Yard Treasure

After I shared my newly painted gnomes last week, I remembered that I hadn’t shared a fabulous garden art makeover from two years ago. This was the summer that we moved into our new house and I was doing some clean-up around the backyard. I was trimming some unruly rhododendrons when I spotted something strange tangled in the innermost branches. After prying apart layers of leafy branches I was able to free the mystery object. I was so excited to discover it was a retro rabbit statue! My yard-work that day yielded two more pieces of what I was calling, “yard treasure”. One was a flamingo, sadly it was too far gone to rescue. The other mystery item turned out to be a retro poodle statue. Jackpot!

garden statues
Yard treasure fresh from the shrubs

I gave these a thorough scrubbing and used the “jet” setting on my hose sprayer to make them as clean as I could, then let them dry. They were both made of a plastic vinyl rubber like substance which seemed really durable. We gave them each a fresh coat of white paint, using a good quality spray paint.

white spray paint
Spraying the statues white

Once they were dry I took them inside to paint back on the eyes and accessories. It didn’t take long at all because they only needed a few small details to come to life. I painted the eyes black and the bows and collar red and that was all!

finished_white
Nice and bright white again!

Now these “yard treasures” are sitting on the mantel of the backyard fireplace and they look great! I’ve been on the lookout for more pieces like them whenever I’m at a yard sale or thrift store but so far no luck. I would love to have a yard filled with funny vintage animal statues, but for now I’ll settle for two.

painted statues
Repainted and adorable yard treasure
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Gnome Repair

About seven years ago, I purchased some adorable garden gnomes. These little gnomes have lived in all sorts of flower pots and various places in my yard. Sadly, the sunshine had taken its toll and faded them. Because these gnomes have been with me for so long I was determined to rescue them and return them to the garden, good as new!

faded gnomes
The gnomes in their sun faded condition.

To begin, I gave them all a quick power wash with the hose and a gentle scrubbing to clean off any dirt. I staked them in the grass to dry in the sun, which didn’t take long at all. Next, I gathered them up and punched holes into a cardboard box so they had a place to stand while I worked on them. I used acrylic craft paints and brushes that I already had around the house. Other supplies included a plastic lid for mixing colors and a jar of water with paper towels to clean the brushes.

Paint and brushes
Gnome Repair Supplies

With everything ready it was time to begin painting. If you’re like me then you will spend hours being very precise with tiny brushes. I don’t mind spending a long time, with some t.v. in the background or an audiobook on, I find the time goes really fast! It might seem silly to spend hours repainting something that costs about $10, but I just can’t throw out things that can be fixed.

painted gnomes
Gnomes with a fresh coat of paint

Once the brightly colored gnomes were painted it was time to go bed. I let them dry completely overnight and then took them outside to spray with a clear protective coating. I grabbed my go-to spray, Krylon Triple-Thick Crystal Clear, and gave them a few coats. I was at the end of the can and ended up using another brand to add the final coats, but it worked out well enough.

clearcoat application
The gnomes getting a finishing touch

Now the gnomes are shiny and ready for more rain and sunshine! Knowing me, I’ll probably repaint them in a few years when they start to look sad again, but for now I will enjoy putting them back in their garden home.

gnomes in garden
The bright and happy looking gnomes are back in the garden.