Artwork Conversion

My mom and dad have a condo on a beautiful lake in northern Indiana. We have been going there for 37 years, swimming, sailing, skiing, Seadoo-ing…. But back in the day, there were no cell phones, so when people were on the water and those on land wanted to communicate with them, the only option was to frantically wave arms, which was not very effective on a huge lake. As a solution, eons ago, I made some signal flags, ala coastguard. There were four that each meant something, ie: time to eat, company is here, etc. The idea was to hang them from the porch so the boaters could see them. 

Frankly, I think the flags were used maybe once. A few years ago, Mom and Dad returned them saying, “turn them into something”. So, I stretched them over canvases to use as wall art on the condo porch. They never made it to the lake. I found them (I won’t say where) and brought them with me on our recent trip. When we arrived, I discovered that the porch décor was in the process of changing. The rugs were very muted in contrast to my bright flags. What to do? 


The solution? Antiquing. We headed to Walmart, hoping to find some antiquing medium but they didn’t have any. Instead, I picked up a pack of sponge brushes, some brown acrylic craft paint and Mod Podge, which is a glue, sealer, and finish in one. Back at the condo, clad in a trash bag “apron”, the experiment began. In case you ever want to do anything like this, here are the steps:

  1. Remove flags from canvases because because they need glue on their backs. Tearing makes them look more aged. 
  2. Put a layer of Mod Podge on the canvas and lay the flags on the wet glue.
  3. Put another layer of Mod Podge mixed with a little brown paint on top, working as many air bubbles out as possible. Don't be concerned that it looks like you spilled a chocolate milkshake on your artwork.
  4. After the canvases dry, do another coat of tinted Mod Podge.
  5. Finally, apply some undiluted paint around the edges to add to the aging effect.  

Instant vintage!