Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Retro Wall-Art Update Tutorial

Working full time has not left me much time for fun these days. But, luckily, vacation has arrived and with it more projects. These are my latest "pride and joy"!

A few months back, I found a set of ceramic sparrows at Arc. It was a Saturday so I got them for half off, a whopping $2.50! Gosh how I love a good bargain! I really did love them the way they were, but I am one of those all-or-nothing type of gals. I truly would love to completely restores a 1950's atomic ranch to its former glory, complete with small trinkets like these from the period. But life is what it is. Our home had been stripped, of any atomic fabulousness, long before we moved in. So sadly, I resigned to retain my 'transitional' style from our former home and to just try to make the best of it.

DISCLAIMER: I do understand that there will be many Retro Renovators out there who will cringe at this post, of me painting over these babes. To them I would like to apologize and say that, oddly enough, I know how they feel. I do love vintage and I wish my house was completely retro-renovated. But I don't find esthetically pleasing to have a hodge-podge of styles...hence my decision to go this route.

Back to the sparrows. They were meant to be displayed on a table top of sort, but I knew that I would use them as wall hangings. They were in mint condition, so no TSP wash was needed. They only had minor dust, so I washed them in dish soap and water. I rinsed them well, and allowed to dry for 2 full days. As always I went with my favorite Zinsser primer (I used spray for this project) in thin, even coats.

I used a shallow cardboard box to store them and paint them in. It helped while moving them around too, we had a few dust storms last week. Sand and wet paint are not a good mix, so I cured them indoors. It took a while for the primer to dry, as ceramic is more porous than wood.

I moved the birds several times to hit every possible angle and gave them a thorough, even coat. I allowed the primer to cure one full day and lightly sanded (with very fine sandpaper) any imperfections.

I then sprayed several THIN and even coats of Krylon fusion spray paint in gloss
white, until I reached full coverage. I know, it says 'for plastic' on it and this is ceramic. That's why you read labels carefully and find out what other materials each paint is suited for. :)

I made sure to allow to dry for one full day before handling the pieces. Nothing more annoying than discovering your paint is tacky by leaving finger prints on your finished piece!

At this point I tried to hang them on the wall (flight configurations trials). After several attempts it was clear that a hook of sort was to be attached to the backs.

I used small triangular picture hooks and some gorilla glue. These hooks were purchased in Italy. All hooks I found, at local hardware stores, were just too thick and beefy for this type of application.  So I used my old leftovers. It pays to be a hoarder sometimes! ;)

I made sure not to use too much glue, as gorilla glue expands while efforts were in vain! It was still too much. LOL.

Finally I was able to hang them up today. I think they look so whimsical.

They found their resting spot in my guest bedroom's wall.

I hope this inspires you to go thrift shopping, or garage sale-ing, to find items to repurpose for your own needs. I will be enjoying these beauties for many years to come!