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Abstract Art Flower Painting Ideas

Updated on January 27, 2014
Beautiful abstract flowers!
Beautiful abstract flowers! | Source

Painting Flowers

When it comes to decorating your home, flowers can be a great complement to your décor. I love to paint flowers. I generally paint abstracted flowers. Many surfaces in my home have become my canvas for painting them, too.

From wall décor to the bathroom, I’ll share with you some ideas for painting abstract flowers in your own home. I am not afraid of color. Often, my paintings and flower renditions are very bright, with the goal of dressing up an otherwise drab room. Flowers also make for fun crafts in general.

The first part of this hub gives step-by-step instructions to paint a window.

I also include ideas for painting projects for the living room and bathroom.


Dress up an old window with fun flowers!
Dress up an old window with fun flowers! | Source

How to Paint Flowers On an Old Window

I painted this old window to dress up my front porch. It wasn’t too hard, but it took longer than I thought it would because of the drying time. However, it was well worth the effort – my porch has never looked better!

What You’ll Need:

  • An old window (I found mine for $2 on Craigslist)
  • 50% distilled vinegar/50% water solution to clean the glass
  • Course-grit sandpaper
  • Scraper or some type of chisel to get old paint off, if necessary
  • Razor blade
  • Palette knife
  • Acrylic craft paint in your choice of colors
  • #6 paintbrush (this can be bigger or smaller, depending on how big a surface you’re going to paint and how big you want your flowers – I include the size of brush I used here as a point of reference)
  • A paintbrush to paint the frame - I used a 3/4" size brush
  • Cup of water (for rinsing paint off)
  • Paper towels (to try brush after rinsing)

Click thumbnail to view full-size
This old window has a lot of potential for abstract flowers.Scrape all loose paint off the old window with a scraper.  Don't go overboard - you just want to get the worst of it off.After scraping, sand the remaining paint smooth.  Use a block of wood to rest the sandpaper on, to make it easier to sand.Clean the window, if necessary, with a 1:1 solution of water and white distilled vinegar.  A palette knife or razor blade will get old paint particles off, as well.Once you're finished scraping and sanding, it might be necessary to rinse all the particles off.  Let the wood dry completely.
This old window has a lot of potential for abstract flowers.
This old window has a lot of potential for abstract flowers. | Source
Scrape all loose paint off the old window with a scraper.  Don't go overboard - you just want to get the worst of it off.
Scrape all loose paint off the old window with a scraper. Don't go overboard - you just want to get the worst of it off. | Source
After scraping, sand the remaining paint smooth.  Use a block of wood to rest the sandpaper on, to make it easier to sand.
After scraping, sand the remaining paint smooth. Use a block of wood to rest the sandpaper on, to make it easier to sand. | Source
Clean the window, if necessary, with a 1:1 solution of water and white distilled vinegar.  A palette knife or razor blade will get old paint particles off, as well.
Clean the window, if necessary, with a 1:1 solution of water and white distilled vinegar. A palette knife or razor blade will get old paint particles off, as well. | Source
Once you're finished scraping and sanding, it might be necessary to rinse all the particles off.  Let the wood dry completely.
Once you're finished scraping and sanding, it might be necessary to rinse all the particles off. Let the wood dry completely. | Source

Instructions

Keep in mind that this is an old window. As I completed this project, I wasn’t looking for absolute perfection because I still wanted the window to look old.

1. If there’s old paint on the window, you’ll want to begin by scraping off the old paint with the scraper. I didn’t try to get all of it off. I just tried to get what would easily come off with the scraper.

2. Next, I took the course-grain sandpaper and sanded the old paint until it was fairly smooth. I didn’t completely smooth out the edges of the old paint as I wanted the old paint to help create a textured effect on the frame later on.

3. Take a paper towel and the vinegar/water solution and clean the glass.

4. If there is old paint on the glass, now is a good time to use a palette knife or razor blade to scrape off the old paint. With the glass clean, you’ll be able to see the paint more easily.

5. Rinse off the entire frame if necessary.

6. Let everything dry. You can sit the frame in the sun to help it dry faster, but keep in mind if you live in a humid climate, this process can take 24-48 hours.

7. Once the wood is completely dry, you’re ready to put the first coat of paint onto the frame. I chose “antique white” for the frame color. Apply two coats, allowing the first coat to dry before applying the second. Let dry completely. I used a size ¾” flat brush to apply the paint.

8. I also didn’t tape off the glass. If you get paint on the glass, it’s easy to wipe off the paint while it’s wet. Otherwise, I just got my palette knife back out and scraped off any stray marks of paint on the glass, once the paint dried.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Before practicing making flowers, paint the first coat of paint on the frame.  Here I used the color "antique white."  Then  practice the flowers while it's drying, and apply a second coat after practicing.Practice making flowers before you try it for the first time on the window.  Here, I used three colors on the brush - magenta, lavender, and sunshine yellow.Once you have finished the flowers, practice using a scruffy-like brush to dot the centers of your flowers.  Two pieces of foam board with the flowers that I practiced making.
Before practicing making flowers, paint the first coat of paint on the frame.  Here I used the color "antique white."  Then  practice the flowers while it's drying, and apply a second coat after practicing.
Before practicing making flowers, paint the first coat of paint on the frame. Here I used the color "antique white." Then practice the flowers while it's drying, and apply a second coat after practicing. | Source
Practice making flowers before you try it for the first time on the window.  Here, I used three colors on the brush - magenta, lavender, and sunshine yellow.
Practice making flowers before you try it for the first time on the window. Here, I used three colors on the brush - magenta, lavender, and sunshine yellow. | Source
Once you have finished the flowers, practice using a scruffy-like brush to dot the centers of your flowers.
Once you have finished the flowers, practice using a scruffy-like brush to dot the centers of your flowers. | Source
Two pieces of foam board with the flowers that I practiced making.
Two pieces of foam board with the flowers that I practiced making. | Source

Here's How I Painted the Flowers

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Here's the finished product, hanging on my porch.Dip the paintbrush into your main color first.  In this case, it's lavender.Then, dip the brush into your secondary color, flipping the brush to the other side.Finally, dip the magenta-side of the brush into the yellow.  You're ready to go.Here, my main color was the magenta, and then I dipped the brush into the secondary colors lavender, followed by sunshine yellow.   I start at the center, then round out the brush back to the center to make the petal.I've finished a set of flowers and now I'm dabbing the center with a scruffy-type brush with sunshine yellow.I screwed to of these eye-hooks into the top of the frame.  Then, I threaded them with metal wire to hang on my porch.The finished product.
Here's the finished product, hanging on my porch.
Here's the finished product, hanging on my porch. | Source
Dip the paintbrush into your main color first.  In this case, it's lavender.
Dip the paintbrush into your main color first. In this case, it's lavender. | Source
Then, dip the brush into your secondary color, flipping the brush to the other side.
Then, dip the brush into your secondary color, flipping the brush to the other side. | Source
Finally, dip the magenta-side of the brush into the yellow.  You're ready to go.
Finally, dip the magenta-side of the brush into the yellow. You're ready to go. | Source
Here, my main color was the magenta, and then I dipped the brush into the secondary colors lavender, followed by sunshine yellow.   I start at the center, then round out the brush back to the center to make the petal.
Here, my main color was the magenta, and then I dipped the brush into the secondary colors lavender, followed by sunshine yellow. I start at the center, then round out the brush back to the center to make the petal. | Source
I've finished a set of flowers and now I'm dabbing the center with a scruffy-type brush with sunshine yellow.
I've finished a set of flowers and now I'm dabbing the center with a scruffy-type brush with sunshine yellow. | Source
I screwed to of these eye-hooks into the top of the frame.  Then, I threaded them with metal wire to hang on my porch.
I screwed to of these eye-hooks into the top of the frame. Then, I threaded them with metal wire to hang on my porch. | Source
The finished product.
The finished product. | Source

Don't Forget to Practice!

9. While you’re waiting for the paint to dry, now is a good time to think about what kind of flowers you want to paint and what colors they'll be. It’s also a good idea to practice making those flowers on another surface beforehand so that you know exactly what you need to do when you go to paint on the glass.

10. I decided to paint daisy-like flowers. I chose three colors: lavender, magenta and sunshine yellow.

11. I practiced on a piece of foam board because the surface was smooth and it was similar to the smoothness of the glass. I dipped the paint into the main color – lavender, for example - and then on the other side of the brush, I dipped the end in magenta and yellow.

12. When you go to paint your flowers, you want the main color at the “top.” (See examples.) That way, the main color forms the outer edges of the flower petals and the minor colors make up the inner part of the flower petal.

13. It does take practice to figure out how much pressure to use and when to turn the brush to get the angle and shape you want – I think I painted about 4 different flower picture versions before I was satisfied.

14. I then got a scruffy-type brush and used the sunshine yellow to make the center of the flowers.

15. Once I was happy about practicing the flowers, I was ready to try painting on the glass. I alternated the main colors for each compartment on the glass.

16. After completely finishing and letting the flowers dry, I got two hooks and just using my fingers, screwed them into the top of the frame. I then threaded them with metal cord and hung it out on the porch.

17. You don't have to just hang it on the porch. The beautiful colors will dress up any room - you can hang it on the wall, in front of another window, and much more!

Flowers on wood - as hanging in my living room.
Flowers on wood - as hanging in my living room. | Source

Which one would you like to try?

See results

Paint Flowers on Wood

I found an old piece of discarded wood – I think it was leftover from a house project at some point. It was really big – 60”x48” – and very drab looking.

With four colors of paint, I created a fun abstract painting that now hangs in my living room.

I applied two coats of the base color magenta. Then, I got purple and with a small paintbrush, I made pointy oval shapes. I put five on each flower, for a total of three flowers. Then I added an orange center by stippling the brush on each flower. I took the last color, green, and made stem lines going to the bottom of the piece, along with one leaf shape.

Once everything was dry, I got that gold glitter fabric paint and made a fun border on each of the flowers, and went over the leaf with it.

The result is a dramatic flower painting that goes well with my southwestern décor.

If you try this, you’ll need four colors of acrylic paint in your choice of color. You’ll also need acrylic fabric paint that contrasts with the flowers. It might be fun, though, to choose monochromatic colors – different shades of red, for example, for the flowers and fabric paint. I think that would look really dramatic and beautiful.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
I painted the flowers on the cabinet in the bathroom.  You paint them much like how I painted the flowers in the window - except smaller.More flowers.Flowers near the mirror.
I painted the flowers on the cabinet in the bathroom.  You paint them much like how I painted the flowers in the window - except smaller.
I painted the flowers on the cabinet in the bathroom. You paint them much like how I painted the flowers in the window - except smaller. | Source
More flowers.
More flowers. | Source
Flowers near the mirror.
Flowers near the mirror. | Source

Paint Flowers in the Bathroom

For my next project, I wanted to dress up my drab bathroom. Before adding flowers, it was all white, with neutral-colored tiles. I had a colorful shower curtain to which I matched up the colors with acrylic craft paint.

Before starting to paint on the wall, I made sure it was clean and clear of any debris or dust.

I practiced making the flower shapes on a piece of cardboard. Basically, I dipped one end of a small paintbrush in the main color I wanted, and then the other end of the brush in a secondary color to get some depth to the flowers. Once they dried, I took the handle-end of the brush and dipped it into black paint and dabbed the center of the flowers with the end of the brush – the end makes a near-circular shape. They’re reminiscent of the impatiens flower, and my bathroom is a lot more colorful.

If you try this, you’ll need acrylic craft paints in your choice of colors, a paintbrush, water to rinse the paint off when you change colors and a paper towel to dry the brush after you’ve rinsed out the brush.

© 2012 Cynthia Sageleaf

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    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

      Cyndi, I think the painting of the flowers on the windows look particularly effective and the window frame has a lovely rustic feel to it. Great hub, voted up and shared.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      These ideas are beautiful and at first glance I thought the wood painting was fabric. Pinned this and voted up!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      This hub is fantasic!!! I love old windows, as I do have one over my kitchen sink, and it adds so much charm and character. In this home, I do not have a real window to look out while I am standing at the sink, but I do have a very large window at one end of the kitchen area where the breakfast eat-in area is located, so I do have a lot of light, but I sure do miss my kitchen sink windo. I did not paint abstract flowers or anything on mine, but since I love Monet and his paintings, I put a print behind it and it looks as though I am looking outside at a beautiful view. Great hub. In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Sageleaf 4 years ago from Western NC

      Julie - it was fun doing this project. :) Thank you for the votes and shares. Hubhugs to you!

      Glimmer Twin Fan - hehe, thank you for the pins. While the wood painting wasn't fabric, you DID give me a good idea. :D Thank you.

      Faith Reaper - it sounds like your kitchen is a beautiful place to be - we spend so much time in our kitchen, it's worth it to make it inviting and beautiful. Thank you for your feedback. :)

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

      What a great idea to bring life to an old window. I often see these blank panes of glass at swap meets, and for cheap, but never knew what to do with them. Your hub provides inspiration. Voting this Up and Useful.

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Sageleaf 4 years ago from Western NC

      Alocsin - it's fun bringing an old thing back to life. It seems like that's just a good thing to do. LOL. Yeah, you can get them pretty cheap and it's fun to do a little décor with them for sure. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      Awesome, the paintings you have done are so beautiful and you have explained how to do it very clearly. Voted up, awesomely creative.

    • MoiraCrochets profile image

      Moira Durano-Abesmo 4 years ago from Sagay, Camiguin, Philippines

      Love this idea! Got to try this soon. ",)

    • Julie DeNeen profile image

      Blurter of Indiscretions 4 years ago from Clinton CT

      So, let me get this straight: you are a damn good writer, and a crafty frugal log chopping artist? Save some for us! :) Excellent job! Love the photos too...did you use PicMonkey ? :P

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Sageleaf 4 years ago from Western NC

      Vellur - Thank you so much! Painting is so much fun! Great to see you. Happy Sunday!

      MoiraChrochets - fun, fun! Gitcha a window and start paintin'. :D

      Julie - oh, hehe. You crack me up. :D I suppose I am a crafty log chopping artist/writer. :P You know, I just used Publisher to make the one photo, but the rest are just from my trusty camera. Thanks for comin' by. Happy Sunday!

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      I love your ideas..You are definitely creative and inventive. I am going to bookmark this. Thanks for sharing.

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      An awesome idea Cindi and your flowers are beautiful!

      Thank you for sharing your inspirational and creative ideas and explaining the process so well!

      Voting up.

    • Gypsy48 profile image

      Gypsy48 4 years ago

      Gorgeous work cclitgirl. I love the instructions. I just started painting on wood myself and like it much better than painting on canvas. You are so talented, keep sharing your ideas with us! Awesome hub:)

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Great work, CC! It looks great, and you can admire your work for years to come. We used to use old windows and made cold frames out of them for spring seedlings. The glass made a nice little greenhouse and we put cement blocks between the ground and the windows to let the excess heat escape.

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Your re-purposed window is awesome! All of my flower designs always end up being abstract, too. It's a lot easier for me than trying to replicate photos. :) Thanks for all of the great photos and tips.

    • profile image

      SusieQ42 4 years ago

      Lovely idea! I love to paint flowers so I'll have to try one of your ideas. Thank you for sharing with such detail!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      This is a great way to create beauty in a space that needs some attention and covering. I love your creations and the colorful flowers. Also, you have really shown your talent here with your creative hub design. Enjoyed this post and voted up and beautiful.

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago

      Very cute! The paintings really make your porch and bathroom look more interesting and welcoming. Plus, turning an old window into a decorative item instead of throwing it away is very eco-friendly!

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Sageleaf 4 years ago from Western NC

      Carol - thank you so much! I'm a creative person, for sure...almost to a fault, hehe. I appreciate your kind words and feedback. :)

      MM - Thank you! I hope you try some of these ideas! With your eye for detail, I bet you'd have a masterpiece. Cheers!

      Gypsy48 - Thank you so much! I really like painting on wood and just about anything else is apt to become my "canvas." Hehe.

      Aviannovice - That's EXACTLY what we're using like 10 old windows for. We are in the process of making cold frames right now! :) Great ideas!

      Randomcreative - Yeah, I like more abstract flowers when I'm painting. When I'm taking photographs, I love the macro, detailed setting for them, but with painting, I love crazy shapes and colors. :)

      SusieQ42 - Have fun! Don't forget to make a hub about it. I know we'll want to see your beautiful creation. :)

      Teaches - It's really fun to take an object and turn it into something new that makes a space more beautiful. I appreciate your feedback and awesome insights. :D

      Om - I definitely love making a space more welcoming. You just made me think of those awesome kitchens you wrote about. :D I love making beautiful spaces - and doing it yourself! Thanks for stopping by!

    • Doc Sonic profile image

      Glen Nunes 4 years ago from Cape Cod, Massachusetts

      Nice work (the flowers, the hub, and the video). There are a few spots in my house that could use a little touch-up. I'll have to practice this technique.

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Sageleaf 4 years ago from Western NC

      DS - hey there! Great to see you! Thank you for your feedback. I definitely really tried to cover my bases on this one. It's fun to do these kinds of crafts - and you dress up drab spaces, too. :) Great to see you!

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 4 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      CC; fabulous! You are so creative it makes me wanna blarf. :) Seriously, this is total awesomesauce! Voted up and shared.

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Sageleaf 4 years ago from Western NC

      Terrye - hehe, AWESOMESAUCE. I LOVE it! :D I have another one of these comin.' Hehe...I hope by tomorrow.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Darn it Sis, I'm not getting notified again on your hubs. This is a great hub and I can't believe I'm so late getting here. Love this idea....you are so creative and talented!

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Sageleaf 4 years ago from Western NC

      Bill - haha, well, if it's any consolation, I had to turn my notifications off. I was forever deleting emails from my inbox. Now, I go into the "following" tab and click on "hubbers I follow" and I see their latest hubs that way. :) I had fun with this one. I'm about to publish another....Hubhugs to you!

    • jezebellamina profile image

      Jessica 4 years ago from Dallas, TX

      Very cool! What a sweet way to add charm to your porch! I love your ideas, thanks for writing an informative hub showing us all how we can do it too :)

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Sageleaf 4 years ago from Western NC

      Jezebellamina - I LOVE that window on my porch. It gives the whole space a different look and feel. I found myself standing outside yesterday starting through the window, daydreaming. Hehe, apparently it has that effect on me. :D Thanks for your feedback. Cheers!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Wow, you can paint, too! You are multi-talented, CC! Love the flowers on the window. Pinning this one for future reference--in case I get brave! :-)

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      I need an amazing button! This hub is amazing and you dear, talented lady are amazing! What a great idea and so beautifully done, btw, your window is amazing....did I say I think you're amazing?

      I voted all buttons (except funny) and happily shared. Really...well, amazing. Oh, and your video...amazing!!! Definitely should be HOD!!

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Sageleaf 4 years ago from Western NC

      Vicki - haha, I thought you knew I could paint. haha. I wouldn't go "pro" but I sure do have fun painting stuff. Thank you for the shares, too!

      Tillsontitan - haha, you're the one who's AMAZING! Thank you so much for the votes and shares and I appreciate your feedback. :)

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Brilliant ideas and so creative thanks

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Sageleaf 4 years ago from Western NC

      DDE - thank you so much! :)

    • SkeetyD profile image

      SkeetyD 4 years ago from Barbados

      Innovative and beautiful hub. This is one of the prettiest hubs I have ever seen. Well done! Voted up and shared!

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Sageleaf 4 years ago from Western NC

      SkeetyD - aw, thank you so much! I had a lot of fun doing it and I love staring at my little painted window on my porch. :)

    • Jeffn19 profile image

      Jeffn19 4 years ago from Boston, MA

      Awesome. We do house painting in Groveland MA and sometime get requests for painting the house windows. We have never gone through with it, but would consider doing certain things like this! http://www.olympicpainting.com/painting-groveland-...

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Sageleaf 4 years ago from Western NC

      Jeffn19 - awesome. I don't generally allow links in my comments, but I'll allow it so people can see. Have a great day!

    • Fiona Jean Mckay profile image

      Fiona 3 years ago from South Africa

      I love the idea for using an old window - although I would probably start by painting on wood initially. I love the colours used - so pretty.

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Sageleaf 3 years ago from Western NC

      Fiona - thank you so much! Wood is good, too. That was my FIRST medium, haha.

    • Sherrye Barrow profile image

      Sherrye Barrow 5 months ago from Duncan, AZ

      Really enjoyed this hub...very well thought out and put together.I paint on windows myself.I have never tried abstract flowers though.Yours are quite playful and colorful.Voted up.

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 months ago from Western NC

      Hehe, thanks, Sherrye! I appreciate you stopping by. I definitely am addicted to painting/drawing/planting flowers. :D

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