines of my pictures on craft paper was a helpful step in getting the best arrangement for the gallery wall.
- I’m not very good at “eye-balling” something to make sure it’s straight and aligned. I really need to work on measuring and drawing accurate grid lines for a project like this.
- I like how the new gold-toned frames from Michaels give my gallery wall a more elegant look.
- Overall, I’m pleased with my gallery wall makeover.
What do you think? Do you also have a gallery wall of family photos at your house?
Let me know your thoughts. I’d love to hear from you.
Enjoy Life Creatively!