Tuesday, August 21, 2012

One of the great things about thrifting is that you can find some really interesting &/or useful things.  The bad thing is that generally those things don't match the decor...

...& sometimes they give your kids nightmares.



After much studying & poking 'round, I've discovered how to make almost anything paintable by spraying it with this...

...matte sealer.  I used Mod Podge, but there are other brands that I've used and they work smashingly well -- the important bit is that it is a spray matte sealer.  The spray is important because you get a smooth surface sans brushstrokes,  the sealer is important because it seals off the surface making it paintable,  & the matte is important because satin or gloss will make acrylic paints crack as they dry~*

Now technically you can finish it however you like-- detailed painting, faux finishing, decoupage, yarn...not sure how a yarn squirrel would look...hmmm...but for the sake of simplicity I went with painting.

Much less frightening, no?  Almost Disney-esque, as opposed to Night of the Living Dead Squirrels.   Which reminds me, my husband & I have an ongoing debate...
You would have to live near a college campus to understand the sheer audacity of college educated squirrels.  They will wander right up to you & look at you very accusingly & give you an "I know where you live & I'm a squirrel so I can get there," sort of stare until you give them bits of whatever you happen to be eating.  They will even chase you with dogged determination & murderous intent if whatever you are eating is particularly appealing to that squirrel at that moment & you have denied him his due.  And we do have a medical school, pharmacy school & nursing school on campus.  So the possibility of one of them becoming a zombie then biting you are not nearly as remote as you might have thought.  The question, therefore, is whether or not a human, if bitten by a zombie squirrel, would become a human zombie or a squirrel zombie or some sort of hybrid.  My husband is thinking you'd at least develop a bushy tail which would be lovely in the winter & make being zombified a little more bearable.  I don't see the up side.  And then inevitably there is the question of nutrition-- would you crave squirrel guts or human guts or both?  Sigh.  The queries are numerous and the answers are indeterminable... what are your thoughts?


I added a porcelain crackle effect which goes on once the paint has dried, & after it sets you can "wash" it with burnt umber glaze to give it a...drumroll...cracked porcelain effect.  I didn't want to give it an aged finish though {it will happen on its own time as dust & whatnot collects in the cracks} so no burnt umber glaze for this fella.  I just wanted to add visual texture as it looked a bit like greenware left smooth, which annoyed me.

Disney Squirrel is not amused.  Nut?

The same thing basic gist for the picture frames...though I forgot to take a picture of the finished product until it was in my office {so forgive the hazy, & very beige office backgrounds}

For the two smaller picture frames I did a duo tone finish for interest.  I also sprayed then painted the clothespin {my "to do immediately"  paper holder, which was originally purple} & added a strip scrapbook paper in a coordinating pattern to make things interesting, cos that's how I roll, yo.

One would think if you wanted a lighter shade of a paint color you'd just add white.  Not so.  Add a lighter color of the same shade to the original paint-- in this case, I added a pale blue to a sky blue.  Why?  Well, white effects the tone of the paint which results in a faded or washed-out color {which is great for trompe l'oiel highlights, but not good for block color}-- using a paler shade of the same color results in a lighter version of the original without loss of tone...& uh....yeah.  Just trust me on this one.

A quick spray with matte sealer after you reseal {or satin or gloss...whatever you prefer for the finished look} & you are good to go!

I wouldn't go so far as to say they are dishwasher safe, but they will hold up to an average cleaning & who would want to dish-wash a squirrel or a picture frame, I ask you?

And by way of a teaser-- tomorrow I'll be posting info on a blog link up, that started today!  So be sure to check back~*


  1. I love how sometimes a small action like applying a coat to something instantly makes something fit/cool and leaves you with feeling really productive. Nice little project! :)



    1. That is the greatest thing about little stuff-- you can make it whatever you need it to be {and the very best decorating tip too}.

  2. haha! I so love your dramatic close up of the squirrel eyes. Hilarious.


  3. Very nice! I think I'll be using your tutorial on some owls for Halloween that I thrifted. Thanks for sharing :)

  4. Great job! These all came out wonderfully!

  5. Much improved eyeless squirrel ...

    Popped in from MMI.



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