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March 21, 2010

Would you call the focal point of this container group a garden art pedestal? Sculptural metal art piece? How about a $5 bargain? I hitched a ride with my sister and dad this morning to the Rubidoux drive-in swap meet, and found it there — and yes, for $5! But, it’s not really rusted steel, even though it could pass for it. It’s actually something put together by a vendor who makes cabinets and is made from off-cuts. I liked it immediately and asked the price, only too happy to give him the fiver. I was not happy about carrying it around the rest of the ‘meet, though, so I also bought a rolling cart to tote it in for another $6. When we got it home the sculptural shape reminded me of super pricey metal garden art pedestals, so I decided to paint it to look like one. Using the same basic techniques from my earlier horse trough planter project (read about it here) I got out four paint colors and started …

Inside color story

I first painted the entire piece, inside and out, with an orange-yellow shade. For this base layer I applied the paint thickly, to cover. It was a very warm and breezy day so the paint dried very quickly. After 10 minutes or so, I added color number two, a pale gray-blue. I used a ratty old brush to work the color onto the base coat in a textural, rough sort of way. The random, scruffy strokes would help me approximate the surface of rusted steel later. I allowed this layer to dry for 20 minutes or so, since the paint was pretty thick in spots. Color three, a rusty red, was added using the same ratty brush, applied loosely so that the other colors would still show through in places. While that layer dried for 15 minutes, I mixed a darker burnt umber color to the rusty red paint for the final coat. Using very light, quick strokes I selectively added this darker shade over the red and I was done!

Steely imposter

I’d decided to leave the inside of the piece the first two lighter shades for contrast, and thought it looked great … I added a thick concrete paver as a top, and my pedestal was ready to display a favored pot and succulent under the eaves, next to my office door. And it only cost $5 and took less than an hour!

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 21, 2010 5:44 pm

    Very inventive! I also love the pot on top.

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