Paint Layering Technique ~ French Relief Wall Art

While I’m always raving about the wood section of the thrift store, there certainly are other haunts that are a must-see too. For instance, these two plaques were in the home decor section and jumped right in my cart…really. tsk. How about I show you my vision for them by demonstrating my paint layering technique? Game on.

Thrifted Plaques Wall Art Before Makeover by Prodigal Pieces |

So…would you grabbed them? To be honest, the color reminded me of a moss covered garden art, which isn’t all that bad…for a garden. However, I had a better idea. I felt they would be awesome showcased on a couple of cupboard doors from my stash to end all stashes. See how I’ve used others in these posts.

Upcycled Cupboard Doors Before by Prodigal Pieces |

*post contains affiliate links so you can find the products I love to use too. (see full disclosure)

To make this easier, I’ve created a video tutorial for you below. The steps are pretty simple and I’ll briefly outline them for you.

Paint Layering Steps:

  1. Prep your surface by wiping clean with a vinegar wash or other preferred method. Plus, make any necessary repairs. I needed a bit of wood filler for my two doors. I also used a heavy duty adhesive to attach the art to the door.
  2. Apply one (or two) coats of paint, letting cure in between. I used two coats for my projects with my Round Brush (perfect for getting into the nooks and crannies). For the blue, I used the color, Vintage.Painting White French Relief Wall Art with Paint Layering Technique |
  3. Apply any highlights you would like. I used a soft white on the blue. Also, this is the time to add any gilding using metallic paint or gilding waxes.
  4. Next, apply a glaze in any color you prefer. I used this custom coral color with my Square Brush. In addition, I have many glazing tutorials found HERE. My glaze is made of basic latex paint and a bit of water. A good ratio is 1 cup paint to ¼ teaspoon water. As a result, you are aiming for consistency similar to milk. Brush on making sure to hit all areas, and wipe off with a damp cloth. Let cure.Applying Coral Colored Glazing to French Relief Wall Art |
  5. Last, to add another layer of dimension, add waxes in various depths to draw out the fine details. Buff with a soft cloth to your desired finish. Also, you can add distressing using a wet distressing method or basic sandpaper.


Finally, add some hardware to the back, like these keyhole hangers. You’re done! The sky’s the limit when it comes to the variations you can use in your paint layering technique. I’ve only skimmed the surface of the options.

Vintage French Relief Wall Art Created with Upcycled Thrift Store Finds by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces #diy #handmade #home #shopping #homedecor #shabbychic #homedecorideas #videos

Vintage French Relief Wall Art Created with Upcycled Thrift Store Finds by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces #diy #handmade #home #shopping #homedecor #shabbychic #homedecorideas #videos

I had such fun with this video and hope it helps you all to visualize and end result as you come upon finds in your home and while out #trashure hunting.

Subscribe to Prodigal Pieces on YouTube for DIY video tutorials and a whole lotta fun |

DIY French Relief Wall Art in Coral Pink by Prodigal Pieces |

Also, don’t forget the blue one. This one created using this Vintage color chalky finish paint I’ve used on these past projects.

DIY Shabby Chic Relief Wall Art in Blue by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | Video tutorial at #prodigalpieces #diy #videos #shabbychic #home #homedecor #homedecorideas

Vintage Style French Vignette with Paint Layering Technique by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces

So…I have to ask…which one is your favorite?

Blue & White Relief Art by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

Both of these wall art pieces are available in my online shop (SOLD) along with other redeemed furniture, vintage finds, and handmade goods. Also, if you sign up for my newsletter you’ll receive a discount off your first purchase.

Shop Prodigal Pieces |

French Style Relief Wall Art Created using a Paint Layering Technique by Prodigal Pieces |

DIY French Style Blue Relief Wall Art Created Using a Paint Layering Technique by Prodigal Pieces |

I’m all about inspiring YOU. Do pin and share this paint layering technique to inspire other to give DIY a try!.

Ooh!! I have to try this paint layering technique as demonstrated by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces in this step-by-step video tutorial | Upcycled cupboard door art | #prodigalpieces #diy #handmade #paint #home #shopping #homedecor #homedecorideas #shabbychic

Up next, this chest that has been in my sons’ closet is about to be redeemed. See the new look HERE.

Damaged Chest of Drawers Before |

To get these DIY tips & tricks in your inbox, be sure to sign up for my newsletter. PLUS, you will get your FREE Furniture Buying Checklist and special discount to my shop. Until next time!

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In addition, more tutorials like my paint layering technique:

A Once Damaged Dresser Gets a New Look with a Farmhouse Chic Style with Tips on How to Remove Veneer by Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.comHow to Wet Distress Paint with Tutorial by Prodigal Pieces |

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  • Jauquetta

    For me the verdigre is the one! I love that look. Not too sure about the pinky one. Might have gone w a base gold, then white wiped off. Then some wax. The color seems a bit of a distraction somehow. It might be better in person, color is funny like that. I never find this in my thrift store, dang it!

    January 31, 2019 at 6:00 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you. If you study French relief art, the coral colored one is a classic design. 🙂

      January 31, 2019 at 6:16 am Reply
  • Patty Soriano

    Never would have thought of that! Although I’m not a pinky person, I just like the way the top one came out better. But I like the bottom one as well. What type of glue did you use ? I have a plaster relief of the last supper I’d like to do this to.

    January 31, 2019 at 9:41 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thanks! I’m not as much for pink either, but I was trying to stay true to the French relief art of ancient days. I used a Liquid Nails. Sounds like some DIY fun is headed your way.

      January 31, 2019 at 1:53 pm Reply
  • Cate

    Hi Larissa: I’m a daily reader and was very interested your comment about making your own glaze. You said you use 1 cup of paint and 1/4 teaspoon of water. Since I’ve never done this and rely on your expertise, how does 1/4 teaspoon of water make any difference in that amount of paint?

    January 31, 2019 at 9:49 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Hi Cate! 😀 It only does a tiny bit as it’s 1/4 teaspoon. They key is to work in small batches as the only difference between this and a ready mixed glaze is that it has an additive to keep it from drying too fast.

      January 31, 2019 at 1:54 pm Reply
  • Debra A Wise

    Well you certainly turned this ugly duckling into a beautiful swan. Amazing difference!! Great job Larissa!!

    January 31, 2019 at 11:08 am Reply
    • Larissa

      This was a fun DIY to share. Thank you, Debra.

      January 31, 2019 at 1:56 pm Reply
  • Paula

    These are both beautiful! The first one reminds me of a weathered terra cotta. Again, i am amazed at you wide range of talents and knowledge. I love how you research your subjects and share with us. (If you made me choose, I’d pick the blue one.)

    January 31, 2019 at 1:21 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you for getting where I’m coming from. I truly enjoy sharing.

      January 31, 2019 at 1:57 pm Reply
  • Ellen

    In my opinion i liked them when they were just white i think the coral looks a bit garish but you are the expert you alw st a seem to have such a good vision o know someone out there will love it

    January 31, 2019 at 1:28 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      As I mentioned, the idea was to recreate the French relief art of ancient days. If you’ve ever seen them, they are elaborate and tend to have mixes of muted tones to create the depth, including the coral color. The point of the tutorial was to show how to achieve that effect. You most certainly could do you own and leave them white. Many love this look from decades gone by. 🙂

      January 31, 2019 at 1:59 pm Reply
  • Kaycee

    Hi Larissa, What a difference your painting technique made on both of these! Like I mentioned over on IG, if I had to choose a favorite it would be the blue cherub. I just really love sweet cherubs, but both came out beautiful and look so much better mounted on the painted cabinet doors! I love them!!

    February 1, 2019 at 8:42 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      You are sweet to send good words. Thank so much, Kaycee. 😀

      February 2, 2019 at 4:57 am Reply
  • Mary

    They both have that lovely aged look but you know I love the blue one the best!

    February 4, 2019 at 12:58 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      I knew you would! Thank you so much, Mary.

      February 4, 2019 at 5:16 pm Reply

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