Artist C. Finley received worldwide media attention in 2010 after wallpapering a slew of dumpsters. Over five years later, her work still graces city streets from New York to Rome, not to mention Instagram feeds everywhere. We recently caught up with her to find out her future plans for dumpsters and beyond.

c finley

I. How have things changed since you first started receiving national attention for your dumpster designs over five years ago?

Finley: I am luckily getting free wallpaper from Graham and Brown. They ship me a few rolls wherever I am going to create a dumpster. In Rome, the city trash company called AMA has actually delivered brand new dumpsters for a few sites. That was heaven sent! However at the end of the day, I still have to get down and dirty in the streets!

II. Why do you think so many people have gravitated towards the wallpapered dumpsters project?

Finley: Whether you are eight or eighty this project will touch you. It is really fun to surprise people by turning a dumpster into a work of art. I believe that this simple act raises consciousness. If we can create art out of a dumpster anything is possible.

III. What do you currently have in the works or planning for in the future (whether it involves dumpsters or not)?

Finley: Eventually I would like to have fifty or so dumpsters completed.  I would then like to make a coffee table book! I am also using the wallpapered dumpsters as collection points for school supplies to help children that might not have what they need to start school in the fall. I am always painting in the studio and I have a few shows lined up for 2016.

IV. What is the step-by-step process of wallpapering a dumpster?

Finley: I created a video called how to wallpaper a dumpster that explains it best.

1) Find a dumpster that is not near a grocery or fishmonger (paper/wood etc.)

2) Ask a friend to help you wallpaper a dumpster

3) You will need two rolls of wallpaper, wallpaper paste, chip brushes, scissors

4) Precut the wallpaper for the first strip and put the glue on the dumpster then apply the paper. Each additional piece needs to follow the pattern (so you cant precut them all)

5) Work on the fly with scissors to do all of the detail work (this does not need to stay inline with the pattern) if you have the large pieces on the front and back stay with the pattern, the small pieces work out visually without the stress.

6) Photograph your amazing work and send me a pic!

dumpster art

Make sure to check out all of C. Finley’s art.
Here’s a list of Budget Dumpster’s five favorite dumpsters she has completed thus far.

Wallpapered Dumpster