Chaucer and Churchill in the hallway

We’re not history buffs, but because of a recent decor addition, if you walked through our house and didn’t know anything about us, you might think we really loved Winston Churchill and Geoffrey Chaucer. We do not…but we do love our fluffy sirs, Chaucer…


…who was specifically named after Geoffrey Chaucer, the author of Canterbury Tales (but mostly just because we liked the name).

And Winston…


…who came with the name. I’m sure he wasn’t named after Winston Churchill, necessarily, but he certainly does spring to mind whenever I hear the name Winston. I thought it was pretty funny that we ended up with two cats named after British historical figures. Maybe this is a trend that will have to continue?

So I decided to exploit this fact and dedicate a little piece of our wall to our cats. Call me a crazy cat lady if you must, but I only have 2, I’m married, and they’re fluffy! That’s got to help a little.

I’ve had these two prints pinned for a while, and finally just decided they needed to be on the wall immediately!


I found them in the New York Public Library’s digital collection. If you’re looking for something specific, they have a great search function or you can browse by category.

I bought these two frames (with really hideous pictures!) at Goodwill a long time ago for $1 each and was saving them for just the right thing.


After removing the backing and the glass, I dry brushed the frames using a cheap natural bristle brush and some leftover grey paint.


This technique is super fast and easy, especially for something like a frame that’s just decorative. There’s no need for priming, and I wanted the natural wood to show through so I didn’t paint a base color. If you don’t want the original material to show through, paint a base color first and then dry brush over that, like I did on this mirror that I apparently have never blogged about. Oops. The base is turquoise and it was dry brushed with a light greige color.


First, dab the brush in the paint. I shook the can and then used the paint on the lid so I didn’t get too much. Then offload extra paint onto a paper towel.


Sweep it quickly and lightly over the surface. You can go back over it or add more paint until you achieve the look you want.


This part of the process only took me about 5 minutes, and by the time I had the pictures sized and printed on card stock, the frames were dry!


The prints originally were more antiqued looking, but my printer made them look too green, so I printed them in grayscale instead.


I decided the perfect spot was on this bare wall in between our guest bathroom and master bedroom doors.


We don’t have much art in our house yet (even though we’ve been here over two years!) because I’m a big believer that art should be personal and meaningful to you. It’s hard to buy “personal” art on my minuscule home decor budget. I also like a bit of humor or secret meaning in art. Though if someone sees this art and doesn’t know the meaning, they probably shouldn’t be in our house.


After the cost of the frames and other materials, this was still under $3. And we love the personal touch! I wish I could say the cats were appreciative of my loving gesture, but it’s just life as usual for them. If they can’t smell it or lay on it, it’s not of general interest.

I’m really happy with how the dry-brushing on the frames turned out. It was so fast and easy, and I love the natural wood peeking through.


Our hallway could probably use a bit of color next, but the new addition does cheer it up a bit!


And now the count of items hanging on our walls is a whopping 8! Gosh, I should probably get on that already!

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