The garage sale owl I nabbed for 50-cents received a fresh new lease on life (hopefully it’ll grant me good karma). What started out as a drab and weathered owl that may have served well on someone’s deck (keeping the birds off the outdoor furniture) turned into an artful home decor piece within a half and hour with a 1″ foam brush and some leftover gray paint (the same glossy paint that I used in the bathroom).
Here are some before shots of my 50-cent garage sale find:
The overall structure of the bird was excellent – it wasn’t damaged structurally or deteriorating at all, but because finish wasn’t in great shape, I figured I had nothing to lose but a few tablespoons of fresh paint. I have zippy idea what this owl is constructed from, by the way. It has some weight to it but it’s not porcelain or cement and it doesn’t seem like ceramic (it’s more solid). Chippy paint aside, detailing that was on the feathers was really quite appealing; I like the way the artist or manufacturer carefully shadowed each feather to add a little depth and texture to the animal. A wee little bit of me considered retracting from my original plan and preserving the dude in it’s junky-chipped state.
When I first came upon it, the plan in my mind was to spray paint Sir Owl white, but after a day or two of considering other options I ultimately decided on the leftover gray for no good reason except it was subtle enough to fit anywhere I wanted to put it, and I like gray. (The runner-up was Sherwin Williams Energetic Orange paint from the frame painting project which I still think would have looked totally cool applied this this guy.)
I was most nervous about how the face of the owl would be once I started to disguise the previously defined features into a gray mass. Turns out, I had no reason to worry; I snapped this photo mid-paint job to show how the face looked half painted (kind of like when you apply your Bare Escentuals to only one side of your face to see how much the mineral foundation improves the morning blotchies—oh wait, I’m the only one who tests the coverage like that?). And also visible in this next photo, I’m happy that some of the texture of the feathers still shows through, even though the colors and shadowing were eliminated.
Once it was done—and it took just two coats with no primer layer—I was surprised how different it looked; definitely something that would easily fit into my home (and any home, at that). So, keep this face in mind when you stumble upon unusual animal sculptures in your travels; if nothing else, maybe you can up-sell or gift it as something that looks like it’s from Anthropologie.