One Last Project

Ok, I have one last beach house project to share and then I promise I'll stop for a while.  With the projects, that is, not the beach house.  I have lots to share on that front!  But first, this project.  I meant to post this last week and just didn't get time to finish it.  Oopsy. Way back - maybe a couple months ago - I made two "canvases" using recycled fence slats.  The slats were from the same pile of old fence that we used to make the lemonade stand and the potting stand.  To make the canvases, I cut 4 slats to equal lengths and then framed them on the back with 1x2s.

I love the look of the naturally weathered slats, but obviously the fresh new wood frame wasn't working with it.  To try to blend it in, I smeared some grey paint on it, trying my best to match the color and look of the old wood.

After that, I also took some grey paint, majorly watered it down, and then washed it over the whole thing - the slats and the sides.  My thinking was that it'd help blend the two woods together a little.

So that was done, and that was the easy part.  Now I had to figure out what to paint on them.  Going into it, I had a good plan.  We had already purchased several buoys to use in the beach house, so I was going to paint some buoys on the canvases and make them real texure-y and colorful.  Problem was that every time I tried to draw the buoys, they just looked like flat squares.  I couldn't get them to look right, and definitely not 3D.  So I tabled the project for a while.

Last week, between cutting holes for grommets, I picked them back up to finish them.  I knew I wanted to keep the weathered look of the fence slats as the background, so I needed some kind of beachy object I could just paint in the center (that wouldn't require a background, so no beach scenes).  I also knew that I wanted the canvases to stay horizontal so that the individual slats were vertical, just in case these ended up getting hung on a wall with horizontal paneling.

The winning object was birds.  Ducks?  Sea gulls?  I don't really know what they are exactly, but they're bird-ish.

First I drew a stencil out of paper so that I could trace it onto the canvases.

I wanted these two canvases to be so that they could hang together, or on either sides of something (window, piece of furniture) and still go together.  I toyed with doing one big bird on one canvas and two baby birds on the other, but ended up just going with the same bird on both but turned in opposite directions.

I lightly traced the outlines using a pencil.

And then I had to tape it off.  Taping all the curves and details (tail feathers) was hard!

With the outline traced off, I then taped newspaper over the rest of the wood to keep it safe from splatters.

If you've ever watched an HGTV show where they were painting stripes on a wall, you know the first step after taping off is to paint a coat of the original color.  That way, you seal off the taped edges and if there's any bleed through, it's of the color that's already on there and thus won't be noticeable.  Keeping this in mind, my first step was to do a coat of grey that sorta matched the weathered wood background.

Finally, I was able to start having a little fun.  I slapped on some yellow in random places.

Added a little red.  (Looks like someone went duck huntin'...especially with the holes from the fence nails.)

Thought a little turquoise might help the bloody situation.

I wanted the bird to be mostly white with these colors peeking through, so I spread a thin coat of white paint over the whole thing.

I had no idea how this was going to turn out, but I was done messing with it.  I let the paint dry and then took off the newspaper.

I peeled off the tape outline and was left with two bird bodies!

Every duck/bird/seagull needs some little legs and an eye, so I added those and called it done.

My mom and I named the birds Sunrise and Sunset because that's what we think they look like.  And guess what?  They're already hanging on the wall at the beach house! Yep, so many pictures to share this week, so get ready.