The Art of Darkness

Paint It Black

March 2nd, 2007 by Cobwebs

“At the end of the day, if in doubt, paint it black and slap a skull on it.”
— Voltaire*

Although items in this category may stray into home decor from time to time, such items will more likely be found in Doom it Yourself (if homemade) or Bad Things (if purchased). Instead, Paint It Black will focus on ways to subvert shiny, happy things into gloomy things you don’t have to throw a blanket over when you have houseguests.

This is especially useful if you have well-meaning relatives who can’t quite wrap their heads around your decorating choices. (In my case, it’s my mother, a very sweet woman who didn’t let out a peep when my formal wedding pictures were taken in a graveyard and who remained unruffled when the very first item of clothing I purchased for Shadowboy was a onesie that said “Spawn of Freaks.” Despite these subtle hints as to what my decorating choices might thus be, in my mother’s head I’m forever Pollyanna and she gives me gifts accordingly.)

Here’s a quick one to get started: Say you’re given a large pillar candle in an unfortunate color (such as pink), on a similarly unfortunate wooden base. Apply a faux finish to the base (many craft stores sell kits for this) to look like marble, and stamp-decorate the candle (Trystan Bass has excellent instructions here) with images of gargoyles or Victorian ghosts. This goes a long way toward making it look less like a gift from Aunt Mildred and more like something that would be at home in Mina Harker’s boudoir.

*The goth artist, not the philosopher. He’d more likely have said “A la fin du jour, si en doute, peindre le noircit et gifle un crâne dessus.” Or possibly “Noir? Un crâne? Merde!” But I digress.

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