How to Decorate With Spray Paint Metal Art on Fireplace Mantels

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Metal spray paint art themes often include urban lettering, animals and cityscapes.
Metal spray paint art themes often include urban lettering, animals and cityscapes. (Image: Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

It may look like a heap of metal to some, but you know that, with a little ingenuity, your metal spray paint art will look like a masterpiece on your fireplace mantel. Spray paint art was introduced as a medium in the early 1980s by poet and artist Ruben “Sadot” Fernandez in Mexico City. As an urban phenomenon today, spray paint art by graffiti artists appears on many surfaces, including public buildings, fences and subway cars, and while spray paint art can be applied on any type of surface, metal sheets are the rarest. Therefore, it’s important to cherish and display your artwork with the right design, color, lighting and decor.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Ceiling spot light fixture

Evaluate your wall color and mantel finish prior to hanging your artwork. These colors need to make your artwork stand out; therefore, use neutral colors -- white, gray or beige -- for your wall color and glass, metallic, white or natural finishes for your mantel. Bring in other color options as complements; for example, a light blue for your walls if orange is the dominant color in the artwork. Finally, the metal spray paint art needs to be the focal point, so all other pieces in your room should have similar -- yet subtle -- themes, colors and finishes.

Measure your artwork to determine how it will fit or hang on your fireplace mantel. It’s aesthetically pleasing if the piece fits within the center of the mantel; if your piece is larger, consider raising it above the mantel -- four to six inches -- to create the illusion of additional space; other options will be to balance the work with other decorative items, such as two candles or vases, on each end of the mantel.

Light your artwork appropriately with a ceiling spot light fixture. To enhance your piece, use a standard halogen light bulb and place it approximately four feet away at a 50-degree angle for 8-foot ceilings. These measurements are based upon your artwork positioned at five and a half feet from the floor to the center of the piece.

Place similar, stylish pieces to complement your artwork on your mantel. Select decor that will have the same theme, colors and textures; then arrange these items symmetrically or asymmetrically on your mantel. For example, place matching industrial glass tubing-type vases on each side of the artwork, or a variety of urban-type metallic vases arranged with odd numbers on either side.

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