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Colorful Key Wall Art for Whimsical Decor

I made this unique key wall art from an old portrait. I added my favorite paint colors and Mod Podged the background with fabric – I love it!

I made this unique DIY wall art from an old key portrait. I added my favorite paint colors and Mod Podged the background with fabric - I love it!

My friend LollyChops is going to love this DIY wall art project – it uses shades of her most favorite color, TEAL! I found this sad little piece of key art, broken and golden, at Hobby Lobby.

I’m sure it wasn’t supposed to be broken, and what likely happened is someone said “Do these keys come off?” and then tried it. Not that I’ve done that myself.

I’m not really a gold person, so I decided to brighten up this key art with some paint and Mod Podge. Here’s how I made my key portrait.

Key Wall Decor

Gather These Supplies

  • Sad wall art
  • Mod Podge Fabric
  • Mod Podge Clear Acrylic Sealer – Gloss
  • FolkArt Acrylic Paint – Jamaican Sea, Ocean Cruise, Calypso Sky, Titanium White (optional)
  • Apple Barrel Acrylic Paint – Pool Blue, Cool Blue, Regency Blue
  • Fabric, coordinating piece to cover your background
  • Paintbrushes, one small and one medium
  • Craft glue
Before Key Portrait

Start with a fun piece of wall art. It can be broken. Or not.


Take the goods off. I had to pry slowly so as not to break my keys. Patience is a virtue, my friends. Remove the back of the portrait from the frame.


Sand down the background (if you need to) and then paint it Titanium White. My background was dark, so it was necessary to paint a lighter color so that the background doesn’t show through. It will definitely show through if the background is dark and the fabric isn’t thick. Allow to dry.


Make sure your fabric is washed, dried and ironed. Prepare the fabric with Mod Podge Fabric – this means putting the fabric down on a non-stick surface and applying a medium layer of Mod Podge.

Allow to dry. You can now cut the fabric without it fraying, and it’s easier to apply to a finished surface because it won’t wrinkle.


Here I’m applying Mod Podge to the back piece. Apply a medium layer and then lay your fabric down – smooth, smooth and smooth!

Push all of the air bubbles out and wipe away any excess Mod Podge that comes out the sides. Allow to dry. Once the fabric has dried to the back piece, give the top another coat of Mod Podge. Allow to dry.


Paint your frame with Jamaican Sea. I used the tiny brush and gave it several coats. It went on surprisingly well, and I really enjoyed the painting. Very cathartic.

TIP ALERT: So what am I doing in the photo above? It’s a technique I’d like to share with you. I’ve laid the frame over the background, put the keys back in and then put some color chips down to figure out what colors I wanted to paint my keys and in what order.

MAKE COLOR CHIPS for your paint colors now if you don’t have them – even if you simply paint strokes in a notebook.

It will help you immensely when you put color palettes together or are trying to match something, because colors in the bottle DO NOT look the same when dry. I’m done preaching now.


Paint your keys with your paint colors. It’s going to take several coats, but it’s fun.


Don’t forget to use your small brush to paint inside the little grooves and holes.


Glue the keys down with your craft glue. Allow your DIY wall art to dry and then give the key portrait several coats of Mod Podge Gloss sealer. It shines and then it’s chip proof.

I’m so excited about my easy key wall art that I can barely stand it. Do you like it on my wall?

I made this unique DIY wall art from an old key portrait. I added my favorite paint colors and Mod Podged the background with fabric - I love it!

If you like this DIY wall art, check out more in our archives here!

Terri Murray

Tuesday 26th of March 2013

Any ideas on where to find these keys?


Tuesday 26th of March 2013

Hi Terri! I got this piece from Hobby Lobby - you can try to find faux antique keys on Etsy!

Jessica @ Jessiker Bakes

Tuesday 23rd of October 2012

Dead gorgeous.


Sunday 8th of April 2012

Love, love, love this! The colors are great together and I love the look of all the different old keys together!

Lucy Express

Monday 6th of February 2012

That is so cute! ^^


Monday 22nd of August 2011

Yours is so much cuter than the original! : )