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Awe-inspiring Barge Painting To Master

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Traditional Barge Painting

Painted Barge
On the waterfront
This painted barge is a jewel amid the soft colors of the canal setting. Both the boat and two water cans are decorated with the familiar clusters of roses.

OK, so to do some Barge Painting you do not have to own a barge.

For over a century, the inland waterways of Britain and Europe have literally sparkled with the brilliant colors and distinctive designs, which are painted on all the narrowboats and long boats moored along the water’s edge. The family owners of the boats take a pride in the bright and shining appearance of their floating homes.

Traditional colors were red, white, yellow, green and black and the most popular painted motifs were flowers, particularly roses and daisies.

Perhaps the painters were compensating themselves for not being able to have a real garden of their own. Whatever the reason, at one time every single part of the boat would have been decorated, from the boat sides and cabin doors to the mop and the traditional fresh water can stored on top of the cabin roof.

Barge Painted Pots
Dry Land Barge Painting
This technique can be used to pretty-up any number of items around the home.

Although this important and colorful tradition of folk art originated on the water, there is no reason why the style should be confined to canal boats.

Traditional barge painting has recently become very fashionable as a way of decorating objects in the home and it does lend itself perfectly to this purpose.

You can decorate almost any item which has a smooth surface and a simple shape. With a bit of practice you can use the technique to give a new lease of life to many old, chipped and faded items.

However it is best to start by working on new, small objects made of china or tin, such as a pot, jug or watering can.

The paint is applied one color at a time, and is built up in layers to produce the overall effect.

Flower painting definitely improves with practice and no two painters will create exactly the same result. You don’t have to stick to traditional colors, it can be fun to experiment.

Once painted, the pot should only be used decoratively, or to hold flowers.

To clean it, just wipe it over with a damp cloth.

Here are a few super ideas for you to draw your inspiration from.

barge painting flowers
These simple barge painting flowers look stunning on a dark background.

A Painted Jug

Narrowboat painted style jug
Take any old jug or pitcher and liven it up with decorative narrowboat style painting like this.

A Painted Serving Tray

canal boat painting
Here a porthole style boat painting is used on a tray.

The Back End Of A Narrowboat

Back end of a narrow boat
This is what decorating your narrowboat looks like.

Reference: The Country Look—Decor & Crafts


3 Responses

  1. […] Barge Painting […]

  2. Janek

    Give it a second coat and use a better paintbrush with finer bristles.

  3. slipknot0129

    I see which following painting the barge boards of my apartment there appears to be paint “streaks” found on the walls here plus there plus i cannot appear to remove it – any magical inspirations??

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