Interior design

Try this simple DIY paint hack to create your own modern art at home

Posted by
Megan Murray
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Woman sitting next to monochrome DIY art print

Make your own modern art using this simple DIY method and some leftover paint. It’s as easy as that.

There’s something so satisfying about nailing a really good DIY hack at home. It feels great to master a new skill and get hands-on, especially when it means scoring a bargain, too. That’s why we’re always on the lookout for new ideas that keep weekends busy and nod to interior design trends

One Instagram account that has been inspiring DIY fans over and over again is The House That Black Built, which is founded by Chelsea (and sometimes her partner who is mysteriously known as Mr S).

Chelsea’s flawless monochrome style is famous on the platform, something which has amassed her over 100,000 followers. But while Chelsea’s incredibly chic home gives off an opulent aesthetic, some of her most-loved home accessories are thanks to DIY hacks for next to nothing.

A feature that appears again and again in her Instagram set-ups is a striking piece of ‘modern art’. It fuses together a dark inky black background with clean, minimalist white and only a blurred line separating them. 

While Chelsea initially thought that her followers “wouldn’t think much of the art” she tells that it has become a part of her decor that people regularly ask her about and are thrilled to discover that she created the piece herself with very few tools.

“I couldn’t find the right art print to fill a certain space in my kitchen as I wanted something really simple so I just decided to paint on the backboard of the frame and see what happened. People have said it’s like a black and white Rothko but it wasn’t a conscious inspiration.

“I think people like it because it’s so easy to do but also really impactful. The simplicity of the black and white colour blocking is visually pleasing and the contrast detail of the dry brush through the middle stops it from being ‘too’ plain. There have been SO many copies on Instagram!”

Chelsea of The House That Black Built
Chelsea in front of her brilliant modern art invention.

Fancy trying out this ‘modern art’ look yourself?

What you’ll need:

  • Frame 
  • Colour 1 of your choice
  • Colour 2 of your choice 
  • Paint roller
  • Paint tray
  • Paintbrush 

How to:

1. Remove the backboard (what your art print would usually sit on) from the glass frame.

2. Paint one half of the backboard in the first colour you have chosen with a small roller to get a flat, smooth finish. 

3. Paint the other half of the backboard in the other colour you have chosen with a roller. Then use a paintbrush to bring that colour to meet the other.

4. Wipe any excess paint from the paintbrush and brush across the join of the two paint colours, from one side to the other. 

Monochrome kitchen with DIY art print hanging
Chelsea's artwork in all its glory.

And it really is as easy as that. With some leftover paint, a paintbrush and an old frame, you can create a textured piece of art with a modern aesthetic that your friends will think you’ve paid a fortune for. 

If you love this, keep following Chelsea’s DIY hacks over on The House That Black Built, and check out our take on how to update a gallery wall without buying any new art prints.

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Images: The House That Black Built / Instagram


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Megan Murray

Megan Murray is a senior digital writer for, who enjoys writing about homeware (particularly candles), travel, food trends, restaurants and all the wonderful things London has to offer.

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