Although I think any time is candle time, the later mornings and earlier evenings of fall are my favorite time of year to enjoy them.
We’re still basking in summer temperatures here, but there’s no denying that the days are definitely shorter. So, I’m pretending – again – that it’s really fall and going with all of the fun things of the season anyway.
Thrift Store Treasures
Last week I took the opportunity to slip away for a couple of hours and went straight to one of my favorite thrift stores. Sometimes I leave empty-handed, but it certainly wasn’t one of those days. Before I found my way to the check-out, I was barely holding on to all the treasures I had found.
This collection of 7 wood bowls was my favorite that day, and I snagged them for just 50 cents each!
They were a little scruffy, but it didn’t matter one bit because I knew right away what I’d do with them.
And as I like to say: A little paint is totally transformational!
Gone are their salad-holding days and rather than nesting in a cabinet, they’re now stacked tall.
The Bowls Get a New Life
I started by giving the tops and bottoms a light sanding and adding wood glue between each layer.
The glue enjoyed a day and a half to set. Not really because it took that long, but because it just took me a little while to find another pocket of time to get to it.
What is it?
In the meantime, one of my youngest boys asked if it was a bedpost! 🙂 I have to admit that it does look a little like the posts on our bed, so his observation wasn’t that unusual. I had fun keeping my little secret for a day or two though.
Next, I gave them a good roughing up with some sandpaper. There were some areas that still had a good covering of varnish, so they needed a little prep work before painting.
Finally it was time to get painting. I love a good crackle project and wanted to make this another one.
I always like to use a neutral or white base coat for crackle jobs. Since I had a sample container of a light beige Glidden paint left over from another project, that worked well. It ended up taking three coats to get good coverage.
Once the last coat was dry, I gave it a generous wash of crackle compound. You may be able to see it in the photo above – kind of running down the side…
For the most dramatic effect, you really want a good layer of compound. Don’t skimp here! It will take a bit longer to dry, but you’ll be glad you didn’t go easy when you see the results.
For the final coat of paint, I wanted something a little unique. Instead of a single color, I wanted a combination of a few different colors. I used gray, white, brown, and gold acrylic craft paints and squirted them in puddles on a paper plate.
I’m know it looks like there’s a whole lot of gray. That’s because there is. It took a few tries to find the right technique, and in the process I ended up with a few puddles of grayness.
So here’s what worked – and worked well:
The Simple Process that Looks Complicated
First, I totally love a sponge brush for this. It blends smoothly and leaves no brush marks. It’s also super easy to pick up a bit of each color.
With the puddles of paint on a plate, simply dab the brush into each one, rotating it slightly between colors, and start painting. As you paint they’ll blend together. This only takes a light touch. If you blend too much, you’ll end up with just a bunch of grayness. Trust me.
On the other hand, if you have a color really glaring at you, it’s easy to give it a few gentle strokes with the brush and it blends in without totally disappearing. The result is a mottled appearance that only took one coat to achieve.
I still do a lot of my painting outside and it was really warm the day I painted this stand. You can see how the crackling effect starts even before it’s completely dry.
I love it!
For the top of the stand I used this pewter plate I also found at the thrift store. It’s nice and heavy, and I’d normally have a hard time painting something like this. It had some discolorations though, which made it easy after all.
I gave the plate the same treatment, then glued it to the top of the bowls and let it all dry for a day.
Finally…it was time to put it in place! I added some pillar candles and a short ivy garland I had in my stash and…Yay – It’s ready to enjoy!
Don’t you just love the gentle glow of candlelight?
So that’s the new life those cast-off wood bowls got, and I think they’ll be enjoyed for a very long time.
Now for the rest of my finds…
Thrift store shopping is one of my very favorite things to do! You never know what you’ll find – or how you’ll be able to craft something new with those finds. I keep a few things in mind when I shop and I’ve got a download available that shares those tips – Upcycle Checklist: 5 Quick Tips for Awesome Projects. It’s free when you subscribe to the newsletter.