Thursday, July 19, 2012

Simple Art Room Fixer-Uppers

With traveling to three schools, I was extremely lucky to have one art room at one of the schools.  I do share it with the music department, but the storage is packed with supplies.  With this being my sixth year in the room, I asked permission to re-paint the cabinet doors since they were due.  After permission was granted, I took the doors off the hinges and brought them home (after covering up the cabinets with plastic) and handed in my key for the summer.  Here's a before picture, so you can see how badly this was needed:

I discovered something quite helpful: Latex paint peels off really good in 100+ degree heat.  After going stir crazy in my house and planning my pictures, I went into the garage, set up a sanding space, and went to town.  After peeling the top layer and sanding down the others, my cabinets were clean slates and ready for painting!

In case you're curious, I apologize, but I do not have pictures of the original cabinets being sanded.  It was hot, I was ambitious, and I forgot the camera to take before/after pictures.  When I re-install the cabinet doors back on, I will show you the before pictures from the cabinets still in the classroom!

Here is the end result!

Cabinet Set #1: Piet Mondrian.  I introduce Piet as my kindergarteners first project, teaching lines that go up/down and sideways, as well as primary colors.  What better way than to have it painted in the classroom to remind them!

Cabinet Set #2: Henri Matisse. I introduce Henri to my 2nd graders, then re-visit in 6th grade.  I enjoyed "The Fall of Icarus" for it's simplicity and use of organic shapes.

Cabinet Set #3: Keith Haring.  I love Keith's style and messages he shares in many of his artworks.  As the first project with my 5th graders, I show them how to draw in Keith's cartoon style while trying to convey a positive message for their community.

Cabinet Set #4: Vincent Van Gogh.  Can you tell I saved the best for last?  I had so much fun painting this one!  I put both doors together to create one whole image!  I introduce this image in 4th grade, but re-visit in 5th grade as well.  There's so many projects that can be made due to this painting's inspiration.  I also can't wait to hear the students say "Whoah!!!" when they enter the room!

In August, I will be making my way back toe room to set up and organize materials for the next school year.  Please stay tuned for viewing the cabinets in their spots next month!

If you are blessed with a room to use, have some fun with it, but make sure you have permission first.  Expect that your work may not last forever, but enjoy it while you can.

And here's a set installed!

Stay tuned for Part 2 in August!


  1. Heidi this is great. I love it!

  2. Thank you! It's too bad I discovered I mismatched the doors for two sets!