We find ourselves in the middle of spring - the sunniest spring on record in the UK and we are loving the sunshine. It feels a little bit like my birth country - South Africa with constant blue sky, sunshine and plenty of time in the garden. The only thing missing is the swimming pool!
As we are only just starting to come out of lockdown, we have made the most of this glorious weather and spent A LOT of time gardening. Over the past couple of years we have for various reasons slightly neglected our garden and one thing I have learnt over the past month is to never, NOT EVER neglect anything!! The weeds just take over!
We have been clearing out flower beds, re-landscaped part of the garden, and planted beautiful flowers. I am so excited to see them grow and bloom.
Years ago I bought a set of beautiful vintage hanging baskets and a planter which stands by our back door. It is beautiful, but also functional - it is supposed to hide the outdoor tap and all the attachments. Over the years these have become really rusty and totally past their best. I was reluctant to get rid of them as I was not sure I would find something quite like it again. My brother-in-law, Etienne introduced me to a fantastic product - rust converter, which primes rusted metal for painting. In fact he had just restored a cast iron fountain using this product. I thought I'd give it a go and so my next project started to simply renew our vintage hanging baskets and planter. Here is how I did it.
First, I removed all the old plants, weeds & liners from the baskets and washed all the loose bits of soil off using a hose.
Next step wast to get rid of all the peeling paint and loose rust. I find the best way to do this is simply using a study scrubbing brush. As the baskets are quite intricate and have lots of swirly bits, I had to take care to get all the loose bits off from those more hard to come by areas. Although not difficult, this did take a bit of time, but I think it was well worth it to create a smooth as possible surface for the Rust Converter to adhere to. The key is in the preparation!
Now to try out the Rust converter......I applied it, using a simple paint brush, to all the exposed rusty spots and allowed it to dry. Within 20 minutes or so, the rust converter reacts with the rust to convert it to a stable compound. It is amazing to watch the transformation from rust to a smooth black finish. There were no flaky, dusty, rusty bits and the rusty areas felt stronger than before.
In the beautiful sunshine, I laid out a dust sheet on the patio and started to spray paint the first coat. I chose Rust-Oleam Painters Touch Multi-Purpose Spray paint as this is a quick drying spray paint. Spray in a draught free and well ventilated area in short bursts. It is better to do a couple of coats to produce a smooth, drip free finish. The colour I chose was Ivory Silk in Satin Finish.
After spray painting, it looked really lovely, but the "perfect" even toned finish, was not quite what I had in mind, so I decided to use a bit of a dry brush painting technique to add depth and dimension to the piece and get that aged effect.
So, using Rust-Oleam Painter's touch in dark Grey, I set to work to add the detail.
Simply spray a little paint at a time on a paper plate or similar, dip an old brush in the paint, wipe off the excess and gently touch on the edges or raised areas of your item to add a bit of colour.
Top Tip here, is to use an old cheap brush, which you are happy to dispose of as the spray paint does not wash out. I have a few of these economy brushes lying around the house. I use them for all kinds of craft projects and usually reuse them, but on this occasion it went straight in the bin.
Now all that was left to do, was to line the baskets and plant with pretty flowers. I bought a tray of pansies at the beginning of lockdown to bring a bit of happiness to our garden, but was yet to plant them. So here they are now in full glory!
I am very please with how this project turned out and it once again shows with a bit of passion, some sound tips from friends and family and time to invest in a project we can Simply Renew many of our much loved items around the home and garden.
Take care and much love